Merry Christmas!

This squished-up (how on earth did they DO that?!) 5c coin I found on the footpath outside my home the other day reminded me of a technological dilemma I go through from time to time… Of course, I had to take the coin inside and photograph it, and the quickest camera to hand to do the job was my Canon G7 – because it was on my desk AND has a macro lens that can focus on a thing 1cm away.
About four years ago, when through gritted teeth I resigned myself to the fact that “yes, a digital camera could be useful for some things, sigh…”, I did some research, decided I had waaay too many film SLR’s to justify buying a digital one (ha, ha) and bought the finest compact camera of the day, the G7. Great – it has manual control, an external flash hotshoe – this will be handy! The only things missing are RAW file ability, and it would be nicer if it had more resolution, or was actually useable above ISO200..
Well, was it even 6 months before Canon released the G9 (they skipped “8”), which moreorless addressed those issues? Then EVERY subsequent year, another update, until the G12 this year, which might be the last as little compact cameras lose popularity to fancy mobile phone ones… “Grr!” I would either have to update my (by now many times obsolescent) digi camera every year, or… or what?
Actually, once my internal frustration had subsided, I realised (annually) that this little camera still did all the things I wanted it to, and if I wanted something better, than I should stay true to my real love, and that’s FILM, whereupon problems of resolution, ISO and post production can be addressed using time-honoured mad-scientist techniques, just the way I like it.
In fact, no single camera does everything well – they are all useful for some specific purpose or other, and all have their foibles. Sometimes it’s fun to use cameras for things they were never intended for to – like portraits with a Graphic Sequence camera (the kind they used in the 60’s for analysing golf swing)…
So, in a convoluted fashion, I suppose I have written a slightly anti-consumerist rant, or a sentimental treaty to look at your tools with a clear long-term eye, and not relegate objects to the bin (or ebay) just because they are not modern or fancy. You can (often) achieve the same results with care and skill and the tools you already own.
Now all I have to do for Christmas is heed my own advice!

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One thought on “Merry Christmas!

  1. When I were a juvenile delinquent and did work experience in a mechanics shop with lots of gigantic bits of machinery we had competitions on who could fold a 20 cent piece the most times over. I managed 2 and a half times once……

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