Saturday, November 17, 2007

Yesterday Panasonic lowered the price of the FZ18 in Canada. If you have been reading my blog you will know this is one of my favourite cameras. This camera has been hard for me to sell lately, not because there is not the demand, but because of the difference in cost between Canada and the U.S. Grand Forks is a border town, I can look out the window of our store and see the United States of America, customers here are more aware of differences. There are two reasons that it is hard to sell the Fz18 , my customer not wanting to pay too much and myself not feeling good about it costing more here than there. Of course what I have to offer a customer is very different, and for some more value, than from a larger store experience but there is a point where too many dollars is also important. Canadian warranty is usually better and most customers understand what it can mean to spend the money they earn, in this town, not out of town or out of the country. This brings me to one of my personal rants about how our media and Government have misled the consumer into believing that prices should drop in Canada as our dollar is stronger. As I see it, it is not as much about our dollar being strong as it is the U.S. dollar being very weak. Eighteen months ago was the last time I was in England and Europe and guess what, the exchange was almost the same then as it is today. But in the last eighteen months the U.S. dollar has lost 30 per cent of its value against not only the Canadian dollar but also most of the other world currencies. I think I know what is going to happen next, that Panasonic FZ18 camera that now costs Canadians less in Canada, also just went up in cost on the other side of the border. As well as checking industry news every morning I check prices. I think with the weak U.S. dollar we will see prices rise in the U.S.The photo above was taken with the FZ18 during a dinner cruise of the Toronto harbour where I was able to speak with this industry's suppliers about cross border prices and there was the thought that someday, for Canadians,a camera bought at home might not just be better for Canada, but it might cost less too. Bill Wilby

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Using the Sigma Sd14 camera has changed something for me. I have started looking more for colours in my photos. The photo above was taken this morning while looking at the blue reflected in the water. When viewing the photo I began to think that the depth of colour I see may have something to do with the colour black, captured with this camera. The third dimension displayed in a two dimensional flat printed photo often is because of the texture defined by its shadow. An example would be the contrast of the dark shadows that can separate the trees from the forest. Also I was just reading the forum titled "Sigma SLR talk" on and someone wrote that this camera has a personality. If using this camera can affect how I feel and think about my photography I would agree. Bill