Mike Johnston, Empty and Desolate the Sea*,
a picture from my Smartphone project
Smartphones are great cameras and I've been having fun doing a deliberate project with mine. In a couple of years I've gotten about ten pictures that have made the grade so far, and it gets me out of the house. It's been two years now since readers challenged me to get to grips with phone cameras, and I'm satisfied I've done so now.
But as good as they are at auto adjustments and balancing light, there are still a lot of operational and qualitative limitations with smartphone cameras. One alternative was suggested by a reader named Rube—the Sony A5100. It looks pretty delightful combination of a very modest camera and a very formidable sensor...he says it uses the same sensor as the A6000/A6300/A6500 series, and although I can't confirm that it seems probable. [UPDATE: Kevin Purcell did some sleuthing and tells me the A5100 and A6000 likely share the same sensor, and the A6300 and A6500 share a different sensor. Thanks Kevin!]
If so it's an extremely inexpensive way to get a really top-quality sensor in a very tiny package.
Add the tiny Sony 20mm ƒ/2.8 pancake, and you have very high performance in a diminutive package that can't be much extra to carry around. Not very expensive, either.
(Thanks to Rube and Sarah)
*The title is an English translation of "Oed' und leer das Meer," a line from T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land. He took in turn from Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, Act III, verse 24. The picture was taken at the edge of the Pacific Ocean at a remote beach north of Point Reyes, north of San Francisco, and it relates to something a friend from my community told me yesterday.
It could also be considered an homage to Caspar David Friedrich, a German romantic painter who often pictured solitary figures, their backs to the viewer, confronting vast, bleak landscapes.
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