20 June 2009


It is the height of the photo season in my country garden. Each day brings changes in a parade of new blooms. The heavy rain this season has produced a rich floral yield. I’ve been into serious photography over four decades, and except for some early Yashicas I’ve used mostly high-end Canons over the years. For most of that time I shot slides, and it is really sad to learn that Kodak will stop making Kodachrome. I switched largely to a digital Canon a while back once the megapixel count became high enough, although nothing can match the fine grain of film and probably never will. On the other hand film is costly compared to digital, perishable, and a real nuisance to get through airports undamaged.

I finally got a digital SLR last year because it had a very high 15 megapixel count along with some lenses. It was a Sony and now I regret switching away from Canon. It’s an A350, and although there is a phenomenal 18-250mm lens, the lenses are noisy even when no taking pictures, and the thing I hate the most is the viewfinder, because what you see is not what you get. After some experimentation I found that in order to get something in the center of a picture you have to view and shoot it at the top. This is apparently true for most other digital cameras. I haven’t seen anything like this since back in the rangefinder days, and in a supposedly advanced technology this is totally unacceptable. That said pictures are okay.

What is really scary is that a lot of people have their entire photo collection on a computer. If it isn’t backed up if the hard drive fails everything is lost. That’s the downside of digital. I’m watching nervously as my IPhoto library expands to well over 100 gigabytes wondering when a glitch is going to ruin everything. If you’re shooting digital photographs it pays to have at least one, if not more backups of all your pictures or you’re out of luck.

I still have a batch of film left so I pulled out my old Canons and took some pictures. I still find that experience far more rewarding than any digital camera.

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