Lots of interesting discourse out there in the photogeek world, girls and boys. Here’s your lightning tour, this one dominated by Mike Johnston of The Online Photographer, currently about my favorite photoblogger; high quality stuff and a nice light tone.
DSLR Shopping? · Mike’s old DSLR is running out of steam, so he asked his readers, one of the best-qualified communities you could possibly imagine, what to do.
There are 73 comments, very hands-on, no theoreticians. If you’re thinking about a DSLR you might learn something from them. Even more valuable, I think, are Mike’s thoughts on his own trade-offs and itches.
Good Little Camera · I have bitched here previously about the lack of a high-end fits-in-your pocket compact camera; see here, here, and here. It turns out that some of major photogeeks out there feel my pain, and have gone so far as to specify the camera they’d like someone to build for them. Check out Mike Johnston’s (same guy, different site) ‘DMD’: The Digital Camera I’d Like to Own and Thom Hogan’s Thom’s Compact Camera Challenge.
Thought-provoking indeed. I still think those Ricohs look good.
No Zoom · I’ve written here about my recent lens purchases, both from the Pentax “DA Limited” series, the 40mm and 21mm; they’ve made me happy, to the extent that I haul the Pentax around to lots more places than I used to. They are both “prime” lenses; which is to say, no zoom. I’ve said a few words about my choice of an apparently-crippled device, but Mike’s The Case Against Zooms goes wide and deep on the subject. Watch out, reading this could be the first step onto the slippery slope of lens-geekery.
Actually, I disagree with one of Mike’s key arguments: that a prime user is agreeing to accept that lens’ point of view. I publish almost nothing here without some pretty heavy cropping, so for me, the lens POV is just a starting point.
For example, I recently ran a nasturtium picture; one of my commenters said it would have been better if I’d focused only on the flower. Well, maybe, but in fact here’s how I got the composition that I actually ran, you be the judge.
That’s Adobe Lightroom’s wonderful crop-and-rotate tool at work.
For me, the primes are irresistible for two reasons. First, they’re small and light; with the 21mm/40mm pair, everything goes in one form-fitting bag, the extra lens and the USB card reader fitting down in the bulge where the zoom used to stick out. Second, with one less control, I compose with my body and I shoot faster which means a better chance at something decent.
The M8 Again · For the last couple of years, the number-one controversy in the digicam world has surrounded the Leica M8, an insanely-expensive rangefinder closely based on the classic M7. DPReview, which I think is the world’s largest digicam-review site, finally bit the bullet and reviewed it. (I’ve touched on this issue before and pointed to a pair of Mike Johnston pieces on the M8.)