Is Your Camera Better than Mine – Or Not.

Is your Camera is Better than Mine – Or Not.

I confess, at times I dream about owning a Leica digital rangefinder M-E; German design, hand built precision engineering – think of the pure joy of owning a Porsche, Audi, or BMW. The price of a Leica M-E is a little steep (new price $4,700), which is almost half as much as it cost me to travel around the world for 10 months. And, that price is for the camera body only, add a Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH Lens – then tack on an additional $6,000.

I also dream about owning a Canon 5dMark III, or a Nikon 810 with a 36mp million pixel sensor, multi-point autofocus array, matrix metering, Full HD video recording, ultra high ISO, built in flash, external flash control and super high shutter speed  (1/8000). Despite dreaming about the other cameras, I am not complaining about my Fuji-X camera, it is small, light, certainly more stealthy than a large DSLRs.

But the camera I am talking about is my newest camera. It is a F-I-L-M camera (yes kids, one of those cameras that you have to open to put in a small container and load the thin plastic sheet; if you loaded it correctly, you can take up to 36 photos, then remove the film and have it developed…). It is a Revue-3 rangefinder camera, consider it the great grandparent of the Leica M-E (copied by the Russians after World War 2).

Compared to the Leica M-E, Canon 5dMark III, Nikon D810 and my Fuji-X cameras – there are a lot of things the Revue-3 does not have have;

    • It isn’t Digital
    • No Light Meter
    • No Autofocus
    • No WiFi upload
    • No flash sync
    • No +/- exposure compensation dial
    • No Auto white balance (or any adjustment for white balance)
    • No adjustment for ISO
    • No Batteries
    • Not even a neckstrap (or anywhere to attach one)
    • It doesn’t have any exposure modes (Program, Automatic, Aperture priority, Shutter priority, Portrait, Fireworks, Beach, Snow etc…), actually, it doesn’t even have any electronics.

      Despite all the things it doesn’t have – Is your camera better than mine – or Not.


Most or all, the (Revue-3) camera doesn’t have anything – I am 100% in control.

I do not have a light meter – adjusting for the correct shutter speed an aperture are based on my knowledge, my experience to manually set exposure (shutter speed and aperture; there is no setting for ISO).

So – Really, is your camera better than mine ?. You decide. For me, the bare bones simplicity of the Revue-3 is my way of learning. There is no option to rely on a computer programmed to recognize light conditions to set, or suggest the correct exposure. Through experience and some trail and error – I am learning about exposure, about the quality and intensity of light, learning about the balance of foreground light and background light, learning about exposure in sunny conditions and exposure in cloudy conditions, and most of all learning about myself – how I see the light.

I do not expect that many of my exposures will be correct, or that the image will be in correct focus. What I do expect, is that the process of taking my time to really look at the scene before me, and examining the light, thinking about the balance between the highlights and the shadows, thinking about the direction of light and how it will effect exposure, thinking about shutter speed and how it affects exposure.

And, when I go back to using a fully computerized digital camera, it will instantly display the ‘correct’ exposure. Not only will my computer – (the one in my head), have a more in-depth knowledge and understanding of what all the numbers on the LCD screen mean and why they were chosen. My computer, based on experience gained using a camera without a light meter, will also be able to suggest other values for aperture and shutter speed to over-ride the computer in the camera for an exposure that is more meaningful to me. 

And to those of you that snicker and giggle when you see me taking my time – taking a long time (sometime a long, long time) to think about exposure while you simply push the button on your auto-everything cameras…

So Is Your Camera (Really) better than mine – Or Not.

The Importance of having FUN !

FUN. It is a simple word, one of the shortest words in the English alphabet.

FUN. Say it again


Isn’t is bizarre, such an easy word to spell, such an easy word to say.

How many times a day to you say ‘FUN’, and how many times a day to you say ‘FUN’ ?

Most importantly, how many times a day to you actually have FUN ????.


These photos are from a couple of weeks ago. We were traveling by boat from Rottnest Island back to Freemantle (Western Australia). I usually get seasick in big waves – and, sure enough, on the return trip there were plenty of big waves. Even before the boat was untied from the dock, my stomach was starting to churn. My wife also gets seasick, and immediately headed for the lower deck, and sat beside the window to stare at the horizon.

I went to the uppermost deck at the very back of the boat – thinking if I have to puke, better to do it over the side of the boat…on the downwind side. Standing beside me was a young woman. She was enthusiastic. For her, the bigger the waves, the better. As the boat left the shelter of the harbor,  into the big waves, her simile get bigger and bigger. A few moments later, she was hanging on with both hands, and a huge smile from ear to ear.

So sensed my lack of enthusiasm and said ‘ If you are having fun – then you wont get seasick‘. Easy for you to say.

My stomach was starting to churn. I could taste that pre-puke in my mouth.

The spray from the big waves hitting the side of the boat was whipped to the back of the boat, curling back into an eddy to soak those of standing along the back rail. If I puked now, it would surely blow back in the eddy and cover everyone standing near me.

Beside me, she was hooting and hollering, having so much fun. She was getting soaked from the warm ocean spray. There was no doubt she was  having fun. I needed to get out of this sick frame of mind. In desperation, I pulled out my waterproof camera from my pocket and asked her if I could take a few photos. ‘Sure’ – she said, ‘as long as you are having Fun’. Click, click, click. The camera helped. Then she asked to switch places so that I could get the full force of the spray – that would certainly distract me. Sure enough, by the time the boat entered Freemantle harbor, I was thoroughly soaked – and had completely avoided getting seasick.

Who ever she is – Thank you. You managed to take me from a potentially miserable situation, to now, actually wanting to get on a boat on a day with big waves.


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Do What Makes You Happy

Do What Makes You happy




These kids – they are doing something that makes them Happy. Bicycling through the puddles in the rain. Getting soaked, or even falling over in the mid was no problem. They went biking it the rain for no other reason – Simply they did it because it made them happy.

Think back to your childhood, and doing things that made you happy. Doing some of those things, unfortunately, probably got you in trouble. Yes, you got in trouble for not rearing a rain coat, not wearing rubber boots, getting your clothes covered with mud, and probably for getting your bicycle wet too.
We adults still do things that make us happy, but it isn’t the same. Adult would probably fuss about what to wear, would the splashed mud wash out of their clothes, wear a hat to keep their hair dry ?.
So – what are you waiting for ?


Go out – and — Do What Makes You Happy
Don’t question why, don’t over think, don’t worry what others would think, or what others would say.
Just do it.

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