I have been involved in photography a long-time. My first camera, well, if it was on Ebay, would be classified an antique by now (Kodak Brownie Hawkeye) that used real film (a rare and expensive commodity today) and I moved on from there. I have been through several revolutions in photographic technology from film to digital and I have to admit that the satisfaction of seeing my images immediately and uploading them to my PC for editing outweighs the satisfaction I once derived from my motorized color SLR bodies (I actually shot with three camera bodies at the time, two automatic and motorized for color work and one standard film-advance equipped with black-and-white film for backup or for the particular publication I was taking photos for.
Today, though, the camera technology available is far more satisfying as it allows you to not only see your image immediately after you have taken it on an LCD screen on the rear, but, you can also upload it to your laptop or desktop for instant editing.
You don’t have to spend a huge amount for a digital camera today. I have seen and used “point-and-shoot” (standard consumer) cameras that have viewfinders that you can use to frame your image and shoot. These cameras have also allowed me to “edit on the fly” framing the exact image I want as most of them also offer both mechanical and optical zoom features that make closeup photography a snap. The key to this is the image stabilization ability of the camera system, such as Canon’s autostablizer. I have used it in Canon “point-and-shoot” models, as well as in expensive EOS systems with 300mm zoom lenses. It takes the shake out of an image, leaving it rock solid and, in most cases, eliminates the need for a tripod.
Yes, I still carry a tripod – just in case – because long photo sessions can get tiring on an aging back that has seen its share of abuse. But, there is now even a solution for that with Canon’s SX. It is a 24mm wide angle system with an incredible 34X optical zoom. At that focal length a tiny shake shows up as a major blur, but not with autostabilization. It takes lots of drudgery out of photography and let’s you concentrate on the image.
To me, it doesn’t matter whether I am shooting with a US $ 2,000 Pentax or Canon or Nikon dSLR system – don’t get me wrong I love dSLRs, they’re just overkill right now for me – or with a $ 199 or $ 299 Canon or Sony “point-and-shoot.” What matters is that I am now the real master of the image; the camera doesn’t control me, nor does the film or even the lighting as editing software on a laptop can clean up and bright many images, if the original image is there. If it seems like I am still excited by photography even after a lifetime of photo work, you’re right, I am and today’s tools are just incredible.
Roberto Sedycias works as an IT consultant for Polo