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Found 7 results

  1. Bricked1980

    An Interesting Find

    Hi everyone Whilst out shopping earlier today I visited the Leicester UK branch of WH Smith. I was looking around the toy section and noticed they were selling some long retired lego sets. I took this photo showing three city sets that caught my eye. One of them is from the 2014 arctic range and I believe the other 2 are older than that - anyway they were all retired several years ago. Despite their age they were all still being sold at RRP and were actually on offer at buy one get one half price. I'm now kicking myself that I didn't actually buy any of them. It's not very often that you see sets this old still for sale in major high street stores.
  2. Whether we like to admit it or not, our photo gear does make a difference in our work. Not only can better gear produce better results, but having the right equipment can make the whole process more enjoyable. After all, we want to make comics and films, not mess around with our camera trying to get it to do things it was never intended to do. With this in mind, you may realize you need to upgrade your camera. You may have questions about features to look for, what all the numbers mean, and how much do you really have to spend? The goal of this tutorial is to take some of the mystery out of choosing a camera. I will be focusing on features needed for getting clean photos specifically to be used in creating films and comics, however, you should end up with a camera that is good for "normal" use like vacations and such as well. What Kinds of Cameras are there? There are quite a few different types of cameras available. Most likely anyone reading this has at least one of these and I'm willing to bet most of us have more than one. Before we talk about what to look for in a camera, I'm going to explain the different types and you'll see why the rest of this article will not be focused on the first three in this list. What does that leave us with? Well, now we have "Compact", "Advanced Compact" and "dSLR". In all honesty, if you can't afford at least a "Compact" camera, you should really start a plan to save the money for one. Anything lower than that will just mean you have to work harder and will most likely never get to the quality of photos that you want. It's a harsh reality, but sometimes we must spend money on the gear. Let's have a look at price ranges, they vary quite a bit depending on brand and features. It's going to be up to you to decide what features and price you are willing to handle. I'll be covering the most important features after this. I'm covering price first because if you don't decide on at least a price range first, you may get stuck in trying to get the "best" and end up not buying anything at all. I do want to make one thing very clear: Do Not Buy Based on Brand . No brand is worth your loyalty, you need to pick a camera with the features, feel, and price point for YOU not because your friends use Canon or you use to have a Sony or you heard Nikon is the best from Ashton Kutcher. Let's Talk Features Photographing for either Brick Flicks or Comics all comes down to taking still images of LEGO scenes. Luckily that means we don't have to consider different features for each thing. Right, so there are a lot of features of modern digital cameras. I'm going to create this list with the "Most Important" features for our purposes at the top, moving down to the "Least Important". I will not cover every possible feature of a camera because, honestly, most features that are hyped by advertisers do not matter at all for what we are doing here. When considering cameras, you can find most of these feature details for the camera on Digital Photography Review as well as staff and user reviews, sample photos, and lots of comments. Flash Control Number One, you need to be able to turn off the flash. A bare flash with LEGO elements always results in sub-par photos. Having a "hot shoe" is also very helpful for adding an external flash and for other uses such as holding "flags" and "reflectors". Macro Mode Unless you really enjoy cropping photos, you'll want to get close to your figures. Take a look at the "minimum focus distance" in the features list for the camera you are considering. The smaller the better, I would stay away from anything over 10 inches though. Manual Mode Most of these types of cameras will have a manual mode of some sort, but not all are created equal. If the controls for manual aperture and shutter are buried in menus, stay away from the camera. You will have nothing but frustrations with these, it's much better if you can find a camera with these controls on a dial or a combination of dials. One of the other things to look for is true manual control for ISO, which should always be set at it's lowest setting but auto mode likes to set it high). Being able to control the aperture and shutter and ISO manually is also very important for getting a consistent image and avoiding "blinkies" when editing your images together in an animation. Manual Focus This can be handled a few different ways. With