The rise of the "one inch" sensor cameras.

Added: New links for the "research impaired" (DP Review readers) at the bottom.

Amazing that, for once, Nikon could be accused of getting to market too far ahead of everyone else. I'm talking about their initial foray into the "one inch" sensor camera market. Four years ago Nikon surprised most of us by introducing the V1 camera and a small collection of lenses. I snapped one up because it was so interesting. I also bought three of the lenses. At the time the sensor was 10 megapixels but that didn't stop me from shooting some journalistic-type jobs with it, including a project photographing Dell's CEO, Michael Dell, at a visit to Austin Easter Seals; which I wrote about here on the blog.

The camera was very good and very fast. The icing on the cake was that even back then that little mirrorless camera (at about $1,000) focused, and locked focus, much faster than the current mirrorless, full frame cameras from Sony. The images looked really good, too....as long as you didn't go too high on the ISO scale. But Nikon wasn't able, and hasn't been able, to get much traction with the system. They were on the wrong side of the razor. And they made a critical mistake in having a step down camera (the J1) that DID NOT have an EVF or any way to add an EVF. The market really wasn't ready for the idea of the smaller sensor camera at a price that was higher than Nikon's competent APS-C consumer cameras. They just didn't figure out how to give the targeted users a compelling reason to acquire this particular tool set.

Nikon blazed new territory and, for that, I am somewhat proud of Nikon. But now I have a sense that the one inch sensor's time has come and that the cameras being designed around variants of this size sensor are about to take their place in the camera hierarchy as competitors to the current crop of micro four thirds machines.

Why do I say this? Hmmm. Sony and Panasonic tied me down and forced me to say this in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars and truck loads of free gear!!!? Well, would you believe, instead, that I've had such good experiences with the two different models of "one inch" sensor-equipped cameras that I am quickly coming to embrace them as everyday photography tools? I wish the former reason were true but I'm afraid it's really the second...

In the past week I've done two assignments with the small chip cameras and had, what I consider, excellent outcomes. In one instance, which I shared here on the blog, I photographed actor, Jimmy Moore, for a marketing promotion for Zach Theatre. The camera in question was the Panasonic fz 1000 which is currently available for a whopping $695. All you get for your money is a Leica designed lens that is very sharp and gives you 25mm to 400mm (equivalents) along with a 2.36 million pixel EVF, as many frames per second as you want, solid and beautiful 20 megapixel raw files and pretty darn flawless 4K video. Oh, I forgot to mention the really, really good image stabilization.

This is the kind of job we might have used our full frame cameras on before but if you think about the nuts and bolts of shooting people on white backgrounds (who will eventually be cut out from the background) the smaller sensor just makes sense. At f8.0 the entire person is in focus so the clipping path becomes easier to make. If the quality didn't match up it wouldn't matter about the efficacy of the clipping paths but the reality is that, at ISO 125, shooting raw and metering accurately, the files were impeccable. So that's one application. And, interestingly enough, the smaller, cheaper camera (relative to my D750 or D810) does such a good job with face detection AF that I use it and never suffer from inaccurate focus. Tell me you always nail AF with your big DSLR and I'll laugh along with you....

In the same week I pushed a Sony RX10 into service to photograph a prototype techie machine on a white background. As I explained in yesterday's post the impetus was to be able to use a camera with a sharp lens and more depth of field than even my m4:3 cameras, at the same angle of view, without any apparent loss of image quality. I am confident that we succeeded. In fact, that job may well have led to a much bigger video project; which might also be perfectly within the technical abilities of the smaller sensor-ed cameras.

In a similarity race with the Panasonic the Sony RX10 includes a faster lens, designed by Zeiss and just about everything I described about the fz 1000 above. And, in a head to head competition, both were equally proficient and, in fact, cut down on my post production time in each case.

