Camera Simplicity = Time To Create Great Photos

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Yesterday I started reading some reviews of a few of the new cameras. Much of the discussion was sounded like they were reviewing computers. Even smartphone cameras. One of the complaints leveled against a couple of new Nikon bodies was that they only had 490 focus points. Ah, you only need one. And that is on the subject. Those same two bodies now have not one high powered processor but two. That way the new auto detect focus tracker can find and stay on the right point. And a new Canon camera body can shoot video in 8k. Which is fine but there are no 8k TVs under more money than I have to spend. Plus no steaming service plans to provide programs in 8k any time soon. 4k is not all that common today. YouTube is mostly in 720p which is not HD. Plus the camera that has the 8k capture overheats very quickly when using the 8k. The top image was made on an old Minolta 600si film camera with auto focus. It only has 3 point of AF, and also comes with a very useful built in flash.

The same Minolta took this shot using AF, built in flash, and Fuji 200 film. Developing and scanning done by North Coast Photographic

Even simpler than the Minolta is my Olympus OM2n that I have had since 1980. It is manual focus but very easy to get focus right. It does have a built in light meeter, but you have to set the f-stop. I used that camera today and went down to a beach park fairly close to where I live. That camera was originally designed to be an SLR version of the Leica M3 which is a rangefinder camera. The Olympus is just a wonderful device. I have a number of lenses for it and they are all the same diameter. That means you only need one filter size. Nikon used to be like that. My first two DSLRs only had 52mm diameter filters. My Olympus only has 49mm. 49mm is a very popular Minolta size too. That means one set of filters. And that is a wonderful simplicity when taking more lenses along. My current Nikon cameras seem to use a different filter size for every lens.

Here is a photo from the Olympus from last year. This is Kodak Ektar film.

I would guess an argument could be made that modern cameras can be quite simple if you put them on Auto and have the camera put out jpegs. Then you can ignore anything except pointing it in the right direction. Back when I first bought Nikon DSLRs that is pretty much what I did. I am going to look and see if I can come up with some shots from back in those days.

Taken with my first DSLR on auto using jpegs. From a Nikon 3200 and a kit lens 18-55mm.
Same camera and same basic settings.
Again same camera and jpegs. Look at those nice colors BTW.

So I am going to try that for a while. Take out my current mirrorless cameras, put them on auto and jpeg, see what I come up with. And I have some film to burn left over from the summer so I am going to use some of that too. By the way. Simple Nikon DX cameras like the D5600 and even D3200 are splendid image makers. You can get a camera body, couple of lenses, like 18-55 DS P model and 55-200 VR for about $500 bucks for the 5000 series and $400 dollars for the 3000 series. Flaming bargains. Canon has similar deals on their lower end cameras too. These are DSLRs by the way not mirrorless. Use your smartphone for video. Or the DSLR and manual focus. Auto focus on DSLRs is clunky. The newer Nikon Z50 and it’s two kit lenses is a far more competent video maker but double the price. If you have the budget get the Z50. The Z50 Z lenses are nicer too. The surprising 16-50mm is just excellent. Not a Leica lens, but very good.

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