Monday, December 21, 2015

Aootek Portable,Rechargeable Camping/Home use Lantern

I am reviewing for you a new portable LED camping lantern provided by Aootek.
The lamp has buit-in Li-ion battery,which can be charged via special charging dock station,included in the set.

The lantern is composed of yellow LED light source,which illuminates through matte,diffused plastic housing.
This ensures nice,pleasant for the eyes wide floody light,suitable for camping,reading,in-house use and many other. The yellow light is a little uncommon in flashlights and other lighting devices,but is more pleasant for the eyes compared to the cool white light,especially in the dark. I did not expected good color rendering,but after turning the light on,I found it pretty good for any use. looking directly at the lamp,the light seems quite yellow,but looking away at some distance,the light does not annoy at all. 

Brightness level can be adjusted via rotating switch,working as a potentiometer. 
The light can be adjusted infinitely,with no defined steps.

Max brightness is quite enough for most uses that come in mind. It seems about 100 lumens,but I can't measure it in my setup.The light comes from a very wide surface,that requires a special equipment.
The lowest brightness is quite low. I would like a little lower output for using in full darkness,though.

At the top of the rotating switch is added a button for another switch.It's purpose is to activate the automatic timer function,which shuts down the light after 10 minutes. It could be called a sleep timer.
A nice feature if you use the lamp as a nigh light,before sleeping.

The charger is lightweight,can be transported easily. Can be connected to main power supply.Depending on your country you have to use appropriate adapter.I use US to European adapter.

The Aootek lantern has an intelligent function for auto-starting in case of power outage.
Just keep it on the charging dock,connected to the main power supply. Once it detects that the power has shut down,the lantern will activate by itself,not leaving you in full darkness.

The lamp is lightweight as well,which is great if you like to carry it on camping.It will not add much weight to your backpack. The lantern itself(without the dock) weights just 220 grams/7.76 ounces.
There is a thick strap added on the top of the lamp.It can be used for holding the lamp,or for attaching it.

According to the specifications,the battery is Li-Ion with capacity of 1600mAh. Charging it with 500mA should take about 3 hours.But I did not measure the charging current yet,so can't confirm for now.

Here is a full run test on maximum output.
The lantern was set to max brightness and left static to measure the brightness change during the time.
This test was after the first charge of the battery,so it is possible to get a little more run time after few more times recharging. The output holds well for about 6 hours.

After using/testing the camping lamp for some time my impressions are only good.It is quite easy and convenient to use it.There is nothing confusing. As I already mentioned,the beam is  good.
There is no info about the water resistance.I assume the lantern is not sealed,so it is recommended to keep it dry. This is maybe the only thing that could be improved.
I have nothing more to require from this product.
It worked as expected,without any flaws during the test period.

You can check the price on the official Aootek Amazon store-

 If you are interested in the lantern,Aootek is currently offering a discount code QAR79HP2

Specifications from manufacturer(direct copy/paste):
 -Sleep Assistance
Adopted with scientific time setting function,will turn off automatically 10 minutes later since set it on,perfect for baby and kids sleeping.

 -Emergency Backup & Night Baby Nurse
When you pick it up from the charge seat or your power goes off,then it will light up automatically till 10 minutes later. 

 -Adjustable brightness
Adjustable brightness by rotate the button as you need.

 -Sweet Atmosphere Everywhere
Fashion and high-end appearance with sweet yellow light makes perfect homey atmosphere,ideal for home when you with loved one or in your camping tent when you are on a trip as it's portable.

Low-Carbon,adopted with green energy saving LED,1 kWh for half a year.

Built-in recyclable lithium battery with capacity of 1600MA,can run 3-12 hours with full charge.

Light source:LED 
Item Color:Apple White 
Light Color:warm yellow 
Input Voltage:110-220V 
Battery capacity:1600MA 
Item Dimension:108x108x162mm 

Usually will be full charged within 12 hours,under preserved condition need to charge it once 1-3 month,if disconnect with power the first 1-3 hour will runs on bright condition,3-12 hour will dim gradually,run it on Charge seat for long term which have no affection for battery lifespan.

 -What's included
1xLED portable lantern 
1xCharge seat 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Aootek- Foldable,Portable Desk Lamp with Alarm Clock-Review

In this review,I am taking a step aside from the regular shape flashlights,reviewing a little different product.
Aootek-a multi-purpose desk lamp with calendar and alarm-clock function.
Variable shape and adjustable direction of the light.Can be used as a desk lamp,reading light,camping light,night light,wall mounted,etc.
The light comes from SMD LEDs.
The power source is built-in rechargeable Li-Ion battery.

