We just got back from a two month trip in our motorhome that included an Alaskan cruise. I got some very good pictures along with some great memories. This summers trip seemed to revolve around water. We camped on lakes, oceans, and rivers. That seemed to make for very good places to stay.
On this trip I used both digital and film cameras. I took 1. Nikon DSLR with 3 lenses. 2. My cell phone camera. 3. My 1953 Voightlander Prominent 35mm with one lens, a 50mm 1.5. 4. My Olympus XA compact 35mm film camera. I used all of them. Here are some bullets of stand out features of those cameras that I found helpful this summer.
Vibration reduction on modern digital cameras is very useful when using a long lens. The above picture is a mid range telephoto and this was an easy shot due to VR.
Quick acting DSLRs are needed when the picture is an action shot and you want to use digital. When we were in Glacier Bay the glacier calved. I had a split second to get the action and the Nikon was up to the task. Auto advance is another important feature in this situation.
Modern film like Ektar 100 is almost impossible to expose incorrectly. I shot an entire roll of 36 at a wedding with a 60 year old rangefinder camera and mostly guessed on exposure. All 36 shots came out fine. Of the 4 rolls of Ektar all of the pictures came out exposed well.
Cell phone cameras are nearly totally useless shooting action. I tried to get pictures of dogs on the beach in Oregon. I would push the button and the dogs were way moved on before the shot would take. By far the Olympus XA was more useful. The Olympus is a simple camera, but when you push the button the picture is taken right now.
Full frame cameras give you a shallow depth of field. This is very useful when you want to isolate a subject and have beautiful bokea for background. I much prefer the size of my Olympus OM2n with full frame than Cannon or Nikon full frame digital.
I far prefer simple manual adjustments of the older cameras. My Nikon is the 3200 and it is far more difficult to do manual adjustments of f stop and speed than on any of my semi automatic or manual cameras.
So what is my point. Just like you need many tools in your garage to fix things around the house, no one photo tool (One camera) does everything “best”. Mixing film and digital in my case is the best way to go. I got shots that I loved with both digital and film. I have to tell you though that I like the film process of taking pictures better.
Recently we took an Alaska cruise. One of the key photo shots everyone wants from this type of travel is the glacier calving.
This shot above could be taken with pretty much any type of camera digital or film, cell phone, compact, or DSLR. In this instance I used a year old Nikon DSLR.
We got tired of standing up on the top deck and went to our room with a veranda. I sat for quite some time and put on a telephoto lens, the Nikon DX 55mm – 200mm. I wanted to get a close up of the blue ice in the glacier.
So I sat for a while and then it happened, a break.
I still had my DSLR sitting on my lap, and since you can point, auto focus, and shoot in an instant I was able to get several shots before it was over. I was even able to increase the zoom to get a closer shot.
This same shot could have been taken with a cell phone or compact camera, but you would not get the same details. The DSLR is all optical zoom and can go all the way up to 24 mega pixels RAW.
The Nikon is quick to start up too. I had the camera turned off, but it is almost instant on. So a couple minutes later when a second glacier break happened I got this and several other shots.
The Nikon is fast. I did not hold the button down for continuous shots, but was able to repeatedly click off shots that all came out good.
This is certainly an instance where a fast acting DSLR is the right camera to have to get this type of shot. I did not bring any film cameras on this trip. I am now sorry that I did not. My Olympus OM2n is just as fast on as the Nikon, and since this is shot at infinity auto focus was not any advantage. However, the Nikon does have auto motion reduction to steady a long shot with a zoom. Since I usually do not go over 150mm with the Olympus I don’t think this would have been an issue. It would have been nice to have film shots too to see if there were any color palettes that I did not get out of the digital. I do love these action shots, but was disappointed with the blue ice ones. Maybe film would have enhanced that.
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