Meant to post this to the photo 11 blog but somehow added it to my personal blog (which autoloads to my Facebook page) instead.
The LEICA M3 is the best camera that LEICA has ever made, and by many accounts, the best camera of all time. This is because the LEICA M3 has LEICA's biggest and best finder, and offers the most precise focus of any LEICA.
The LEICA M3 never puts another frameline inside the one you're using, unlike newer, lesser LEICAs. The LEICA M3's ultrasmooth, quiet, solid and precise mechanics are much better than the LEICA M9. The LEICA M3 is perfectly compatible with every LEICA M lens (1954-today), and with a simple adapter, perfectly compatible with every screw-mount lens (1933-today). When used properly with the coupled LEICAMETER MR or LEICAMETER MR-4, the LEICA M3 becomes an ergonomic joy, with foolproof semi-automatic exposure that just takes pictures. Most LEICA M3 that have sat unused since the 1970s will need an overhaul, after which, they will be as good as new. It's taken me about two years get to reviewing the LEICA M3, because trying to review the LEICA M3 is about as meaningful as trying to review any other immortal masterwork, like Beethoven's 9th Symphony or the Mona Lisa. Ratings of the features and specifications of any masterpiece never properly convey its brilliance. This is why the LEICA M3, although scaldingly expensive in its day, still remains as LEICA's largest selling camera ever, with about a quarter-million copies sold. Cameras are simply light-tight boxes that hold a lens in front of film (the easy part), and some sort of viewfinder, exposure and focus system (the hard part). The LEICA M3 is the camera to which every other camera has attempted to compare itself for seven decades: the 1950s, the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s, the 2000s, and now in the 2010s.
You won't see messages like this for the disposable cameras of today; the first thing you see after the table-of-contents in the LEICA M9's user's manual are instructions for its disposal as household waste!
The LEICA M3 is today's best 35mm camera because it does what a 35mm camera needs to do better than any other 35mm camera.
Up through the 1990s, 35mm cameras were used professionally to cover news, sports and action, so SLRs, like the Nikon F5, ruled. Today, digital has replaced 35mm for action, leaving 35mm as a medium for careful photography of nature, landscapes, and for creating timeless works art.
The manual-focus LEICA M3 isn't the camera I'd use for fast action; it is the camera I prefer for careful photography of still subjects. Among the many reasons the LEICA M3 is the world's best 35mm camera, especially today, is because it gets out of the way to let us make better pictures.
With the LEICA M3, we are free to pay attention to making a great image, and are never distracted by menus, settings, or pointless features added to lesser cameras as sales features, but which rarely help make better pictures.
Even if the LEICA M3 wasn't the world's best 35mm camera for actual shooting, it is also the world's best-made camera as an instrument unto itself. The LEICA M3 has the world's biggest, brightest, sharpest, cleanest, clearest and most-accurate viewfinder and rangefinder system. The LEICA M3 has a brilliant 0.91x viewfinder, and its flare-free rangefinder spot is the biggest, clearest and most accurate of any other camera. James Bond uses the LEICA M3 with LEICAMETER MC, deftly carried in his attaché, as yet one more impossibly expensive bauble of the ultra-rich.
While only those who also owned their own helicopters and platinum mines could afford a LEICA M3 in the 1950s, today, a LEICA M3 today sells for less than a Nikon D90.
Loading film into the brick-solid and Swiss-bank-vault-precise LEICA M3 completely overwhelms the dinky metal film canister and plastic-backed film; when you load an M3, you know the results will be extraordinary. Setting exposure and focus with the semiautomatic systems of the M3 and LEICAMETER MR is trivially easy, much faster and easier than screwing with metering patterns, exposure compensations and stupefying autofocus-system tomfoolery of today's slowly blinking cameras. Shooting the LEICA M3 proves to me what I've been saying for decades: most of what we've been dealt in the past 60 years is just marketing BS. All previous (screw-mount) LEICAs used one eyepiece for focus, and a second peephole for framing.
While M stands for Messsucher, today we know that LEICA was too humble to use the word Meisterstück (Masterpiece), as we use to refer to the LEICA M3 today.
At introduction, the M3 cost about 50% more than the already very expensive and very popular screw-mount LEICA IIIf.
Collectors will pay two or three thousand dollars for a really nice, unused M3 body in its box with papers. If you use this direct link to the M3 at eBay, which is where I got my two M3s, you can pay about $1,100 for an M3 complete with a 50mm lens, if you know How to Win at eBay.
