This was my September film camera and it gave me more problems than I’d anticipated.

I’d mentioned in earlier posts that compact, point and shoot cameras were appealing because they allowed me to focus more on the photograph, and less on the camera operation. At the same time I also mentioned that I disliked these cameras because they didn’t give me any feedback at all on what they were doing: e.g. what aperture was chosen, what shutter speed etc.

I knew that this camera had fairly limited functionality and began to think of it as a kind of point and shoot camera with interchangeable lenses that would give me the kind of feedback I needed. And perhaps it would, but after only using it once I found it a bit of a struggle – not so much because of the camera itself, but rather because it forced me to use it in ways that are not my custom.

I started off using it in the fully automatic, programme mode. This worked fine, but the combination of the camera and lens (I’d thought to use it with the rather slow Sigma 70-210mm f4-5.6 UC-II that my friend gave me along with the camera) in the fairly low, early morning light led to it at times selecting shutter speeds too slow for my liking.

So I thought I’d try it in shutter priority mode instead. I usually use aperture priority, but my beloved Minolta Hi-Matic 7sII is shutter priority and I have no problem using it. Just set the shutter and see what aperture is being selected and then adjust as necessary to get the aperture you want. Unfortunately the selected shutter speed is not shown in the viewfinder, only in the top panel LCD. So the process is rather: set the shutter speed, take the camera away from your eye; check the aperture; put the camera back to your eye; repeat until you get something you want. Annoying to say the least.

I must say though that when the conditions were bright enough the camera in programme mode did well. The picture of the horses below is a good example. They came around a bend in the trail and I didn’t see them coming until very late. I had just enough time to lift he camera to my eye and press the shutter release. If I’d had to think about the settings I would have missed the picture.

So my overall impression is that this is a fairly good beginner camera (probably perfect for the friend who gave it to me) and when the conditions are right (i.e. bright sunny day) can produce decent pictures. I’m quite satisfied with the pictures in this post. I also feel that some of my problems would disappear if I were to use the camera more and become more familiar with it. After all this was the first time I’d used it.

Now I have a bit of a dilemma: do I use this camera again (perhaps with a faster lens – I have a Canon EF 50mm f1.8) or to do I select another of my many camera as my October film camera? I think it will probably be the latter. I didn’t like using this one that much (I much preferred using my August film camera – an Olympus OM2-n MD) that, for now, I’d feel inclined to use it again. I may come back to it at some time the future though.

The first two pictures were taken within a five minute was from where I live; the second two at Rockefeller State Park preserve during a dog walk with some friends; and the last two at Law Park, our town park.

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