It is serendipitous that my birthday falls at the same time that my annual bonus is announced, allowing me to treat myself. As usual though I'm last in line to spend it behind the taxman and the various demands of family life.
This year I'm in a bit of a quandary.
My photography has hit a bit of a rut, primarily because the DSLR increasingly feels like an encumbrance whilst my compact cameras are beginning to feel comparatively obsolete and battered from over use. They are great for throwing in the saddle bag for a cycle ride or a briefcase for a business trip but they struggle in low light and aren't ideal for taking photos of the dogs. I've also got some big trips planned this year, to Australia, India and Cuba .
The minimalist original Sony RX100 is a strong contender for a pocketable camera, but then I'm tempted by the Fujifilm XE-1 which is currently available with a free additional zoom lens and has a 27mm pancake lens available that makes it an option for street photography.
Neither of these is a cheap option, but being last year's models they are both available for several hundred pounds less than when they first came out. With the lens offer the XE-1 is effectively half price I reckon to get three years of intensive use out of a compact digital camera and five to six out of an interchangeable lens system. I don't think that represents bad value for money
Any of those two is obviously going to be fine for any model railway photography I do, but what about treating myself to something specifically for the model railway itself?
I've still got a longer than expected shopping list for the current layout, but the end is in sight. A few more track components, point control and four or five wagon kits are really all I need for now.
So the question is what to invest in for long term use?
I've never owned an airbrush and I can see that one could be useful as my focus moves on to rolling stock. The Neo for Iwata range looks good value for money. I've also been following the RMweb discussion about the Cameo Portrait cutter with interest. Another option is the Hold and Fold jig. They get expensive as they increase in size so I would probably buy a smallish one and supplement it with some bending bars. Are there any other tools I should consider? I think the Hold and Fold is the current best option.
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