The best cap is the 14 056 metal-insert body cap, which shipped in red and white boxes in its day. Every LEICA lens works flawlessly on the LEICA M3, unlike LEICA's lesser, newer cameras like the M typ 240, whose design flaws prevent proper operation with some of LEICA's greatest lenses like the 50mm SUMMICRON with near-focusing range. For shorter lenses, or 35mm lenses not intended for the LEICA M3, use an external finder, as one does with every other LEICA. Works with any of the coupled LEICAMETER M, LEICAMETER MC, LEICAMETER MR or LEICAMETER MR-4 for foolproof semiautomatic exposure setting.
Some few samples (about 7,000 or 3%) were given the dishonor of being off-shored to Canada. Here are two otherwise identical snaps of the LEICA M3's finder and the LEICA M9's finder, each looking at the sky with the same 50mm lens. The M3's finder is to-the-point, while it's difficult to see the M9's frame lines lost inside a jumble of mush.
LEICA got cheap after the M3, and has been making their finders much less complex to save money, but incapable of the high magnification of the M3. The M3 has real, complete rectangular frames; even more than the 35mm and 50mm frame, the 90mm and 135mm frames are real, square-sided rectangles. The M3's finder is a little cool on the color balance side, nothing I've noticed before I ran these comparisons above and printed the results. Yes, newer finders are antireflection coated as a marketing exercise to attempt to imply that they might offer more contrast or transmission than an M3, but look through a clean M3's finder, and you'll see that there is no comparison. Because it's plain glass, the LEICA M3's finder stays cleaner and clearer with use and fingerprints, compared to the easily soiled finders of LEICA's newest cameras.
No matter how difficult the subject or your lighting, the M3's rangefinder spot never flares. To compare this yourself, look through a finder and cover both the viewfinder (main) and rangefinder (smaller) windows, leaving only the center frameline illuminating window uncovered.
In every other camera, you'll see the rangefinder spot light up with varying amounts of flare as you move your eye. The early LEICA M7s are horrible at this, while today's M7, MP and M9 are much better, but nowhere near as good in difficult conditions as the LEICA M3. The M3's shutter release is more than just one gloriously smooth push to save an instant for an eternity: there is no lateral play in the shutter release button! The lack of kinks in the shutter release lead to less camera shake, and therefore sharper pictures. 90% of a camera is its finder, and the LEICA M3 has the best rangefinder finder ever created. The LEICA M3's frame lines are never cluttered, meaning that one never has a frame for another lens appearing inside the frame with which one is trying to compose.
It is astonishing how quickly and clearly perfect focus snaps-in, and how brilliant and clear is the frame in which one composes.
Because of the large magnification, focus is more precise than with other LEICAs, again leading to sharper images. The M3 shoots best when used with a genuine LEICAMETER, especially the LEICAMETER MR or LEICAMETER MR-4. With the coupled LEICAMETER MR or LEICAMETER MR-4, press a button, set the indicated aperture, and shoot.
Unlike cameras that use rotating cranks for rewind, the M3's rewind knob never gets caught in your hand when shooting vertically. The shutter speed dials of the earliest M3s are shiny chrome-plated turned brass, which are much harder to read in direct sunlight than the matte-finish knobs of later M3s. The LEICA M3 shutter is pretty much the same as every other LEICA shutter since the 1920s: slow, quiet cloth.
Slower speeds (like 1 second) will have some afterbuzz, meaning that they are supposed to buzz a little bit after the exposure completes. The faster speeds are but an almost silent, soft click, while slower speeds add a slight interval between two even softer clicks. Unlike SLRs, the only thing going on when you take a picture is two pieces of soft cloth moving about two inches to the left. While focus precision is a factor of camera design, and the LEICA M3 has more focus precision than any other LEICA, focus accuracy depends on the calibration of your particular sample of camera body, the calibration of every sample of lens, and how well the two samples work together. While largely invisible in its day, with high-resolution film scanning so popular today, it is much easier to see even the slightest errors in focus. Often the second shot of the day in an F6 is blurred because the kink in the film where the film first starts wrapping around the spool in the film can is drawn to the film gate, and it isn't held flat enough to keep everything in focus at large apertures.
