My story / by Bennett Photography

 I guess my story starts when i was 18, going to car shows all over the UK..

Taking pics of the show on my phone. What ever it was at the time, but I would from time to time take our family point and shoot, which was a Fuji J10 , loved that little thing (so much so my dad replaced it with another after ours went missing, but in black not silver like the original) the current once has since broken also.


And I would try get more creative with the shots at shows because everyone on the car club forums used to upload their own show report, and I wanted mine to be better

But then when I liked my car more as i had carried out work on it, I would do some scenic shots with it, as most of the other car people did

I just started shooting more scenes and views after a major operation during July 2012 with my phone a HTC one x, I would stop at a lovely place and walk off to take the pics, I remember years before that even, walking up Rhyslyn and taking photos of the lovely views, the snow or green lush forest... So started on phones really or point and shoots

But after Aug 12 I found I wanted more power from a camera, and obviously a phone can't provide that.. so wondering and searching for suitable things, October time I was working in Argos and would look through the catalogue and I keep stopping on the Fuji page, and the camera that popped out was the s2980... A dslr looking bridge camera ( a camera that is more powerful and versatile than a point and shoot, but lacks the sheer power and quality, let alone versatility of a dslr, no lens swapping for instance)

And I thought "oh that will suit me", I then found the Fuji camera bag (which i still have) in the store while working... But it wasn't then I bought my first camera, it was later next month I did, as this month now marks the 2nd anniversary of me taking photography seriously.

During November that camera I wanted had gone on sale, it was £99.99 and that was it for me... Using the deal I had a bag and 8gb SanDisk memory card included for a 1/3 off and I went and got a contour battery charger the same day and the double A batteries to match as the camera took 4 AA and I hated the idea of going through so many batteries.

I remember my first outing with it later that day, me and my two dogs, meg my late springer spaniel and mitzi a Shih zhu up the mountain behind my aunt's house overlooking port Talbot, I loved it's view finder (albeit an evf /electronic viewfinder unlike conventional optical zoom viewfinders found on dslrs), it make you look feel and shoot more like a pro dslr user, it was bloody tiny though, and lagged behind, I especially loved how far this camera would zoom, 18x is a monstrous amount, the equivalent on a dslr lens would cost several thousand!

Anyway so I shot some photos with it, I zoomed in on the town, the docks and the dogs walking around, had my little bag slung over my shoulder, loving it, even shot a little video..

But this camera was an abomination in the grand scale of things, it took me until April to get my next upgrade in camera.

I quickly realised the s2980 was rubbish, the electronic zoom was slow and noisy, the images were never sharp and since I shot it only during cold winter months the auto mode (which I only shot in) constantly made the wrong calls and the photos would blur easy. They looked bland, gloomy and colour lacking.

It was during this cameras time that I shot what would become my very first car photo shoot.. it was my mate Richards mg 1100 and my own fiesta si, although I focused more on his mg than mine, we even ended up doing a rolling shot though a big water puddle.

So In April I had enough, I had spotted an upgrade that was 269quid on very.co.uk, and using my account and monthly installments, I bought the camera, 16 mp, 30x zoom, full manual control and a flippy out LCD screen, it was my dream back then..the Fuji hs30 exr and boy I was happy.

This is when I flourished, I took it everywhere, loved it, remember my first outing with this too, Margam park, Sun shining,  It was less than half charged from the factory and it died 10mins I'm to my walk, I was so excited and eager I rushed home to charge it and went back, I got back there for 2pm and was conscious of the Sun's position as I wanted nice bright shots.

This beast easily outshines the prior camera, but yet again over double the price (despite very.co.uk over inflating the prices of electronic goods).

I had complaints, some In retrospect and some I noticed while owning it, no image stabilization was a biggy when using long zooms, the sensor wasn't all that sharp, and the thing was still a bridge at the end of the day so the "one for all" lens had many downfalls and it's all you had! (pin cushion distortion at widest zoom was particularly bad). But it was mine, and i loved it, i still get nostalgic seeing them today, it was particually good at macro, insects in particular, my best close up shots were done with that camera.

I shot this camera for 4 months, I was selling my project mk2 fiesta, it went for £400 and I wanted more from a camera at this point, I wanted full control, lens options, and a manual focus as I was big into macro work at the time which a bridge naturally struggles at.. so the only option really was a dslr, i had ventured into manual on the Fuji, but i didnt understand it at all, i failed to see what aperture changed int he image, and what shutter speed altered, (thinking bad it didnt help that it was still deciding my ISO even in manual, as i wasnt seeing any change in exposure despite changing shutter speeds)
, also the shutter speed was limited, no bulb, and the aperture only went as far as f2.8 - f8.

With utter no knowledge on DSLRs, I literally argued my suited camera between a Canon and a Nikon and choose a Canon based on how I prfered the look of the blue coated lens optics on its kit lens.... Shocking I know. ( i just didnt fancy the green of the 18055 nikon lens)

I was set and had the cash, I was on the loo minutes from leaving to go to Argos to purchase a Canon 550D (because it suited my budget and seemed decent, again utter no knowledge to base a choice off).

But I sat there doubting myself (well it is a Canon after all )
So I typed into Google 'Canon 550D compare' and all the links said Nikon D3200, after reading the specs it seemed better, 24mp over 18mp of the 550D, the reviews all said it was a better camera. And the price. It was £380 where the Canon was 20quid more

So despite even reserving this Canon I drove to the store in morfa Swansea to buy a Nikon!

Now as I use my 5th digital camera I still use Nikon and knew I made the right choice, as ive moved through the camera range, and have built my required lens collection, i dont have anything agaisnt Canon, i just dont believe they quite live up to Nikon in still images.

But sadly after breaking that first, my first dslr, it lived on as a spare as it still works although limited, I have decided to sell it on as it's just not getting use, but I never thought I would, I always said I'd keep my first dslr....

Fujifilm J10 point and shoot

Fujifilm S2980

This shot was one of my very first using the S2980 from that mountain walk, this ship is about 3 miles away from where i was.

This shot was one of my very first using the S2980 from that mountain walk, this ship is about 3 miles away from where i was.

HS30EXR first shooting, picture of Margam castle

I revisited the same shot from the previous camera

on my first outing with the D3200, my first DSLR, i was amazed by the quality, shot was taken using the kit lens and a Raynox 250 macro conversion attachment