1 EAGLETON NOTES: Horses For Courses



Friday, 3 August 2012

Horses For Courses

There has recently been some discussion about cameras and lenses in my neck of Blogland.  When this subject comes up I always get that yearning feeling for the days of the SLR and lenses that can define the segments of an eye at 100 paces.  Then reality kicks in.  Firstly there is the transportation problem.  [Oops.  I nearly said 'issue' but I would not want to upset Frances who has issues with issues].  The weight allowed in the cabin of a transcontinental plane is generally 6 kg.  My camera equipment used to weigh about 16 kg.  If it travels in the hold then neither the airline nor travel insurance will cover it.  Secondly for the type of photography I do an ability quickly to go from a telephoto to wide angle is important to me.  Thirdly there is the cost.  I won't go on.

Since 2004 when I bought my first bridge camera in California I have used bridge cameras.  I currently use a Sony DSC-HX100V with built in GPS and image stabilisation and a 30 x telephoto zoom lens giving 810mm equivalent.  It will produce the following with no change of lens and only a few seconds delay whilst the zoom operates.

Original image (tone mapped) at 'normal' format
Image taken immediately after the above using 30 x zoom
Image above 'enlarged' 
When I bought it last year it was just over £400 if I remember correctly.  That would just about buy a couple of filters for some SLRs.

Early this morning I took the following purely as an example:

Can you see the yacht? 
This one!  Oh yes there's a seagull there too and a bot on the horizon.
All of a sudden I'm more than satisfied with my camera equipment.


  1. A bot on the horizon! I love it! Was it as spectacular as mine?

    Clever photos, though.

    1. You got me there Frances. Very little could be as spectacular as your bot Frances. And there's not many ladies to whom I've said that.

  2. Okay....not another letter will pass from my fingers into my blog on the subject.
    You buy the handbag.......I'll get a long lens.....
    On a serious note....I loved film but detested Kodachrome. Loved the punch of Fuji Velvia and the ability to push and pull it a couple of stops.
    As you say it's horses for courses.

    1. The Handbag is probably only worth a fraction of your lenses now Adrian. But yes you are absolutely correct. It's all a question of priorities and for those of us not using your sort of equipment who regard ourselves as fairly serious photographers there will always be a dilemma. Deep down I will always want a 'proper' camera even though I know the bridge camera is far more suitable for my needs at the moment.

      Harking back to film I loved Kodachrome although I did flirt with Fuji for a while. I did try Ilford - once! A friend of our parents with whom we went on holiday for some years swore by Agfa transparency film in his Rolleiflex TLR.

      As for your blog I am genuinely interested to see what transpires.

  3. GB, now I get it...you have got a PAPARAZZI camera....gosh those sharp images from so far away are incredible....not sure I want to walk around with so much equipment though, weight issues and all.
    Sometimes even remembering my poor little Olympus fe46 can be a task.
    With a camera like yours, I'd be making money with the National Enquirer, Hello,OK, or Closer or Reveal tabloids.
    Love your incredible photos.

    1. Thank you Virginia. My camera is fairly light and very easy to cart around.

  4. Great images!! Lovely scenery too & nice stalking!! I call my zoom lens "the stalker".
    I myself, have a DSLR with the standard kit lenses (18-55mm & 55-250mm) and the "nifty 50mm" lens. That for me is fine to carry around and not too heavy. I have traveled with it (only interstate) since I bought it last August. In saying that, I would LOVE to own a lens that allows me the range I have (or more) all in one lens but cost is an issue. I love my DSLR!! I did have a little Canon point & shoot until then but It didn't have the zoom your bridge camera has.
    I guess the day will come when I have to downsize to a bridge camera as I have a chronic genetic arthritic condition, nerve conditions and a hand tremor (which can be more bothersome some days than others).

    1. By coincidence, Liz, I'd looked up your equipment recently because I was so impressed by the detail in some of your photos. I have read some of the start-up posts of your blog so am aware of some of the limitations under which you are living. I thing what you are achieving is amazing in the circumstances.

  5. Liz,
    I've got the hand tremor too (essential tremor my doc calls it), but I use the anti-shake setting on my camera all the time....it really helps.