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  1. Hi Susheel,

    I love the idea of putting constraints on one’s photography as a way to work on one’s eye rather than worrying about the tool (settings, lenses, lights, etc.), which is why I have been primarily shooting with camera phones the last four years.

    Have fun.

    smiles, jen ;o)

  2. I really think you hit on a few important points here. I just found your article, as I’m searching around for stuff that seems to articulate what I’m thinking…
    And this is what’s been going through my mind: Allot of my favourite photographers used a small camera. Typically a Lieca. Many of the photographs that we all recognise, the stone cold all-time-classics where taken on the most basic equipment.
    I’ve noticed people do seem to clam up when you whip out a big camera, or just act as though they are being photographed. At worst some people get aggressive. I’m also working in an area where theft is a real threat, So I’ve dug out my girlfriends old Canon A520.
    While this is a basic camera, it does offer shutter and aperture modes, and it is unobtrusive. People really don’t seem to notice it. So whilst I can’t afford to supplement my gear with a Lieca system, I’m getting some great shots I would otherwise miss, with a camera that I can replace for £25 from ebay should the worst happen. Because of the small pixel count I can shoot all day on a 2gb card.
    Yeah… I have to agree with you, in one fell swoop I’ve downgraded my gear and upgraded my photography.
    The underlying fact is; your pictures can only be as good as the opportunity to capture them. Perhaps here, rather than down grading our gear we can look at it as simply the right tools for the right job.

    Thanks for some thought provoking points.

  3. I remembered posting here before in agreement with you and thought I’d update; I had enough of getting harraged for using the girlfriends camera, so…..
    I bought an A570is from Ebay
    I wanted a pocket sized camera that had much of the flexibility of my DSLR, and accepted there’d be trade offs, but thought them worthwhile in return for the small size.
    I couldn’t really be happier. You can achieve a reasonable DOF with a pretty fast lens, f2.6 at the wide end, a shade quicker than most of the competition. it has nippy shot to shot time in continuous mode, if you shoot in Program mode. You can fully control shutter speed and the exposure compensation is excellent too. For some reason only slightly older canon’s have this full a feature set, they seem to be restricting this kind of fun to the upscale, higher end cameras these days
    For what I wanted, in camera shops, all they could really offer was a Canon G shot or the higher end of the Lumix range, but I baulked at paying the same prices as a entry level DSLR, when I knew that the performance would be hamstrung.
    Then I realised that Canons old A Series had a similar feature set. Bingo.

    BUT

    Even better, researching the range I discovered CHDK, a firmware hack, that turned back on features from high end models Canon turns off as you move down the range, So now my £50 camera has auto-bracketing for exposure, and well everything, zebra exposure overlays, time-lapse, motion detection and even RAW!

    Yes RAW, the holy grail of photography in a sub-£100 camera!

    So I’m very happy, I’ve got a pretty highly speced camera for not much cash. A minor point but I’ll mention, out on the streets it looks like an out dated mid range point and shoot, cos well, it is. Less conspicuous than specialist gear, not bulky like a DSLR, people hardly seem to notice. And hopefully a low risk of theft, even if does get thieved, that’s only few quid down the drain, not hundreds.

  4. Blanko,

    Thanks for the notes and the update. Yes, it’s the older Canons that seem to have the flexibility of manual control…

    I should say, Canon’s G series of cameras is pretty good. I used a friend’s PowerShot G9 a short while ago, and it reminded me a lot of the old Rangefinder cameras. Sturdy, with all the controls easily accessible and clearly laid out.

    CHDK is a cool tool… Yes, Indeed!

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