Tag: single lens reflex

A camera decision turned inside out

For the last few months I’ve been on a mission. A camera mission. I’ve been looking at digital SLRs to replace the Pentax point and shoot I’ve been carrying around for the past two years. The Optio has done right by me – it’s been dunked, dropped, generally beat up just fine, and it still works like a charm. But I wanted better pictures, particularly when fishing, and had convinced myself that a DLSR was the ticket.

After pouring through specifications, perusing a wide variety of opinions, comparing prices, and even toting a loaner around for a few weeks, I’ve come to a decision. I’m not going to get one at all, at least for the foreseeable future. There are plenty of reasons: new offerings seem purposely handicapped in one way or another until you hit the “professional” level, and I’ve got no interest in upgrading next month; some older models are much more sought after, which tells me the manufacturers have a ship that will soon need righting; people are way too optimistic about what units are worth second-hand, a hint that prices may soon come crashing down; and last but certainly not least, it seems a lot of folks buy these DSLRs, set them to auto, and never touch anything but the shutter button again.

Which is pretty much what I’ve done with my little point and shoot, until now.

Instead of dropping a grand that would be much better spent on single malt scotch, I’m going to embark on an experiment: how much can I get out of a point and shoot if I turn off the “automatic” setting, read the manual front cover to back, and really learn how to use it under every possible set of conditions.

The Pentax Optio W30 Manual
Out with the old (automatic mode), and in with the new (program mode)

Leg one of this journey has already ended: I figured out why pictures taken at my desk always turned out yellowish. I reset the white balance, manually via shutter, and the problem was solved.

I wonder what else I’ll discover as I pour through an instruction manual for the first time ever.

MG signing off (to take a bunch of photos with an old camera, betting they’ll turn out decent once I do a little reading)