|f2.8, 1/5 sec ISO 100 hand held B&W converted in Photoshop (that's Clapton on the tube. "Crossroads 2010"|
Good Tuesday from Prospect. Today I'd like to talk about where we're going with the technology of Photography.
As some of you know, I've just done the switch over/ upgrade to Canon. Specifically a 5D Mark II a bunch of the good glass needed to use one of these "pro" set-ups.
To be brief, for those of you out of the know, I studied using Pentax gear like everyone else in the 70's. It was the camera of choice to learn with. All manual with no gimmicks to get in the way of great pics. Well many years later, when I finally decided to go digital, Pentax seemed to be the logical choice. Especially since everything was C-size sensor, I had some good Pentax Glass and I didn't need big fast sports gear (didn't have those 10s of thousands of bucks to invest anyway).
Since then the technology has advanced so far we've pretty well reached what I think is the pinnacle of the DSLR. With Canon driving it's hardware to productive heights in still and video photography (I mean 14fps in full frame (1DX) and 4K video (1DC) and Nikon pushing at Medium format with the D800 at 36mp.
So where will this all go for the average joe? Just this weekend past I think I've seen it.
I was looking for a camera that would allow me a little more stealth in my photographic endeavours. If you've ever experienced the way people look at you when you are shooting in public with that honking DSLR you'll know what I mean. They either want in the shot, try to avoid you thinking you are on a shoot and don't want to ruin it for you or want something from you if you shoot them. Some actually are offended that they are being photographed at all.
The solution has always been go small and stealthy, so to speak. But, unless you could cough up a lung to pay for a digital Leica you were stuck with small point and shoots with their tiny sensors, awful lenses and awful controls. These won't do for anyone but the snap happy pic taker. You know the one. All pics are out of focus, heads are chopped off and scenes of mountains in ways I've never seen them in real life.(My mother in law has a million of these pics.) Now don't get me wrong, I don't want to offend anyone with one of these. In most cases it's the family camera that can be afforded and it does capture that birthday/christmas/graduation event even though a dozen years later no one can make out who's in it. It's the equivalent of the compact camera we had when I was young. Any way that's a whole story in itself.
I want to address what the serious photographer needs in a stealth camera and those just won't do, not for me anyway.
A serious photographer is usually a little bit of a control freak. He/she wants to control how that shot is being captured and conscious of how to create the image in mind. He/she only wants it to make choices when we say so. And the quality has got to be there to print BIG.
| Off camera flash (Canon 580EXII) f2.8 1/15sec ISO 400|
Well after reading all the hype over the Fuji X100 and the Canon G1X I had to check them out. All I can say is WOW. Full manual control of aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance, off camera flash with 1/250 sec sync 10 and 14 mps and JPEG and RAW formats. What more can I ask for.
These are just like putting that Pentax K1000 in my hands. When I walked around town with that camera nobody bothered with me and I shot just about anything. Along with that the picture quality is fabulous rivalling just about any entry level DSLR and coming close to a few Pro-consumer versions. And it fits in my pocket.
Lately, we've been hearing about "street" photography. This is supposed to be the next great genre of photography. Well sorry to disappoint, we've been doing it for years. It's just recent that photographers are understanding what they need in hand to get it done, inconspicuously.
|f13, 1/60 sec, ISO 125 built in 1 stop ND filter|
Well these new C-size point and shoots are making it happen.
Besides these two there is a raft of what are being called "mirror-less" DSLRs at price points that reach the pro-sumer DSLRs. These will do a great job as well but, sorry, regardless of how cool I would think it would be to have one, I can't bring myself to spend that much bread for another system with all the specialty glass needed to use one. STEALTH not more to carry around is the game here. The X100 and G1X have fixed lenses that can't be changed (G1X is a zoom (15.1 - 60mm) and will accommodate a 58mm filter set including polarizer with the adapter from Canon and X100 is 23mm I believe, 49mm filters with a few tricks to get it installed).
But to say that these new advances in point and shoots and mirror-less systems will replace the Pro DSLR is a bit of a stretch for me right now.
Sensor size, physical size to accommodate the buttons that easily control the camera are two factors that will hold them back for a bit. It's like using a "Motorola Krazer" in a hand of my size. Looks like a toy and don't even think I could use those tiny buttons. Thank goodness for voice recognition. I had one for a while and hated it. To my chagrin, It ended up wet I believe, ha,ha.
|f2.8 1/125 sec, ISO 100 built in 1 stop ND filter|
But mark my words they will slide in someday. In the meantime I'm going to shoot my 5D for everything serious and grab that G1X on my way out the door to have a camera in hand at all times. Who knows what awaits the "stealthy photographer" If he keeps his eyes open.
As I've always said, the best photographer is the one that was there.
The shots I've posted are from the G1X I picked up on Saturday. The black and white was the 8th frame.
If you want to find out more about these the guys I've linked to on the right, all have lengthy reviews. Rockwell reviews both.
Have a good one and…
Until then, Enjoy, Derek.