Monday, February 19, 2007

Newbingin and the Camera Saga

A parable: Even if I believe that a camera is going to suit my needs, and everything I read about it or see in the test results indicates it will be OK, it does not always equal my perceived truth. I will need to keep searching until I find an acceptable camera that captures reality as I perceive it.

That parable pretty much summarizes Lesslie Newbingin's "The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society". Our culturally conditioned view of truth more often than not limits our ability to perceive other truths - it is a filter we use to discern belief from truth (or truisms) and fact. Belief = Jesus fully embodied God for humanity. Truth = the Bible says Jesus told his followers that the meek, merciful and peacemakers are blessed. Fact= no one can prove Jesus said this.

Our truth is conditioned by the relevance we put on fact. Our beliefs are conditioned by the relevance we ascribe to truth.

OK, I had a few $$$ from a refund that happened through PayPal so I decided to get a new compact digital camera. I ended up getting the Panasonic DMC-LX07. Unfortunately the images were not acceptable to me - when I blew them up to 8x10 they were soft and had a lot of noise in the dark areas. I REALLY wanted to like this camera as a carry around shooter but it has been returned. Not as a replacement for my Nikon D70s or Leica, but just for something to keep in my bag. Some of the images from the Panasonic, when the sharpening was adjusted, came out looking as if they were watercolor paintings!!! One of my other purposes was to have a camera to capture images for a few worship-arts projects I'm working on. Again, I'm really sad this camera didn't work out because it had a great Leica lens that went from 28-105mm, it was small, it had image stabilization and it was QUIET. Bad images can't make up for great styling though...

After some more searching I've ended up ordering the Canon A640. Again this isn't to replace my film rangefinder or dSLR, it is a convenience carry-around camera. This camera isn't as sexy but my understanding is that it produces some of the nicest images available in a compact camera. It also has a stellar macro mode which I make use of a lot.

Fact: Photographs capture reality (infinitely small and sometimes abstractly...)
Truth: I need images that accurately represent what I perceive
Belief: The Canon A640 will deliver these images (conversely, the Panasonic DMC-FX07 did not)

Newbingin in a nutshell.


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