Take a Lesson – Please!

Henry’s Cameras had their semi-annual camera show at Toronto’s International Centre last weekend and aside from them never getting the list of workshops up online in time, the show was pretty good. Unlike the upcoming Vistek show which features famous photographers offering workshops, Henry’s counts on their contract teachers whose presentation skills vary to put it politely.

One guy who always delivers is Michael Willems, who has been with Henry’s for several years and is by far the most popular instructor they have.

At the show, Michael was doing workshops on lenses and at the end of every presentation he had a line up of new photographers with lots of questions. That’s Michael in action thanks to my IPhone.

The funniest thing I saw (or maybe the saddest when it comes to knowing your camera) was a guy in his 50s with his big shiny DSLR shooting a model who was there as part of a studio light demonstration using his pop-up flash.

Now the girl was gorgeous but the idea behind the display was shoot the photo using the lights provided and not your cheesy pop up flash.

Folks when you invest $1,000 or more into a camera and maybe buy another lens for $500 to $2500 and an external flash, please invest $100 in a three-hour camera course. Michael and I both offer courses in everything from better point-and-shoot photography to advanced courses for emerging professionals.

But if you’re not in the Toronto area find someone locally who offers courses and sign up there.

BTW I bought a Panasonic HM-TA1 High-Def mini camcorder which was a show special at $89.

It’s a sweet simple 1080p camcorder that’s just right for always being handy in your pocket. You can upload MP4 files right into Facebook or YouTube via the built-in USB plug.

Oh the camera also works on Skype creating a much better image than the built-in camera in my MacBook Pro. The little sucker even shoots 8 meg still images.

The camera was retailing for $170 last year when it was introduced so at around half price this was a steal (and lots of fun).

Speaking of video recorders, I got the external microphone plug-in device for my Olympus E- PL2 which takes stunning 720p video using any of the lenses I now have for the micro 4/3s system.

The external stereo mic creates much better audio than the built-in mono mic and allows for other mics to be plugged into the adaptor.

The audio on the Panasonic is okay considering it’s a built-in mic but can’t compete with the much more expensive Olympus.

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