Every week or so the WEST AUSTRALIAN newspaper runs a section called Market Place that takes a Camera Electronic ad. We vary it throughout the year and it does pretty well. The brief that's given to the writer is to pick a product that fits into a price bracket - it's never too dear - and set it out for the average punter in the paper. This is fun to do. I've completed the latest one for a Joby product, and it'll be fine, but I was a little torn in my work when I realised that we had several good candidates for the page. As it turned out the Manfrotto PIXI Smart lost out on only one point - the packaging. It's a sealed packet, and I hesitated to rip it apart for the illustration shot. The pack shot through heavy plastic was done on the floor of the main sales area and showed too many reflections - that yellow hot spot is the edge of the Nikon cabinet. If it had been in the Little Studio I could have lit...

The one with the Olympus Voice Recorder in it, please. I want to remember your every word. To be honest, I want to remember every word I've spoken as well, and I can't. This makes it very awkward later in front of the partner, kids, and in-laws. They cross-check my stories and you only have to get it wrong once to never hear the end...

Okay, it's time to be honest with ourselves. There are things that we desire, but can neither justify nor afford. And I'm not just talking about the kick line in the Zeigfield Follies - I mean the stuff that raises the real lust; photographic equipment. There. I've said it. The cat is out of the bag and yowling to be let out the front door. In five minutes it'll be yowling to be let in. Anyone want a cat? They're cheaper than camera accessories. The heading image is the thing I want, but cannot afford. The desire is purely visceral - there is no actual need for the device. Yet...

At least cheaper than it used to be - and can be done at a greater distance. There've been wireless microphone systems for a long time in the cinema and video industry, as well as in the public speaking world. It's a no-brainer that some way of letting a speaker move and turn without a wire connection to the voice recorder makes for greater contact with the audience. Up until now, however, it has been a costly and bulky exercise. No more. Enter the Røde company here in Australia - famed for professional-quality microphones at affordable prices. They produce the Røde Wireless GO system for simple interviewing purposes. You can clip the transmitter to your clothing and it'll act as a microphone itself - or you can opt to use it as a beltpack for a Røde lavalier mic. The two will synch in 3 seconds and the output from the receiver can be fed into your camera with the standard 3.5mm plug. You get a choice of three output levels so your camera will not be overwhelmed. Weight? 31 g. each - you...

I met a professional photographer in the shop one week doing a very sensible thing - renting a piece of equipment that was needed for a paying shoot. He didn't own it and would have no need of it the rest of the year - but this one occasion it would let him exercise his considerable lighting and shooting skills. And he didn't need to whack out a bundle to get it and then look at it on the shelf for another year - he could return it to CE and pocket the savings. Wise. Well, we chewed the rag a while and I asked him to explain something I had seen some years ago associated with his studio. I had come across a startling sight - wheelie garbage bins full of negatives and transparencies that were apparently from his studio. Wheelie as in ready for the council to take them away...

Steel yourselves. More Joby products - more Gorillas. I can't help myself - they are just so appealing there on the accessory rack. And the fact that they are well-made and work just adds to it. In this case we can speak to the videographer and macro workers in the readership. Remember the Manfrotto Micro-Friction accessory arm you saw a little while ago? Articulated with a locking lever - fits on the side of Manfrotto tripods - holds video and audio accessories? Well here is a similar thing from Joby: the GorillaPod Arm Kit PRO. It's the same idea - a posable support for LED panels, audio mixers, microphones, and anything that you could attach with a cold shoe mount. It's all-aluminium construction and holds .5 of a kilo in any position you can set it. Best news - that screw mount and anti-rotation channel that was on the Manfrotto Micro-Friction arm is the sme thing on this Joby Gorilla Arm. Just screw it into your modern Manfrotto tripod and shoot away! Macro workers will also recognise the benefit of this sort of thing for...

I love the Joby people for thinking up the brand name " Gorilla Pod " all those years ago. Also the guys at Maine Wood Products who named their polyurethane adhesive " Gorilla Glue ". In both cases the products work very well and they are a gift to a column writer; there are just so many puns that you can make with the word and idea of " gorilla ". So lets got started and stop monkeying around...