First Love: Olympus Camedia D150

By PF Staff in Influential Photo Gear on Jan 9, 2013

In January 2001 I bought my first digital camera and immediately a paradigm shift occurred in my photography when I transitioned from analog to digital.   My new digital camera, an Olympus Camedia D150 held multiple advantages over film as I had more creative control, instant feedback and substantial cost savings in the hobby I love.

A very small LCD back with minimal information.  The menu selection was very simple and the viewfinder was used for composing your images.
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Creativity flowed as I discovered the one-two punch of a digital camera and Adobe Photoshop.  This camera gave me total creative control from the minute I clicked the shutter to the moment I worked with the images in Photoshop.  It was like magic. 

Instant feedback also came with this little gem. In seconds I knew how many photos were keepers. Before digital only Polaroid film offered pictures in an instant and that instant took 60 seconds.  This tiny LCD gave me the quick feedback I needed so I could decide if changes were needed in camera position, exposure, composition or lighting.  Now I was in control. 

A very small LCD back with minimal information.  The menu selection was very simple and the viewfinder was used for composing your images.

My wallet also felt lighter.  No longer would I have to spend hundreds of dollars on film and developing costs for vacations.  With 35mm film a typical vacation might end up costing $200-$300 and no guarantee how many pictures were good.   A media card was a one time cost and could take hundreds of images for pennies per shot.  I got rid of my slide projector and discovered digital slide shows.   I quit buying black and white film in bulk and loading my own.  I no longer had to buy chemicals and paper and spend hours in my darkroom to get one decent black and white print.  A few clicks of the mouse and several images were ready for printing.

Today, this Olympus point and shoot is a  paperweight that is full of great memories.  Camera phones today take better pictures then this antique.  Prints were limited to no larger than 4x6 due to its a tiny 1.3 megapixel sensor and crude processor.  I was frustrated because my 35mm film camera took better pictures.  The Olympus became a novelty and I wanted better results. The love affair ended when I bought my Pentax K10D.  Then my photography began to really rock using the full potential of post processing software and a digital single lens reflex camera.  As the saying goes, we have to crawl before we walk.

An example of an image from the Olympus camera.  Even at low resolution you can see the grain and soft focus. Made me wonder why I gave up film. This photo was tweaked in Lightroom 4 which was not available in 2001.  I burned in the sky, reduced exposure by one stop, increased contrast and sharpened.
 
A weak flash and 1.3 megapixels pushed the limits of the camera when shooting indoors.  Photo is unedited. Today an I Phone could deliver a better image.
 
Another image from the Olympus.  This is untouched and straight out of the camera.  The fill flash helped reduced some contrast. A little editing in Photoshop or Lightroom is needed.  Cropping is limited due to the 1.3 megapixel sensor.

- k9lover

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