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Some fetes are worse than death - and some festivals bigger than life. The Vivid Sydney festival that is just starting and will run in some form until the middle of June looks as if it is on the good side of the ledger. Two Western Australian photographers will discover just how good it is going to be as they will be going there as guests of Canon Australia and Camera Electronic. Bebette Fekete and Mandy Liu will be going to experience the sights and sounds of the event, and we hope that they bring us back some amazing photography. Not being familiar with what the Vivid Festival is, We googled their main site and were astounded to learn that it will have light shows, installations, and colour all over Sydney  - 97 events in all. Central Sydney, Newtown , and Chatswood seem to have multiple events, and I'll bet the harbour is ablaze - safely. That's not all  - the festival lists 239 musical events during that period of time. Even more intriguing is a section called " ideas" - seminars, lectures,...

The advent of the first of the Sony new cameras a few years ago - the Alpha series - was quite a revelation for the shop. Sony Australia put on a comprehensive demonstration of the performance of their biggest DSLR here at a Perth studio and the CE staff trooped along to try it out. It was more glamour than I could ever imagine. And I have always hoped that they would do it again when they were ready to release their new full frame Alpha 9 mirror-less camera. The new camera is in the shop right now, and it represents the best of a developing technology for Sony. Mirror-less with full 24 x 36 frame is about as good a compromise of size and performance as anyone makes - pair it with Sony and Zeiss optics and you really can desire very little more. Here is a list of the attributes of the new camera: 24 x 36 full frame 24.2 megapixel CMOS sensor. Electronic/mechanical shutter - no vibration or noise. Up to 1/32000 second speed. 20 fps possible. 693 AF points...

Forgive the expression, but the specifications of the new Canon EOS 77D DSLR are a little staggering  - when you read what it can do and the fact that Canon refer to it as an entry-level product, it really does put into perspective the heights to which this company has risen in the digital decades. Here's a rough list of a lot of smooth features: 24.1 megapixel CMOS sensor - D¡G!C 7 processor. 45-point screen with dual-pixel AF. 100-51,200 ISO. WiFi, NFC, and Bluetooth connectivity. 6 fps multushot capability. Touch screen LCD - top control LCD. 5-axis image stabilisation. Learn-as-you-use visual guide displays. Not to put too fine a point on it, this new Canon - as an entry -level offering - beats the 1950 Kodak Tourist II folding camera all hollow. I am all for nostalgia but I would way prefer to be nostalgic about the EOS 77D. Even if I don't go on tour, it will make me happy. You too, if you would like to get into the world of Canon optics. People forget that the small-frame Canon lenses made specifically...

It's no secret that there is a rivalry developing in the medium format digital world these days. The older players have been joined by Fujifilm with their GFX 50S camera and its range of lenses. It stopped the show at last year's Photokina and is doing the same here in the shop. The good news for Perth photographers is that it is available readily - no need to wait until production builds up - and you can make a careful assessment of it by trying out the rental kit we have. It's got a big sensor - 43.8mm x 32.9 mm and it will throw 51.4 megapixels into your SD cards. You will need more memory to operate something like this, and more computer power, time, and storage to deal with the files. The shutters in the camera allow a range of anywhere from 4 seconds to 1/16,000 of a second - you can synch at 1/125th. It would make an awesome studio camera. Not a fast shooter, though - max of 3 fps. You can choose between 100-12,800 ISO in the standard...

Suppose you make one of the best professional cameras in the world - and have done so for the last 69 years. Suppose you decide to head out on a new quest for a professional camera system that breaks your own mould - that gives people increased art capability at a lower price than your other products. Suppose you make it easy to use and extremely stylish. Then suppose that you show it to people and invite them to order the cameras and the new lenses - to pre-order them, as it were. And they do. Here's where the atmosphere grows humid. Suppose they order them in such numbers and your production is held up by business concerns...

The business of video making is a mystery to many of us but clear gospel to others. For the latter, a camera like the new Panasonic Lumix GH5 must come as something of a mirror-less miracle. We have  watched the inclusion of video capability into what were originally thought of as digital still cameras for some time with the view that the thing was just an extra - a program treat rather like the myriad of "art" filters and programs that bemuse the Japanese market. Yet all the time the technical refinement of the video portion was being increased - first with the addition of more resolution and then with new formats. It seemed to reach a plateau with the addition of 1900 x 1080 HD recording and then sprinted forward with the introduction of the 4K systems. Then some manufacturers realised that these advances would put the cameras into new fields of endeavour and added different video formats and applications to match the output of the littler cameras to the needs of other media - the cinema and television industries in particular. The menu...