It's Christmas soon, so we need to make a list and send it to Lapland. Santa needs to know what we want if we're to have any hope of being happy on Christmas morning. I know what I want, as does the rest of the team, so here's hoping. Oh and, be sure to let us know what's top of your Christmas list in the comments too!
I like using a Digital SLR. I like having full manual control of every aspect of the photography process. And most of all, I like having access to high quality, fast glass - in my case Canon L series lenses. But much as I like using an SLR, I'll admit that it's a large and heavy option, especially when you've got a good lens attached. So, what I'd like is a small and light camera, with a superb, fast lens and excellent image processing.
Thankfully, Panasonic recently launched exactly that in the shape of the Lumix DMC-LX3. This camera walked away with the Best Compact Digital Camera award in our annual rundown of the best products of the year. The LX3 is one of those rare products that has managed to win most of the office over, with many of us ready and willing to lay down hard earned cash to buy one!
So what's so special about the LX3? Well first it looks fantastic, in a kind of retro-rangefinder way. It has great optics, in the shape of a Leica-branded F2.0 - F2.8 lens, making it ideal for low light shooting without a flash. The zoom range of 24-60mm may seem short to some, but for me having that 24mm wide angle option is a godsend, especially when I'm trying to take product shots at a crowded trade show.
And that's the reason why I need this camera delivered to me by Christmas. With the Consumer Electronics Show kicking off at the beginning of January - as always - I need to make sure that I have an LX3 tucked away in my suitcase, ensuring that I don't have to lug my SLR around Las Vegas with me every day for a week.
There are few things that can improve your productivity more than desktop real estate. Having more space to display more windows saves you time, simple as that - no need to move windows around to check your email, or reply to that IM, with a large screen you can have lots of windows visible at once. That's why I love 30in monitors, and there's no 30in screen that I love more than the NEC LCD3090WQXi right now.
NEC displays are renowned for their image quality, but the LCD3090WQCXi pushes that envelope even further. If you're serious about image editing, this screen is a dream come true - not only does its 2,560 x 1,600 resolution make it easier to work with very large images, but the colour accuracy is simply staggering.
The S-IPS panel also ensures that viewing angles are impressively wide, so if you need to demo something to a colleague, they'll have no trouble getting a good view. Having a new monitor for my desk at work may seem like a strange thing to want for Christmas, but I can assure you that it would put a smile on my face every day.
Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS
I'm something of a fan of the Porsche 911. In fact, I'd go as far as saying that it's the greatest sports car ever built, despite the fact that the rear engine layout makes almost no sense at all. The current 997 generation of 911s are superb cars, but it's the 1973 Carrera 2.7 RS that I'd like Santa to leave on my driveway this Christmas.
The 2.7 RS is probably the most famous and sought after lightweight 911 ever built, while many Porsche enthusiasts believe it to be the most rewarding variant to drive, despite it being incredibly basic compared to modern cars. Weighing in at under a tonne and mustering around 210bhp, the power to weight ratio is impressive, even by today's standards.
This is the car that started the whole trend for stripped out, lightweight, driver focussed 911s, and it's probably safe to say that if it wasn't for the 2.7 RS, cars like the modern 911 GT3 RS wouldn't exist today.
The one downside to the Carrera 2.7 RS is that it's rarity and fanatical following has pushed its price to astronomical levels. You're probably looking at around £150,000 for a good example today - not bad for a car that cost around £7,200 when brand new! So, with prices so high and availability so limited, I'm going to have to rely on Santa to get me a 2.7 RS. I'll have a white one with red wheels and graphics please…