The #ShittyCameraChallenge on BlueSky: Out with a #ShittyDigital camera I picked up for 3€, 02 October 2023

The #ShittyCameraChallenge on BlueSky: Out with a #ShittyDigital camera I picked up for 3€, 02 October 2023

I'm a bit of a sucker for naughties digicams (and nineties digital cameras for that matter, though these are often a little harder to find), and an excellent source for cheap digicams here in Portugal is the Computer Exchange (CEX) website. In addition to specific models, quite often they offer 'generic' digital cameras for just a few Euros, and whenever one appears on the website I am tempted to buy it. After all, the most I've paid is about 3€ and with postage is 2,50€ so I can get a working digicam for less than a pint in the UK. What can go wrong?

Of course, you don't actually know what you are going to get as apart from the resolution of the camera in the description the rest of the website entry is also generic, even the image. That said, of the several 'generic' cameras that I have bought from CEX they have all been reputable manufacturers, there's never been a fake Canon or Nikon, and sometimes I've received a real gem, like the Samsung Digimax U-CA3 that cost the princely sum of 1€ and produces the most wonderful digital aerochromes. 

So last weekend a 5MP 'generic' digital camera appeared on the CEX website for 3€, and yesterday the doorbell rang. It was the post lady on her little electric moped with a large heavy envelope from CTT (the Portuguese postal service). Bringing the parcel inside, I was first struck by its weight, these little digicams usually turn up in smaller, lighter bubble wrap filled envelopes. Opening the well wrapped parcel I was completely surprised with what I found: a nearly mint condition Canon Powershot G5.

The PowerShot G5 was the fourth in the G series of digital cameras, introduced by Canon in 2003. With a 5MP CCD sensor, it features a 4x zoom an optical viewfinder and a swivelling colour LCD screen. Images are stored on CompactFlash cards. From what I can gather, the Powershot G5 is quite highly prized, so I was really thrilled to have picked one up for such a great price.

After a cloudy start the sky cleared, and by the late afternoon it was not too hot. I took the opportunity to head out for my customary 'walk around the block' armed with the G5 and a collection of trichrome filters. The images were taken with the camera on set on program mode, where the device chose all of the settings, but was set to black and white mode for the trichromes and 'neutral' colour for the colour images. At each location I took one photograph with a Hoya 720nm Infrared filter and red, green and blue filters to see if I could create a digital aerochrome, one of my favourite exercises. 

The camera was great too use, and the swivelling screen was really useful for those tripod-mointed shots where I would usually be crouched down. The infrared sensitivity of the Powershot G5 was really impressive,  althoughthe images were quite soft.

Upon processing the trichromes, I found the colours quite natural, is a little muted. However, the digital aerochromes came out really well. I also tried some red/blue channel switching on the colour images taken with the infrared filter and for the first time several of these came out lovely.

I have two of these G5s now, the other came from the Kamerastore in 'not passed' condition although it works really well, so what I am thinking is that during the #ShittyCameraChallenge I'll remove the IR cut filter from the Kamerastore G5 and see how it works full-spectrum. However, looking at the number of screws on the body I hope that I'm up to it.

#VintageDigital, #Infrared, #Tree, #Landscape, #Nature, #Monochrome, #Digicam, #Aerochrome, #Trichrome, #ShittyDigital, #ShittyCameraChallenge,