The only thing I wanted for Christmas this year was a new camera. My last one died at the beginning of 2013 and repairs would’ve cost more than buying a replacement. Even so, I hadn’t had the money to invest in one since [ shortly thereafter I took an indefinite sabbatical from my studies abroad which ended in the truncation of my PhD program due to a certain ‘cease and desist’ of my funding and 2 years on full-time medical leave …. But that’s a long story for another time and place ] . But this year, I knew it was time. Time for a new camera, a new phase in my life. And with the inauguration of figandblack.com – which will have a heavy photography focus – came that new camera.
I give you the Pentax K500. I didn’t end up opting for one of the Big 2 [ Canon or Nikon ] because, A. they’re much, much more expensive for comparable medium range cameras and B. Pentax had astonishingly good reviews. Pentax is another long-standing Japanese brand and if you’ve read my 1Q84 review you may get a sense of my madness for Japanese craftsmanship [ and all things Japanese, really. Yes I am unabashedly a Japanophile ] and felt that Pentax was a trustworthy competitor.
Like with any major purchase, I spent weeks reading reviews on different camera makes and models. I probably watched 50 side by side YouTube comparisons of Nikons v Canons v Pentaxes [ among others ] . But for my needs, the K500 [ identical to the K50 minus the weather-sealing feature ] checked all of my boxes.
Arrive : Christmas Day. And there was my beautiful new camera, the big gift I received from my parents this year. Thankfully, it has been a mild winter for us so far, so later that afternoon my dad and I took her out for a spin. Here are the results – of about 20 photos I saved 3. I love the heft of it, and the smooth action of the zoom, in particular. My last camera [ the one that died overseas, RIP ] was a beginners’ model [ I can’t remember the brand for the life of me ] and as such its features were relatively basic. This new model will take a bit of getting used to. But we have a plot of undeveloped land behind our housing development, lots of trees and a little stream running through, so we took a walk past the brush, up and over an abandoned train track, and down to the main road which runs right by a field of sunflowers. They always look beautiful at the end of the summer. Though in my opinion, these colors are equally stunning.