Traveller, Photographer, Mountaineer, Human

Journey Part 1 (from Cellphone Camera to Bridge Camera)

I didn’t really intend to get serious on photography.  It was far from my mind less than 2 years ago.

My very first camera is the camera on my cellphone (a Motorola Razr).  It took ok pictures.  I took pictures with it on some of family and company travels, my vanity, etc.  At that time, a dedicated camera costs a lot.  A Sony point-and-shoot camera costs Php20,000 or more.

My mother and father (shot with Motorola Razr cellphone camera).

Samsung’s Beauty shot (before and after) with Espie, an officemate.

My first dedicated camera was a Samsung point-and-shoot.  It was ok, it documented my limited travels and social gatherings before.  I really loved the Beauty shot feature (basically, you take a photo of a face and it applies an algorithm to blur away details (lines, pimples, etc.) on a face.  It doesn’t always work well but in most situation, it gets the job done.

Then I started mountaineering (in March 2011).  The Samsung took ok pictures but I found that it has a very limited zoom, the pictures aren’t always that good (especially on the trail where the trees cast a dark shadow on everything).  I looked for a good camera then (my definition of “good” was very different then).

Bright-capped cisticola (Cisticola exilis) (right) and a moss (below), shot in Tarak Ridge, the day after I bought my Fuji S4000.

A After research online, I settled on a Fujifilm S4000 bridge camera.  As a novice, I wanted the largest zoom I can find and the budget I alloted for a camera was limited (the S4000 I think cost Php12000/$285 before).  My officemates told me that I should have bought a DSLR as they thought that I’d upgrade very very soon.  This was in April or May 2011.

Coming from a point-and-shoot, I was amazed with the pictures I was able to take with this camera (especially with the 24-624 equivalent focal range).  The quality was great (I thought they were great).

A child on the beach (left), bamboo sidings (right) taken in Nasugbu, Batangas with Fuji S4000.

It was then that I began learning about photography – composition, apertures and shutter speed, etc.  The S4000 has an aperture priority as well as shutter priority but this is severely limited.  You can only go one stop above or below the automatically chosen value.  My biggest gripe with S4000 is focus.  I could have lived with the picture quality but focusing (especially in low-light) takes a very long time.  I think I could have gotten quicker focus had there been a manual focus on the S4000 but it has none.

In one of my climbs, a fellow mountaineer brought along her DSLR (a Canon 1100D with the 18-55 kit lens) and I get to try it.  I was a total noob when it comes to DSLR (I was looking for an image on the LCD without even thinking of looking through the viewfinder).

One of my first DSLR pics (shot with Kyt’s Canon 1100D).

My impression of 1100D (and DSLR in general) was that it takes great pictures and focusing is quick.  I like the shallow depth of field.  However, whenever the 18-55mm kit lens focuses, I fear that I may have broken the lens.  There is a very loud noise as the lens elements move from one end to another.

After that climb, I resolved to get a DSLR (making my officemate’s prediction come true – this was July 2011, a mere 3 months since getting the S4000).


One response

  1. Pingback: Journey Part 3 (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) | thenoblewanderer

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