We've Come a Long Way Baby

August 19, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Digital photography really took off sometime at the turn of this century.  My own personal foray into the digital arena came in 2004 with the purchase of a 8mp Canon 20D, a DSLR camera body with a cropped sensor and kit lens.
Notes:
1) DSLR - Digital Single Lens Reflex
2) mp - mega pixels; the resolution of digital cameras is measured in mega (million) pixels; images are made up of these tiny picture elements.

3) A cropped sensor is smaller than what use to be known as 35mm sized film, now referred to as a "full frame sensor".  A full frame is about 2.5 times larger in area than an APSC, cropped sensor.  See Sensor Size Comparison below for more detail.
 

Sensor SizesSensor Sizes
                                                             Relative Sensor Size Comparison (dimensions in mm) with Crop Factor Conversions.

Later, advanced mirrorless cameras appeared around 2009. Olympus introduced their well received EP1 model and, along with Panasonic, led the way with their micro 4/3 sensors.  These two manufacturers demonstrated that reduced camera system size and weight could be achieved with the removal of the mirror mechanism and pentaprism, found in DSLR cameras, while retaining good image quality at low light levels.

Fujifilm went even further in 2010 and achieved excellent image quality combined with small body size, tactile controls, classic design, and superb lenses using a slightly larger, cropped APSC, 12mp sensor.  They listened to their customers and released free, recurring, camera body and lens firmware updates, employing the practice of Kaizen, continuous product improvement.

After using digital camera technology now for at least the past 11 years, I can fairly say that I sure wish this had been available 40 years ago when I discovered my passion for creating images.  Darkroom processing with the handling of nasty chemicals has now been replaced by the digital darkroom on a computer or tablet.  Days of waiting for film and print processing has been replaced with instantaneous results providing real-time feedback on what you did wrong, or sometimes, what you did right.

I am what is known today in photographic forum parlance as a dedicated Fujifilm "fanboy".  I now use a rangefinder body style camera from Fujifilm, the X-E2, with three different zoom lenses that cover focal lengths ranging from extreme wide angle to telephoto.  The sensor is a 16mp, cropped APSC format.  See below.
Fujifilm X-E2Fujifilm X-E2
My Camera: Fujifilm X-E2, 18-55mm lens.  Outfitted with an original Fujifilm handgrip, Mr. Tay soft release shutter button, Lensmate thumb rest, and a Gordy's leather wrist strap.

At this time, I do not shoot raw image files that require more extensive "developing" time and the resultant desktop computer processing.  I shoot exclusively high resolution "jpg" files with post processing done on a tablet using a device app called Snapseed.  This post process methodology gets the job done just right for me.  It allows for fine tuning of images along with creative control.  I find that I enjoy working on a tablet much more than at a desktop computer.

D W Orr
Environmentalist, Historic Preservationist, and Photographer
Harford County, Maryland
August 19, 2015

 


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