The Bonsai Camera

DSCF5183In the 1950’s there were advertisements in the back of comic books for “Mycro” cameras. They were functioning film cameras that took rolls of paper-wrapped film, had a real glass lens with adjustable aperture and shutter speed, and a viewfinder above the lens. While not really “spy” cameras, we all pretended they were and lusted after them. None of my friends ever sold enough tins of salve or enough greeting cards to ever qualify for one. The closest I ever got was saving enough green stamps to get a baseball…before the Province of Alberta declared supermarket savings stamps to be immoral and banned them. You may ask what morality has to do with green stamps or baseballs but then you might equally ask what morality has to do with the province of Alberta…

There is one of these little cameras in my old workplace, but it is not for sale. A novelty, it is rewarding just to fiddle with. For a real reward, however, I think we ought to look at some of the designs that the major makers are coming out with. I saw a good one on Wednesday and  experienced that same old green stamp-baseball-camera lust. It was the Fujifilm X-70.

It’s a new APS-C sensor camera that Fujifilm have brought out to beat into the selfie market. It replicates the general look of their X-100 series cameras but on a smaller scale and eschews the complex optical and electronic finder of the 100’s for a hinged LCD screen. It’s hinged so far that you can reverse it 180º for selfies or use it as a waist-level finder.

DSCF5181

The camera designer has further taken the step of putting a moderately wide lens on this one – 18.5mm. You could even add a supplementary lens to widen it to 12.3 mm lens. You start to get into seriously good depth of field with this and as the lens is matched to the sensor exactly the resolution at the edges should be extremely good. The X-100 series cameras certainly are.

Now the camera has a tinky little flash tube in it for small light but also has the full TTL hot shoe connection. As it has a leaf shutter you get flash synch out to all the major speeds. This makes it a serious car shooter for me.

If you decide to eschew the flash in the hot shoe you can slip and supplementary optiac finder up there. Seriously fast street shooting.

DSCF5182Well, I’m seriously sold. So much so that I’m going to convert some of the clunkier machinery cluttering the equipment cabinet for one of these. It looks like it will be the in-the-pouch companion camera for everyday travel.

Now- in a week there will be another demo night ( Beer, cheese on crackers, salad in condoms, etc.) by a different manufacturer and it looks like they have a rival for this one. The summer is getting to be more fun!

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