Low End Photography in the Digital Age
For some reason, people keep giving me old cameras, both digital and film.
My aunt was cleaning out her office at the University of Minnesota and sent me a Canon EOS 630 film camera with autofocus and a 28-70mm zoom lens, as well as a Canon PowerShot S100 Digital ELPH digital camera with an underwater case. They were also cleaning out the art department at the end of the year, and someone decided I should get a Sony Mavica.
I have been using the PowerShot as an everyday camera for the past month or so. It reminds me a little bit of the old Rollei 35 film camera. If has that boxy shape and fit, of course, without the quality of the Rollei. It only is a 2.1 megapixel (MP) camera, so I would hesitate to print an 8x10 unless it was taken under (more or less) perfect conditions. Still, it is small enough to fit into my pocket and record my family's adventures.
Getting pictures off of the camera could be easier if I had the USB-to-camera cable, but since the camera uses Compact Flash cards and I have a CF-to-PC Card adapter, I take out the CF card, put it into the adapter, and then put it into my PowerBook G3 Pismo's PC Card slot. Apple's iPhoto recognizes that the card contains photo files and imports the files.
I shudder to think how many shekels the proprietary cable would have cost me. Also more that one way to skin a cat (don't worry, no cats were harmed in the making of this column).
I already have a pair of film cameras that served me very well until the digital revolution came along. I own an Olympus OM-1 (an all mechanical camera that is basically a photographic hockey puck - by that I mean it can take a beating and still deliver photographs). I also have an Olympus OM-4, which possesses (IMHO) the best spot metering system ever placed in a 35mm camera.
Neither of these cameras is autofocus, and that is why I find the Canon EOS 603 intriguing. Autofocus is a nice thing for the aging photographer whose eyesight is not what it used to be. If I can locate a cheap 300mm autofocus lens for this camera, it will become an ideal sports camera.
I also received a Sony Mavica MVC-FD91 digital camera with a 14x zoom lens that records images to 3.5" floppies. Talk about fossils! I'm not sure I want to bring this back from the dead, as the Li-Ion battery in it is dead and I don't have a charger. I suppose I could buy one with a new battery, but it is around $45.
Also due to lack of funding, I have not had access to a high quality (8 MP and up) digital camera, so I use digital for snapshots and resort to film cameras for high quality work. Yes, you can still buy film, but your choices are limited. I suppose I am reluctant to give up the lenses and accessories for my film cameras, but I would be more than happy to be a recipient of a fundraising effort to purchase me an Olympus E-3.
If you can repurpose older computers, you can certainly use older cameras in a new universe. I am using the Canon PowerShot as a permanent family and "snapshot" camera, ready at a moment's notice to record events in my world. I have loaded up the Canon EOS with slide file and am going out to do some "artistic" work.
Recent Recycled Computing Columns
- Changes, 2012.10.16. A new job has John Hatchett considered something of an iPad expert.
- In Praise of Optical Viewfinders, 2012.07.30. Although modern digital cameras have digital viewscreens, there's something to be said for the traditional viewfinder.
- The Lion Sleeps (on My MacBook) Tonight, 2012.07.05. Starting with a full backup, a Time Machine Backup, and an OS X 10.7 thumb drive, John Hatchett moved to Lion.
- More in the Recycled Computing index.
Links for the Day
- Mac of the Day: Color Classic, introduced 1993.02.01. A cult classic, this was the compact Mac with color that everyone had been waiting for.
- May 23 in LEM history: 00: A computer I understood - 01: Mac: A dream fulfilled - 02: PowerKey - 03: 12" PowerBook better than 15" TiBook - 05: The First Macs - 06: What's in your workspace? - Picking the right laptop - Sun has set on the G4 - 06: Running your notebook using flash memory - 08: MacBook holds its own against Dell and HP
- Support Low End Mac
Recent Content on Low End Mac
- World Book Encyclopedia 2012 DVD, Tommy Thomas, Reviews, 2013.03.05. "You may be asking yourself, in an age of Wikipedia and instant information, is World Book still relevant?"
- Vintage Computer Festival SouthEast, April 20-21, 2013, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2013.02.25. Old Apple gear and old PCs.
- iMessage: The Ultimate Messaging Service?, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2013.02.21. In most ways, Apple's iMessage is far superior to BlackBerry Messenger.
- More links in our archive.
- Best Mac mini Deals
- Best 13" MacBook Pro Deals
- Best Intel iMac Deals
- Best iPod touch Deals
- Best iPhone Deals
- Best iPod nano Deals
- Best iPod classic Deals
- Best Apple TV Prices
- More deals in our archive.
Low End Mac Reader Specials
Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
The Vintage Mac Museum
Mac Driver Museum
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