I've always tried to support the local economy by purchasing locally. I don't mind paying a little bit extra for the local support and warranty. But, I do object to paying huge premiums for the local convenience.
I had to rethink this strategy of local procurement recently when I purchased a new Olympus 11-22mm F2.8-F3.5 lens.
The best local (New Zealand) price that I could find on the lens was around $1600 NZ. This seemed very excessive to me so it was time to do some investigations. After a quick look at the Amazon website it was obvious that I could do much better than this.
While on a recent trip to Wellington my family and I went up to the top of Mt Victoria to get a cityscape of the city. It was just on Dusk and anyone who has been to Wellington can verify this - they don't call it the Windy City for nothing.
Mid-Summer and we were rugged up with jumpers and jackets, true to form it was blowing near gale force winds. The wind chill factor must have been close to zero degrees Celcius.
I have been dragging my family around the country for the past couple of years and they have learnt patience for which I am grateful. When they had all had enough they went back to the car and thawed out while I waited about another 10 minutes for the right light.
As your interest in photography increases and you demand more from your photography you will undoubtedly end up spending some money upgrading and purchasing additional equipment. By the time you consider your camera body (or bodies), lenses, flash, flash cards, tripod, camera bag, portable storage devices and other peripheral equipment you may be surprised at how much your kit is actually worth.
Once you have an itemised list of your equipment it is a good idea to take a look at your insurance policy to ensure that you are adequately covered. Depending on your circumstances your requirements will vary.
When I purchased my Olympus E-300 Digital SLR twin lens kit a couple of years ago I had the option of purchasing an extended 5 year warranty for an extra $200. This seemed a bit much to me at the time did and I didn't really want to spend the extra money.
But after some gentle persuasion (and a big wad of cash in my hand) I was able to talk the sales rep into giving me a $200 discount on the deal. So, effectively I got a 5 year warranty on the package for free.
For the past 2 1/2 years it has performed exceptionally well without any issues. That is, until I went to adjust the diopter but the dial would not move.
Things have come along way since I was at school. There are a lot more choices when it comes to subject choice. When my daughter came home with her subject choices, she was keen to take up photography as she has developed an interest over the past few years being dragged around the countryside with me. Having my hand-me-down Olympus E-300 she has started to explore and experiment with her own photographic techniques.
So, it would be a good choice to reinforce what she is already starting to learn. But my surprise came when I learnt that what they would be taught was film rather than Digital. Sure, the basic principles of photography and composition are going to be the same but once you have learnt the basic that's where it ends.
Perhaps it's a monetary thing? Not everyone can afford a Digital SLR for their children to learn with (I would say that most can't, but perhaps a few can). While you can pick up a reasonable film body and standard lens for around $100 - $200. Regardless of what the reasons are I believe that they are not being taught what is relevant as a photographer today. But, on the other hand film and film development cost are becoming very expensive now.
## Updated 30th July 2009 ##
Whether you are an amateur or professional photographer you need to understand your rights and moral responsibilities.
Laws around photography and copyright vary from country to country, so make sure you understand what is applicable to you.
If you are in New Zealand one of the best sources for information is the Advertising and Illustrative Photographers Association (AIPA). They have a lot of photography related resources (many of which are written by, Clendon Feeney Barristers and Solicitors) available, including:
- Image Licencing Contracts.
- Model and Property Release documents.
- Numerous White Papers.
Having received my new Olympus E-510 twin lens kit, Digital SLR a few days ago I thought it only fitting to share my first impressions. Having used an Olympus E-300 for the past couple of years I will use that as a reference point for the comparisons.
This is not a full product review, just my initial thoughts!
The first thing that I noticed even before I opened the box was the size of the box. It wasn't very big, or heavy, I was wondering if they had forgotten something? No, it was all there!
When I bought my first Digital SLR about 2 years ago Compact Flash cards were, expensive, small and slow. These days it is common place to have 4 - 8 Gig cards.
But be aware, not all cards are created equally. Don't make the mistake of buying on price alone. Make sure you go with a reputable brand. My personal choice at the moment is the Sandisk Extreme III card. It represents both good value for money and performance at 133x speed (the 266x extreme IV is also becoming very cost effective). The Sandisk extreme series of cards are designed for extreme environmental conditions with the professional photographer in mind.
Most people browsing the internet are either blissfully unaware that what they are seeing is not what it should be, or just accept the fact that the colours are not right. I guess is doesn't really matter which category you fall into as for most people this isn't really important anyway.
Where is does become important is when you get some photos printed either commercially, or at home and the result is not what you are expecting. This is particularly evident when trying to get skin tones right.
You can either muck around with the numerous different methods posted on the internet and try to calibrate your monitor visually. From my experience this won't prove to be very successful or you can start to look at a hardware device to do the calibration for you.
We have just introduced a new service which allows photographers to add a FREE listing to our website.
Our Photographer Finder service is categorised via:
- Photography category
- New Zealand Region (for NZ sites only)