I said, in my blog yesterday, that it would crazy to go out and buy yet another one inch camera but that's exactly what I intend to do. I am convinced that there are many assignments that would actually benefit from getting beyond our knee jerk prejudice for bigger cameras. The older Sony with the new XAVC codec and the newer model with its 4K capability and high video frame rate (great for slow motion effects) are not only good still cameras but are really first class video cameras. In concert with the fz 1000s we can be out shooting video with multiple, high quality "B" cameras ---- limited only by how many tripods I own....

While the imaging sensors have gotten better and better with the bigger cameras it's equally true that the sensors have improved in the one inch cameras as well, and, obviously, designing high quality lenses for the smaller sensors is easier and more cost effective than designing lenses with similar angles of view for larger sensor cameras.

I have a little side bet going with myself. One of my personalities (the risk taking artist) thinks we can do just about every job with one of the "one inch" cameras. Another one of my personalities (the linear, insecure engineer) thinks we should be safe and careful and always shoot with something "professional." While the day to day personality (capricious and insouciant business guy) says, "oh what the hell? let's give it a try!!! In response, my personality who is "accounting guy" fainted and hit his head on the desk again... At any rate the bet is whether or not we can pull of half of our video productions and still photography assignments with a combination of the three best one inch superzoom cameras on the market. It's a fun contest and the winner gets nothing but the glory of being proven right.

I just can't get over how great the files keep looking from these all-on-one super cameras. And if Nikon gets one right I'll try that one too.

I'm thinking this is the year that one inch sensor cameras become mainstream and get pressed into an enormous variety of paying jobs. Of course, I've been wrong before so I'm hedging my bet by keeping the big cameras of various formats around the studio. After all, the first lesson of "wing walking" is to grab hold of the strut in front of you before you let go of the one behind you....

Here's some affiliate advertising if you are antsy to get started shooting smaller

Buy one instead of yet another lens...

Added on Sunday for all the people with no institutional memory for the writings and research here at VSL: We were early adopters of one inch cameras buying the V1 from Nikon the month it appeared, the Sony RX10 two years ago, etc. Here are some links re: our engagement with the Nikon Series 1: 


Chaps my ass to read on DP Review, in the Nikon Series 1 forum, that I am "a late arrival" to the one inch sensor camera club..... lazy jerks.

One of the original Craftsy Photo Classes and 
still one of the best! 

I met Lance a couple of weeks ago in Denver
and found him to be really fun and knowledgeable 
this class reflects what he teaches in hands-on
workshops in Ireland and Iceland, as well as 
cool places around the U.S.

How to make what we shoot into a cohesive
train of visual thought.


Flip-Flopping on gear? Or making smart selections based on the final image targets? That's part of the job...

I'll start with an analogy: I have several friends who are chefs. They own their restaurants but they still get in their kitchens several times a week and "work the line" because, beyond their restaurants being businesses, they also enjoy the art/craft of cooking. Of making stuff with their own hands. A couple of these guys are in their mid-fixities and have a good thirty years of food service experiences under their belts. They've learned some valuable information about successful cooking that makes them fast, efficient and, by extension, profitable. 

To help them in their work they've learned to choose the right tools for each process. And few tools are as important to a chef as their collection of knives. They have paring knives for fine work, they have big cleavers for heavy duty chopping, and they have assorted serrated and non-serrated utility knives for chopping and filleting and slicing. But, here's the important thing! They don't do every task with one magic, perfect knife. 

It just doesn't work that way. They select the knife that will work best for each kind of work they do. The could do okay with a few well chosen knives but it would not be as much fun and it would just make their work take more time. Some dishes might suffer from the relative mismatch of tools and ingredients... Fingers might get nicked. So, selecting the right tool = good. 

What does this aside have to do with us photographers? Well, there seems to be a pervasive mythology in photography at large that somewhere, in some mythical camera store out there, exists a perfectly sorted camera for every user. One all purpose machine that is a perfect fit for everything the photographer might ever want to do. One need only find their own mythical


Red Head in front of Gallleries Lafayette in Berlin.

 click on the image to see it bigger. The reflections are really pretty...

