All posts by Martyn

Dropbox – you’re great, but don’t keep shoving Business edition down my throat!

Dropbox, I love you guys, but I do NOT want to use Dropbox for Business UNLESS you remove the minimum requirement to purchase 5 licenses (by way of an example:  Google Apps for Work allows you to sign up with just one account).

But I can’t seem to get rid of all the bloody advertising that goes with Business edition as a result.  It’s Dropbox Business edition 24/7 at the moment and it’s getting really irksome.

dropbox_moan

I use Dropbox Pro to sync my files (creative stuff, photos, and other important documents) between computers and devices.

It’s incredibly useful – and so much better than Google Drive for Google Apps for Work (which until fairly recently only fixed sync icons for OS X Yosemite).  The Google Drive sync client is incredibly unpredictable as to what it’ll do.  I tried to add new files and folders to it recently and the thing just would not sync.  I keep trying to revisit Google Drive every few months, but it’s been several years since it first launched and to be honest, it’s still terrible.

So Dropbox wins every time.

But they are really pushing the Business Edition which requires that you pay for 5 accounts (whether you use all 5 at any one time does not matter).  Practically every single Dropbox blog post concentrates on the Business product – every email newsletter, every Twitter post.  It’s even mentioned on the Dropbox Pro (a paid-for product) web interface too.

It makes you wonder if Dropbox gives any sort of damn about the Pro product these days.

Now, I wouldn’t mind giving the Business edition a go.  But I can’t afford to fork out for five users at once.  Two – possibly.  But I’d like to see Dropbox align themselves alongside Google Apps for Work to the extent that licensing matches (e.g. you can start off with just one user and add more at any time – with either flexible or annual commitment) and it integrates with the Gmail and even Google Drive interface.

But until that day (unlikely as it may be), I’d like to have some option of getting out of Dropbox for Business newsletters (I can’t opt out the email newsletters because they may  – eventually – send out email about the Pro product that I’ll miss as a result), blog posts, Twitter posts.  I don’t want that product rammed down my throat when I’m paying for, and am happy with, the Pro version.

Sigh.

I’m much more likely to recommend and use the Business product if there wasn’t as much glorified marketing PLUS making it cheaper for more people and organisations to adopt it.

Dropbox Pro.  Lovely product, pity about the marketing.

Of Cameras & Martyn

(Above photo was taken on the iPhone 6)

Over the years I’ve owned many cameras.  My first ever digital camera was a Sony Cybershot DSC-S70 and was pretty special for its time in that it had a massive 3.3 megapixel capable sensor plus a Carl Zeiss lens.  It took really great photos too.

Subsequently I upgraded to a Canon Powershot G5 which too was an excellent camera – but it was a bit bulky (and at the time, even second hand) felt as though I paid the Earth for it.  But I was extremely happy with the quality of photos it produced.

Last year I bought a Canon 700D DSLR and, for a while, was over the moon.  But the problem with it was that it was far too bulky and the camera bag and associated gubbins was just too darn awkward that I subsequently sold it (to a photography student, so it went to a much better home).  The aim at the time was that I’d take a photography course to learn the ins and outs of proper photography, and then take it up as a proper hobby.  After all, I needed to get out and about more after my divorce and this seemed to be a good way of doing about it.

So that never happened.

I was quite content with the iPhone 6’s camera and felt that was all I needed to take decent photos quickly.  I could carry the phone about all day without any issues.

Then I went to a wedding a couple of weeks ago.  And the iPhone 6’s battery drained much, much faster than I anticipated (and I didn’t bring a charger with me).  The photos came out fine (along with a video of the wedding ceremony itself), but having tinkered with my father’s Canon Powershot G1, and having talked cameras with a relative, I felt it was probably time – especially as I have a rather substantial holiday coming up in the US – to invest in another decent camera – but this time a much more compact one.

So I went into research mode.

I looked at the Powershot G1 X mark II, the Powershot G7 X, and the Powershot SX700 HS and there was a lot of oohing and ahhing as to which would serve me the best.  The cheapest was definitely the SX700 HS, but the other cameras had much better sensors and better manual control over things.

Then I read a review of the Sony Cybershot R100X III.  And many other reviews – and practically every single one of them has given it the best scores for a compact camera I’ve ever seen.  It is consistently generated superb scores.  It also has an electronic viewfinder.  But the cost!   It was £200 more expensive than the G7 X, and nearly £400 more than the SX700 HS.  It was also more expensive than the DSLR that I had!

But I have always believed that if you want something that’s going to last, and that it produces good quality photos, you need to pay the price.  I can’t remember what I paid for the original Cybershot DSC-S70, but I feel it wasn’t too far off what the RX100 III costs now.

So now (thanks to John Lewis) I’m the proud owner of an RX100 III.  I’m still waiting for a memory card to turn up, and then I’m intending on taking it for a spin.  What attracted me to this camera was not just the excellent photo quality, but the video mode is also superb.  This review pretty much convinced me this was the camera for me:

I’ll upload some photos (bear in mind that it’s going to take me some time to get used to the controls – the first batch is likely to be all shot using automatic mode) later so that you can see what this thing is like.

But let me tell you, it is incredibly small.  It’ll fit into a trouser pocket no problems.  So I reckon this camera will get a LOT of use – more so than the iPhone.

No more gadgets for me for a loooooooong time.