160212 Home Depot - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

The other day I went to Home Depot. It was just a quick late-night run, so I tucked my Ricoh GRDiv in my pocket for the trip. I really like this little camera – it's just a bit smaller than the 1.5x-sensor GR, and it's at least as tough. It's also the oldest digital camera that I still routinely use, and that's part of its charm.

The GR Digital IV was announced four and a half years ago, but I strongly suspect that it uses the same sensor as the Canon S90, which came out two years earlier. That's ancient. But rather than being a drawback, it's exactly what I like about the little machine. I'll shoot raw in colour, but mostly I like to use it for monochrome jpegs. That suits the heritage of the GR line perfectly. 

There's a different look to small-sensor images. There's no need to stop down past f/4 to get everything in focus, and focusing itself isn't much of an issue. This look is also part of the appeal of the Pentax Q, the tiny interchangeable-lens camera that uses these same sensors, which I think about buying every time a generation goes on clearance. But by then all the good colours are gone, so I let them go.

Click on the small photos to make them bigger.

So: Home Depot. The one that's easiest to reach for me is at the end of a suburban subway line, complete with extensive parking lots. At the end of the weekend there weren't many people around, adding to the sense of isolation. That doesn't really explain all of the abandoned carts, but I suppose everyone needs a hobby.


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