The mystery of the missing camera

The mystery of the missing camera

It’s been a while since I’ve paid attention to the photography gear scene, but these days it appears that there are very few affordable, and more importantly newly released enthusiast/prosumer interchangeable lens cameras available on the market (at least here in India). The least expensive DSLR camera I found was the rather underwhelming Canon EOS 3000D (priced ~ ₹27,000), followed by the EOS 1500D (priced ~ ₹37,000), both of which were released in 2018, and are entry-level in Canon’s range. But strangely, no other brand, not even Nikon seems to have stock of any affordable entry-level DSLR models in the market. Even in the mirrorless range there are very few affordable or newer models and most are priced even higher than they were at launch.

Of course, I do understand that the global semiconductor shortage has hit the camera market particularly hard, but even then I expected to find a few more affordable entry-level mirrorless cameras since mirrorless is a fairly mature technology and has been around for a while now and most camera manufacturers have completely stopped manufacturing DSLRs. While I can understand the non-production of DSLRs, I am quite surprised that not a single manufacturer has come up with a truly affordable entry-level mirrorless.

I ran a few random searches for mirrorless cameras and prices on various online stores using google for the cheapest prices I could find for some of the available models. Bear in mind that most of them were released several years ago and are hardly bleeding edge. I’m quoting the price I found for brand new rather than pre-owned:

  • Canon EOS M200 (~ ₹42,000)
  • Nikon Z50 (~ ₹70,000)
  • Panasonic Lumix G7 (~ ₹42,000)
  • Canon EOS M50 II (~ ₹58,000)
  • Sony Alpha A6000Y[1] (~ ₹54,000)

I’m not even getting into Fujifilm, Olympus or other brands. The INR prices quoted are absurdly insane, and it seems that most models not even available on the markets.

Maybe this phenomenon is India-specific though, since even at the best of times the duty on imported electronics severely impacts the final marked price and many of the newly released models take ages to reach the Indian market anyway. Coupled with the semiconductor crisis that doesn’t seem to be abating soon, I think we have a market where you shell out a premium even for several year old entry-level models.

  1. The dual lens kit. The A6000L single lens kit with the 16-50mm is ~ ₹43,000[]
How to design and print business cards cheaply at home using LibreOffice

How to design and print business cards cheaply at home using LibreOffice

Another video tutorial, this one on how to design and print business cards cheaply at home using LibreOffice Draw and Writer. Creating video tutorials like this with more editing work is something different that I am trying out. I edited and finalized everything on kdenlive which is an excellent Open Source non-linear video editor on Linux.

I am hoping to create many more like this in the future.

Video tutorial – how to maintain a fuel log with mileage calculator in LibreOffice Calc/Excel

Video tutorial – how to maintain a fuel log with mileage calculator in LibreOffice Calc/Excel

Something different I tried recently. A video tutorial on how to maintain a fuel log with mileage calculator in LibreOffice Calc or Excel with simple formulae. Hopefully this provides some good information.

This is something I am still working on, especially my voice and recording clarity, so please do leave your feedback on the video.

River backwater

River backwater

Painted digitally using Sketchbook on my iPad.

River backwater

This was done on my iPad with Sketchbook. This time I took a break from traditional watercolour and decided to go with digital painting. Sketchbook has decent watercolour brushes which somewhat emulate the medium. This was a simple piece just to get comfortable with these brushes and I feel reasonably happy with it. While Adobe Fresco has some good live brushes to emulate real watercolour flow on paper, it tended to crash on my iPad. So I went back to Sketchbook which is snappy and lightweight compared to Fresco.

Overall I would love to see Krita available on the iPad. Sadly I don’t think there will be a port available in the foreseeable future thanks to Apple’s licensing policy with regard to GNU GPL.

Traditional watercolour painting

Traditional watercolour painting

After a long time, I’ve done a traditional watercolour painting.

Traditional watercolour landscape

After painting digital for a long time, it was nice to head back to traditional media with its challenges and limitations. I felt quite anxious about this one, but decided to be bold and go ahead with painting freely. I think it has come out better than I expected, since I wasn’t too sure if I could control the flow of water on paper. Unlike the standard practices of watercolour, I have made heavy use of colour and layering, and even used white paint. I must look to get better at this with more practice. Done on A4 size 300 GSM “Anupam” brand watercolour paper; it does take quite a bit of water without buckling.

“Night Driving”

“Night Driving”

This time I wanted to paint something atmospheric and from imagination. Done with Krita using the RGBA brushes on my XP-Pen Artist 10s as usual.

“Night Driving”

For this piece, I went with my imagination and had a lot of fun doing the damaged road. On many Indian roads damaged sections are sometimes marked with a branch of a tree planted into the ground by the locals for motorists to sight and avoid, when there is nothing better like a reflective warning triangle available. Night driving is particularly hard on sections of damaged highways with no streetlights and on-coming vehicles, especially heavy vehicles, using powerful high-beam headlamps.

Resort

Resort

My latest painting in Krita, using the WaterC brushes.

Resort

Again, an attempt using the WaterC brushes. I think my style tends more towards acrylic painting than loose and transparent water colours. Like many of my previous paintings, this one is also referred from one of my photos. I don’t know whether I will continue with this brush set in the future, since I like the RGBA impasto brushes better (they have great texture and character). But for now I am reasonably happy with the result of this one.

Lake view

Lake view

Another landscape, painted using the WaterC brushes in Krita this time.

Lake view

Like many of my landscapes, this one too is based off one of my photos. The boat in the lake and the man watching from the foreground are my own additions. I am trying to do improvisations like this to develop my skills further. Though I am not totally happy with the level of emulation of watercolour in this attempt I like the brushes enough to try a few more in the future. Now, if only they weren’t so laggy on my laptop…

Old Red Bungalow

Old Red Bungalow

Another landscape/scenery, based on another one of my photos. I really enjoyed doing this one, and I am reasonably happy with it, though I wanted to enhance the lighting/mood a bit more.

Old Red Bungalow

Again, painted using the RGBA Impasto brushes. The inspiration for this comes from this photo of mine. Obviously I have made a few improvisations to it.

The location is of historical interest and has a personal connection. This building is located in the same compound as “Sribagh” which is a larger bungalow built by one of my illustrious ancestors. The property was later bought by the owner of Amrutanjan, Kashinathuni Nageshwara Rao and is a prime piece of real estate in Mylapore, Chennai. It was also the place where the Sribagh Pact was entered into.