I never shoot film. I have taken probably 100,000 photos in my life and since I bought my first digital camera, I have never shot a film camera. I had no desire to do so. That being said, I have always wanted a Twin Lens Reflex camera. My grandfather had one (probably a Kodak Dualflex) and I have always loved the look of Rolleiflex cameras.
The other day while working on something at Don’s Photo, a customer came in with a large collection of gear. One of them was a Yashica Mat-124 G twin lens reflex camera.
It is a medium format camera (way bigger negatives than 35mm film) and not exactly the easiest to use but they are fascinating to me and I find them incredibly cool. The gentleman wanted to sell it on consignment and after taking a look at it and the price, I decided to purchase, if only to own a piece of history. Also, as Paul McCartney shows, it’s a great selfie camera (I’m kidding).
The first step was to load some film into it. Which I’ll be honest, I had to ask a colleague on how to do. it isn’t the easiest process to master. After we did that, the camera is extremely easy to use and still meters. It’s not a point and shoot but it is really easy to use.
Since the Yashicamat camera is basically a Rolleiflex copy, the controls take a similar configuration. Build quality is very good and when the lens is stopped down, it takes excellent photos.
Now all I need to do is grow a beard, wear tight jeans, and some flannel, ride a fixie and I too can take part of the hipster revival on 20th Street.
A couple of weeks ago search results looking for Christmas gift ideas started to appear so I knew it was time to dust off the Christmas Gift Guides and start on 2012â€™s. As usual, I start with the kids and move from there. If you have any idea or feedback, let me know in the comments.
Shopping for a tween or a teenager is hard. Amazon suggests MacBooks, they all want $600 iPhone and if you get it wrong, they will hate you forever. Welcome to shopping for a teenager. Here are some ideas that are cool, won’t break the bank, and may actually inspire them.
I have long been a fan of Virgin Mobile prepaid for teens. You can control their data, their minutes, and if something goes wrong and the phone is lost, you aren’t hit with a massive phone bill or contract. Everyone wins. The HTC Desire C ($149) has the newest version of Android Ice Cream Sandwich, a 5 megapixel camera, and a sound system that is by Beats by Dre. It’s only $149 upfront and you can either put that on their no-contract plan or go prepaid. It’s not a Samsung Galaxy III or a iPhone 5 but for someone that is 12 or 13 years old, they don’t need a better phone than you. If you really want to spoil the kid, you can get them some Beats by Dre headphones ($149) to go with it but a more fiscally sound and responsible choice may be these highly rated and fairly inexpensive JVC Xtreme-Xplosivs headphones ($14.99).
While Kodak has fallen on hard times, it still makes a great little compact camcorder in the Kodak Playsport ($80). It’s shockproof, rustproof, and waterproof to a depth of 10 ft. Since it is designed to be used on the go, it has built-in image stabilization to smooth out the ride. It also has a share feature making it easy to get the video onto YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. If you want more stability from a manufacturer, check out the Sony Bloggie camera (or the Sport model). All are great options for your young aspiring filmmaker.
Of course they will need some adventures to film. Geocaching is extremely popular all over the world and Magellan has created the eXplorist GC Waterproof Geocaching GPS ($119). It easily connect to the Geocaching.com User Community and perform "Send to GPS," create and sync Pocket Queries, and upload Field Notes. Pre-loaded with the most popular geocaches in the world. Additionally, the product comes packed with common outdoor GPS features, such as waypoint creation, a worldwide base map, active tracking, and trip odometer.
If they are a gamer, chances are that they have grown out their Nintendo DS. If they have, check out the PS Vita ($249). With any gaming system it is all about the games and I am pleasantly surprised the amount of good looking games there are out there for the PS Vita (compared to the PSP). There is Assassin’s Creed III ($39), Madden 13 ($25), or FIFA 13 ($39)
While my son would love aniPod Touch ($299), I am not sure if any child needs to be online 24/7. There is a great alternative in the new iPod Nano ($149), especially if the child you are shopping for is extremely active (or you want them to be more active). The redesigned iPod nano now has a larger, 2.5-inch Multi-Touch display. It plays music and has Genius playlists and FM radio. It has enough memories to watch watch movies and widescreen videos on the bigger screen. The iPod Nano tracks your steps, your runs, and burned calories and syncs to the Nike+ website to challenge friends. And with built-in Bluetooth technology, you can wirelessly connect to speakers, headphones, or car stereos. While you are at it, you can add some amazingiHome rechargeable mini speakers as well.
If your child is a skateboarder, you may want to consider a Tony Hawk skateboard deck and kit. I know what you are thinking, "What’s Tony Hawk a skater back when I was a kid?" and the answer is yes and somehow he is still skating and he is still pretty awesomeâ€¦ if you consider a 900 degree turn on a skateboard awesome.
If you teen is planning to do something awesome like that, you may want to get them a GoPro camera ($169) and a headstrap to record the madness/injury.
Sometimes the best technology and gifts are some of the most basic. Binocular prices have dropped while the optics are still great. A pair of compact Bushnell binoculars ($30) are perfect for a hike, some urban exploring, and compact enough to toss in a bag. If taken care of, they will last a lifetime.
Canada at War follows the developments and setbacks, wins and losses, of a nation learning to stand up for itself in the midst of the most difficult war of the 20th century.
In graphic-novel format, fully illustrated and in full colour, Canada at War shows the growth of a nation’s army, navy and air force through movingly depicted triumphs and tragedies. From the disheartening losses at Dieppe and Hong Kong through the Battle of the Atlantic and the invasion of Sicily, it focuses on the human dimension of the key battles and decisions that ultimately swung the war in the Allies’ favour.
This poignant graphic account ends, after the victories of D-Day and Juno Beach and the liberation of Europe, with a final reckoning of the legacy these storied years have had on a country forged through war. Aimed at both adult and young adult readers, this very human history tells the stories behind some of this country’s most distinguishing military moments.
If I missed anything or if my suggestions made you think I was absolutely crazy, let me know in the comments. You can access the current edition and previous years list of Christmas gift guideshere.
Ever since the Apple iSight came out, I have been clamoring for a webcam that would rival the Apple iSight. I assumed it would come from Logitech but it actually came from Microsoft. Itâ€™s only several years late but itâ€™s finally here and it has HD. Itâ€™s about time.
Wendy wanted to get me a camera for Christmas.Â She started to second guess what kind to get and decided to get my input on it.Â We have looked around a lot and are torn between a Fujifilm s2000HD camera.Â It is an extended zoom camera with a 15 times zoom.Â I have had a Dimage Z10 for several years and I loved it.Â The Fujifilm s2000HD would be an improved version of it with ten megapixels instead of 3.2 and a longer zoom.
The other option is to get a Olympus Evolt E-410 DSLR with two lenses.Â It is more money but it is an awfully afforable DLSR.Â Of course I would then have to learn how to shoot with a DSLR.
My question is that I take a lot of landscape shots and just casual shots around the house.Â I also take a point and shoot Kodak with me a lot of the time.Â You can take a look at my account on Flickr to see what I tend to shoot if you need some context.
Which camera do you think I should get?Â Should Olympus’s 3/4 lense mount worry me (it is “open source” now) or should I lean towards a Nikon or Canon?Â For you DSLR people out there, do you carry yours around a lot or do you find that you carry a point and shoot?Â How long did it take you to become comfortable shooting with your DSLR?