Street Photography - Small Camera or Big Camera
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Old 01-13-2019   #1
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Default Street Photography - Small Camera or Big Camera

Well it is clear to me from a perspective of convenience and having a desire to be as unnoticed as possible - that my preference is to have with me as small a camera and lens combo as possible. That is how I normally work.

However I recognized from the last few days of carrying around a big camera/lens combo, that the perception of people is different and that different opportunities are opened up to me. Because this combo is heavy, I have attached it to my Rapid Strap that fortunately I decided to bring with me after pulling it out for some portrait work at home last fall.

THE DIFFERENCE I AM NOTICING:

With my small camera setup, I use a wrist strap and keep the camera tucked in my hand mostly hidden. When I raise the camera to waist height to take a photo, I am generally looking down at the swiveled out LCD screen and snap with my thumb on the shutter release or sometimes tap on the touch screen. People I am shooting hardly notice. When they do notice, I have found that their expressions are initially ones of curiosity - or “What is he doing?” - and then they may just ignore me.

Now what became clear to me recently when walking with a full fledged camera hanging from my side with my hand on it - was that people knew exactly what I was doing and were expecting that I would be taking pictures. So in the market stalls as an example, vendors would be watching me and laughing and talking to others working with them, in anticipation that I would be taking pictures of them. Walking down an aisle, the first person to noticed me would holler down to others something about photo, and all would snicker and straighten themselves up waiting for me to raise my camera.

And with a big normal looking camera hanging at my side, I have had more people not let me pass by them without letting me know they want me to take their picture —- such as this guy on the left last night. When I acknowledged him and pulled my camera to my eye, he pulled his buddy in close to be included.







I have been shooting the streets with a small camera for a long time, and so it was obvious and interesting to see how people reacted differently to a big normal looking camera these last couple of days. I realized that it can be a good thing too. At the end the day though, my arthritic wrists and elbows were in some pain when I put my camera away, and so that will always be a determining factor for my preference to use small cameras.


———

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Old 01-13-2019   #2
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Default Re: Street Photography - Small Camera or Big Camera

Have you considered this system?
https://www.cottoncarrier.com/
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Old 01-13-2019   #3
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Default Re: Street Photography - Small Camera or Big Camera

Interesting.... usually for street the idea is to be a slim and mobile as possible, and not to attract a huge amount of attention... so your "small camera/lens" would fit that well. The Olympus E-PL's, E-M10's or Pen-F seem to be good, with a 1.8 prime (17mm or 25mm) or the variable kit zoom. Going out with a E-M1mkII and a pro 1.2 prime or the 12-40 f/2.8 zoom would seem too big and cause people to shy away.

Maybe you are on to something, or the people there are just more open than other countries....
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Old 01-13-2019   #4
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Default Re: Street Photography - Small Camera or Big Camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Pickles View Post
Interesting.... usually for street the idea is to be a slim and mobile as possible, and not to attract a huge amount of attention... so your "small camera/lens" would fit that well. The Olympus E-PL's, E-M10's or Pen-F seem to be good, with a 1.8 prime (17mm or 25mm) or the variable kit zoom. Going out with a E-M1mkII and a pro 1.2 prime or the 12-40 f/2.8 zoom would seem too big and cause people to shy away.

Maybe you are on to something, or the people there are just more open than other countries....
I see similar responses in the U.S. but it depends on the venue and the city and the attendees, covers a lot but I feel that locals are more wary in their own surroundings and behave more freely at big festivals.
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Old 02-02-2019   #5
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Default Re: Street Photography - Small Camera or Big Camera

When doing street photography I use my Fuji X-Pro 2 and a 23/2 lens. This combo is small/light and gives great images. This size camera does not intimidate folks in front of the lens and I am able to get some great shots.
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Old 02-03-2019   #6
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Default Re: Street Photography - Small Camera or Big Camera

Always a fan Robert. I see about 2 choices here. Small Camera or Long lens. I am partial to the Nikon 70-200 f 2.8. I use it a lot for arts and craft shows. But then I think the people here mostly just don't pay attention. I've gotten pretty good at pointing slightly off center and once they are satisfied and go about their business a quick adjustment gets the shot.


great info Robert, thanks
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Old 02-03-2019   #7
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Default Re: Street Photography - Small Camera or Big Camera

Nice to hear all of your thoughts. Thank you


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