Lives in United Kingdom Warwickshire, England, United Kingdom
Works as a Designer
Has a website at
Joined on Jul 4, 2009
About me:

It all started in the 1970s when my parents bought me a Boots Instamatic film camera. I can remember doing what most children do when first getting their hands on a camera, they walk around the house photographing just about anything, from a wall socket to the floor. Things took a turn for the better when I won the annual photographic competition at my school 2 years in a row - using same Boots camera!

Then and later when I acquired a Konica range finder before my Minolta X-700 SLR, my father would scold me every time I pressed the shutter with "Alexander! That's 40p!" Was so happy when it all went digital and I could blow raspberries to that!

Being a UX person in my day job, I believe handling to be the most important aspect of a camera, and no one has got it right yet, although Fuji, Olympus, Pentax and Panasonic come closest to 'getting it' when it comes to position of controls and dials, the tactile feel and the way it all comes together.

Although I do once every year or so get paid to shoot photos or video by clients of my business if we become involved in their web presence, photography and video is mainly a hobby. My focus is 'recording' our family in a fly on the wall manner (I often leave camera on tripod recording video over a meal or during Christmas present unwrapping) and also making a historical record of my business and the development of it's technical innovations.

I believe (and Panasonic are executing on this) that video is the future of photography - no matter how some purists may react. As I type this on January 10 2016, having just been on a photographic walkabout in Savernake Forest, and shot some 4K video using my new GX8 plus Olympus 12-40 f2.8 M.Zuiko Pro, and then viewed it on my Dell 27" 4K monitor, the evidence is in: Hit Pause on the keyboard during playback (or grab a frame from a video editor) and the IQ of the still image is now equal to that of a high end prosumer camera or mid level DSLR of not long ago.

Of course, we will ALWAYS shoot stills (only way to get creative per shot), but for events, quote me on this, a few strategically placed Panasonic 'GH5's will capture the event in glorious 8K, and then later, the 'videophotographer' will pick frames from the various feeds, or even allow the client to do this.
(Samsung's amazing T1 and T3 pocket SSDs now make it practical to 'carry' high def video with you.)

And no doubt, VR will become part of the capture process too, although I have concerns about the technology's impact on society. (A topic beyond the scope of this DPreview bio!)

Anyway, back to the bio bit, I may considering releasing for sale some of my more creative photos.

Dear reader may be interested to know that I never do any post processing. I either don't have time or prefer things left as they came out of the camera. Only exception is to get creative or to fix a photo that is priceless but needs tweaking, perhaps when under exposed or corrupted.


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In reply to:

Shifter: I guess the model plane remote control hobby is toast. Spend a ton of hours building a wood model plane and then hope it flies... and with no HD gimbal cam! Thanks for the info, Lars.

Certainly not. (I'm a member of a model aircraft flying club.) There is no comparison in the cultures, use or skills required. We love building our aircraft and the risks that go with flying, where we are responsible for a pref flight test every time: Prop? Check! Ailerons? Check! Flaps? Check! Elevators? Check! Rudder? Check! Forward with the joystick, and we have take off!

And when you suffer a mid air issue, such as unexpected battery failure or a servo connection breaks, you then have to use your best skills to 'bring her down'. (I have captured several such in flight emergencies from a GoPro mounted on my aircraft or my head. Makes for compelling viewing, a bit like a movie really!)

And am trying to find the time to build my own autonomous videography drone. There is something special about putting it all together your self.

The sorts of people at the r/c clubs are often retirees too who fly for a similar reason as fishing, it is quite relaxing, in particular when gliding.

