Thursday, February 28, 2013

Names - AND Pack Drill...

I often see people kitting themselves up at our bag section for ambitious expeditions - the sort of thing that starts out in a shopping centre travel bureau and ends up in a Medi-vac stretcher. Leaving aside those people who have chosen to fall off mountains or get shot, we are left with the ones who have decided to take the trip of a lifetime with a lifetime's worth of heavy photo equipment and will return to a lifetime of chiropractor's visits...

Doesn't need to be that way. Gavin - our Olympus micro 4/3 expert here at the shop - travels with an Olympus micro 4/3 camera and several lenses, but he does not take along the entire optical output, nor does he spend shooting time swapping lenses. He has a sensible mix that really amounts to 2 or 3 lenses as well as the body and some spare memory and electricity. His travel results are superb.

If you'd like to emulate this, talk to gavin here and look at the Olympus E-P3 cameras tat are on special. Then go down to the back of he shop and look at the Lowepro backpacks - specifically the sport ones. Never mind that you are not going to be doing sport - the name is attached only as a sales catch - the bags are perfect for travel/

I've showcased the Flipside Sport 10L AW today. It is a two-strapper with the entry flap against the body. No-one gets to open the bag while you wear it. You can still risk your passport and money on an outside flap if you want to.

There is a closed flap on the left side that would encase a small travel tripod - like the Three Legged Thing ones or the beautiful small Cullmann nano tripods and it would not let the legs of the tripod open and flap as you move through the jungle or city.

The entire inside is a tray - you can pick it out upon release of a velcro panel - and when you do it has a double cinch flap that makes a waterproof parcel of it. Very neat idea.

The most wonderful part of it is the overall weight of the pack - 900 grammes. This is lighter than the laptop that is typing these words.

Not as well the adjustable breast strap. Not just breadth but height as well - it can be positions so as to allow you to breathe easily while wearing it. This is absolutely as important as the padding of the shoulder straps and the shape of the lumbar pad. You can deal with a great deal of weight as long as your diaphragm can move. As someone who marched and fought all day in a full British Trotter pack I can attest to this - we ended up padding the bottom edge of the Trotter with our fatigue jackets to ease the pain as it cut into us. Pity Lowepro did not make military gear in 1815.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How Cute Is This - Drobo Mini

 Statement of Interest:  I own a Drobo storage unit. I paid for it with my own money. I installed it into my digital system myself. It has worked flawlessly since. It is likely to be all I need to safeguard my digital images.

Now that we have that out of the way, here is the latest cute-as-a-bug idea from Drobo. They have made a mini version of the big Drobo FS unit I use for people who want security in a smaller space.

The unit operates very much like mine - Up to 4 SATA hard disk drives are slotted into the unit at the font and configured with the software. They then receive the data and parcel it out amongst themselves so that no one unit has the entire key to the liquor cabinet. Should any one of the hard disk drives look like it is going to fail, the Drobo alerts the user to replace the dodgy disk before it is dead and the data marches merrily on. No loss, no risk.

Mine uses big disks, this one uses small disks - but as time has advanced the sport, this unit can work even faster than mine - it is fitted with USB3.0 and Thunderbolt entry ports. It will work fine for USB 2.0.

There is good provision for cooling round the back of he unit and you'll notice from the back view that there is a lock on the power supply socket. In my case my biggie is locked into a vented steel cabinet, so ( hopefully) no-one can run off with the unit and the data.

$ 730 will get this one in your home or office, and then add the SATA drives. The box does contain the Thunderbolt cable and the setup is deliciously easy. Hey, I managed it, and I trained on Fisher-Price computers...

PS: Apple not included - that is my lunch.

Uncle Dick

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Achtung - Here Is Oskar Barnack

We hope you have not forgotten that the Leica company is sponsoring the Oskar Barnack Award 2013 and the entry date closes very soon.

You must go to the Leica website to see the entry form and fill it in on-line. Fortunately you may send your images to them electronically.

They do specify that you must be entered in one of two categories; Professional or Prospective Professional. For the former they seem to require proof of your bona fides - website and agency details, and for the latter you must sign a declaration that you are under 25 years.

The submissions must be 1200 pixels tall and wide in proportion, must be 72 dpi, couched in the RGB space, and under 3Mb in size.

