Archive for the ‘12 Weeks of Christmas’ Category

Rental Customer Shots

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

If you didn’t know already, here at Castle Cameras we offer a comprehensive range of rental equipment from our friends at Canon including such rare beauties as the 5D3, 1DX, 100-400 mkII, 24-70mk II, 85mm 1.2 and coming soon, the 5DS r. With prices starting at just £20 a day, renting with Castle Cameras is a great way to try before you buy or just borrow that dream piece of camera gear you’ve always wanted to try. Find out more on our website

We love to find out what our rental customers get up to and we were blown away by the images our friend James from Bad-JuJu shooting for U.S. based magazine, Hop Up took recently at the Pendine Sands Vintage Hot Rod Association meeting in early July. James rented our Canon 5D mark III from us for the event and used it to great effect capturing these beautiful and exciting images. To see the full set of images head over to Hop Up magazine here

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A guide to Christmas Cashback

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Ho ho ho, Merry Cashback.

Even camera companies get excited for Christmas, rolling out cashback and buying incentives across the ranges. Here’s a quick guide to the best deals around.

Sony Alpha 37 digital SLR, 18-55 SAM, 75-300 D lenses

Sony Alpha 37, Double Lens Kit

An absolutely cracking entry into Digital SLR photography. The Sony Alpha 37 boasts features from camera way above it’s price point, wrapped in an easy to use body. Add another lens and we’re talking some serious power and an excellent start to any photographic journey.

£549.00 with £100 cashback offer until 16th January 2013 – £449.00

Nikon D5100 digital SLR, 18- 55VR, 55-300VR zoom lenses

Nikon D5100, Double Zoom Kit

For the enthusiast in your life. The Nikon D5100 features a 3inch vari-angle LCD and the complete range of Nikon lenses to choose from, this is the perfect step for anyone looking for an upgrade. With £55 cashback available and extra deals for popping in the shop, it’d be a good idea to save our Nikon event in your diary.

£649.00 with £55 cashback offer until 21st January 2013 – £594.00

Pentax K-30 Black digital SLR,18-55mm DA WR lens

Pentax K30 18-55mm WR

The first ruggedised camera featured on this list. The K30 offers top quality features in a fully weather resistant body, properly winter proof for the adventurer in you. There are a ton of kits around, the one you really want is the WR lens kit, as these are the only kits that offer a weather proof lens to complement the body.

£569.00 with £50 cashback offer until 15th January 2013 – £519.00

Sony Alpha 65 body

Sony Alpha 65 Body

The most powerful DSLR body with festive cashback. The Alpha 65 will rattle shots off 10 frames per second thanks to it’s translucent mirror technology. With an OLED viewfinder and full body controls the Alpha 65 is nearing the top of the Sony range.

£629.00 with £50 cashback offer until 16th January 2013 – £579.00

There’s plenty more where these came from, with full listings on our website. Canon have launched a range of cashback available on lenses purchased over the festive period, giving an extra £25 when you buy 2 or more together. You can search for all Cashback offers on our website and narrow down the results by manufacturer. Keep your eyes peeled on our Events page as we’re hosting a new supplier each week to make the most of this seasons offers.

Follw us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook and sign up to the news letter to keep up-to-date with the latest news.

Superzoom Compact Buying Guide – 12 Weeks of Christmas

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Is that a super zoom in your pocket?

Superzoom Buying Guide - 12 Weeks of Christmas

Welcome to, gosh, Week 9 in our 12 Weeks of Christmas buying guides.

Compact cameras have come a long way in a relatively short space of time. This time last year a 15x zoom camera would set you back upwards of £300, now you can pick something up for under half that. All in the name of progress.

We live in a culture obsessed with miniaturising things. We’ve now got iPad mini’s, tiny mobile phones that fit in the palm of your hand and, of course, really small cars like the Mini. Okay, so less now that Mini’s are BMW’s, but you get the gist. Camera manufacturers have been on this process since the advent of photography, we’ve gone from large format camera to medium format, 35mm and even 110 cameras. In the digital era things have gone less straight forward but never the less we can now fit the equivalent of a 500mm zoom lens in our pockets.

Zoom lenses set cameras apart from mobile phones. A series of gears drive optics to and fro whilst zooming in to the scene infront of us. Brave enough to lean over the edge of the Empire State? You’ll be able to catch a photo of someone crossing the road. More importantly, there is a price point for everyone. To start this off, lets decide right now that to be classed as a ‘Superzoom’ the camera must feature 10x or more magnification.

10x Zoom.

