Last week I had a ponder over all the cameras I’ve had over the years. As far back as I can remember I’ve always had a camera close by. For me, cameras were second only to personal music players and headphones as something I couldn’t ever imagine being without. Some cameras I loved. Some hugely frustrating. But I learnt something from all of them and I would be half the photographer I am without having had them.
So, here is my life in cameras…
1. Kodak Instamatic
I’m not 100% certain of the model number, but I’m pretty sure this is the first camera I used. And…well…I did not get on with it at all. Mainly I hated the shutter button. I used to find I’d have to really put some force behind it to fire it off, which inevitably meant blurry photos due to camera shake. I could not get it right. I’m sure there were the odd one or two that worked, which is maybe why I perservered and didn’t just give up. But it sure was a frustrating camera.
2. Halina 260
This was the first camera I remember really using regularly. I mainly remember the little switch to turn the flash on and being really excited whenever I fired it up (you could hear this powering up noise when you switched it on). It wasn’t the best camera in the world, but it was the first one that got me taking photos regularly without getting frustrated!
3. Canon Sure Shot AF-7
Yes, I actually had a Canon camera! I bought this one when I started working on the photographic counter in Boots back in the early 90s. I seem to recall this was also the camera I took to uni with me. So mainly it was used for lots of drunken photos…I mean, field trips. Ahem. Actually, I really liked this camera and I think it was probably the best I had used at this stage. Of course, I didn’t stick with Canon…
4. Olympus Mju II
This was the camera I really fell in love with. It really was a beautiful little camera. It felt super compact (it literally fits in one hand) and I took some photos of it I was really proud of (at the time). It really was a joy to use, and it is one of many reasons why I held off switching to digital for a long time. I absolutely loved this camera. Even now, I look back on it with great fondness. To the extent I really need to go up in the loft and seek it out again…yes, it’s in the loft…somewhere…what a way to treat something you love!
5. Olympus C-60Z (no Creative Commons licensed images available)
This was my first foray into digital photography. I seem to recall choosing this one as it had a decent pixel count (6.1mp) and a good zoom (3x optical and 12x digital zoom). Looking back now, though, it was light years behond the digital cameras we have now. The screen was tiny and obviously resolution has come on some way since the beginning of the 21st century. Mind you, I have had some shots from it that I’ve been really happy with.
6. Lumix TZ-6
I still use this camera today (although it looks like some sea water has managed to infiltrate the lens as there are some discolourations behind the front element (I noticed it after a trip to the beach). It’s got a fantastic wide-angle view and takes really good photos. I’m annoyed about the issue with the lens (although it doesn’t appear to affect the photos), but I really enjoyed using this camera. If I were to get another compact at some point, I would definitely go for a Lumix one.
7. Nikon D3200
And so now we have the D3200, my current camera. I have to say, it’s been an excellent purchase and entry into the world of DSLRs. My intention when buying it was to finally start to manually take photos rather than relying on the automatic functions of the past. It took me a while to get my head around it and finally start to play around with apertures, shutter speeds, ISOs etc, but I’ve made huge progress since picking this up. In that way, it comes very close to being the camera that I love the most (close second to the Mju II). Question is…what will come next…?
What about you? What was the first camera that made you fall in love with photography?