Dean O'Brien's Blog

Back to using a compact camera….but beware the pitfalls.

with 6 comments

I have always owned a camera of sorts. Before I started being serious about my photography I always carried a digital compact camera with me. Nothing bigger than the size of a credit card as I remember. However when I started studying photography and purchased an SLR I still continued to use my compact. This was laziness on my behalf. Whenever I was requested to take a camera into college or on a trip I always took the compact and never the SLR. It was convenient you see. Needless to say, I only ever knew how to use my SLR on full auto. By recognising what was happening here I decided to sell my faithful compact camera on ebay at a massive loss. However, the result of this made me rich. Rich in knowledge. It was then that I had to learn how to use it. Yes indeed, once the compact was gone I properly learnt how to use my SLR and felt that I had achieved something. A step in the right direction.

I have not owned a compact camera for over three years now, but the time has come for me to purchase one again. There are times when I am out when the camera on my phone just wont do. Its ideal for some situations but not all. There is the gap between camera phone and SLR that needs bridging. When I was at the Foto8 seminar last month a compact would have been ideal to whip out and grab a few shots for my blog. Instead I had to haul my SLR around which to be honest just became a little annoying.

I never wanted a top spec compact camera, just something very slim and light. I settled for a Canon IXUS130. Yes its the size of a credit card and will serve its purpose well. HD video recording will also come in handy for those emergency recordings.

I’m not as obsessed with photography equipment as I used to be. My camera is a tool. A tool of the trade. A recording device. Whether it be a pinhole in a box or a lens device recording an image onto film. My vision is whats important. How I decide to record that vision is not the important factor.

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Written by Dean O'Brien

August 4, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Posted in Photography

Tagged with , ,

6 Responses

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  1. Hi Dean

    Yes the vision is the most important aspect of photography and the equipment will help you obtain that. I like technology, because it allows me to do exactly that. I just love digital, not because it is any better or easier than film etc, but the convenience it allows one.

    The new range of sensors that are currently under development should finally allow digital users to get the DR that is obtainable with film without bracketing and compiling in software.

    Vision, and how one views the world through a lens is not related to the equipment used, but more in the statement of what is being said.

    Just some thoughts.

    As usual Dean a thoughtful post.

    rick medlock

    August 5, 2010 at 9:12 am

    • Thanks for the comments Rick. Being not too obsessed with the technical side of things seems to have freed me from myself if that makes sense. I’m just concentrating more on being creative and trying to pull new ideas and inspiration from my immediate surroundings.

      Dean O'Brien

      August 5, 2010 at 11:56 am

  2. Hello, Dean I used an an Vivitar vivicam 7022 which I brought for £25.00 new to photograph at Warwick Castle. I tried to forget the limitations of the compact camera but when I envisioned an shot I found that I couldn’t get both close enough and wide at the same time and I knew that if I had a DSLR, even a cheap one like a second hand Nikon D70 this practical problem could be overcome.

    My inspiration for the photographs (don’t laugh) was an episode of ‘Doctor Who’ from 1976 called ‘The Hand of Evil’ which had great cinematopgraphy. If you see the story you’ll understand.

    I also read the other article on the great Leica camera rip off.

    Chris Alford

    September 7, 2010 at 9:46 pm

  3. Thanks for the comment Chris.

    Ideas for inspiration come from everywhere. I have been influenced by many tv programmes for projects before. Many documentaries in particular.

    Dean O'Brien

    September 8, 2010 at 12:08 pm

  4. I found this interesting article on the internet.
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113692571

    It would be great if say when you need to replace a digital camera after so many years you could keep and remove parts of the same camera, like change the sensor but keep the rest of the electronics and frame of the camera to keep cost down.

    Create apps or your own scripts to suit you photographic practice so say you took some fashion photos there could be a program to download a copy of them as jpegs into a series of posts on fashion grouped together.

    Or what about a program to tell you that the incident reading measured with your handheld meter is in align with your lens. possiblites are endless.

    Still a camera cannot be programmed for creative vision.

    Chris Alford

    October 16, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    • Yes well I think we are going to see plenty of changes over the next few years Chris regarding the process of making images.

      Thanks also for your comments on my other posts.

      Dean O'Brien

      October 16, 2010 at 10:00 pm


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