New Camera = New Pictures

I’ve splashed out and bought a new camera.

While we were away travelling we considered buying a digital SLR camera as the point-and-shoot Canon Ixus 430 was a bit restrictive, but the cost and bulk meant that we decided against it. Lugging a dSLR around along with the other stuff we were carrying would have been the proverbial straw…

We didn’t want to go mad, and buy an expensive camera only to find that we didn’t use it as much as we thought, so I ventured onto Ebay to find a second-hand one. Using the excellent JBidWatcher, I managed to bag myself a Nikon D70s for under £200.


It’s a 6 mega-pixel camera, not a huge number by current standards, but the potential quality of the pictures is much more important that sheer pixel count. The Nikon cameras record the number of shutter activations that they perform, and using Dr.Chung’s PreviewExtractor I found that this one had taken about 1700 shots, which isn’t that many for a second-hand camera.

The camera smelt badly of cigarette smoke, but that has quickly faded in the non-smoking atmosphere of our home and work.

The camera body alone wouldn’t be much use, so I’ve also purchased a new Nikon 55-200mm VR zoom lens, and a new Nikon 18-55mm zoom lens. I also picked up a very cheap 8GB CompactFlash memory card from MyMemory. The memory is supposed to be high-speed, but it didn’t seem particularly fast when I was doing continuous test shots using the camera. I tend to take single shots anyway, and being able to take 1,400 RAW format shots on a single memory card is great.

I’ve not had many opportunities to take pictures yet, but I’ve posted a few below. Other pictures and larger versions of these can be found at the Lazyllama Flickr Photos page.

Sunset over Canary Wharf



We’re off to Nice for the weekend, and I’m then attending VMware Europe in Cannes next week, so I should get some chances to practise with the camera.

In March, we’re going on holiday to Bali, Lombok and Singapore for a few weeks which should give plenty of scope for pictures! My fourth time in Bali and I’m really looking forward to it.

Afrika! Afrika!

A couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to get a pair of freebie tickets for Afrika! Afrika! at The O2, just across the Thames from where we live.

After the usual trek right round the main dome, we got to the entrance to the Afrika! Afrika! site which is made up of a series of tents to the West of the O2.

Afrika!Afrika! logo

Our complimentary tickets were, predictably, of slightly restricted view behind a pillar but that didn’t affect us too badly as the circus-like nature of the show meant that there was usually plenty going on.

I’m not a big fan of circuses, but I really enjoyed this show. It was similar in some ways to the Cirque du Soleil, but much less pretentious.

Some of the acts:-

  • Amazing contortionist man who could pass his body through an unstrung tennis racket
  • Two girls who juggled large tables and vases using their feet
  • Phenomenal pole-climbing team who threw themselves up and down poles
  • Trapeze-type man who could raise himself up using a couple of hanging straps and his own body strength.
  • Astounding basketball-playing unicycle team, one of whom could skip inside three ropes while sitting on his unicycle.
  • Stomach-churning contortionist girl who could perform unbelievable feats of bendiness
  • Stunning tumbling and acrobat groups who could stand 4 high on each others shoulders.

So, all in all, a great show, loads of energy and a good evening out.

(Cameras were banned so the only photo I got was this blurry one of the logo projected onto the inside of the tent. The official website has a video clip of the show so you can get an idea of what goes on)