Bondi Beach, Australia

Blog Archive

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Nikon D7000 Review

The Nikon D7000 is a 16.2-megapixel digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR) announced by Nikon  September 2010. At the time of announcement, it replaced the outdated D300/D300s & D90.

And I have one. In fact one in use in my camera bag as of now, plus one as a spare (in case of breakage/loss and high costs to repair). 

My first Nikon D7000 with a lens bundle at the time came at a price of around GBP £2000 but I've seen body + lenses new as at time of writing for around £500. In my opinion - buy new not used rather than taking your chances, this still is  a great camera and can now be picked up at a sensible price point 


Tech stuff
Full 1080p HD video capture, dual memory card slots, 39 auto-focus points, a new colour-sensitive meter, a near 100% viewfinder, and in-camera editing round up just a few of the extra features found in the Nikon D7000. I'm not going to list line after line of spec tables, there's plenty of info out there 


Pros
I've always found it good at night, fast for sports, easy to handle, all the buttons in the right place, not too heavy

Cons
The menu did (at first) put a strain on me(!) but there's plenty of shortcuts to discover

Images
Here's a selection of images taken with the D7000, the first was a long exposure (on a tripod) at night over looking this pool in Morocco. The next 2 taken in Cinque Terre, Italy


Morocco, taken at night with long exposure

Cinque Terre NW Italy

Boats at Cinque Terre 


NIKON Z6 Review


OK so I've used a Nikon D7000 for years but wanted something smaller, lighter and easier to take away on my travels with me. 

So, I went for the bundle of body, lens and FTZ converter... The FTZ converter sold me on the idea of moving to mirror-less,  knowing I could then utilise Nikor lenses I already had

First impressions
Out of the box and great build quality and robust, but it wasn't that much smaller than a DSLR, nor that much lighter. 

However the proof is in the pudding (or not)
When actually shooting, the focus is inaccurate and a little haphazard; For example when focusing on closer objects the camera will 'beep' to confirm it's ok but it's looking into the background and ignores blurred foreground. 

More importantly
I feel that picture quality is questionable, images are not what I'd expect from a £2K camera and no better than a compact for a third of the price. 



Pros
Great control and all the buttons just in the right place, robust high build quality and handles really well

Cons
Autofocus and picture quality

Personally I feel Nikon's entry into the mirror-less market is a learning curve for them (while resting on their laurels) and in my opinion the Z6 is overpriced and under performs. I purchased both from a perspective of loyalty to a great D7000 - plus the ability to interchange lenses, but with the extra bulk of the FTZ converter its actually BIGGER than the D7000! 

Never thought I'd give a Nikon a bad review, but lesson learned. 

How The Trust is responding to the current coronavirus situation

Monday, 24 February 2020

The Prince's Trust are now recruiting for the Get into NHS Services

The Prince's Trust  are now recruiting for the Get into NHS Services with Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust. This will consist of a four week work placement programme within the NHS. There are various roles available including admin, reception, cleaning, portering, switchboard and catering.

The various placements will be located in Chesterfield, Clay Cross and Derby.

The programme will be running for four weeks from the 30th of March to the 24th of April 2020. Anyone wishing to take part must be available for all of these dates

Two taster days for those interested in finding out more will be held in the different areas, Chesterfield will be on Tuesday 24th March and Derby will be on Wednesday the 25th of March.

The programme is for anyone aged 16- 30 years old who is currently not in full time education or employment and interested in getting into NHS services. 

Please message me if you need more info!


Saturday, 26 January 2019

Storing away your camper van for the winter

Just a tip for you. If you've any gas vents and sink waste in your van? 

I always tape mine over when stored over the winter to prevent creepy crawlies coming in from the cold...!! I simply use masking tape to cover over any of the vents, gas vents and the sink waste.  The sink waste is better with a flush with bleach too, of course ensure the gas is turned off, water storage emptied etc. I’ll post more as as put away for the winter






Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Register your camper van with the DVLA


Registration
And finally you need to register the van with DVLA as a camper van, insurance is far cheaper but a lot of insurance firms don’t / won’t insure until it is converted and registered

You used to have to take the van to an MOT station and they would check everything was fitted, but nowadays you can send a letter to the DVLA with your V5 with photo evidence and a description of what you have done and they will register if happy with that

