“If there isn’t a picture, it didn’t happen.” –So sayeth someone including me.
Backstory: Way back in the day, I started my more serious foray into photography using a 2 1/4 x2 1/4 Yashica D. No, I’m not that old, it was a loaner. At the same time, I had access to a Minolta –no idea of the model– with a match-needle metering system. I really miss that Minolta. A few years later, I finally had a little bit of money to buy a more name-drop camera and bought a Nikon FM. I hated that camera. And then real life got in the way and I could no longer afford film or paper or the chemistry so my photography endeavors came to a screeching halt. Fast forward into the 90s with digital all the rage, I started carrying around a little Cannon point-and-shoot and promptly upgraded at every opportunity. Some models were great, others not so much. Marching forward to 2013, a big trip to China was coming up so it was time to graduate to something a little more serious so I bought a Samsung NX1000. Mirrorless, fairly lightweight, interchangeable lenses, live-view LCD screen, adequate to get me by for a good while or so I thought. It did serve me well. But alas, it’s been relegated to the box-of-unloved-toys.
Six months after booking The Really Big Trip, Mr. TxP and I made a quick trip to India and went on a too-short wildlife drive in the Bandipur Tiger Reserve. I had spotted a bird that I wanted to photograph but trying to shoot action using only an LCD screen just doesn’t cut it. Oh! Nice tail feathers!!!
I decided right then and there that I need to get more serious and buy a camera with a viewfinder. Yeah, bigger, heavier…but oh so necessary if one wants to shoot wildlife or anything that moves. In case you’re wondering….no Tyger! Tyger! burning bright. *sigh*
Many research hours later and a massive amount of eye-strain, I settled on a Pentax K-50. One of the big draws was its weatherproofing. Second, it was a good compromise between quality and value as it was a ‘last-years’ model. Ratings from various sources were good. Clickety-click. I traveled with the K-50 body, 55-300 WR zoom, and the 18-55 which never saw the light of day. It’s was just too difficult to try and change lenses for a number of reasons. When I found myself in the position that I need to shoot something positioned at my feet…I whipped out my trusty Lumia 925 Windows phone.
Additional batteries were purchased as I already knew that cold temps tend to rapidly drain lithium batteries. This little factoid can be confirmed by the crew filming the 360° VR feature for Quark. All the while, I carried on a raging debate with myself about using a polarizer or not. I went with ‘or not’ and now I wish I had.
Major purchases have been made. Minor tweaks as needed. It’s now a waiting game.