December 2019

The Camera Electronic Emporium Of Imagination has struck again. I gathered an armload of Lowepro camera cases off the racks this morning and started to think hard about them. Hard is the operative word, as these are a departure from the normal floppy cases and bags that we see. Of course Lowepro make literelally dozens of styles of bags at any one time, and I would be willing to bet that in the 11 years since I started on the CE shop floor, there have been hundreds of designs pass through. And thousands of Lowepro bags are out there in Australia right now protecting camera gear. I've got two very old Nova 1's that trot out at intervals to carry specific camera combinations on trips. Okay - I've got two  1990's Lowepro's...

The upcoming holidays are expensive affairs - food, drink, decorations, housecleaning, etc. Whether you do it with a few people or a great many, you spend a lot of money, time, and effort to entertain and visit. If you are trying to fly somewhere the local baggage handlers, airline pilots, or ground staff generally commence industrial action. This is also expensive in terms of bookings, accommodation, and nervous stress. But where would Australia be without a holiday tradition like this...

There are several well-documented ways of curing a hardened heart: Read Emily Dickenson poems and weep silently. Read " The Pickwick Papers " by Dickens and laugh out loud. Triple bypass surgery. Buy a colourful camera. This last may not show up in the literary or medical world, but I can assure you it's real down at Camera Electronic. For some reason, the Nikon Corporation has its moments of whimsy and tends to translate them into photographic machinery. They are not all intended for the young, either...

When I undertook the assignment of illustrating a catalogue of scale models for my club I got an attack of the Gottahavits - it occurred when I rounded the cabinet with the Lume Cubes in it and was probably just a recurrence of an old malady. The thought of using these tiny LEDs as a miniature studio light had been lying dormant since I first reviewed them several years ago. Cute goods sell in Japan and cute sells to me...

I am sometimes lost for words - not often, but when it does happen the silence can be deafening. Mind you, that's a very good thing, because if I don't say anything, I don't say the wrong thing. Fortunately this reticence and wisdom rarely extends to my writing for this column so here goes: What the actual...

And what better tradition than to cut out pictures of the presents you want and leave them casually around the house for the family to see. Or beside their cereal bowls at breakfast. Or nailed to the door. Try to be subtle. I am going to print out several copies of the pictures you see in this column - I have a Gitzo tripod, you see, and at present it has a lesser maker's adjustable head on top of it. Of course that's working fine but in the face of something as magnificent as this device, I am helpless. The advantages of three-way heads are many fold; they can be quite a bit tougher for a smaller profile than their ball-head alternative. They can also be more precise in movement, as you shift one plane of movement at a time. You can frequently come back to the same position reliably. I was dead pleased with what I saw, desiring it mightily...

I am sometimes scathing about the idea of drones and their makers - and watch the development of the civilian models with some skepticism. You'll have to forgive it as a post-luddite reaction here in Australia. Were we allowed .410 shotguns, I'd be all for them. " Pull! " But misgivings aside, some of the products are really cute - and some of the ideas for promotion are very clever. This " Stark Industries " model is one such item. The colouration and graphic design is instantly recognisable to the teen movie goer and if you are incautious they'll tell you the entire story of every episode of " Iron Man " and Tony Stark. This reprinting of a standard little Tello sport drone is perfect to interest the kids for the holidays and we can only hope that when they get them they'll do the right thing and operate them responsibly. Theres a screed on the back of the packaging that references Stark Industries and introduces the user to simple practice flying before they get out in the wider world. The craft...