MEAN STREET … MACHINES

Written and researched by Fabio Rigo

Defining what Street photography actually is , it’s a task probably best left to be discussed by much better photographers than me , but one important point is universally agreed by all street photographers (or streephers if you wish) : size matters.
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I am talking about the size and weight of the camera one has to carry around as a mean to capture those beautiful and significant pictures that are the core of street photography . A prerequisite of street photography is to use a camera that is portable and compact, the ideal cameras for street being light in weight and discrete (the less you are seen, the better).

The great masters of reportage belonging to the past analogical era used to use cameras that still have a reputation that borders on myth, in spite of the predominance of digital. The best analog cameras for street photography are the rangefinder cameras, such as Leica M or Voigtlander Bessa, with lens of optimal quality, ranging from 35mm to the canonical 50mm. They are compact so that they do not draw much attention, they are light in weight (mercifully for the necks and arms of the street photographer engaged in long walks on the streets) and finally they have a very silent shutter.
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Here comes 2008 and finally something new appeared on the market that seems to be tailored to answer to the points raised above: the first E.V.I.L. camera (which stands for Electronic Viewfinder, Interchangeable Lens), the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 was presented.

Some people call them mirror-less DSLRs. These cameras have interchangeable lens like DSLRs but they lack a moving mirror and many of them use an electronic viewfinder. However, the key, exciting feature is that EVIL cameras take images at or near DSLR quality but with a significantly smaller and lighter body.

Since the debut , in 2008 , EVIL cameras , or if you prefer a less spooky indication , Mirrorless cameras have been produced by all the major players on the market , from CANON with its quite traditional and subdued EOS M , to the bold and innovative Sony A7 and A7R full frame mirroless camera (the first ever).

In this little space we are going to examine the various possibility of the EVIL world , its pros and cons, specifically considering the world of street photography : it goes without saying that this is meant to be as an informative column , with no pretence of absolute knowledge or originality , just a way to illustrate what I have learned as a first hour EVIL Shooter.

References :

http://www.hydeparkphotography.net/the-best-camera-for-the-street-photography/; http://blog.atmtxphoto.com/2010/10/29/in-search-of-an-evil-camera/ ; http://www.alexcoghe.com/best-cameras-for-street-photography-an-update/

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