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In praise of small but vital gadgets

Buying a new camera is, of course, only the beginning of the spending. You soon find that certain small extras are indispensable. The Lumix G1 uses the faster, newer SDHC memory cards – better than the old SD cards, but almost inevitably they turn out to be incompatible with any card reader that you may have already. Connecting your camera direct to the USB port by cable is far from ideal, with a fiddly access flap and a tiny prong that looks easy to mis-connect. Enter the neat solution: slip the SDHC card into a USB card reader, mine for the princely sum of £3.69 (delivered) from the wonderful 7dayshop:


(And yes, I have seen this item even cheaper elsewhere, but having found 7dayshop reliable and helpful, I'd rather stick with them than risk disappointment.)

The next challenge was to sort out my tripod, which various time-wasting searches had failed to locate. When a close friend returned it recently after a two-year loan that I had forgotten all about, I was torn between delight that I hadn't, after all, lost it, and frustration that it came back missing the vital quick-release post, the piece that screws into the camera and connects it to the tripod:


Since the friend who had lost it reported failure with his local Jessops only at 5.25pm on Saturday, and I am off early tomorrow on a trip where I might get a front cover photo opportunity, replacing it seemed very urgent indeed. Most photo specialists seem to close at 5pm on a Saturday, so a very fast Google search was needed. It revealed recent exchanges on the website of the East of England Binocular Centre. Even better, the very helpful Chris was still answering his phone, they were in stock and charged just £10 including delivery. Considering that my tripod is 30 years old, and useless without this gizmo, I was only too delighted to pay up. Strangely for a binocular specialist, this seems to be one of their top sellers. Later, I found it also on Amazon, but at £18.95. So I am delighted to have found a small indie specialist doing a great job, and thanks to Google, I found it in time for them to dispatch on Monday and (thanks to the much-maligned Royal Mail) it arrived this morning.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 23, 2009 2:45 PM.

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