Tag Archives: DSLR

Pictures without film – V.J.’S Weekly Challenge #38: What’s in a name?

Well this week V.J. has challenged us with:

As I type up each week’s summary, creating links to various blogs, I am struck by how different blog names are, and compelled to ask: what’s in a name? Specifically, your blog name.

So what is in the name: ‘Pictures without film – Using photos to capture life – Ken Humphreys Photography’

Well I started this blog about four and a half years ago.  I had just bought a new camera, a sony a6000.  At in its very basic sense, this blog speaks for the fact that I was using a digital camera and not a film camera.  I had owned digital cameras before, however this was to be my first interchangeable lens digital, and a mirrorless to boot! While I had owned SLRs I have sort of skipped DSLRs in favor of the CSC.  And so this blog was to chart some of my progress.

The blog became a place to post pictures, the occasional quote, and my photographic observations, I generally save other rantings for different social media platforms.  Over the years it has also become a place to make friends and find community, digital community that unseen bond that the modern person now shares with people thousands of miles away, who they are never physically likely to meet, but we feel we are in someway sharing part of the path our lives with.  To not so ancient humans this would have seemed strange, a magical undefinable realm, a place to which we journey without ever actually visiting.  Of course our communities of shared interests have always existed, but never have they been so visible, so tangible, and so perhaps it is magical in its own way.

Of course I mainly blog here by posting my answers to the various challenges that some of you host.  I use these to hone my photographic skills, when I am out taking pictures and at home in the digital darkroom.

The subtitle is an important part of my blog title – ‘Using photos to capture life’,  Or more specifically my life.  My photos are, as so many peoples are a visual diary of what I have done, where I have been.  Taking, editing and blogging with just a few of these, allows me to share a little of my ‘captured life’ with you.  Of course this is the way I see the world, and not the way you see it, it is not about changing your perspective merely allowing you an insight into the ‘other’, which in this case happens to be me, though the interface of my photos, provided to you not on paper with chemical fixing agents, but though a stream of ones and zeros!

So what is in a name?  It is about using my camera to capture the world around me in all of its beautiful and marvelous shapes, recording a small part of my life through a subjective lens, and it is about me sharing this perspective of the world with you.

And given that this blog is generally about photos, I better finish with a subjective view of the author of this post, a photo taken specifically for this blog, which I used as an avatar when the blog was created.

‘Photographer’, 2014.VJName

Ken

 

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Why I chose the a6000

So why the a6000?  Well I had been wanting to make the move from my Fuji HS20exr for some time, wanting to move up to a larger sensor size.  I had been looking at all the usual suspects in the DSLR world the Canon 70d and Nikon D71000 being top of the list, but suddenly found myself wondering if I could find an APS-C size sensor in a smaller body.

Well there are lots of four thirds systems out there at the moment but as far as I could see that was a compromise on sensor size,  I mean I would really like a full size sensor but the purse just wont stretch that far and  I wanted decent control over my Depth of Field. So eventually the choice came down to the Sony a6000 or the Fuji X-T1, in the end I just could not warrant the extra cost of the Fuji, as the Sony is such an exceptional deal when you compare its price to its features.

Main reasons explained:

  • 24mp Leading class APS-C size sensor – The sensor size I wanted, and the ability to crop down in (Digital zoom) or out of camera and still get a decent image.
  • Rangefinder size body -I found the HS20exr slightly to bulky, and it is smaller than most DSLRs, after a long day with it around my neck it became a pain, getting a DSLR would not have solved this.  I also wanted something less conspicuous, something small with. . .
  • Fast autofocus – The focus on this is great and couple that with a blisteringly fast 11fps, well so what if a few are out of focus, even if it droped to 50% in focus (which it does not) that would still be 5.5fps in focus, thats better than some DSLRs!
  • Rear tilt screen – after having the tilt screen on the HS20exr, I just could not live without this.  Shots taken low to the ground without having to lie down, tick.  And also for what Karen calls my “Stalker shots”, that is sitting down with the camera on my knee with the screen tilted, and taking shots as life goes by. Oh and of course . . .
  • Wi-fi -I wanted the ability to control the camera to some degree via my ipad, and to have an immediate method of sending the photos from the camera to the ipad, which the a6000 does, it can also send directly to facebook should I wish it to.
  • Electronic View Finder – Well I rather like the idea of  wysiwyg, live view, the ability to see what you are going to get.  Yes I know you get this on the rear screen of DSLRs these days, but I like using a viewfinder, the HS20exr was a let down in this area, it was like looking at a very small picture at the end of a tunnel.  In good light the a6000’s viewfinder is exceptional, far better than some of the DSLRs viewfinders, only in very poor light does it begin to fall behind a through the lens model,  with noise appearing in the viewfinder, but still very usable.
  • Manual lenses – With the sensor so close to the front of the camera body it is possible to get an adapter to mount nearly any lens to this camera, and if you want to fork out on a metabones adapter you even get electronic data throughput from AF lenses.  I have a couple of old M49 mount prime lenses, and am so looking forward to trying them out.  To those that scoff and say but you will have to focus manually, and maybe even meter manually, I say well I always did with my old film cameras – and this camera has the ability to use focus peaking on the manual lenses, and focus zoom, so I should stay sharp.
  • Does everything most other cameras do – to be honest there are some compromises with all cameras, no one camera has all the functions at a given price point that we want.
  • A hundred and one other plus points – whats not to like?

Whats missing from this Camera?

  • Battery life – The battery life is poor around 350 shots, you can almost see the battery draining when using continuous focus and the powerzoom lens.  Well that is why I bought a second battery, might have to buy another though.
  • GPS – No inbuilt gps, a good thing given the battery life.  Its no problem given I usually cart the ipad around.
  • Creator/Copyright name on Exif – You cannot enter it in camera, oh well Ill just leave it as a default to edit it it when I upload to Lightroom.

Probably other niggles, but nothing that has made itself apparent yet.  Watch this space for the good and the bad.