DVLA say…
“It is a legal requirement that all UK registered vehicles are classified correctly on the V5C log book. All campervans, motor caravans and motorhomes fall into the DVLA category of ‘motor caravan’. If you have converted a van into a motor caravan then you must return the V5C to DVLA for body type amendment. DVLA is required to record the details of vehicles for road safety and law enforcement. The body type information held on the vehicle record must describe what a vehicle actually looks like. This description, in addition to other distinguishing features, enables the police and other enforcement agencies to identify a particular vehicle. Therefore, the body type will not be changed unless the exterior of the vehicle actually appears to be a motor home. This document provides general guidance relating to the registering of DIY motor caravans. Every effort has been made to ensure that it is factually correct but recipients should check with the producers of this document if they are unsure about any of the content”

In order for a converted vehicle to qualify as a motor caravan it must have certain minimum features, as follows:
· a door that provides access to the living accommodation
· a bed, which has a minimum length of 1800mm or 6 feet. This can be converted from seats used for other purposes during the day but must be permanently fixed within the body of the vehicle
 · a water storage tank or container on, or in, the vehicle
· a seating and dining area, permanently attached to the vehicle. The table may be detachable but must have some permanent means of attachment to the vehicle. It is not good enough to have a loose table
· a permanently fixed means of storage, a cupboard, locker or wardrobe
· a permanently fixed cooking facility within the vehicle, powered by gas or electricity
· at least one window on the side of the accommodation If the vehicle has all of these features present, permanently fixed and installed properly, then it is a legal requirement to have it reclassified as a motor caravan on the V5C.

Basically this is to stop people throwing a mattress and portable stove inside the van and calling it a camper van to benefit from cheaper insurance


Registration

And finally you need to register the van with DVLA as a camper van, insurance is far cheaper but a lot of insurance firms don’t / won’t insure until it is converted and registered

You used to have to take the van to an MOT station and they would check everything was fitted, but nowadays you can send a letter to the DVLA with your V5 with photo evidence and a description of what you have done and they will register if happy with that





DVLA say…

“It is a legal requirement that all UK registered vehicles are classified correctly on the V5C log book. All campervans, motor caravans and motorhomes fall into the DVLA category of ‘motor caravan’. If you have converted a van into a motor caravan then you must return the V5C to DVLA for body type amendment. DVLA is required to record the details of vehicles for road safety and law enforcement. The body type information held on the vehicle record must describe what a vehicle actually looks like. This description, in addition to other distinguishing features, enables the police and other enforcement agencies to identify a particular vehicle. Therefore, the body type will not be changed unless the exterior of the vehicle actually appears to be a motor home. This document provides general guidance relating to the registering of DIY motor caravans. Every effort has been made to ensure that it is factually correct but recipients should check with the producers of this document if they are unsure about any of the content”





In order for a converted vehicle to qualify as a motor caravan it must have certain minimum features, as follows:
· a door that provides access to the living accommodation
· a bed, which has a minimum length of 1800mm or 6 feet. This can be converted from seats used for other purposes during the day but must be permanently fixed within the body of the vehicle
 · a water storage tank or container on, or in, the vehicle
· a seating and dining area, permanently attached to the vehicle. The table may be detachable but must have some permanent means of attachment to the vehicle. It is not good enough to have a loose table
· a permanently fixed means of storage, a cupboard, locker or wardrobe
· a permanently fixed cooking facility within the vehicle, powered by gas or electricity
· at least one window on the side of the accommodation If the vehicle has all of these features present, permanently fixed and installed properly, then it is a legal requirement to have it reclassified as a motor caravan on the V5C.

Basically my view is that this is to stop people throwing a mattress and portable stove inside the van and calling it a camper van to benefit from cheaper insurance


Accessories and fittings inside the camper van


I used a combined sink and hob in this van as take up less space, and all the mess to clean in one place - but separate ones cheaper





If you want a loo I used a Thetford cartridge type, but make sure you have a fixing or frame to stop it sliding round in the van when on the move. I used some stainless steel angle

Shower
I opted to not fit a shower, listed to lots of advice. Need gas/vents and heater which is more cost and space, plus a nightmare to keep dry and stop leaks as water will really damage the furniture. Most sites have showers and most people with vans/caravans that I know say they don’t use them

Taps/water
I have 2 x 25Litrs tanks left and right under the back seats, one feeds the above sink and the other is a spare tap in the WC cupboard because you can’t get buckets etc under the tap on the sink for cleaning/filling the loo


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