Author: Uncle Dick

Bet when you go to your local grocery store you forget to take the darned re-usable bag out of the car and have to backtrack across the car park to get it. It's never a good start to a shopping trip, but at least it's better than trying to juggle cabbages and green beans on the way out. If you've ever erupted in green beans while trying to fish the car keys out, you'll know that people can be cruel with their laughter...

And that just about describes the last couple of months, eh? I am assuming that you have, like my family, been doing the right thing and hunkering down in the bunker. So far we are safe and cabin fever has not set in. We wait the day of the big breakout, however. So, back to the cameras. And the dilemmas of which, what, how, why, etc. The first thing to do is to consider whether you need to have a dilemma at all. Do you need two lemmas? Would one do? For many of us, it would. One camera. One only - and with one lens on it, too. This may seem a little anti-business for a firm that would like to sell you many cameras, but remember that the founder of Camera Electronic - Ron Frank - was a genius at helping people decide which single camera they needed. He could, and did, ask exactly the right question at exactly the right time. If he could get a clear answer from the client, he could hand them precisely what they needed. If...

Go to your car. Start it up. Drive somewhere. Do your business, and drive back home again. Park it and go into the house. Note: This is not intended to encourage folly. Keep 1.5 metres away from the bumpers of concrete trucks at all times and wipe the dip-stick with hand sanitiser, even if he protests. And no driving past Rottnest without a permit. But consider what you do when you set off on a normal journey - you get into your regular car, do the normal things with the controls, and for part of the journey out and back are on very familiar ground. You do not get into the car and then decide what sort of petrol you need in the tank, what size of tyres to mount, what pressure to inflate them. You may consult a GPS monitor for some of the journey, but not when you're near home. If you are sensible you do not spend the journey envying or triumphing over other drivers in other cars - based upon whether your vehicle is the newest of the new....

No, relax Vasco. I'm not going into competition with you. Good luck with Home Opens in the coming months and the jiggery-pokery of social distancing while trying to sell houses. I do not envy you the job. But I did find some empty space to sell when I took a Canon EOS R out of the display cabinet and fitted a 24-200 mm lens on it. The lens was the pull in the first instance as it looked newish and when I considered that I was looking at a full-frame 24 x 36 sensor camera...

My daily trolling through the rest of the photo trade sites showed me that there was a great deal of waiting and whooping for the Fujifilm X-T4. Not mentioning any viruses, you understand, but some places that are bigger than us and grander than us had no chance of getting this new camera. It did my heart good to see good old WA and good old CE triumph for a change. It also did my heart good to set one out next to the previous model - the X-T3, and take pictures of them both with my X-T2. No, I'm not going to get a fresh camera, but yes, I would if I needed a change. The X-T4 embodies enough changes to make it a distinctive step from my X-T2. The bodies look very similar - see all the views. What you don't realise is that they have marginally increased the size of the X-T4 to accommodate an IBIS system. And they have further enlarged the grip so as to be able to take a new battery. I cannot say whether the...

A. If you do YouTube right, no-one is looking at your camera. They are looking through it. That doesn't mean you have license to use a dusty video relic that you found in the back of the potato and onion bin - you need to have a certain level of technical ability in your camera. But you don't need to have every rig, monitor, microphone, and mixer in the shop to do it. B. If you have a camera and lens that shows a clear image in good light, do your filming in good light. No-one who saw the Ektachrome Horrors of 1970's grunge movies will ever forget them, despite drink. They were greeny-grainy blue, dark and horrible. And that was the comedies. The docos were worse. We have gotten past that. We can now show clear colour and sharp focus. Most of the digital cameras will do it despite your attempts to help out. In most cases stand back and let the hooks do their work. Your chief task will be to give the automatic eye something to see and the...

If you're a film-maker who has retained your love for film per se you probably have established your workflow with one of two formats; 16mm or Super 8. The latter is available in cartridge form these days with monochrome and colour material still being produced. Not as much as in analog era, but you can still clap a load into one of the superbly-capable mechanical or electronic cameras of the 20th century and produce good results. They will be different from the images that digital video yields, but that may be the look that you are after. Okay, you've located a camera and found out how easy it is to operate - what do you do to get the film and then have it processed? Well Kodak no longer process in Coburg nor Agfa in Nunawading...

And is it possible that we can do it all in one with one outfit? And never have to buy anything else ever again? I sincerely hope not, and I can tell you no-one else here likes the idea that much, either. This is the photo trade and the essence of the place is to sell cameras, lenses, lights, tripods, bags, etc. to all kinds of people with all kinds of needs. We don’t think one size fits all, and we’ve seen all sizes. I might rattle on here about an all-in-one tourist or travel cameras that you can take on your next cruise. Hold off on that particular ambition for a bit...