So, Diplo came to EMPAC and I went and I took some pictures. They didn’t turn out so great. Oh, yeah, at 500×333 they look okay, but check them any bigger and they start falling apart. It’s okay, this is what my camera can do at ISO 3200.
Look, I’m only somewhat a gear guy. Yes, I like to see what new lenses are out there and I like to think about what kind of kit I would buy if I had ten thousand dollars to spend. But I don’t stress about not having the newest fastest lens or camera body or whatever, and I work with what I have. Now, there are people out there who say that it doesn’t matter what gear you have, it all comes down to skills and the photographer’s “vision” and I say they’re full of shit. They began the digital era with a D3000 or a K-x or a Rebel XS or something that is not practically unusable beyond ISO 400 and obviously never tried to shoot the kinds of things I have with the kinds of equipment I have. I would absolutely have loved to have met one of those people at this show and handed them my camera and let them go to town. They would have given up in disgust, as anyone in their right mind would. I happen to be a masochist and I enjoy experimenting.
So, in that spirit, I’ll tell you what I did during this show. I ran my camera up to the highest ISO possible (this would be the extended “HI” setting, so friendly, which equates to ISO 3200, but a kind of ISO 3200 that shreds the ISO 3200 of most cameras and makes cole slaw out of it), parked my 50mm f/1.8 lens wide open, and started metering around in manual mode. In this situation there are lots of different colored lights flashing, a few huge screens you have to ignore because you’re not metering for the screens now are you, and people moving around way too much. So I got a few decent meter readings when the lights were on and settled on 1/125th of a second. Instead of letting the lens hunt in near zero light I flipped it into manual and away I went.
And I shot. A lot. And most of the shots were unusable. But before you judge me, again I heartily invite you to borrow my camera and try the same trick. And not only do you have to try to catch a few frames of something interesting while there’s enough light to get it, but you’ll have to deal with the massive, horrendous, detail-destroying amounts of noise that ISO 3200 on a nearly ten year old digital camera creates. Post processing is another 1,000 words. Good luck, my friends, good luck.
I hate my camera, I love my camera. I wouldn’t have it any other way.