Trying an Olympus TG-5

I am tired of sitting around and not having a purpose for making pictures.  I am tired of playing with different camera settings, etc. like I was when I made the above pictures early this morning.  I am “subject starved”.  I have multiple good high-quality cameras and lenses but don’t take them out looking for things and reasons to photograph, especially this time of the year.  In addition, there are fewer events, etc. for me to photograph this time of year at Homewood.  I need to stir-up my energy, opportunities, and reasons to make pictures.  At times in the past I have resorted to carrying a small pocket camera with the hope that I would see something, anything, and make pictures of it, but the thought never lasted long enough, and it never seemed to help.  I needed a purpose or goal or idea of what I wanted to do with a camera.

This winter I have been thinking about various projects for when the weather improves, but I haven’t launched any of them yet.  I just haven’t gotten motivated enough to overcome the weather conditions yet, but I’m getting closer.  I still have some testing to do to get a firmer idea of what I’m going to photograph and what style to use.

If you have been reading my posts for long, you know that this isn’t a new situation.  I have always been anxious when I didn’t have a reason or goal leading me towards a subject and style of images.  My most enjoyable time in the last few years was when I was making pictures and producing a photography book with pictures of crafts and etc. here at Homewood.  I need a new thrust or idea like that book gave me, so I am going to take on a self-inflicted challenge.

I have long felt that cameras have passed the point of sufficiency from a technical perspective.  Too many of us have become engrossed with the technicalities, with the number of megapixels, the dynamic range, the resolution, the lack of noise at higher ISO settings, etc.  I would like to get away from those considerations.

My idea is to make some books with pictures from around Hanover that are different from others.  One of my self-imposed limitations is to make the pictures with a small sensor, point and shoot camera.  In the past I have been confronted several times when I was using a DSLR camera with a zoom lens on the streets of Hanover.  People here are very private/paranoid and thought that I might have been working for a newspaper or someone else and they wanted to know why I was taking pictures of their buildings, etc.; thus, one reason for a less threatening pocket camera.

Another reason for a small lightweight camera is due to the fact that I have arthritis and other problems in my fingers and I can’t hold or carry heavy camera-lens combos for long.  I also have back, knee, and balance problems, so I use a cane or walking stick and prefer to use a camera with one hand; another reason for a small camera which has image stabilization and some zoom capability.

I have been using a TG-4 as I explored some ideas for projects, but I decided to upgrade to the TG-5 to see if it was better.  So far it is certainly worth it, at least in darker conditions.  The processor is faster and more capable, and the initial images have better IQ with less noise than the TG-4.  I will make some comparison images later to get a better feel for how much better the jpeg and raw files might be in good light.  I also like the external controls better.  It is easier to adjust exposure, zoom, etc.  As far as I know, Olympus is the only camera manufacturer who is still improving the small 1/2.3 sensor cameras.  Everyone else has given up to the smart phones; but, they represent an entirely different set of ergonomic issues and don’t yet include the zoom range, controls, capabilities, and the ruggedness of the TG-5.  While I don’t plan on using the TG-5 underwater or at a pool or beach, ruggedness is of value to me if I drop it, especially with numb fingers in the rain or snow.

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