Let's go on a photo safari into Camera Electronic. I choose Murray Street and nominate Rheagan as our guide and hunter. But unlike all the other photo safaris we undertake, this one will be strictly to rule: we are looking for the best bang for the buck with a bill. We'll take a $5 bill, a $ 10 one, a $20, $50 and $100 as well. A total of $185 in real folding cash - plus $ 6.00 in coins for an overpriced coffee in one of the mall shops later. We aren't allowed to combine the bills into one wad and spend that - each financial instrument must do the best purchase it can for our photographic needs. Any spare change from each transaction can go into the Refreshment Fund. So let's start shopping - these are Rheagan's finds in the wild...

Let's face it. With Olympus there is always going to be something new coming out. As with many other manufacturers, the have rolling program of new and updated equipment that takes advantage of new sensors, new circuitry, and new operational features. They spread these over several levels of sophistication in their products and try to have something for everyone to buy. And that's the operative term: buy. They make, you buy, they have enough money to make more. In this case you are buying a new version of Olympus's OM-D E-M5 camera...

As readers of this column and of all the other on-line digital sites, you will be familiar with a fan-boy forum fight. That ever-so-slightly passive-aggressive set of exchanges that develop whenever any one writes about a new product. There can be flurries of anger if anything is criticised and equal flurries if no opinion is offered. If you think this is petulant and childish, I can only point you to the British sites that deal with scale model airplanes; look for the discussions about green cockpit paint...

No names, no pack drill. But occasionally even the most enthusiastic fan of photographic equipment must be struck by the thought that the manufacturers have lost sight of the design ball and are swatting at thin air. You can see this in new releases of accessories and add-ons as much as in the cameras and lenses themselves. It's somewhat understandable with the smaller accessory market. Independent makers with access to CAD CAM machines and aluminium bar stock can go mad with stylish struts and knurled levers. No idea whether they sell, but they certainly do blossom out around the photographic show time. A few become standards and are available for years...

And do it digitally. You all can. I attended a funeral last week of an old club-mate. In the manner of many modern ceremonies there was a slide-show presentation at one point and we got to see as many good pictures of his 94 years as had survived war and emigration. The quality of the old stuff was exceptional...