Phase One Camera, better than the non-consumer Nikon & Canon cameras?

June 16, 2009
Ray Lum’s Photo Studio @ Pine Street

Walter Borchenko of Toronto, the top representative in North America of the new Phase One camera did a presentation on the camera, alongside the Capture One Pro 4 software. Walter was this big hulk of a guy with that confidence that exudes an air of skepticism within my gutts, he looks like a healthier version of the artist Salvador Dali. I really like certain physical aspects of the camera. It’s easier to handle, it’s lighter than a D-SLR camera, full frame viewer, F2.8, has beautiful sharp Hasselblad lenses.. made with top of the mark camera parts. You can put different digital & film backs, even a large format backing! It was impressive. Walter repetitively had an objective opinion that it was all about the equipment, the camera a photogrpaher has. He portrayed that if we didn’t have the Phase1 camera, we are not good photographers… Did not like those words at all, and I’m sure that if Dali was still alive he would object with me.

Professional photographers were asking technical inquiries. Especially concerns that a photo shoot may unexpectedly have to deal with, and Walter never answered the questions thrown his way. He shut down the photographers with “Who gives a crap. All I know is it works” defense mechanism answers. He was a representative who should know a lot about the camera, but ironically he did not really know how it worked. We ask, and he would be “I don’t know. I don’t care to know what it’s all about. It’s magic”. It sucked that he didn’t know the nuts & bolts of the camera, coz instead of being impress, I found myself having more questions about the camera’s abilities. He spoke full of contradictions. He showed us videos where the camera was microwaved, stored in below zero environment & stepped on by an elephant. What I want to know is if it will still stay intact if it gets accidentally smashed on cement floor, or if it will still function after it falls in a puddle or water, which is a circumstance photographers may have to deal with.

Capture One Pro 4 has really interesting features that makes post-production editing of photos easier, but unlike programs like Adobe Lightroom & Aperture, it is very limiting. I found it pricier too compared to Adobe Lightroom with what it has to offer. I dont know about the Capture One Pro 4, but I can consider myself purchasing Phase One camera. I just did not appreciate how it was presented to us. I do not agree with Walter that having a good camera makes a good photographer. I still believe in the old standards of what defines a good photographer: Composition, Lighting and Creativity. I still use plastic cameras and other crappy cameras, because I like the beautiful effect of imperfection, and also I cannot afford to purchase my own non-consumer D-SLR, just yet. But that doesn’t stop me from creating good photographs. As a matter of fact, there is a revolution done by passionate photographers who were resourceful enough to come up withlighting solutions, given a limited budget. Yes, their solution may look tacky, but they are able to be in control of the given condition to make good photographs. Check the cool Strobist dude who made a revolution out of using lighting alternatives to create beautiful photographs:


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