May 2016

People love touch screens - whether they are on tablets, smart phones, or camera LCD screens, the public cannot seem to get enough of them. They poke, tap, swipe, scroll and twirl all day. The images open, close, expand, contract, and disappear forever.I very nearly hate the touch screen.When I use it on my iPad it gives me none of the tactile feedback that the standard keyboard does. Each stroke I make as I write this tells me that the wireless keyboard has registered my entry by a small sink and tap feedback. Even if I am not looking at the screen as I type...

I was all set to snipe at the RFDS aircraft as it came over our house. I had clipped a Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-300mmf:4-5.6 G ED VR lens onto my Ray-Qual adapter and mounted the combo on my Fujifilm X-T10 camera. The sky was clear, the sun was up, and I needed a shot for this weblog column.Just my luck - no-one in the bush was sick enough this morning to need a transfer to Jandakot. No RFDS plane. I even tried baiting it by putting out a pile of bandages and Dettol...

The new Nikon SB-5000 flash has just been demonstrated at Camera Electronic and there is an example of it in the big yellow cabinet. Here are a few of the external clues to the internal values:a. There is a new connectivity for standard flash synch - the pc socket at the side of the camera teams that studio users and people with older cameras will be able to trigger this flash in the Automatic and Manual modes.The advent of the hot shoe was a wonderful advance for on-camera shooters but in some instances means an extra equipment link for the off-camera people. Of course now that the new radio trigger flashes are so efficient, people forget that there are long cables that will do the firing as well. These are particularly valuable in areas that may have high shielding or radio interference. You can't beat good old hard wire.b. You need more power? You need power for a longer period? You've got a battery pack that clips on your belt? Welcome the new provision for power input on the front...

How many pockets have you got?The question of batteries rarely concerned us in the old film days - at least for the little people. The mechanical shutter and the finger-powered film advance worked pretty well all the time and no electricity was needed. Adding a selenium light meter to the mixture still avoided a battery, but as soon as the CdS and later cells were incorporated and we got electronic shutters and motor drives we started to have to be cagey about on-board electricity.We started to have to look for 22.5 volt batteries for flash guns...

Well, I saw it.There it was in the Fridays Studio last night - Monday as it happened - the new Hasselblad H6D camera in both 50 megapixel and 100 megapixel versions. And a table of Hasselblad lenses that fit onto the camera. Also a setup with a computer, projector, and two professional strobe lights with soft boxes. All it needed was a very patient young woman as model and a professional fashion photographer to wring the new camera through its paces.Well, he'd actually had a chance to have a go before the evening's presentation with some fashion shooting and was able to shows some of the results - large prints on the walls of the studio with amazing sharpens in the details. As the 100 megapixel camera is the industry leader at present for this sort of resolution, we had the privilege of seeing the cutting edge without getting hurt.This new evocation of the Hasselblad HD system has added any number of conveniences and improvements - an improved range of ISO settings, 4K video, dual card slots, increased dynamic range...

Don't expect fashion in this column - you won't be wearing a leather coat and a RayBan's for drone flying. You'll be lucky to score a giggle hat and a worried expression - and no-one will be shouting " Chocks Away ", " Tally Ho ", and " Wizard Prang " when you stack your expensive machinery into the side of a bus.If you're flying it with straight visual control you are in much the same position as any of the R/C airplane types - peering into the sky trying to see what altitude, attitude, and wind reaction is going on at any particular time. Good luck with that...

C.R. Kennedy recently equipped Bob Lichfield with a new Pentax K-1 camera and several lenses so that he could make a professional's assessment of it. He was itching to buy one so the choice of tester could not have been better.He took the camera out to Whiteman Park to capture the low morning light and the kangaroos. The results, as shown at the Camera Electronic launch night on last Thursday week, were nothing short of spectacular. Extremely sharp and well-coloured with minimal noise. Heck, I couldn't see any noise at all. not surprising with a full-frame sensor like that and a new processing engine.*But he pointed out that there is a great deal more inside that camera than he was able to elicit in the weekend he had it. He did nature shots, landscapes, architecture, stitched panoramas, and one astro shot with it but had to confess that the only way to succeed with that was to read the manual and pester the State manager of C.R. Kennedy.Did pretty good for a weekend - but then he has the advantage...

Or " How I Learned To Save My Hide ".Many modern cameras come with two memory card slots incorporated in the body. This is no mean feat in some cases - if you are going to use the larger CF-style card it has a certain bulk and the volume of the rack into which it slides uses up a fair bit of the inside of the camera. Were you to design a camera with two CF card slots it would need be a larger body...