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
@ - 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...