anything under dSLR, it is unlikely you'll get a true manual focus (like manual on the lens or even choosing a very precise focus point). However, some advanced compact cameras do have the ability to choose a focus point. This is very useful because (as discussed in the Depth of Field lesson) sometimes we want to give focus to only one item in the scene and we don't want to always have that object in the dead center of the frame or the "closest" to the camera. When looking up specs for the camera, look for keywords like "Manual Focus", "Multipoint Focus", and "Selective single-point" (the last one is the very best). Filter Compatibility With a dSLR, you'll be able to put filters right on the lens. This can be very useful for in-camera effects (like using a star filter) and for corrections (such as Circular Polarizer). The more you can do in-camera, the less you have to fight with in editing. For compact and advanced compact cameras, the manual and tech specs should tell you if it is possible to use filters - usually this will require an adapter collar (sometimes even included with the camera). Megapixels This is dangerous ground. It's a huge selling point for many cameras, touting more and more MP. The thing is that the size of the sensor isn't getting any bigger, so they are cramming more and more pixels on the same size sensor. What does this mean to you? It means that the more pixels that are packed on that tiny sensor, the more likely you are to get "noise" or "grain" in your images. When looking at the reviews for the camera you are considering, take a close look at the "High ISO" and "ISO" performance, there are usually 100% crop images in this section of the review. The thing you want to understand about noise in your images is that it makes it difficult, if not impossible, to get a clean background removal. So if you want to drop in a digital background, something like that, you'll need to start with the cleanest photo possible. Another thing to consider with MP is that for this type of work you don't really need more than 8MP. For the most part, we are only displaying these things online and even then they are cropped down to no more than 1MP in actual use (not always, but usually). Even if you were printing a page of your comic, you are still looking at each image in the page being very small relatively speaking. Tripod Mount The ability to mount your camera on a tripod is extremely helpful, especially in the case of animations. I'd say most of the cameras in this range will have a tripod mount, but if it comes down to one that does and one that doesn't, pick the one that does even if it costs a bit more. Well that about covers the features that are important for our purposes. It will take some research to find the right camera, but if you take the time to do it right you will be much happier. The more work you can get done in camera the better. I'd rather spend 30 minutes setting up a shot and 5 minutes in post to crop it than spend 5 minutes setting up a shot and 2 hours in post fixing it, but that does take a camera with certain minimum of features.
  3. By "good" I mean the quality of the build-a-minifigure and PAB cups compared to the regular lego stores found in shopping centres
  4. Not sure if this is the right thread for this... But what are the ups and downs of LEGO shopping sites? I'm talking about Bricklink, eBay, and whatnot. Which features do you not like, which do you really like, and which features would you like to see?
  5. Following the rest of or recent postings here's the Expanded Grand Emporium from our city Godwins Hollow. In our old layout the GE was in a spot that required an inside corner so we expanded it to complete that inside corner. We've got a bakery, groceries, clothing, electronics, furniture, toys, candy, and an arcade inside. Hope ya enjoy. You can see more here and here.
  6. There is this small possibility that I go christmasshopping soon in Oberhauseb Centro. Legostore included. I've always wanted to know what makes a Legostore special. We don't have one in the Netherlands so I'm pretty anxious to see what it's all about. Now what can I expect? Just a toystore filled with most of the legosets we allready know? Do they carry every set? Do they carry minecraft or cuusoo? Do they sell seperate bricks? Are there any amazing discounts? Is legoland germany worth a visit? Anyway... Should I bring my wallet...? I will be going with my girlfriend. Any tips to distract her and getting the most legos I possibly can..? :-p Any other tips? Thanks!
  7. Easy question - what's the cheapest way to buy a lot of Lego? Harder bits: - I live in New Zealand, so anything bought overseas comes with a whopper price for postage. - I want to build a few MOC's to create a town for my daughter's Friends and minifigs to cohabit, and as a new AFOL and KFOL (she's 5) we're starting from a very limited resource pool of bricks. I'm looking for navy roof tiles, tan coloured bricks etc - the kinda thing you don't get in bulk lots from Mum's-getting-rid-of-their-now-grown-up kid's toy collection. - I am pretty damn poor. Any help would be appreciated! Cheers Alexandra