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To buy a point and shoot - or not?

June 07, 2013  •  Leave a Comment
Olympus is pulling out of low end point and shoot cameras - and I can see why. We don't need them.

One of my wok colleagues asked what camera she should buy in the $100 - $200 range. My reaction? Don't.

Why?

She has a good quality mobile phone - which means she has a good basic camera already. Apart from a zoom lens, I can't see what a $150 compact would offer that her "camera" doesn't already offer.

What I suggested she do is spend her lazy $100 - 200 on software. She's not running a Mac at home so she doesn't have iPhoto - meaning she needs something like PhotoShop Elements or Lightroom to:
  • do "post" on here images - crop, contrast and maybe some colour correction, and
  • more importantly ... catalogue her images.
People are generating images all over the place, and then what? They sit on the device until it fails or they're deleted. If they're downloaded to the computer, they sit there without keywords or meaningful names until the disc fails.

Either way, they're not accessible. And if you can't find the image, it's just a waste of disc space.

My advice to anyone without suitable software is to get either Elements or when it's released: Lightroom 5 or start using your copy of iPhoto. Then, catalogue your existing images - which is, I will admit, a horrible job.

However! Once that's done, your work flow could be something like mine: First, download the images from the camera, using just a basic preset - to add a little contrast - or whatever your camera needs.

Then - keyword your images. Right away! Then and there. Before you do anything else. Pronto.

Seriously, it will take maybe 5 minutes to do a heap of images and once done, they're done forever - and they can be found!

After that, you can do your "post":
  1. Crop and straighten
  2. Remove stuff that shouldn't be there - rubbish, idiots, that kind of thing.
  3. Do any more tweaking of brightness, colour balance, contrast - that kind of thing.
It amazes me how few people look after their images. Almost everyone over 12 has a camera these days and they use them to capture images. Then, for most people, it stops there. At least in the film days, the film would be printed at the local lab. Now? Who knows?

Photographs augment and even preserve our images. They are precious and deserve to be looked after.

Here endeth the lesson.

Have a good one.

Shane





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