Blog

I like to go to the camera events at CE when there is something new in the offing and the local representatives have a worked up a slide show and sample to introduce it. There is nearly always something to eat and drink and equally, there is nearly always something new to learn. Wednesday night was no exception. Sheryl Maugher is now working for the Sony people and she brought along the full-frame Sony Alpha 7s III camera*. As well as the factory slide show she was able to list all the new features of the camera. The surprising thing was that, though it is certainly suitable for still photography, the Sony concept is much broader and envisages this camera being used for some high-end video work. The first clue to this was when she said it has 12.1 megapixels on the sensor. 12.1? In a day when other cameras are being pressed upon us with 45+ megapixels? And this on a full-frame 24 x 36 sensor? By the people who make sensors for everyone else?  With a new Bionz XR processor? What...

Watching the popular photography market in the late film era was rather like watching the bubbles in a bottle of fizzy drink - one that had been left on a warm window sill. What started out as lively effervescence slowed down, bubbles became fewer, and smaller, and eventually were no more - the lemonade was finally flat. The fact that the Russians try to sell flat lemonade from the Leningradskoye Optiko-Mekhanicheskoye Obyedinene for the next two decades is neither here nor there. Digital won when Kodak and Agfa packed their carpet bags and ran for the train. This saddened me for a long time until I finally accepted that I do much more and do it much more happily with my choice of digital equipment. Like a lot of older photographers I had grown up with the film cameras and learned to love them. In the end I decided I could still love them but with fond memory rather than creaking passion. Thus I can look at the examples we see on the CE shelves - or in Michael's camera museum in...

I'm great at making my mind up about things, as long as I can dislike them. Negativity is one of my positive traits - it lets me know where I don't want to go and what I don't want to do. I generally discover these two things after I've gone there and done them. Sometimes it's nice to make a change and find out the good stuff rather than the bad - and in the back end of the Stirling Street shop is a rack of producs that will let me do just that - the sample paper packs. I was drawn to this familiar area the other week by the two green packets you see here: They are made of unusual materials - hemp and cotton in one case and agave in the other. Both are listed on their respective packets as fast growing, sustainable, and renewable - an important thought for some photographers. You get three A4 sheets in each packet to to test with colour or monochrome printing. Quite apart from the economic and political aspects of this, they...

Let me start this column by recognising the basic nonsense of the title. Money is always an object - either as a number on a screen or a pile of bills and coins. It is also an objective for most of the people who come into the shop - including the staff and management. If you doubt this, bait a three-gang hook with a $ 100 bill, cast it in through the door, and wait until the line jiggles. When you reel it in you'll be surprised who you meet...

What is a real deal? a. An actual thing that is right there in front of you - as opposed to a promised product that has just popped up as a Kickstarter with the possible idea that it might be a concept. The difference between a wannabe and be. If it can be dropped on your foot, it's a real deal. b. A good deal - something that is well-priced. A bargain. A snip, an advantageous purchase, a sales item. If you feel the need to run out yelling at your husband to start the car ( see IKEA ad ) it's a real deal. c. A product that has proved itself to someone other than just the advertising department. It has been on the market as a demonstration item - or has been sold to another successful photographer  - and is now back on the table to commence work again. If it's been used and has worn out the first user - it's a real deal. The featured products today qualify on all these grounds. All three are Leica-related - two of them made by...

Yes? Aquaman would like to talk to you. No? Well you'll not be wanting your photos to look like they were seen by a fish, then. Particularly the wide-angle landscape ones taken in the desert. We've all had fish at a roadside cafe in the desert and regretted it...

As a long-time user of Epson inkjet printers I have been somewhat cynical about my relationship with them. I started out with a biggie - a 3800 model that would print A2 sizes. It was a marvellous machine for some time but my own neglect of it eventually spelled doom. I failed to cycle and exercise it enough and eventually one of the channels in the inkjet head blocked irretrievably. I could do nothing with it and gave it away to someone who only wanted to print monochromes with it. They may still have it, and good luck to them. Chastened by my experience, I bought another - a smaller model that only goes to A3+ size. I've exercised it weekly since purchase and have saved it from complete blockage. But there are times when the jets do clog and there are procedures needed to clean them. However, when all is going well, the results from it are all that I could ever want - and all that the people who receive my prints could ever want as well. The secrets seem to...

All the time I worked in the shop at Camera Electronics in Stirling Street we had a gate at the side of the building - the entrance led to the back parking lot and was locked back at the start of the day. There was a definite security sequence to be followed to open it, walk down to back, open the doors, and then go inside. Get it wrong and alarm bells went off. Fair enough. Retail security is a thing to be taken seriously, particularly if you are going to have guard dogs on site - or, as in our case, a woolly mammoth. " Fuzzy " was intimidating at the start but you warmed to him quickly. It paid to be careful when he rolled over for a tummy rub - he took out a Toyota doing that one day...