I often get asked by people about what camera they should buy, and when the majority of people are using Instagram as their main place to show their images, often my answer is something along the lines of ‘you can’t buy a bad camera these days’.
With places like eBay and Depop being filled with a whole host of second hand cameras, I was wondering what the pros and cons of old digital cameras are for everyday Instagram photography. I have almost all my old cameras, so I’m going to do a bunch of tests to see what is and isn’t viable in 2018.
First up is my 2001 Fujifilm Finepix 2800 Zoom. This was actually my second digital camera. My first was a Toshiba PDR-M60, but that doesn’t work anymore unfortunately. Back to the Fuji, and this is a 2.1MP camera with an incredible zoom on it. I was at art college when I bought this, as I wanted to be able to take photos while I was out and about, and not have to worry about film processing costs. I still used my film SLR for important stuff, but this was going to be for carrying around on a day to day basis.
Although this camera is a dinosaur in terms of today’s digital offerings, the 1600x1200 pixel images are more than enough for posting to Instagram, so what I’m curious to find out, is whether the rest of it’s features are able to make it viable in 2018!
After chuckling when I had to set the date, I had to reorient myself with the camera. To say this is basic would be an understatement! It does have a manual mode, but that only gives you exposure compensation, rather than actual manual control. What’s even more ridiculous, is that to change the exposure, you have to go into the main menu to do it! Hahaha!
I decided the best thing to do would be side by side comparisons of what I would usually post to Instagram using the Fuji, and my usual Olympus PEN-F, editing the way I normally would.
The main thing to notice in the coffee shots is the background blur. The lens quality and wide aperture on the Olympus just completely beats the Fuji hands down. The Fuji also had more noise, which is something I expected as the sensor is super tiny and the processor is over a decade older in terms of technology.
Outside, I was pleasantly surprised at how the Fuji performed. Sure if you zoom right in, the lower resolution and dynamic range start to show their limits, but beyond that, it produced usable images as far as social media goes.
So is this camera viable in 2018? HELL NO!!!!! I mean sure, I’m ideal situations with a good amount of light, provided you don’t want to do anything creative, yeah, this could be viable in a pinch, but... this camera only has ISO 100, and there’s no way to change it. That means as soon as it gets a bit cloudy, let alone slightly dark, this camera doesn’t just suck, it actually can’t do more than give you entirely black images!
This bit of 2001 tech can stay in 2001!