When I visit a new city the first thing I do, after checking into my hotel, is to get a good street map and memorize (in a very general way) where everything is. I won't know exact street names and such but I will understand just where the cool stuff is located. Once I've spent an hour or so with a real map I grab one camera, and the lens I think will make me happiest, shove an extra battery in my pocket and head for the front door.

I think the best way to see almost any city is to invest some shoe leather and walk the streets. The city will reveal itself to you, if you are open to it.

The image above was shot with a Samsung Galaxy NX camera. It was an infuriating camera and yet, an endearing camera. Infuriating in that it operated like an overgrown phone and was prone to, well, freezing up or shutting itself off at the least advantageous times. Endearing because when it did work the files could be quite beautiful in a way that was visually different from the usual Canon and Nikon files.

I was always a little surprised that the folks at Samsung dropped that camera so

A photo from a mystery camera comes out of the old Aperture files to confound me.

Does this happen to you? You come across a photo that you like for some group of technical reasons and you immediately cogitate that it must have come from one of your expensive super cameras festooned with some high priced, German lens. You play with the image and sniff around the edges and, after a while you remember that you can click that little "info" button and find the real provenance of the photograph. Then, sometimes, you have to come to grips with the reality that the image was made with a camera that you dismissed. That your own elitism deprived you of.

And it's usually a case of the camera being so inexpensive and unremarkable that you were comfortable bringing it along everywhere and even taking the chance that someone might spill beer on it. You might drop it but you knew a crack in the polycarbonate wouldn't make you cry.

And, all that is probably the same set of reasons you don't take that D810 or A7R2 with you when you pop out for a cold one with friends. And so, that camera; the precious one, is hardly ever present with you when you are out dipping your toes in the rippling streams of daily life. So it's rarely there to capture the fun stuff either.

The image above was taken with a long discontinued Sony A57 or A58 and the $200 35mm f1.8 lens. An APS-C camera with an electronic viewfinder and a careful price tag. When I saw the info box identifying the gear I had almost forgotten owning that little family of cameras. We concentrate on the big stars in the camera families like the A99 or A900. But it's the cameras that follow us around that get pointed more often at the good stuff.

Here's another one from a camera I traded away last year (below). Recently I bought a new copy and when I saw this frame in the mix, and the one of the soup just below it, I remembered why I liked that camera so much in the first place.

They are both from the original version of the Sony RX10. A cold day out walking. A quick lunch at the Royal Blue Grocery, across from Lance Armstrong's bike shop. I can't imagine that any "better" camera and lens would have produced anything "more" than what I ended up with. Effortlessly. 

I love the amateur cameras. Psychologically, they rarely get in the way.

Hot color day. Various cameras.

Sometimes it's fun to shoot color for color's sake. When the skies are clean and blue and the sun is direct the saturation and color purity makes me want to grab a camera and get outside. Science tells us that the act of taking long walks is a booster for our cognitive processes and creates a sense of optimism and well being. Doing these walks with a camera over one shoulder is an amplifier of these effects. I recommend a daily dose. The happiest photographers I know are the ones who are always engaged in some aspect of their process, from the walk to the edit, it's all good. 


I have received the breathless entreaties from several retailers to: PRE-ORDER THE CANON EOS-1D X 2 NOW! NOW! NOW! But maybe I'll take my chances and wait....

The truth is that I'll probably never buy a new Canon 1DX2. I am leaving the door open to an impulse purchase of the camera for $500 a few years from now as I did when I decided to give the 1Dmk2I a try a few years back. The camera had been out for a while and lost, what? 90% of its value in less than 4 years? And it was a fun $500 camera; really.

But the truth is that there are very few freelance photographers (outside of a handful of sports photographers) who have much need for a camera like this (or the Nikon D5) and almost certainly very few of our readers here at the VSL who would appreciate the extra weight over what they are shooting with right now.

