Spring is time for Cactus Blooms…and a new camera

Author: David Halgrimson

It is spring and everyone is taking and posting images of the beautiful cactus flowers currently in bloom. I guess I just have to join in and share a few of my own but with a little twist to the story.

Cactus 5

I normally shoot Canon and know my equipment quite well. However we photographers are never happy just using the same equipment over and over, where is the challenge in that.

So I bought a new camera, not new new but new to me, a Sony NEC 5N. This is a small mirrorless and viewfinder-less camera with amazing abilities. It does all the major things we look for, shoots RAW, has aperture, shutter, manual as well as all the canned settings, i.e. scene mode, video and much more. It also has interchangeable lenses. The problem is, it works completely different than my Canons so after reading the printed manual, very general, the provided PDF extended manual and a third party full detail manual, I was on my way.

Two things I discovered right off 1) using the LCD monitor to compose, check settings and focus is not too easy in bright sun and 2) using the Control Wheel to select menu items and items within the menus is not easy. Trying to rotate the wheel vs. press the wheel, two separate options, takes finesse and creates much frustration.

But that said, I took it in hand and headed out to walk the neighborhood looking for cactus flowers. I used an 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 lens, shot in RAW and aperture priority and here are some of the images. Not all are as sharp as I would like but that’s me still learning and not the camera.

David Halgrimson is a trip leader with Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.