Monday, June 28, 2010

Another obsession: my camera collection

I've already confided in you about my owl obsession which is being documented on my owl flickr set so I thought I better confess to another obsession of mine. My camera collection. 14 in total, consisting of: 2 point and shoot digital, 1 waterproof digital video, 1 lomo digital, 1 digital SLR, 2 Polaroid, 1 lomo medium format, 1 baby Holga, 2 35mm cameras, 1 box brownie and 1 8mm video camera. Missing from this photo is an amazing super8 camera I used to own and a great Pentax ME super (SLR) that both broke and went to camera heaven (not to mention numerous others that have been lost/stolen over the years). I feel like I need to describe them in a bit more detail so here goes from right to left, front to back.

First up, baby Holga, given to me by a friend. This takes 110 film and really old school photos. They always look like the shots in old family albums. So simple, it doesn't even have a viewfinder, all you do is wind and press. It's so small that it's on a keyring and I keep it dangling from my handbag 'at the ready'. Second is a digital 'lomo-like' camera, the Harinezumi 2 from Japan. This is so cool and one of the newest. It takes colour and B&W photos and video with a lomo-like look. Really cool.

Next is the Ricoh 35 FM: old 35mm non rangefinder camera. Takes you back to the 70's with a great 'pancake' lens that takes clean sharp pics. I haven't put any up yet but check out this flickr group! The next one (with blue on top) is a Diana + medium format. A remake of a 60's plastic cult classic. This takes amazing rich, creative shots. You're never quite sure what you'll get though - which is the whole point. One of the cool things is you can do really long exposures just leaving the shutter open or you can take multiple shots on the same frame. Using slide film and cross processing gives some really cool colour and contrast effects. Check out the flickr group. Next is the Kodak Retina Ib folding camera made around 1954. Got this one recently from an awesome shop in Surry Hills. It has a great all metal German made body and lens that I definitely need to spend more time with. Here are some shots on flickr.  Moving along we have the Polaroid Spirit 600. I picked this one up from an op shop about 12 years ago and it has captured many a fine moment. I love this but the film is really hard to get now and so expensive - about $30 for 10 shots! A friend of mine has a really cool new mini Polaroid but I don't think it's as good as this one (when I say good I mean unpredictable).

In the next row up on the right we have a box brownie that has never been used by me since film stopped being made a very long time ago. Likewise, the 8mm camera has never been used because Super 8 took over and they stopped making the film but I like to keep both as part of the collection. On the left we have an old Canon EOS 10D digital SLR from 2003. This takes amazing shots at 6.3mp using only EF lenses but it's slow, heavy and has a tiny screen. This camera really does take the best shots of the bunch but because it's a bit old now it gets less use (sorry).

RECOMMENDED: Next we have my current favourite and most versatile compact digital camera; the Canon Powershot S90. This can pass itself off as your average digital camera but it has a great lens and loads of oomph that definitely puts it a cut above. Heaps of great manual and semi-manual settings but even if you leave it on auto you'll get great shots. I recently found the 'night' setting and they ain't kiddin' around! This recent set was taken with it.  The only downside is no HD video and no optical zoom in vid mode. On the left we have the good old Canon digital IXUS 70. I have a long history with the IXUS. The think I had one of the first back in 1997 that used APS film (weird short lived phase). It's always been a great, tiny, point and shoot camera for all occasions. Nothing fancy, just a simple little digital camera that takes a good shot. I've had this one for a few years now and it's travelled with me almost everywhere. It was only recently replaced by the more sophisticated Canon Powershot S90.

On the top right is the Kodak Playsport waterproof digital HD videocamera. This is the newest camera and was a replacement by the insurance company for our Sanyo Xacti underwater camera which died of water damage (yes really).  Not sure why they got to choose or why they choose this one especially since it was worth way less than the Xacti (I would have preferred a flipcam), but hey - at first they said they didn't insure against water damage so I guess we can't complain. I haven't actually used this one yet and I'm annoyed it didn't arrive before my recent trip snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. Would have been perfect. Maybe on my next intrepid adventure? Finally on the left you see the Polaroid 1000 land camera. This darling now only works with modified Polaroid 600 film (which as you know is hard to get) because they stopped making film for it a while back. So as you can imagine it hasn't been used much. Photo quality isn't great but that's the fun thing about this camera.

Last but not least (and not in the photo because it took the photo) is my iphone camera. I use this by far the most because of convenience and wish I used some of my other cameras more but I have to admit I'm in love with the immediacy. In particular I love the Hipstamatic app for taking photos and Swankolab for developing. So much fun. I also have the lomo app which is fantastic too. My iphone is currently my most used camera but I would love to change that.

I had no idea this post would turn out so long and it really has reinvigorated my love of photography and cameras. My pledge: *hand on heart* for the rest of the year I'm going to take photos on all my cameras and upload to flickr as individual sets. I really love each camera and think they all have something different to contribute. It'll be interesting to compare flickr sets when I'm done and hopefully prove the unique qualities of each camera.


  1. Wow! Thank ye for that. I like the look of the Harinezumi 2 particularly.

    I've never got majorly into cameras though some of my mates have. Was at a party on Sat night and one friend had the new EOS 5D I think. Very nice watching it in action. I prefer IXUS myself and have had a couple over the years, currently enjoying the IXUS 110 IS with 4x optical zoom. Though I also have an Olympus Mju 770SW which I use in the water and on canyoning trips - it's taken a fair beating :-)

  2. Wow indeed! Wayne has started using lomo cameras, started with a fisheye one which is fun.

  3. And I was starting to feel a bit guilty about not getting rid of all my old cameras. Not any more . . .