Real LEICA photographers grab only the rewind knob and use it as a pivot with which to spin the entire camera around while holding it over their heads; I don't do that.
Excepting deliberate destruction or inept repair attempts, an M3 can be rebuilt for an unlimited number of lives.
Every other LEICA since the M3 has been an inferior cost-reduction that merely plays on the M3's genius in an attempt to keep selling cameras. The LEICA M1 (1959-1964) removed the rangefinder entirely for microscope and reflex (VISOFLEX) use.
The LEICA M4 (1967-1975) was an M3 with a canted rewind crank, and used an inferior, lower-magnification finder with a simpler, cheaper and inferior rangefinder system.
The LEICA M4-2 (1978-1980) and LEICA M4-P (1981-1987) were made even cheaper again, with low-magnification finders and flare-prone rangefinders. The LEICA M6 (1984-1998) and LEICA M6 TTL (1998-2002) were cheaper cameras, with zinc, not brass outer plates, and made not in the Holy City of Wetzlar, but elsewhere in Germany. The LEICA M7 (2002-) uses an inferior low-magnification finder, and also has a design flaw preventing its use with the near-range of the LEICA 50mm SUMMICRON with near-focusing range.
The LEICA MP is but another attempt to simulate the M3, so again, why settle for a mediocre finder when you can enjoy a real M3, with a far better finder, instead? The LEICA M9 has almost nothing in common with the LEICA M3, except sharing the mount, the basic rangefinder layout and some outward similarity in appearance. Queen Elizabeth of England's 60th birthday commemorative postage stamp (17p and 34p, issued in 1986 in the UK) shows her with her own LEICA M3, which she's been using since 1958.
The only fluff features added to newer LEICAs these past 50 years has been a faster-loading take-up spool (retrofittable to the M3 with a conversion kit part nr.
Many newer LEICAs claim to have a 28mm frame, however it's so big that it's nearly impossible to see or use, and even if you can see it, you can't see all of it at the same time; you have to wiggle your eye around and look at it in sections, which is not the way to see a composition! Good enough for royalty, good enough for National Geographic and good enough for Miles Davis? As this page is copyrighted and formally registered, it is unlawful to make copies, especially in the form of printouts for personal use.

The word revolutionary is over-used in the technology field, but there’s no other way to describe the impact of digital photography.
With roots in NASA research, and government spy satellites, digital imaging was originally envisioned as a way to overcome the limitations of traditional film cameras.
Firstly, the Joint Photographic Experts Group, created in 1986, released the first JPEG standard in 1992. In the mid-1990s the first digital camera to have a built-in LCD display for reviewing photos hit the market.
One of the major strengths of digital photography is the ease with which anyone can edit and alter photographs after capturing them. As basic firmware on digital cameras has gradually improved and the hardware has grown more powerful, photographers are now able to create and edit images and videos directly on the device. In the last decade, the same advances in storage capacity and compression that made digital cameras so attractive for photography reached the stage where they could do the same for video. In 2014 compact digital cameras and smartphones are enough to satisfy many consumers’ video needs; the ability to capture full HD 1080p footage at 60 frames per second is not unusual.
The development of mirrorless camera systems, which first burst onto the scene in 2008, has paved the way for further miniaturization. Dispensing with mirrors, but retaining large image sensors, enabled manufacturers to make smaller and lighter cameras, but retain the speedy performance, interchangeable lenses, and fast autofocus that made DSLR cameras so popular.
The rise of the smartphone has driven manufacturers to find new ways to fit the latest camera technology into increasingly svelte devices. Despite improvements in compression and increases in storage capacity, the pressures of capturing larger images and HD video are presenting new problems.
The idea that you could capture a photo, edit it on the camera, and then upload it to share with the world, all within a couple of minutes would have been unthinkable just 20 years ago. As a blogger of DVD Your Memories, Chris is the most regular blogger, reviewer and coder for this site. The Pentax ME is a very small SLR, smaller than even the eternal K1000, but it has a huge viewfinder. Unlike premium cameras which use all sorts of dynamic dampers and counterbalances, the ME transmits mirror slap to the body.
Shutter-ready indicator (red dot on top of camera below mode dial, turns black after being fired and red when ready to fire).
The finder of the Pentax ME is much bigger than the finder of the Nikon D3X, the Nikon F6, or any Nikon SLR ever made. Unlike modern SLRs, the ground glass of the Pentax ME is optimized to get the most out of fast prime lenses.