The top and bottom parts are made of metal. The rest of the construction is made of  plastic,which seems quite high quality.
There are 4 silicone pads on the bottom with anti-slip purpose. The two channels in the metal plate are used for attaching an additional plastic holder with a double side sticky tape for mounting the clock/lamp to the wall,or other object.

Features (from manufacturer):
Eco-friendly LED light with adjustable brightness from touch sensor,well eyes protection.
Modern and fashion appearance,easy to operate.
It's fold-able,so convenient to carry around.
Built-in 1000mAH lithium battery,run 3-10 hours.
Multi-function with calendar/alarm/digital thermometer.
Power consumption:1.8W
Input voltage:USB 5V/500mA
Battery capacity:1000mAH
Power for calendar:CR2025/3V
LED quantity:18pcs
Brightness mode:adjustable with touch sensor
Color temperature:5500K
Item wight:265g
Package Included:
1xLED desk lamp
1xUSB cable
1xWall adhesive seat

The lamp comes with a miniUSB cable in the box.
To charge it,just plug the one end of the cable to the lamp's miniUSB port and the other end to a 5V computer USB port,or 5V wall adapter with USB port.

The lamp is fold-able thanks to two hinges.They allows unfolding up to 180 degree angle.
The whole construction seems quite sturdy.I had no any problem folding/unfolding the lamp in my usage,so far.

The built-in Li-Ion battery can be charged via miniUSB port. The charging current does not exceed 500mA,which means you can charge the desk lamp from any standard 5V USB source-computer port,mobile phone,or camera charger,power bank,etc.
The small hole near the miniUSB port is a charging indicator-red light when charging,no light when charged.
I did not track how long time takes full charging,but for a 1000mAh battery,it should be about 2 hours.

There is just one switch for operating the light.
Here you can see the switch zone. Only the zone inside the circle is touch sensitive.
The panel is highly sensitive and does not require any special way of touching-with the finger tips,etc.
You can activate the light easily,even with the outer part of the hand.
1,5cm diameter of the circle. You may need to remember its approximate position to be able to activate the light quickly. It is absolutely flat with the surrounding surface,which means it is impossible to find it by touching and is also not visible if the lamp is placed higher and you look at it from any of the sides.
You have access to the switch only after unfolding the part with it. Otherwise,it is covered by the middle part.

This switch controls only the light function.
The Clock is a separate element and is controlled by its own buttons.
This brings a little inconvenience,just because you can't stop the alarm-clock by touching the sensor switch and have to find the right switch on the back of the display.
This is usually not very convenient,at least for me.

This is the LCD screen of the clock.
32mm wide, 92mm high.
18mm high of the clock digits.
Indication for time,date(month,date,day) and temperature.
There are also indications for alarm function and snooze.

The display has no any other plastic panels on its back and as you can see on the pictures,it is transparent.
This is a really cool looking,stylish clock/desk lamp.

The clock works with its own battery. It is type CR2025/3V.
There are four buttons for operating the clock/calendar.
They are on the back of the clock.Relatively small in size and do not protrude above the panel.
It takes some patience to find the needed button and press it. The buttons are made flat,mostly because the lamp is fold-able and they should not be pressed accidentally. 
You can choose the snooze period,one of eight melodies and time for the alarm,of course.
You can see also the circular cap of the battery compartment,just below the buttons.

18 SMD LEDs.

SMD LEDs with dimension 3mm x 3.5mm
Mounted on a large area,on a good distance from each other,resulting in wide floody beam,good for reading and close work.
According to the specifications,the LEDs are in the neutral white specter,but in my sample they are cool white with some tint. There is slight bluish tint,but it should not be a problem in normal use and without looking for it.
The max output is probably about 100 lumens,should be sufficient for most uses for which the lamp could be used for. Works quite well even for illuminating a big room.

The brightness level can be adjusted (touch and hold the switch).
The output is automatically,gradually decreasing from max to minimum level. If you touch and hold again the switch,the output will smoothly increase to its maximum level.
The different output is achieved by using PWM of low frequency.
The pwm is easily noticeable,but personally me,does not distract too much,in normal use.

The plastic window has slight diffusing texture for better mixing the beam.
The only disadvantage could be the presence of multiple shadows,because of the multiple light sources.
This may annoy you at some point,or not at all.

The small opening below the brand name is for the clock buzzer.

Closer look at the details.

