A home for the things I think are worthy of sharing. Will largely be photography based.

Archive for October, 2011

Shopping around – Memory Cards

Lexar Pro 400x 32Gb

Yes – I am one of those people that will shop around and research things like hell. I blame my father – he does the same and has drilled “research” into us as kids. But in all honesty – I do enjoy it. I’m not a gambling man – but I do enjoy saving money – each to their own.

I usually do this for anything in £ double figures and above really – putting varying amount of effort into it.

I have on occasion thought that I should do a website for it and automate it – but by now there are plenty of those around e.g. http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk (great site BTW)

They sometimes fall short though – and at the moment, because I’m looking to go to Kenya to cover a friends wedding next week – I’m looking for memory cards. I have 2x 4Gb and a couple others e.g. 1x 2Gb and 1x 1Gb But as I shoot RAW at weddings – they have a habbit of filling up very quickly. In the UK I’ve lugged my netbook around with me and offloaded cards onto there as they get full – but in Kenya I want to be less reliant on it – so decided to buy a big card – either 16Gb or 32Gb – so had a look around.

The main two makes in terms of pro cards are Lexar and Sandisk – so I’ve decided to stick with those. There seems to be two main speeds level available at the moment – 400x and 600x

My cards at the moment – from those mentioned above I have 3 Sandisk and 1 Lexar – the most recent 3 being Sandisk – but I’m not averse to trying Lexar again…. especially if the price is right.

So here are the Pro level Compact Flash cards that I found on the main sites :

Make Speed Size 7day Amazon Warehouse Jessops play.com MyMemory
Lexar 600x (UDMA) 16Gb £80 £82 £139 £95 £80
600x (UDMA) 32Gb £164 £239 £177
400x (60Mb/s) 16Gb £60 £58 £79 £61 £53
400x (60Mb/s) 32Gb £117 £105 £139 £100
Sandisk 600x (90Mb/s) 16Gb £100 £91 £149 £159 £111
600x (90Mb/s) 32Gb £195 £164 £235 £300 £201
400x (60Mb/s) 16Gb £60.64 £79 £95 £61 £73
400x (60Mb/s) 32Gb £113 £161 £180 £145 £130
400x (60Mb/s) 2x16Gb £143
UDAM7 – 100Mb/s 128Gb £635

(7day = 7dayshop; Warehouse = warehouse express

Since I’m not shooting video or sports – I think size will be the main priority here, and also ease in a way – if 2x16Gb cost the same as one 32Gb – I’d go for the 32 just so that I don’t have to swap out.

On a couple of lines – there is quite some saving to be had! E.g. compare the 16Gb 600x at 7dayshop for £80 compared to that at Warehouse Express for £139! A saving of £59 on an £80 item! Shopping around is not to be dismissed. I have bought stuff with Warehouse express for work before and they’re good suppliers – so it’s surprising to see this kind of difference.

If you’re wondering – yes the 128Gb card exists! And no I won’t buy it 😉

For my 32Gb craving, and on price generally I think I’m going to go for the Lexar 400x 32Gb from either Amazon or MyMemory – checking on postage costs and stock levels. Hope Lexar won’t let me down and make me regret swaping from Sandisk – shouldn’t do really.

Lexar Pro 400x 32Gb

One final word of warning – memory cards are one of the most copied / counterfited items around.  So if a price is too good to be true from an eBay or Amazon Marketplace seller – then it probably is too good. Have a search – there are lots of counterfeit guides on eBay for checking your cards.


D800 at long last ?

Woohoo!

Well maybe……

Rumours are currently rife that the camera I’ve been waiting YEARS for may finally be with us – the update to the D700 i.e. D800.

Why do I want a new camera and why have I been waiting for so long ?

For those that aren’t camera boffins – generally the race for more and more Megapixels in SLRs slowed down considerably over the last couple of years – and instead camera/sensor manufacturers have been consentrating more on low-ligh or High-ISO performance i.e. making the images less grainy/noisy when you crank the ISO up. Recent cameras such as Nikon D3s have had phenomenal High-Iso performance – with next to no noise at ISO 1600+

(If you don’t know – the dots/bits in film was called grain as it was due to the film emulsion, but in digital cameras it’s generally called “noise” as it’s due to electronic interference or noise…. hmm not sure if I explained that V well 😉 )

Now I use a Nikon D200 – this camera was announced November 2005! That’s almost 6 years ago – aeons in DSLR terms.

Why didn’t I upgrade ?

Well the options were –

D300 – more of an update than an upgrade. Didn#’t want to spend my money for just a smaller update.

D300s – and update of an update – as above really

D700 – Although much better camera it still only had 12Mpx and I did fancy more, especially for studio work. And then later on as Video comes into the frey – D700 just doesn’t have video. Not that Video was top of my list – I’m not dying to take moving images – but I just didn’t want to loose out.

D3/D3s/D3x – Too big (+pricey). I want a small body D-SLR.

So in effect I’ve been waiting for a D700, with more Mpx, and Video.

 

So it seems it’s finally here:

http://nikonrumors.com/2011/10/09/nikon-d800-specs-recap.aspx

Woo hoo!
But at 36Mpx (!!) it sounds like it’s more likely to be a baby updated D3x i.e. studio camera rather than a baby updated D3s – which is probably what would have suited me better.

My preference would be for a High-teens / low 20’s, small body camera with great High_ISO performance.

BUT I’ve been waiting so long for this – I’m damn right going to get it. So come November when allegedly it’s going to become available – I may be very very poor 😉

Here’s crossing everything hoping that the Nikon announcements on/around the 24th make me happy.


Stepper Bike UK

Union Jack - Custom

Sorry for not posting for a while – been terribly busy – both with work (i.e. daytime job) and also photo editing – covered a friends wedding and weddings always take me so long to edit.

So finally here’s a post – and one on photography I’ve been doing which is nice for a change. Continuing my run of product shoots I was asked by my good friend Zoe (aka*Ting*) to photograph her range of bikes which she imports and sells here in the UK – Stepper bikes.

Here are her websites:

https://www.facebook.com/stepperbikeuk

http://www.stepperbikeuk.biz + http://www.3gstepperbike.co.uk

This is product shoot on quite a different scale compared to food tins and hair products! Going from a little table top setup it was a case of using several lights (3) white backdrop paper and also white sheeting. Here;s the setup:

As you MAY imagine – stepper biles are a little different – instead of sitting on a saddle and pedlling you stand on them and – well step up and down! Did I try one? NO Don’t thing why I didn’t! Maybe just had the task at hand in my head instead.

We wanted all kinds of photos – full bikes of course but also detailed shots of various elements such as gearing, gear shifts (yes they even have gears!) etc.

So here you go – a selection of that evenings photos:

Oh and some silly messing about after we’d finished 😉