Flashbox A10 Video Review

MyBest27InchMonitor-Setup

Flashbox A10

I first got involved with product and jewellery photography when my wife started her online handmade jewellery business. She experienced significant success selling beaded watches on eBay but was disappointed with the results that she was getting with traditional “light box” techniques. Keen to help her, I researched on Youtube and Google what could be done to improve the professionalism of the results.

Results

Here is a large jpg of the image that was produced in the video:

Photocubics Flashbox A10 Black Beaded Watch Picture 1

Here is a link to our online shop. 100% of the pictures were taken with the Flashbox: www.kellysjewellerycollections.co.uk

Here is a taster of the images on the Jewellery Collections website:

www.kellysjewellerycollections.co.uk

Flashbox A10 Diamante Bracelet Picture 1

Flashbox A10 Purple Bracelet 1

Flashbox A10 Purple Bracelet 1

Light Boxes

There are a multitude of companies selling light boxes for jewellery and small product photography purposes. They tend to be aimed at the hobbyist and basic retailler. Primarily they comprise a white background / diffuser, together with 1/2 lamps, usually with a “daylight” bulb to make the lighting effect as realistic as possible. It is much harder to get a good shot with traditional incandescent / halogen lights.

We did try a light box and daylight lamp – the cost was not much and it seemed a good move. However the results were not good and ultimately we wasted a lot of effort and time. Having researched further, I came across Steve Bolson’s video on YouTube extolling the virtues of his Flashbox range of products. It sounded too good to be true – a product that allows professional level product photography without the expense and bulk of a commercial studio. The one thing you can’t buy is experience (without employing a photographer of course!) but, it did seem that Steve’s solution required less expertise than other methods. The one catch is the cost – it is not cheap, but when you compare the upfront cost with the alternative – take poor photos and make fewer sales, or send the products off to an expert at a very high price per shot, the cost in contrast it very affordable.

Photoshop

The one aspect that I did not fully appreciate as a newbie was the need for Photoshop. On reflection it was naive. The only way to really achieve the results that are needed, regardless of the method used to take the photograph is to use Photoshop to tweak the original photo.

Steve does supply a number of very easy to follow tutorial videos as part of the deal when you buy a Flashbox. These are very simple and straightforward. I had zero prior experience in using Photoshop before working with the Flashbox and am now confident at doing reasonably simple photo edits.

Photoshop is now much more accessible as it can be subscribed to on the Adobe CC plan for a very low monthly fee. This helped us significantly.

27 Inch Monitor

The other aspect of the editing setup that I had not fully appreciated was that a standard laptop screen does not have sufficient colour depth to allow for accurate editing. Thad is – I could not discern the difference between different shades of white and such discrimination is vital. After a lot of online research, I settled on a Viewsonic VP-2770. It has a great breadth of features, especially colour gamut. Steve reccommends the 21.5″ iMac which of course has superb definition and colour gamut.

Various Backgrounds

We invested in the HMS (Highly Mirrored Surface) which allow for a really professional photo to be taken with a reflection of the product. This gives a useful tool to generate more varied photographs.

Watch Kit

We also invested in a watch kit. This looks rather like a collar that dogs and cats wear when they are recovering from Vetinary surgery. It focused the light on a custom watch stand. It is really useful for generating professional watch photographs.

Turntable

We have not yet invested, but Steve also does a very useful turntable for taking 360degree product videos. Given the prevalance of online video, this is an almost vital addition to the kit. Bear in mind though that you will also need to upgrade your Adobe CC subscription to include Adobe Premiere.

Conclusion

We have found the Flashbox to be a vital part of our toolkit for getting professional looking product and jeweller photographs, hope this review has been of some help. Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below – happy to share any information that may be of some use.

Samsung S27E370DS: Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With This New 27″ Monitor

Samsung S27E370DS 27 inch monitor

The “coming soon” Samsung S27E370DS (or SE370 if you prefer brevity) will make history by being the first ever 27-inch monitor, or monitor period, to provide wireless mobile charging using Qi wireless charging tech.



