Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014: Year in Cameraphone Review

Okay. The title this year is slightly misleading, because for me this was not the year of the cameraphone: this was the year of the Pentax Q.

As a backup to my trusty SLR, a couple of years ago I bought a Pentax K-01. And I really wanted to love it. But I couldn't. The design was just terrible, and most of all, it simply wasn't compact: it was barely smaller than the K5 SLR with which it shared its sensor. So yes, it had a fantastic sensor and accepted K mount lenses, but as a compact backup camera, it was useless. Far too big, and with all the drawbacks of an SLR with none of its advantages (viewfinder).

Before I bought the K-01 I had read all the reviews of the Pentax Q and laughed: what was the point of it?! Tiny little sensor, piece of junk.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Put simply, I often now prefer to use my Pentax Q rather than my SLR. The Q is simply that good. For pretty much any kind of photography, the Q really shines. Being so small and discreet but with some extremely good quality lenses (the 8.5mm f1.9 and 15-45mm f2.8) it excels at documentary style photography. But it can do everything else too. And with an adapter and some K-mount lenses, it turns into the world's most frighteningly powerful macro/ultra zoom.

And it's suitable for a complete novice to an expert photographer. I now think the Pentax Q series is probably the best camera series in the world, in terms of sheer versatility.

I would also credit the Pentax Q (probably in part due to the Pentax Auto 110, which I wanted to find a digital equivalent of) with teaching me how to take photographs all over again. Put simply, to stop messing and worrying about technical perfection, and just shoot. 2014 is the first year of a new kind of photography for me, one that I am finally happy with, and one that I also think will stand the test of time.

I'll leave it at that. But as usual, from 2014 here are some very poor shots from my exceedingly rubbish cameraphone. Please don't judge!

Haha. Yeah.

The start of the year was wet. Very wet.

I think this was the first bit of sun in 2014. It was April.

Trains! Steam trains!

My mechanic had a fire at his garage. Unfortunately, this beautiful little Cagiva Planet was toasted beyond repair.

And there's mine, getting some repairs done. In the front garden. (He's a great mechanic.)

This half toasted bike is still roadworthy.

The alley behind my office is very popular for people to hang out in.

Dogs sitting on stools in pubs. Great.

Ah yes. I remember now. I did in fact visit New York this year..

Oh look. London.

One of my "photography runs" with the Q in tow.


At home.

Sheepleas charcoal burning.

Oh. Grey.

On the Soho rooftops quite a lot.

Riding London town.

Autumn comes..

The autumn colours this year were fantastic.

Polesden Lacey on a very foggy day.

Head to the light..