Monday, 29 July 2019

Canon Week arrives at Wex

Canon Week has arrived at Wex Photo Video, online and in store. Featuring a wide array of exclusive deals on Canon equipment, demonstration zones and a giveaway in each store, this is the perfect week to indulge yourself in some photographic retail therapy.

If you prefer to shop online, offers include free accessories worth £300 on the EOS 5DIV free accessories worth £600 on a new EOS R.

There is also 10% off all Canon EF lenses.

So if you are looking to buy your first Canon, or upgrade your existing one, now is the time to do it NOW!

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Sony A7R IV Digital Camera Body

Sony have announced the launch of their A7R Digital Camera, which is the world's first 35mm full-frame camera with 61 megapixel sensor, and is now available on pre-order from Wex Photo Video.

Sony’s coveted full-frame mirrorless line-up has officially entered its fourth generation, thanks to the announcement of the A7R Mark IV. This full-frame mirrorless titan builds on the sparkling legacy of its powerful predecessor, thanks to its class-leading 61MP sensor, 15 stops of dynamic range and up to 10fps burst shooting. This latest Alpha series announcement also boasts 5-axis in-body image stabilisation, 567 phase-detection AF points and 4K video capabilities. 

Sony A7 IV Key Features:

  • A brand new back-illuminated 35mm full-frame 61MP image sensor – a world's first.
  • The A7R IV rivals medium format image quality while retaining the Alpha series form factor.
  • 15-stop of enhanced dynamic range.
  • 5-axis Optical In-Body Image Stabilisation.
  • Superior AF performance: 567 phase-detection points, covering 74% of the frame.
  • Real-time tracking iAF for both humans and animals.
  • Built for video: Full sensor width capture, oversampled 6K for 4K capture, touch tracking, Slog2/3 for 14-stops of dynamic range, as well as Hybrid Log Gamma.
  • Real-time iAF tracking for video – a first for Sony.
  • Digital audio interface in camera – another first for Sony.
  • A reliable professional tool: Dual UHS-II slots, refined focus control, 5.76mil dot OLED, redesigned grip based on user feedback, improved sealing, 2.4+5GHz WiFi.
  • 5.76 million dot UXGA OLED viewfinder.
  • USB-C connector.

Buy Now Pay Later

With Wex's no deposit Buy Now Pay Later option, pay nothing for six months, then either settle the cash price in full by paying a £29.00 settlement fee, or choose to spread the cost over 36 months at 19.9% APR Representative. Please see the repayment examples on the Wex site to see how much purchasing this item on finance would cost.

Pre-order now from Wex Photo Video.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

New All in One Lens From Canon

Canon RF 24-240mm f4-6.3 IS USM Lens

Canon have introduced a brand new lens which makes the perfect travel companion, that’s ideal for everything from wide-angle landscapes to frame-filling portraits, and even close-up sport and wildlife.

The RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM is a true all-in-one lens. Its jaw-dropping 10x optical zoom makes it the most versatile optic in Canon's RF line-up, and it weighs just 750g. The powerful zoom's, Nano USM AF technology drives the autofocus motors almost silently, while still being incredibly quick and accurate.

Key Features:
  • Versatile 10x zoom range: Focal lengths covering 24-240mm
  • Near-silent Nano USM focusing: Fast for stills; smooth for video
  • Five-stop Image Stabilizer: Protects against blur from camera shake
  • Weighs just 750g: Portable lightweight design
  • Circular, seven-bladed aperture: For smooth, natural bokeh
  • Large lockable zoom ring: Turns through 100°
  • Clickless 1/8-stop aperture control: When shooting movies
  • Customisable control ring: Adaptable to the way you work
  • Full-time manual focusing: Take control at any time
  • Built for the EOS R system: Maximise the performance of your EOS R camera.
Buy this now from Wex Photographic - finance available.

Monday, 4 March 2019

Mobile Phone or Digital Camera?

I recently changed my mobile phone, partly because the battery on my old phone was not holding its charge for long, but mainly because I wanted something with more features and particularly with a better camera. When I am out for the purpose of taking photos, I am more than happy with my Canon EOS 80D, but I wanted something smaller and more portable for those instances where you come across a photo opportunity but do not have your camera with you.

I researched phones online and taking into account that I wanted an Android phone, that was available from my existing suppliers, was reasonably priced and was available as an upgrade on my existing plan, the outstanding candidate came out as the Samsung Galaxy S9 plus.

For a full and detailed review of this phone visit Techradar whose verdict states "You won't find a bigger and better Android phone than the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, thanks to its oversized 6.2-inch curved screen and low-light-defeating dual-lens camera."

Their review goes into far more detail than I possibly could, so I will just show a selection of images that I have taken since obtaining the phone.

I will start at Edgbaston Reservoir in Birmingham. Although it is only about a mile from where I live and about one and a half miles from the city centre, it is full of wild birds, including herons, swans, coots, moorhens and countless gulls. I walk round there a couple of times a week with friends (it is a 1.75 mile walk) and having the new phone means I can stop for a few seconds to take a photograph, without having to carry around a DSLR camera.
Edgbaston Reservoir
The view towards the dam on a hazy morning.
Grey Heron

Mute Swan
Two of my favourite birds to be found on the reservoir.

