- Arts and Design
Bit by the Shutter-Bug
Lynne's Tea Party
What are some of the best cameras to use? Easy to use and idiot proof?
The camera bug bit me at a very young age. I kept trying to get my Dad to let me try his new 8mm movie camera, and being a clumsy child, he really didn't want me messing with it. His solution? At the age of 10 years, I had a Brownie box camera that he got me. To save money, he gave me black and white film exclusively, at first. Later I graduated to color film but I found the black and white film offered some interesting artistic opportunities. The contrast was greater, the light was brighter, and the pictures look better even after 50 years. I took photos of the family; I took photos of the camping trips; I took photos of the cat. I loved that old Brownie. I really can't tell you what happened to it. I do wish I still had it sometimes.
It was easy to use. Just point and shoot.
Loading the film had to be done in a dark room or the first two or three pictures turned out completely white.
Hard to see what you were taking a picture of because the image appears upside-down in the viewfinder.
Photos with a Brownie Box Camera.Click thumbnail to view full-size
Kodak pocket 110
By the time I was in high school, my parents realized that photography wasn't really going away from my routine so, they bought me a Kodak 110 pocket camera. This introduced the ease of loading film with a slim easy-to-carry, light-weight convenience. I used that camera though my marriage and children's early years. I even taught the kids how to take pictures with this camera. We even started a family magazine with photos taken with this pocket camera.
Light-weight and slim, easy to carry with you everywhere.
The film was easy to load. No danger of overexposure.
The film was easy to take out and pop into the envelope to be developed.
The pictures were small; 3 inches by 4 inches at most.
Photos with the Kodak Instamatic Pocket CameraClick thumbnail to view full-size
DisneylandClick thumbnail to view full-size
Polaroid Instant One-Step Camera
When my girls were 3 or 4 years old, I received a Polaroid Instant One-Step Camera. We were financially tight in those years (after my divorce) and the Polaroid film was very expensive, when you consider how often I like to take pictures, so I used it infrequently. Not long after I got the camera, a friend asked to borrow it and I never saw it again. What a shame.
Pictures developed right before your eyes. Like magic.
Camera was big and inconvenient for trips.
Film was a bit pricy for struggling families.
It was easy to accidentally snap a picture and waist film.
Photo: My girls and step children at Disneyland, 1985.
Pentax 35mm K100D
I used that Kodak 110 pocket camera for almost 2 decades before my current husband bought me a Pentax 35 mm K100D. He bought it with a 26-80x zoom lens and then a couple years later another 80-220x zoom lens. I was like a cat in a creamery. I took pictures high and low. We had to go on short trips so I could shoot more pictures. Nothing was safe from my camera. My poor husband was even afraid to sleep because he thought I'd take photos of him while he was sleeping.
Beautiful pictures; sharp and clean.
The pictures it took made my little 110 look like a toy.
It had auto focus settings so that I didn't have to think if I didn't want to.
I took classes to learn how to use the settings so that I didn't have to leave it on automatic focus all the time.
The camera was heavy and changing the lens to zoom in was cumbersome.
There was a bit of a learning curve for the aperture and speed settings.
I still had to wait till the film was developed to see if my settings were right for the light.
Pentax SLR 35mm film cameraClick thumbnail to view full-size
Panasonic Lumix 28mm DMC- TZ3 10x zoom digital camera
Lovely little digital camera. Well worth the money.
Panasonic Lumix 28mm 10x Digital Camera
Later when we got some extra money, my husband decided I should have a digital camera (they were all the rage and I was still using film). I looked at the prices and thought it was beyond us. But he bought me one anyway. It was a small Panasonic Lumix 28mm 10x zoom digital camera. It was smaller than my Pentax and easy to drop into my purse for impromptu use. I came to love it. It took lovely photos that I could upload into my computer and send to friends and family immediately. I came to use it exclusively and my poor Pentax waited on a closet shelf for me. Unfortunately after just 4 years the color sensor went out on it. It would cost me just about $200 to have it fixed. Actually I thought that reasonable seeing that I had spent more than $500 for the camera to begin with, but I just didn't have the money at the time. So I dug out my dear Pentax from the closet shelf.
Convenient and fairly light-weight.
Pictures were instantly available for viewing.
Uploading to computer was easy.
10x zoom wasn't as nice as my 220x zoom but wasn't too bad.
Expensive for initial purchase.
Expensive for repair.
Panasonic Lumix Digital CameraClick thumbnail to view full-size
Pentax K10D digital camera body
When things got very tight for us financially these past 4 years, I looked into selling many things, including my beloved Pentax. What a surprise to find that it wasn’t worth anywhere near what we paid for it years before. On eBay, you could get my exact model (without the lenses) for $14. I was amazed. Film cameras were practically being given away. That’s when I got the idea of checking to see how much the older Pentax digital cameras were going for. I found a 2008 Pentax digital K10D on eBay for just $125. That’s less than the price of fixing my old Panasonic Lumix. The camera came with the necessary cables to upload photos to the computer, batteries, but no lenses, of course. However I had two lenses for my Pentax and they fit perfectly. It turned out to be an excellent buy. I now have a digital camera again (if a little older model) and the zoom capabilities I had before. I am very happy with my new (older) Pentax.
Inexpensive to buy.
My older lenses fit the camera body perfectly.
Digital again. Yea.
Beautiful professional-looking pictures.
A little heavy.
Does not fit in my purse, but that’s the price I am willing to pay.
Little bit of a learning curve to use but not bad.
Pentax K10D SLR Digital CameraClick thumbnail to view full-size
Cameras for all occasions.
I am in no way a professional photographer. I’m an amateur who loves to snap away at anything and everything. I’m an artist and always think this or that would make a great painting; better snap the picture to paint from later. I love that I have loads of family photos to treasure and reminisce. Many members of the family have passed now and I have photos of them all. Photography is archival, genealogical, nostalgia in reverse. People will look back on your work and remember days gone by. Just keep snapping those pictures, whatever camera you choose. Someone will be glad you did.
Fine Art Photography
What I use my camera for.
Besides the obvious documentation of my family growth and capturing moments in time, I mainly use my camera for artistic purposes. I love taking photos of things I may want to paint or incorporate into a painting: like cool barns or awesome cloudy skies. I also need to photograph and capture accurately the paintings and creations once they are done in order to add them to my portfolio web site or post them on social media. My camera has become even more important to me now that my family is grown and I have more time to create and add to my online presence and portfolio. How important is your camera to you?