I've been taking photos for quite some time now. Still remember the very first camera that we used to have at home. It was 35mm film point and shoot ricoh camera. during one of our holiday to india, we gave it off someone back in 1993.
From 1993 to Dec 1996 there was no camera at home, so there aren't any family pics either for 3 years. Dec 1996 my sis had a school picnic and it was the last one at that school for her, so my dad bought a camera. It was a minolta 35mm point and shoot.
I had moved to a different school in Apr 1997 (Our Own English Hight School, Abu Dhabi) where I studied from 1997 to 2001 (Grade 7 to Grade 10). Keny ( [link] ) was my classmate.
I started taking pics with the minolta, most of which used to be school picnics / annual day / class parties / summer camp etc. etc.
Every year at the Modern High School, Dubai there is a creative festival held. In 1998 there introduced "on the spot photography" as an event.
Since mine was a small school, the qualifying criteria for the event was having access to an SLR camera for the event. So I couldn't enter in with my minolta. My friend Unni went for it that year and the next for the competition. In 2000 he was taking part in the Maths Olympiad, leaving a space open for the photography competition. Since we were good friends and I was a patient of his dad, I was able to borrow his dad's camera for the event. It was a Pentax.
This was the turning point in my life for photography. I had come in third at the competition (prizes were awarded for the first and second place). But this gave me a reputation among family and friends as a good photographer.
After that i decided that i'll buy a new camera. of course being at school and only source of income being monthly pocket money, i couldn't buy an SLR.
At the Dubai Shopping Festival the following year I bought my first camera.
Pentax ESPIO 135M - My First camera
Apr 2001 - Dec 2003
It was a 35mm film camera with zoom of 37mm - 135mm and cost me AED 550. I used it mainly at school. My family and I had gone on a European Tour in Mar 2002 and to India in Mar 2003. Had taken a lot of pics during both the holidays but not as much as a digital
camera. i think i had used about 6 films per holiday. so thats about 220 shots.
Sep 2003 I moved to London, UK for my undergraduate study. Took only a few pics with the pentax there. I came back to Abu Dhabi for the christmas holiday in Dec and....
Kodak CX6330 - An unexpected gift
Dec 2003 - Jun 2006
My dad got this camera as a gift. it was a 3.1 MP / 3x optical zoom camera. the market value of the camera back then was about AED 1000.
Since i was studying, a digital camera was more economical for me than a film camera. so i managed to get the camera and take it with me to uk. I left the pentax with my family. plus i told i'll be able to regularly email my photos from uk if i had a digital
my entire university life was captured with this camera. i'm really glad i had it. occasionally i did some event / architecture photography with it. during my holidays that were spent in the UAE, i used to go out with Keny and Jayesh for photography. Jayesh bought a Kodak DX7630 in 2005 which i tried out in Dec that year. i was really impressed with its manual control and decided that the next camera would be something similar.
Since Jayesh's and my camera were both Kodak, i decided to look into high end kodak cameras. i was planning to buy a new one sometime in 2006. so was reviewing the cameras out in the market. I liked the Z712 which was for £160. the p850 was for £250. the
night before my final exam the price dropped down by £50 and i bought it online instantly. i did have a look at the canon s3is back then. it was for £260 and out of budget and i preferred having an option of adding an external flash which was there in the p850.
Kodak P850 - understanding photography
Jun 2006 - Jun 2008
it cost me £200 and was a 5MP 12X optical zoom camera. after graduating i had a good time to experiment around and learn with this camera. most of the pics in my gallery are with this camera. this camera is a good example for people (who do not know much about digital photography) to understand that megapixel does not matter. its just a 5MP camera and its still better than 10 or higher MP camera out in market today (point and shoot cameras mainly). london day time / london by night / hyde park / greenwich / red bull air race / dubai autodrome / kew gardens / motorshow / abu dhabi by night / shaikh zayed road - these and many more were all taken with this camera. its a real good camera with full manual control but a bit bulky for parties / social gatherings. so i was looking for something small and handy for such occasions.
Pentax OPTIO M20
May 2007 - Till date
this is a 7MP 3X optical zoom camera. bought it for £70 from the cash award i received for the communication technology subject prize at university. as said earlier, i use it for parties and events where a compact camera can do the job.
I had planned for getting a camera by the end of 2008. but in june I had to go for a cousin's wedding to india. so this would be a good occasion to test a new camera. An SLR is too expensive when it comes to the different lenses that has to be bought with it to fully utilize it. Earlier in Jan Fuji announced its S100FS, I waited for its review to come out which happened in May. It suited me and my style of photography. So I ended out buying it in Jun. It is a 11MP camera 28mm - 400mm (14X optical zoom) and it performs excellently. got it for AED 3000. Did the wedding photography in india with it. Then Singapore and Malaysia in August. I'll be starting in UAE with it this month as the weather has finally cooled down and not humid anymore (May - Sep is dead months in UAE for outdoor photography)
So thats the story so far. For photography I use the Fujifilm Finepix S100FS and pentax optio m20 now. for videography, i'm still sticking with kodak p850 until i buy a dedicated video camera. Pentax ESPIO 135m and Kodak p850 are my personal favorites as i've been able to learn a lot about photography through them.
Finally, my new camera the S100FS has won the following awards till date:
"Best Superzoom Digital Camera" in TIPA Awards 2008
EISA Award as "European Super Zoom Camera of the Year 2008-2009"