Art on a budget

Or, the Further Adventures of the $6 Camera.

On a sunny day I went out to play. With the colour set to ‘vivid’ and the image quality at maximum size and ‘super fine’ resolution I was trying to see how much I could get from the PowerShot A70. I’ve kept the images fairly large this time to give the camera its due, and post-processed as needed to correct composition, framing, white balance, colour tone, and exposure (it still has trouble handling the difficult light here).

Look Both Ways

Duncan and Marley, correctly exposed but the white balance was off. Well white snow illuminated by intense and high UV daylight under deep blue sky … there’s probably not one camera in ten that could get that right on its own.

Almost Gone

The shutter response is slow. That is the last of a flat deck equipment trailer behind a semi truck. I pressed the release when the truck came into the frame, and this is what it captured. The truck wasn’t even speeding. Not a good camera for action shots!


The lens is sharp enough. This is about 100% image size here, and if you blow it up to 200% you’re into pixel-peeping land. I must remember to use that wild rose thorn for other lens tests.


Now we get arty. Desaturating all but the yellow and red, which were increased to emphasize the contrast with the bleak surroundings. You see? You can get artistic with a cheap camera! Although I wouldn’t say the composition or framing are the best here, this one nevertheless looks like the type presented by some professional photographers’ works I’ve seen.


A little something in pure monochrome. Shot in colour, I decided it would look better in black & white. I was right. I haven’t tried the camera’s B&W mode yet.

Another Time

Here’s something of an attempt to create an ‘artsy’ feel to the colour. Although it started as vivid (which helps bring up the reds that it seems most cameras are reluctant to reproduce properly) I turned down the saturation, reduced the blue and cyan (everything looks blue up here right now) and adjusted brightness and contrast. Looks somewhat film-like, with more pronounced grain. A bit like the ‘reduced bleach’ colour processing some folk like.

That’s just a few examples of what can be done with a really cheap camera while traipsing around the yard in the dead of Winter. I’m not even really trying here.

Now, do you still think you need that Sony a7R III to be a good photographer?


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