compact Tag

I presume we all know what a Zoom meeting is by now. Those of you who have not experienced one yet during the virus lockdown period please put your hands out on the table. My assistant will move through the room hitting them with a claw hammer. Most zoom meetings feel like this, but not as nice. You can see why I was a little hesitant to sign myself up for the Leica zoom meeting last night. It was advertised as a launch for the Leica Q2 Monochrom camera - promised for several weeks with proper registration and code numbers an everything. I signed up as a matter of reporter's interest and got in a cask of cheap wine in preparation for the ordeal. Leica Australia were good enough to send email reminders that it was coming up, so I had no excuse. The day dawned, the hour rolled up, and the code went in. Lo and behold, the screen opened up on a chap from Leica speaking about the camera while showing the new device next to its colour - capable sister;...

One. Or none at all, if you've got a jacket with a pocket. Hello. It's the Shrinking Photographer here. Off on another adventure to see if he can get away with not carrying a bucket full of camera gear to his latest photoshoot. He's long given up the business of the monorail 4 x 5 in the field, the 6x6 and the suitcase of lenses, the DSLR and the rolling bag, and has come down to the mirror-less Gladstone bag. Now he is trying to ditch that and go with a shoulder bag and/or padded envelope from Australia Post to contain his kit. It's not laziness - really it's not. I do lots of hard work and hobby activities that involve heavy lifting. You've no idea how much effort it takes to bombard Coolbellup from Bull Creek if you have to lift your own howitzer shells. But the increasing advances in camera and sensor performance mean that so much more can be done than heretofore with so much less weight - it's time to see if the next step is possible. I took...

Let's start the day off right - peering at people from a long distance way and then pressing buttons. When I got the message from Saul that the new Nikon Coolpix P1000 was on the storeroom shelf I beetled into Stirling Street and checked it out. I was impressed with the feel of the box when I lugged it away - figuring that it was probably packed with accessories and extras. It was the sort of weight that you associate with truck batteries or artillery shells. Imagine my surprise when I turned up one small EN-EL20A, a charging cord, a strap, and a giant lens/camera. Coolpix cameras are not generally massive, being Nikon's answer to the compact-sensor consumer camera class - but when they are attached to a lens that goes from 4.3 mm to 539mm focal length you have something very special indeed. In mathematical terms, that is 125X zoom...

It might seem difficult to report anything new about the Joby Gorilla Pod these days - after all the original little Gorilla Pods have been in the shop long enough to register on the inventory of the British Museum.* Well, that is because they actually work. They are a silly little answer to a serious little question for the travelling photographer.  The fact that they have contributed to the Selfie Plague on Facebook and Instagram is neither here nor there. If we must have selfies, at least we deserve sharp ones. This, Gorilla Pods will do. The 3K kit was new on the storeroom shelves when I swanned through this week. The legs are no new thing - Gorilla Pod ABS plastic sockets that wrap around solid objects and rubberised feet at the end to act as a small tripod. You can exercise your ingenuity with this sort of thing when you need to support a camera or an off-camera flash. You'll never get the legs as straight as they come out of the packet ever again, but that is not a...

Nothing like a tortured pun to start the morning, eh? Well, read on - it gets worse. The Peak Design people have always had innovative ideas about slinging cameras. We saw them first in the era of the quick-draw holster camera rig - this was about five years ago - when the flavour of the month was finding some way to suspend a heavy camera from your belt or backpack strap instead of hanging it round your neck. Their offering was a two-part metal plate that sandwiched the belt and then accepted a dedicated plate attached to the camera. It actually worked, but like many such rigs, it was fiddly to set up and required a good degree of faith to hang expensive gear on while you clambered over rocks and bodies. And it didn't quite have the kewl factor of some of the other contenders. ( My favourite was the Mississippi Traffic Cop rig that one English firm put out. You got a Sam Browne Belt made with enough bulk to suspend a hawg laig pistol...

In Melbourne you can get a cocktail at a moderately fancy bar. If you look moderately fancy as well, you might not even have to pay for it. If you look like the writer of this column you have to pay for it. If you go into Camera Electronic in Perth you can pick up a Joby Micro Hybrid Tripod. It's the same amount of money but it contains far better value - there is no water in it...

A quick whirl through the internet with the word "macro" in the search will turn up a bewildering variety of equipment and advice. There is science, art, alchemy, and obfuscation in about equal measures. And yet it can all be so simple.In my weekly review of the warehouse I lit upon a number of Olympus Stylus cameras that were stacked on a shelf. I think they might be trade demo models. They are certainly inexpensive...