It’s been a long time project. For at least 7 years I’ve been wanting to do a web project called “cheapphotography.com”. That would have involved a Canon 350D camera (about 150€ used) and a plastic Canon 50/1.8II lens (+/- 70€ used). The aim ? Show that with a less than 250€ combo of well obsoleted gear, one could make perfectly adequate photographs.
Now I’m topping myself because I’m actually going to do this with a… 50€ even older Canon 300D camera. Yeah, the price I found it for is pretty insane, but if you look around the web a bit, there are similar to be had. I paid 70€ for the lens, so that’s a 135€ once you’ve added shipping.
There was a rare and more classy “Black” edition for this cam, and if I fall in love and decide I must have one in my camera collection, I’ll hunt a black unit (which usually sells quite a bit higher). For the moment, and since the camera was not bought for me initially (future Xmas present for my 10 yr old, budding photog,’ niece) the silver will do. Plus, that was the original look of that, at the time, 1000$ camera (!!!).
Yeah, you read that well. At introduction the 300D was at the 999 mark ($ or €). And considered ultimately “affordable”. It was the first DSLR ever to go below the 1000 mark, and offered pretty much the best IQ in these times of crazy technology evolution. 10 years later, the 6MP and plasticky silver finish looks pretty tacky but the IQ is still solid, and the camera still usable. The 1/8″ LCD screen is a bit of a joke in itself, and the CF cards look clunky and won’t natively fit your PC’s card reader but I’m still looking forward to give that baby some love (will be here in two days).
So from “cheapphotography.com” to “itsnotthecamera”, I guess the concept is unmistakenly similar, right ? We have to remember it’s indeed, NOT the gear we use that defines us or makes us as photographers. What does is our intend, our vision, and to a much lesser extent out technical proficiency. It’s actually probably a bit harder to use such a dinosaur well. The dynamic range is pitiful compared to what cameras deliver today, so is the noise performance. Much lesser AF speed, consirably less resolution hence less cropping opportunities, etc. It’s a bit like going back to the basics of photography, not unlike shooting film !
In the meanwhile I’ll give the plastic 50/1.8II a little workout in manual focus mode on my NEX 7… Stay tuned !