I've snapped one or two decent photos this year and I promise you, not one was set up in advance. I saw something I thought would work and took the shot. The sun bursting through the trees, the sheep on a sunny but frosty morning and last night, a low crescent moon over Birchills.
I knew in this case the Galaxy phone cam wouldn't handle such a shot with only a digital zoom and the shutter speed needed to capture the lower light elements of this picture (the moon for example).
Set up the Fuji on the tripod on night setting and gently pressed the shutter releease. Only thing I am not happy with, is (if you view this full size), the noise or graininess you can see in the dark sky.
The last Fuji I had was a 5 megapixel camera and would not have produced this amount of grain, this one is an 8 and I've not been happy with landscape pictures at all, even done in good light.
Time I think to have a root about and see what I can put on E Bay to raise some money to use towards another camera. I am moving away from Fuji this time. I have limited budget so need to concentrate on lens quality over features.
If I had four hundred quid (which I don't), I would be tempted by the new Samsung Galaxy camera, but even here, there is something that makes me twitchy. You see, I was delighted with the results I have been getting from the Galaxy S2 phone, enough to make me part with the Canon compact.
Then, they updated the Android software version which I read tweaked the camera software (in actuality ballsing it up).
Since then, I have had noise problems on landscape shots and focusing misfires, most annoyingly last Sunday in the arboretum. I was about ten feet away from a rather cheeky squirrel who was giving me that Vinnie Jones (hard knock) look as he treasured a nut he'd found. I slowly raised the cam to the right position, zoomed it enough to not fuzz the picture and clicked.
Ended up with a dramatic blur and no second chance as Vinnie had scurried off.
Wrote to Samsung about the problem and got the usual arse covering response. Annoying, because they are allowing someone elses software to mess up a rather superb piece of hardware I know is capable of excellent results. Here comes the science...
Decent lens, decent chip = decent results.
Now here's an example of a picture done in good light post the Android update.
Whilst I could clean that up a bit in Paintshop, believe me, that milkyness you can see wasn't there before the update. Classic example of bumbling fools poking around to make something better and actually fucking it up. Microsoft did this when they put out Excel 2010, hiding frequently used tools so oft used tasks had to be rediscovered and when they were, they were expedited with more mouse clicks thus reducing productivity.
The new Galaxy camera has an Android operating system mainly to drive the features and allow wireless uploading of pictures. Imagine the disappointment at buying one of these four hundred quid beauties with Jelly Bean and then when it upgrades to Android shit sandwich your pictures end up like the red mess above.
Another test I did with a tablet. Admittedly, we are talking half the pixel power of a Galaxy phone, but the stills I took with it were so pathetic, no amount of graphics workshop would make them enjoyable to the eye yet, two short video clips I did were more than acceptable.
Go figure, both were captured by the same device, same lens and so I give you "crap software" for the stills capture.
I'm going to have another slap at Samsung, because they risk as first footers in the Android camera market (on dedicated cameras rather than multi app phones), being shot down by angry photographers whenever the dipshits who conceive software updates, make a cobble up like they have with this halfway house between Ice Cream Sundae and Jelly Bean (not yet released on S2, available on S3 so watch out OBC).
Part of my technical letter to Samsung enquired whether I would be best trying other photo apps to which I received the "we suppose you could" luke warm response suggesting they aren't really being that innovative and technically in love with their products.
I'm saddened by the results the S2 is now giving me and not happy with the Fuji which fortunately didn't cost me much money as it was well used second hand.
When it comes to lenses, unfortunately Minolta no longer do dogital cameras. I found having owned a cheap 35mm Milolta and a minolta lens on an old Durst enlarger, the lenses were shit hot.
I'm now thinking Canon / Samsung (non Android) or Olympus. Whatever and whenever I move, it will be a considered purchase, especially if I am considering selling the cooker and washer on E Bay to fund it.
If anyone has a dusty old Canon EOS lying around they don't want, please e mail !