A couple of months ago I decided to get out of film and move completely to digital. I’ve run both systems in parallel for many years having been one of the first on my block to get a digital camera back in the mid-90’s – a Sony half-megapixel unit that recorded images on a 3.5 inch floppy (and a slew of others in between). Until recently I felt that digital technology simply wasn’t “there” yet vs. film and besides, my beloved Leica-M had no digital equivalent. Recent foibles by Leica with their new digital M-8 led me to sell all my Leica film equipment (at about what I had paid for it – one of the great historical attributes of owning a Leica-M is that you never lost money) and abandon the brand until they either go bankrupt or come to their senses with respect to pricing – the Germans appear to have adopted the “if you have to ask how much it costs you can’t afford it” segment of the population as their target market.
But like a heartbroken lover who has lost the love of his life, I’ve been wandering from one brief liaison to another; a series of point-and-shoots, then a Canon G-9 six months ago, a Canon G-10 ten days ago, and finally yesterday, the new Panasonic G1 pictured above. Its a really nice camera and I’m looking forward to getting out there again and rekindling the passion. I know that “its not the equipment, its the eye”, but most photographers will confess that the “right” camera, well-attuned to your ergonomics and way of working, is an important adjunct to the creative process. For me the Leica-M was “it” and I’ve been somewhat creatively discombobulated lately without it. Anyway, I’m pumped – at least for now – so let’s see what comes out of it.