I've been looking through all of the information I can find about this camera because I had one pressing interest in machines like this; how do they perform as 4K video cameras? The Nikon D5 turns out to be a bust for 4K video --- unless you couple it with a $2,000 external video recorder. And if we need to pay that kind of money ($8000 = camera+recorder) to get basic 4K (without the niceties of XLR mic connectors, etc.) we might as well buy a Sony FS7 or an FS5 and be done with it.

From what I can see the Canon might do 4K for the 29.99 minutes if you are shooting to an internal CFast card. If that's the case then they just did another leapfrog over the Nikon offering but for the rest of the performance specifications it is, for the most part, just another case of: If you have Canon lenses you buy the 1DX2, if you have Nikon lenses you buy the D5. If you have mirrorless lenses you just ignore all of this.

I certainly don't mind camera makers making new cameras all the time, after all, that's their job. What I have come to mind is the breathless faux excitement meant to roil up those left with good credit and get them all excited about being the first one on their block to drop another six thousand dollars on a camera that's tremendous overkill for nearly all of us. Steve, Precision-Camera.com, and everyone else: Just calm down!

In the last two weeks I have been advised to pre-order (NOW! NOW!) the Fuji XPro2, the Olympus Pen F, The twin Nikons D5 and D500, and now the 1DX2. Please, just send me the product information.... Oh heck, don't even do that. If the product is interesting enough it's already on our collective radar.

After the introduction and subsequent withdrawal and then re-introduction of the Olympus EM10.2, the various fixes and recalls of the D750, the light leaks in the Canon 5Dmk3, and the oil leaks and sensor spatter of the Nikon D600 (just to mention a few brand's introductory disasters) I think I'll remember the lesson I learned way back when Leica first delivered the original M8 (purple pollution fixed with accessory IR filters) and wait until the first generation of rabidly motivated buyers snaps up whatever camera body I might be interested in. I'll let them suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous design shortcuts and, hopefully, will be able to jump in after the manufacturer has first denied, and then acknowledged and fixed, whatever issues there might be. Once the product is sullied in the press, and in the forums, and once the product is perfected, I'll be happy to pick one up ----- for a discounted price.

In retrospect, it's been more fun to cheery-cherry pick the best of the used "instant classics" than it has been to experience the trepidation of being a bleeding edge buyer of the latest cameras.

I am certain the 1DX2 is a fabulous camera. I am equally certain that its target market knows who they are and exactly what the updates and upgrades might provide to them. But knowing what I know about the way I shoot, none of these super cameras are anywhere near my wish list. Just saying'.

Sorry, no affiliate link. Not a product I'm shooting personally. 


Fun little afternoon project. Photographing an actor for an upcoming, one man play. About Barbara Streisand. With a camera that was definitely not marketed for studio use....

J. Robert Moore. Zach Theatre. 

Here's the description from the Zach Website of the play, "Buyer and Cellar":   Alex, a struggling Hollywood actor, takes an outrageous job working in Streisand’s Malibu Barbra dream house in an underground mall housing her showbiz collections. One surprising day, the FUNNY GIRL herself comes downstairs to “shop” and, for Alex, icons who need people are the luckiest people in the world. But will this desperate actor ever be invited upstairs to Babs’ palatial estate? This giddily hilarious one-man play will have you doubled-over laughing, proclaiming “it’s like butta!"

Hmm. Not sure who wrote the description but, okay. The marketing folks at Zach Theatre needed to have some images taken for promotional postcards (yes, real businesses still print and mail stuff...), social media and various other outlets. They wanted to get Mr. Moore in a studio and get a range of emotions from him that would express the character he'll be playing this Summer.  (more below). 

As you know, I've been ruminating about cameras lately and I decided to choose a camera that would be counter-intuitive from my usual selection. I would be lighting the whole set with powerful mono-lights so I knew I could shoot at the lowest ISO on the camera. And every camera I own is state of the art (within its format). I figured that the controlled lighting and low ISO would save me from any unintentional, stupid choice I might make. 

