Long-term followers of my blog will know that I am part of the testing group for products supplied by Amazon UK. Members are known as ‘Vine Voices’, and are allowed to choose from a variety of free stuff which they get to keep, in exchange for a fair review.

Over the years, I have had my share of books and DVD films. Also electrical items like kettles, power tools, vacuum claners, lawn mowers, and various kitchen implements. Useful things like backpacks and holdalls, as well as numerous toys that have benefited my grandson when he visits. Ollie has received various different varieties of dog food, and some dog-related accessories too, like chew toys.

Some items are quite large and expensive, like a multi-function child car seat, and a modern buggy-style pram that converts into a carry-cot. Then there were hair driers and straighteners for Julie, and a plethora of make-up and cosmetic items. The only proviso is that you must review them within a certain time period, and that they cannot be sold or given away as gifts. After six months, they are mine to keep, and should they become faulty or defective this is dealt with by updating the review, as they are not eligible for return.

I have a profile as a member, and that includes a list of preferences. One item on my list is ‘photography’, but so far I had never been offered any photographic equipment.
Until recently.

I was delighted to see the new Sony ZV-1 appear on my offers, and requested it immediately. This small camera is dedicated to the ‘Vlogging’ market (video blogging) but also takes stills. I was even more pleased when it arrived complete with the expensive accessory handle/grip/tripod too.

Then imagine my delight when following my review of that camera, another was offered. A full-frame, mirrorless digital SLR, a new model launched by Nikon. The Z5 is an enthusiast’s camera offering a great deal of options in a small package. Mine came complete with the standard zoom lens, which is rather limited at 24-50 MM and only f/4.
But still, it was completely free!

I charged it up today, and ordered a memory card. Hopefully soon, I will be shooting full-frame 24 megapixel stills from a camera with a great pedigree. Sadly, if I put them on the blog, I will have to reduce them down in size to save space.

I get nothing from Amazon, Nikon, or Sony for mentioning this on a blog post, just so you know.

This will only be of interest to camera enthusiasts and photographers out there, I appreciate that.

62 thoughts on “Testing…One…Two

  1. Great post 🙂 I do not know If I have asked you this in the past, but are you expressing interest in investing in a steadicam? I know they are not that new, but they are pretty awesome based on what I heard? 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, I wouldn’t buy a steadicam, John. I have no ambition to be a film-maker. I am not into video that much, and would not have got the Vlogging camera if it had not been free for testing.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice haul. I will be very interested in your review as I have been considering purchasing a new Nikon camera (we have too many lenses to consider changing brands). And that Vlogging camera might just be your answer for continuing your blog with video on the days you might want to reduce your time behind they keyboard. That would be a great new feature. Maybe ‘Pete and Ollie Tour Beetley.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I will have to see if I can still link You Tube videos with the new editing system on WP, but video is an option. The Nikon Z5 is currently too expensive for what it is, especially with the plastic kit lens. But when it comes down in price it is a nice full-frame option in a very portable package. (Not remotely heavy) However, if your lenses are DX, that will crop the image size on the full-frame sensor. The Z-series use a dedicated Z lens sytem, although any Nikon lens should fit with an adaptor. Check out this very good American reviewer.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the link, Pete. It does require a level of attention to detail before a decision can be made. I would hate to think all those lenses would now be just a paper weight.

        Perhaps money would be better spent on a digital back for the Hasselblad although that is a very expensive proposition.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Pete, you can still link YouTube videos as easily as before.
        And don’t you worry about reducing the size of the pictures. I reduce mine to something between 2 and 5 [mostlye between 2 and 3] Megapixels and that’s way enough for them to even be enlarged when you look at them in WP. Even much less would not make any difference.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks, Pit. I currently reduce my files by 50%, and they can still be enlarged. But the Nikon full-frame sensor produces very large j-pegs, and I will have to experiment with those in Photoshop.
          Best wishes, Pete.


  3. This sounds great! I’ve never reached that status, unfortunately, but I mostly review books, and I must admit I have tonnes of those, so I should complain. I look forward to checking your photographs., Pete

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Olga. It all depends on how many ‘likes’ your reviews get, and if it gets you into the top 5,000. That’s a situation that can change of course, if your reviews slump in appeal. It was a long process, and has to be offered to the reviewer, rather than requested.
      Best wishes, Pete..


    1. You have to review a lot of things. In my case, it started with reviewing films on DVD. Then I reviewed everything I bought from Amazon, good or bad. After a few years, the amount of likes your reviews get moves you up the reviewer rankings. Once you get into the top 5,000 you may be offered the chance to participate officially. It’s a long process though.
      Best wishes, Pete.


      1. I bet it was. We thought of doing it but not really possible in the end. Hope you can stay refreshed, though the damned Block Editor will not help! Stay in your peace. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

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