The viewfinder LEDs should stay on for a while when you tap the shutter and the film advance lever is pulled out. If they turn off immediately when you take your finger off the shutter with the lever out, the batteries are low. Pick an aperture, see the shutter speed in the finder, focus, compose, press the shutter, and wind the film for your next great shot.
If you want to cancel the self timer, start it (lift it up) while the shutter isn't cocked. I wouldn't go out of my way to find this model, mostly because I like having an auto exposure lock, but If I got stuck on a tropical island with no other camera, I'd make great photos with the Pentax ME.
I got great shots when I used the ME; heck, I could use nothing but this Pentax ME for the rest of my work and no one would ever notice. If you're buying a camera and have a choice, the newer Pentax ME Super (1979-1986) adds a manual mode and a few other features, for the same price used. The biggest help is when you use any of these links when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Nikon has announced that it will stop producing film camera bodies, along with interchangeable manual focus lenses, lenses for large format cameras and enlarging lenses.We took a lot of pictures in architecture school, and this Treehugger desperately wanted a Nikon F, the big, chunky and very expensive camera that every pro used. Kind of a mix of amateur photo contest and Flickr (though with a much nicer UI…) JPEG is full of creative energy and passionate shooters. To those who already appreciate it, there is nothing more I could possibly add, and to those who don't, there is no way a review could possibly convey the brilliance and eternal genius these works contain. Of course not; just like great photography, Mozart's brilliance often lies in how few notes he used to express his points more clearly than if he had used more. The LEICA M3 is superior to every other camera, and to every other LEICA, precisely because of the M3's superior finder system. In the LEICA M3 you have the utmost in photographic performance, speed, and convenience that we, as specialists in high-grade optical precision instruments, can provide. The LEICA M3 is an entirely mechanical rangefinder camera which uses interchangeable lenses and whose viewfinder selects framelines automatically as any lens is attached. Therefore image quality, ergonomics and portability are more important than frames-per-second, so the LEICA M3 reigns once again as the world's best 35mm camera. The LEICA M3's simplicity and singularity of purpose lets us concentrate on our subjects and our pictures, instead of being side-tracked by having to think about a camera. Nikon and Canon SLR and rangefinder lenses don't measure up to LEICA lenses, and among LEICAs, the M3 offers the world's highest focusing precision — better than any other LEICA, ever. Forgive my gloating, but this classic LEICA equipment costs a lot less than today's made-in-who-knows-where plastic rabble from Nikon and Canon. If all I got was the same results as I get from digital cameras, this sublime pleasure of shooting would be worth it, but the results I get from film are superior to what I get with digital capture, both artistically and technically. It takes just a second to set exposure, focus, aim, shoot, and wind for the next great shot.
This older, higher-quality equipment takes better pictures, takes them more quickly and more easily, and costs less than the disposable plastic digital dross of today. It's called the M3 because the viewfinder has three automatically selected framelines for three lenses: 50mm, 90mm and 135mm. With these adapters, the framelines automatically set themselves, and focus works perfectly, too.
With an actual subject, it's also obvious how much smaller is the M9's puny low-magnification finder. This reduces focus accuracy, so much that the puny 0.68x finder of the LEICA M9 comes with a warning in the instructions not to use 135mm lenses at their widest apertures because the M9's finder lacks sufficient accuracy! Other LEICAs make do with mere line segments, or just corners, while the M3 projects big, bright and complete rectangles. By comparison, it's hard to find a lens with newer LEICAs whose finder frame isn't polluted with other irrelevant frame lines. My M3 shows me what I get on my slide mount, while LEICA M9 images include much, much more than shown in its finder. The difference is that fingerprints are obvious and distracting on the coated front windows of newer cameras, but not distracting on the uncoated windows of the LEICA M3.
Its solid-brass wind lever works great; more solid and faster than the plastic thingys on lesser LEICAs. That's right: while mortal cameras like the LEICA M typ 240 have shutter buttons that wobble from left to right as they press-in, the shutter button of the LEICA M3 only goes straight in towards its mark, unwavering and without lateral play, exactly like the vision and determination of the LEICAMAN. There are no distractions; your attention in on nothing except one's subject and composition. The M3, exposure and focus never delay anything, and the simple finder allows one to concentrate on creating the strongest picture.
