compact Tag

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...

Well, I'm on familiar ground with the Fujifilm X-T10 - I own one and I use it every week. Heres a black one - mine is silver. The aesthetics of the two choices is something you can go and debate at the camera club for yourselves - the nights are cold and you can generate a useful bit of warmth by yelling at each other. In my case I bought the silver one because I fancied it and because I reckon as I wear down the edges they wont look as scuffed as a black one would.You see, I am using the camera bare - no heavy aluminium Arca-Swiss cradle for this one and a rather elegant brown leather strap. And I mount a Fujinon 27mm f:2.8 lens on the front most of the time. The idea is to get the lightest and most capable rig around my neck while making me look like an innocuous tourist. Because tourists get away with it 99% of the time.I discovered this on a train to the show the other day. Two 40+...

I took my Fujifilm X-T10 camera along to Christmas lunch at the Pan Pacific Hotel - as part of my new policy of taking it everywhere.I was not disappointed as it captured the fun of a good day out beautifully. I just set the ISO to Auto 2 ( ISO from 200-1600 ) and pressed the button. The self timer yielded the heading image. AUTO was also a good choice when other family members took it for their shooting.But what a contrast for the rest of the luncheon crowd. Santa was in attendance and several families wanted to record his visit - nearly all of them had opted to bring their mobile phones with the tiny little lenses and sensors in them or the equally awkward tablets. Every time they used them it was two hands and a napkin needed and about a half a minute of trying to position the screen in front of both themselves and the target before they could get the things to shoot.Just as well Santa was a patient visitor.I think the fumbling ergonomics of...