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DIGITAL STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

Journal Entry: Fri Mar 16, 2012, 2:20 AM


And then, one day we stopped talking about negatives and darkrooms and discovered jpgs, raws and tiffs and photo-editing software instead. The transition was much easier back then for those who already owned a computer for the rest it took a short or a longer while. Digital, changed the photography industry, bringing the whole photography world upside-down.
I had been shooting with film cameras, both negative and positive film (transparencies) since I was a teenager. Lately, I shot only transparencies as their quality and impact were superior to that of printed images. They cost a lot and transparency boxes were piling in my apartment.  
What did digital photography mean to me?
It meant I could shoot my heart out without thinking of the expenses.
It meant I could immediately see (and show to others) what I had just shot.
It meant I could DEVELOP my own shots and not rely to any clumsy photo-lab.
It meant freedom and creativity.
So I turned digital.
Do I miss the film era? Yes I do. Because deep down I'm a romantic.
This is why I have kept most of my film cameras (and all my vinyl records).
Am I a digital fanatic? I wouldn't say so.
What pisses me off in digital is that you almost need to be a computer geek in order to understand and shoot with a digi camera (I'm not talking about the compacts here). Cameras look more like e-gadgets than cameras. The war of the MPixels gets to my nerves. I'm very frustrated that the brand new, damn expensive camera body I bought today will be old and outdated in few months when the new model will hit the selves.
Still, I keep shooting digital. Because the world moves forward.
People often ask me: "what digi-camera is good for street?"
I usually answer that the best camera for street is the one you can always have with you.
Street photography is always around us so we'd better have always a camera handy in our pockets.
Is this possible? Not yet, but soon I guess it will be!

What would be my top choices for street if I were a millionaire?
Let's see:

1. Leica M9 - 7,000$, body only, add an extra heap of $ for lens(es) www.dpreview.com/previews/leic…

  

Why a Leica? Come on...! cause it's a Leica :lol:



2. Fujifilm FinePix X100 - 1200$ Fixed lens 35mm www.dpreview.com/reviews/Fujif…

  

Why? cause it's sexy, it's classic, it's discreet
Why not? for some the fixed lens might be an issue.




3. Enthusiast raw-shooting compact cameras 328 - 600$ www.dpreview.com/articles/4333…

  

Why? cause they're invisible, silent, they fit in a pocket and they shoot raw!
Why not? cause they've got a shutter lag and a poor perfomance in high ISO.


What about DSLRS? can't we shoot street with them?
Sure we can. But they're bulky, heavy, noisy, we can't carry them around all the times, can we? ;)



DIGITAL GALLERY FEATURE


  

"Time square serene..."
by cweeks and a Leica M9




  

"Tuxedo pee break"
by du-jamais-vu and a Fujifilm FinePix X100



  

"Warning"
by djailledie and a SAMSUNG EX1


written by StamatisGR on behalf of the Yard's Digi Gallery Team


Where can you find the Yard?




Add a Comment:
 
:iconearthhart:
EarthHart Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for putting into words the feelings I have for digital, Tam :ahoy:
I was spending Ģ40-Ģ50 a week on film & processing, so digital has helped my bank-balance no end :D
As for 'up-grading', I'm still learning, and the D70 is OK for me. If I came into a windfall I might, but for now I'm happy.
I still have my film cameras, and won't be parting with them, and still have film in the fridge :D
Reply
:iconjonniedee:
jonniedee Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Great Article. Even though I am moving towards Black and White film and the darkroom, it is so convenient to shoot digital.
Reply
:icondu-jamais-vu:
du-jamais-vu Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2012
great read, stam... you're right when you say that the best camera for street is the one you can always have with you. i would like to add that it's not the camera that is important, but the ability of the photographer. i've seen some pretty amazing street photos with 'crappy' point and shoot cameras and some crappy photos from people using a leica m8... the fuji x100 has a fixed 23mm lens on it, not a 35mm like you mentioned in the article. though 23mm is comparable with 35mm full frame, so maybe that is why you wrote it like this... btw, cheers for the honor including one of my pictures in this journal...
Reply
:iconafricanobserver:
AfricanObserver Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Great thoughts, and discussion below.

One thread that hasn't been pick through is on the redundancy of technology.
When I read the TimeLife photography books 35 years ago, they had a warning about the "equipment trip" - the kit dominating over making pictures.
I have loved computers since I first set eyes on one in highschool, and the 'equipment trip' lesson holds there too.

And when I buy either photographic or computer kit, there is a strong functional focus - will this do the job I want it to? Latest/ top of the range come at a premium. How meaningful are the additional features? How caught up in marketing do we get, rather than applying our own brains? How often will that near-to-bottom of the model from a good range actually do the job (camera or computer)?

