The arc of progress.

arc

Old, but not dead.

Over the past three weeks I’ve been checkin’ out the #ShittyCameraChallenge tag on Twitter and I’ve noticed that folks are using any old shitty camera they can get their hands on, including ‘vintage’ digital.

I still have my old Pentax Optio 300GS. It’s a tiny compact digital camera I bought in 2003. It’s a whoppin’ 3.2 MP, uses a 128 MB Compact Flash card, and it runs on AA batteries.

It’s not really shitty, but it is old.

It’s not really shitty, but it is old. And after 17 years, the sensor has a handful of dead pixels.

So, yesterday I walked around the house, garage, and backyard shooting whatever caught my eye.

These two shots had a similar feel, seemed meant for each other. A wagon wheel, and leaves from one of the Pride of Barbados plants out back.

Rusty shutters #34.

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III.

May 2019.

I wanted to bring a few point-and-shoot cameras on our 2-week tour of Portugal and Spain last year, but they had to be small enough to fit in the awesome Peak Design Everyday Sling 5L.

The RX100III was one of three that made the trip.

I like this little shooter a lot. My fave parts are the flip-up LCD, the Zeiss 24-70mm ƒ/1.8 lens, and the lens ring. The macro’s not bad, either.

The camera’s menu system is just okay and the controls are nicely arranged, so using the camera is pretty much a breeze.

I like this little shooter a lot.

I don’t use the viewfinder. No real need. Plus it has the nasty habit of turning off the camera when pushed back into the body.

I added a tasteful Gariz half-case and – since I’m not a big fan of wrist straps – I use an extra neck strap I had, a super-thin Panny with plastic clip/nylon cord connectors. Works perfectly.

Great little digital camera.

Resolution: 20.1 megapixels
Max image size – 5472 x 3648
Display: Tilting 3in LCD @ 1,228,800 pixels
ISO: Auto, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250, 1600, 2000, 2500, 3200, 4000, 5000, 6400, 8000, 10000, 12800
Shutter Speeds: 30 sec – 1/2000 sec
Metering: Multi-segment, center-weighted, spot
Focal Length: 24-70mm
Macro: 1.97in
Dimensions WHD: 4in x 2.3in x 1.6in
Weight: 9.28 oz
Power: Sony NP-BX1 lithium-ion rechargeable battery
Memory card: SD/SDHC/SDXC

Fiddlin’…

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… in the digital darkroom.

I played around with one of my shots from last Sunday’s car show over in Round Rock at Centennial Plaza. This is the badge and right front-end of a silver colored Porsche 1600/356. 1956, I’m guessing.

The original photo was color, taken using the vivid setting available in the Sony RX100M3.

I use an older version of Photoshop, CS5 Extended, or Photoshop 12. I haven’t yet fully embraced Adobe’s subscription model and this rather old version still works on my trusty old 2012 Mac Mini.

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I have the free version of the NIK software bundle installed and use it often for both color and black and white edits.

I haven’t yet fully embraced their subscription model…

For this shot, I used the Silver Efex Pro 2/030 Film Noir 1 filter to make the conversion to BNW. Love the grain from this filter. There are plenty of settings to mess with, including film types, vignette, and brightness/contrast. I also removed the image border.

Next I used the Photoshop burn tool to darken up the letter “P” at the top of the badge. I was pretty much shooting into the sun at ƒ/1.8 and a it got a little blown out, but there was enough there to recover.

I like that blown-out area to the left of the badge, framed by the badge and the curve of the fender, with the trees in the background and the fender’s shadow fore.

Rusty shutters #32.

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Canon PowerShot SD780 IS.

May 2010.

I bought this tiny little shooter for one reason only… its size. Amazingly, it’s the same width and height as a credit card.

What I discovered after it arrived is that it has fantastic image quality and super macro capability.

I haven’t used this ultra-compact camera nearly as much as I should, but in putting this post together I rediscovered a little gem that I’m gonna start carrying around.

Resolution: 12 megapixels
Max image size: 4000 x 3000
Display: 2.5in fixed screen
Rangefinder: Optical zoom
ISO: Auto, 80 ,100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Shutter Speeds: 15 – 1/1500 sec
Aperture: ƒ/3.2 – ƒ/5.8
Macro: 1.1in
Focal Length: 33 – 100mm
Zoom: 3x
Metering: Evaluative, center, spot
Dimensions WDH: 3.4in x .72in x 2.1in
Weight: 4.7oz
Power: Rechargeable Li-ion Battery (Canon NB-4L)
Memory card: SD/MMC/SDHC

A pair of Jacks.

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Macro Jacks, that is.

Diggin’ ’round in the archive. These are from May 2013.

A pair of shots, one made with the Olympus E-PL3, an extension tube, and the Lensbaby Composer Pro + Sweet 35, the other made with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 and the Wanderlust Pinwide.

Cool that I wrote about how I made the Pinwide shot on Flickr. “I found it while I was out back watering the roses. It was corroded and covered in dirt. I cleaned it up a bit with water from the hose and let it dry.”

It was corroded and covered in dirt.

“I took the picture later in the day. The sun was on its way down allowing a sliver of light to peek under our old and slightly uneven garage door. I got the shot by laying on the garage floor with the Pinwide less than an inch away from the jack.”

