Touch and Shoot
Recently I sold my first and probably my last physical camera, a Fujifilm E-X2 with a Fujinon XF 35mm F2 lens. I did it because I was afraid to use it, whenever I thought of going out to take some photos I had to program it, feel in the right mood, feel able to manage an “exceptional” event.
In short, the good part of that experience, I think due largely to the physical controls and the lens didn’t compensate for the discomfort I felt every time I decided to take it with me. Bags, cleaning accessories, extra batteries, and SD cards, fear of losing or irreparably ruining something. Not to mention the embarrassment I felt the moment I take a photo. For me, discretion is crucial, I like doing street/candid photography, and having such a flashy and bulky object basically didn’t help me to be “invisible”.
Moreover, I’m not a professional photographer and I don’t like the idea of becoming a photography nerd who spends all his money on cameras and accessories. For me, photography is content, the tool must be simple, easy to carry in a pocket, always available, invisible, connected (to my Google Photos library), and last but not least, it must have all-day battery life.
Actually, my Pixel 3a meets most of my requirements and I don’t want to even think to buy an expensive compact camera. In my opinion, the pixel 3a is an affordable and perfect AI-driven, smart camera to make street and travel photography. I can extract it from my pocket pressing the power button a couple of times and being ready to shoot in seconds. I agreed with and inherited this vision from Craig Mod’s old essays “Goodbye, Cameras” and “Software is the Future of Photography”.
Beyond the unbridgeable differences with an APS-C camera, starting from the quality of the lens and the size of the sensor, the only thing missing from my smartphone camera app is a “manual mode” to set the “photography triad” (aperture, shutter speed, and ISO) and gaining control of basic settings ignoring the software fixes to make a perfectly exposed photo. I want to be able to preserve shooting speed by making conscious, creative errors, the same Clément Chéroux described in his book “Fautographie: petite histoire de l’erreur photographique”.