Categories
Photography

The Elusive Search for a Small, Light Full Frame Camera

Scott Kelby explains that size and weight are not good reasons to switch to mirrorless cameras from DSLRs:

It’s time to face it — the new full-frame camera bodies from Nikon, Sony, and Canon aren’t really that much smaller (if at all), and if they are lighter, we’re talking a few ounces (not pounds). This isn’t awesome because one huge reason so many people were attracted to mirrorless in the first place was the dream of a super high-quality camera without the bulk and weight of a DSLR. That dream is fading away as many of the new bodies being released are relatively close in size and weight to their DSLR counterparts.

Kelby goes on to add that if:

you actually want a legit super lightweight mirrorless body and lens, you almost have to leave Sony, Canon and Nikon full frame and go with a crop sensor or Micro 4/3, like a Fuji or a Lumix with a fixed pancake lens (nothing wrong with Fuji’s, Lumix or Olympus cameras btw, all three make great mirrorless cameras), but if your goal is a lightweight carry-around camera that takes great photos, why not just use your iPhone’s camera instead?

This post resonated with me. I own a Canon R5. There are times I am happy to carry it. But quality Canon RF lenses are both heavy and expensive. For example, Canon’s RF 50mm F1.2 L USM lens weighs over two pounds (950 grams) and costs $2,299. That’s a heavy and expensive kit.

Sometimes, I want to go light. For those times, I have the Ricoh GR III. The Ricoh is small and light. It fits in the palm of my hand. It has a fixed 28mm f2.8 lens and a crop sensor. I think it takes better pictures than an iPhone, especially in low light. But the Ricoh lacks a viewfinder and the ability to change focal length. The screen on the iPhone is great and the iPhone 12 Pro offers three focal lengths.

If you want a small, light full frame digital camera, Leica has two options available: the Leica M and the Leica Q2, each with either a color sensor or a black and white sensor. However, Leicas are expensive. And the Leica M lacks autofocus. I know not everyone values great autofocus, but I sure do. The Canon R5 autofocus is amazing. And the Leica Q2 — like the Ricoh GR III — has a fixed 28mm focal length lens. But the Q2 is much bigger and heavier than the Ricoh GR III. The Q2 won’t fit in a pocket but the Ricoh GR III will.

I would love a small, light full frame mirrorless camera with a viewfinder. But right now, the options don’t seem appealing.

Categories
Photography

Photography Books

Over the years, I have collected books filled with images that have moved me in a lasting way. I am sharing a list of them here. I will update the list over time.

When I arrived in Paris twenty-five years ago, at the age of nineteen, the city I encountered sang to my senses. My heart and mind were immediately stimulated by its light, vibrancy and texture. The French language entered my ears like music, and suddenly communication seemed not merely functional but a celebration of feelings. I quickly grasped that in order to understand Parisians I would have to speak French well; otherwise, I would never be able to get to know the beautiful, mysterious women I was seeing everywhere I looked.

Peter Turnley, An Affair of the Heart, (page 13) 2000

I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and must not be repeated.

James Nachtwey
Categories
Photography

Why Photograph?

Today, I’m posting another in an occasional series of quotations exploring why people photograph. Is photography important today and if so why?


In a deeply personal way I feel an image is a poem about time, about “staying the moment.” Photography can defeat time. Images can keep the memory of a loved one alive, hold a moment in history for future generations, be a witness to tragedy or joy. They can also change behavior, stimulate understanding and create a sense of urgency that will move people to action. Photography is the universal language that speaks to the heart.

Sarah Leen, former Director of Photography, National Geographic quoted in Time

Categories
History Photography

Washington, DC on High Alert

This is a tense period in the nation’s capital. Key institutions look like an armed camp. I have lived in Washington over 40 years and have never seen anything like this.

The Supreme Court is surrounded by a protective fence. © David H. Enzel, 2021
The Capitol is fenced off and protected by the US Army after the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The flag is at half mast because United States Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick passed away due to injuries sustained while on-duty during the attack. © David H. Enzel, 2021
At approximately 9:30 p.m. on January 7, 2021, United States Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick passed away due to injuries sustained while on-duty. Officer Sicknick was responding to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol and was injured while physically engaging with protesters. He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The death of Officer Sicknick will be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch, the USCP, and other agencies. Officer Sicknick joined the USCP in July 2008, and most recently served in the Department’s First Responder’s Unit.© David H. Enzel, 2021
Categories
History Photography Travel

The Sheridan-Kalorama Neighborhood of DC

Art on Call, Washington, DC, Artist: Peter Waddell Photograph: © David H. Enzel, 2021

Yesterday, I was walking in the Sheridan-Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, DC. I stumbled across one of the many works of art in Washington’s abandoned police and fire call boxes. The project is called “Art on Call.” I have been making photos of these call boxes as I come across them. They have educated me about the city’s rich history.

This call box explains that three chief justices of the United States Supreme Court lived in Sheridan-Kalorama:

  • William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the United States was appointed Chief Justice by President Harding, after serving as President. Taft is the only person to have served in both of these offices. He lived at 2215 Wyoming Avenue.
  • Charles Evans Hughes, a U.S. Secretary of State and an unsuccessful candidate for President in 1916, became Chief Justice in 1930 and resided at 2223 R Street.
  • Harlan Fiske Stone, a U.S. Attorney General, occupied 1919 24th Street. during his tenure.

In addition, other prominent Supreme Court justices have lived in Sheridan-Kalorama including Louis Brandeis, Joseph McKenna and Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female justice of the Supreme Court.

The rendering of the Supreme Court in the call box is the creation of Peter Waddell, a native of New Zealand who came to Washington in 1992 and became a U.S. citizen in 2002. Waddell’s beautiful paintings focus on America’s history and architecture. Waddell’s view of the United States is inspiring.

The Sheridan-Kalorama neighborhood also includes a number of diplomatic residences, including the residence of the French ambassador at 2221 Kalorama Road, shown below.

The French ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C. is located at 2221 Kalorama Road, N.W., in the Kalorama neighborhood of northwest Washington, D.C. The residence was built in 1910. © David H. Enzel, 2021

The Sheridan-Kalorama neighborhood is worth visiting.

Categories
Photography

2020 – Favorite Color Photos

Yesterday, I posted an album of my favorite black and white images from 2020. I don’t like mixing black and white and color images. So today I’m posting an album of my favorite color images from 2020.

Because of the pandemic, only one photo is from outside the Washington area. Early in 2020, I visited Chicago and saw Marc Chagall’s beautiful America Windows at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Although I missed traveling, I enjoyed exploring the Washington area, which has so much to offer.

Marc Chagall