I was out shooting street photography with Ilford HP5 on my Nikon FM2 and the famous 105mm f/2.5AIS. This is where it is interesting, what street photography with a 105mm lens, omg but you need to get up close….sure i do, but I didn’t and I still love my results. Though, I’d still like to buy a 28mm lens for my film shoots at the same time.

I don’t know about you all but I have been pretty quiet of late with my street photography, in fact due to COVID-19 today was the first time back in the City shooting the streets for a couple of months. Sure, here in Western Australia our restrictions have been lifted considerably and to be honest we are probably one of the safest City’s on the planet right now but I just didn’t venture out until I was ready…and today I was ready, but rusty especially as it is was miserable wet and cold day…brilliant!

A slightly misleading title, but there is a bus in the photo! It was the first thing that come to my head, remembering that TV show from the early 70s….again not really related to this photo cept it has blurry buses.

Blurry busses though I like, anything in motion be it the subject or be it the scene I like to make images with motion and this will be a subject for tomorrow nights Street Photography talk and mini workshop with the NEPG Camera Club.

I sometimes stand in one place, and keep shooting til I get the shot I want even if it means I get LEFT BEHIND BY THE GROUP haha. Yes I was out with an AIPP group the other week on a street photography walk through the city, and I found a spot that I wanted to shoot and nobody else even looked sideways…PERFECT, cos anyone who knows me shooting the streets knows big groups aren’t really my thing, though I still do them don’t get me wrong.

I took literally a dozen or more shots at this billboard, until I had a shot I was happy with…and this is it!

Saul from Camera Electronic called to wish me the best for my Birthday, my 50th and he asked me if I’d like to review a camera with a 50 on it, to coincide with this birthday. Of course I said…YES!

I tested the Z50 on the streets with a few of my usual street style shots and other random streetscapes. I also tested it in the theatre shooting “Robin Hood” for the local theatre company I volunteer for, and I even managed a few portraits. This is not a specs review, you can look them up on hundreds of other reviews already out there, I am more about how the camera handled for me in the types of situations that I shoot in.

The Z50 is a small and compact camera, especially with the 16-50mm kit lens attached. It neatly locks away when not in use and when you need to shoot you simply twist the lens barrel and it extends, but not far so it’s not an obtrusive camera which is always good shooting the streets. I normally shoot with a Z6, so in comparison to that the Z50 is much lighter and more compact. At the same time the Z50 is a solid camera and doesn’t feel cheap at all. What i need in the street is speed, comfort, ease of changing to the settings I desire and fast focussing, the Z50 did not disappoint in any of these areas. I had zero issues focusing on the streets, the focus points covered nearly all of the screen and it was quite snappy fast and didn’t hunt even when shooting up into darker carparks and doorways. I don’t change many settings doing street much, but when I started to do a few streetscapes and shooting moving bikes. I did change setting, and being a Z series camera I found it very easy transitioning from a Z6 to a Z50, I am used to Nikon so I find the menus very easy to find what I want. I did mention moving bikes, I shot a few slow shutters and panning with continuous autofocus, worked a treat.

Note: I used my normal BW street photo treatment on the first photo, just to see how the it faired under edit mode, but nearly all other photos have had minimal changes besides straightening and cropping with minor tweaks.

For several years I have volunteered for the Ellenbrook Theatre Company, I really enjoy giving something back to my local community and what better way to do it than with my photography. I used the Z50, this time with my Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8S to see how that went in lower light, actually in erratic and low light with crazy characters bouncing around the place. Firstly, 1.5x crop was awesome, I got more reach out of the 24-70 woohoo that is a definite plus in the theatre or any stage shows for that matter. Focussing, was I worried, well not really as I have used the Z6 for a year now anyways though the Z50 focussing specs (don’t talk about specs Sean) aren’t quite on par with the Z6, BUT it performed great, I never really had many issues at all, I mainly used dynamic area and continuous focusing just because that’s how I shoot theatre and it rarely let me down, well until the lights were so low a human couldn’t see anyways.

I had a few friends that I bumped into around the city and they were kind enough too let me take some portraits of them. For these shots I was shooting with the kit lens, such a nice lens considering it’s size and specs (which I am not talking about). What made it easy was face/eye detection focussing which snaps onto faces and eyes with ease, though this is not how I shoot all my portraits but for these I did and I was very impressed. The photos talk for themselves, of course it was easy as I happened to photograph three lovely ladies and they always look good in portraits so my job was easy.

Now you are all wondering, does Sean like it and that is the million dollar question. I like the size and handling, can you imagine such small camera when travelling or doing street photography. I like the fact that it is like using a baby Z6, though with a few less features that I probably wouldn’t use much anyways. I couldn’t fault it to be honest, the sensor was great (from the D500 and damnit that was a spec) It focussed when I needed to and produced some amazing results with great colours. I don’t even know how much they cost, and I give it back Monday but if I was choosing a crop sensor Nikon in todays market I would seriously consider the Z50, cos it’s just so nice!

Another shot from the same place I have shot a few times, the good thing about this place is with the reflections and glass and peoples and cars you get different results every time you go there, love it!

I met up with a new street photography mate in the city the other day, we go out shooting and gas bagging about street and cameras in general. But we are there to shoot and every time I go out with him I feel inspired and grab a few shots I really like. I was grabbing this frame of the two huddled when this rude went running by and a quick reframe snap, I love it…what do you think?

Unfortunately in this case it is true, instead of looking up and checking out fabulous new architecture he had his head buried in a smartphone. Meanwhile, the new renos on the Myers building in Forrest Place is awesome for me to capture new and interesting photographs of the world as we know it.

I had a couple of hours to shoot the city late arvo today, the sun was a bit far gone in most cases but i found one of my fav places to hang for the crowds had plenty of interesting opportunities so I sat on a chair and let the photo come to me!

I titled this photo purely for the look on the guys face, how happy does he look. Maybe he got just what he wanted from City Beach, or maybe even Pandora…ya just never know!