Link | Posted on Jul 24, 2016 at 08:04 UTC
In reply to:

Ben O Connor: Dear Lenovo/Moto whatever... Please make an agreement by Olympus. They had such a great camera coupled with strong optics back then called XZ and Stylus camera range. Those cameras were very strong in terms of photography that Pentax and Casio also made their own (Pentax MX-1 , Casio ex-whatever)
Olympus can make such camera which has lacking of rear screen, where we can stick a moto x camera by its 16pins magnetically. And photos can record directly to phones memory as well as sd card!!! And when we don't use the camera, it can be shut down and phone can be taken off from it. It would be a FANTASTIC VALUE for motorola/Lenovo and for us Olympus lovers, who are really keen on final image quality at any conditions of any photography!

Good idea, ignore the rude commenter who is trolling.

Link | Posted on Jul 11, 2016 at 14:35 UTC
In reply to:

chipmaster: Anyone have questions why Motorola is now a footnote in the phone business, LOL. I can remember when the RAZR was the iPhone / Galaxy must have brand, now sold off to some Chinese company...

They are not a footnote, they own the low end thanks to the G and E series, and when the Z hits the stores, it will sell because it's very sexy and had a better thought out modular system than the LG G5, which whilst a powerful phone, is fugly. BTW, camera in my Note 4 was outstanding, and the more recent phones are even better.

Link | Posted on Jul 11, 2016 at 14:34 UTC

This is easily the most ground breaking innovation in photography since the invention of the camera, more so than Lytro. Although I imagine Light could do Lytro. I have always wished it would become technologically possible to develop a pocket camera with the resolving power of a large sensor DSLR. This is it. And it works like nature, using a compound 'eye'.

Link | Posted on Jul 7, 2016 at 18:06 UTC as 31st comment | 8 replies
On article Medium-format mirrorless: Hasselblad unveils X1D (1188 comments in total)

Looks lovely, but why no articulating display? One of THE most important features for improved ergonomics and reduced body ache. And ease of getting creative low level shots. Further, I guess the lack of 4K is because it's for studio and landscape stills use?

Link | Posted on Jun 22, 2016 at 13:38 UTC as 276th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

Clint Dunn: I can't believe how many nutjob comments on here from the 'Truther' fools saying this is fake...'like the moon landing'. What has society come to that masses of people have such a distrust for their gov't that they want to re-write history. Some of these idiots even think the Earth is flat:

Please tell me most of you were just fooling around or trying to be ironic...and not just complete morons.

I met someone in London 5 or 6 years ago who did NOT believe the moon landing ever happened and that it was all staged in a studio, like the movie Capricorn One (excellent BTW!) I reminded him that during my 10 years in Silicon Valley (1991-2000), I had met (and even hired) individuals who without ANY assistance had the maths and engineering skills to have single handedly planned (trajectory etc) and 'coded' (IE, written the software for the flight computers) the mission, and possibly even built some of the rocket components. (I'm a software engineer, and like Elon Musk's Space X, most of what navigates and keeps in the air flying machines, from aircraft to rockets (and birds!) - is software. Without it, birds, the F-22 jet (& all other aircraft), rockets and all else would flop to the ground, no matter how well engineered.

We went to the moon on software, robust hardware and a prayer.

We're on mars thanks to software, hardware and experience.

Link | Posted on Jun 14, 2016 at 09:13 UTC

Professionally done, but visual evidence of why cities are not fit for human occupation. No green spaces or wide walking streets, just the odd tree - unlike cities built hundreds of years ago. So you live on level 50 of a glass tower. No garden to tend, park for the kids to run about in playing football. We appear to be creating a world that will be aesthetically interesting in a video game (and to blow up, such as in Battlefield 4), but that is detrimental to our QOL. (Quality Of Life.)

Anyway, this is a photography forum, so I will get off my high tower and be gone. ;)

Link | Posted on Jun 14, 2016 at 08:55 UTC as 23rd comment | 2 replies
On article Sweet spot: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 real-world samples (115 comments in total)

My GX8 took way sharper shots, although the one of the strawberry is nice. I had no problem with shutter shock BTW. I also handled a GX80/85 the other day. Nothing like as flexible and not as compact as the GX7 that is still a great camera itself. Put an Oly 12-40mm Zuiko Pro on the GX8 and you have a killer combination. Just ensure you use a tripod for video being the lens is not stabilised. Here is to the GX9, smaller than the GX8, but with same manual controls a flip out display and 5 axis stabilisation.

