Monday, June 17, 2019

Apple HomePod: Could it replicate the success of the iPod?

Apple's HomePod, which arrives on February 9, is late and quite expensive. Alexa seems to have the market cornered. But could the HomePod replicate the success of the iPod?

Eric Kim Day Three: Comfort zone, what comfort zone?

There's no such thing as a comfort zone at one of Eric Kim's street photography courses. And on Sunday morning I...

Gazelle: A new idea in selling your old stuff

Listening to Leo Laporte's MacBreak Weekly podcast today, I was introduced to Gazelle. It solves a problem for all technophiles: what to do with the all the old stuff--such as that iPhone 3G when you've upgraded to a shiny new 3GS. Gazelle is a sort of shopping site in reverse. You fill your box with all your unwanted tech items and they give you a purchase price. Obviously you have to choose the right specification and answer some questions on condition, but it's a much simpler way of selling than the hassle of eBay. I've been an eBay fan for some years and have turned most of my old gadgets, including quite a few MacBooks, into welcome cash. But there is no doubt that preparing the ad, taking photos and watching auctions takes time and dedication.

With Gazelle you get an instant valuation and you simply send off your box of goodies and receive payment. The system relies on your honesty in describing condition, of course, but the same applies to any sale.

I asked Gazelle when they will be opening in the UK and, not surprisingly, they are currently concentrating on consolidating and expanding the US operation. They point out that anyone in the UK can sell their items through the US website but the seller would have to bear the international shipping charges. This may suit some sellers, if only to cut down the hassle, but there are some potential pitfalls. Perhaps the main one is price. Secondhand prices in the UK are generally higher simply because new prices are higher. And, of course, list priced here include VAT at 17.5%. There are also compatibility problems between the two countries. Presumably Gazelle resell in their domestic market and, for instance, a MacBook Pro with a UK keyboard would not be popular there.

The good thing is that we can look forward to something happening in the UK--either an extension of Gazelle or a local company with a similar offering. 

Leica M60 Edition Review: Gorgeous steel-grey retro pushes all the right buttons

Leica's M60 Edition is an object of desire. This celebration of the golden jubilee of the the M3, the first Leica with a combined viewfinder and rangefinder in one window, comes in the form of the all-steel but very oddball version of the M Type 240. I've had the good fortune to borrow one for review from my friends at Red Dot Cameras in London.

Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2: Dazzling with its beauty

The new Leica Thambar, the Blurry One, is a reincarnation of a lens designed in the 1930s to emulate dreamy work of the foremost Hollywood photographers of the day. Now you can create your own blurry poster.....

Fuji Spy: Bill’s new thriller casts an X-Pro2 in the leading role

Overexposed, Bill Palmer's first foray into thriller writing is a strong entry into the genre. It features the topical theme of Brexit but with a Fuji X-Pro2 in a leading role. This is the first of a series of Guy Miller books from our own Bill Palmer....

Leica M Warning Message: Check battery age

"Check battery age”: I first saw this error message on the day I collected the demonstrator M262 from Leica UK. If it had been my own M-P with a battery that could be several years old I would have worried. As it was, I assumed that the battery in this demo camera would be reasonably new and that there must be some technical explanation.

Nest Thermostat: Snug as a bug in a rug

When Tony Fadell, who had worked on the first iPhone, left Apple to set up Nest my interest was piqued. I sat in the fence after the first and second generation Nest thermostats came to the UK. I heard good things from friends in the London Mac User Group but decided to wait a little longer. Nest was acquired by Google and now we have the third version of the little thermostat that can also handle your hot water supply, if required.

R.G.Lewis: London’s oldest Leica dealer puts up the shutters

One of Britain's oldest independent camera dealers and certainly the oldest Leica agency, R.G.Lewis, will put up the shutters for the last time on Saturday. The closure brings to an end one of the most remarkable chapters (or, perhaps, books would be a more accurate description) in photographic history.

TechArt Pro Adapter: Autofocus for M-mount manual lenses

Will the latest TechArt autofocus adapter work faultlessly with the new Sony a7III. Mike aims to find out….