New Toys

A package arrived from Amazon on Friday and my first real chance to open it was yesterday. It was the new camera that I treated myself to earlier in the week; another Sony Alpha, but this time a full frame Sony A7 III

At just over $2,000 it was a purchase that I went back and forth over a few times before finally convincing myself that I should treat myself. I didn’t really need it, but sometimes you have to give into the “wants”.

I have three other Sony Alphas and they are all great cameras but they use what is referred to as crop sensors. So, I wanted to explore the full sensor world, to see what kind of options it might open up to me.

For those of you who don’t know, a full sensor is larger than a crop sensor so it is touted as being able to produce better pictures in low light along with a few other benefits.

So, this morning (having charged it up yesterday), I took it off down to Tampa before dawn, so that I could see what it could do.

I wasn’t really trying to produce any beautiful pictures of downtown Tampa; the other Alphas had done that already for me these past few years. But I wanted to technically evaluate what it might do as compared to the crop sensor cameras, so I brought along one of the “old” ones in order to be able to correctly do a side by side.

The very first thing I did was set up the tripod on the UT side of the Hillsborough River and took one pic with the crop sensor camera and then one with the new.

My goal was to see what different width of view it would give me. And here is what it did. The cameras were both using a lens at around 25mm.

The view from the crop sensor camera is shown in black and white.

So, off the bat, I was clearly thrilled at getting such a wider view and I really look forward to exploring that a bit further over time.

But the thing that really got me, was how much clearer the image was from the new camera in such low light. I had left both cameras in full auto mode, so I wasn’t compensating for anything deliberately. And what thrilled me was that the clarity was mostly achieved through a faster shutter speed.

The new camera was working at four times the speed of the other and that is a startling difference. Shutter speed is king of focus vs blur in situations like this and so this set my mind racing on other things I will be trying over the coming weeks.

Anyway, I have placed a few images at the end of the blog and the two skyline shots are courtesy of the new Sony A7 III. Hope you enjoy!

As I drove home, I wondered why I had dilly dallied on the whole purchase at all, inasmuch as there were clearly going to be benefits, given the specs and the price differences. And one of the deciding factors was recalling a conversation with Brittany before she passed, where she encouraged me to with a “you deserve it, Neville”.

So, I will be naming the new camera “Brittany”.

But deserve or not, the truth is, that there are times in life when we buy ourselves new toys and there are times when we don’t.

I mean, clearly there are moments where money constraints make the decision for us. But other times it really just comes down to how we view ourselves and the importance of anything we are considering.

When we are kids and get our first job or begin to get our financial footing, we often spend on ourselves. A new car. A new TV. Something that excites us and gives us a congratulatory feel.

As we get older, we tend to have everything that we need and most of our wants are associated with those we love and care for. So if we do buy something, it is generally for someone else.

And I truly believe that is the general rule of thumb we should follow. If you are still continually treating yourself to new shit in your sixties, then you are either very selfish or have begun your second childhood a little early.

At that stage, our treating energies are more towards others and we bathe in the reflected joy that we see in their faces when we get them something they need. Most of us realize by that stage that the joy of giving is much brighter than the joy of receiving.

But there is an importance in occasionally still treating ourselves too. And here is why.

I was giving Lola her medicine yesterday and she is very disgruntled at being locked up in a bathroom, away from the other kitties. So this is a rough time for her.

After I had gotten her to swallow the latest syringe of antibiotic, I was rubbing her head and telling her I love her and I heard myself say “you poor baby” to her. Lola is a little over ten, I think and so few consider her a baby any more.

But then I realized we are all babies on the inside. A piece of us has never grown up and still craves the softness and tenderness that babies receive. Once we lose the baby gloss, people around us stop giving us the endless adulation that a baby gets and life loses a little something.

Of course, we pull on our big girl panties and don’t mope about it. We are all big girls now and everyone knows that big girls don’t cry.

But that doesn’t mean, we don’t feel the abandonment. The loss. The fading interest.

Babies, kittens, and puppies … they get all that shit and we watch from the sidelines, a part of us aching for the same love and care that is being lavished on them.

It is something we put away in a box and don’t get offended by and so we toughen up. Life toughens us up.

But the inner child feels the cold and the neglect, regardless.

So, that is why it is important to just occasionally listen to the little voice from within that goes “ooooh” when you see a shiny new camera.

Remember you aren’t really buying it for the adult that you are. You are just treating the little child in the corner of your mind to a little something that reminds them that they too are special. They too are loved.

… just a thought!