Link | Posted on Jun 1, 2016 at 15:55 UTC as 18th comment | 2 replies

Now put it back together in less than 10 minutes. Go on, I dare you! Oh, and it must work! ;) Reminds me of when I was younger and I would take apart all my toys and electronic gadgets, including a Panasonic RQ-546FLSD radio cassette recorder. (Yup, I remember the model number!) They ALWAYS worked when I put them back together again. Worst thing was dropping a tiny screw when it detached from the magnetised screwdriver and fell back into the machine or onto the floor to vanish into the carpet pattern! Grrr. So I learned to use Blutack to hold the screws to the driver and undo screws with the device held upside down, so screw would fall away from device and onto table. Genius!

Back to the LX-100 itself, as others have said, flip out touch screen and a few other improvements would make a great compact alternative to the GX8/GX80/85. Awesome tactile controls. But my (since sold alas) Samsung EX2F still best compact I have ever owned. Fast lens was awesome!

Link | Posted on May 7, 2016 at 20:40 UTC as 10th comment

It's funny, because after 3 or so months of using the excellent Panasonic GX8, I hardly ever popped the screen out (except for video 'selfies'), using the VF most of the time. Unless it was plain obvious an image was tripe (missed shot etc), I did all my reviewing back at base on a superb Dell 27" 4K monitor, where I can pixel peep properly. Even with the GX8's superb VF, unless you're staring an image in the face at 'full size', it is never the same. Leica may well be onto something here for still photogs.

Link | Posted on Apr 29, 2016 at 14:32 UTC as 119th comment | 1 reply

When Lytro launched their first (innovative but impractical) camera, I said Canon or Adobe should buy them. Neither did, and being they had so much venture finding ($200m if I recall) I knew they would survive to eventually get their business model right, and they have, as their remarkable machine announced at NAB shows. Canon make very good (high end) movie cameras, but have Sony and Panasonic on their tail, but most importantly of all, Canon's greatest technology has always been their AF. So it would have made sense for them to invest in a technology that makes focusing obsolete in specific use cases - namely Lytros.

Instead, they launched the unversatile unimaginative M series so Panasonic and Oly ate them for lunch.

I have never owned a Canon camera (love their scanners and printers!), but know how good their gear can be from other users and results, but they cannot rest on their past reputation.

Buy Lytro Canon & launch a revolutionary multi-focus APSC mirrorless.

Link | Posted on Apr 27, 2016 at 13:42 UTC as 41st comment | 5 replies
On article Upwardly mobile: Sony a6300 Review (2136 comments in total)

TBH, for this money, I would get a GH4 + 12-35 f2.8 or other versatile lens. Still best in class video from my year of more of viewing 4K on YouTube. Plus you get all the sockets (mic/headphone etc) And of course, a usable menu system and tactile on body controls. I have owned an NEX 5R and an NEX 3 model before my current camera (GX8). These cute Sony's are capable of superb stills and video, but a pain to use! A6300 seems v pricey for it's deficiencies although it is technically amazing how Sony can cram so much advanced tech into such a small body - their expertise.

Link | Posted on Apr 7, 2016 at 08:45 UTC as 166th comment | 6 replies
On article Look Sharp: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85/GX80 video preview (130 comments in total)

Do you have to have a beard to work at DPreview? ;)

Market calls for a hispstermatic custom themed camera for the cereal cafe crowd. Pentax? Your move guys!

Barman, mine's a manly silver GX8, shaven but not 5 axis stirred.

I'll show myself out...

Link | Posted on Apr 5, 2016 at 10:54 UTC as 19th comment | 6 replies

As a GX8 owner, the fact they left out a flippy forward screen (ideal for composing video), mic input, exp comp dial and a flip up EVF indicates that other than the slightly improved stabilization and shutter, GX8 is still the top end.

