Allen's Blog

Posts tagged ‘point and shoot’:

My New Walking-Around Camera, the Sony RX100

Sony RX100

In a recent post, I wrote about David Pogue’s rave review of Sony’s RX100, the pocket-size camera with a Zeiss 1.8 lens and a big, big chip. Since then, I’ve read a number of write-ups and reviews, and what was “maybe” my next big purchase has become a reality that goes with me everywhere. Check out the specs and reviews for yourself, but here’s what stands out for me –

  • Instant shutter response
  • Beautiful image quality, even wide-open (due no doubt to the relatively huge chip that Sony has managed to use)
  • Great macro capability (the lack of which kept me from buying Canon’s G1X)
  • The ability to shoot both RAW and JPEG simultaneously (if you’re so inclined)
  • Great performance at high ISOs. Here’s a sample, ISO 6400, shot late at night on a flight back from L.A.

Photo of the plane's cabin on my red-eye flight back from L.A.

Menu navigation took a bit of learning (probably due to my advanced age), but now it’s quick and easy. FYI, Lightroom’s latest update handles RAW from the RX100 and a whole group of new cameras from a bunch of manufacturers.

Expanding the Walls: A New Generation of Documentarians and Cameras

A couple of weeks ago, in a special section of the New York Times devoted to museums, Corey Kilgannon wrote a great piece about a yearly program called ‘Expanding the Walls’ at the Studio Museum in Harlem. This year, a dozen girls, all of them black or Hispanic and with no prior photographic experience (other than the point-and-shoot picture taking that is a part of everybody’s life), were given professional digital cameras along with the training needed to let them go forth in their communities to document their own lives and those of family, friends, and neighborhoods.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of such programs; in fact, they are probably in place in numerous communities throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world. But two things caught my eye –

Expanding the Walls is based on the way the late James Van Der Zee approached his life’s work of photographing the people of Harlem in the 20th century. Van Der Zee (who died in 1983) came to wide renown only toward the end of his career, and the dignity he conferred on his subjects shows in all his images. So beyond the technical training the girls have received, they have been learning the direct connection between the photographs they are taking now and the pictures of Mr. Van Der Zee and other documentary photographers.

The other thing that drew my eye was the photograph at the top of the story. I looked carefully at the photo (by NYT staff shooter Marilynn K. Yee) and saw that the cameras in the hands of the girls in the photo are both Canon G11s. I have no way of knowing if the G11 is the only camera being used in the program, but it’s a wonderful choice.

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