I packed two big lights and one small flash. I brought along a white seamless paper background (I chop a foot off most of my backgrounds (from side to side) so they fit better in small spaces). And I brought along one Sony RX10 and one Panasonic fz 1000. This time the fz 1000 got the nod. I'd used it once before with flash and knew what to expect. I shot about 400 shots in raw then processed and delivered about 350 for the theatre pros to wade through and select from. We're talking about ranges of expressions here and the marketing people know what they are looking for better than I do. 

The lighting couldn't have been simpler. There was on light just behind Mr. Moore that illuminated the background and one light in a medium softbox just in front and above him. Occasionally, I would toss in a small, dialed down portable flash on the opposite side of the main light; just for a little fill. 

We could have complicated the lighting but since the client will clip out the background I really didn't see the point. 

So, how did the $700 Panasonic super bridge camera perform? Let's see.... there was super fast focusing that nailed every frame without hesitation and, when used with face detection, had AF sensors covering the whole frame. The EVF was spot on as an indicator of correct exposure. The lens and sensor gave me files that were wonderfully sharp; I can see highly defined eyelashes in the image just above. The lens performance never stops amazing me. No flare of other shenanigans from the lens either. If I wanted to I could move way back in the room and zoom in for a different look but, on the other hand, I had a lot of wide angle to play with on the other end if I wanted to step back a bit and offer my VSL readers a look at the set. The buffer was fast and happy as was the shot to shot timing. I think I was able to shoot raw files more quickly than with either of my current model Nikons... Did I mention that I could instantly review the taken images in the finder without moving the camera from my eye?

I used the camera with an infra red trigger in the hot shoe which worked perfectly. At one point I wanted to change the exposure just a bit but was running out of aperture since I was already at f8.0. Instead I raised the shutter speed which had the effect of reducing overall exposure as well. I haven't tried it but since the shutter is a circular, leaf type, it should be able to sync all the way up the shutter speed range --- as long as I stick with the mechanical shutter option. Bodes well for exterior daylight shoots in Texas. Especially if I keep that variable ND filter in the bag. 

I got back home from the shoot at 3 pm and now it's 4:30 pm and the colors and tones have been corrected and the raw files have been converted. The last thing to do is to upload the final Jpegs to the client and then burn a DVD to save a back up copy. No muss, no fuss. 

Those one inch rascals are pretty amazing ... and a lot of fun to shoot in the studio. Who would have guessed?

Why camera buying sucks right now.

Of course the long tonal range and high sharpness of the images above and just below could only have been made with the latest, high resolution, low noise cameras on the market. Right? How else to explain the smooth transitions and convincing level of detail? The image of the child with the basketball is one of my favorite work shots. When I made the image our original target was a full page in a  printed annual report. Later, the agency called to see if they could blow up some of the original raw files into "larger prints" to use at a fund raiser for the client. I gave my permission and looked forward to see how the images from this state of the art camera might look when blown up a bit bigger. Little did I know how big they would go...  When I walked into the fundraiser there were many of the images that had been used in the annual report distributed around the room on easels. Large easels. The files had been enlarged to five by six foot prints. You could walk right up to the prints and put your nose on them. A good use of the new, super high resolution cameras like the D810, the Sony A7R2 and the Canon 5DSR, right?  Right?

Except that this all happened a decade ago and the files came from a 6 megapixel, cropped frame (APS-H) camera that capped out, performance wise, at ISO 125. It was, in fact, a Kodak DCS 760; and inspite of its "limitations" it was actually a very FUN camera to work with. Nice finder. Good focusing acquisition, etc. The shots worked because we understood whatever limitations the cameras might have had and compensated by working on the lighting. We didn't use window light, we emulated window light, but we did it with more lumens on the sensor and a bit more contrast. Could we do this with "modern" cameras? I believe so but it might be tricky to work around the unmitigated hype....

