A walk in the Piddle Valley – what camera should I use?

If I head out with the specific intention of making photographs then I will always take one or maybe two 35mm full frame cameras and a choice of lenses depending upon what I am hoping to achieve. I may also have with me a set of Lee filters and quite possibly a tripod. I have never been a huge fan of tripods but sometimes you just can’t be without one. Carrying this lot for several miles is not that much fun.

However If I am just out walking and I don’t want to burden myself with a whole load of kit, particularly when the weather is inclement, then I will put my Sony RX100 MkIV compact camera in my pocket just in case I see something worth photographing. The quality of the RAW files from this camera are excellent.

Unfortunately when I was on holiday in the Outer Hebrides recently the little Sony camera slipped out of its case and fell on a hard tiled floor. It landed on the corner of the LCD display and that knock was sufficient to break the display. Although the camera has an electronic viewfinder as far as I was concerned it was no longer usable.

On my return home I visited my local camera shop to get a quote for it to be repaired. It was more than I expected but still a lot cheaper than buying a replacement. It’s being put right as I type and hopefully I will have it back later this week.

In the meantime my wife and I were in Dorset walking up and down the lanes and pathways of the beautiful countryside; more specifically in The Piddle Valley. We were exploring some new paths, the weather was damp, overcast and the threat of further rain was ever present.

Carrying a full frame camera etc, etc was not an option, nor was the Sony for the reasons I have already explained. The only option left was my iPhone. It’s not the latest model, far from it, but on occasions like this it does a pretty good job.

I received a very appreciate comment about a set of images I posted recently and I was asked ‘what camera and lenses did I use?’ I was very happy to answer the question but it did make me think what is more important – the equipment used to capture an image or the image itself?

For me it is the finished image every time. Having and using expensive equipment is great and can be a real joy to use. The files have more detail, greater flexibility for post processing and can be printed very large, if that’s the intention. But for blogging and recording what was a very pleasant walk (even though we did get rather wet!) any camera, including a smartphone will do very nicely thank you.

Do click on any image to view a much larger version which will open in a new window.

2 Responses to “A walk in the Piddle Valley – what camera should I use?”

  1. Vicki

    I’m not so interested in cameras and lenses, but more about the aperture, ISO and shutter speed, particularly the aperture.

    I truly think some of my best shots were in 2010 when I started with a little $150 Canon ‘point & shoot’. I think my vision was fresh and open to my surroundings, but now my vision is ‘clouded’ and ‘distracted’ by my ever increasing back and hip pain.


    • alan frost

      I agree Vicki – settings are of more interest and greater relevance than the make or model of camera. A simple camera often produces the most pleasing results. Sorry to hear your pain is is worse and proving to be such a distraction.



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