Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Now - Here's a Surprise!

We were driving home from Moncton yesterday during a brief thunderstorm, with sunny breaks happening too. This created a perfect rainbow, which we had admired for several miles. We happened to have one camera in the car - the lowly and very small Panasonic I had bought almost two years ago in an open-box sale, with a further sale discount. Simply said - I bought it because it was cheap at just under $100, and didn't expect to get much use out of it. I especially hate it's very poor resistive (as opposed to the newer type capacitive) touch screen interface, and after trying a few shots with it, decided that it wasn't the camera for me.

But the rainbow! It appeared right in front of us, over this bridge, and I had a good spot to pull over - (one should never take pictures while driving a car - safely parked, on the other hand, is OK). I transferred the pic to my computer, and WOW - not bad at all! The detail here is fantastic, considering the car's windscreen was between us and the weather. We tend to turn up our noses a these cheap little digicams, and they certainly do have their limits, especially when it comes to all the latest in digital fad shooting, such as Photoshop workflow, paper-thin depth of field, night-time long exposure star-tracking, HD video and HDR photography, all of which are used as justification to buy the latest and greatest big system cameras. But seeing as I work within the limits of film photography most of the time now (also a fad? - maybe, but I hope not), the limits presented by this camera are in some ways similar to the older medium. But, in seeing the quality of it's output, there are some ways in which this could be the only camera I would ever need. And although I would still recommend a film compact such as the Pentax Zoom-90, if you're really looking to get into photography on the cheap, you might pick up a Zoom-90 for $5 like I did (actually two of them for $5 each), the cost of this Panasonic brand new is equal to the cost of only ten rolls of processed film. Also, most of the film compacts similar to the Zoom-90 also use expensive and rare Lithium batteries, which cost over $20 each. The Panasonic, on the other hand, has a rechargeable battery and charger included.

I know - I'm flip-flopping like Ken Rockwell here (sorry Ken, if you're reading this, I'd actually be honoured! Everybody else says that you flip-flop a lot, but not me, heheh). I've said this before - digital compacts are actually marvels of miniaturization, and smartphone cameras even more-so. Most of the time, a snap-shooter like myself can get by quite handsomely with a camera such as this. My enthusiasm for photography comes from experimenting with lot's of different gear, and with my tight budget, and so far without any dealers to lend me their latest and greatest cameras for review, a privilege enjoyed by Mr. Rockwell, Steve Huff and Mike Johnson, the most interesting gear that I can fool around with dirt poor at yard sale prices, while giving me great image quality happen to be film cameras.

Any dealers out there want to lend me a new Leica M for a couple of weeks?

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