You must submit 10 images in a series  - there is an upper limit of 12 images if you must go over  - and they require you to title it.

As the last day for submission of the entry is the 1st of March, it may be best to be quick about starting your photographing. Those of you who wish to make an in-depth analysis of the entire range of human relationships at f:2.8 may have to skip lunch today.

Otherwise you could be eine tag late und eine Reichsmark short...

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kid Proof - Nikon and Cullmann

Okay, I admit it - nothing is truly kid proof. We've all bought those plastic locks for our home cabinets that are designed to keep baby out of the liquor and power tools - we have all arrived home at some stage of the game to find every door in the house open and the Black and Decker missing. Small children are all related to Willy Sutton and Harry Houdini...

Same with cameras. Hand your Leica M 9 to little Susie with the strict admonition to " just press the button" and you can be guaranteed she will give it back to you in 30 seconds with the body casting fractured and the lens leaking anti-freeze...

So welcome the little Nikon S30 camera. this is a modest little picture box, but has enough in it to take good family snaps and videos and can be entrusted to the offspring with no fear. You see, it has a simple battery system - 2 AA's in the base - and a lens that is totally enclosed, and the ability to stand water to 3 metres.

There are only 6 buttons on the back to make it work and the two really important one - "Snap" and "Whirr"- are on the top. One takes a still picture and one starts and stops the video. Just as simple as that. 3 x zoom lens. SD card. White colour. In-built flash.

Come to think of it, this might be the perfect in-car camera for those moments of road rage or mobile lust -or just when you see a public official and famous legal entity travelling along the freeway chatting away with his mobile phone to his ear and you want to capture it for posterity, not that that would have ever happened near the Leach Highway turnoff or anything like that...

The second star for today's blog is the little Cullmann FLEXX Suction Set. Squoosh it onto a glass or metal surface and attach a small camera to it with the tiny little quick-release plate. The set also has a flexible goose-neck tube and an accessory clip so that you can use it to hold items for table-top photography. Fun stuff.

Uncle Dick

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Monday, February 25, 2013

All Someone Else's Yesterdays...

Did goe to the Photographic Markets yesterday and was greatley amused.

As a stroller, not a seller, I was able to observe many things that have heretofore escaped notice. And a number of these observations have set in train essayable thought:

1. There is only so much valuable old material in any one area of the world, whether that material be Leica cameras or Vermeer paintings or old Soviet warheads. Eventually it will all have been sold to the Chinese, or the Dutch, or the Poles. Then the supply will dry up. After that the articles on offer will be Ansco 127 flash cameras, lithographs of Wave Rock in a plastic frame, and Holgas. Who will we find to buy these?

2. Just as there is no Eldorado, Tall Dark Man, or Shangri La, there is no secret stash of mint-condition Leica cameras and lenses that will be offered by a bereaved family eager to sell them for pennies.

3. " You can still get film for it" may be a true statement and may form the basis for a sales offer, but it should be accompanied by the other statements:

    " You can get the film from China by writing to them in their native language and paying 18 x the normal freight charges for it to arrive."

    " The film will have been made in 1975 as traffic-recording film and will be re-sized and cut to new

    " No-one in the metro area will touch it for processing. The metro area extends from Rottnest to the Great Barrier Reef..."

    " The film is made in a re-activated factory by re-activated workers. It is like watching a zombie video but each packet costs the price of a steak dinner."

4. If you wish to buy a secondhand tripod, remember that the quick-release plate will be missing and no-one will have another to replace it. Resign yourself to carving a new one from mahogany. It might be wise to purchase an old piano for the wood.

5. The cakes, biscuits, and coffee are really very good. Bugger the cameras - drift down the back of the hall and have breakfast.

6. Yes, that is the person you saw in the shop. No, that is not shop stock.

7. Load thee not the aged software into thy computer lest the viruses contained therein render thy equipment dead. Hope not for a magic grail that will make all thy images winners, for Lo, if the judges thought they were rubbish when they could see them clearly, they are not likely to change their minds when they are obscured by crude filters.

8. Buy a Bolex. Do not hope to run it any time soon, or ever, but buy it for the sheer art of its construction. Make whatever excuse that you need to at home, but have at least one on your shelf to cheer your heart.