Build quality is quite high.Quality plastic construction and panels.
The lamp is very well assembled,without any visible defects.
A great care to the packaging.All of the sides and the display had a protective nylon stickers-to keep the device scratch free.
The clock seems accurate,judging by the period of the test.
A really wel made desk lamp.Fully usable as a desk lamp and clock/calendar/alarm.
The light is quite good. Adjusting the brightness is a great feature. Nice modern addition with the touch sensitive switch.
What I wish to improve-I would add an additional touch switch on the front,below the clock,for turning On the light. I would like to have an easier way of stopping the alarm,with additional touch sensitive switch,or big conventional switch.
I am pleased with the brightness and the alarm sound level.
Definitely a good gadget for personal use,or for gift.

Aootek desk lamp was provided by Aootek for test and review.
Link to the official Aootek store on Amazon-
Aootek is currently offering a discount code for the Desk lamp. Use code 8PWP8GIF

Saturday, November 28, 2015

HawkEye Firefly 6S sport/action/quadcopter camera,UHD capable. Review with Samples Part2

HawkEye Firefly 6S action camera Review
Part 2

Check out the price and buy the camera here- Banggood link

Menu and settings

The camera has built in WiFi,allowing to adjust the position and direction of the visible field,that will be recorded.

The menu interface is not the easiest and simplest.It needs some time to get used to,after trying all features and how to activate them.
There are dozens of options to play with.
Different resolutions,different angles of view,fish eye correction,Gyro stabilizing,sharpness,two color options,ISO,Timelaps video settings,timer for photos...

Video demo of the menu-

The display only shows remaining number of photos in Photo mode. No estimate recording time in video mode.
There is no way to know how much memory has left on the memory card.


The camera has quite good number of different resolution settings:
2880x2160 24fps
2560x1440 30fps
1920x1080 60fps
1920x1080 30fps
1280x720 120fps(this is the slow motion mode) 
640x480 30fps (aspect ratio 4:3)

Bit-Rates(according to Media info software):
2880x2160 24fps/ 24.5Mbps (and stretched to 3840x2160)
2560x1440 30fps/ 20Mbps
1920x1080 60fps/ 20Mbps
1920x1080 30fps/ 14.7Mbps
1280x720 120fps/ 20Mbps
640x480 30fps/ 3.27Mbps
2.5K Timelapse
2560x1440 30fps/ 23.8Mbps

The Bit Rates were updated with the latest V2.3 Firmware.
Check out the end of the review for download link.

The sensor is made on CMOS technology .
I am glad to note,that I did not find rolling shutter effect in the videos taken with this camera,in my test footage,so far.

Because of the relatively lowe bit-rate of about 24Mbps,and maybe the compression method,there are a lot of artifact when moving the camera quickly and roughly,most noticeable in the sky. I would not recommend to move the camera too quickly while taking videos and also try to move it as smooth as possible in order to get the best result of the picture.

Personally,I do not see much of a difference in the quality between 4K and 2.5K modes.
My favorite setting so far is 2.5K with its 30fps.
5fps more than the 4K for a little smoother videos quite well looking on a full HD monitor.

The 720p mode is only at 120 frames per second(no 30fps or 60fps). This mode is meant for a slow motion mode.Videos are taken with 120fps and played at 30fps gives pretty good slow motion effect. The slowed down picture from the 120fps video compared to 30fps,or 60fps is more clear as every frame is taken with higher shutter speed and less of the movement is lost between the frames. This mode is great for amateur videos,but if you want a slow mo video that impresses with high definition,clarity and sharpness,you have to look elsewhere.
120fps videos taken with the 6S are somewhat low in quality,even the high resolution.Lots of compression artifacts and over-sharpened details. Lots of aliased lines.
Yet,it is joyful to take slow motion videos with the camera and this option with no doubt is a big + for the Firefly 6S.

Timelaps can be taken on 2,5K resolution and below.

The below pictures are after updating the firmware to v2.2
The 4K image was saved as a snapshot in video editing software.
It is actually 2880x2160 stretched to 16:9 aspect ratio.

Click on the image below to see the full resolution snapshots from videos.
4K 2,5K 1080 60 1080 30 720 120 480 30

Here are the full indoor test videos for each resolution.
4K 24fps click to watch the video

2.5K 30fps click to watch the video

1080p 60fps click to watch the video

1080p 30fps click to watch the video

720p 120fps click to watch the video

480p 30 fps click to watch the video

Size of the image(snapshots from videos).
Snapshots from a video editing program,in the aspect ratio they are played on. 

