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Sunday, December 29, 2013

My Ideal Digital Camera

In looking at some of the top end Digital Slr's and even the enthusiast models I have become less and less impressed with the technology overload.
The other day I met a camera enthusiast who has not been in photography all that long but has some top end Canon Digital equipment.

He was looking  for some basic instruction but was obviously caught up in the technology overload and was showing me all the settings he had his camera on and what he would do to take a basic portrait.

I must confess I was terrified of the world he had immersed himself in.

The menu on his camera was so much more elaborate than my  "lower end" Canon camera.

And he was an amateur enthusiast.

It put me off buying a higher end full frame slr.

There was a time with film cameras when you had a minimum of things to select and think about on your camera and when taking photographs.

1. Film type, Daylight or tungsten  and Iso of film? Colour or Black and white, negative or transparency?


2. Camera type. 35mm ragefinder,35mm SLR, medium format SLR or TLR.(6x6,6x4.5,6x7,6x8,6x9)

3.Shutter speed.

4. Aperture

5. Lens type.

6. Flash or available light?

7. Tripod or hand held?

8. Was I producing prints or slides? Enlargements or standard prints.

9. Metering mode.

Any processing and printing and correction of faulty exposures was done by the film lab.

Now all of those things are in reality incorporated in one way or another in the digital realm.

But throw in.

Raw or Jpeg?

High Dynamic range.

Picture styles.

Various flash settings and adjustments.

In camera editing.

White balance.



Full frame or APSc

Image stabilisation

Auto focus or manual focus

Focus selection points

Flash cards

Tethered or un-tethered shooting

Remote control

Slave shooting using on and off camera flash

Photoshop, Lightroom etc.

in camera special effects.

And the list goes on.

The closest I have come to my ideal digital camera was I think the first one I purchased.

The pentax *istD.

It had some basic digital adjusting to do but was effectively a digital version of the Pentax MZS which was the final flagship Pentax SLR film camera.

You could run with the default settings and produce some great pics.

The menu was no where near as confusing as the current crop of digital cameras.

6 mega pixels but still produced a very good picture.

Using it was more like the experience of using a film slr.

In addition it was compatible with my large collection of Pentax lenses.

I still have the camera.

It sufferred at my hands once from having coca cola spilt over it.

It did get it fixed.

There is a lot to be said for cameras that are sealed against such things.

Thankfully this camera is now fully functioning again.

I am being drawn back more and more to shooting film.

It may be more costly per shot but that will help curb the addiction of firing off digital salvos when ever I have a camera in hand and that is often.

It will also cut down on many hours spent "playing" on a computer.

The results will more than likely be purer and better.

So watch this space for some film shooting results in the future but not very often.

There are apparently a lot of photographers returning to film.

The author with wedding couple Tidbinbilla ACT. Pentax *istD.Cropped from landscape original.2006.

Sydney Harbour Ferry Pentax*istD




Waiting for the Punt (Ferry) Pentax*istD

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