Chin’s Nature Corner

Kodak DC265
My first digital camera which I won in a nature photography contest.
Going digital

TECHNOLOGY MARCHES ON, and mere mortals like me (I was going to say ol' foggies like me) need to make an effort to keep up or get left behind (yet to see that movie).
 From the mid-1980s to mid-1990s, I had put together a camera system that I was very comfortable working with. With it I could squeeze 37 or 38 shots out of a 36-frame roll of 35mm colour slide film.
 Then DSC or digital still cameras came onto the scene towards the end of the millenia, and slowly but steadily they supplanted and replaced film cameras.
 I know there's still a core of die-hard film enthusiasts who mostly shoot colour negative film (for photo prints). It's very likely that they do their own (E6) film processing. For me, it became more and more difficult, and costly, to get my colour slide film processed.
 Just recently the boss of the lab that I used to go to have my slide film processed and mounted told me he had junked all his equipment a long time ago. On average, he was receiving just one enquiry a month for
colour slide film processing. He has since diversified his business into making large photo prints for exhibition and public display (inkjet printing).
 Digital cameras were very expensive at that time (still are). The consolation for me was that, instead of having to buy my first digital camera, I won it as part of the first prize in a photo contest run by the Malaysian Nature Society in conjunction with World Environment Day in 1999.
 The camera, a Kodak DSC 265 Zoom, was one of the first generations of digital cameras from that brand. I was excited at having won it, and I have to say that it facilitated my entry into the world of digital photography (phew!).
 Soon I discovered its limitations. In operation, it was slow. Switching it on incurred substantial delay, and it took me a while to get used to the power zoom. It sapped the power from the four double A batteries it used "like nobody's business". Often, the monitor or screen overheated which meant having to switch the camera off to let it cool.
 Despite all its limitations, the Kodak DSC 265 Zoom came in very useful.
 In September 1999, I joined a church
following my conversion, and not long after that began serving with an editorial team that was producing the church newsletter. And I began using the camera quite a lot for my work on the newsletter.
 There was a much bigger benefit for me from all this. I learned the "nuts and bolts" of digital imaging - about memory cards and card readers, about sensors and image resolution, about image editing software, about RAW and JPEG, and the TIFF format for printing, etc, etc.
 Soon the bug began to bite. After using the Kodak for about three years, I started to hanker for a better camera, or at least one that's speedier in operation than the Kodak. So, in 2002, I forked out a very substantial outlay for another "bridge" camera, one with a much longer zoom range.
 It was a Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ10 with a 35-420mm lens (35mm equivalent, 12x zoom). This proved to be leaps better than the Kodak, and I used it not only to shoot portraits and performances in my church but also birds, bugs and butterflies, and even the moon (see photo below). ~ CFS, 02-10-2018.
Oleander Hawkmoth The Moon
From moth to moon ... shot with a Lumix DMC FZ10, a "bridge" camera with a 35-420mm zoom lens.

This page revised on 02 October 2018. Copyright © Chin Fah Shin.