The reasons my pictures are not awesome have nothing to do with the kit I have, but how much time and emotion and risk I am willing to put into an image.

A camera is a tool. Some are so poorly made (lag/ resolution/ etc) that they can't do the job. But there are many that can and do do the job. Many DSLR's are as small as the older viewfinders. Plonk on a prime lens with decent focus and f-stop rings, and you have everything you wanted from the old world, without the schlep of a darkroom and cost of film and printing.

Beware the marketing-driven equipment trip!

My R0.02
Reply
:icondjailledie:
djailledie Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
After many years, carrying all kind of film and digital cameras, I believe that all is the photographers head... so as I know upfront that I will likely not shoot anything I go out, the compact - light - camera is a good trade-of. Another drawback that I see however in these cameras is the depth of field, usually too large with the compacts.
Thanks choosing this image of mine, Stam!
Reply
:iconrobvinc:
RobVinc Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
You missed the R-D1
Reply
:iconpen-at-work:
PEN-at-Work Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012
:)
Reply
:iconaaroffy:
aaroffy Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012
Hey Stam,
Great journal, I was just lusting over an m8 again and this made me more. What are we photographers without our gear lusting :). I used the m8 before and loved the manual operation of it. I actually got rid of it though cuz it wasn't as usable in other situations. Been using a Pentax k5. Extremely small and light, especially combined with their tiny limited lens, it's shutter is the quietest shutter I have ever owned (more than Leica and ep3). Combined with its silky manual focus it is near silent. Plus no one knows what Pentax is so you don't get the looks canikons bring.

Agree with you though, every camera has its limitations, the best one is the one you have on you!
Reply
:iconrastislav:
Rastislav Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012
I was lucky enough to shoot the M9 with a 35/2.0 for a full day and I have to say it’s not that easy to get used to. I was taken back but how different it felt from any other camera I’ve used. But then a very generous soul lent me a nocti for a couple of minutes and I fell in love!!! So I still think it’s more about the optics than anything else. I’m nor ready to cross over to digital for street just yet. I just got a Hexar AF and the results are amazing! Will be posting some soon!
Reply
:iconstraightfromcamera:
straightfromcamera Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2012  Professional Photographer
Had you shot a Leica rangefinder before then? I felt the same when starting to shoot my M6
Reply
:iconrastislav:
Rastislav Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2012
Never :) The M9 was my first experience... it was very strange! But after that when I tried Philip's M6 it was like "ok I remember this" kind of vibe.
Reply
:iconstraightfromcamera:
straightfromcamera Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2012  Professional Photographer
I honestly thought I would by my M6 and sell it a month or two later, however, the feel and how it shoots changed my outlook on photographing. Did you feel similar?
Reply
:iconrastislav:
Rastislav Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2012
Totally! I have lot more respect for rangefinders and that is why I went with a Hexar AF, true its a point and shoot RF but I think it's a great compromise between what I want and what I need + I know exactly what happened when I press the shutter. I'm getting into its MF just now.

Yesterday we had lots of fog and the AF system was going bananas, I really missed having a MF camera right then but I just set it to infinity and switched to MF. That 35/2 on it is a crazy lens! How are you enjoying your m6? I really like the work you've been doing with it so far.
Reply
:iconstraightfromcamera:
straightfromcamera Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2012  Professional Photographer
I am absolutely loving it. I honestly would have troubles justifying that statement. When Chris came to Vancouver, he asked me the same question, and the simple answer is 'it changed my life'

You start looking at the Konica CL at all yet? It's M mount, but the Konica 40/2 Rokkor is a bargain at $380-500
Reply
:iconrastislav:
Rastislav Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2012
That’s great! I like life changing experiences, especially when they help you see the world in a different way.

Konica CL looks interesting! I’ll have to check it out, thanks for the info ;)
Reply
:iconstraightfromcamera:
straightfromcamera Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2012  Professional Photographer
Any time :)
Reply
:iconstamatisgr:
StamatisGR Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012   Photographer
It's the optics, right indeed!
Reply
:iconbatmantoo:
batmantoo Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks Stam for making me go nuts for the Leica again... I tried so hard to forget her. ;)
I'll try some more with my iPhone...
Reply
:iconsudor:
SUDOR Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012
The best compact for street photo : Ricoh GRD 4 !...
Reply
:iconsudor:
SUDOR Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012
Leica M9 ? Bof !!! Wait the Leica M10...May 10th !?
Reply
:iconstamatisgr:
StamatisGR Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012   Photographer
No! The M11 will be better :D and then the M12 :lol:
Reply
:iconsudor:
SUDOR Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012
Ok ! But M9...

