While I love looking at photographs and taking photographs, I’m not a very good technical photographer. Long ago in the time of actual film photography, I liked to totally disregard anything technical (fstops, white balance) and make photographs by leaving the camera aperture wide open in a dark room and use a flashlight to illuminate my subject. This example, above, is the only one I could find tonight, and dates from 2000. Looking at it now, I see that is it a selfie taken before we even knew what a selfie was. I still love how weird but beautiful these photos were, with the flashlight reflections almost looking like reflections of water.
These days my iphone is my only camera and while it is fast and omnipresent recently I’ve been hankering for a camera that demands a little bit more attention while still being really accessible to my non-technical nature. I clicked around tonight. Lots of great rabbit holes to go down: I found the camera reviews on The Luminous Landscape helpful but I particularly liked the Camera Finder on Flickr. You can explore all the actual photographs on Flickr taken by all different kinds of cameras.
The Sigma Merrill DP2 caught my eye for being decently similar to digital medium format cameras that cost upwards of $10k, which got my attention (for comparison sake, you can get a used DP2 for around $600). It seems to be a camera for landscapes. But, it is tricky to use and by no means a “point and shoot”, so there are quite a few used ones on the market. It sounds like people either love it or hate it. Given that I’m not that technical, this is a camera that could frustrate me! But, I’m still intrigued.
The Fuji X100S also caught my eye for supposedly being good in low light (I live my life in low light in my dark UWS apartment!), but is expensive ($1300). Here are the Flickr photos for “interiors” taken with the X100. And here are the landscapes. Interesting to compare the two cameras. I think I like the DP2 better – the photos seem on the whole to be “warmer” – which I know can be affected by post production, etc. I’ve used the service BorrowLens.com before where I could rent one for $70 for the week to see how it worked or take it on a trip.
But my favorite camera found tonight, which I actually bought, was the FujiFilm Instax 210 ($56 dollars). Basically, a perfect camera for someone (me) who is not very technical (you point, you shoot, the film comes out!). And there is no post production! Here is the flickr results for the Instax and
two three of my favorites.
Do you have a digital camera you love or have you migrated to a smartphone? Have you used any of the cameras I mention? Would love to hear!