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Category : Gear Reviews

Welcome to the reviews section of this website.
From time to time I get the opportunity to test and review cameras, lenses, software and occasionally books.
If you want a nuts and bolts review, down to the last pixel, keep on going. There are other websites which will do this for you.
My approach to gear and software is simple: I turn it on and take it out in the field and see what happens and if it really is as good as it claims to be.
Good gear should help your picture-making, not get in the way.
That is , after all, why you bought it in the first place, isn’t it?

Photo Ninja- the best raw converter yet? I reckon…

Photo Ninja- the best raw converter yet? I reckon…

  The way to Art is through craft, not around it ~Ansel Adams We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. ~Ernest Hemingway Kia ora tatou/Welcome: I blame Grahame Sydney and Ansel Adams. As many of you know, I am anal about picture quality. In a sense this comes […]

The Sony A99- a first test-drive

The Sony A99- a first test-drive

    I grew up with six brothers. That’s how I learned to dance – waiting for the bathroom. -Bob Hope The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. -Bertrand Russell I am excited. No. I am overjoyed. There you are. Now you know what I think. Canon […]

Being the conductor of your own orchestra- the power of plugins.

Being the conductor of your own orchestra- the power of plugins.

  “True intelligence operates silently. Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found” – Eckhart Tolle “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will”  – George Bernard Shaw From time to time I am asked what plugin suite to buy, to extend […]

A long time between drinks- a great camera gets better

A long time between drinks- a great camera gets better

  For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I […]

The Fujifilm  XPro-1 some months on: my settings.

The Fujifilm XPro-1 some months on: my settings.

having owned the X pro for a couple of months now, I have had plenty of time to get to know it, and for it to get to know me. I suspect we have reached the point where we have an ami accommodation, and as a result it has become my daily. aving had time to get to know its little foibles, I have come to a sense of how it works for me, and the way I like it to sit be set up. When I wrote my formal review, one or two of the people who came and visited the blog asked me what my settings were. I did not share these at the time, since I was still working them out for myself. But now I have had time to consolidate the way that I work, I would like to share my Fujifilm X-Pro1 settings with you.

The Fujifilm XPro-1. The unexpurgated user review.

The Fujifilm XPro-1. The unexpurgated user review.

I tried to keep both arts alive, but the camera won. I found that while the camera does not express the soul, perhaps a photograph can! -Ansel Adams The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people’s reality, and eventually in one’s own. -Susan Sontag   Kia ora tatou: As promised, here is my final […]

The Retrospective 7.  A bag review.

The Retrospective 7. A bag review.

Kia ora tatou: Sometimes I think camera bags are like the three bears. Some are too small, and some are too big. Very few are just right. Perhaps that is why I have so many… I was pondering which of my…numerous… bags to take to China. Some were like Papa Bear-too big. Actually most were […]

Notes from the Road- the Fujifilm Xpro-1 (Vol. 3)

Notes from the Road- the Fujifilm Xpro-1 (Vol. 3)

  If I knew how to take a good photograph, I’d do it every time. – Robert Doisneau The whole thrust in my life right now is spinning my assignments around and making them work in a more personal way (…) I wanted to go back and do the original thing: one camera, one lens, one […]

Notes from the Road- the Fujifilm Xpro-1 (Vol. 2)

Notes from the Road- the Fujifilm Xpro-1 (Vol. 2)

  For us the camera is a tool, the extension of our eye, not a pretty little mechanical toy. It is sufficient that we should feel at ease with the camera best adapted for our purpose. Adjustments of the camera – such as setting the aperture and the speed – should become reflexes, like changing […]

Notes from the Road- the Fujifilm Xpro-1 (Vol. 1)

Notes from the Road- the Fujifilm Xpro-1 (Vol. 1)

Some people are under the misapprehension that having the most expensive camera and dozens of gadgets is a sure path to good graphy. While good tools can help, good graphs can be taken with the simplest camera. It’s the eye behind the camera that counts most. ~Alfred Eisenstaedt Kia ora tatou: I would like to pick a […]

The Fuji X-Pro1-a (bipolar) first look…

The Fuji X-Pro1-a (bipolar) first look…

A review of summit day photographs will show that I was clothed in the latest, highest quality, high altitude gear, comparable, if not better, than that worn by the other members of our expedition. ~Anatoli Boukreev “Best wide-angle lens? Two steps backward. Look for the ‘ah-ha’.” ~Ernst Haas Kia ora tatou: Checking out a new […]

Wishlist: a letter to Santa

Wishlist: a letter to Santa

Dear Red, Portly and Bearded one: I know, I know. I only write to you once a year, but I know you and the elves are busy, so I don’t want to impose. Actually I wasn’t sure you really existed, but after seeing the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy sharing a bottle of Moet […]

Eastern Europe Shootout-Sony NEX 7/Nex-5n/Alpha 77 Part 1

Eastern Europe Shootout-Sony NEX 7/Nex-5n/Alpha 77 Part 1

Warning: this is a LONG review, over 5000 words. For that reason I  have split it into three parts. This is the first. Kia ora tatou: There are any number of reviews of the latest cameras from Sony out there on the Internet, detailing the features, nuts and bolts and image quality of the latest […]

Eastern Europe Shootout-Sony NEX 7/Nex-5n/Alpha 77  And the winners are?

Eastern Europe Shootout-Sony NEX 7/Nex-5n/Alpha 77 And the winners are?

Warning: this is a LONG review, over 5000 words. For that reason I  have split it into three parts. This is the third and final part. Findings- Part Three of a three-part comparison Sony NEX 7 There is something about this camera. It was an instant love affair. I just wanted to pick it up, […]

Eastern Europe Shootout-Sony NEX 7/Nex-5n/Alpha 77 Part 2

Eastern Europe Shootout-Sony NEX 7/Nex-5n/Alpha 77 Part 2

Warning: this is a LONG review, over 5000 words. For that reason I  have split it into three parts. This is the second. The Sony Alpha SLTA77 Much of what I could say about the Sony Alpha SLTA77 has been said in a previous post and has certainly been dealt with in depth by a […]

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