• obturator a little more loud than one argentic M. In comparison with M8.2, benefit isn't obvious (the rearmament of the obturator is always so loud)
• poor screen of 2,5 !!!
• bad autonomy of the battery
• no anti dust
• noise from 800 ISO, beyond from 800 ISO of many reflex make better. (But noticing the noise resembles the argentic grain in black and white)...
Reply
:iconstamatisgr:
StamatisGR Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2012   Photographer
:nod:
Reply
:iconnunocanha:
NunoCanha Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Great article, Stam.
As you know, the D90 itīs not all that bulky, and with the tinny Nikkor 50mm we canīt complaint all that much.
But I fell the difference in my average days, when a small Nex is inside the bag I carry around. When I find a Rokkor 50mm for it iīll be a "happy camper", with a dependable camera all the times.
Reply
:iconstamatisgr:
StamatisGR Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012   Photographer
I'm testing the 35/1.8 right now :nod:
Reply
:iconnunocanha:
NunoCanha Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
!!!
It must be great!
Sharp and fast, as I imagine?
Reply
:iconmarx77:
MARX77 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012   Photographer
Brilliant journal, Stam! :clap:
I know, I know, I'll fave it....
Reply
:iconstamatisgr:
StamatisGR Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012   Photographer
you get a 5% raise :lol:
Reply
:iconjacac:
JACAC Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012
j u s t . t h e . s a m e . w i t h . m e
s t a r t i n g . w i t h . f i l . a g e s . a g o
a l w a y s . e x p e c t i n g . i f . i t . w o r k s . o r . n o t
d e v e l o p i n g . i n . t h e . b a t h r o o m . w i t h . t h e . r e d . l i g h t
i . a l s o . k e e p . m y . o l d . c a m e r a s . i . t h i n k . i . h a v e . 12
n o w . i . a m . e x p e c t i n g . f o r . m y . n e w . Nikon D800 . a n d . y e s . i . a l w a y s . t a k e . m y . Nikon D300 . w i t h . m e
a n d . i . w o n . w i t h . t h e . p r i z e . o f . t h e . PHOTO . f r e n c h . m a g a z i n e . a . Fujifilm X10 . t r y i n g . n o w . t o . w o r k . w i t h . s u c h . a . s m a l l . c a m e r a
Reply
:iconstamatisgr:
StamatisGR Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012   Photographer
D800? lucky you!
Reply
:iconjacac:
JACAC Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012
i . w a s . i n . t h e . p r e s e n t a t i o n . t e n . d a y s . a g o . o f . D4 . a n d . D800
a n d . i . a m . w a i t i n g . f o r . o n e . o f . t h e . f i r s t . o n e s . i n . Portugal
i . d i d . n o t . "d a r e" . t o . t h e . D4 .i s . a l m o s t . 6.000€ ...
Reply
:iconfuxs:
fuxs Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Wonderful. I can't back back to compacts, though. Full size definition drives me insane (personal OCD, if there's a public one ahah^^). But the photos I see by people using them are incredible.
Reply
:iconstamatisgr:
StamatisGR Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012   Photographer
I live for the moment that a full size sensor will be inside a compact camera body with an optical viewfinder and it'll cost less than 300eus :lol:
Reply
:iconmaclunar:
Maclunar Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2012   Photographer
There is something like this. Plus, you can exchange the full frame sensor for a different full frame sensor with different characteristics! Plus, you can get such an amazing camera for under $50 with a lens!!

Buy FILM, not MEGAPIXELS!!!
Reply
:iconnunocanha:
NunoCanha Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Same here.
Reply
:icondougnz:
DougNZ Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012
Cool article Stam :) I shoot with a DSLR. Have you seen the new large sensor Canon compact? [link] and Fuji's new X Pro 1 [link] :hump:
Reply
:iconstamatisgr:
StamatisGR Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012   Photographer
Fuji is on the right path, me thinks. But pricewise it's a no-no :(
Reply
:iconstraightfromcamera:
straightfromcamera Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Professional Photographer
The Samsung EX1 is an amazing little camera... However... Its ISO capabilities are lacking above 400. At a bargain, its an amazing buy, but get an extra battery and a fast card. Dont pay more than $250 all in, or save for the P7100 (Nikon) or Fuji X10 (with its larger sensor and amazing ISO capabilities.)
Reply
:iconstamatisgr:
StamatisGR Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012   Photographer
agree on the EX1:nod:
I was seriously thinking of the X10, till I read Doug's experience with it :(
Reply
:iconicarus-ica:
icarus-ica Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012
also very interesting : fujifilm x-pro1 [link] , video : [link]
:D
Reply
:iconstraightfromcamera:
straightfromcamera Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Professional Photographer
Like the X100, it is a camera that you have to get used to, but put it up against others, and there are a lot of other things wrong no matter where you go

From the small Cameras posted in the article, I would rank them like this

Fuji X10
Panasonic Lumix (Leica Dlux copy)
Nikon P7100
Canon G12
Olympus E-PL3 (For an interchangable camera, there is not many lenses)
Samsung EX1
Reply
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