Samsung S27E370DS 27 inch monitor
Samsung S27E370DS

Samsung S27E370DS – a Fresh Approach

The monitor game these days is all about who can add the coolest features and provide the clearest picture. In this department the Samsung S27E370 doesn’t look like it will disappoint. Though the resolution isn’t as high as it should be there are enough features in this bad boy to make it worth considering.

So if you’re in the market for a new 27 inch PC monitor, read our breakdown of this monitor below and see if it might just be the right one for you.

Mobile Wireless Charging

Before we get into specs let’s talk about wireless mobile charging

Qi tech is really the go-to tech for wireless charging these days. As long as your phone is 1.6 inches or closer it’ll charge. The SE370 has Qi tech built right into the monitor stand. It’s simply a matter of laying your phone on the wireless charging pad and letting it do its thing.

Now of course the fairly new Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are QI-enabled making it a perfect match for the Samsung monitor. Unfortunately, the iPhone isn’t Qi-enabled though there have been rumors that Apple has been toying around with the idea.

But don’t fret, there are plenty of other mobile phones that can take advantage of this great feature. Phones such as the LG Spectrum 2, HTC Droid DNA, Google Nexus 7 and the newly announced Lumia 950 and 950 XL by Microsoft.

Let’s take a look at the specs to see how it holds up in other areas.

Specs

  • 27-inch screen from corner to corner
  • Resolution is 1,920 x 1,080
  • The screen display is backlit by LED
  • Response time is 4ms which is superb
  • Refresh Rate is 60 Hz

It’s a PLS panel which stands for Plane-to-Line Switching. Basically this is Samsung’s IPS panel. They can’t call it IPS because LG has that trademarked. The PLS panel offers great viewing angles which comes in handy if you have several people huddled around the monitor.

The connectivity on the back looks like this:



S24E370DL 27" monitor ports
S24E370DL-ports

  • 1 Display port 1.2
  • 1 HDMI 1.4
  • 1 VGA port

So the connectivity isn’t fantastic but it’ll get you where you need to go. It’s missing at least one more HDMI port and a USB port would be nice as we definitely haven’t outgrown that technology yet. But this seems to be typical with Samsung monitors.

Let’s talk about FreeSync

Gamers have a particularly big problem on their hands when it comes to refresh rate (first world problems, I know). Basically they are faced with the tough choice of choosing to allow image frames to be sent to their monitors the second they are rendered resulting in tearing when the monitor hasn’t refreshed yet or waiting for everything to be ready resulting in input lag.

It’s a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t situation. What AMD FreeSync tech does is get rid of screen tearing without causing input lag. I won’t bore you with the details of how this works technically but since monitors started shipping with FreeSync back in March 2015 they’ve been very popular, especially with gamers.

What’s the SE370 going to be good for?

While the Samsung SE370 hasn’t been released yet it’s safe to isolate the types of things it’ll work well with based off the specs that have been announced.

First the PLS is a great feature and so will allow for a rich color experience as well as good viewing angles. As we mentioned FreeSync makes it a gamer’s dream.

Here’s what it will work well with:

  • Gaming
  • Video editing
  • Photo editing
  • Video watching
  • General office or home use

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • FreeSync for a fluid gaming experience
  • Qi wireless charging pad for ease of charging your phone with one less wire

Cons:

  • 1080p resolution? It just doesn’t make sense why in 2015 anyone would go for the absolute minimum acceptable quality in such a competitive market.
  • The wireless charging pad doesn’t work with the iPhone but that’s more a knock on Apple than on Samsung.

Price

There’s no news on price or release date just yet. Though the S24E370DL, which is the 24-inch version, will be released on November 13th. It’ll fetch for $249.99 so don’t expect the S27E370DS to go for too much more.

Summary

While the SE370 isn’t available yet to be scrutinized and raked over the coals, we have enough information to make an educated guess at its quality. It looks like it’ll work pretty well for gaming despite the low resolution. But hey that Qi wireless charging pad ain’t nothing to shake a stick at, offering something unique that no other monitor has.

AOC Q2770PQU Monitor: Good For Just About Anything

AOC-Q2770PQU

Our reviews are geared towards guiding you towards robust 27-inch monitors that get the job done. The AOC Q2770PQU 27-inch monitor is one of those PC monitors.

