Something light that would slip in a pocket and has good image quality, that’s what I am looking for. It doesn’t have to have a viewfinder; I can compose in the rear screen. There are a couple of current contenders – the Ricoh GR series (I, II, and III) and the Fuji XF10. Neither is cheap, but the Fuji is cheaper by a good margin.
They both have 28mm-equivalent lenses. That’s a wider angle than I am used to. To get a good shot that fills the action, you really have to be very close. If you achieve that, then you get a shot with a perspective that makes you feel you are right in the scene.
That’s good if you are somewhere where there is that immersive scenario, but that doesn’t always present itself.
Looking For Clues In Old Photos
I am looking back through some old photos as I write this. Here is one I shot with a Nikon D40, and the EXIF data says that the focal length was 38mm (so I must have used the 18-55mm kit lens).
This one of three men in a church was also shot at 35mm. I shot it with a Nikon D200 with a 12-24mm lens at 24mm. That’s 36mm full-frame equivalent.
The EXIF data tells me I shot it at ISO 800 at 1/100th of a second at f6.3.
The scene where the three men are sitting is inside near the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulcre in Jerusalem, a place I have visited two or three times and could go back to with pleasure. I am not talking about the religious aspect but about the building itself.
There is the main area with the domed roof, with the light slanting down from above. And stone stairs that lead this way and that to cold rooms far down below street level, like a medieval story.
I don’t mean to make a big polemic about this, but the pace of life before we were brought up short by the Coronavirus seemed to mean inevitably that we were often isolated.
I shot this at 50mm, which is a long way from the wide 28mm of the compact cameras I mentioned at the outset.
Women Looking In A Shop Window
One of the hallmarks of photography is how we remember where we made the shots. I can picture the street and thinking how nice was the absorption in what they were looking at.
Again, the EXIF data tells me I shot it with a 12-24mm lens at 35mm equivalent.
What this tells me is that even when I had lenses that shot wider (the 18-55 and the 12-24) I did not shoot at the widest focal length.
So why would I want to buy a camera, even a pocketable one, that has a fixed 28mm-equivalent lens?
So what I could do, and what I might do, is get a second-hand Olympus camera and a 17mm lens. Olympus cameras have micro-four-thirds sensors. That means that a 17mm lens is a 34mm full-frame equivalent. That should be OK.