But it has its disadvantages: it has no zoom. It won't focus at all at short distances. It won't open up to take in a whole stump unless I'm so far away that there are a dozen other trees between me and it. It's almost hopeless on scenery. It doesn't like extremes of light and dark; it haloes branches in pink and blue.
But it challenges me to look at things in a different way. Helps me to notice things I might otherwise have missed. Allows me to take photos of small things that I can't quite get close enough to because of the terrain. And, as cameras do, it sees things that I could not.
I was hiking up the Ridge Trail, taking random shots at anything out of normal reach; a scrap of moss, a woodpecker hole, a distant shelf fungus, an oddly-shaped log. On the way up, there wasn't much else to see. I was following a bear's track, which the camera didn't think was as obvious as I did, and the patches of scraped-away duff and the moist sawdust under a log, fallen as the bear checked it for ants, weren't really photogenic. So: bits of moss on distant trunks. And the butterflies.
|A tuft of moss on a tree a few metres away. And what I couldn't see: cladonia lichen and a spotted fly.|
I have to use automatic focus away from home; without my glasses, I can't read the screen any more. So what I want and what the camera thinks is important sometimes conflict, and the camera wins. I found a small patch of periwinkles, already in bloom. I thought they were worth a photo; the camera saw, instead, a tiny spider beside one of them.
|Blurry periwinkle, not-so-blurry spider, upside-down.|
|Blotchy brown shelf fungus, Interesting pattern. Moss, lichen, ferns.|
|Woodpecker snag. As shot. Looks rather spooky to me.|
If you zoom into this photo, you can see the pink tips on the huckleberry shrub on the left.