February 2018

Those of you who think they have seen these products in this column before are right - I've been mentioning these and similar items for years. But not everyone who reads this page with their Weeties has seen those older postings. The wonderful thing about photography is that it is a subject that always attracts new enthusiasts. And the fact of the matter is that the new enthusiasts sometimes have old problems.* The problem that the Unipal chargers from the Hähnel company addresses is the circumstance where a photographer discovers that they have no charger for their camera or flash batteries. Either it has been left at home while they travel or been stolen or lost. Or, if it is an older charger, it has just quit working. I've personal experience of this - having had to replace chargers on two separate occasions. It's not an isolated thing - every week when I was behind the counter there were a number of people who came in and wanted fresh chargers - sometimes several requests per day. It was the sort of thing...

The phrase " f:8 and be there " was one often quoted to me as the formula for success in event photography. I think it was good advice in many situations where a preset camera and a lively eye were the only chance to get an image - the occasions where you couldn't predict when the action was going to happen nor where it was going to. These were days when you were going to have to get the job done in 12, 24, or 36 shots. Of course it was also the days of a glass flash bulb in a circular reflector and a focus locked at 12 feet, so the formula was easy to remember - it was goosing the film later in the darkroom that took the finesse. Well, now we can goose the ISO beforehand, let the automatic focus decide what we are doing, and reconstruct reality pixel by pixel with a Wacom tablet...

I'll confess to a degree of longing to be an artist*. The heading image pleases me in a sort of impressionistic fashion, even though it was crafted with one press of a the shutter button on the Sony DSC-HX400V. The fact that I was at the top of the Wireless Hill observation tower and the camera was on full tele and stabiliser mode is  beside the point - it looks good. indeed the fact that it is as defined as it is speaks volumes. It looks as though the Zeiss plate on the side of the lens housing and the vaunted stabiliser system might be more than just advertising - look at the detail on the bird shot in the other direction. 500 yards if it was an inch, and no tripod. I do admit to rifleman's breath control, but the rest of it is down to the Sony circuits and the Zeiss glass. Birdtographers, please note. Architecture shooters, as well. The LCD screen was a godsend to shoot upwards like this. Tip 'o the week for LCD screens outdoors is to...

I have not done as much in the past with Sony cameras as with some of the other brands. It hasn't been prejudice - just opportunity. You see, Sony in many cases seal the boxes of their goods with a metal tape, and it was not done to slit that tape to extract a camera for testing. I had to wait until one of the demo units was put back into the storeroom to get a chance. This came the day before Valentine's Day. The camera I grabbed was the Sony Cybershot DSC HX400V - a super-zoom designed for the tourist market that combines an all-in-one design with a long telephoto and an active stabiliser system. It's the sort of thing that you get when you are going to Africa or Alaska - or want to take long-distance sporting shots but cannot carry the big DSLR cameras into a venue. ( WACA ) As with most of my tests, it was done OOTB ( out of the box ) with minimal resetting and fiddling - to replicate the sort of experience a...

Anyone who has a spouse, children, pets, employees, or subjects will know the frustration inherent in the situation. No matter what you may think of them, they sometimes insist on thinking for themselves. Orders may be formulated and transmitted, but that doesn't guarantee that they will be understood. Even if they are, there is a good chance they will not be obeyed. If this sort of mutiny occurs in the military you can throw people in the stockade or brig - if it occurs with employees you can fire them or lock them in the storeroom. If children are disobedient you can send them to their room without dinner - and if you are a bad cook you can send them with extra portions. If your pet disobeys you can just sit down and burst into tears. But what do you do when your camera - a borrowed one - refuses a lawful command? This was the case when I tried to make the Panasonic DC-G9 with the 25mm f:1.7 lens take pictures of the RCAF Wet Dog set. I was banking...

I first encountered this new Panasonic mirror-less camera at a recent blue blood moon shoot down in Rockingham. Sam Perejuan from our shop had one with a long Panasonic lens on it ready for the rising of the moon over the fertiliser works. He took shots through the heat haze and we were both amazed at the detail of the wobbles in the moon's outline as it rose. Sam wasn't using a tripod, but the extremely effective anti-shake system of the camera meant that the whole thing was sharp. I was seriously impressed. Keeping that in mind, I checked out a camera body and a Panasonic 25mm f:1.7 lens for the studio - I knew that the micro 4/3 sensor size would regard the 25mm as a standard focal length for the camera - just as the 35mm Tokina lens did on the Nikon D7500. The idea of a " standard " lens is important for my tabletops, as it simulates what might have been done with the 35mm camera for full-sized subjects. My choice, and sometimes I do use shorter...