DehumidifierI bought a set of these from one of the caravan shops, Streetwize mini dehumidifiers. I’ve photographed them next to my van keys so you can see the scale of size. I think I paid about £21 on the basis that they plug into the mains and dry out, or recharge if you like. So, the gel beads which you can see n the little window turn pink when they have absorbed as much moisture as they can then you plug them in for some hours and they turn blue when they are ready to be used again.

Sounds good but there are 2 problems with them. Firstly, they go pink really, really quickly. I recharged them about 6-7 times and each time was the same, it seemed only like a couple of days before they went pink again. I compare them with the Dry-Bags that I’ve used for years. They’re tiny grains of clay/salt and when they go dark brown indicating they’ve absorbed as much moisture as they can, you put them in the oven and 6-8 hours later they’re very light brown and ready to absorb moisture again. The Dri-Bags can take months to be ‘full’, whereas the Streetwize mini’s take sometimes only a few days. So in those terms they need an awful lot of maintenance.

Secondly, I can’t remember what the leaflet said, but they take hours to recharge to blue. Generally I plugged one in when I was running the generator, which runs for 12 hours on one tank of fuel. Those 12 hours charge my batteries so whilst that’s doing I also charge my phone, razor, laptop etc etc etc. You can only plug one of these mini’s in at a time and after 12 hours it was only just say blue. There were still hints of pink in some of the beads. I run the generator usually once every 3 days, so if the mini is only lasting 3 days, it means only one is ever in use at a time. Personally I find them very inefficient and for the money they cost they are of extremely limited value to me.

Dry-bags on the other hand last for weeks and sometimes months, and then when wet I tend to put them in the oven with the gas lit to 1/4 and leave them overnight. That’s about 7-8 hours. They’re dry by then and ready to work again. Far superior and now I’ve tried a couple of solutions, I will be getting more Dry Bags and sticking with them.

My new camera

I finally got my shiny new Canon 5D Mark III and guess what? I’m happy with it 🙂

From the day the Mark II was released and I got my hands on one, I was never impressed, despite all the reviews saying how great it was and all the pros rushing out and buying one. A lot of people seemed to focus on it’s video mode but it’s a still camera, and I felt video mode should not be centre stage.
Anyway, the IQ (Image Quality) is what counts for me, and it just wasn’t there in the Mk II.

It is in the Mark III though, sharpness and contrast being back on par with the Mark I, but greater tonal and dynamic range. It is what the Mark II should have been.
I think what large companies like Canon do is they make a product which they know will sell, but without devoting time and resources to it’s development. That way they get massive revenues for little outlay. It’s just revenue building. Then the next time they release the camera as it should have been, and we’re all pleased again and once more Canon are great for making a brilliant camera.

In fact they have this thing called Product Differentiation. This means the 6D has wireless and GPS built in, but no other camera has. The 7D has ultra fast shooting speed compared to other cameras. The 5D has better focussing etc etc etc. They say it’s because different people want different things so they make the different products. However, every person who owns a 5D Mark III would like GPS and wireless mode, but it’s not offered except as a very expensive add on.

They will never make the ‘ultimate’ camera, it’s just endless politics and revenue building.

Anyway, apart from it not being that good at low light focussing, I like the images it produces and that’s really what counts for me. I just wish it didn’t cost almost £2,000 to get great images.

Anddddddddddd the 5D Mark III it is!

After some lengthy deliberation, I have decided to buy the Canon 5D mark III.

It’s not my first choice, that would be the excellent Sony SLT-A99, which kicks the Canon into touch easily. The problem there is I have to get rid of all my Canon lenses and accessories and replace them with Sony. I’d lose a lot of money and have to spend a lot more too to get what I’ve got now. If I ever win the lotto it will be Sony all the way, failing that, I’ll have to make do with the Canon, although even as second best, it’s supposed to be a great camera. Time will tell.

I’m still looking for a deal. They are about £2,300 most places. I’ve found one for £1,939, but I’d like to find it a bit cheaper still if I can so wish me luck. If I can’t find one cheaper by the end of June I may have to pay the £1,939, as I’m going to Cornwall for summer so I’d like to have a camera by then.
As ever, I’ll keep you posted 🙂