I sometimes wonder what great artists from the past would make of modern technology. Mozart with a synthesiser, Van Gogh showing his work on Facebook, Ansel Adams with a digital camera. Intriguing possibilities. Would great artists still be great outside their own time frame? We'll never know unless someone comes along with a real-life Tardis but I think its probably true that the tools available to us at any time affect what we produce. If I'm cynical I might imagine that Mozart would sound like Jean-Michel Jarre and Van Gogh spend all his time posting pictures of him and his mates "off their faces" on absinthe. However I'd like to think that great artists produce great art no matter what they use.
The Photographer and writer Tom Ang in his BBC television programme A Digital Picture of Britain convinced well-known photographers to work outside their comfort zones and use cameras they were unfamiliar with. I particularly enjoyed the landscape photographer Joe Cornish who at the time was shooting on large-format film, taking pictures on a camera phone, which he duly did using a tripod.
This is the well-known UK landscape photographer Charlie Waite using a compact camera. Well known for his Hassleblad film cameras, Tripods and f/22 this was somewhat of a surprise. However Charlie is not the only photographer who enjoys "Travelling light".
GF2 AS LANDSCAPE CAMERA
One of the great things about the GF2 is there's now no need to compromise on picture quality if you want to use a camera thats compact camera size.
Try as I might I can't get excited by micro sensor compact cameras. Even the best of them leave me disappointed with their results. I find the lack of detail particularly disappointing. The Olympus XZ-1 is the latest "hot compact" but many of the samples posted by Dpreview have far too many areas of featureless "mush" for my liking.
However with the arrival of the GF2 there is now an alternative for those looking for light, small and good quality. Yesterday afternoon the sun came out providing some wonderful light. Having been struggling with a bad back all week I wanted to go out and take some pictures but couldn't face carrying anything even moderately heavy. The GF2 was at hand however and together with the 14mm f/2.5 pancake and 45mm f/2.8 macro lenses I hobbled out the door.
The trip was successful on two fronts. Firstly I got some pictures I was pleased with and secondly forcing myself to stride purposely had a beneficial effect on my back!
I like the GF2 more and more. I've already apologised to it for calling it a "dumbed-down" GF1 and it doesn't seem to hold a grudge. It does make an excellent landscape camera, as does the whole m4/3 range. It also neither breaks the bank or breaks my back.
Words - David
Images - David and Ann