Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Camera Choices

I tend to do a lot of what I would consider street photography. Some other people might not, but the definition works for me. I normally use my DSLR. Since I tend to like big cameras, since they fit my hands better, it's pretty obvious when I take a photo. Especially since I tend to be obvious about it. There are times when I want the eye contact, though other times I prefer to be more voyeuristic and just record the scene as it unfolds.

Usually people do not object to having their photo taken in a public place, though there have been a couple. When I was in London, out on my own to just take photos, I dragged along my DSLR. I would take it in a bag, since I didn't want to advertise that I had it as I rode the subway. But this had it's downside. Every time I wanted to use it, I would have to open the bag, get it out and turn it on. While not a long amount of time, it takes away from the spontaneity if street photography. Plus some areas of London were very crowded this time of year. It was holiday time in Europe and a lot of different nationalities were wandering the same streets I was.

While I was taking a photo of the area I was in, just to document the crowds, the young couple in the photo above announced very loudly that they did not want their photo taken. By the time what they said registered, they had walked past. Since the UK/EU privacy laws are different than the US, I've blurred their faces.

I'm somewhat sure that if I would have been using a smaller camera or a point & shoot, that they would not have even noticed. But a big DSLR tends to be equated with professional photographers nowadays and it got their attention.

That, in a roundabout way gets me to the point of this rambling. Traveling with a big DSLR nowadays is no fun. Airport security sometimes insists that I take it out of the bag, so it can be x-rayed separately, it's too obvious to use and it's too heavy to carry around a big city for a day.

With the advent of the micro 4/3rds cameras and the new digital rangefinders being released, sooner or later a smaller camera will come along that will be more comfortable to use, but gives me the responsiveness of the DSLR. I may have to either switch camera makers or add another camera to my bag.

The reason I'm thinking about this, besides my trip, is the new Leica is supposed to be released today. While it's reported to be a nice camera, I'm sure it's out of my price range, especially when you factor in the shorter life span of digital gear. I may have to switch full time back to film, but that has it's own problems traveling....

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