I love the shadow and contrast, not to mention that gorgeous blurry bokeh at the top and swirl at the bottom of the EPL-3 shot. Pretty cool.

Diggin’ ’round in the dirt has its rewards. Same with the archives!

 

Rusty shutters #26.

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Samsung NV11.

May 2007.

I really liked this little guy and was getting a lot of use out of it. I even took it to Omaha, Nebraska. I walked all over town with it in-between attending a conference for the university. Got amazing results. I absolutely loved the user-interface and menu system.

And then one day after work I was getting out of the truck and I dropped it. It wasn’t the first time that had happened. It was the third. And final. Dead.

It came with one strap lug and a hand strap. Not my favorite set-up. I’ll never be a fan of that configuration.

Over the years, I’d occasionally scour eBay to see if anyone was selling theirs. In early November 2018 I finally found a used Samsung NV11 in near mint condition for an extremely reasonable price.

Back in the saddle, you might say.

This time ’round I attached a lanyard. Better safe than sorry… again.

Resolution: 10 megapixels
Max image size: 3648 x 2736
Display: 2.7in LCD @ 230,000 pixels
ISO: Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Shutter Speeds: 4 sec – 1/2000 sec
Aperture: ƒ/2.8 – 4.4
Focal Length: 7.8 – 39mm
Macro: .39in
Zoom: 5x optical
Metering: Center-weighted, multi-segment, spot
Dimensions WDH: 4.2in x .9in x 2.5in
Weight: 6.8oz
Power: Rechargeable Li-ion Battery (SLB-1137D)
Memory card: SD/MMC/SDHC

Evolution.

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Ch-ch-changes.

I love my little X100s. It’s a great camera, both in form and function.

And I’ll admit that I’m a gadget junky, so when I purchased it back in mid-2013, naturally I wanted to dress it up with a few extra gizmos.

I started with a Gariz black leather half-case. Then I attached the extremely useful LensMate thumb grip. Next was the JJC LH-JX100 slotted silver metal lens hood.

Added up to a nice little set-up.

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It was a long while before I’d noticed another shooter using a slightly different JJC lens hood, and thinking it was pretty cool that the original Fujifilm lens cap fit over it, I switched to the JJC LH-JX100II, a cool lookin’ hood without any slots.

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The good thing about both JJC hoods is they fit over a 49mm UV filter, no adapters necessary.

Well, today the Squarehood MkII arrived in the mail. Another cool lens hood for the X100s.

I’d seen pictures of them on IG over the last year or so, mostly the black model, attached mostly to X100f cameras.

I like the look of the Squarehood, but I didn’t get the filter adapter. It’ll do just fine without.

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At some point I’d like to move up to a Fujifilm X100f – or whatever the next iteration happens to be, but I’m still diggin’ the X100s.

Rusty shutters #23.

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Olympus Stylus XZ-2.

March 2019.

The XZ-2 was originally released in November 2012.

I got this little gem for travel. It’s a factory refurb I purchased off eBay for less than $300 and for an 8 year old camera, it’s actually a quite nice compact point-and-shoot.

The first thing I did was update the firmware. Then I added the VF-4 electronic viewfinder and the LC-63A lens cap.

Using this camera for the last 9 months has helped me come to terms with the Olympus user interface.

The articulating LCD is awesome. The controls on the back of the camera are well placed and intuitive, although I have accidentally hit the video button a few times.

The extremely versatile 28-112mm lens produces sharp images. The XZ-2 has great macro capability and the auto focus is super-quick.

It’s a cool little shooter.

Resolution: 12 megapixels
Max image size – 3968 x 2976
Display: Fixed 3in LCD @ 920,000 pixels
ISO: Auto, 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800
Shutter Speeds: 60 sec – 1/2000 sec
Metering: Multi-segment, center-weighted, spot
Dimensions WHD: 4.45in x 2.56in x 1.89in
Weight: 12.2 oz
Power: Lithium-ion Li-90B rechargeable battery
Memory card: SD/SDHC/SDXC

Rusty shutters #21.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8.

September 2017.

The GX8 was the first M43 body I’d added to my collection since the GX1, nearly four years earlier.

I’m not much of an early adopter, so it took me a while to decide on this particular body. But I’m glad I did. I’m a fan of having the viewfinder on the left side of the camera, and the flip-up feature is just perfect for my style of photography. I added the larger eye-cup.

I’m not big on touch-screens, so I don’t usually have the swivel LED display showing, and I carry the camera in my bag that way just for protection.

All the dials and knobs are well placed and easy to use, and the grip is quite comfortable in my right hand. The size is perfect.

The Olympus 12-40 ƒ/2.8 PRO lens is what’s usually attached. Great chunk of glass.

The auto focus is super-fast.

I’ll be using this set-up for a pretty long while.

Resolution: 20.3 megapixels
Max image size – 5184 x 3888
Display: Fixed 3in LCD @ 1,040,000 pixels
Viewfinder: Articulated, electronic, 2,360,000 pixels
ISO: Auto, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 25600
Shutter Speeds: 60 sec – 1/8000 sec
Metering: Multi-segment, center-weighted, spot
Dimensions WHD: 5.2in x 3.1in x 2.5in
Weight: 17.2 oz
Power: Lithium-ion rechargeable battery
Memory card: SD/SDHC/SDXC