But, of course, this imager from the musical, Aida, had to be done one of the cameras with one of the newest, Sony super sensors because there is no noise in the black background and no burn out in the specular highlights. Wow, pure blacks and wonderfully delineated highlights. But with flesh tones this nice it surely must be something special like the new Fuji. Ah..... no. This is from the same, old Kodak DCS 760. Just lit and processed with care. Also used in print and as a life-sized duratrans on the side of the theater. 

But I won't try to fool you again. The image just below was really done with a Fuji camera. And it was shot nearly wide open and mostly lit with the soft glow of the X-ray reading monitors in a small, windowless room. There was a small flash from the back corner of the room but it's just there to provide a little separation for the hair. Since it's shot wide open and the eyes, lips and microphone are tack sharp I bet you can't guess whether it was done with a Zeiss Otus lens or maybe the Batis, or one of the new Fuji primes....right? Oops. Nope. It was shot on a Fuji S3 or S5 camera using a very crusty and well used, used Sigma 24-70mm f2.8. No, not the latest ART series lens but one from the period that made Sigma's previous reputation as a producer of opt-mechanical junk. So, another six megapixel, cropped frame digital camera and a nothing special lens. Pattern here? Maybe. 

This is a tough audience to fool so I'll cut straight to the chase. The image below was also done with one of these older, CCD chipped cameras. It's snapshot for sure but I like the overall look and feel. I blew it up on the screen to look at (the original) when I was thinking about new cameras last week but I do believe it hangs well with the three images above. Since it was an older camera it was slow and kludgy to use and the buffer was extremely poor, as was the auto focusing of this ancient thing. 
But I like the image quality and I think it's in the ball park with the 6 megapixel files shown above. It came from the 40 megapixel Leaf AFi7 camera along with a 180mm f2.8 Schneider prime lens (made for 6x6 cm medium format cameras).  Once reduced to web viewing size it's in line with all the other stuff we've shot with over the last twenty years....And now you can probably pick one of these up cheap, maybe 90% off the original asking price of $40,000 (no lens). 

The final print I was considering as I browsed through the new camera offerings (hurry, hurry!!! Pre-order NOW. If you wait you MIGHT NOT get to own the latest $1,000 miracle camera with NEW knobs and EXCITING wireless features SURE to Enhance your creative vision. You know, Candy Crush! Words with Friends!). I picked it out because it's a photo of Ben as a much younger person but also because several professional photographer who have seen the image liked it so much that they subsequently asked me to do their own headshot in the same style and with the same camera and lens... I shot this with a great camera that no one liked except for the people who actually owned one and used one. But I could never use it today because it was ONLY!!!! a 12 megapixel camera and, of course, no pro today would be caught dead shooting for money with a camera having only 12 megapixels. In fact, a lack of initiative in rushing to adapt to the largest megapixel count camera may be the thing that precipitates your business's ultimate demise. What client would want to shoot with less than ALL the megapixels? 

Won't keep you hanging, it was shot with the Kodak SLR/n 12 megapixel camera and an ancient, Nikon 135mm f2.8 lens. Still my favorite portrait of Ben. 

So, what's the point of this blog post today? Well, I was wondering why, with the launch of the Nikon D500 and D5, the new Fuji XPro2 and the Olympus Pen F, I was not interested in any of the new camera introductions. I'm wondering why I've been resistant to the Sony offerings and defaulting to using point and shoot cameras instead of my enormously expense and surely talented Nikon D810 camera. The truth is painful. I've finally stumbled onto the realization that, for me, none of these camera will change anything in my work as a portrait photographer. 

The cameras, with all their bells and whistles, are being designed for someone who does things I don't care about. I've never used "Art" filters on any of my Olympus cameras so the idea of dedicating a large front dial to them seems silly. The sensor isn't much better than the one we had in the original EM-5 and I think I would feel ashamed to be manipulated into buying yet another camera just for the styling. How many pairs of black oxford shoes does one need in the closet? And, of course, I still don't give a fuck about having wi-fi on my camera. No matter what you tell me about GPS or clicking the shutter from my easy chair...

