An older guy's thoughts about digital

Started Jul 27, 2012 | Discussions thread
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An older guy's thoughts about digital
Jul 27, 2012

Older? I'm 74. I got my first 35 mm camera, an Argus C4 in 1955 in a kit with a light meter and a huge flash that plugged into the side. I got my first digital camera in late 2003, and today, my wife and I have 5 of them.

Anyhow, I got to reflecting on the digital cameras I have and how they compared to some of my favorite film gear after I bought a nice used Canon G11.

My all time favorite SLR was a Nikon FE2, closely followed by a Nikon N80. For the younger crowd, the FE2 was an aperture preferred auto-exposure, manual focus camera with a really good manual mode, depth of field preview, exposure compensation, TTL flash, and readouts for shutter speed and aperture in the viewfinder. The N80 was an AF model with a nice handgrip and had Program as well as aperture preferred and manual. I had several lenses; but the ones most commonly used were 28-105 mm. f/2.8-3.8 on the FE2's Vivitar Series 1, and f/3.5-4.5 on the N80's AF Nikkor. On travel, where I take the bulk of my pictures, those were the lenses I used nearly all the time. With the lens mounted; both cameras were well over 40 oz. and in later years, I used ISO 400 film on travel.

Shoot, I thought, my Canon S90 has a 28-105 mm lens that's f/2-4.9! And the camera only weighs 7.45 oz. with a Franiec grip. Nice, but no use of filters, no optical viewfinder, and no hot shoe; although it does have IS and a 3" LCD. And I could add a LensMate filter adapter, if I really wanted filters. What a contrast to the film SLR's! But I keep thinking about the new Sony RX100.

And then I thought about the G11, with it's 28-140 mm f/2.8-4.5 IS lens, hot shoe, articulated LCD, optical finder, and on this camera the LensMate filter adapter, and only 14 oz.

The S90 and G11 have the same sensor and processor, so the IQ is close, and at ISO 400, about as good as my film cameras; judging by similar sized prints. And, of course, I have a whole range of ISO and WB to work with. On my film cameras, I had to change film to change ISO, and if I wanted to correct for lighting, it meant either different film or correction filters. In fact, I had a whole bag full of filters. UV, Skylight, 81 series, Enhancing, polarizer, graduated ND, tungsten correction, fluorescent correction. Today, I only carry a lens protector (UV or clear), a polarizer, and a graduated ND 0.6 - everything else I can do in camera or post processing.

So I guess I'll stop complaining and wanting more and more, and better and faster; and just enjoy what I have and be thankful. For these are The Good Old Days.

BTW, I do have a DSLR, a 60D, and it weighs 45 oz. with the 18-135 mm lens. It doesn't go on many trips with us. However, the Panasonic FZ150 does travel with us. Well, at least until the FZ200 replaces it. 600 mm equivalent at f/2.8. If I told somebody in 1990 that we'd have that by 2012, they'd have me committed.

 GeraldW's gear list:GeraldW's gear list
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