Panasonic SZ 1/ SZ 7

Panasonic Lumix SZ1

Ultra thin – ultra portable 10x zoom camera. Panasonic cameras tend to lead over the competition with their Leica lenses and superb image quality. Possibly the best choice for your every day camera. Whilst daytime photographs look incredible the Sony would just beat it on low light performance. With just £30 between the models the SZ 1 features higher resolution at 16megapixels over the SZ 7’s 14. The SZ7 features a wider angle lens, making it better for landscape style images.

View the full SZ1 spec on our website.

View the full SZ7 spec on our website.

Nikon Coolpix 6300

Nikon Coolpix 6300

Available in funky colours and sponsors of Hollyoaks. Perfect for anyone who has to be constantly colour co-ordinated, trendy teenagers for example. Nikon back up high quality optics with an easy to use menu system and brilliant image quality.

View the full 6300 spec on our website.

Sony Cybershot WX100

Sony Cybershot WX100 Black

Sony produce some of the most brilliant compact cameras around and the WX100 is no exception. Featuring a Sony G lens, their highest quality optics built in-house and one of Sony’s quality sensors (they produce a lot of these for the competition). The WX100 takes fantastic photographs, even in low light thanks to their advanced noise reduction. Perfect for the serious photographer in your life who doesn’t have a point and shoot to carry around with them everywhere.

View the full WX100 spec on our website.

11-19x Zoom.

It looks like no one could decide on a standard, so expect some one-up-manship.

Canon Ixus 510 (12x)

Canon Ixus 510 HS Black

The iPod of cameras. The Ixus 510 looks like it was designed in California and even comes in gloss black or white. Perfect for the style conscious. Thanks to a bigger and better CMOS sensor the Ixus 510 features a 10.1mega pixel sensor and Digic 5 processor that equate to outstanding low light image performance. Canon have always been known for brilliant image quality and in something this attractive it’s hard to resist.

View the full Ixus 510 spec on our website.

Samsung WB700 (18x)

Samsung WB700 Black

With a cracking 18x zoom and Schneider lens the Samsung is a whole lot of camera for not a whole lot of money. Don’t let the price fool you, the Samsung takes some cracking shots and the image stabilization keeps images crisp even at the full 18x zoom.

View the full WB700 spec on our website.

Panasonic Lumix TZ25 (16x)

PanasonicTZ25 Black

The Panasonic TZ range really kicked off the whole superzoom compact range. Everything from the TZ5 to now has grown bigger and better. The outstanding image quality coupled with high quality Leica lens make the Panasonic a perfect choice for anyone at any time. Low light performance has got better with each generation but it’s the daylight shots that absolutely pop from the camera that make this a quality go-to camera for any situation.

View the full TZ25 spec on our website.

20x Zoom.

Now this is the pinacle for the moment. The biggest zoom that’ll fit in your pocket.

Fuji Finepix F770

Fuji F770 EXR White

Outstanding image quality at an outstanding price point. Get your hands on the Fuji and try it out. Backed up with their EXR processor and film simulation features the F770 is easy to use and guarantees excellent shots.

View the full F770 spec on our website.

Panasonic Lumix TZ30

Panasonic TZ30 Black

Everything that makes the TZ25 great and then add 5. You’ll get the TZ30. Panasonic’s most powerful superzoom compact ever. Well worth a look if the highest quality possible is your goal.

View the full TZ30 spec on our website.

Sony Cybershot HX20

Sony HX20

Super low light performance coupled with a huge zoom lens? Added bonus’ of crisp HD video and Sony’s unique sweep panorama technology make this the perfect all round family camera. You’ll be grabbing candlelit birthday parties to graduation ceremonies from the rafters.

View the full HX20 spec on our website.

Canon Powershot SX240 HS

Canon Powershot SX240HS

Canon couldn’t be left out of the Superzoom party and so we get the SX240 HS. Featuring the same HS technology as the 510 but with a full sized 20x zoom. The Canon may not be the most attractive member of this club but if you use Canon DSLR then the images provided will be immediately noticeable.

View the full SX240 HS spec on our website.

Conclusion

There is something on this list for everyone. Wether you’re just getting into photography or are a brand loyalist, every manufacturer provides some sort of high powered compact camera. A few years ago the must have thing was a ‘Bridge’ camera, now you can get the benefit of their huge lenses in a much smaller package. If you do go down this route for Christmas then you won’t be disappointed with any of the above. The hardest decision will be which case to go for, trust me.

These weekly updates will be shared over Twitter and Facebook as well as present on our website, so make sure you’re signed up to all our news feeds.

Camera bag Buying Guide – 12 Weeks of Christmas

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Carry your gear in comfort, without the need for a sherpa.

If you’re loved one has hinted that they are running out of room in their bag, or unable to carry all they want, then nothing could be more perfect than a new bag. You are about to enter a veritable mine field. Luckily we’re here to help, and slim down those choices.

‘I need to carry more gear.’

