My days of Oohing and Ahhing over exotic lenses are largely past since I have settled down to do standard things with modest equipment. But there is still a reserve of gurgling noises I can make when I see a really fabulous example of something. When I paused recently from taking product shots in front of the Nikon stand at Stirling street I turned around to the Nikon Z cabinet...

That's what we encountered last night when we went to the presentation by Craig Semetko at Camera Electronic's Stirling Street premises. Serendipity in many ways. Craig is here in Australia speaking to people on behalf of himself and of the Leica company - his first time, too - and is entertaining all of us mightily. But it is not just entertainment - there's a good deal of philosophy in it too. Craig started his career writing and performing comedy for corporate clients. Here is a picture he admits to with a bit of nervousness: Yes, that's him doing a performance as the Mike Meyers character: Austin Powers. Whoever said comedy was easy or that comedians were not brave has never stepped out on stage in front of a group of hecklers and cynics. At least it is a good way to break through the barrier of nervousness. His first efforts with cameras led him to a Los Angeles store where he was forced to think deeply about what he wanted to do...

Always interesting when someone from our stock management section brings a big cardboard box downstairs and sets out new cameras on the counter. This last week it was these new GoPro action cameras - the Go Pro Hero 8's. I was swatted away from opening one up but fortunately the packaging is transparent and the advertising is printed on the outside. More on that later but I noted one thing myself - as it has been some time since I looked closely at the GoPro line they may have changed the basic shell of the camera. This is the first occasion when I've seen the new slim front-to-back profile and I quite like it. It should make some of the applications easier to mount in close areas. Mind you, from what I can see the basic universal mount is unchanged - and that has advantages too. The new camera promises a smoother operation of the anti-shake mechanism so that horizons remain flat while you rattle around. There are new algorithms for improved stills. you can do timelapse recording but then slow it...

If you aren't prepared to do it, rest assured that your Golden Labrador or Beagle are. Also most of your kids under 4. You'll know when they've done it because your lens will be either cleaner or dirtier than it was before...

We go Luigi Savadamoney one better. We got the fancy as well as the cheap - and in the case of the Phottix Varos PRO BG bracket we are approaching the sort of thing that you see on building sites to hold up concrete panels. As you'll no doubt recognise, it's a bracket/adapter that goes onto studio light stands to allow them to hold an umbrella and a speedlight flash. This, in many cases, will give you a surprisingly soft and workable portrait or illustration light. The fact that you can set up, shoot, then pack up and scoot off without having to have been concerned with finding mains AC power is a real boon for some. Leave aside the need for good batteries in your speed lights - some modern lights have lithium ion ones that are as good as the mains. What you need for the classic brolly flash rig is a good stand - and here we cannot say fairer than Manfrotto at any stage of the game - and a good coupling. There's been quite a spate of...

Disregard the fact that we are selling it. If we had any sense we would keep it ourselves. Buy this Fujifilm Instax Mini 9. Take it home and put it on a trophy shelf - because no matter if you are the operator of a gecko farm or a cucumber ranch, you are never going to have anything in your life as green and cool as this camera. And something of that cool style is bound to rub off on you. This is actually a thing. And not just with Fujifilm. Remember the Leica Urban Jungle mirrorless camera of a few weeks ago - that's another milestone of cool. You'll pay more for it and it won't take instant pictures, but consider buying that one too. And while you're at it turn over in your own mind some of the milestones ( kilometre stones? ) of the photographic design world in the past few decades. There may still be time to go out and find one for your own Museum Of Modern Art ( ifacts...

We live in a era of desperate bagging. Everywhere we turn we are urged to abjure them - or at least to bring our own to save the supermarket from having to give them away. We have the awful decision whether to buy a plastic bag from the checkout person or juggle 18 oranges and a litre of milk out to the car. And then we have to open the boot...