9. " Buy a no-name studio flash system in a cardboard box? Pick it up and plug it in? Hold the head in the hand while you fondle the aged wiring and then fire it off? Why, sure! Go right ahead. I'll just be over here behind this solid wood door. "

10. How much for the two books? A dollar? Thank you, I'll take them. ( Sound of scurrying and chortling - in both directions. A successful sale. )

Uncle Dick

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Here's The Prices For Olympus Sale

They decided the prices on the Big Blue Blanket Sale - the massive coverage of Olympus E-P3 cameras that came in yesterday.

The single kit - camera. 14-42 lens, battery, charger, cables, software - $ 499. We got 'em in silver and black.

The double kit - camera 14-42 lens and 40-150 lens, battery, charger, cables, software - $ 649. We got 'em in silver and black.

Now - you get 'em. We're open till 5:30 today and from 10:00 to 1:00 tomorrow. Time to grab that bargain.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Show Me The Money - Harvesting The Drobo

Have you seen the prices that printed ephemera of the 1950's commands on eBay? It's fantastic! I'll bet it is even better at Christie's or Sotheby's. Why, there must be fortunes to be made with old magazines out in the back shed - and who knows what men's magazine gold has been tucked between the mattresses of teenage boys since then. Provided their mothers did not find them, they might still be there.

Mind you, so might the bedbugs. So to avoid that sort of trouble I decided to make my own vintage retro magazines - I'll be sending them in for auction as soon as the Epson printer gets through the stack of files.

Of course it s not all just profit - there is a fair amount of work involved in getting the girls into the corsets and girdles and the props needed are never cheap. IKEA always seems to have something that is nearly right but not quite so, and the antique stores are run by descendants of Henry Morgan. Fortunately many old people have period furniture in the shed so it always pays to beg.

The articles for he magazine are easy to write. Sex sells, and as long as you can remember to hint rather than explain, all is well. These are the 1950's after all. Germans and Japanese are also good copy as this was just after they were beaten and before they rose again. The Commies as well - if all else fails find a red star and stick it on something and suggest that there are more under the bed. Hey, It worked for Senator Joe, it can work for you.

I am still a little unsure as to how to age the paper and the pictures to simulate the real article sixty years on. I have no problem spilling coffee on myself but so far the stains on the images look a little fake. And there is nothing so false as reality rejigged. I wonder if I can get someone to pay in Pounds and Shillings?

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The Big Blue Blanket - Olympus In Store

Forgive me for not opening the Olympus E-P3 boxes and displaying the camera and lenses inside. I am a coward.

Olympus have always been the clear winners in the camera division of the Japanese National Packing Contest. This is the industry-wide championships to see which company can put its products into the tightest space for shipping. The boxes and internal dividers are reduced until the cameras or lenses fit into the smallest possible compass while still remaining uncrushed.

Staff in camera shops at one time were known to have been knocked unconscious by the force of cameras exploding from their restraints when first unwrapped, though this has been toned down in recent years. The practise of vacuum-packing was outlawed in Kyoto in 2003.

Nevertheless, it is a serious commercial decision to unpack a camera box - Nothing ever seems to fit back in quite the same way. I am grateful to the Olympus company for printing the specifications of the equipment on the outside of he carton.

Suffice it to say, we seem to have sufficient stocks of the splendid E-P3 to satisfy dozens of customers. These are the doyen of the micro 4/3 mirror-less compact cameras and will be the answer for many people who want big DSLR-like performance but a small compact size. Please do not remind me that it is possible to equip them with adapters to take all sorts of older lenses from many other manufacturers - one of the staff here in the shop does this and he is a demon with film-camera lenses. We are all jealous of his fine results and jealousy is a sin.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Paul Bunyan's Camera - Shen Hao

No, I'm afraid you can't buy it from us. We don't have one in the shop. The images are of a camera that was sold over a year ago.

The story started about 8 years ago - at the height of the publicity about the 4" x 5" Shen Hao cameras from China. They were just just coming on the market and their website was fun to look at. One little section buried deep n the menu referred to a 10" x 12" camera. This is what popped up.

It is a copy of a Kodak studio camera of the 1900's Wooden frame and body, cloth bellows. brass and steel fittings. It takes wooden book-form plate holders for either 10" x 12" or 6" x 8" glass plates. There is a Chinese copy of a Russian copy of a German lens on a revolving turret in the front and a sturdy Packard shutter behind this.

