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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Wednesday October 04 2006

This looks really interesting.  It’s an SLR, but liftable.

Not long ago, Bruce the Real Photographer lent me his old SLR camera, in the hope that I would buy it for next to nothing but enough to help with the rent, if I liked it.

Tragically, I didn’t.  It weighed a ton.  For me the joy of Billion Monkeying is that you can combine Billion Monkeying with having a life, by which I mostly mean shopping.  Real Photography, with a camera that weighs a ton, such as Bruce the Real Photographer does, is something you do entirely by itself.  You do not combine it with shopping.  It is your life.  And I couldn’t be doing with that.

The complexity of operating the thing also seemed fairly horrendous.  But that’s true with anything unfamiliar and I’m sure I would have got used to it very quickly.  I just didn’t want to.

Here’s a picture of Bruce The Real Photographer’s SLR, which presumably he still wants to sell:

image

The reason he wants to sell it is that when out on a shoot, it stopped working, and he had to buy another SLR quickly.  (Cheaper, lighter and better, I’m guessing.) But the old one was soon repaired and is now going fine, and for a song.  To anyone who can lift it.

(That reminds me (see previous posting): I returned the SLR itself to BTRP, but still have the book of words for it.  That must go back also, of course.)

Meanwhile, because it does most of what I want, and because it is nimble and liftable in one hand, I prefer what I use now for Billion Monkey hunting, which is this:

image

But now, reports Gizmodo, it looks like we Billion Monkeys may soon be able to combine the benefits of SLR with the joy of being able to hold our Lives in our other hands, or even the same hand.

Says Gizmodo’s Charlie White:

image

Pentax refined one of its earlier concepts at Photokina 2006 with its X-Change camera, a project started way back in 2002. The idea combines the best of both the digital SLR and compact camera worlds, with interchangeable lenses packing integrated CCD image sensors inside.

As soon as this technology can be perfected, you might not need a huge camera bag any more if you want to take along a highly-capable digital SLR with interchangeable lenses. Cramming CCDs into such a small space can’t be cheap, nor can it be noise-free. Maybe that’s why this concept is taking so long to bring to market. What do you think, commenters? Is it vaporware?

It gets my vote.  It even has an automatic lens cap, which I love.  Besides which, it only needs for some of us Billion Monkeys to like it for it to be a huge hit, whatever the Real Photographers may think.

If it gave me mega-zoom and if it enabled me to point the camera and the flash gun from different places, and gave me a screen that I could hold at any angle, as is, kind of, hinted at in the picture, then I would buy it AT ONCE, and then again and again, every time they improved it.  This would surely be possible now, with some kind of Bluetoothsome Wifitic communication between the main body of the camera and the lens bit.  If not, and the lens bit had to be attached to the rest, then I have just invented a new specification for the technies to get working on.

Here’s how that would work.  You hold the lens in your left hand, and point it at your target.  You hold the big bit in your right hand, either pointing your flash at your target from an angle, thus getting interesting shadows and total absence of red eye (which regular flash can’t usually get rid of no matter what is claimed), or, you aren’t using flash, but you can hold the screen at the perfect angle for viewing, and without looking as if you’re photo-ing them at all.  Perfect for snapping Billion Monkeys.  The day before yesterday, I went out with both my cameras – the one with the twiddle screen and the one without – but twiddle screen camera had no batteries, so I switched to non-twiddly. Far less effective.

I still miss my very first digital camera, a Minolta Dimage EX1500, which embodied this exact same separation.  This was ideal for indoor portraiture, because of how you could side-light with flash instead of just going straight at the poor bastard.  Why did they stop with this idea?  Couldn’t make it work?  Too fiddly and complicated for the Billion Monkeys?  Too liable to accidents?  (I had a bad one.) Sad.  I say I miss it, but come to think of it, I still have it.  It just doesn’t work any longer.

image

This old Minolta would also have been excellent for Billion Monkey hunting.  Apart from the fact that it started turning the sky pink and didn’t fit enough pictures in it and used up its batteries far too quickly.