Saturday, July 4, 2020

Apple Watch 5: Resistance is futile

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After a lifetime of Swiss watch fandom, I've defected to the smartwatch. Goodbye, good and faitthful mechanical servant, hello tomorrow — with a dollop of beneficial health monitoring thrown in.

Huawei P40 Pro+ and that Leica camera

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Hauwei's new P40 Plus is a compelling smartphone and comes with the benefit of a Leica-branded camera. But there are trade-offs? Is it the phone for you?

Arte di Mano’s Leica Q2 case with optional access to battery and SD card

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Leather half-cases offer great protection for your camera. But getting to the battery or SD card can be a problem. Arte di Mano has the perfect solution for the Leica Q2 range

Leica Q2 gets the Thumbs Up: How a simple brass grip transforms the handling

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The absence of the much-promised Leica thumb grip for the new Q2 camera has been a source of friction here at Macfilos Towers. Fed up waiting, we've gone back to the original and the best, the all-brass Thumbs Up. It transforms the handling of the Leica Q2.

Billingham launches new Hadley Pro 2020 system bag

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Billingham's much-loved Hadley Pro has been upgraded with new features and a "2020" design label. Frequent travellers will appreciate the new rear strap to attach to luggage.

Ideal case for the iPhone

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One of the attractions of getting a new toy such as the iPhone is exploring the range of accessories. Cases figure high on this list because, like most users, I want maximum protection with maximum ease of use. 

Some cases are just too bulky and yet offer little protection for the screen. Others, such as the rubberised condom style, need to be removed every time you dock the phone. Then there are the slim leather cases that offer style and feel-good factor but, again, offer little protection for the screen.

My Sena Ultra-slim Pouch is made from soft, high-quality leather and is of the slip-on type. It feels good and is a real quality item. The disadvantage is that you have to remove the phone for use, even to take a call--presenting the ever-present danger of dropping the naked phone. It also offers little real protection for the screen. 

My current case of choice is the Griffin Elan Form case which has a removable lower half to enable docking, plus a substantial clear-plastic screen cover that, surprisingly, doesn't make touch input difficult. The outer shell is covered in what I thought was a plastic leather-look but, according to the sales blurb, is actually a real leather coating. It looks good, whatever it is. 

I am also a fan of the Power Support Anti-Glare film for the screen. This is much better, in my opinion, than he crystal cover from the same manufacturer. The anti-glare has a slightly textured surface which does not attract finger marks but makes navigation and touch input more accurate and satisfying. What's more, this is one screen protector that is easy to apply. Getting rid of the air bubbles is easy on the iPhone because the hard glass screen can take more pressure from a credit card, the accepted implement for smoothing. This is one screen cover that actually improves the appearance while vastly improving the tactile feel and preventing smudges.

The anti-glare screen and the harder plastic screen insert of the Griffin case creates a very well-protected phone while input is only slightly impaired. For serious use, it is easy enough to slide off the bottom half of the case and remove the plastic cover. Incase make a similar two-part slider case but it does not have the hard plastic screen cover, thus leaving the phone more vulnerable.

Rock n’ Roll: Choosing a strap that makes your camera lighter

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What's the best strap to use with a large mirrorless or digital SLR? Mike has the answer.....

Arte di Mano cases for latest Leica cameras

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Arte di Mano, a connoisseur option in Leica cases, have introduced a range to cover the Leica CL, D-Lux 7 and C-Lux.

Brady, the grandfather of today’s canvas camera bag

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Billingham bags have a strong reputation among photographers throughout the world. But Brady was the grandfather of the canvas fishing bag and still produces a range of dedicated designs. Mike takes a look at the history.

Rock & Roll’s 25%-off fifth-anniversary sale

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Get in quick and there's a 25% fifth anniversary discount on the popular range of Rock & Roll camera straps.