Hamish is a bit of a celebrity in the world of crap cameras, and as such I'm extremely honoured to have him get involved with my travelling camera project! Check out more of his content over at 35mmc.com and prepare to start looking at rubbish cameras on eBay with a slightly different mindset.
Hamish is custodian #3 in a burgeoning list of wannabe AF35 Sprint shooters, his words and images are below.
Shooting basic point & shoot cameras is far from an unusual thing for me to be doing. In fact, I've shot stacks of the things over the last 3 years. To the untrained eye these things look pretty much a much for muchness, but to the compact camera mega-geek they vary hugely from one to the next.
I am one of those compact camera mega-geeks, and I'm not afraid to admit it. About 3 1/2 years ago I became acutely aware of the positive impact shooting such simple camera could have on my photography. Provided the lens is at least passable, the limitations something so simple impose allow for a heightened concentration on the basic necessity for good composition.
I've played with vast quantities of point & shoot cameras, and in doing so there is one thing I have realised: none of them are perfect - not even the highly sought after ones. Not only this, but actually sometimes even the more widely considered better ones have more features that make them less useful in certain circumstances. The best example of this is how automated cameras deal with low light. With meters that can accurately work down to very low exposure values, where the photographer doesn't want to use a flash, the automation can become the enemy of a sharp photo.
What's interesting about cameras like the Canon Sprint is that they are so basic this isn't an issue. Their meters don't work in such low light, they just aren't that highly specified. This might mean that flash images aren't as good in lower light, but it also means that with a bit of latitude abuse here and there - in the hands of someone with a bit of know how - the compromises they impose can be less profound for the available light photographer than when using a much more expensive camera.
I go into more detail about this in my Canon Sprint review, and even more detail in a review of a very similar camera the Olympus AF-10 Super. But the point is, these underrated cameras shouldn't ever be overlooked. They might not have the lenses of the mju-iis of this world, but with a bit of imagination, and depending on your goals, they can be a much more useful camera.
I hogged this particular Canon Sprint for a couple of weeks. I lived in my pocket, but went nowhere special. To be fair I did use it to take one of the first photos of my daughter riding her bike. She taught herself! Tenacious little thing she is!
This next shot I genuinely felt like the ducks were mocking me. I went to take this shot the first time round, and they all swam off. Not toward me like ducks who are looking for food usually do, but in to the reeds and crap around the outside. I wondered off muttering conveniently rhyming swear words, only to walk back past 5 minutes later and find them all motionless, almost in exactly the right position in the water, looking whimsically into the distance like some sort of duck-band. Pricks.
This last shot was taken on the roof of a car park. It feels like a massive cliche of a photo, something that's been taken a million times before. Clearly staged... He's walking away from a puddle that it's obvious he's not walked through... Anyway, pleasing enough on the eye.
Thanks for letting me take part in your travelling camera project Michael - I hope the rest of the folks involved enjoy it as much as I did!