Hey look, I finally bought a digicam, about two decades after digital photography came into being. Yeah so I’m not exactly an early adopter. The thing is I’m not really keen on buying shiny techie gadgets. I’d rather spend my money on things like food and books; I’m always hungry and I’m always bored. On the other hand, I don’t always feel the need to take pictures.
I developed a mild interest in photography in college when I took a class on black and white photography. Back then I used an ancient SLR camera, trooped to Quiapo to buy cheap film (P40) and expensive photo paper (P15 a piece), and worked in the dark room to develop the film and print photos.
It was a tedious but ultimately rewarding process. Producing a well-composed photo with just the right exposure took a lot of effort. One mistake in developing a roll of film and the entire 36 shots goes to waste. Leave the light on a tad too long on the photo paper and you end up with a very dark image. But it is a genuine hallelujah moment when you finally get it right.
I realized two things after that class: 1. Photography is fun, 2. I can’t afford it. As a friend of mine succinctly puts it: Black hole ng pera ‘yan. So I shelved my delusions of someday landing a photo on the cover of National Geographic and returned the borrowed SLR to its owner.
Then digital SLRs became a hit and it seems like everyone was suddenly brandishing a sophisticated camera that costs as much as a human kidney.
I only regained interest in taking photos when I went to some of the most astoundingly beautiful places in the country. I found myself sitting on a cliff in Bohol, wishing I could capture the image of this piece of paradise in front of me. So when I came home, I started scouting for cameras.
I felt like Rip Van Winkle as I browsed through all the nifty features and tricks that digicams have nowadays. This camera can detect a wink?! Who knew? (Apparently everyone else except for me.)
I automatically ruled out DSLRs since they’re way too heavy and bulky, and focused instead on the compact cameras. For weeks I drooled over the Canon G12 and S95, and the Lumix LX3. Manual controls on a camera the size of a point-and-shoot: sheer brilliance. Unfortunately these lovely gadgets come with a nasty price tag. The cheapest prices I could find were P21,000 for the G12, P18,000 for the S95 and P15,000 for the LX3.
As much as I wanted to have any one of them, I eventually decided that I don’t want to spend my time worrying about the safety of a camera I paid a fortune for. And I can probably live with a point-and-shoot anyway. So I went and got a handy Canon A3200 for half the price of the LX3.
I tinkered with it for a few days and it seems decent. I probably won’t look like I’m doing “real photography” when using it but that’s okay. I’m really not a real photographer anyway. I just like to take pretty pictures.