It winds up with the artillery wheel and leans forward and sideways with the screw handles. The wooden back is reversible and can be fitted with an indexing plate holder that moves it from side to side. You get a vast variety of plastic dividers and grids - you can make passport pictures for the whole village on one glass plate.

And I suspect that is exactly what it was, and is used for. Somewhere in the interior of China these are still being made and used. There is a wooden studio where this is being trundled around daily doing the bureaucratic images for the party records. I was never able to find out where they got their glass plates from but I'll bet they still make them.

It was cheap - I paid $ 700 for it plus shipping from Shanghai via Singapore. It arrived in two of the biggest and ugliest crates I have ever seen - firewood for ages - and took a day to assemble as the instructions were all in Chinese and were still in Shanghai.

I used it for years, until another enthusiast bought it for use at a photographic school in Queensland. The shipping was an epic, but I believe it arrived safely and he was happy.

Note, I also synched the shutter - with a piece of piano wire and a coil spring on the piston of the Packard. I was hoping to find lycopodium flash powder to complete the effect but was defeated by the safety laws. Dang.

Uncle Dick

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The Pendulum Swings - To Secondhand Canon

Here in Camera Electronic one of the core areas of the business has always been the trade in secondhand photographic equipment.

Cameras, lenses, enlargers, processors, and lots of other things have come in and gone out over the years. While I was just a customer and not yet on staff I remember buying a number of lenses and other items at the older premises - and I enjoyed using them for years. Indeed two of my core digital lenses and all of my analog lenses had previous owners. I benefitted when I bought them from the drop in sticker price that always accompanies secondhand sales and they have performed magnificently.

So if you have any interest in professional work - or high-end enthusiast photography - you might like to look at the line-up of cameras in the secondhand cabinet this week. For some unfathomable statistical reason, we seem to have about a tonne of Canon 1D cameras.

This is where the pendulum reference comes from - at any one time we might have have a preponderance of Canon or Nikon equipment in the shop. It often happens that one or other of the companies bring out some new model and the owners of the previous one - or the model back from that one - feel impelled to trade up. The real fun comes when the Big Two bring out competing models at the same time and then everyone wants everything.

You score well from this if you are a student, enthusiast, starting professional, or canny shooter. The class of camera we take in for trade is high, and we make sure the cameras are good before we accept them. They all carry warranty. Many of them are fully-accessorized and in all cases we can point you to instruction manuals and assistance. In the case of the Canon cameras that you see in the photo there are a number of Canon shooters here on staff to walk you though the menus and features. ( I'm of the Nikon persuasion - plus I can deal with Hasselblads, Linhofs, and .69 Charlevilles. )

Note that the 1D cameras are really big and sturdy things - they take the L series lenses. They work fast and can be used in poor weather conditions without worry. This should be a boon to sports and wedding shooters.

We are filling up here and would appreciate it if you could wheel a barrow down here and take some away. Thank you.

Uncle Dick

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

LensCoat - Your Friend In The Jungle

Those of you who pursue wildlife with a camera - an indeed those of you who pursue wild life with a camera - will welcome the new line of accessories that have just been received in-store.

LensCoat make a range of FITTED sleeves for long lenses. These allow you to use these lenses in natural situations without giving or scaring the game away. In short - camouflage.

If you are a dedicated birder or animal photographer you probably have a range of strategies and accessories that let you get closer to your quarry - hides, camo covers, ghillie suits, face paint etc. You probably have a good Canon or Nikon camera and have invested in a long lens - but the long lens might be shiny black or worse - shiny white. Great to look at in the shop but a dead giveaway if the rest of you is carefully decked out to look like a compost heap.

LensCoat to the rescue. The camo cover you see on the Canon 500mm f:4 lens from our Rental department is a special kit - it is comprised of 5 separate neoprene tubes faced with the camouflage fabric that slide on and securely grip their respective rings on the lens. There is even a strip of self-adhesive material to cover the sides of the tripod foot ring.

As you'll see from the illustrations, there are especially-cut windows for the controls and focus scale and these are sealed with clear plastic. We have lots of different kits for lots of good lenses.

