Playing the fisherman with the LX15

My foray into older digital compact cameras began a few weeks ago after the purchase of a box of camera gear, my last few posts with the Canon G11 and Canon S95 were part of this collection but there are two more that have hardly seen the light of day, a more modern Lumix LX15 (LX10 in the USA) and a Lumix GF2.

Today, was the turn of the LX10, a camera with a 1” sensor, much larger in comparison to the aforementioned Canon cameras and a focal range of 24-72mm in full frame terms.

Heading into town later than normal on my Sunday walk meant it would be a little busier, it would be a good chance to get a little more used to the camera’s controls and an indicator as to how I might customize the user programmable function buttons.

There is a school of thought within the street photography genre, that there a two types of photographer, the hunter, who will keep on the move searching for those decisive story telling images, or the fisherman, who will pick their spot and wait for the scene to unfold.

I fell into the ‘hunter’ category today, finding a couple of favourite spots and waiting patiently for a potential image to present itself.

I said GET OFF!

I did not have long to wait, as a young lad decides to play ‘spiderman’ in one of the shopping precincts, mum with increasing degrees of exasperation asking him to get off, as they have things to do!

I am make full use of the upwardly tilting screen, the camera has no viewfinder but this works to my advantage, with the camera not blatantly to my face to take the image, the lower perspective adding a little more to the image to my mind.

Since shooting with these compact cameras, I have begun to appreciate how unobtrusive they are, as well as their obvious difference in weight to my bigger gear.
In the past I have been guilty of what I call ‘sensor snobbery’, falling into the trap of ‘needing’ full frame gear for my photography needs while not giving these versatile pocket rockets a second glance.

Full frame of course, has its place but I am not a professional photographer with demanding clients and tight deadlines, photography for me, is my release from my full time work and as long as I have some sort of a camera in my hand to record images from my weekend outings, I will always have fun in doing so.





Sunday with the ‘5’

Saturdays tend to be the days where I have a trip to Dartmoor or a little further afield from my home town of Exeter, where Sunday’s have evolved into my ‘stay local’ walks, often up and out before seven AM to enjoy having a city pretty much to myself while others luxuriate in their Sunday lie in.

For me, Photography has gone hand in hand with my hikes, long or short, so I cannot remember the last time that I did not take a camera bag with me, that is until today.

Those that are following my current chapter in my photography will know that I have purchased some older digital compact cameras at budget prices, the most recent being a Lumix LX5, which has been vying for a place in my bag with a Canon G11 and a Canon S95 but today, I have decided to take just the LX5 and a spare battery on my Sunday walk.

As a further exercise in my becoming more acquainted with the ‘5’, I have decided to make full use of the dedicated aspect ratio control that have become a feature of many Panasonic compact cameras, 16:9,4:3.3:2 and 1:1.

I became addicted to the 1:1 square format with my long since gone Fuji X100F, however this was only if I shot Jpeg’s, the LX5 will shoot RAW in this format, this would be my theme for the today’s walk.

Coupled with the ability to shoot close up at the wide end of the focal range, this gave me the option of getting some decent macro shots as I meandered my way along my chosen path.
Naturally, with such a diminutive sensor, there will never be that separation of the subject and background but nonetheless, the image quality is very pleasing.

It is fair to say that I am having a blast using these older cameras, I love the G11 and S95 for the colours, the LX5 for its versatility but they have one thing in common, they have really brought the fun element back into my photography, as I find myself shooting compositions I may not have shot with my bigger gear.

I have a few days away in the coming weeks and I am seriously considering just taking my trio of compacts only, something I never thought I would ever do just a few weeks ago.



Black and white with the ‘5’

I am due to be moving house at the end of the month so I should really be getting my head around packing more boxes to make my life a little easier and what better way to start, by deciding to go out for another local camera walk!

In my defence, it was just after six thirty AM, my customary first brew of the day was already history and I am sure my neighbours would not be happy with too much disturbance at that hour on a Sunday morning anyway.

As I was so pleased with the new (but old) LX5’s images from yesterday’s outing, I decided to take just this camera and a spare battery, this diminutive little camera easily fits into a pocket, so for the first time in a very long time I, I did not even take a camera bag with me.

A few of the reviews on the LX5 had suggested that the in camera dynamic black and white picture profile was very good, so I have set one of the camera’s custom presets to shoot with this profile in JPEG only, I decided also, to make full use of the ‘5’s ability to shoot in the square format at the flick of a switch.

An additional post will be made in the coming days of the colour images from today’s sneaky outing but I was keen to share the images from the black and white perspective, before I begin the onerous task of sorting and packing for my impending move.



A tale of two canons

I had not intended to begin a new project so soon after my last one but typically my enthusiasm got the better of me and here I am, jumping feet first into my next, where I shoot with older cameras bought at bargain prices.

The last week or so has been like Christmas come early, where two packages awaited my return from work on consecutive days, my canon G11 and Canon S95.
Spare batteries for both were to follow but I had to wait until Saturday morning before their first proper shoot, a walk around Exeter city centre and quayside.

