My contribution this issue is not so much Photographic but what we photograph with and why.
A big subject I hear you say and it is which is why I am going to keep it just to my thoughts and examples.
I currently own a Canon 70d a very capable and commonly touted as an “enthusiasts” camera. I am very happy with it, it is a good workhorse of a camera, it’s tough, and it has a plethora of settings and adjustments to keep me happy for many years. “Where’s this leading?” I hear you ask.
Well the one thing I have noticed is that the more street photography or actually the more any photography I do the more I am exploring the options. I find myself using my rather battered but still fully functional Lumix Lx3 and occasionally my mobile phone the Samsung J5. In fact I am experimenting more with that than anything else at the moment.
So this article is to explore the view on them, a short discussion where is the future of photography taking us?
In this ever technological world or making things smaller, lighter, faster, cleverer! Photography has been hot on the heel of mobile phones and vice versa. From top of the range iPhone to Olympus OMD Mirrorless and even Canons 100D the smallest dslr currently in production.
Where will it all end? Many say the future of Photography is in the mirrorless camera, but does it really matter what you use so long as it does what you want it to. So many Photographers I know will only ever consider their CANIKON DSLR as the best thing ever to photograph with and they will never switch to anything else, not even their phones.
Some photogs become what are commonly referred to “addicted to GAS” or “Gear Acquisition Syndrome”. The biggest, the latest, the most expensive…. And so it goes on. I personally don’t have any issue with GAS if you have the budget and skill to match it. So often though it is overlooked at what exactly they are trying to achieve? Quite often the inexperience will show through with poor images or lack of image quality because of their lack of experience. This can be remedied by trying and learning different formats that are easily and readily available. This brings me back to the mobile phone and compact camera.
I am a great believer in trying out all the ways of doing something, some ways will work and others won’t, but until you try them how do you know does what? Only by experimenting and trying these formats will we learn what we can truly create? For me creativity is the key to success, it makes you unique, it gives you something no one else has. The perspectives, the adjustments, are all down to the individual and like all humans we are all individual, with a commonality for viewing pleasure. We all like to view images but once again the images that suit one will not suit another. It is this that we are trying to achieve the pleasure that you give another person from your image and purely on a selfish but human level Self-actualization, which occurs when you “maximize your potential, doing the best that you are capable of doing”. That is something I think we all strive for.
So back to the means- What is wrong with using compact, mirrorless or phone cameras? Nothing in fact I would advise people to try out all forms and settle on what they like/get on with the best. Don’t worry just like all human beings you will continue to develop and grow with experience and move onto more technical equipment as you go. For example I started in my photographic experience buying my first SLR when I was 18. An Olympus OM10, from this camera I learnt the fundamentals of photography and some. Waiting was the name of that game, no instant image on the back of the camera. No other way of creating the image I saw in front of me. It was guess work and practice.
Things have moved on and I have embraced the technology and practice and delighted at the reduction in the cost of the images. Sadly this has been added to the cost of the technology, but as technology is moving so fast what is deemed as older or dated models still produce outstanding results with practice.
So my Lx3 images look pretty good considering the small sized sensor. Its ability to shoot RAW makes it that much better if you need to adjust in PP. My experience has been I have had to do very little if nothing to an image coming out of this little beast, except when I want to process artistically. As I have here in the image below. Opting for a gritty grunge HDR effect brought this image out even more than the original, which I was also happy with.
The LX3 carries the images off well for a 10.01megapixel and a wide 24-60mm. with image stabilisation and video. The Samsung J5 has video too but alas no image stabilisation.. The Lx3 is no slouch of a camera though.
So the possibilities with an instrument such as this are still perfectly acceptable unless of course you might want to print a billboard with it and as the files are RAW that can still be done!
This view above of the rocks at Koh Lanta Yai at near sunset show that even in poor light this Lx3 behaves well and so it should with its f/2- 2.8 apertures. This image is SOOC completely unedited.
Same beach and not quite the same aspect but again fading light. The 70d captures more tones and is a lot less processed than the Samsung J5 and even the superb Lx3. Personally I can’t see the difference in IQ between the two and neither do most people looking at them (Pixel peepers excluded). Please note this was a Raw file imported into Lr5 then immediately exported as a JPEG
This image above same location is taken with my J5 mobile phone. This sports a 13 megapixel camera, which is one of the reasons I gave it consideration when replacing my broken Samsung S3. I wanted something with better image capabilities but didn’t want the bulk. Sure enough it’s photo interface is basic although it does allow you to change modes from Auto to full manual and adjust the ISO (800) WB(standard range) and exposure compensation(+2 to -2) as well as metering. It also carries a sports mode and panorama which I have found useful. I have found that although the parameters of this Mobile are far greater in limitation to my 70d for example I have been able to work around these and learned when and how I can use them to their best.
So what I am trying to illustrate here is that anybody can take decent photographs with what they have so long as they take time to learn the camera and its capabilities. It seems that too many people are missing the point! It’s not the kit you have it’s how you use it! It’s also not how much or how new it is, it’s how often do you take it out and use it?
So….Maybe after reading this you might have a wider view of the options for you.