The beauty of non-realistic thinking is that it can be as wishful as I want. But I’ll distill it all down to one very realistic feature.
One of the benefits of DS’s collaborative approach is that it subjects me to the ideas and techniques of others. And one that’s been particularly pleasant to follow is Ian’s e-film approach to photographic life.
It resonates with me largely because it is expressionistic.
So much of our collective delirium about photography, particularly in gear-oriented media, is the search for zero-misses and technical “perfection”, that the e-film approach feels like a breath of fresh air. Fancy that, creating images that look the way you want the scene to feel like rather than what a lab rat decided was proper. Oh the concept 😉
That industry-wide search for quantitative supremacy (sorry, science’s most idiotic term of the century is a must-use at this time of heightened introspection 😆 ) has baffled and alienated me for years. Because :
(1) Big budget shoots avoid it like the plague. A solid way of never finding work again on a movie set, for instance, would be to present footage that looks anything like what (many) photo manufacturers give us today.
(2) It looks unnatural. The quest for more keeps driving us further away from believable.
So, here’s a simple wishlist for 2024.
I would love it if some manufacturer lost the plot completely and decided to focus on natural and fun rather than … whatever it is they are chasing their tail after today. Not every manufacturer, mind! Just one. The others can continue to wow the universe with flow-sucking, fps/AF/ISO/terapixel-fondling, sublime greatness.
To be honest, I rather hoped that manufacturer would be Pixii. I was hoping for a non-rangefinder model that would not be for the 0.1% of the photographic population that both has the eyesight and inclination to use a rangefinder. A model that would offer the goodness of upgradability, build quality, fun aesthetics and more to the other 99.9% out there. But it seems the founding team has decided that optical relic from the 19th century is an essential facet of Pixiitude. Too bad, moving on, but I’ll keep hoping 🙂
Unsurprisingly, film ticks all the boxes of e-film, save for the essential e requirement.
I ain’t going back to shipping rolls to labs. Maybe the resurgence of film has made those guys more serious about their work, but my past experience was not good.
Moving on, not looking back.
Phones? Ah well … a controversial choice indeed. But phones do tick many of the right boxes.
All the photos on this page were made during a 2 hours walk near Nice airport with my trusty Samsung S9, a.k.a. Zung.
One essential metric of mine for judging a camera is my keeper-rate. Well, including the double PP occurrences such as above and below, and the very few bad shots, that keeper rate is close to 100%.
This is possibly because phones do unrealistic, but natural, whereas many cameras do accurate but unnatural.
Then there’s the fun of easy point’n’shooting, auto everything, sharing, backup, good screen, you name it.
But I would like a camera that’s not a phone.
All of this is probably a lot to ask. Too much of a culture shock for the men in white and the men in suits.
So, in 2024, I would consider buying a camera (that’s not a $30,000 cine camera) that handles highlights as gracefully as my 7 year old phone, which uses a sensor smaller than an ant’s brain (note that I didn’t mention dynamic range, only aesthetics).
Yup, that’s it. That would be a positive win.
Sprinkle a touch of profiling fairy dust. You know, a look designed by an expert colourist, not a spreadsheet, and that would be bliss.
Add IBIS, internal memory, large-ish pixels, a tough build and ergonomics for the 4 year-old inside my brain, and you have my money on a silver platter. Cost – relatively – no object. And I do believe one such camera is on the horizon 🙂
In the meantime, Happy Holidays to all! 😀 😀 😀
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