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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 30 Jan 2018 (Tuesday) 13:23
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How do you photograph YOUR family, candidly in the real-world (without your DSLR)?

 
DeCeccoNET
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Post edited 3 months ago by DeCeccoNET. (2 edits in all)
     
Jan 30, 2018 13:23 |  #1

How do you photograph your family's unplanned/candid moments? I'm referring to those times when your very active children spontaneously do something amazing, inside a naturally (poorly lit) living room on a rainy evening. Or when they start dancing in the middle of a shopping mall, and you want to stop the action and capture the moment?

I sold my full frame setup years ago to focus on other things. Shortly after my son was born, i realized how much I enjoyed capturing naturally lit, candid "life" moments beyond the abilities of my phone, and picked up my 70D. Looking back 4 years, a baby girl, and another on the way - more and more I'm leaving the DSLR at home in order to focus on parental duties. I understand that the best camera is always the one with you. I've been trying to get by with my iPhone 8Plus and manual control apps, but am very frustrated with the loss of detail at high ISOs. I tried to get by with a small prime, and also considering downsizing my gear to a MFT setup like an Olympus E-M5II - but who knows if even that's going to be too much for me to carry once number 3 joins the party...


Sold all my gear to support starting a family... who inspired me to re-focus on photography again.
70D, EF-S 24 2.8, EF 24-70 2.8L II, EF 100 2.8L Macro

  
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MalVeauX
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Jan 30, 2018 14:05 |  #2

A smartphone pretty much is 99.9% of the world's answer to this in reality.

For me, I won't use my cellphone unless it's the only thing I have.

I generally walk around with a small compact APS-C sensor camera (Fuji X100S and sometimes a Fuji X-T1). One of my favorite forms of photography is family photojournalism. ISO performance is of no issue to me, they do the job easily. And if I'm in ok light, my base ISO allows for very heavy shadow lifting in RAW. These are older, really affordable cameras too. My glass is all manual too, but I prefer that even with my kids running around. The X100S would be my top pick for "do it all" because it has a leaf shutter, is dead silent, and has built in flash that can sync at any shutter speed. It just takes care of everything.

At home, I always have my X100S or my X-T1 with a 12mm F2 or 56mm F1.2 attached sitting near me ready to go. Every day. And I take my X100S every where we go. It's small.

This thread is easily my favorite on POTN: http://photography-on-the.net …read.php?t=1419​800&page=1

My X100S next to my Galaxy S7:

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4690/39430567111_c5aaf4dcb7_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/235k​XRZ  (external link) DSCF7541 copy (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

For candid crazy stuff, I mostly use my X-T1 and ultrawide 12mm F2. It goes every where, is way smaller than my dSLR stuff, and I don't even have to focus, it's hyperfocal and I just compose and capture. It's really quiet too.

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4590/39485437161_be4f1c9f40_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/23ac​bPk  (external link) DSCF7609 copy (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4693/25456321828_c3683457db_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/EMui​Au  (external link) DSCF7471 copy (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

And my X100S is always on hand. So even if there's a moment that will never happen again, I can get it just as fast as someone with a cellphone, but with a lot more latitude:

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4732/24359008907_1d1a99f608_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/D7wh​Gc  (external link) X10S9868 copy (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

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DaviSto
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Jan 30, 2018 14:40 |  #3

Back in the day ... a long, long time ago, I had a Rollei 35S that I would always carry with me ...whatever I was doing, wherever I went. I still have it somewhere (although it's not very functional having been dropped from a great height).

I don't like using a phone as a camera. I want a viewfinder ... I want something that feels and handles like a camera. But I do want a proper camera that can always be with me, again.


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Jan 30, 2018 14:53 |  #4

I'm very impressed for what I have seen from Pen F (including low light indoors). It could be one camera to do it all.

I'm the one who has camera almost always, since December 2008, then we as family purchased 500D.
I'm rarely taking staged portraits, I have no gift for it, all I take is how people are for real, family and anyone else.

