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The outset of the NYC2000 project was based on the fact that six months earlier I'd finally made the plunge and bought a digital camera to supplement (like I first thought) my film SLRs.

Just some short notes about the equipment involved:

@ - Canon PowerShot Pro70 digital camera (1,68 megapix)
An excellent workhorse on the fields called New York City, with great qualities like the very handy turning LCD panel and real camera-like "feel". Although the jpeg compression algorithm seems a bit heavy-handed, I can't even think of any other digicams in the under $1500 category -- even the new multi-megapix cams don't do it to me, not least because Pro70 is, AFAIK, still the only one with the critical wide-angle end of the objective going down to the 35 mm film camera equivalent of 28 mm, a very important consideration in the often tight architectural photography. As photo film memory the camera uses Compact Flash memory cards, of which I already had two, of 15 and 16 megabytes. To supplement these, I also bought a 48 MB card in NYC -- and the total capacity was not a bit too much for the 209 shots (many of the same subject, with different exposures) that were finally brought home. The plugged-in EOS remote shutter release was invaluable in removing the risk of camera shake and letting me take the pictures in an easy position and wait just for the right moment in terms of traffic flow past the subject.
Instead of a small body-and-two-lenses camera bag (which I had used on my previous trip), I carried the photo gear inside a very good (it had to be, as it took so long to find it!) and spacious over-the-shoulder bag which also carried my various maps and papers etc. Last, but not least, it had two stringbag-like pockets on the outside for soda etc. bottles -- a very important feature on the strenuous photo walkings!

@ - Slik Pro 700 DX tripod with the Pro 700 three-way-pan head
Another excellent acquisition, a lightweight (special alloy for this tripod for strength with less weight) yet sturdy tripod that not only went into a (relatively) small package when collapsed, but also could be extended to a height over a man's head -- a property that was used often during the trip, thus removing the need to wait for the sightline being free of passersby or cars. Even the extended height gave no problems in terms of stability, and the bubble levels on the head gave moreover a good hint about when the tripod was stable.
Carried inside another great buy, a large sportsgear bag with detachable straps for use as a rucksack (and doubling as a flight bag). I hadn't actually used the tripod/bag combination in actual photography before the trip, only in "dry rehersals" at home, but eventually the packaging worked perfectly. Removing the tripod worked even better than I'd thought, and setting up the tripod itself and the camera to it went "along the drill", which was soon established in the over 80 instances of tripod packing on the trip!

@ - Casio Cassiopeia E-105 Palm-PC
The third essential tool on the photography was the Palm-PC mini computer which, although I hadn't bought it for this particular purpose, was perfect for viewing the images immediately after taking to judge exposure or sharpness. As both the camera and the P/PC were Compact Flash memory compatible, I could quickly remove the memory card from camera and place it to the CF slot of the P/PC for viewing. The one drawback of the E-105 was the fact that its colour screen, as magnificent as it is with its 65,536 colours, washes out almost totally in sunlight. To overcome this, I used the tripod bag as a "darkroom" by pushing the P/PC into it and viewing the image in totally satisfactory conditions. With the E-105 I could also during the trip choose the best out of the many exposures of the same subject and thus free considerable amounts of memory for future shots.

@ - I had also (in hindsight, for no reason) taken the more lightweight of my two Canon FD bodies with me, along with 28 mm and 85-210 mm lenses. At first I actually carried, in addition to the digicam and its accessories, also this body, the telezoom and a teleconverter with me on the trips, but after a couple of days I removed them for good from taking up space (and adding weight!) in the camera bag. Seems like the digi time is perhaps going to wipe away 35 mm SLRs for good in my photo arsenal...

M A I N   P A G E

lo-go © e t dankwa
2/7 June 2000