On buying a new camera…

While I’m on the subject of pretty things for a moment–and again in lieu of actual content and opinion–one of the main ways in which I’ve been distracting myself from work recently has been photography. A few months ago I bought myself a really nice point-and-shoot Leica and it completely transformed the way I thought about photography. As a result I’m now pretty much carrying a camera with me wherever I go–now a Flickr clichéd Canon EOS 400d–and seem to spend an inordinate amount of my time calming the storm in my head by intricate fiddlings in Aperture. Brief warnings on the latter – I’ve got a 2GB RAM’d 2.16Ghz Intel Core Duo MacBook Pro and it still runs like a wounded dog. But that’s another story.

Anyway, it occurred to me that other people might not have yet made the connection (as I hadn’t) between having a decent camera and taking pictures that you find exciting. It turns out that the quality of the photographer is pretty much irrelevant. You too can take fascinating pictures with an SLR and a few hours reading up on the subject on the internets. Here’s some of the stuff I’ve come up with recently. They’re not professional or anything, but they make me happy…

Clicking on all the pictures take you through to Flickr of course. What I didn’t mention through the rest of the piece is that for a while I was considering mortgaging my future to get a Leica M8 and a Noctilux lens as responsible for some quite beautiful pictures. But somehow I managed to resist. The ¬£6500 price tag may have had something to do with that. Not even I’m quite at the stage where I’m prepared to spend months in the office to fund one camera.

5 replies on “On buying a new camera…”

Kudos from a longtime rss-reader. I’ve been getting more into Aperture and it’s just wonderful – every time I think I’ve hit a wall with the workflow or the adjustments or the output I find out there’s more depth and quality to the thing. Really really well though-out. But yes, absolutely crushes my new PowerBook.
Love the photos – you’re willing to stop down your lenses for better chances at sharpness and that’s the first step to getting great shots with real-world gear.

The glass makes all the difference. It’s nice, I think, to use a great lens in a digital world, because it reminds you that in the end an SLR, even a digital one, is simply a box with a hole in. Good lenses are beautiful pieces of analogue engineering…

Interesting post. I always followed the maxim of it’s the skill of the photographer, not the tool (camera) but after years of struggling with disappointing results, perhaps it’s time I caught up and exposed myself to the dSLR revolution.

(As an aside the order of the photos in the feed and on the original page are different. Interesting.)
There’s any amount of stuff to read about SLRs on many of the internets, what did you find useful in particular?

That’s a very interesting question, and the truth is that to a large extent the advice I followed was from friends and from personally playing with things. It seems basically when it comes to SLRs you really don’t actually have an enormous amount of choice (which is a relief). For most practical uses, you end up either going Nikon or Canon and as far as I can tell most people end up going Canon. Then it’s just a question of how much money you want to spend, really.

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