I always have one camera ready and nearby at home. I did it with 500D, then 5D, then 5DMKII, then Leica M-E, plus 500D again and now just with 500D, while M-E went for service today and for months. I also did it with my film rangefinders. For in home I know how to bump ISO and use flash. As film user I don't mind grain and it is only something visible on full screen and close, while no problems at all on prints.

For outdoors, then 5D was sold due to its bulk, I used 500D again, but with 24mm pancake and then M-E. If we go on the beach or skiing or if I don't want advanced camera, then I take tiny 8MP Lumix with fast Leica zoom. Or I just use my film rangefinder camera which is my everyday, everywhere camera.

I also like to use iPhone from time to time to record short indoor, outdoor videos. But I'm not finding it fast and handy enough for quick photography.


This is how I usually take it. No staging. We just came to the office pool with kids and I took my camera from the bag, get single shot and put it back, it took ten seconds or so:

IMAGE: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8605/28346883725_44f040f4c4_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/KbVb​Wz  (external link)

Old Site (external link). M-E and ME blog (external link). Film Flickr (external link). my DigitaL and AnaLog Gear.

  
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PNPhotography
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Jan 30, 2018 15:41 |  #5

My Canon G-15 (Need to upgrade soon) is with me mostly always for the same reasons MaLVeaux mentioned.Kinda pisses off the wife though that It's mostly pointed at her.


6D|7D|7DMKII|Nikon D750|Nikon 85 F1.8|Nikon D5500|G15| Gripped|300F4|35F2IS|8​5 F1.8|135L F2|200L F2.8|17-55 F2.8|70-200L F2.8 MKII|430EX|
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MalVeauX
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Post edited 3 months ago by MalVeauX.
     
Jan 30, 2018 16:09 |  #6

I found that be it public, or my own friends & family, if I had my big dSLR and a big lens and a flash, they paid more attention to me and I felt more singled out and less fun for me to be up close and involved and having fun too.

Since I moved to the X100S, no one notices it really. it's small, the lens is a pancake (but still 35mm FOV and F2 speed), looks retro, isn't imposing or intimidating, and it's dead silent (leaf shutter), so you can't even tell I've taken a photo even if I'm within a few feet. And because it's a simple little small thing, people just accept it more and it's less questionable. Hard to really describe it perfectly, but it just gets more social acceptance, kind of like how no one really questions smartphone camera use anymore, and frankly expect it. A little camera also gets a level of social acceptance. I have a lot more fun being up in it too. I even pass it around if others want to play and shoot a few shots. Everyone becomes comfortable. Now, no one cares if my camera is out with these little cameras. I have a lot more fun. I was super conscious of the noise of the mirror slap on my dSLR's in public and when out with my kids. But with a silent shutter, I'm so much more comfortable, and it's less obvious, and I get all the candid stuff I want, no different than a smartphone, but with a big sensor and a lot more latitude to work the files. I got my X100S for about $300ish 2nd hand through KEH. Newer ones even have wifi and stuff. I was happy with the older models for my purposes as I expect it to take a beating.

I also find my wife uses my X100S and is happy to use it. She knows to grab it and take an extra battery. She's usually killing a 128Gb SD card in her phone with taking hundreds of photos at any single moment or video. She doesn't like fooling with my "cameras." But the X100S is a small, less imposing, simple, and not intimidating to use. Yet still has excellent performance. I use RAW+JPG so that if there's something I really want to work later, I have the RAW. Otherwise, we have excellent JPG right out of the camera. Fun for all. And since we all enjoy to use it, and it's simple, my 4 year old even likes to take pictures with it, it's with us everywhere we go. Handles low light & high ISO fine for me. And for my use in really low light, I have EVF + focus peaking with manual focus and I can get shots that my dSLR failes to even hope to get, and I love that.

I can't stress enough how pleasing it is to have a silent leaf shutter. They don't even know I've take the photo. I don't ruin a moment, I simply capture it. I'm quite happy.

