On capturing "life's moments"

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Just a shot taken on my phone from a weekend at the beach.

Cameras are a funny thing.
Talk to a non-photographer and they’ll look at you like you’re weird when you say you need a lens or something and you already have a bunch.
But tell that to a photographer and 90% of them will nod knowingly and ask which lens / camera / accessory you need now (I’m looking at you here, straps and bags). In moments you’ll know what they’re saving for too, and share a hopeless “It sorta makes sense to spend it, doesn’t it?” look before continuing on.
But reading over at Ric Ray’s Micro Struggler blog, it’s good to see he gets the same feeling. I know a bunch have struggled with it – Eric Kim has made no secret of it and has just decided that one camera, one lens works best for most of the time.
I’ve been through a big clear out in recent years. A second child will do that to you! I got rid of all my Nikon gear – big lenses, small lenses, all the accessories. Am I happier? Yep. Is everything lighter? You bet. I’ve now got a Fujifilm X100T, a Fujifilm X-Pro1 and an 18mm and 35mm lens. They take different batteries. X100T I can charge from my computer, so that’s a win. But the form factor of the X-Pro1 is just right. Solid and mechanical feeling rather than the point and shoot feeling of the X100T. The shutter feels like it clunks, even though there’s no mirror to make the clunk.
Then there’s the film. Damn film. Just as I get on top of my mass digital Nikon arsenal, I find dad’s old Nikon FE camera and lenses and get nostalgic. Because film is slow and evocative and passionate and I was going through a minimalist phase. So now that’s in the mix.
Plus I have an iPhone 7, which is the only thing guaranteed to be with me at all times. And it’s fast. And it meters well. And I can share stuff to anyone easily. And people are being used to being shot with a smartphone.
Seriously. It’s a wonder I get out the door and shoot anything with a choice like that. So most of the time, unless I’m doing something really specialised like late night star shots or something, it’ll just be the iPhone I’m holding when the trigger gets pressed.
For my money, anything in the 28mm-35mm equivalent range is fine for an all the time “life’s moments” camera, with the only real question being – “will this ever be seen on anything other than a small to medium sized screen?”. If the answer is a no, it’s hard to suggest anything other than a smartphone. If it’s a yes, you can’t go past Fuji’s X100 series.
I’m starting to think it really is all about having a tool that can just capture the moment so others can see and feel it, not necessarily be the newest or sharpest or lightest or fastest. I just need to remember that from time to time – especially when the next big thing comes along promising so much more.

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