One of the main features and advantages of the Firefly 6S is the Gyro stabilization of the picture. It does stabilize the picture in electronic way and works for both,photos and videos. In order to work,this type of stabilization requires cutting some part of the picture's periphery to be possible to work. This means the angle of view becomes smaller when electronic stabilizing is activated.

There are two options for color adjusting-Normal and Vivid.
I used only vivid so far as it gives nice well balanced colors with high contrast. I see though,high potential in the Normal mode,which reduces the contrast and colors are not so punchy.This is a great setting if you plan to post process the video.
Color rendition in Vivid mode is well balanced,with no over-saturated colors and the picture is nice and natural.

There are three options for sharpening-High,medium and Low,as the Medium seems most reasonable.The low setting gives too soft picture,the High setting increases moire,artifacts and halos.For regular use the Medium setting is my choice.Of course,you can try also the other settings depending on the specific situation.

The Fisheye effect reducing option successfully reduces the high barrel distortion,which is usually caused of the wide angle of view.
As the Gyro stabilizing option,this mode also reduces the angle of view,but just very slightly.

One more feature is the WDR-Wide dynamic range.
It does increase the exposure in the shadows for less lost details and better visibility there.

Focusing distance of the lens seems adjusted more to infinity than to taking nice close shots.Holding the camera in my maximum stretched hand does not give quite sharp focused face.
You may need an extender stick for taking good selfies.

Angle of view on the different definition settings.

Large angle-Medium angle of view

Fish Eye correction Off/On

Gyro Off/On

WDR Off/On

The quality of the photos is good and very useful when a wide angle view is required.It is impossible to get that wide angle of view with a point and shoot camera and very very hard to find this wide lens for a crop sensor dslr and mirrorless.
In terms of resolution,pictures are good.Not so good for cropping,but if you use the camera for wide angle shots,you will probably not need to crop the image.
A point and shoot camera,or high level phone is still a better choice for more detailed pictures.
Firefly 6S does a good job dealing with the noise from the sensor.The camera is advertised as a Sony sensor camera.This is a good reason to expect good,low noise results from the sensor. In good lighting picture is clear,good contrast and sharpness(it can be adjusted in three levels from the menu). As expected from the not so big sensor and not that high bit rate,there are noise and artifacts in the shadows and when taking pictures with insufficient ambient light.

Below are some 16Megapixel photos taken with the Firefly 6S.

Snapshots from a 4K video.

Extra Videos

Time laps videos are very smooth and clean of noise.
I feel that this will be my main method of taking time laps videos from now on. It is quiet,the camera is easy to mount,does not take too much attention,does not load too much sliders and rotating timer adapters.
I use it on the 0,5sec setting(it is taking a photo every half second interval). The result is very smooth video,which can be edited in post,for even more speed.

Click below to download the original file-

Walking with the camera in hand,testing Gyro stabilizing.
These tests were taken before the v2.2 firmware release.

Click below to download the original file-

Click below to download the original file-

Click below to download the original file-

I am trying to not shake the camera too much.
The camera was attached with the clip/clamp to my jacket. Not very stable.

Gyro ON.

720p 120fps

Car mounted
 4K footage converted to 1080p 24fps and rotated on 180 degree.
The camera was mounted upside down.
Gyro stabilizing ON.

After using the camera for three weeks,my impressions are quite good. It does meet almost all my expectations.High quality picture,various settings for customizing the picture. I my opinion,the amount of different resolution modes is quite enough and gives you a choice to use the most suited one,depending on the occasion,surely many of us will use 4K and 2.5K all the time.

Am I pleased with the Firefly 6S? Yes.
There are better cameras out there,for sure.GoPro still leads in terms of quality,but let's not forget that the price is often a determining factor and for its price,the Firefly 6S offers quite high value.

Firefly 6S is a good choice for an ultra HD capable action camera-optimal quality of the videos and wide range of features.

Great to know is that the manufacturer HawkEye does care about its product and is frequently updating the Firefly 6S's Firmware. Be sure to update your camera to the latest V2.3 Firmware.
You can download it on the main Firefly 6S website-
The latest firmware is adding some more useful features,as exposure metering option and higher bitrates.
(After testing the V2.3 firmware for some more time,I found the distortion caused by the gyro stabilizing,way too heavy and downgraded to firmware 2.2).

If you found the review helpful,please use the affiliate link below.
I don't make any money from links or coupon codes!
This will just help me to get new samples for review!
Check out the camera here- Banggood link

Check out part 1 of the review,if you missed it-

Here is a page with more samples(direct download),that will be updated occasionally-

All videos Copyright. Please don't post them elsewhere without my permission.