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4587/38644931945_f394086aca_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/21SV​nU6  (external link) X10S9926 copy (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4587/39174842322_1f33b8dff7_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/22FK​iMU  (external link) X10S9728 copy (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4561/38177175315_b115716c82_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/21aA​19B  (external link) X10S9596 copy (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4556/24735406668_13e8817a39_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/DFMq​CL  (external link) DSCF9290bw (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4575/38532443606_e2394850c8_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/21GY​R2Y  (external link) DSCF6237 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4570/38346741392_567ce7f6cd_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/21qz​5eE  (external link) DSCF8998 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4539/38302486344_bc0a0cf183_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/21mE​fKA  (external link) DSCF6696 copy (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

I'm all about the candid day to day stuff. Those are the real memories.

I take it around with me. Fits right in. No one cares about my camera now. I got so used to it, that I sold my three full frame cameras. I keep a big honking dSLR around for my action/wildlife stuff and big telephoto work, but for day to day, mirrorless and small is what I use. This thing is the size of my Galaxy S7, just thicker of course, but the sensor improvement and latitude of the files is why I do it.

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4561/38055083724_baf4941d4b_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/ZYNf​zb  (external link) DSCF6394 copy (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

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DaviSto
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Post edited 3 months ago by DaviSto.
     
Jan 30, 2018 16:35 |  #7

MalVeauX wrote in post #18552770 (external link)
Since I moved to the X100S, no one notices it really. it's small, the lens is a pancake (but still 35mm FOV and F2 speed), looks retro, isn't imposing or intimidating, and it's dead silent (leaf shutter), so you can't even tell I've taken a photo even if I'm within a few feet. And because it's a simple little small thing, people just accept it more and it's less questionable.

I also think the Family Photojournalism thread is one of the most engaging on POTN and I see a lot of what you post there shot with this little camera.

I'm 'kinda' (very) tempted (the X100S really is a close digital equivalent to my old lovely Rollei 35S). But I just feel that I could do with something that also offers a bit more reach. I really enjoy shooting candid head shots and I'm not totally bad at it. I'd like to have the option of doing that ... not just the 35mm FOV, which I know is great for environmental portraits and PJ shooting.


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MalVeauX
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Jan 30, 2018 16:44 |  #8

DaviSto wrote in post #18552798 (external link)
I also think the Family Photojournalism is one of the most engaging on POTN and I see a lot of what you post there shot with this little camera.

I'm 'kinda' (very) tempted (the X100S really is a close digital equivalent to my old lovely Rollei 35S). But I just feel that I could do with something that also offers a bit more reach. I really enjoy shooting candid head shots and I'm not totally bad at it. I'd like to have the option of doing that ... not just the 35mm FOV, which I know is great for environmental portraits and PJ shooting.

I started with X100S, well, just the X100 line in general (fixed lens). It wasn't too long after that I ended up getting a 2nd body with interchangeable lens options, for me, it was the X-T1. Barely over $400ish 2nd hand. I use it for my longer and wider lenses when I want more control. It's no bigger than the X100S. The lenses are the only thing bigger, as expected, and they're all F1.2 & F1.4 glass so I have options. The big bright EVF is awesome, even in day light, lag free, and I can nail F1.2 focus no problem on moving targets with it with focus peaking (all my glass is manual ). The glass was cheap too (bought it new through Adorama), at $350 being about the going rate for an awesome sharp wide open F1.2 and F1.4 lens of virtually any focal length you care about, and my 12mm F2 is my slowest, but probably the gem of the bunch, as I'm an ultrawide-junkie.

Regardless of make/model/brand, the bottom line for me was a smaller camera, smaller system, quiet system, modern features, more manual control. But mainly, it's small size and silent operation.

Very best,


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Jan 31, 2018 01:01 |  #9

DaviSto wrote in post #18552798 (external link)
I also think the Family Photojournalism thread is one of the most engaging on POTN and I see a lot of what you post there shot with this little camera.

