Nikon – Olympus – Fuji and …. Sony

First proper camera I owned was a Zenit SLR 35mm film camera, it was built like a tank had a decent lens and I learned a lot about speed, aperture, light and composition, somewhere on a holiday sand got into something and it became unusable . I replaced it with a Canon SLR which had automatic everything, it still worked manually if you wanted it to but this was modern and sleek and it was the future. It was however lightweight and predominantly plastic, the weight and tactile feel of wheels ,dials and a lens that needed twists to focus was missing, I missed the feeling of making something by using my own eye and brain, so I inherited an Olympus OM1, tiny compared to the old Zenit , heavy compared to the Canon and predominantly manual in its operation. It also had great lenses ! The Oly served me well, probably my best work resulted from its limitations, the 24 shots on the film, so every one had to count, the care in getting light, speed,aperture just right, the development process where you took the roll out, took it to a local lab and then waited for the negatives and prints. The surprise when you first saw what had been created , the time delay from taking the shot to actually seeing the result, it all added to the adventure. With the advent of digital I found a Fuji point and shoot in a Chicago store, it took pictures and the results were instantly available, I liked the immediacy but not the way the photos looked so much, but they were a record of an event so it served a purpose. I felt I needed the control of an SLR but with digital images instead of film. A Nikon D something found it’s way to me, and I liked it a lot, then the Nikon D3s was acquired , I lugged it and several prime lenses around Cuba for a few weeks documenting the country and it’s people before it succumbed to the mighty dollar. My right shoulder was damaged by the weight of the bag and its contents , it took a year to recover. Olympus released the micro four thirds OMD-1, it was small, it was light, it had a great selection of good lenses, it was a no brainer given the enjoyment I had from the past iteration. And yet the quality I was expecting never quite materialised with the photos. So I traded it in for a Fuji something, after about a year I grew tired of it, it didn’t feel like a camera, even in manual control I never got the image that my eyes actually saw. Everything must go, my iPhone will do, and that how it’s been for a while now. The post production software does all the real work , it’s like being in a darkroom , you take the shot, go home, upload it and then play around until it looks like something interesting. And that’s how I thought it would stay, then I found a tiny little Sony pocket camera, it didn’t have an interchangeable lens, it wasn’t covered with buttons and features, but I played around with it and it felt very usable, what’s more despite its dimensions and tiny sensor I found that I could take photos that pleased me straight out of the camera. Will it be the answer, I don’t know yet but after the journey I’ve been on trying to get back to something like home I think I recognise the neighbourhood.

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