The simpler the better-
I guess I am just ancient. There are many things I look back on and it seems to me that things were easier when things were simpler and involved less technology. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against technology. As a matter of fact I have always embraced technological changes as they sprung up, but sometimes it just seems like we are all over burdened, weighed down and intellectually limited by using a lot of the technologies that are available to us.
My focus and please pardon the pun is photographic equipment. I love photographic gear. I love cameras, lenses, flashes, bags, tripods, and all of the accessories. I love iPads, computers, and of course software.
But too much of a good thing (technology), is just that. Too much.
I have watched and made use of technology has cameras and lenses have evolved into their current state and have embraced a lot if not all of the advances. I well understand that a lot of the technology gives all of us certain artistic capabilities, more control of the light around us and ways to express all of that. That is not the problem. It is all the other stuff. There are raw files, JPEG files, Adobe RGB, SRGB, saturation settings, noise settings, focus settings, in camera image processing settings, dynamic range settings, video and video settings, lenses which are better for video, lenses that are not better for video. There are sound settings and for the sound settings there are wind settings. The list goes on and on.
Simplicity is not such a bad thing. I know for a fact that, if you simply pay attention to your shutter speed, apertures, ISO, under and over exposure controls, and composition, you are going to spend more time shooting and creating great images. Get out of the menus and concentrate on the basic controls which are what really let you make use of and control the light around you and on your subject.
So what do I like? Auto Focus for a lot of the stuff I shoot. Image stabilization. High Iso capability with little to no noise.
Autofocus – It’s great for all kinds of photography. Maybe not macro but certainly for my favorite which is street photography. In most cameras, it is quick, precise and, at my age, probably more accurate then my old eyes would allow with manual control.
Image Stabilization – It really works. I still prefer a tripod for the best stabilization but, as so many of my students have pointed out, there are times when the tripod just does not fit the shooting situation. A lot also depend on the photographer and of course the camera and lens. I find that with my current to favorite cameras one which is the Olympus OMD/EM5 that image stabilization is incredible. It has saved a lot of images for me. The other camera however does not have image stabilization and that is the Fuji X pro 1 and for some reason I do not seem to need image stabilization too much. It is the style of the camera, the hold of the camera. I am not sure, but it really is a steadier camera to hold than most others I have tried and I have tried most of them.
Get simple. Use the controls I told you about. Every once in a while dabble with some of the other goodies, but remember why you are out there taking pictures. It’s not to read menus. It is to create art out of the moment.