With the S95 having such a small form factor, it’s potential for street photography is evident, nobody worries about a small point and shoot looking camera, the S95 is however very capable with manual controls easily to hand.

The G11 is bulkier but not hugely so, the longer zoom of 28-140mm will be something different after being so used to just 50mm.

The colours from both are very pleasing, canon’s colour science is legendary and with some beautiful light already present, getting some decent images was not difficult.

To say that I am happy with what these aging cameras turned out is an understatement, my previous shunning of small sensor cameras left in tatters as I have three candidates for my favourite photos of 2022 among this set of images.






With a Lumix GF2 and 20mm F1.7 lens waiting in the wings and a potentially successful bid on a Lumix LX5, both may have to wait a while for their turn on my weekend outings, needless to say I shall be looking forward to this Saturday and Sunday.

Foggintor with the Canon G11

It’s the Sunday of the August bank holiday weekend, the last throes of the summer holidays for many, for me, a time to secretly look forward to those cheeky Friday’s off and three day weekends as the food industry gets a little quieter.

Normally on a bank holiday, I would stay closer to home, allowing the madding crowds to descend upon their chosen destinations but an invitation to visit Dartmoor will rarely be turned down, especially as it will be one of my favourite parts of Dartmoor – Foggintor.

I decide today to bring the Canon G11, it will be the perfect way to get more used to this latest of my ‘old gear’ purchases but a camera I am finding a joy to use.

The last time I travelled this light with camera gear was when I shot an entire year with a Fuji X100F, even then, I would sometimes bring a tripod and filters, not so this time.
Of course with the G11, I have the luxury of a zoom lens, something that is taking a little used to after using fixed primes for so long.

Just a couple of brief trips with the G11, has brought a real sense of fun to my photography, with a bigger full fame camera, there is a subconscious demand on myself to produce the best images I can, where the G11 just makes me want to walk further, see more and take more images.

While I say that the G11 is for fun, it takes some seriously good photos, in fact it is this very camera that has produced one of my favourite images of the year so far…



The G11 captured this, the beautiful light and shadow on the landscape, a favourite image of 2022

Of course, this is just one of many images on today’s walk and while I am praising the image quality of the G11, it does have a couple of small annoyances, one being that it is easy to alter settings by pressing buttons accidentally when carrying the camera in hand but all in all a small gripe in the grand scheme.

Enough about the camera’s faults, and more from its strengths, taking images:


Given the number of images in the gallery, it is fair to say that I really enjoy using this 12 year old camera, needless to say it will be heading out with me on a few more walks in the coming weeks.

What next?

After eight months of shooting with a 50mm lens, this was the first weekend where I could select whatever gear I wanted from my photographic armoury, whatever I did select, would be in keeping with my other theme of 2022, shooting with older gear.

Alongside my Canon 5d Mk II, I also have a Canon 50d and a charity shop bargain in a Panasonoc LX3 digital compact camera.

It was the LX3 that found its way into my bag this Saturday and Sunday and I could not believe how much I enjoyed using this great little camera.

Now I have a confession to make, in that my previous obsession with uber sharp images and keeping up with the latest tech within my budget had made me a ‘sensor snob’, I followed the well trodden path to the holy grail of photography ‘full frame’ having fallen for all those articles online and watching those you tubers who would only review the latest offerings with the most expensive lenses.

My eureka moment, or epiphany was watching my all time favourite landscape photographer, Charlie Waite on a shoot with a digital compact camera, the Lumix LX5, the younger sibling to my LX3, if this type of camera is good enough for a photographer of Charlie Waite’s standing, it is more than good enough for me!

With such a small camera in hand, the freedom from a bulky DSLR is evident and with a decent macro mode, I was in my element.

The true revelation of this camera was seeing the images on a bigger screen, the lens on the LX3 is superb, the in camera dynamic black and white is very good!

Naturally noise is an issue with these tiny sensors, evident from iso 800, yet the grain is not unpleasant, for me, it adds more character to the black and white Jpeg’s, and dare I mention the ‘filmic’ look with the older CCD sensor.

While I am no longer in the market for the latest and best, I will be on the look out for more of these older cameras for sure.

50 days of 50mm #40

As I edge ever closer to completion of my current project, there is no doubt that I will contue to take just the 50mm lens on the regular outings, to keep the creativity it encourages honed.

However, the project has not just been about the lens, it has also been about my desire to quit from the upgrade race and enjoy camera gear that I would have liked a decade ago but simply could not justify the expense.

Just a few months ago, I had never entertained the idea of ever using a DSLR again, mirrorless cameras were king and of course they may well remain so for some time to come but I am one of those people that like using old gear, enter my Canon 5d MKII.

This camera body , along with the Canon 50mm F1.8 and my vintage 50mm pentacon 1.8 have been on some fabulous outings over the last few months, proving that I do not need to keep make huge dents in my finances to enjoy my trips.

So on day 40, it was a trip locally to Dawlish Warren, for some sea air and some shutter therapy, where my walk would start well before nine and finish before the Sunday day trippers arrived to enjoy their time at the beach.

Sunday was a day of threatening rain clouds alternating with sunny spells, perfect conditions for some good light with mood in the sky above.