I'm 'kinda' (very) tempted (the X100S really is a close digital equivalent to my old lovely Rollei 35S). But I just feel that I could do with something that also offers a bit more reach. I really enjoy shooting candid head shots and I'm not totally bad at it. I'd like to have the option of doing that ... not just the 35mm FOV, which I know is great for environmental portraits and PJ shooting.

Take a look at the X-Pro or X-E line cameras. With those you could use the XF 35/2, 50/2, or many other small lenses to suit what you need.

To answer the OP: I don't have any kids of my own, but I do have a few nieces, nephews, kids I coach, and plenty of friends. I pretty much always have a camera with me. As Martin pointed out, the X100 is so light you really don't even notice it's on you with a comfortable strap (mine's a simple brown leather one). If you wanted to go even further you could get something like a Ricoh GR, Fuji X70, or Nikon Coolpix A (if you can find one), any three of those still offers an APS-C sensor, 28mm FOV lens, and can fit in the pocket of your jeans.


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Jan 31, 2018 06:13 |  #10

I also use to use a big full frame camera but got tired of lugging it about, got into Fuji and happy out now. I use whatever I have at the time, like my X-pro2 with the 18/2 on it for PJ stuff. Loads on images from them in my gallery on here. But I'd agree with the above about the X100s/t/f small enough so you will carry it about with you and fast enough to grab the shot. I almost never use my iPhone anymore but at times it works

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Jan 31, 2018 06:14 |  #11

I carry one of my cameras with me every day in case I come across something worth shooting. However, I also recently purchased a Google Pixel 2 XL smartphone which is supposed to have the best smartphone camera on the market. I have not used it that much yet but the pictures I have taken so far have been very impressive for a smartphone camera.

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Jan 31, 2018 06:25 |  #12

Canon M5 with pancake lens... then you can have other lenses to do other events and long distance. Small, compact, works well.


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DeCeccoNET
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Jan 31, 2018 07:58 |  #13

Thank you all very much.

MalVeaxU

You've inspired me to look at the X100 series. Your captures (are comments) are beautiful and represent exactly what I hope to achieve. I've used 24mm pancake with my children, and enjoyed it very much. I thought i was helping myself in switching to 24-70 as they got older (and faster) - but in practice feel that a little more cropping in post would have been an acceptable trade-off to the bulk.

TeamSpeed

I haven't yet looked closely at the EOS-M series but idea of replacing my DSLR with an adapter mount is tempting. Combining an M100 with a 100L Macro would certainly look interesting  :p I just need to figure out which direction is best for my needs.

I'm going to go back to a local store and try X100F and a the EOS-M systems with an SD card in hand - (I just wish the demo units didn't have the bulky zooms attached). I briefly owned a 6Dmk2 a few weeks ago. It reminded me of everything I loved about my 5Dmk2, especially shooting high-ISO. Then I realized that I'd never be able to carry a toddler, diaper bag and the camera, and returned it a day later.


Sold all my gear to support starting a family... who inspired me to re-focus on photography again.
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Jan 31, 2018 08:37 |  #14

If I'm not using an SLR, I'm not taking photos.


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DeCeccoNET
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Feb 01, 2018 15:05 |  #15

Thank you all for sharing your captures. I was able to try out the x100F, EOS M6 and a few other bodies locally. You've all convinced me that for my needs ā€“ mirror-less seems to be the way to go. The Fujifilm options are all very nice... The X100F is a beautiful (and surprisingly light) camera. If I decide to go this route ā€“ Iā€™d likely gravitate towards one of the interchangeable options and sell all of my Canon gear.

I also want to play with the EOS-M6 a little more - I'd feel a little safer making the move and still being able to use my gear if the situation calls for it. I was surprised at how loud the shutter was, and how my nose kept unintentionally activating the touchscreen and shifting the focus point, but that could be user inexperience. Also toying with the idea of an M100 with a 22mm f/2 ā€“ as a no excuse for not having it in my pocket option, and holding onto my 70D for a little while longer.


Sold all my gear to support starting a family... who inspired me to re-focus on photography again.
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How do you photograph YOUR family, candidly in the real-world (without your DSLR)?
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