It’s a common one. Photographers get so excited for every shoot they must have every single piece of equipment packed. It’ll cause you no end of misery when you watch them leave almost everything in their bag, so make sure you don’t end up carrying it.

More gear means more space, more weight and the need for more support. You’ll find their are some incredibly large shoulder bags like the Tamrac Ultra Pro 13, or Tamrac Pro-bag 12, perfect if you don’t do a lot of carrying or want super quick access.

If you’re travelling or walking any great distance then the weight is going to be easier to shift in a backpack. Not all backpacks are made equal. Choose something that offers extra protection like the Lowepro Vertex 200AW, or Tamrac Adventure 9 grey, which use both chest and waist straps to keep the load stable and close.

Click to view our full range of backpacks.

‘I just want a day bag for my camera and one lens’

This is a common one, if  you buy a DSLR package with a few lenses, maybe a flash, then you soon realise that you don’t want to take it all out all the time. Holster bags solve the problem in one easy go. Big enough to carry a digital SLR and a single lens attached you’d think it’s super easy to pick one up. You’ll still need to consider a few things.

For smaller DSLR cameras, such as the Canon EOS 1100D or Nikon D5100, you can use smaller bags like the Lowepro Adventura TLZ25, or Tamrac Adventure Zoom 3. For bigger DSLRs like the Sony Alpha 77 or Nikon D800 you’ll need something with a bit more depth, something more like the Lowepro Toploader Zoom 50 AW, or Tamrac Pro-Digital Zoom 5. If your photographer is shooting sports or wildlife photography then a holster that will accommodate a large zoom lens is in order, going for the Lowepro Toploader Zoom 55 AW, black will provide adequate room.

For a real snug fit OpTech provide some great neoprene ever-ready cases. Perfect for braving the elements these cases are effectively wetsuits for your camera.

Click to view our full range of holster cases.

‘I want something that doesn’t look like a camera bag.’

When travelling or even just going out for dinner, sometimes you don’t want to scream LOOK AT MY CAMERA. Shoulder bags are an excellent way to keep camera gear discreet by looking more like a satchel or messenger bag.

The Tamrac Rally series of bags are brilliantly made, weather resistant and quick to access, they also appear less ‘camera’ and more ‘lifestyle’. As you browse the range you’ll notice the different sizes accommodate different needs, the Tamrac Rally 2 is for smaller cameras and just a few extras whilst the Tamrac Rally 7 will offer a whole range of kit to be stored. Perfect, if you shoot from the boot of your car a lot.

Offerings from Lowepro include their Lowepro Exchange Messenger, which comes in some interesting colour ways and is definitely suited if your camera is your second thought. Try their Classified range if you’re after more city styling to your photography.

Click to view our full range of shoulder bags.

‘These are all great, but I’m a female and don’t want to carry a blokes bag!’

Here we have the Tamrac Aria series of bags. Designed for Women in an aesthetic that looks like a bag that would actually be worn by a woman. The Aria comes in 2 sizes, the Aria 3 and Aria 6 that offer a solution for nearly any amount of kit short of needing a Vivian Westwood suitcase.

The Aria 3 can hold a DSLR, extra lens and flash gun quite comfortably, just enough for those portrait sessions or getting out for some landscape shots. If you’re taking advantage of Compact System cameras then you’re going to be able to fit even more in, with some careful juggling of the insides you’ll be fitting almost everything you could possible need inside.

The Aria 6 is a bit more serious. You’ll be fitting more gear in and the added size lets you slip in an iPad or small netbook for some on-the-go downloading and editing. You’ll be able to fit bigger lenses and more accessories into this bag. If you’ve got smaller reflectors and bits and bobs, then you’ll be slipping all these in too.

Both bags come in 3 colours; a sort of camo-esque green, an autumnal brown and a pretty standard black. The finish is smooth, water-resistant, nylon fabric that does actually feel a lot like silk. The exterior is pleated and finished with a metallic clasp with only a little embroidered Tamrac logo on the front to indicate that it’s a camera bag. Both sizes come complete with zippered front pocket for your valuables and 2 side pockets that will easily fit your phone and iPod.

Click to view all our Tamrac Aria bags.

12 Weeks of Christmas

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

We’re here to help you get the most out of this festive season.

There are just 12 weeks to go until Christmas 2012. This year we’re going to give you all the information you need to pick the perfect presents for that special photographer.  Every Wednesday in the run up to chrimbo we will post a new video buying guide, covering a range of topics from bags to Digital SLR cameras, and a blog post full of all the links you’ll need.

October will kick off our festive event list, with late night shopping and brand events in both stores. These will run most weeks up until Christmas.

These weekly updates will be shared over Twitter and Facebook as well as present on our website, so make sure you’re signed up to all our news feeds.