February 2019

The development of new firmware for the Nikon full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Nikon Z 7 and Nikon Z 6, has been announced today by Nikon Australia. The firmware in development includes new functions for the Z 7 and Z 6, such as Eye-Detection AF, RAW video output, and support for CFexpress memory cards. In addition, the cameras’ AF/AE functions will be further improved. The Z series will continue to flexibly respond to changing user needs and offer next-generation imaging experiences that stimulate users' creative intentions. Functions and capabilities to be added and improved with the new firmware: 1.     Support for Eye-Detection AF for still image shooting (scheduled for release in May 2019) Eye-Detection AF is convenient for portrait photography. The Eye-Detection AF in development will work not only with the AF-S (Single AF) focus mode that is convenient when photographing still human subjects, but also with the AF-C (Continuous AF) focus mode, which is effective when photographing human subjects that frequently adjust or change their pose. What's more, the function is capable of detecting multiple eyes, from which the user can select the...

What do you do on a hot noon when the easterly wind is blowing a gale and the only smart place to be is under the air conditioner with a cold drink and a book? Why you drive to Jandakot airport and look at the student pilots having their lunch, of course. And note that the amateurs are smart enough not be trying to fly but the professionals are not so wise. Or so lucky. Jandakot is a bet - sometimes good and sometimes bad. It is accessed through one road that has a number of roundabouts and feeders that can clog up dramatically. Getting to work or to home after work must be a nightmare for the aviators. The lucky ones with helicopters and parachutes can hover over their house and jump, but the rest would be stuck in traffic for hours. The trial run today was either a brilliant flop or a miserable success - in either case I am indebted to the RFDS ( Another dollar in their tin at collection time. ) because they were not going to...

Have I got this right? Can I fit any lens to the Fujifilm X-H1 and whirl it around on the end of the strap and still get pin-sharp pictures of the moon? Is that how the system works? Well, I shall find out, though I cannot wait until the next full moon - I'm going to experiment with the thing in broad daylight. The idea of a stabilisation system in a lens is no new thing - that's been on DSLR lenses as well as the mirror-less lenses for some years now. And it works - lots of times marginal shots have been saved by the lens being steadier than the photographer. And some makers have gone step further - putting stabilisation systems unto the bodies of their cameras so that any lens attached gets the benefit of the increased steadiness. Some have systems that combine the efforts of both lens and body to increase the effect. All these are to be applauded - particularly if you need to take steady pictures while you are clapping. The Fujifilm system up until the X-H1...

I am puzzled at the position in the Fujifilm family that might be occupied by the Fujiflm X-H1 camera. Is it a little brother, a middle brother, or a big brother? Is it a cousin? The basics of the camera have been known since its introduction; a well-built metal body, slightly bigger than the X-T1 or 2 with a heftier hand grip. Many of the features of the X-T2 plus a few extras...

I admire people who can coordinate multiple lighting setups in the field. And there's a lot of gear on the market with which they can do this these days - many flash makers have TTL and manual wireless triggers and controllers that talk to each other over various distances. The ultimate goal of a control inside the camera to do this - matched to multiple flash units  - is not as common. Most makers seem to devolve this duty to a separate box on the hot shoe. This unit - the Viper - is available for Nikon, Sony, and Canon right now. The unit will do a number of channels and three groups at over 100 Mtr range. It will accommodate and pass through a flash on the hot shoe of the transmitting unit - an important help when you have several outboard flashes but want a central fill. It will also connect to many studio lights so you can make multiple use of it in your system. And hurray!...

You may be forgiven for thinking that the modern world is a fraud. In addition to some politicians we seem to elect, we always seem to be packaging up things and selling them to ourselves needlessly. The bottled water business - at least in clean western society - seems somewhat of a doodle. So are sun lamps in summer - and so might this can of compressed air be. After all, air all about us is for free...