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Posts tagged reviews

SIM card for traveling in Europe

Orange Holiday SIM

I’m in the process of securing a SIM card for my phone for my European travels this summer. In prior years I went with Lycamobile, a decent card when I was in Denmark. However, it didn’t work outside of Denmark. Last time I went with Travelsim. Travelsim was far more expensive, and it didn’t work in a country or two that it was supposed to work in.

This year I’m going to try Orange. The price is less than half of Travelsim, and it is supposed to work in all of the places (except Slovenia) that I plan to visit (Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Faroe Islands, Poland, Austria, and Czech Republic). A friend of mine used this a few years ago and had no complaints. I’ll let you know how I like it in a few months.

Has anyone used this card before? Any feedback or reviews? Anyone tried using it in Slovenia? I don’t understand why that would be the one EU country not on the list.

Six months later P.S. Worked fine in Denmark and Poland. Did not work, as advertised, in the Faroe Islands or UK (Scotland specifically) at all. Barely worked, sometimes and at super slow speeds, in the Czech Republic.

Topaz DeNoise AI for under $50

Topaz DeNoise AI is available through this link for under $50 until 12/31/20. Use the code holiday2020 when you check out for an additional discount. I’ve been using this product for about a year now and love the results. In fact, I’ve gone back and reprocessed many images with Topaz recently that I realized didn’t look so good (having originally used Photoshop’s sharpen and noise removal tools which just aren’t that great).

I’ll post an example below. You’ll see the difference more if you are on a big screen or were to make prints. On a phone or laptop with a smallish screen, you may not notice much.

Without using Topaz

after Topaz Denoise AI

Using Topaz Denoise AI

If you are on a phone, zoom in on the corners and uniforms to see the difference.

Topaz Labs

I’m trying Topaz Gigapixel AI now to see if I can rescue some of my pre-DSLR photos. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Last day to get Topaz Denoise AI and Clear AI for $50

Topaz Labs

In addition to the $20 off, enter BATCH15 at checkout for another 15% off bringing the price down to $50.

Surprising purchase

Case Logic Luminosity DSA-101

#caselogic #camerabag

Before my trip to Southern California last week I wandered into Bimart looking for a more portable tripod I could take with me. They didn’t have one, but I noticed this Case Logic “Action Camera Bag” on sale for $5. Having recently purchased the Case Logic DCB-309 SLR Camera Backpack to replace my broken Lowepro, I found I needed something smaller for hiking, biking, walking around, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love the DCB-309. I was able to fit my Nikon Z50, two lenses, four days of clothes, laptop, chargers, water bottle, etc. in it for my trip and not check any bags. However, it isn’t convenient for shooting as it isn’t a sling bag. Also, I have a bad back and would prefer not to have a backpack on for an extended period of time.

That’s where this $5 purchase came in super handy and is totally changing the way I can travel and shoot. First it weighs next to nothing and can easily fit into a pocket, backpack, etc. The photos on the package make it look like it is only good for a GoPro or something. Not true. In fact, I can fit my Nikon Z 50 with 16-50mm lens attached, 50-250mm lens, water bottle, and lunch in this thing! It also fits my D500 with 24-120mm lens attached. Opening or closing this bag takes just a split second. The bag comes with a carabiner clip so you can attach it to anything (belt buckle loop, backpack, bike handlebar, etc.) I love this. It works so much better than even a sling backpack in terms of easy access, weight, and mobility. I like it much more than having a camera strapped around my neck as well.

I used the Case Logic Luminosity DSA-101 Action Camera Case yesterday during a long museum visit with great success. No backpack, camera hanging around my neck, or nuisance when not in active use. Extremely easy to have my camera at the ready when I wanted it. Amazing.

I feel like my life has been changed for $5. How often does that happen? You may have to pay a few more bucks than $5 for yours, but this item is worth much more than the less-than-$10 price.

Here’s another thing… even if you don’t need to bring your camera someplace, what if you don’t have enough pockets and want to avoid a backpack? Let’s say you are going on a hike, to a museum, or on a bike ride. You can use this to carry your cell phone, lunch, and bottle of water. Simply hook it to your bike or belt loop.

Case Logic > Lowepro

Broken zipper on Lowepro 350 AW DSLR Video Fastpack

@Lowepro #caselogic #lowepro

Last year I reported on how Case Logic replaced my Case Logic DCB-308 SLR Camera Sling Backpack under their 25-year warranty. I’ve had no issues with the replacement bag in the subsequent 18 months.

About six months ago my other bag, the one I can also carry my laptop in, stopped zipping in one direction. Then, on my trip to Mexico a couple weeks ago, the zippers stopped working in both directions. Very inconvenient when you are in a foreign country and your luggage is packed to its fullest! I thought I’d try my warranty luck again, this time with Lowepro so I looked up their warranty. In theory the Lowepro warranty is even better than the Case Logic warranty as Lowepro claims their warranty lasts forever for the original purchaser. I still had my receipt for $130, proving I was the original purchaser. However, in practice, the Lowepro warranty sucks because it doesn’t cover things that are likely to fail (like zippers) so now I need to purchase a new bag.

Guess which company I will be shopping with? Maybe this one?

III Draakon

III Draakon

III Draakon in Tallinn, Estonia is a fun restaurant for time travel. The food is good and relatively inexpensive too. Read the menu outside as it isn’t posted inside. Once inside, you are transported back to a medieval cafeteria. After ordering the serving wench asks for a certain number of “moneys” and of course you pay in Euros.

The bowls and cups frequently are partially broken. In addition, the costumed employees all stay in character. One of them ran out to try and kill a pigeon that landed on the table. She was screaming and seemed to be literally trying to KILL the pigeon. The customer at the table was horrified, but it brought a big smile to my face.

The reviews on the internet are hilarious because many customers seem to not understand that the employees are in character. They fault the place for rude employees, unhelpful service, or that you have to use your hands to eat. If some of the customers weren’t so dumb this place would have a perfect 5/5 rating.