The Fuji cameras bore me because they are boring. I'm sure the lenses are good and the Jpeg files are pretty but every Fuji I've played with since the original X100 faux rangefinder has had flaws that make me want to fling the camera against the wall as I'm trying to shoot with it. I am sure the new body appeals to everyone over 50 years old who ever wanted a Leica M but feared the retribution of their spouse and didn't buy themselves one. Now you can have "almost" one for about a quarter the price. But did we really need it? Does it make sense if no one (including the Fuji SpokesToGrathers even uses the optical viewfinder in everyday practice (see the review on TheCameraStoreTV). 

And why buy a camera that still doesn't play well with the world's largest, most ubiquitous and powerful professional imaging software? Eventually you'll want to shoot raw, don't you want the images you get to look at least as good as those you could have gotten out of a boring Canon DLSR from six years ago? I do. I just don't want to have to work that hard. 

You know what the biggest improvement was on the new Fuji XPro2? It was the inclusion of an adjustable diopter for the EVF. Think about that for a minute. They added a diopter. Just like the ones everyone else has had on every entry level camera since the dawn of digital. Enhancement complete. 
But let me tell you right now; if you have ever shot with a Leica M series rangefinder camera you wouldn't put up with any of these fake rangefinder cameras anyway....Fuji. Humph. 

So, why no love for the Nikon stuff? Oh, I'm sure the D500 is a great camera. Great sensor, big buffer, great focusing. But then so was the D7200 and the D7100 and the D7000 and the D5500 and the D610 and the D750. Will a couple frames a second faster make your image of a sleeping cat look better? Will the "tweaked" autofocus really matter if your existing camera already locks focus where it is supposed to be? Do you think high ISO REPLACES creative lighting? The folks at Nikon just trotted out another iteration of the same cameras they've been churning out for a decade and they are hoping they've increased the horse power specs just enough that, in conjunction with the new seat warmers, you'll be anxious to immediately dump your perfectly good photographic machine for the latest style.

And same to you, Canon. We changed the color of the shoe laces to see if we could get you to spill some cash on a whole new pair of shoes. 

I guess that what I'm really thinking is that if you are a new photographer and you are buying your first good camera then "congratulations" you've got lots of good options to choose from. Yay! Go cameras. But if you are a salty old dog with a shelf full of last year's miracle cameras and you feel the tug of the newest model it might be time to sit back and really examine the tug.

Could it be that all this camera buying is a manifestation of your subconscious resistance to doing ANYTHING you find meaningful with ANY camera? Maybe it's time to LAUNCH that long planned project instead of using the IDEA of that project as just another excuse to buy yet another camera. 

In many ways I pine for the simplicity of the old Nikon D100 with it's 4 shot raw buffer. Six giant megapixels and a look that changed the look. Or the Kodaks which were all mostly as good as what we've been working with since. 

It's something to think about. There is a post cognitive dissonance that sets in after you realize that you have what you need to shoot whatever you need to shoot but when the buying is done and the credit cards are cooling off in the refrigerator, you finally hit the wall and feel ashamed that you spent so much time in the selection and rotation of ever newer cameras that you actually never got around to going out the front door and shooting anything more than "just a test of how sharp the new camera and lens is." It's something to ponder. Unless you are in the camera making or camera selling business and then it behooves you to just tell me to shut up. 


Portrait of Sarah. On a lovely film from Agfa. XPS 160. Designed especially for portraits.

This is one of my favorite portraits because I like the lighting and the expression on Sarah's face. The quality of light is meaningful to me but the actual gear used to accomplish it is not. I love the dance, I'm not really interested right now in deconstructing the dancing shoes...

In other news, it was 85 degrees here in Austin today, setting a new record high for the 31st of January. I spent the day in shorts and flip flops. The trees are starting to bud. The grass is green and lush. I love taking portraits I just don't love the cameras right now.