Panasonic Tag

The whole idea of taking pictures of toy cars - or silverware, jewellery, football fields, etc. - for illustration is to show all of the subject in focus. And to show some part of the surroundings in focus as well. Oh, it is fashionable to have one eye on a bride and groom in focus and everything else fuzzy - the same applies to kittens - and it is easy to get things fuzzy on kittens. But when you are selling something people want to see how good it is rather than how arty you are, and they want to see it all over. Thus the fight on the tabletop for every millimetre of sharpness. The optical facts of life say depth of field is greater with a shorter focal length and this applies to little lenses as well as big ones. The rules that smaller apertures produce more DOF and that moving closer reduces the DOF also stay. It is a balancing act. So far, I have found that, for my purposes, the act balances better with an APS-C sensor. Now...

There is nothing that excites a photographer more than a big, new, complex, camera. A close second is an equally imposing lens - and photographers can be seduced with ease if the gear has some new feature. I often used to think that the lens makers chortled evilly to themselves in their secret laboratories until I saw a not-so-secret Panasonic laboratory at Yamagata in Japan. No-one chortled - they were very serious and careful people. This report has no chortling either, and very little in the way of complexity or imposition. The equipment is not flash-bang pre-order Photokina stuff either - it is readily available goods that Camera Electronic has in stock. But the idea is to see if there is a better way to do a certain task - a task that may be similar to ones that you, the reader, want to do. The brief I gave myself was to see if the smaller sort of compact digital camera was up to the task of small-scale studio illustration. To see whether I had overlooked a resource for my specialised subjects. To...

How many of us get a tool kit with our new digital cameras these days? In the old film days it was common for the box containing the SLR or rangefinder camera to have a complete tool pouch including a stilson wrench, set of spanners, lens brace, film jack, and a bottle of optical antiseptic. In the case of some Kodak cameras you got a 8-round clip of .30-06 ball ammunition and a toothbrush.I think we are being done - nowadays you're lucky to get a battery charger and a squidgy little lens cloth with some. Even the instruction manuals are on a CD...

We are not going to suggest that the clients of Camera Electronic should come in to buy stuff in a sozzled condition - far from it. It has been done, mind, but it was not a pretty sight to see. And it is hard enough getting the sales staff down off the top of the cabinets with a hockey stick at the best of times.But there is something to be said for the concept of the cocktail hour consultation. Pull up a shaker and I'll explain.Cocktails are made from a mixture of things - liquors, essences, fruits, mixers, etc. They can be very complex or very simple - provided the ingredients are good, they nearly always succeed. Okay, the pickled herring martini was a general failure but we still sold some in Holland...

Those of you who followed the news from Photokina in 2016 - sent back in part by the management team of Camera Electronic and in part by the press departments of major manufacturers - will have been attracted to the new cameras and lenses shown. Lots of you will have zeroed in on new offerings and are starting to make vague plans to get something fresh...