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Gordon W | profile | all galleries >> Utility Gallery >> Assorted Gallery >> For Linking Only & Linked Duplicates >> Brief Photographic Biography tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Brief Photographic Biography

My father introduced me to photography in 1950 when I was age 4, which means I was shooting photos with the pinhole camera he made for me and developing prints (crude as they were) in his darkroom before I could read or write.

For decades after that, I shot photography for both business and pleasure, until I eventually lost interest in it as a hobby due to diminishing returns for increasing costs, but continued to shoot commercially as an adjunct to my graphic design work.

Then in 1999, I bought my first digital camera, a 2 megapixel (MP) Nikon CoolPix 950, which allowed me to shoot with no concern for cost and this rekindled an interest in shooting for pleasure again and I havenít bought a roll of film since.

The 950 was soon replaced by a 3 MP Nikon CoolPix 990, which was soon replaced by a 5 MP Sony Cyber-shot F707, but the real excitement and joy of photography didnít reignite fully until April 2004 when I bought an 8 MP Minolta A2, the first digital camera I owned that I considered to be a serious camera.

Then in late November 2004, due to needing higher sensitivity, lower image noise, and longer telephoto reach, I bought an 8 MP Canon EOS 20D digital single lens reflex (DSLR). Originally, this was not bought to replace the A2 but to complement it.

However, the A2 has now been handed off to a family member and the 20D, after taking nearly 90,000 photos over four years, was getting tired and needed work done on it, but since that work would cost more than the camera was worth, I retired it (it does still function) and in April 2008 replaced it with a lightly used 10 MP Canon 400D/XTi DSLR bought from a friend for less than the 20D repair would have cost.

For all practical purposes for the kind of shooting I do, the XTi is as capable as the 20D as well as having a bit more resolution with 10.1 MP compared to 8.2 MP, which isnít a significant increase but does provide some additional cropping room, so the XTi was what I shot with exclusively for the following year.

All this said, Iíve found in the time Iíve owned those cameras that 8-10 MP wasnít enough resolution for the many requests I get for extra large images, which would require something like a 21 MP Canon 5D Mark II or better, but due to the costs and other factors involved with such a move, I instead compromised in June 2009 and bought a 15 MP Canon 500D/T1i DSLR and in October 2010 bought an 18 MP Canon EOS 60D DSLR and continue to keep the 400D/XTi as a backup camera in case one of the other DSLRs fails.

And as if all those cameras arenít enough, in June 2010 I purchased a little 12 MP Panasonic Lumix ZS7 (aka TZ10 outside North America) as a pocket camera to have with me when I donít feel like lugging around the big heavy DSLRs and while the ZS7 was a decent camera, it was limited by not providing RAW format files and its image quality just wasnít good enough to suit me, so in April 2011 I replaced it with a 16 MP Fuji F550 EXR. The F550, while not perfect, provided RAW files, has better image quality, and has higher sensitivity. It is a very capable camera for a pocket camera, but has a serious lens flaring problem around exceptionally bright light sources, so in late April 2012 I bought a 12 MP Canon Powershot S100, which is another pocket camera but with excellent image quality although much less zoom range than the F550.

Then in early April 2013, I bought a 16 MP Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR superzoom as a convenience camera, a one camera does it all thing. Over the years, I had found the pocket cameras too lacking and the DSLRs too cumbersome for my day-to-day shooting and wanted one camera that could do it all and the HS50 comes close to that. At a small loss in image quality and ISO sensitivity compared to the DSLRs, the HS50 alone covers a greater focal length range than all my other cameras combined and with a dual element close-up lens is an excellent macro camera. Since buying it, the HS50 has become my most used camera.

Not being happy with the limited zoom of the S100 and flaring of the F550 and neither of which having a viewfinder (which makes them almost unusable on bright sunny days), but still wanting the convenience of a pocket camera, when Panasonic released the ZS40 in March 2014 I bought one since it has a viewfinder, shoots RAW, and has almost as much focal length range as the HS50.

So, at this point (2014), fifteen years after buying my first digital camera, Iím satisfied with the resolution and features consumer digital cameras have achieved and have no plans for any further camera purchases. Famous last words no doubt.
Gordon W Self-Portrait
Gordon W Self-Portrait