The cover contributes a fair bit of protection to the outer casing of the lens and hides the white quite effectively. It may be removed, though the care that is used in the fitting means that most people will leave it attached. Might be a bit startling at a wedding to take the bride with something that looks like a stack of garden clippings, but then if you are taking wedding pictures with a 500mm you are an individualist anyway.

The image on the outer cloth is at once specific and non-descript - perfect for breaking up the outline of the lens. It may have an international name for the pattern but we prefer to think of it as the Homeswest Garden pattern.

So you'll be right at home in the urban jungle as well...

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Yay! - GoPro Black Are here!

After all this long time of you calling us about the GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition...we have finally got stock in the store. They came in today.

There are also a lot of neat GoPro accessories for them on the stand downstairs.

Now is the time to grab the wallet or purse and beetle down here to the store and get this camera system. The Black Hero 3 are the ones with W-Fi built in, the Wi-Fi remote controller included, and the highest level of video capability in the GoPro range.

Still time to get in the water or on the road with Black Hero 3. Summer ain't gone yet.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

QUICK - Monday Sale Of Fuji Film

Get your skates on - if you are using 120 slide film, we have just discovered a stash of Fuji Velvia 100 film that has outdated itself.

It's marked as 6 months out, but this should still be fine for landscape work. And at the price:

$ 20 for a 5-roll Pro-Pack!

You can hardly go wrong. First come, first served. Hop in at lunch for a bargain.


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Jef The Cyclist - With Ion Air Pro Plus

I believe there is a colony of Jefs somewhere in my suburb. The warm weather brings them out and they swarm along the road in the morning as I start for work. You see clouds of them as you approach the traffic lights - it can be quite spectacular as they flash past you in their multicoloured outfits, lycra-clad quoits bobbing away as far as the eye can see. Horrible sight to start the day with.

Leaving this philosophical observation aside, I noticed a variant on one of the Jefs this morning. On top of the Alien Mother helmet was one of the small video recorder cameras - I don't think it was one of the Air Pro or Go Pro, but it was something of that nature. I wondered if he had one of those hands-free mobile phones plugged into his ear as well - he seemed to be talking to thin air as he rolled past. Perhaps he was just speaking to The Voices...

I hope the next time The Voices contact him the tell him that the camera mounted on the top of the helmet looks pretty silly. If it is designed to record his feats of daring-do on the race track, he is a day late. If it is to record the outrages and assaults he will receive on the road, it is pointed in the wrong direction - more people will run into his wazoo than his bazoo. In any case it is just too obvious. If he wishes to operate Sneaky-cam he needs to put it on his bike handlebars or on the side of his helmet where it is camoflaged by the outline of his head.

If it is to record the tail-gunner's view of approaching BMW's the scope for mounting widens. It would also be a more formidable menace pointed backwards, as it would record all the drivers texting and doing their hair as they approach the lights. I am not guilty of this sort of thing - I have not figured out how to text on my Nokia and at my age the little hair I do have hardly matters. Still, the thought of being recorded by the video camera as I bear down on the Jef with the 14th century jousting lance couched in my armour would make me think twice about it.

Or at least do my hair.

Note: On a sales subject. I see the Ion Air Pro Plus has several bike mounts that allow handlebars, top of helmet, and side of helmet mounting straight out of the box. The wazoo mount you have to get from Queensland and it comes in a plain, sealed package...

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Friday, February 15, 2013

A Modest Proposal - Guard The Presidents

The recent inauguration of the American president would appear to be the subject of some little controversy - and not just whether or not the President was entitled to stand for office. You may entertain your own opinion on that one, and if you are an American citizen, attempt to express it. Good luck.

No, two questions seem to revolve about whether the singer who assaulted the national anthem and the Marine band who opposed her were using canned music and lip-synching to do it, and whether Bravo Company - the ceremonial troops who provided the USMC contingent in the march-past - were compelled to parade with M1 rifles that had been stripped of their bolts.

Leaving aside the singer, please, the Marine guard question is moot. I have seen images that seem to show just that, and I have seen websites that claim it to be a furphy. If done, it would be one branch of government controlling another ( SS vs USMC ) and either  a valid security decision or a deadly insult.
I am still trying to get further sight of footage of the troops in motion at such a resolution that I can see for myself.

