The Cameras

More about the cameras I use.

At the time of writing I have two cameras, but if I add any more to the collection during the year I’ll add a little note about them here. [As of February 2013, three cameras!]

Olympus cameraThe main camera is my Olympus SP-55Ouz. I bought it in 2007 and have been very satsified with it – to the extent that if I were to replace it I’d certainly give first consideration to another Olympus of the same sort. Now the 7.1 megapixels seem a rather cramped, but they still give a fantastic picture up to A4 size or thereabouts and the optics (and the stabiliser) allow for excellent focus in most situations. The camera has an 18x optic zoom – quite remarkable in such a compact camera (and one of the attractions when I bought it) – but it will also take pictures in super-macro format. At the furthest zoom there is a certain degree of chromatic aberration and the image bulges noticeably (straight lines towards the sides of the image appear bowed), but you get used to compensating for these – or ignoring them. The zoom is tricky in cold weather – and I’ve been out with it temperatures down to -25° degrees Celsius. It can become unresponsive. The camera is not at its best in poor light, but again I’ve taken some very satisfactory pictures even in poor light after I learned how to adapt to the camera’s limitations. In the days when I was still taking an interest in manual photography, I made some use of the manual settings (you can switch from fully automatic to semi-automatic and fully manual), but for GBG365 I am using only the pure automatic setting or the guided auto settings. The Olympus has a viewfinder for which I am grateful whenever I am reminded how bloody difficult it is taking photos with cameras that don’t have them. There’s an in-built flash, but I miss having a hot-shoe – though I don’t miss it so much as I generally prefer to use available light.

The second camera is built into my Samsung Galaxy SIII (GS3) camera. It has about the same megapixel capacity as the Olympus which says something about technical developments in the last 5 years, nevertheless I’m not terribly impressed. I’m still testing it (after a couple of months at the time of writing) and so far I have managed to take some rather good pictures in fair-to-good light at a close to medium distance from the lense when I’ve been able to steady the camera against something. In poor light it performs worse than the Olympus, in bright light it is next to impossible to see what you are photographing, and the zoom tends to produce awful, blocky images (and this is with the stabiliser switched on). On the plus side, in good light it’s very good for close-up pictures, it’s even easier than the Olympus to carry around, it’s relatively quick to use and when you get a good photograph it really is a good photograph and quite on a par with photos from the Olympus. I’ll probably get better at using it as time passes, but it’s never going to be my first choice.

The new camera (bought at the beginning of February 2013) is a Canon Powershot SX50 HS. It replaces the Olympus which had started to develop a sticky, unresponsive zoom. At the time of writing I’ve only Canon for about a week, but I’m already delight with it in terms of speed and picture quality. It does everything the Olympus did, but better. And it has a hot-shoe! I’ll add more here soon.



If you want to learn more about the GBG365 project, go here.

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Thank you for your interest …

John Nixon aka The Supercargo