One of the neat things about browsing Japanese touring sites is studying the great photos of food. In Japan food is a very visual art and it can be as much a part of the scenery as the mountains, wildflowers, and babbling brooks. I recently resolved to start taking similar photos on my rides and even bough a tiny camera for the purpose.
As a life long amateur, and occasionally professional, photographer I have always had an interest in cameras. I grew up two doors down from a retired photographer who was a great friend and teacher. By junior high school I was tooling around on a French bike with a Leica 3C in my handlebar bag. I soon graduated to a Pentax, then various Nikons, and a part time job in a photo studio. Over the years I've even bumbled into shooting a few magazine spreads, some advertising, and one magazine cover, mostly for editors I knew since I never pursued this sort of work.
I know a lot of other cyclists are also amateur photographers so it seems logical to start a discussion of cameras for cyclists.
As I see it, a cyclist's camera must be small, have a long battery life, have a built-in flash, have at least some minimal manual over-rides, and be rugged. Digital cameras make the most sense, though I do love film and old Leicas.
Most of us display our shots on computer screen or enlarge them to no more than 11 x 14, so an SLR is not really necessary. The small sensor of a digicam may be a compromise, but it is a wise compromise. Likewise, 6 megs. are sufficient and extreme zoom lenses are usually unnecessary. What is important is to have a sharp lens and good software to control noise.
There are many sites that offer camera reviews, but my favorite is Steve's Digicams. His reviews are evenhanded and thorough and the "Best Camera" section cuts to the chase. So which camera did I buy? It's a Sony T50 (since replaced by the T100). It has super battery life and a strong flash (for a pocket camera), and I can operate it with gloves on. The image quality is as good as any pocket size digicam I've seen.
Any thoughts? Please leave your comments about photography, cameras, food, etc.
By the way, that first shot is not from a Japanese site. It was sent by Ryan Watson from a "Bike-Picnic last Sunday with homemade sushi in my Love gave me for my birthday"!
The second image is from the very cool Pass-Hunter.com site.
20 March, 2007
Posted by Velo Orange at 9:44:00 AM