Thursday, July 7, 2011

Digital Cameras = Instant Gratification

Gratification - the state of being gratified; great satisfaction
Gratify - to give pleasure to (a person or persons) by satisfying desires or humoring inclinations or feelings

I read an article that said that the sales of DSLR cameras has jumped to 80000 units last year from 40000 the year before. This year it is expected to touch 200000 units. Initially I wasn't very happy that my wife had contributed to the 80000 mark because it meant an outlay of Rs 33000 (she argues that I have no right to be unhappy because I never contributed).

I love the camera though. I got up on a rainy morning, took a cup of coffee and sat in the balcony. I turned my head and suddenly saw raindrops just about to drip off our 'X'mas tree plant'.

I jumped out of the chair, got out our Nikon and clicked off about ten snaps from various angles. I also took a couple of more snaps from our balcony as the whole scene looked so nice and green.

You ever used a DSLR? Its got a really nice heft to it. It doesn't feel flimsy like a digicam. It feels like a real camera. Lots of dials and symbols on it and if you are feeling lost, just pull up the menu. Well I haven't gone beyond the auto function - what they call point and shoot :) The pictures come out real good. Click click click and if you don't like what you got click click click again.

At that time, Dad was an amateur photographer. He still has two beautifully leather encased cameras, one a Japanese Ricoh and the other a Russian Kiev (I think). I called him today cause I wanted some details about the cameras and he started to wax lyrical. He told me the difference between the two of them, that one was an SLR and the other was a Range Finder. One of them had a 'leaf shutter', the other (I was lost by then) was to be used carefully because when the flash function was used, there was a danger of too much light leaking in because the shutter speed was to be reduced from 1/1000 to 1/30 ........ I begged forgiveness and cut the call because my reduced attention span was not capable of taking all this in.

Unlike us, my Dad had to buy the Ricoh second hand. He had to be pretty careful while clicking the snap because he couldn't just hook the camera to the laptop to see the result. Also, the moment he tried to capture wasn't waiting around for a laptop to boot up. He had to pay the photo shop the development charges and then wait for a couple of days to see the results of his 'click click click'. The funniest was when he took the initial snaps with the Russian camera only to realise that he could only correct himself through trial and error - cause all the instructions were in Russian.

I can rationalise this when I think that technology has progressed since then to make things better and more convenient so I shouldn't be a sap who moans that things were better in the old days. Also our generation is placed better financially with a hell of a lot more 'purchasing power'. Dad left me with an apt anecdote which I will leave with you as well. He was taking photography classes and he went to show his teacher a snap of a group of children. The teacher said "If you were closer to the children, it would have turned out to be a much better photo". Dad got angry and replied "Do you really think that the children would be waiting around for me to take their picture?" The teacher answered (Zen-like) "That is why there are only a few great photographers in the world". I hope I have made my point.......

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