Smaller, Concealed Carry

I have been enjoying the use of smaller pocket cameras.  They have the smallest of sensors, 1/2.3, and in the case of the one used to make the above test pictures, a 30X zoom lens.  Other than for being able to carry it in my pocket with a longer zoom lens, I sometimes need the greater depth of field.  You can see the picture of my latest camera, the Sony HX80, in comparison with my waterproof Olympus TG-4 and the iPhone 6 below.


I am still experimenting to learn the best settings for the kinds of pictures I like to make.  At the moment, I am approaching a fixed ISO of 800 and an in-camera exposure adjustment of -1.  The biggest problem I am having is holding the camera still when it chooses slow shutter speeds.  That is why I’m using this ISO and exposure setting to maximize the shutter speed.  The slow shutter speeds would be fine if I put the camera on a tripod but that would defeat its’ advantages.

In addition to being smaller than the TG-4, it is lighter, has a pop-up viewfinder in addition to a tilting LCD, and 18MP.  One minor issue is that folks around here expect to always see me carrying a camera and they don’t notice these smaller cameras and I must explain that I’m utilizing concealed carry.  I am never without at least one of the above.


I try to make pictures everyday just because I like to see what I can find to photograph and then work on them with my software.  I usually photograph the common mundane things around me and try to show them in interesting ways by tweaking them after I get them on my computer.  I made these pictures all within a few minutes inside my Villa early in the morning.  They were made with natural light; no flash was used.  I never use a flash.  But, these are different from my normal images.

First, the above are similar in that they were all made with a small sensor camera, the Olympus TG-4.  They were also all made with an in-camera reduction of two stops for exposure and at the maximum zoom range of the lens at an equivalent 100mm.  I used the program mode with the ISO fixed at 200, and let the camera pick all the other settings.

Now for what is different from my normal practices.  I didn’t make any adjustments with my software.  These are jpeg images straight out of the camera.  I only used LR to import them and organize them into my storage structure.  I did not touch the exposures, or white balance, or anything else.  Anyone can make images like these with just a small sensor point and shoot camera.  Maybe you like them or maybe you don’t; but I think they have a characteristic image style that I like … at least for recording what I see about me as sort of a digital photo journal.

Could I have made better pictures with my better Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera?  The answer is yes, but I would have to define better.  The image quality would be better, but would I have been as likely to make them?  No.  I would have had to use a much heavier, larger camera with a very heavy long zoom lens, and they wouldn’t fit in my vest pocket.  That is where the small sensor camera resides most of the time.  That way if I see something I can photograph it right away.  Light like in the above pictures doesn’t continue for long.  These kinds of images require being at the right place at the right time with a camera close to hand.

Early Morning with a Small Camera


I took this picture through my window this morning using the TG-4.  With the slow shutter speed, I had to rest the camera on the window sill.

The following is what happened when I didn’t hold the camera still enough, and was zoomed all the way out and then cropped the image and upsized it to get the following.  It is blurred but I like it … maybe even better than the above.