The real point of this is we must consider whether or not to implement the same idea for photographic society and association meetings here in Australia. Every one of the organisations - AAPP, AIPP, WAPPY, etc. has a president, vice president, and such and at an open meeting they are sitting targets for anyone in the audience to take a pot shot. At an eastern states conference I myself squeezed off half a dozen exposures of the speaker at a high ISO and had I done so with a dodgy white balance, the consequences could have been grave...

Perhaps we should require the audience members to parade before each meeting to be frisked by the guards, then have their batteries confiscated, and upon leaving sign a statutory declaration that they do not have any live cards or produce on their persons. This, and a strict watch upon their web sites, work computers, and families should do it. With a little common sense and a docile attitude on the part of the association members, hangings should not be necessary.

If they are, at least there should be good lighting, a catalogue, and wine and cheese at the opening ceremony...

Uncle Dick

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Everything New Is Old Again...

You can retro anything these days - cars, clothing, food, experiences - anything.

Case in point happened last night. I was asked to produce a slide show of my recent trip to Melbourne. Easy enough - the images had been worked over in PSE10 and were sitting on the Drobo. I just rounded them up and dropped them into an SD card. The daughter plugged it into the side of the big screen TV and pushed the remote control.

The first thing that caught the eye was the clarity and the colour of the images - I remembered the scenes vividly, I had seen them on the computer, and now they were being displayed on the TV. I think I can say the colour accuracy was perfect all the way through. This is a bow in the direction of Fuji, Datacolor, Mackintosh, and whoever is the maker of the television. We seem to have a harmony that I had not expected. This is every bit as good, if not better, than the old days of projecting Kodachrome through a Pradovit.

The second thing is there appears to be some sort of a rider file that accompanies each image and that the TV reader stumbles over - every other image is a blank but all the images eventually do display. Some TV thing, not important unless you were seeking to make a habit of impromptu slide shows. I just regarded it as the digital equivalent of getting the 35mm slide in back to front or upside down in the old projector

Third observation is that the reaction of the audience is a constant - whether someone is showing cave paintings of the last Mammoth hunt to a visiting tribesman, or three trays of slides from a 1961 trip to Fiji, or 500 digital images of Melbourne....the boredom is palpable. As photographers, we should learn to make it short and sharp, but we never do. My excuse is someone else was showing the things....

I am going to take this to heart and use it as a maxim for my blog writings -whether you see it here on the commercial shop blog or on my personal entertainment blog ( ) I will restrict what I say and what I show to manageable portions. Of course, on my own blog - "Here All Week" I can express what may be different opinions than here, but that is the prerogative of any creative writer.

For now, remember that you need to engage the viewers with beauty and rythym and leave them wanting more.

PS: Club together and buy me this Nash. At least collect enough to buy me a 1:18 scale model of one - there's a good fellow...

Uncle Dick

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Backing Up On The Road - With Hyperdrive

Betcha haven't seen one of these for a year or so - in the wake of the introduction of iPads, tablets, clouds, and cheap memory cards the portable storage device seems to have fallen by the wayside.
It got all unfashionable - a fate that it worse than debt in the photo trade*.

We used to carry different forms of these -they stored anywhere from 80 to 160 Gb of data from all different sorts of cards and let you see what was on the card on a small LCD screen at the front - just to make sure you knew what it was that you had on the card. People planning to travel to exotic places and photograph exotic images bought them so that they could download the contents of the card each night and then go out fresh the next day. backup insurance against data loss.

Well, as I say,  other electronic firms thought up new ways of doing this, and memory cards got cheaper and a lot of people elected to just store the cards or fire off the images somewhere else for eventual retrieval...trusting that the somewhere else would continue to exist and would obligingly send back the images on request.

Call me a cynic, or pessimist, or sour old apple, but I think the idea of storing your own backup is better. Trust not the blandishments of those who say they will do something for you for nothing, for their assistance is worth exactly what you pay for it...

The Hyperdrive Colorspace UDMA is a black box with card slots, USB port, battery charge socket, and screen. You can navigate its menu with a 4-way button. It will absorb 500Gb of data, display it, and spit it back out at about 40Mb/sec. It'll decode RAW and show you a jpeg preview. It will incrementally back up a card, ignoring data that it has already gleaned - you can plug it in day by day and it will add the new images of the trip.