I also found the phone very useful on a trip down to London. Again, photography was not the purpose of the visit, so I did not take the camera, but I am pleased with the results of the following shots taken with the phone.
Parakeets seen in the neighbours garden in Wandsworth, London. The parakeets that are now well established in London and the Home Counties consists of rose-ringed parakeets (Psittacula krameri), a non-migratory species of bird that is native to Africa and the Indian Subcontinent. The origins of these birds are subject to speculation, but they are generally thought to have bred from birds that escaped from captivity.
Houseboat Garden
One morning we drove out to Kingston upon Thames where I couldn't resist this image of a garden on the roof of a houseboat moored in the Thames. Not far from this, the Hogsmill River feeds into the Thames and it is designated as a Waterfowl Conservation site.
Hogsmill River
As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats from stretched canvas or framed prints, metal or acrylic prints,or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. They are also available as greeting cards or printed onto iPhone or Galaxy phone cases, throw pillows, duvet covers or tote bags. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Caribbean Cruise - Ponta Delgada

On the 25th day after leaving Southampton we make our final stop on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores, one of two Autonomous Regions of Portugal, along with Madeira, where we made our first stop. It consists of nine volcanic islands in the North Atlantic Ocean about 850 miles west of continental Portugal, and about 1,196 miles southeast of Newfoundland, Canada.

Our port of call was Ponta Delgada an old town of characteristic narrow roads, and winding cobbled streets. The buildings are whitewashed with wooden balconies, the streets and squares are paved with mosaics and ornate churches decorate almost every street.
Sao Pedro
The first church you see as you walk out of the cruise terminal is that of Sao Pedro or St Peter.  The single-nave church is constructed in masonry stone, plastered and painted in white, with the bell tower to the left. This church dates back to the beginning of the 16th century and is one of the three oldest churches - as well as one of the smallest - in the country. 

Walking along the harbour from there, we came across the city gates.
City Gate
This is the view from the harbour road looking towards the gates, with the statue of explorer Goncalo Velho Cabral in the foreground, and the tower of the church of São Sebastião to the right. This give a good view of the ornate mosaics to be seen in many of the squares and streets. Walking through the gates, we can see the front facade of the church.

Sao Sebastiao
The Parish Church of Ponta Delgada dedicated to São Sebastião. The exterior includes notable Manueline and Baroque doorways. You can also see that it is has Christmas decorations on the front and you can just see the tops of reindeer, which are pulling a sleigh!

St Joseph
Walking further along the harbour road, we come across yet another cobbled square, with statuary mosaics. This is the church of St Joseph or Igreja de Sao Jose which is located on the edge of the square.
Museu Carlos Machado
Away from the sea front, towards the centre of the town we came upon the Carlos Machado Museum, which has been housed since 1943 in the former Convent of Santo André. The collection offers eclectic exhibits of historical artifacts, art & taxidermy.  Just to demonstrate that the town has buildings other than churches, I enjoyed the wall art on this gift shop on one of the narrow lanes.
Pele Osso
All good things must come to an end, and in the evening we departed Ponta Delgada to make our way back to Southampton. 
I think that this dramatic evening red sky provided a fitting end to what had been an unforgettable holiday!

Monday, 14 January 2019

Caribbean Cruise - St Maarten

So we come to the last Caribbean island of our cruise, Saint Martin, if you on the French half, or Sint Maarten on the Dutch half. We landed at Philipsburg, the capital of the Dutch half and the largest town in the island, with a population of around 40,000. There we 6 cruise ships in port the day we were there, putting the population up by about 50%!!
Cruise Ships
We took a taxi for a drive around the island, and the following image is from just outside Philipsburg, looking across the island and the airport, which can be seen in the centre of the image, with a plane on the runway.

Simpsons Bay Lagoon can be seen in the lower right corner, and again above it to the right of the airstrip with Simpsons Bay in front of the airstrip.

Maho Beach
Maho Beach in St Maarten famous for being adjacent to the Princess Juliana International Airport, and is a popular site for tourists and plane watchers. As you may see, many people are looking inland, because the fence at the back of the beach is actually, the end of the runway!

Leaving Maho Beach, we took the short journey to Marigot, the capital of French Saint Martin.
Fort St Louis
Fort St Louis overlooking the marina in Marigot. The fort was commissioned by royal governor Jean Sebastian de Durat, and was built in 1789 on a hill overlooking Marigot Bay to defend the harbor warehouses where expensive exports were kept, mainly coffee, sugar cane, rum, and salt, particularly from the English who frequently sailed over from Anguilla!

We couldn't leave the Caribbean without one more visit to a beach!
Orient Bay Beach
Orient Bay beach on St Martin, with sun loungers and umbrellas on golden sand with a clear blue sea and blue sky. Orient Bay is a coastal community and beach on the French side of the island. Until 1985 the area was undeveloped. Damage caused by Hurricane Luis in 1995 was quickly repaired but it was again hit by Hurricane Irma in 2017 and is again being redeveloped and remains one of the most popular beaches on the island.

We finally left the Caribbean, to head back home, calling at Ponta Delgada in the Azores after seven days at sea. Look out for my final post on this picturesque town.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Caribbean Cruise - Tortola

Our penultimate stop on our Caribbean Cruise was Road Town, the capital of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. With five very full days behind us, we decided to make this a day of rest! We travelled out to Cane Garden Bay, on the north shore of Tortola, about 5 miles west of Road Town, where we spent most of our day in a deck chair on the beach, with the occasional dip in the warm waters of the Caribbean.
Cane Garden Bay
Cane Garden Bay
As may be seen from the two images above, the beach was quiet with plenty of choice of deckchairs and umbrellas and the sea was calm, and warm. There were a few bars and restaurants around, which was a surprise to some visitors, showing how quickly the area bounced back after Hurricane Irma last year (2017).

Returning to the harbour, we had this view of Road Town and its harbour.

Road Harbour
The Inner Harbour and Marina are to the left.

Road Town
Viewing the town from the cruise ship pier, showing the horseshoe-shaped Road Harbour, as we set sail for our final Caribbean island, St Maarten. It is half French and half Dutch and is said to be one of the Caribbean's most diverse and interesting islands! Look out for my next post to see if you agree!