The LEICA M3's rewind knob does not rotate as the film advances because it is declutched from the film's spool until the knob is lifted for rewind. This isn't important, as one should be using the LEICAMETER to move the shutter speed dial, in which case the camera's dial is covered.
This is because looking at a 3,600 DPI scan at 100% on a computer is a 36x magnification of the film, the same as looking at a 33 x 50" (85 x 130 cm) print, just inches from your face. Yes, LEICA lenses and camera bodies vary from sample-to-sample, and you will have to hand-pick which lenses work best on your M3. I have no idea how or why the M3 is better than the M7, but the few times I've tried this, it is. Nikon still hasn't figured out why the Nikon SP only sold one-tenth as many cameras as the LEICA M3: the SP lacked genius, more specifically, the Nikon SP had more finders and frame lines, but asked that you used two different finders to do what the LEICA M3 does better with just one! It also lacked the automatically-resetting internal frame counter of the M3, and uses a primitive external wheel as a film counter, requiring manual resetting for every roll! The M7 also offers an optional 0.85x finder, the best available today, but still inferior to any old M3. The M9 is sort of like the crudeness of a Polaroid SX-70 crossed with an M3 with a broken viewfinder. She's shown in the image of her her 50th birthday, or in 1976, enjoying her nearly 20-year old (at the time) LEICA M3. 14 260), TTL metering (which lacks the simplicity and hold function of the LEICAMETER MR and LEICAMETER MR-4), and the ability to show a 35mm finder frame with less-expensive lenses that lack the auxiliary finder optics of 35mm lenses designed for the M3. 35mm lenses with the finder optics for the M3 work great on all newer LEICAs, and I prefer the smaller frame size called-up with these optics as an aid to composition! Beats me, and the market agrees: this is why LEICA has sold more M3s, even at platinum-mine prices, than any other camera.
If you wish to make a printout for personal use, you are granted one-time permission only if you PayPal me $5.00 per printout or part thereof.
The best digital camera brands include those from major manufacturers of digital cameras including Sony, Nikon, Canon, Olympus and more.
It has never been easier to capture high quality photos and videos, and we share hundreds of millions of them on the Internet every single day. Digital photography for the mass market really began with the invention of the charge-coupled device (CCD) in 1969. This was a codec for image compression, enabling an image to be compressed into a stream of bytes roughly one-tenth the size of the original image without much perceptible loss in quality. It appeared in 1989, but it was never commercially released, and it would be another couple of years before the technology came down in price far enough to be a viable solution for mass market digital cameras.
A number of software packages sprang up enabling increasingly complex manipulations (photoshop was already being used as a verb in 1992), but these programs required the user to download photos to a computer first. Simple adjustments to brightness and red eye correction have given way to complex post-processing filters and effects.
Camcorders are declining in popularity as digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) can now do everything a camcorder does and more. Audio recording quality still lags behind, but that is more of a concern for professional videographers.
Traditional DSLR cameras have an arrangement of mirrors inside that enables you to see exactly what the lens sees when you look through the viewfinder.
The growth of the cloud aims to solve them as Wi-Fi enables wireless backups to a wide array of online services. It's certainly bigger than any of the crummy finders in wimpy DX cameras like the D2Xs or D90. Drop in the film and stick the leader in between any of weird white slats on the take-up spool. You can tell if the shutter isn't cocked: the little dot on the top of the Pentax ME, just below the mode dial, will be black.

They were the standard of quality that everything was judged against if you were not into retro Leicas. This free website's biggest source of support is when you use any of these links, especially this direct link to the M3 at eBay (see How to Win at eBay), and you also can get them from Adorama. With the LEICA M3, every time I hear the second curtain delicately slide home, I know I have just created another perfect photograph that will remain immortal for all time. The LEICA M3 was the most advanced camera in the world when I was born, it is today the world's best 35mm camera, and most likely will be long after I pass from this Earth.
The LEICA M3 is so well built that it's a treat just to touch it, much less adjust its delicious controls and to fire it. Unlike digital, all my shots come back perfectly exposed and in focus; I never have to make a second shot after seeing how bad one is on the LCD. These real cameras feel so much better than the digital plastic electronics that too many people confuse with cameras today.
35mm lenses come with special reducing optics to change the 50mm finder into a 35mm finder, while one uses external finders with shorter lenses. There really isn't any bottom to the M9's 50mm frame, and it doesn't look any better during actual use. This isn't about close-focus design differences, it's about what I get on my film in real shooting. The LEICA M3 also uses real ground-glass for its frameline-illuminating window, while LEICA's newer cameras make do with molded plastic.
