Is it ever ethical to take a photo of someone without their knowledge? When I was in Philadelphia, some of the best images were of the people. A large city has such diversity, and each individual has a unique story. Pointing a large Nikon at them just seems wrong, even at a distance with zoom lens. Would using a stealth camera be any better? Or perhaps its a matter of intent – photojournalism is OK (think Dorothea Lange’s images during the Depression), security surveillance is distasteful, but seems to have become a necessity in this day and age. Regardless, I decided that neither my Nikon SLR, nor my bulky first-generation Fuji digital are adequate for quick captures.
Not that I want to spy on people, but I like the idea of having a camera at the ready at just about any time. Camera phones appear to be the best option, except that the quality still isn’t up to snuff, and getting the images into a useable format can be a pain, not to mention potentially expensive with wireless service fees, etc. I don’t hear as much about moblogging nowadays. I think those difficulties prevented a critical mass of bloggers from taking up the practice, so it seems to have faded.
I like the little camera I got for Laura. The Nikon 2600 is small enough to fit in a pocket (and small enough to walk off with, as we discovered.) It has some nice features, and can also fit in the palm of your hand. It’s large enough so that you don’t APPEAR to be stealthy, but you can be. Rather than steal Laura’s camera, I got the Nikon CoolPix S1. Mine came in today, and I haven’t had much of a chance to play with it. Length and width are just about the same as Laura’s, but it is much, much thinner. While I love the size, there are some compromises. It comes with a lithium battery, but if the battery runs low, you can’t use standard batteries, as with the 2600. Gotta make sure it stays charged. There also appears to be no way to charge the camera or get images from the internal memory without the docking station. You can use the SD card with an adapter, but it would be nice to attach a cable without having the station.
I don’t expect to take great photos with this camera, but I’ll save my N60 for that.