Decently priced with solid imaging the widescreen AOC Q2770PQU is your all-around kind of monitor. Meaning it works well for a plethora of activities with an eye for detail and a solid responsiveness.



AOC-Q2770PQU
AOC-Q2770PQU

AOC-Q2770PQU
AOC-Q2770PQU

AOC Q2770PQU Lowdown

When your shopping for a 27-inch monitor you should be looking for something that has a high resolution, IPS or PLS panel, a decent brightness and universal connectivity. With that kind of set-up you’ll be golden.

You’d think in this day and age all monitors would have that but you’d be surprised. There are a number of companies releasing sub-par monitors with low-resolution, horrible viewing angles and generally junk guts (bad parts).

Let’s cover the specs of the AOC Q2770PQU and show you how it’s not one of these junk 27-inch monitors on the market today.

Specs

  • 27-inch viewable screen (it’s widescreen by the way)
  • It weighs 17.6 pounds
  • Resolution is 2,560 x 1,440 (also known as 2K)
  • The screen display is backlit by LED
  • Brightness is 300 cd/m2 (which is good)
  • Response time is 5ms which is pretty good
  • Refresh Rate is 60 Hz
  • IPS (In-Plane Switching) Panel which is what allows you to view the screen from different angles up to 178 degrees. It also helps with the crispness of the image.

The connectivity situation on the back looks like this:


AOC Q2770PQU-ports
AOC Q2770PQU-ports

  • 1 Display port 1.2
  • 1 HDMI 1.4
  • 1 DVI-D Dual Link
  • 1 VGA Port
  • 4 USB 3.0 ports

So overall the connectivity is pretty universal and allows for several different options. It’s rare that you find a monitor today with these many options in the back.

What’s the AOC Q2770PQU going to work well with?

You can bet on this monitor working well with any applications that require solid imaging. Covering 99.8% of the sRGB color space and with 1440p resolution you can put your money on this bad boy when it comes to delivering a crisp image. In fact, just to show I’m not blowing smoke here, most users will pretty much report that off the bat. The chief positive comment in most user reviews is that the imaging is fantastic.

Beyond crisp images when it comes to gaming you’re going to want more than just great graphics (although that’s important). No, with gaming you’re going to want clean flow of images with no screen tearing and no or minimal “stuttering.” With a 5 ms response time and 60 Hz refresh rate this monitor holds up in the gaming world.

When it comes to watching videos or even video editing, angles become important. With the IPS Panel you won’t have a problem with that. You can view up to 178 degrees horizontally or vertically (that comes in handy if you like to stand above your computer while working on it or if you’re Shaq).

Here’s a list of things the AOC Q2770PQU will work well with:

  • Video editing
  • Photo editing
  • Gaming
  • Video watching
  • General office or home use (goes without saying)

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Crisp images
  • Solid response time and refresh rate
  • Price ain’t too bad

Cons:

  • – Backlight bleeding. There have been more than one user complaining about backlight bleeding from the corners of the monitor. Best thing to do if you’re a victim of this pain in the butt is to return it for a new monitor. That is not a consistent problem with every single unit but only a few. Just return until you have one with no backlight bleeding.

Price

The AOC Q2770PQU fetches for $699.95 plus shipping (they always get you with the shipping). That’s neither cheap nor expensive when it comes to a really solid 27-inch monitor. It’s definitely worth the investment if you’re looking for something to serve you well that’ll hold up over time. You can purchase this monitor at [easyazon_cta align=”none” identifier=”B00H51Q4MK” key=”small-light” locale=”UK” tag=”httppinkpibiz-21″].

Summary

The AOC Q2770PQU is one of the stronger 27-inch monitors on the market right now. With great imaging, connectivity and response time there’s little this monitor can’t do. From gaming to video and photo editing it does it all. I think I even saw it save a child from a burning building once.