All newer finders are inferior, and can flare when pointed towards light sources, making it nearly impossible to focus.
The shutter buttons of newer cameras, like the LEICA M7, M8 and M9, have additional nasty, distracting kinks in their travel, while the M3 (as well as LEICAs through the M6 TTL) enjoy only one smooth push. As I was shooting in Bodie in October 2010, for every snap I made carefully, at least ten other people buzzed by like flies as they snapped away on their plastic digitals without FARTing, making scores of forgettable snapshots to be deleted an hour later. The LEICAMETER's dial is big and well knurled, so speeds are easily set with one's shutter finger from the front of the camera. Back even as recently as the 1980s, no one regularly looked at all their photos this closely, but today, even the very slightest focus inaccuracy is obvious at this magnification.
Lenses up to 50mm should all be perfect, while probably only half of the 90mm and longer lenses you try will be right-on.
The Nikon SP also came from the stone age, demanding that you stop and change finder frames manually. Worse, the LEICA M6 TTL has a design flaw (too-tall a top plate) that prevents it from working with LEICA's greatest lens, the LEICA 50mm SUMMICRON with near-focusing range, in its close-range.
The problem with the extra 35mm frame in newer LEICAs is that this 35mm frame is too big to see it all at once, and in exchange for this questionably useful 35mm frame, the entire finder has been dumbed-down to a puny 0.72x for all lenses, making 50mm, 90mm and 135mm lenses far less useful. Camera manufacturers enjoy a greater level of brand loyalty than the makers of almost any other electronic product.So what are the best camera brands? Here was an image sensor that could convert photons into electrons, taking light through a grid of picture elements (pixels) and storing it as an electrical charge. Some of the first digital cameras recorded images to cassette tapes, and even into the 1980s most used floppy disks. Dispensing with the need to hook up a camera to a computer or monitor to view the photos was a ground-breaking step. The first DSLR capable of recording video at a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution was released in 2008. It’s possible to capture increasingly high quality images and videos on ever smaller devices.
The development of Eyefi SD cards with built-in Wi-Fi brings the same capability to older camera hardware. The ME is perfectly happy exposing for much longer than its rated 8 seconds if you're shooting at night. From left to right: motor drive coupler, cap, rewind button, tripod socket, battery cover, and gold motor drive electronic contacts. These places have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed.
The M3 is good for more than a single lifetime of perfect photos; it's good for innumerable lifetimes. It most favorably combines the experience of a long tradition in the design of scientific instruments with the latest advances of modern optics.
When I dream about which camera I want to take with me to go shooting, it's usually the LEICA M3. Users looking for a new camera will want to research a variety of different brands to find the one that best suits their needs, based on functionality, features and design.There are many different types of digital cameras. It helps me keep adding this old stuff to this site when you get yours through these links, thanks!
If neither of these move as you wind the lever, that means you goofed and the film isn't advancing. Twenty-five years later it is still working perfectly and our daughter takes very fine pictures with it, and we have spent happy hours together in our basement darkroom printing pictures.Now, the Leitz Focomat enlarger is covered in a bag and we are storing old computer parts in the darkroom. We can discuss the various things that comprise a masterpiece, yet the masterpiece goes beyond any of these descriptions. LEICA still services them, and plenty of other service facilities have no problem getting parts for it.
It has matured through the many thousands of tests and trials at the hands of the elite of international photographers.
The cameras no longer last 25 years- a very brief exposure to water destroyed our Canon Elph.
You will see for yourself the scope and precision of the LEICA and how in many years' time it will still be as exact and reliable as it is now." This is what LEICA shares after you've bought the camera! Avid photographers who want full creative control over their images should consider a digital SLR (single-lens reflex) camera.
A hard drive failure and poor backup habits mean that all we have as a record of a few years of our kids growing up are a few prints that are fading away alarmingly fast.There may be some environmental benefits in switching from film to electronics.
