BAP: Lucas

From the BAP get-together; Lucas of Lackadaisical.

While at the Bay Area Photographer's get-together last weekend I was experiencing something of a camera inferiority complex as I was surrounded by DSLRs (mainly Canons). Once again I'm falling for the marketing hype and peer pressure that seems to say that if you don't have a DSLR then you're not taking your digital photography seriously. As I browse Craigslist I'm seeing a lot of Canon 10D's for sale for reasonable prices as users upgrade to the 20D and I'm almost tempted to make the leap. Then I remember the often ignored advantages of a prosumer digicam and I have second thoughts.

The BAP group are all enthusiast photographers and they know what taking a picture looks like and. therefore, they stiffen up when you bring your camera to your eye or when they hear the mirror slap of a SLR shutter being tripped. I'm reasonably happy with the candid's I got from that meeting (today's picture being one of them) but I probably wouldn't have got anything half as decent had I being carrying an SLR. I would have been self-conscious about using the camera; my fellow photobloggers would have been self-conscious about being the subject - as a result I would have probably snatched a snap or two but I wouldn't have felt comfortable taking a dozen pictures of a person as they talked and listen. As it was, I was able to sit with my camera braced on my knee and with the lens pointing in a different direction than the LCD screen suggested and snap away unnoticed. With the silly artificial shutter noise on my camera turned off my camera is virtually silent. And if I buy into a DSLR system how much is the equivalent of my F717's built in 38-190mm f2 lens going to cost me?

Sometimes I wish I had an optical viewfinder. I wish I had the facility to shoot RAW and that the higher ISO settings on my camera weren't so noisy. Then again, would I miss the compact package, the lens speed and depth of focus, the true macro facility and all the other bells and whistles that come with a modern digicam? Perhaps I should be looking at the Minolta A2 rather than a secondhand 10D. Then again, I already have more cameras than I can possibly use so perhaps I should buy into the manufacture's constant upgrade sales message.