Link | Posted on Apr 5, 2016 at 08:44 UTC as 31st comment | 5 replies
In reply to:

BattleBrat: An SD card reader!! Finally!! If the iPad Pro 2 has 3D Touch and Adobe makes its version of Photoshop more capable I might just have to pick one up for light editing to compliment my Surface Pro...

Not built in, so another excuse for Apple to milk you.

Link | Posted on Mar 21, 2016 at 22:03 UTC
On article Sony a6300 gallery updated with Raw conversions (137 comments in total)

Test (Sorry, commenting system wasn't' working under a different news item, so I am testing here. Seem to work, odd.)

Link | Posted on Mar 19, 2016 at 13:38 UTC as 13th comment
On article Great Eight: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 review (537 comments in total)
In reply to:

MrTaikitso: As a 3 month GX8 owner, I think this review pretty spot on, although I did not know about the shutter shock until now. I have the 12-35 f2.8 Panasonic lens and just switched on Auto Electronic Shutter and set the shutter to between the speeds mentioned, and the Auto ES did not activate, so I'm assuming the 12-35 lens is not in the list.

Grip wise, this is always subjective. While the GX8 is not as comfy as the G7 or GH4 (or the Oly EM series), I don't find it a problem for my hands thatare medium sized, I'm 5' 11".

As with all m4/3, interior low light stills are a no no, unless you have a very fast lens (20mm 1.7 or the totesamazeballs Nocitron* 1.2), BUT, as per this review, the GX8 really is outstanding in all conditions for video, just keep the aperture wide open and ISO below 1200 and things will stay peachy. I shot a 30 minute movie in a badly lit interior the other day and it turned out great.

*Component of the USS Enterprise 1701 Warp Drive coil. :D

Is there another update, IE, since about January? I think both my body and lens are all up to date. Either way, I have yet to experiment enough to observe shutter shock. I'll do some experiments to see what the fuss is all about when time allows. (Am mainly a video guy, so less of an issue anyway.)

Link | Posted on Mar 8, 2016 at 22:27 UTC
On article Samsung NX500 shown as discontinued (273 comments in total)

Their phone cameras (I have a Note 4) are outstanding, and now, even in low light with the new S7. Advantages:

1. Longer battery life (being charging is less of a hassle)
2. Fit in your pocket!
3. Automatic uploading to the cloud (such as the awesome Google Photos), so you never really run out of capacity, unless shooting oodles of 4K.
4. Intuitive touch screen operation - pinch to zoom etc
5. Ability to Pause whilst recording video - something NO proper camera (inc my GX8) can offer. Really really useful if you are interviewing someone & they wish to cough, or there is a short break in a football game etc. You don't have to glue different parts of your video together later in an editor.
6. You can talk to people on it, play games, do work (in Google Docs etc)
7. Affordable upgrade path if you get it on contract

A few more iterations of phone cameras and they will equal today's APS-C.

Either way, great pity Samsung were unable to get the NX1 into more hands, awesome performance!

Link | Posted on Mar 8, 2016 at 22:25 UTC as 59th comment | 6 replies
On article Samsung NX500 shown as discontinued (273 comments in total)
In reply to:

captura: A tweet from Samsung, "Sorry, we no longer make Samsung cameras. But please consider buying a Samsung fridge instead." Believe it?

I owned an EX2F (most consistently reliable in all conditions camera I ever owned, and wish I had never sold it!) Chose a Samsung fridge for our mum, (actually, she chose it, as it looks lovely in grey!), and it's not only well designed, but very quiet and reliable. LED lighting too! Samsung stuff is in fact pretty good. Their staff are the problem, try getting anything sorted via their support centers here in the UK, not a pleasant experience, contrast with Apple.

Link | Posted on Mar 8, 2016 at 22:17 UTC
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