When digital came along, I looked at it with suspicion, if I looked at all. Which I saw an obviously-digital image in print, I'd mutter uncomplimentary things under my breath. There was a certain quality - or rather, lack of it - that branded the newcomer technology second best. Of course, it didn't take long for digital R&D to catch up to the abilities of film, and start to sound the death knell for film imaging. Gradually, manufacturers abandoned film camera production, or just disappeared entirely. (I was surprised to learn of Bronica's disappearance during a long hiatus from taking photographs.)
However, curiosity got the better of me, and I acquired a small digicam, all 2 megapxels of it. Eventually a 5 MP replacement came along, which allowed much better imaging. I was becoming hooked on the immediacy of the digital process, and used film less and less, although there were other reasons too. But, having been accustomed to SLR photography, with the ability to control all aspects of the shooting process, there were a few things I missed, such as selective focusing and full manual control. Hence the 30D.
So, how have I fared in the 3 days since then? Well, I have taken some time to become at least partially familiar with all of the buttons, custom functions, etc. I have snapped a few shots to get the feel of the beast, testing its performance against what I understand. On Day 2, I returned to the dealer, troubled by the camera's failure to let me set the aperture manually: sometimes it would, other times not; as it was bought 2nd hand, I suspected a fault. When the salesman didn't immediately have the answer, I was somewhat dismayed. However, after a minute or so, he remembered the reason - something I'd not picked up from my initial perusal of the manual. Good; smile returned.
Day 3 brought another problem, which bothered me for an hour or so, until I remembered I'd set a custom function deep in the bowels of the menu, and forgot to check exactly how it worked. Once I'd reset that function, no problem. Later on, I noticed a setting on the top LCD, which shouldn't have been set like that, and indeed, elsewhere seemed to be fine. Could I find how to reset it? No I couldn't. The button that would logically have given me the required access showed a normal setting, and adjusting it achieved nothing, at least, not the desired result. In the end, I had to go into the main menu and return all settings to default, to get rid of the errant setting. By now, the once bright and shiny joy had started to tarnish, and I was beginning to feel quite tired. I have yet to take any proper photographs with this camera, although I have learned more about how many hot pixels a camera can have, on long exposures.
Some years ago, I discovered CameraQuest. On that site was a page about a reissued Nikon rangefinder camera, the SP 2005. I fell in love with that camera on sight, and am still moved by it. I knew that I could pick it up, have it loaded within a minute, and start shooting almost right away. There might be 2 or 3 settings I'd need to look up in the manual, but that would be it. Shutter speed, aperture, focus, shoot. I wouldn't be scratching my head for hours, or having to join a forum to get help.
Image copyright Stephen Gandy, all rights reserved.
Maybe I'm getting old, or perhaps I'm just a grumpy curmudgeon. I hope that I become comfortable with the new toy, but I don't imagine for a minute that I will still be holding it fondly, 30-odd years from now, whereas I intend to be buried with one of my EFs.