My life in cameras: Part 1 Sony DSC-P52

I always liked photography. Maybe it is something that I picked up from my father who would routinely occupy my room to convert it into a darkroom and I was UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES allowed in. He never shared his hobby with me but somehow subconsciously it piqued my interest.

I started to take pictures with a cheap APS point and shoot camera. Looking the pictures are terrible. No one taught me about photography or bought me any books. I just liked to see something and make a picture of it.

Fast forward to 2003 and digital cameras became affordable for normal consumers. So I bought a 350€ Sony DSC-P52 which was really just a cheap point and shoot but as a student I could afford it. It had a whopping 3 megapixels and a very unpractical 41-82mm equivalent zoom lens. It also came with just a small memory card that could hold about 20 images and for a while I could not afford another card so it was worse than film. I went out for 20 images and went home.

Sony DSC-P52: Example pictures

Sony DSC-P52: A combination residential and municipal building
A combination residential and municipal building. (09/2003) Sony DSC P52 12.6mm (80mm eq.)@F9 1/1000s ISO 100

Look at this wonderful 1980s West German building combining commercial real estate, some municipal offices and some housing units. It is incredibly ugly but somehow quite captivating. For an early 2000s digital camera the output is quite nice. Film would most likely still look better but I was sold on the advantages of having digital files.

Now why I would ever think that burning the date onto the image was a good idea is beyond me. But then maybe I knew back then that I would evolve more into documentary than an artistic photographer.

Sony DSC-P52_ A grey municipal building
Grey Municipality (09/2003) Sony DSC-P52 6.3mm(40mm eq)@F8 1/250s ISO 100

A West German county administration building. I do like office and administrative architecture. This one dates to the late 1970s or maybe early 1980s. It is quite dark and confusing inside. It is nice that they added balconies but as it is a government building these are just decorative and not in actual use,

Sony DSC-P52: A CDU party office
Party office (09/2003) Sony DSC-P52 6.3mm (40mm eq.)@F6.3 1/250s ISO 100

I always was a very astute observer of politics. This is from a local office of the party CDU which is considered a moderate conservative party. This party office was just the first floor apartment of a residential house in an unremarkable neighborhood. The city were this picture was taken was definitely not a stronghold for this party.

Sony DSC-P52: Blurry Train BR 120
Blurry train (11/2003) Sony DSC-P52 8mm@F3.8 (51mm eq.) 1/13s ISO 100

I like trains. In fact I like all modes of transportation that are not cars. I really dislike cars in general. I love riding the train though. This shot came out quite nicely despite the blur. Actually the whole picture is blurry but you would not know it by the motion of the train.

I did not use this camera for very long as it was obviously a very limited tool designed for family or holiday snapshots. But I was hooked and soon bought a more capable camera. But that is something for another post.

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