Even though I've made some headway towards curing my G.A.S. this last year, I think I still have a long way to go towards finally shooting and not fretting over which camera to use. When I stumbled over the blog of Will Needham who is doing a one camera, one lens, one film, one year project I knew I had to give it a try, too. It's a simple as it sounds: Pick one camera, one lens, and one film and just shoot this combination for a year to get away from thinking about the gear and towards thinking more about the pictures. Unfortunately, while preparing for this project my G.A.S has kicked in and I keep thinking about which camera to use. I asked for opinions on Twitter and I got a few great responses, but I thought I'd write a bit more about it here and ask for opinions.
So, as background you have to know that I want a camera that is relatively quick to use as I have small kids. What this means, is that I need to be able to quickly take a shot without having to take a separate light meter along. And just guessing the exposure via Sunny 16 isn't going to cut it either as I will shoot a lot indoors and I'm really bad at estimating the exposure indoors. And practicing this is also out of the question as I don't want to take a meter with me for the first few months/weeks (see above). With that in mind, here are the contenders:
The Bronica ETRSi is great, as I have a speed grip for it and a metered prism, which allows me to shoot in aperture priority mode, so the only thing I need to worry about is focusing. The downside is that this combo is really heavy. It weights more than 2kg! Taking this thing to work every day in the backpack, along with lunch, a book, and a laptop isn't going to be much fun. But maybe it's all worth it for the beautiful and big negatives?
Minolta Dynax 5
The Dynax 5 is one of the last 35mm SLRs produced by Minolta before they went digital and therefore has every feature you can think of. It's also really light (some might say, too light) and I have a lens on the way to me for it that I got for free. Using a flash with it should also be easy. The downsides are of course that the negative it produces are much smaller than the ones from the Bronica and the fact that everything is automated. For some reason I feel a bit weird using a film camera that feels very much like a digital camera.
The Bessamatic is a mechanical wonder! A 35mm leaf shutter SLR, produced to highest standards in Germany in the 1960. It's not much bigger than the Dynax and it feels great in the hand and produces great sounds. :) Unfortunately the selenium meter isn't that precise anymore. This alone should disqualify this camera given what I've written above, but it's such a nice machine! And really trying to shoot for a year with that camera would mean that I would be able to estimate the correct exposure after a while, I guess. Which would be quite a thing!
A new camera
And now, the obvious elephant in the room, that I probably should avoid: Buying a new camera just for this project. Yes, buying a new camera to fight G.A.S ... Not very logical, is it? But if I were to buy one, what would it be? Some kind of manual focus 35mm SLR with aperture priority. Maybe an Olympus OM or a Pentax? Suggestions (and camera donations, hint, hint) are welcome.
So, this is it. I know this is a highly subjective topic, but please let me know what you think, anyway!