If there was ever a product category that calls forth innovative design, it's the table-top tripod. It would be crass to name competitor's products in a post about a Manfrotto design, but if you go back over the years in this column you'll see at least five other charming little things - one of which has a design history stretching back over 50 years. And a price tag that looks like a government contract...

This week you sell yourself a tripod. I'll help out here in the column, but you have to do the ( three ) leg work yourself. First thing you'll need to do is find your camera and see how big it is. if it's a moderately-sized DLR or mirror-less camera, read on today. This is your day. Your camera is not all that heavy, though it can gain some grammes when you put a long lens or zoom on it. You'll likely be thinking of astral photography, as well as landscape shoots. You want a tripod that is easy enough to carry out into the boondocks but still has enough stiffness to stay steady in a wind. If the operating field is muddy or wet, you'll want something that can c0pe with this. Waterproof tripods are not new to the market, and now that newer materails are avaiable for their construction, they can be within the reach of most people. There are still oddities like the ones that are built with their legs upside down, but these are rare. Sirui. Strange name, but...

The two cameras selected this week are travelling specials - the sort of equipment that goes on safari or a bear hunt. Or, for that matter, goes to air shows or surfing beaches. Not the massive DSLR or slightly less massive mirror-less system cameras - these are hand-holdable tourist cameras that will bring back long shots. The first candidate is the Canon G3X. You can look up all the specs on the net but briefly it is a 25X zoom camera with fixed lens...

This week marks a turning point for the Little Studio - I finally had to admit that the hodge-podge of computer programs that I have been using to process digital files - Silkypix, Photoshop Elements, Aperture, and an old copy of Lightroom - were not able to cope with the RAW files of new cameras, and that the makers of the new gear were mutating the stuff faster than I could keep up. So I invested in the first year of the Photoshop and Lightroom CC ...

As a review of the new Fujifilm 50mm f:2 R WR lens I thought I would take it out of the model car studio for a change. Oh, I am sure it would do a fine job there, but the very nature of the focal length means that it would have less depth of field than the lenses already in use - and would not be the first choice. Instead, I took it to the local bird sanctuary and shot pictures from the observation platform. The first images were of the Variegated RFDS's taking off. These were snap shots - as soon as I arrived I could hear the noise begin and I had no time at all to turn the camera on, swivel, and capture the birds just taking flight. Interesting to note the speed with which the lens snapped into focus, and that with the AF point set to the lowest size. At this distance it is easy to know where to place the green AF rectangle on the Fujifilm X-Pro1 as there is little parallax to contend with.   The...

I thought I would let the boys from The Goldfisch Studio* lighting department try out their new portable on-set lights to showcase the Fujinon XF 50mm f:2 R WR lens,, They're demons for gel lighting over at Goldfisch and I must say I can't blame them. Even old actors and actresses look good if you can get enough magenta and blue on them. And the visual appeal of a silver lens like the new Fujinon comes out all the more with the play of colours. The black version of this lens would look perfect with the black Versions of the Fujifilm X- Pro2, X-T , or X-T20, but you just can't beat the combination of the chrome versions on the X-E2s or the X-T10 or X-T20. Fujifilm are one of the makers who realise that aesthetic appeal of equipment is as rewarding to some as the performance. Oh,they can try to suggest modernity and brutal professional power in their designs - and that can be a bit amusing if the design includes a lot of plastic bits - but the wisest of...