NEC EA275UHD – A Superb High Quality Graphics 27 Inch Monitor

NEC-EA275UHD

If you’re looking for a 27-inch monitor that delivers high-graphic images, then you should definitely be looking at the NEC EA275UHD-BK-SV 4K monitor. Boy, that’s a mouthful. That’s a summation of the actual title. You ready? The NEC EA275UHD-BK-SV 27” 4K UHD sRGB IPS Monitor with SpectraViewII.

NEC EA275UHD for Photo Editing or Graphic Design

This 27-inch monitor is geared towards those in photo editing or graphic design who need their monitors to deliver high-caliber imagery employing high resolution and high PPI.

Now, if you’re only looking for a decent graphics experience and an ok response time then you don’t need to to consider the NEC EA275UHD. It might just be too much machinery for you. I don’t mean that as a challenge but why spend the extra money on something that delivers more than you actually need?



NEC-EA275UHD
NEC-EA275UHD

[easyazon_cta align=”none” identifier=”B0113WD5K0″ key=”small-light” locale=”UK” tag=”httppinkpibiz-21″]

Let’s take a look at the specs on the NEC EA275UHD and see if it works for you.

Specs

  • 27-inch screen from corner to corner
  • 13.7 pounds without stand and 20.1 pounds with stand
  • Resolution is 3,840 x 2,160 (that’s nothing to sneeze at)
  • The screen display is backlit by LED
  • Response time is 6ms which is not too shabby
  • 163 PPI (Pixels Per Inch)
  • Color Gamut = 78.1% Adobe RGB and 100% sRGB
  • IPS (In-Plane Switching) Panel for great viewing angles, up to 178 degrees

The connectivity situation on the back looks like this:



NEC-EA275UHD-ports
NEC-EA275UHD-ports

  • 1 Display port 1.2
  • 1 HDMI 2.0
  • 1 DVI-D Dual Link
  • 1 upstream USB 3.0
  • 3 downstream USB 3.0

Additional features

There are a number of additional features that add to the quality of this monitor and makes it stand out amongst other 27-inch monitors. Additional features include a sensor which detects light and human presence to automatically brighten or dim the screen according to what it detects, ECO Mode which allows you to conserve up to 56% more power and thus saving you on energy costs and even ControlSync which allows you to run up to 6 connected monitors in a multi-monitor set-up.

Additionally, as indicated in the full title above it comes with SpectraViewII software which dramatically adds to the the ability to use the color scheme. It basically measures and calibrates the color on the screen and adjusts for accuracy. This is extremely useful in color-dependent tasks.

A version of this monitor is available without SpectraViewII software which will save you a pretty penny. But if you’re going for this monitor then there’s a good chance you are looking for something robust in the graphics department so I wouldn’t suggest doing without SpectraViewII.

What’s the NEC EA275UHD going to be good for?

The NEC EA275UHD is a high PPI (hey that rhymes), high resolution, color-robust monitor that is well suited for anyone working professionally in a high-graphics field. Photo editing and video editing obviously fall into this category but also for those who print banners and posters where color is a real issue.

Here’s what it will work well with:

  • Video editing
  • Photo editing
  • Gaming
  • Video watching
  • Any other graphic-heavy application
  • General office or home use
  • Professionals in these fields usually go for big monitors which is why this 27-inch monitor is great but if you’re looking for something even bigger with a similar set of color-rich and high-resolution imagery then you should definitely check out the 32-inch NEC PA322UHD-BK. The PA322UHD also comes with SpectraViewII.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • High resolution and color-rich graphics. Need I say more?

Cons:

  • The price is higher than most other 27-inch monitors but you get what you pay for with this guy.

Price

The NEC EA275UHD with SpectraViewII goes for $949 while without SpectraViewII it goes for $799. You can get either one from [easyazon_cta align=”none” identifier=”B0113WD5K0″ key=”small-light” locale=”UK” tag=”httppinkpibiz-21″].

Summary

The NEC EA275UHD with SpectraViewII stands out as one of the better 27-inch monitors that handles heavy graphics applications. It’s perfect for the professional in any field that needs to see the red reds and the green greens if you know what I mean?

