Is a compact digital camera enough for you?
When I talk about stories from my past, it makes me feel old. My first digital camera was a pen cam…. You probably have no idea what it even means. I think the resolution for the image was 640 x 480px. It couldn’t take a very good picture but it was fun none the less.
Not long after I abandoned my pen cam, I bought my first REAL digital camera. For $600, I could only get 3MP. It was a Fujifilm camera with a tall rectangular shape, which you don’t see that kind of design in the market anymore. I loved that camera, and the image was decent from what I can remember. I used it quite a lot until an unknown bug invaded my sensor. It looked like a tiny spider. I had no idea how it could get into my camera.
Since then I have used several compact digital cameras from different companies; Canon, Panasonic, Olympus, Sony,.Samsung etc. Some were pretty good, and some were just so so. Nowadays, when I go shop at a camera store, I am often surprised by how much you can get from a lower end compact camera. Unless you plan to send your work to an art gallery, most compact cameras are more than enough, especially if that is your first camera.
When I work, I usually use my Canon 5D Mark II. It creates the full-frame creamy bokeh that people love. Thus when people want to buy a new camera, they often seek the camera that can give them that sort of image.
Based on my experience, the more I shoot, the less I depend on the effect of full-frame bokeh, unless my client requests it. Bokeh is not my standard of good images. Sometimes I prefer an image that has more depth of field, everything is in focus and you learn and see a lot from the image. If you have taken some photography classes, you have probably learned that DOF is not the only way to isolate your subject or to tell a story. We can use contrast in lighting, contrast in colors, or lines to emphasize on our subjects. There are many skills we can utilize to make our subjects pop!
Recently I dug out an older point and shoot camera I have had for a few years. It is a Panasonic LX5. I heard street photographers used to like it before Fujifilm x100became so hip and popular. The first thing I notice when I use it is that the camera is slow. I certainly didn’t notice when I first had it. I am not sure if the hardware degraded or those newer cameras have changed my standard regarding speed.
One thing I can try is using a better, and faster memory card. But, I just went with it since I wasn’t rushing anyway. I gave myself a little photography exercise. I took it with me when I walked my dog. The experience was surprisingly good and I enjoy shooting more photos while my dog had her gold discovery tour.
It was a little similar to shooting with an iPhone, except I have an optical zoom, a bigger aperture, and raw files to work with. So here are my photos and perhaps you will enjoy them as much as I did when I shot them.