Sunday, October 4, 2020

Sequestered with a Gimpy leg

    Like the frustrated sequestered fellows unable to go out and actually drive a longed-for SUV, I haven't been able to do much testing of my cameras and lenses to see which combination would be best to use with a gimpy leg.  A while back I bought a Nikon mirrorless Z-50 along with its two kit lenses.  The other day I decided to get it out and spend some time mastering its menu.  But before I did that I thought I should recharge the battery . . . only I couldn't find the Z-50 battery charger.  After looking high and low I gave up and continued with my ongoing exercise of reviewing lenses based on the evidence from various hikes.  On this occasion I went back to the very beginning: the first digital camera I took hiking was a Hewlett Packard 6MP R717.  Some of the shots I took with that seemed pretty good.  There was one shot of Trooper my nephew talked me into printing and framing.  I still have that R717, but Susan took it to Tucson with her once upon a time and left it in the trunk during a very hot day and fried the electronics.  I thought it might be good to get another R717 from eBay if I could find one in good condition because the case I have is still in good condition.  I could strap that to my belt and pretend I was back in the old days where my object was hiking and not photography, and I merely had a camera available for the odd rare shot.

I didn't find any R717s worth getting and pretty quickly gave up the idea of getting anything that old.  I turned my attention next to Ricoh.  Ricoh bought Pentax a few years ago.  They make small cameras that are advertised as being able to be carried in a pocket.  These cameras are popular in Japan.  The little cameras are only slightly larger than my old R717.  The GRii came out about 6 years ago with 16MP.  It had a lot of capability but most people use it in a point and shoot configuration.  The newest model, the GRiii, came out last year.  It had in-camera-image stabilization (which the GRii did not), but to keep the size down, they used a smaller battery which gets about 200 shots to a charge.  It has been discovered that if you leave the camera on between shots, your camera will overheat.  The GRiii struck me, therefore, as an excellent backup camera for an R5 (which overheats when shooting 8K video) owner, but I thought I could probably get by with the GRii.  The GRii gets about 300 shots on a charge, has a larger battery than the GRiii, doesn't have in-camera-image-stabilization, and so doesn't overheat.

I don't know yet what I'll feel like taking on my probably abbreviated hikes.  It is possible that I might not want to fool with a lot of adjustments until I get very confident traversing the uncertain landscapes I'll be hiking.  A GRii set to a point-and-shoot configuration seems a prudently conservative camera setup for the near future.

16MP, owners of the 16MP Pentax K5ii and the 16MP Nikon Df have argued, is the "sweet spot" of sensor size.  I don't know if that's true; however, the Pentax K5ii is APSC and the Nikon Df is full frame, and neither camera seems deficient in image quality.  Also, no one on the Ricoh forum has mentioned the GRii being deficient in image quality.  The Ricoh GRiii has a 24MP sensor and in-camera-image-stabilization which would improve one's chances of getting excellent shots.  But the possibility of overheating  caused me to take the cautious route and get the GRii instead of the GRiii.   

If I discover that I don't need to keep my GRii turned-on between shots, maybe I wouldn't encounter over-heat situations with a GRiii.  I don't remember how I used the old R717.  Also, I don't know how much I will want to use the GRii in the future.  If I discover I can get by with heavier, more complicated cameras, maybe my GRii will spend most of its time on a shelf with all my other cameras.