Challenge! March Symposium: The Small Sensor Look.

tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
As we near the end of the month, have we identified a small sensor "look"? I'm not sure we have. If anything, we've demonstrated that sensor size is one of the least important factors in photography, much less important than the photographer's vision and skill.

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Tickets in Time Square by John Flores, on Flickr
You've shown that your many published images from the V1 and Q. I've never been patient enough to stick with one system for a long haul. Or maybe it's just gear lust. Both of my current cameras are considered "small sensor". I'm hoping to keep it that way.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
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MiguelATF

Hall of Famer
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Real Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
I have to agree with John's poignant and philosophical comment about sensor size, and its relative importance, or lack thereof, in the overall scheme of things. And I really also need to echo Tony's praise of John's (aka john m flores here on Cameraderie) numerous shots, both published and otherwise, taken with various Q's and Nikon V1's. They (John's words, as well as his photos) have inspired and occasionally enthralled me.

For my own final entry on this last day of the Small Sensor Look Challenge, I'm including 3 photos. The first was taken 9 months ago with a wonderful small sensor camera I briefly owned and appreciated, a Ricoh GRDiii; its subject is a beer can whose artwork I found cool - and for some reason, at the time, the tiny GRD was the camera 'at hand'---

GRDiii_June9_Beer_Diving_helmet(SilverEfex).jpg


The other two were taken today, in the wee hours of this morning, with a physically much larger camera (than the tiny GRD3) whose 1" sensor is right on the limit of small sensor cameras, a Sony RX10 mark III. The first is an SOOC jpeg (taken with the RX10M3's High-Contrast Mono 'picture effect'); the subject is the bags that I keep in my writing office-- a shoulder bag covered with bicycles, and a shopping bag which features a stylized photo of Rosalia de Castro, the poet, who was one of the first writers who dared to write in her native Galician, instead of Spanish---

RX10_Mar30_21_Rosalia_de_Castro+Bolsa_bici.jpg


The last is an old stand-by, a midnight self-portrait in the bathroom mirror, trying to test out the ISO limits of the RX10iii's lens (and processed in Silver Efex Pro)---

RX10_Mar30_21_Midnight_Moi.jpg


For me at least, John was right: the sensor will always be an element, but nowhere near the most important one. We (the metaphoric race of photographers) always make use of the tools at our disposal but I'm afraid the 'look' of my own pictures tends to be more a reflection of my own inner perspectives, no matter what/which camera or lens or sensor I happen to be using.
 
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Lawrence A.

Hall of Famer
Location
New Mexico
Real Name
Larry
I've been meaning to post some shots from the Olympus Stylus 1 for a couple of weeks. In many ways it has always been for me an ideal compromise between size and function. It has a very good lens, the equivalent reach of 28-150, is usable, in my opinion (though I'm fairly tolerant of luminance noise), up to 1600, though raw files are best at that iso, and is just a small, versatile little wonder. I've given about 6 of them to friends and adopted family in Laos, where the following shots were taken. I have a Pen-F, E-M5, Leica X113, a D-lux 109, and am still unwilling to let this camera go. The D-lux and the Stylus, while not the best cameras I own, make a wonderfully versatile and light, compact travel kit and produce good images. I understand the reasons Olympus dropped the line, but still regret it. It fills a spot nothing else quite manages to fill.
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drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
SW Virginia
Real Name
Steve
I thought I’d end the month with this portrait of a former student who is currently finishing her law degree at Harvard. She’s in her early thirties and had the damnedest string of jobs in her 20’s. I still talk to her regularly via text, where she sends me articles from some law journal complaining about some court’s interpretation of a point of law that she thinks is obviously wrong. She has “law professor” written all over her. Not my choice of tattoos but to each her own. :biggrin:

I think this pic is my most typical of the small sensor look for portraits, taken with the X-10 with slightly lower dynamic range especially in indoor lighting. Of course, my prejudice is that the Fuji X-10, -20, and -30 series had the most charming set of “flaws” and were the very definition of photographic character. Some of that magic is definitely in the lens.
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donlaw

Hall of Famer
Location
Texas
Real Name
Don
I sort of dropped out on this challenge, but have enjoyed seeing everyone images. Have to totally agree with John's observation that sensor size is only another element to consider and far from a limited factor in outstanding photography.
Here are a couple of small sensor (iPhone 11) 'computational' images taken for testing new glasses frames at the local corrective lenses shop.
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You've shown that your many published images from the V1 and Q. I've never been patient enough to stick with one system for a long haul. Or maybe it's just gear lust. Both of my current cameras are considered "small sensor". I'm hoping to keep it that way.

But gear lust is fun though, right?

"I'd be a ____ photographer if only I had ____!"
[Add to cart]

I've fallen repeatedly for this false premise. And it's sometimes hard to discern lust from need. And the hunt is fun!

To end the month, a couple of photos where the gear does matter!

July 21, 2020
Went out in search of Comet Neowise but the northern skies were cloudy. Turned around and saw Saturn. Pentax Q-S1, 55-300mm zoom @ 300mm (1395mm eq), ISO100, 0.5s

50143459723_fce84e2feb_o.jpg

Saturn in the Southern Sky (cropped)
by John Flores, on Flickr

January 21, 2019
Went into the backyard to capture the Super Blood Wolf Moon with the Pentax Q1

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Super Blood Wolf Moon (Pentax Q-S1, 55-300mm zoom @ 200mm (940mm 35mmEQ), ISO1600, 0.5s)
by John Flores, on Flickr

Ended up with more than I bargained for! Look closely at around the 8pm position:

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Meteor impact during Super Blood Wolf Moon
by John Flores, on Flickr

Pentax Q-S1, 55-300mm zoom @ 300mm (1410mm 35mmEQ), ISO800, 0.25s

Total dumb luck that I photographed a meteor impact on the moon!

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Meteor impact (closeup) during Super Blood Wolf Moon
by John Flores, on Flickr

Fun challenge - I enjoyed seeing everyone's photos!
 
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MiguelATF

Hall of Famer
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Real Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
To close out this month of Small-sensor photography, I'm turning back to what has become one of my favorite small-sensor cameras ever, and, for me at least, the first truly worthy successor to my old LX7. The X30 is larger and heavier, but it does so many things so nicely - including having a sharp, relatively fast and high quality zoom lens, and the macro ability to get closer to some subjects. Speaking of subjects, I figured a small-sensored camera should be occasionally used for a small subject...and they don't get much smaller than my miniature Mouse Biker---

X30_Mar31_21_Mini_Mouse_biker.jpg


Before I forget: Fujifilm does great in-camera jpegs. Though I used to be a hard-core RAW-only shooter, the X30's 'Classic Chrome' film simulation setting has pretty much spoiled me for almost all of my X30 shooting.
 

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