With the tide just about on the ebb, my path was on the upper part of the beach where the softer sand slows the pace a little, giving the calf muscles a good work out over the course of the route.

I really enjoy these mornings on the beach, especially watching the ebbing tide reveal pristine sand as it recedes, it’s like natures etch a sketch, wiping the evidence of seabird or human footprints from its memory.

Anyway, enough words, here are the images from a stroll along the shore.



50 days of 50mm #31

For day 31 I am back in my former home town of Salcombe, where I once again make an early morning start in the hope of watching another sunrise.

The chances of capturing the vibrant colours of late are lessened by a thick layer of cloud but the light is favourable and there is little or no breeze.

The stillness of the morning is emphasized more by the silence of a town devoid of people and traffic, in just a couple of hours, it will be a typical bustling seaside town waiting to welcome the weekend’s pleasure seeking tourists.

For now, I enjoy the solitude and serenity of the scenes in front of me, capturing the shimmering reflections and subdued light of this Saturday morning.

Using the native Canon 50mm for the landscape shots, I decide to shoot with my Pentacon 50mm lens, capturing a few shots on the walk back, with an emphasis on close ups of a patch of daisies that appealed to the eye.

One of things I have come to appreciate with shooting at 50mm, is how an apparently mundane subject can be seen as a potential image, especially through the glass of an older lens, where its soft corners and vignetting can be used to my advantage for that more organic and imperfect look.






50 days of 50mm #30

My last few Saturdays have been early starts, as I have been keen to catch those late spring sunrises around the local coastline of Dawlish and Teignmouth respectively.

Day 30 starts with grey, overcast skies with brighter sunny spells later in the day, so decide that a trip to a local woodland just a few miles away may be an idea, after all, I have not visited this one for a couple of years.

Ashclyst forest is owned and maintained by the National trust, just on the outskirts of the village of Broadclyst in East Devon and a stones throw away from Killerton House.

As with any location on one’s doorstep, I Have not visited Ashclyst as many times as perhaps I should but I am certainly looking forward to exploring the myriad of trails and footpaths that make any woodland and forest so enjoyable.

Even if I were not involved in my current 50mm project, a 50mm lens would be my choice for today’s venue, the wider aperture of a 50mm prime lens is perfect for those out of focus backgrounds in woodland, as well as plenty of scope for those close up shots that have become a part of my photographic repertoire over the years.

There is something very calming about ambling around these forest trails, the pure joy of hearing the birds singing, their melodies undiluted from traffic noise and other man made interruptions.

I take a little time to experiment with some ‘intentional camera movement’ (ICM) shots, as I stand in a clearing, facing a copse of fir trees, a three stop ND filter attached to my lens gives me an exposure time of around two seconds, enough to create some abstract images of the scene before me.

After a number of attempts., I have a couple that I am happy with, it is this type of experimenting that keeps me wanting to get out and trying new (to me) techniques.






With patches of concealed bluebells just waiting to be found, the paths are a riot of late spring colour, with buttercups and celandine offering a vivid contrast to the campion that sways gently in the pleasant May breeze.

Dandelions lie in various states of undress, some with their full Afro of pappus, others semi bald, their party crowns long since stolen away by the breeze.

Even among this spring time palette, traces of the ochres and browns of winter can be found, oases of fallen ferns and fir cones, lying forgotten as last years Christmas toys, yet still beautiful, even in decay.



50 days of 50mm #6

Day five of my 50mm project saw me taking photos ‘on my doorstep’, day six could not be more in contrast, in what would be a ten mile hike around the Okehampton side of Dartmoor.

The north of Dartmoor is an area I have barely scratched the surface of, with autumnal trips to Black a tor copse or Meldon reservoir, today I have my own personal guide, a good friend and fellow photographer for whom Dartmoor is essentially his back garden.

(For those that enjoy seeing other photographer’s work, check out @GlavindStrachan on twitter, Paul likes to use and modify old vintage lenses, his work is unique and he captures the essence of Dartmoor beautifully )

Today is my first trip on the recently reopened Exeter to Okehampton railway route,a journey of about 40 minutes with just a single stop at Crediton, passing some lovely scenes of the rolling Devon countryside, where the route allows.

Close to the local army camp, today’s walk is often not accessible due to military training, however this week, no exercises will take place, we are free to roam.

As with most of Dartmoor, the landscape is strewn with granite as if cast from the hand of giants looking for amusement, climbing to the summit of the first steep hill of the day, threading through the rugged grass and rocky landscape.

Despite the greyness of the cloud above, the views are nonetheless breathtaking, this vast landscape can take your breath away at every turn, whatever the weather.

Wandering across the summit, a trio of resident sheep turn casually to peer at the intruder in their midst, as I walk away, they continue with whatever ovine business I had disturbed.

It is at about the half way mark that our patience is rewarded as the first rays of light escape their grey cocoon, casting light and warmth on the landscape, while moody clouds offer a beautiful contrast to the scene.

I have taken over 150 images on today’s hike, the images below are a small selection of those that will follow in subsequent blog entries.