battery chargers Tag

The days of the good old compact camera are numbered, they tell me - but then they have told me that you can't get film any more and we have fridges full of fresh stocks of it. And people buy it by the bagful...

Those of you who think they have seen these products in this column before are right - I've been mentioning these and similar items for years. But not everyone who reads this page with their Weeties has seen those older postings. The wonderful thing about photography is that it is a subject that always attracts new enthusiasts. And the fact of the matter is that the new enthusiasts sometimes have old problems.* The problem that the Unipal chargers from the Hähnel company addresses is the circumstance where a photographer discovers that they have no charger for their camera or flash batteries. Either it has been left at home while they travel or been stolen or lost. Or, if it is an older charger, it has just quit working. I've personal experience of this - having had to replace chargers on two separate occasions. It's not an isolated thing - every week when I was behind the counter there were a number of people who came in and wanted fresh chargers - sometimes several requests per day. It was the sort of thing...

And yet we should. Everyone who uses a digital camera should feel free to talk about the battery and charger. The new Nikon D7500 is in hand right now - you can come down tom the shop and take one home with a new Nikon lens right now. Just let us swipe the credit card and away you go. When you get home, however, you are going to have about an hour's impatient wait until you can take pictures - that is about how long it will take a fully discharged Nikon EN - EL15a battery to come up to speed in a Nikon MH25a battery charger. You can try your luck with a bit of the Japanese or Thai electricity that is left as a residual charge in the battery from the factory, but you will run through this quickly - better to exercise patience and fill the thing properly the first time. Charging batteries up from partial discharge is not as fraught with trouble as it was in the nickel cadmium days, but it is still good to fill it up and then start from fresh. The Nikon company is one of the smarter firms - they have produced a camera with enough internal space to take a decent-sized battery, and have taken advantage of that space well. The En - El15a will hold enough charge for an entire day of average shooting. Some of the literature mentions 800+ shots, though it does not specify whether the more power-hungry features of the camera are used taking those shots. Not all makers do this - I have cameras that are good for only about 180 shots before they go flat. I have to carry batteries slung on a bandolier like a Mexican bandit carries rifle cartridges. In some cases the batteries are made in batches - and we don't need no esteenkin' batches... Okay, that pun was unfair, but good battery power is essential if you are going to shoot in a profligate manner. And charging the things should be as easy as possible. I am not going to be telling tales out of school and mention the chargers that used to be made with clip-on Australian-standard adapters that saddled over US-standard prongs. They were a complete nuisance to mount and demount and used up an inordinate amount of tourist luggage space. This MH-25a has the standard kettle cord socket and is much more space-friendly. It also has an unmistakable form factor* that means it can only accept the one battery, and only in one way. This means no false starts. Also the LED charge light is either flashing or steady - no complex code to indicate partial charge. But should you buy a second...or third... battery? Unless you only intend to take a dozen shots a day...yes. You can never shoot if you don't have it, and you can charge it up while you are using the first one. If you are in freezing cold weather you can keep a warm battery in your pocket and interchange it as the thing gets colder and the voltage falls off. If it gets too cold, other things fall off, but that is beyond the scope of this column. *  " Form factor " is the way of saying " shape " if you only speak Berlitz English.

Opening the box on a new camera is like lifting the lid on either a treasure chest or a can of worms. Don't let that image put you off - it depends if you are fishing for compliments or bass.This week's exploration is of a Sony mirrorless camera and two lenses. These were chosen from the Camera Electronic stocks to find out what the brand is like to handle and to see whether there is a real usable difference between the full-frame system and an APS-C system. To this end, lenses that would give a similar field of view were selected:Sony Alpha 7 II and Fujifilm X-Pro1Sony 50mm and Fujifilm 35mmSony 28mm and Fujifilm 18mmThe true believers of each brand are free to jump up and down, wave spec sheets, and berate each other as much as they like - the committee of the camera club needs to fill a hole in the year's entertainment roster and a fist fight will do nicely. I am jut going to play cameras in the studio and out in the field.First comment, though,...

When we ask people to go out and use mirror-less camera systems on the basis of small size and weight we are sometimes forgetting that if you choose wisely, you can get both small size and light weight in a DSLR. The trick, as with this Nikon D3400, is to choose an entry-level camera kit.Frankly, My Dear, I do occasionally give a damn...