walking with a camera

It’s very cold, frosty and icy here today. I couldn’t get enough motivation to go out on the bike. The road bike was a non starter and the MTB seemed too much like hard work!

The weather was bright and sunny though so I decided to head for the Five Crossroads forest with Rosie for a walk and to mess around with the “good” camera. I wanted to see if I could take better photos compared to using my phone camera.

We bought the camera approximately 6 years ago. It’s a Fujifilm Finepix S4800 and you can read a full review here. Essentially it’s a mid range camera with auto and manual features and a decent 30x zoom capability.

My phone is a Samsung A50 running Android v10 and it’s about 1 year old. Like the camera it’s also a mid range model with a decent camera and a full review can be found here.

Virtually all my photos are taken using the phone. The camera is bulky and delicate and requires planning and effort to have it with me and to get access to the photos afterwards. The phone is always on hand, photos are instantly accessible, backed up and easy to share. I decided to find out today if the extra effort is worth it.

These photos are samples of those taken using the camera.

The two below were taken using the phone.

A lot of the photos taken on the camera were blurry or over exposed due to the direct sunlight. Many of the long view shots were disappointing compared to what I could see. I was impressed by the close up shots and the zoomed ones though. The phone is obviously much better for the all important selfie shot and the software seemed better able to cope with the sun. The software also seems to add an extra warmth to the photos making them more appealing. I didn’t test the camera in low light but both the linked review above and my own experience confirm that the phone is poor in low light conditions.

My conclusion is that the phone will still be my go to option but the camera is worth the extra effort for family occasions, shots requiring zoom or close ups. If I was trained to use the camera properly I would probably get more use from it.

It was also a nice walk and close to the end I met my sister and husband out for a walk with their kids and dog. It was nice to see them as we’ve seen very little of each other due to various lockdowns and good to catch up.

Header image source: Wikimedia Commons.

10 thoughts on “walking with a camera

  1. A Dude Abikes

    He makes a good points. I have a point and shoot then I used on my trip to Montana over 4 years ago. It’s not much bigger than my cell phone but I never think to take it out cycling specifically to take pictures. But maybe I’ll think about that because it would also take better videos. What are your thoughts on gopro? I have a friend’s I could borrow but I’m not really doing any epic rides with beautiful scenery, mostly just urban streets. Well hopefully it warms up for you.

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    1. idlecyclist Post author

      I would like to have a GoPro. I follow a number of YouTube Channels and I’m very envious of the quality of videos they produce and how they seem to have created a form of employment from doing something they love. I know that for every successful channel there must be hundreds of failures and that there is a lot of work and skill behind the end result.

      My wife bought me a cheap little €20 GoPro knock off for Xmas that I’ve yet to get up and running. It’ll be interesting to see what it can produce.

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      Reply
  2. capejohn

    My birthday is soon and #1 on my list is a go pro 8 or 9. My guess on your photo quality with the Fuji is that you have it set to auto. It takes some training to use the features that give great photos.

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  3. threewheelsonmywaggon

    I too had thought about a decent camera some years back, but my wee point and shoot (without much thought) camera is so convenient, that I like you would never really get full use from a more expensive and complicated camera. The first thought that came to mind when I saw the picture of you with the sun on your back, casting a shadow, was from a cowboy film (name escapes me) “He casts a long shadow”.

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  4. unironedman

    The decent cameras are well worth it if you invest the time. Camera phones do a great job up to a point, and they are designed for ease of use; everything is auto: focus, exposure, shutter speed… that’s what makes them so easy to use. But if you can get over the hump with a decent SLR and force yourself to shoot manual, you will become a better photographer. But I admit there are a lot of speed bumps to get over with that. And don’t even get me started on all those lovely Instagram filters… πŸ™‚

    I have a GoPro 7 (Xmas gift) so I hope to get some action stuff over the year on the bike, out running and underwater. My blog doesn’t allow video directly but no doubt I’ll find a way to link a few bits as we go along. Your ‘knock-off’ GoPro is probably the same as mine: an Aldi special. Actually pretty nifty. Did it come with an underwater housing?

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    1. idlecyclist Post author

      Investing the time is my big issue πŸ˜„

      My knock off is a Goodmans from my wife’s work. They buy everything via B&M in the UK. It came with a waterproof case and a few fittings. No GoPro branding at all, only €20 so I don’t have great expectations.

      You could upload your video to YouTube or similar and embed the link using the WordPress website editor.

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      1. unironedman

        I link stuff all the time in the site; the trick here is to make something worth linking to. The problem with all these GoPros is that my 90 minute thrill-a-second bike ride in my local park (regardless of how many super-slow-mo effects I put in) is of no interest to anyone else πŸ˜‰ Multiply that by several million and you can see why most GoPro footage is all rather samey.

        But yep, time is always the issue. I have some handy ‘cheat sheet’ guides if you want them. Fire me an email to declan@thedrawingboard.ie

        Liked by 1 person

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