These models offer the advanced features that experienced shooters need, and all of them are compatible with a wide range of interchangeable lenses and accessories. Of course, they're generally more expensive than point-and-shoot cameras, with prices starting at about $600 for the body only. The best camera brands manufacture several different types of cameras ranging from inexpensive to top-of-the-line or professional. Shoppers looking to find the best digital camera for their budget should first decide the features that they need on a camera--type of viewfinder, photo settings, flash and decide what lenses and accessories they want to work with. Since this list is a crowd-ranked, voteable list it is a good starting point for digital camera research. I work in a reuse centre where we have computers that once cost over $3,000 that we can't sell now for $35.
Print and slide photographers rarely use to upgrade their film cameras at anywhere near the same rate of churn these days - my SLR is 25 years old and still taking crisp images!So all the medium used to capture, store and transport digital photos quickly becomes unwanted pollutants, but the shoe box, biscuit tin or the plain and simple photo album still remain in use, handed down from grandparents even.While pollutants were used to produce the photos of old, once made they lasted decades, and beyond.
A print or slide once developed requires no more technological upgrades, but digital most certainly does. I have heard numbers as outrageous as ten thousand pounds of raw material being required to make a four pound laptop.
Therefore, camera phones can never be more than toys, taking idle snaps.Sure, some of these snaps may be oncoming tsunami, which brings up the most important question. These are the questions that designers should be asking.My house burned down when I was eight, so there are very few pictures of my childhood. My friend has a new son (fifteen months today), who is documented to within an inch of his life. Now, my friend is going to buy another firewire drive, to keep off site as a backup, so that in case of fire, these images will not be lost.
I think that the only responsible way to use digital SLRs is to design them with interchangeable optical chips, so that the camera body can be upgraded as the technology improves.I have yet to see any indication that a vast amount of snapshots make anyone's life better.
Unfortunately, until everyone starts questioning whether the latest gadget will add value to their lives, we are stuck in this consumption cycle. And, we are stuck scrolling through iPhoto, trying to find the photo we just know we have, or laboriously coding them with keywords to ensure we can find them again.As a final note, as Warren said, silver prints will last decades.
I heard that the US archives cannot access an enormous amount of their data, because the machine to read the media no longer exists.
Of course that will never happen to us, as long as we keep buying new computers, and new software that converts our old jpgs to whatever format is au courant, and running updating programs and adding keywords.Film will never go away.
The question we need to ask is what gives us more pleasure, staring at our screen, or hanging out with the crotchety old hobbyists at the community centre film club; spooling film in the dark, carefully loading the developing tank by feel, watching the images develop in the safelight, and showing our friends the book of our few, precious pictures, that show only a moment of the story, not the whole story. As for the cameras themselves, I think that standards for upgradeability, and regulations for production and disposal should be mandated before they just join all the rest of the e-waste. Europe and Asia are coming up with good things for computers and cars, I'm sure it could be done for cameras (it is easier to improve the model than to tell everybody that they can't use cameras anymore).As for the question of "is all this necessary?", I think it's a loaded question.
Several times I have had the experience of taking a photo next to someone else who was doing the same; and later, comparing images, having one of the shoot-+partners claim that "there was now way that picture was taken next to me, at about the same time". They and I saw the world different ways and it came out in our pics.At one point I gave up photography altogether, and only lately have resumed.
I think that happened when I got to the point when I could pick out avid photographers in a party by following their eyes.I have made it a practice to delete any digi-pics I do not like right out of my camera.
I have yet to figure out what to do with them to archive, but when I do I will have fewer "grabs" and lots more memories with emotional impact.Still loving Kodachrome.
Everything that you read about record collectors talks about how immersed they are in the experience.
Where they found the record, what issue it was, how it sounds, the ritual of putting it on the turntable.
Vinyl lovers are people who know what they value about something, and are not willing to give up that value in order to have the latest bit of chrome plated plastic.
They are total TreeHuggers, using something until they can't use it anymore.You may be right that the environmental damage of digital is less than film, I do not know.
Do people immerse themselves in digital photography as a record collector does in playing their vinyl? If cel phones were "same use" we wouldn't have to listen to so many inane conversations telling the world that they are on the bus.Let us also remember that photomats are a great product of service system. A new camera every three years, a computer, two firewire drives and a photo printer with disposable cartridges.
Google is clearly leading us to a world in which we do not own computers, which is good, if you can trust your government. I don't know what the future will hold, but I know that we cannot even imagine.I think the question of "is all this necessary," is, in fact, the only question.
What are we doing, why are we doing it, is it worth doing, and then, how are we going to do this with zero impact, or negative impact.

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