Better than taking your computer? Well, the laptop this is being written on is my backup for a trip and it weighs 4Kg with all the associated flapdoodle - and is the size of a Papa Giuseppe Family Pizza. The Hyperdrive unit weighs 300 grammes and is the size of a pocket book. If you don't need a full computer on the trip, take the drive. You can save 3.7 Kg for fresh underwear or bottles of rum.

In-store right now.

* Come ask us what other good ideas have died the death for no reason other than whim...

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Singing In The Rain - With Promaster and GoPro


Well, there's no need for that sort of thing - you might be discouraged but you can still be civil...Oh, wait...I didn't see the spelling. You're GOING to Phuket, eh? Ahh.

Rainy up there, I daresay. Like Queensland*. Or Tasmania*. You'll need something to keep the camera dry. Promaster Rain jacket has two arm-sleeves, a lens sleeve, and a clear plastic back to let you see through the finder - and all for $ 69. Better than pouring water out of your DSLR after a day out.

If you want to do it in style...trendy modern cutting edge hip hop hep style...take a GoPro Silver for $ 395. It can do movies, stills, coronial enquiry evidence, etc. and as it is in a waterproof housing anyway you can splash about happily in the rain forest or on the beach. there are about a million accessories to mount it on anything fixed or movable and they are surprisingly inexpensive.

* sorry about that. Didn't know there were ladies present.

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Happy New Year To All - Eh?

Here's a traditional New Year saying for today, the 13th of February:

" I'll be darned, eh?"

If you meet a Canadian today, be sure to greet him or her this way. It is also considered to be good luck for the coming year if you scratch the back of your head and then just stand there - a lot of this goes on today in Canada and so far it has worked. The country has not been overrun with elephants.

As you'll hear in the news, this is the Year Of The Moose, and there will be a lot of decorations around Perth in the Canadian restaurants and bars featuring a moose theme. Stuffed heads, antler hat racks, Rocky and Bullwinkle tee-shirts - the whole commercial thing. And of course there will be the traditional moose dinner tonight. Tables all over the metro area will be groaning with the rich, heavy roasts of this delicious animal. And they will be groaning for months - there is a lot of good eating on a moose. Along about July 1st the youngest child at the table will ask the traditional question as the steaming plate of moose rissoles is served yet again..." Why is this night no different from other nights?"

It will be different next year, as in accordance with the lunar cycle, 2014 will usher in the Year Of The Goose. Not so much meat on a goose, so most families will dispose of their cultural duty in a couple of meals and the cat can have the rest. Still, with it being the Year Of The Goose, and all, girls in tight jeans will want to be a little careful in the Canadian bars around chucking-out time.

Back to this year. To help you celebrate the holidays ( Traditionally a two-week period in Canada, with the exception of Vancouver and Winnipeg. ) we at the shop, that is Timmins and me, have decided to offer a free Canadian joke to all visitors from the old country. I have a good one involving John Diefenbaker and two Dukhobors and Mike can read you the scores for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Either way you are guaranteed a laugh.

On a serious note, have you considered buying a Lowepro camera bag? They are popular in Canada and are really a very good way to tote your camera gear, maple syrup, Moosehead lager, and seal club whenever you are out on the road. And we have a lot of them because the delivery came in yesterday. Before the pile shifts and buries the storeman, come down here and save us.

 And remember - " I'll be darned, eh? "


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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I Read Where...With Three Legged Thing

First off - the opening picture is taken with a special scientific lens by special scientists. It shows an actual breeding colony of tripods - in this case the Three Legged Things. Note how the smaller members of the pod are protected by the larger ones. This is the sort of thing that David Attenborough should get on to. Tripods smell better than gorillas.

The following pictures were also taken with a camera and show the nesting colony of the Pellicula Luxus. It was taken in a cave on 230 Stirling Street, in Perth.

This is to counter the recent assertion from a customer that he had read on the internet that you can't get film any more. Note how the different species nest in their own portion of the cave - not from animosity but to help the mothers find their young. It is said that a roll of 120 Pellicula can distinguish their chick - the 35mm Pellicula - from amongst over 30 different other varieties.

Sometimes I wonder if the people who read the internet do so exclusively at the expense of looking out into real life. 'Course you wouldn't do that, would you friend?

Uncle Dick

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