A few years ago, I gave up photography. I was getting very annoyed with the dreaded rectangle, the harsh right–angled frame of every photograph. I’d started to subvert it, but it wasn’t enough to keep me interested. I decided to concentrate on poems. This was absolutely the right decision; I’ve since taken my poetry from imitation to some originality.

Now, though, when I find myself writing poems about taking photographs, I know it’s time to reconsider. I find I want to use details from the incredible Flemish architecture around me to continue that subversion process.

image: chewed again

But I got rid of all my camera kit: Pentax Me Supers, many lenses, studio kit, and more (the story’s complex). I need new equipment.

I’m more than happy to move to digital; even then, I was transferring 35mm film to photo–CD for post–processing. Admittedly, most of the post–processing consisted of undoing the damage done by the transfer (though not all of it).

So I’m looking at digital SLRs. I want a good quality and rugged camera that takes decent pictures automatically, but allows me to override its settings when the picture so demands.

The camera I’d really love to buy is a Nikon D2Xs. But it’s a professional camera at a professional price. It’s out of my range.

When I entered my list of preferred features into DP Review, it suggested the Sony DSLR–A100, the Pentax K10D, and the Samsung GX–10. Although the Sony is significantly cheaper, the rumour mill has made it clear they’ve had some quality problems, and I really don’t want to be caught up in that kind of thing. The Samsung is the same camera as the Pentax; I’m not sure what the differences are apart from labels. So it looks like a Pentax for me … again.

The one problem with the Pentax, though, which came out in some reviews, is sharpness. It’s not the camera itself, but the software that converts a raw image into a JPG. Fortunately, the Pentax can save the original raw photo, so I can retain the sharpness, if necessary, by using alternative software on my computer to do the compression.

I haven’t bought the camera. If I do, it’s going to take me a while to get my composition skills back. So don’t expect any posts just yet.

In the end, I bought Nikon.