Thursday, September 10, 2020


 The problem with taking a class that you're trying to document for a writeup is that it's hard to get good photos. Sure, you can pull your phone out of your pocket every so often, but that has limitations. Either you have to get up in the instructor's grille or you have to crop heavily to get decent shots.

I tend to stash a DSLR somewhere along the sidelines. If we're running two relays on the line, I shoot pics while the other string is shooting bullets. If we only have one, I ask to be put at either the far left or far right end of the line so I can fall out during a drill and grab some photos while causing minimal disruption to my fellow students.

Stashing a camera on the sidelines is okay under most circumstances, although I did have blowing grit put paid to the little motorized lens cover on my beloved first Nikon Coolpix P7000 when I left it hanging off my range bag on the sidelines of that inaugural Citizens Defense Research class outside of Topeka; that's a job best left to moderately rugged DSLRs.

I have found a use for pocket cams under these circumstances, though. My Sony RX100 fits in my shirt pocket as easily as a cell phone and, unlike my cell phone which offers me a 24mm & a 50mm equivalent lens, it has a 24-105mm equivalent zoom, and a nice fat 1" 20MP sensor to go with it. In those second two photos above, I'm actually exploiting the zoom on the camera by standing behind fellow attendees and shooting past them at a longer focal length.

It's a whole lot easier to pull the little Sony out of my pocket in a hurry than to jog over to the sidelines and grab the real camera when I'm in a hurry. The DSLR still sees a lot of use, but the little pocket camera fills a niche, too.