SMALLER, FASTER, LIGHTER, QUIETER
Magnum photographer Alex Majoli was on to something and ahead of his time when he ditched the SLR in 2003 and began shooting exclusively with Olympus point-and-shoot cameras. Many of these early images ran in top publications like Newsweek and Vanity Fair and Majoli was awarded Magazine Photographer of the Year by the NPPA.
As he relayed to Rob Galbraith here, the size of the camera and the greater depth of field that comes with moderate apertures like 5.6 and 8 led to his decision to ditch the SLR. With the new Fuji X100 entering the professional market along with the micro four-thirds format popularized recently by Olympus and Panasonic, I foresee more and more editorial photographers incorporating these tools into their documentary workflow.
This week I've been in Colorado with meetings along with a daily dose of fly fishing the Eagle River. I've been tempted to pack along an SLR in a dry housing but with the frenetic pace of doing a river float, there simply isn't time to slow down, crack open the Pelican case and compose a frame. So, my Canon G10, nearly three years old, in a waterproof housing has been a fantastic tool for making professional-grade images without the hassle and anxiety of taking my Nikons out on a class 3 river.
It's smaller, faster, lighter, quieter, less noticeable and when you make use of presets and master the Flexi-Zone autofocus controls, you come away with a quality file. I'm looking forward to the next generation of point and shoot cameras as they offer a more affordable and, depending on your shooting style, better alternative for editorial shooting.