Yesterday I went to the park with my friend M and her kids and took pictures while they played with bubbles. This was a huge challenge: shooting fast-floating bubbles against varying backgrounds with an iPod camera in sunlight bright enough to wash out the screen pretty badly. As always, it’s a matter of taking a lot of shots and trusting the crazy little camera and its odd but powerful software to make the right choices. You own choices come afterwards, in picking the best images and cropping for composition. These images are all deep, sometimes very deep, crops from the original wide angle shots. For the first time, I tried cropping in the iPod using the gadget’s own editing suite.
My respect for the results I can get with this camera is growing by the day. Since I’ve started taking it seriously, I did some research and it really specs out very well, with an 8 megapixel CMOS sensor and a five element lens with a focal length of either 33 mm or 35mm (depending on who you ask) in 35mm film terms and a maximum aperture of f/2.4. That’s a more advanced sensor and a faster lens than I have in my point and shoot, and it’s a prime (rather than a zoom) at more or less the same length as the classic “perfect” lens for street photography.
In spite of “real” photographers’ claims that the youth of the world are going to the dogs because they are doing all their shooting with their phones, I don’t think anyone is learning anything bad from this camera. You can shoot all you want, get passable to excellent results, and you are learning to get the most out of a pretty good little prime lens. To get your best image, you have to move around, plan ahead and experiment. Zoom with your feet, my friends.