Been purchasing a few tidbits lately, probably more than I should be, but when they come up for a great price, how can anyone say no? OzBargain is a curse and blessing in itself!
The first purchase was the lovely Sigma 35mm f/1.4 lens, a lot of hype around this lens as it was announced and stock was hard to come by in a Nikon mount. Purchased for $810 when DigiDirect had 10% off excellent price for essentially the first batch to Australia.
By all reports, this thing was amazing and once I had it in my hand, the initial impressions were right. The thing is built like a tank, very solid and the feel of the lens is great. Finish is a black smooth plastic and gives it a very nice sleek, professional look. Focus rings are smooth with enough resistance to keep adjustments tight.
The amazing thing is once you mount it on the camera, holy moly, this thing is SHARP. Performance at f/1.4 is great, but at f/2 it’s seriously good. Gives me plenty of confidence to use it wide open, unlike most fast primes I’ve used in the past.
Autofocus performance is okay, not super fast like the fastest Nikon zooms, but good enough to get a good keeper rate. Unfortunately I’ve had some issues with it on my D600 body with focus being way off at times, fortunately, on my D700, it’s been spot on.
More camera related gear leads me to an awesome GoPro Hero 3 Black edition, again picked up for a great price of $349 inc shipping on one of them eBay group buy thingies.
Thoughts? Pretty nifty thing to have, the WiFi is a nice edition and gives you a live view preview and allows you to control the camera and its settings. Useful thing to have as it’s usually rather hard to know what the GoPro is actually seeing.
Heaps of bits and bobs but longer comes with a choice between suction mount and head mount (ala Outdoor vs. Motorsport edition of previous).
Only gripe about this thing is the battery life, it’s pretty bad, shooting at 1080p with the WiFi remote gives you about 30ish minutes of life. Doing still time lapses will net you about 45 minutes of exposure.
Image quality is great though, however I’m yet to put it through its paces and do some slow-mo stuff, which is the real reason you get a black edition, 1080p at 60 fps or 120 frames at 720p is certainly a good thing to have.
Final big ticket purchase has been a shiny Mac Book Pro 15″ retina, most of you may find this a surprise given my general stance on Apple products, however I really do like the Mac Book Pro line and think it’s really one of the nicest laptops out there. Got the i7 2.6GHz with 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD.
Main reasons for purchase? Uber high-res screen, decent battery life when and lots of grunt. After checking benchmarks and noting it was quicker than my desktop (which was a quad core i7 920), i decided it would fit the bill for my photo editing.
Mac OS would be something to get used to but after having used it for a little while, I think it’s quite nice. It’s not as smooth as I was expecting, but it certainly is a well polished OS.
Things I do like:
- Gestures on the touch pad
- Multiple desktops and switching with a 3 finger swipe
- Mission control to see what’s open
- Finder to open just about anything
- The screen, viewing images is just so crisp!
- Thin and light for the size
Things I don’t like:
- I really miss the Windows 7 feature of being able to snap windows to half your desktop by dragging or Win + Left/Right
- It gets pretty damn warm when doing intensive stuff.
- The rubber feet underneath don’t do a good enough job of preventing the laptop from moving around on a desk.
- T styled MagSafe2 connector, much prefer the previous 90 degree one, doesn’t disconnect as easily.