Samsung SE591C: One of the Best Curved Monitors Out There

Samsung-SE790C 27 Inch Curved Monitor

When it comes to 27-inch monitors you can either go with a normal flat-screened one or you can go with the more unique curved PC monitor like the Samsung SE591C. While purists might write this off as a gimmick, there are some real advantages to owning a curved 27-inch PC monitor.

Starting with TVs, curved screens introduced us to a new way to view moving images. Curved screens aim to reduce eye strain and fatigue that can accompany staring at a monitor for hours on end but there’s more to it than that.

What’s the Advantage of Curved Screens?



Samsung-SE591C
Samsung-SE591C

Curved screens offer a more immersive experience by, in a way, replicating the way you see with your rounded eyeballs. We don’t just see things flat in front of us. We have peripheral vision and so perceive things to the side. Curved screens thus give a wider field of view.

Ok so there are some strong arguments as to why curved TV screens are a fad but these arguments don’t really hold up against curved monitor screens. Mainly the argument is that in order for you to properly view a curved TV you’ll have to be seated directly in front of it, properly centered. Surprise! That’s how we use our PC monitors.

Awesome curved screen multi-monitor setups

In fact, the curved monitor works beautifully in a multi-monitor set-up as they all curve towards you for the best view of each one.



Samsung SE591C Multi-Monitor Setup
Samsung SE591C Multi-Monitor Setup

So that’s my argument on curved 27-inch PC monitors. Now, let’s get into what’s the best curved 27-inch monitor for your needs.

The answer of course is the Samsung SE591C

Delivering a crisp angled display is the job of a curved monitor and the 27-inch SE591C delivers exactly that.

While the resolution is not the highest you would hope for it does a decent job. I do wish it was at least 2560 x 1440 but unfortunately it’s not.

Samsung SE591C Specs

Let’s take a look at the specs to get a full view of what this bad boy can do.

  • Weight is 12.3 pounds making it significantly lighter than most other monitors this size.
  • 27-inch screen from corner to corner
  • Resolution is 1,920 x 1,080
  • The screen display is backlit by LED
  • Response time is 4ms which is fantastic
  • Refresh Rate is 60 Hz which is ok but not incredible
  • Built in speakers

The connectivity on the back looks like this:

  • 1 Display port
  • 1 HDMI
  • 1 VGA port

So the connectivity isn’t fantastic but it’ll get you where you need to go. It’s missing at least one more HDMI port and some sort of USB port would be nice.

[easyazon_cta align=”none” identifier=”B00TR056SU” key=”small-light” locale=”US” tag=”bes27incmon0f-20″]

What is the SE591C good for?

So being a curved monitor there are certain activities that the SE591C works best for. First would be gaming. With the curved screen you will feel more immersed while running and gunning or whatever type of game you play.

The resolution will work fine for gaming as well as video editing and photo editing although it’s not the best out there by far. With it’s response time of 4 ms you’ll be doing pretty good as a gamer, though the refresh rate of 60 Hz is also not the most optimum.

I keep making this point of “it may not be the best out there” because it’s honestly not. In terms of a monitor if you stack it up against another 27-inch monitor like the Dell UltraSharp U2715H or the Apple Thunderbolt Display it’ll lose on straight graphics and feature capabilities. BUT it is a curved monitor and that’s why you would be buying it. It is one of, if not the best curved monitors on the market.

Here’s what it will work well with:

  • Gaming
  • Video editing
  • Photo editing
  • General office or home use

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Crisp images that will work fine for any graphics heavy applications
  • Curved screen reduces eye strain and fatigue
  • More immersive gameplay and movie watching experience
  • Not too pricey compared to other monitors

Cons:

  • The resolution and refresh rate could be better and falls a bit short compared to other monitors.
  • The curved feature may take some getting used to.
  • Connectivity situation in the back is a bit light

Price

As I said the price really isn’t too bad. You can pick it up for $322.55 on Amazon.

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Summary

All in all, the Samsung SE591C is a pretty decent monitor though may take some getting used to due to the curved screen. It’s recommended if you have a multiple monitor set up on your desk. And if you’re a gamer you might want to consider checking it out as it might just give you that extra edge in your gameplay.