is less exciting and far less useful than the 40 seconds that this crazy reflected light shone on the wall.

Luckily, I dropped what I was doing, whipped out the camera, and fired off half a dozen shots in AP mode at various -EV settings, otherwise I would be cursing myself and wondering what to shoot for the 365 today…

So what did I do all day? Well, I’ve been wanting a more compact camera to carry around, and to try out street shooting with, as the D7000 is rather large and loud and bulky for general use, and the iPhone4 seems a bit dinky. So I researched small point-and-shoot type cameras all morning, looking for a pocketable (or slightly larger) version of the D7000. [In case you’re wondering, such a beast does not exist: the sensors in pocket cameras are too small to offer the dynamic range, bokeh, or anything else of even the crop sensor in the D7000.]

Barring that, I was looking for a compact point-and-shoot with easily accessible manual controls, decent image quality, a wide aperture, and practical focal length(s) for general walkaround purposes, i.e. something offering a range like that of the the 36-72mm E-Series or the 35-200mm Tokina (both of which would blow away any lenses on any point-and-shoot cameras, despite their age). [My current favorite lens on the D7000 is the 24mm f/2.8, which offers a field of view similar to that of a 36mm lens on a 35mm camera, and I’d like to be able to go from that to ~150 or ~200 on occasion.]

When all was accounted for (price in the $300-$600 range; image quality; ease-of-use; relative size), I found that there are roughly two cameras out there that fit my desires: the recent-ish Canon s100 and the 2-year-old Panasonic Lumix lx5, neither of which seem like they’d get used more or be more inconspicuous than the iPhone.

Good news: I saved myself ~$500 and a trip to Arlington.

Bad news: I stared blankly at a computer screen for 7.5 hours instead of finishing up my weekend chores, taking myself to breakfast, and going to a photography meetup at the Renaissance Faire.

But at least I had the presence of mind to grab this shot, so that’s a check in the win column I suppose.

D7000. Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 AI. ISO100, 1/80, f/2.8, -2EV, rather heavily processed when compared to my usual post-work of late: +1.6 to Exposure, Black Point; +.14 to Brightness; +.4 to Saturation; +.1 to Vibrancy.

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  1. Buy a compact film camera! An olympus XA would only set you back like $80, and the picture quality would far exceed any sub $800 digital camera