Social Events – What to Take…Equipment/Photos

One of the things that constantly surprises me, and maybe it’s just me, but every time I attend a social event of sorts, I’m surprised at how few cameras are there.  For me, it’s pretty normal to tote along a camera or two, but then again, maybe it’s just me Smile  AND I guess it depends on the event too…..

I dunno…  it MIGHT be different if the same people are getting together all the the time, but at a time when people get together a few times a year, wouldn’t it make sense to take “something” that gives us that precious memory?  Maybe it’s not so precious and so not worth doing.  Go figure…. 

Sooo… these “events”.  For me, there are two aspects to this – first, the gear, and second, the photos themselves.  For the most part, the equipment I take will depend on the event itself.  If it’s family, friends for a birthday or party of sorts, I’ll take a couple of cameras maybe more but one that allows me to capture images without the use of the flash if possible.  To me, candid photos at these types of events are the priceless ones.  So… for me, the equipment will baseline with something like my Fuji X10, Panasonic LX7 or Fuji XF1.  I’ve been tending towards the X10 for most of this type of stuff as it’s been my workhorse.  The LX7, not so much.  Big reason for this is the manual zoom capability of the X10.  I like the LX7, though because the lens is faster, but with candids, the ability to zoom quickly is more important.  It also depends on available light as well.  I also like this range of cameras due to their size.  This type of event is more for personal use, so capturing a good quality image is important. 

I also like to take a travel camera with me.  Sometimes it comes in handy and sometimes it’s not even used, but a nice backup.  Again, for me, it’s a “depends” thing.  My recent acquisition of my Fuji XF1 has made it possible to carry it plus a travel cam AND my little Nikon S3400 pointy shooty in my sling bag for jaunting about quite easily. 

And then, there are those more formal type social events – depending on the type of event and whether or not you are the designated photographer, or at least expected to take photos (that’s usually means me if I’m invitedSmile)  I’ll bring along something like my Panasonic GX1.  I haven’t done anything so far that requires me to use my Nikon D3200, but then I haven’t owned it that long either.  I’m still “playing” in the world of DSLR’s and trying to determine if I want to “kick it up a notch’ Smile  You see, for me, as much as I love my D3200 and WANT to get more stuff for it – perhaps more lenses, another body, whatever, I mentally simply can’t see why in the world I would want to.  “Because” just doesn’t do it for me on this pass.  I’m not taking near as many photos as I should be but work and other things have been getting in the way. 

In many respects, I really am glad I decided to move along the path of “light and mobile” instead of jumping into DSLR’s right away.  I guess it was more of an evolution for me coming up from the world of pointy shooties as opposed to starting at DSLR’s and then trying to find something that was lighter and smaller later.  For me, I think, it was because I was deep in the world of 35mm back whenever and understood what I wanted to do this time around.  For me, it’s about getting a good quality photo anytime anyplace and not having to worry too much about all that much post processing.  I’m not planning to win photo contests, or doing commercial work or anything that really demands me being at the “top of my game” here.  I DO, however, want to have suitable equipment for the situation at hand.  To me, taking a DSLR to a gathering of friends, is overkill Smile  A pointy shooty or travel camera is more than adequate for that type of shot. I like the Fuji XF1 as well, though it’s a recent acquisition because it’s got the slightly larger sensor but at the same time the camera quite small and has a very quick lens at f1.8.   IF there is going to be one of those “group shots”, the XF1 will handle that in spades.  My X10 and LX7 are wonderful units for that with the LX7 having the slightly wider angle.  All of these cameras are quite small and unobtrusive, have fast startup times and very good metering.  I don’t have an issue shooting these in full auto or programmed auto if I want a bit more control. 

When it comes to gear – I gotta admit I do have a lot of gear – actually, not “gear” in the sense of gear – but sheer number of cameras Smile  This foundation of cameras, I think is what allows me the capability of taking photos for what I want to do. Am I recommending that others do the same thing?  NO – a lot depends on personal situations and what they take photos of.  For most, the one camera whether it be something like off their smartphone, or whatever they have serves them fine and they are entitled to what they do.  This was just the path I chose, that’s all.  Could I have gotten by with fewer cameras?  Probably and realistically yes.  In the travel camera area in particular, I could have probably gotten away with just a couple.  The two that I use the most are the Panasonic ZS25 and Nikon S9400.  Unfortunately, they were acquired after I got my Fuji F800 and the Sony HX30V was purchased between the ZS25 and S9400.  I also have a Canon SX270HD which I find is quite a nice unit but for some reason, just don’t use it all the much.  I got that later in the year though, so maybe this year….  I actually got it more as a backup to the ZS25 and S9400.  They are actually surprisingly close when you start looking at the photos.

Was it worth spending this kind of money for the sheer range of cameras?  When one looks at what I have, I probably could have gotten a DSLR with a few lenses for the investment I’ve made in my cameras.  BUT you know what?  Even if I did, I still couldn’t have gotten the functionality.  For a good portion of my photos, I’ve zoomed out at 10-20x to get photos.  Some of my moon shots have had me out at 75X.  Can’t even get close to that with a DSLR and if I could, I probably couldn’t afford the lens.  No… there was a bit of a plan in place. 

What next?  Well, this is an interesting place for me right now.  I haven’t given a lot of thought to it yet but with some of the upcoming events on my plate, and pending a new consulting contract, one never knows Smile 


About gkamitomo
IT Busines Analyst

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