Hi, Thanks for stopping by.
I’m David AKA The Cotswold Photographer, welcome to my website.
I started this website because in my pursuit for great gear I have spent a lot of money and time using different systems and thought it would be great to write down my thoughts on the different cameras and lenses that I have used.
There is only so much that you can get from reading technical reviews (even thought it’s great to have them) before you really need to see kit put through its paces in real life. For me what counts in the end is the photos that I create and so this is where trying out gear in real life helps me.
I have been lucky enough to shoot loads of different kit in my 10 years as a photographer from smart phones to 4×5″ film. My earliest memories of cameras were on the holidays my family used to take when I was a child. My dad would stop us all from doing whatever fun activities we were up to and make us all pose for a photo with his 35mm film camera. We used to hate it but I understand why he did it now.
I got in to digital after taking a small compact Casio with me on a round the World trip with a friend after graduating from university. After a month in South Africa I stupidly left the camera on a table in a bar and when I returned it was gone. A few weeks later after shooting disposable film cameras we managed to scrape together enough money for a Sony compact camera in New Zealand after apparently being the first ones to ever barter the price in the store. Yes we were that poor. A free memory card and bag later and a small discount and we were back in business.
When I got home after that year travelling I looked through my photos and was pretty disappointed. There were some great memories in there but the photos would have been so much better if I actually knew what I was doing instead of just pointing the camera at what I was looking at and clicking the shutter.
That was when I really started to study and learn everything I could about how to take compelling photos and better record the world around me.
After some research I bought a Canon 450d and absolutely loved it. Being able to control the exposure settings gave me a great feeling and from that moment I was hooked.
Several years of practise and I took the somewhat crazy decision to move to the Outer Hebrides of Scotland to pursue my love of photography and to forget my first love.
I was surrounded by beautiful scenery and thanks to the popularity of the islands during summer there were enough galleries willing to sell my prints that I was able to scrape a living. I sold images to stock websites did a little commercial work and just about paid the bills.
During my time in Scotland I taught myself how to print Fine Art prints using Epson 3880 and 7900 printers. I even printed work for other photographers and artists to earn a little extra cash.
Fast forward a few years and my passion for travel reignited and it was time to leave my island retreat and see a bit more of the World.
This brought me to Asia where I am currently living with my Fiancee Arlene and 3 month old baby daughter Sofia.
Back to the photography and I am just as much of a gear nut as the next person. My passion has shifted away from landscapes and more towards natural portraits and street photography. Don’t get me wrong I still love a good landscape but with a family I no longer have the time to spend out shooting during the golden hours.
After moving from Scotland where I shot most of the time with a Canon 5D MK II religiously mounted on a tripod, always in manual focus, I found that I no longer liked the weight of the Canon and I certainly didn’t want to be lugging a tripod everywhere I went. That is when I really started to look into smaller cameras such as Micro 4/3. Initially getting a Panasonic G3. It was a fun little camera but the image quality was quite a drop compared with my full frame Canon. Then I found the Olympus OM-D E-M5 which I absolutely loved. In fact I shot one of my favourite and most profitable photos on it. This little camera gave very respectable image quality in a tiny package with small sharp lenses and it looked beautiful.
Since then I have had the fortune to use cameras such as the Olympus OM-D E-M1, E-M5 II, Pen F, Panasonic GH4 , Fuji X-Pro1 , X-E2, X-T1, X100T , Sony A7, A7R, A7II, A7s and a number of DSLR’s too.
I’ve shot almost all the lenses from Fuji and a lot of the micro 4/3 lenses too.
After having shot so many cameras I have learned what works and what doesn’t and so I thought I would create this website to help out other photographers like you. Who want a no nonsense review with no sales pitch just straight talking about whether it is worth spending your money on a new bit of kit. I can get excitable at times if I find a new bit of gear that is great and I will tell you so. Equally if it is crap I will just either move on and not review it or if I feel like saying so I will tell you why it’s no good.
I think the majority of photographers care most about the photos that they take but there is a little geek in all of us who likes a shiny new camera or lens to play with. Yes I’m a geek too. I spent most of my school years pretending to be cool when really I loved wildlife, documentaries and history and I suspect saying so would have made me very uncool. Well I’m long past that now and know that in life you should do what makes you happy. That’s the message I will hopefully pass on to my daughter.
Great gear gets out of your way and lets you take the photos that you want. It’s no good having a gazillion megapixels if you’re a street photographer and the start up time of your camera is longer than an English winter. So I’ll take out the cameras, test them in the real world and report back my findings so that you guys get a better idea of what they’re like to use.
I wont always get too technical as there are websites that do that far better than I ever would or would want to. But I will give real world image samples, and if my internet allows while here in Asia I’ll upload them to my Flickr account and add videos to YouTube.
I don’t tend to edit what I write too much,I let it flow and write from the heart and so sometimes my grammar will be off or I might ramble a bit (just like this section) but in among the ramblings will be some pretty useful information, the kind I would want to know before buying my next piece of kit.
I hope you’ll join me, follow me on social media, comment on the website and let me know what kit you are interested in and what you want to know.
I need you help to keep this site going. It is not cheap to buy in camera gear to test, I also have to pay for the website and I spend hours and hours writing content, taking photos and recording videos for this site.
It is really simple for you to help me. All you have to do is buy your gear through my links. I have links on the various pages for Amazon UK, B&H Photo in America and Amazon.com . It wont cost you a penny more to buy clicking on my links but I will receive a small commission from the seller which helps me to pay my costs.
If you are not planning to buy anything but would like to help then you can buy me a coffee ( I need it with the long hours I spend here 🙂 through Paypal.