- William Hunton
Tuesday Muse Day
I won’t bore you with my political monologue.
Instead I’ll bore you with technical stuff. Aren’t you relieved you can read this without being interrupted by a political ad. My wife and I are active, but I’m tired of 2020 politics. All I will say is I intentionally photographed on Election Day. We voted earlier in October.
I went for a walk. I ended up in Marietta, as usual. I grabbed a coffee and took a seat outside. The sun was shining. It was cool but comfortable. It’s still great weather in Georgia. I sipped coffee and observed the native population in the ritual of drinking the hot brew.
I’m testing the Lumix ZS100, an older (2016) 1-inch sensor, 20-something megapixel pocket camera. It has a 3-inch screen as well as a viewfinder. Check out the specifications on dpreview.com.
To be candid, I’m not that impressed with it or Canon’s G7x Mark II. The 1-inch sensors are noisy, there is not enough margin for exposure errors especially shadow exposures. Focusing cannot be even infinitesimally off. Any camera movement is amplified even with stabilization. You can crop, but quality drops exponentially.
If you hit the golden trifecta, you can get very good photos. I have an excellent 16×20 portrait of my granddaughter. However, the exceptions prove the rules, and how often are you perfectly in focus, perfectly still, and your exposure is perfectly spot on?
I believe Ansel Adams said the smaller the detail the larger the negative (think sensor) you need to record it. The smaller the sensor the more pronounced slight motion becomes, and the greater impact the pixels have on small details.
You can get good photos if your exposures are mid to high, but not on the shoulder of the sensitometric curve, and you have fairly broad areas of tone, like a simple portrait. That reduces noticeable noise (“grain”).
As a measure of effectiveness as a tool for my style, of all stock photos I submitted in the past year, 50% of my 1-inch sensor photos were rejected. The reasons are almost always technical issues with the camera. I have a much, much higher acceptance rate of photos taken with larger sensors, APS-C and full frame.
It stands to reason that a small camera is at a disadvantage in image quality, but I like small cameras that I can easily hide. Maybe the Micro 4/3’s is the compromise I need between camera size and photo quality.
The 1-inch pocket cameras are good for street photos, family snapshots, casual videos and vlogs, Instagram, and small prints.
So here ya go; street photography. Enjoy.
I processed the Lumix RAW images in Lightroom. I used a preset to bump up contrast, and then went darker. (It was Election Day, and I was in a dark mood.) I took the clarity slider fully left to get a halo softness effect and glow. I sacrificed detail, which is the antithesis of Street Photography, but I’m more concerned about the feel.