A history of cameras, film and digital, Smalley style

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Kyle and I used a Go-Pro camera to take most of the video and still photos on our recent fly fishing trip to Mexico.

That fact got me thinking about the various cameras I have used since 1981 to produce photos for Fishful Thinking.

I’m relying on memory, but here it goes…

• Early 80’s I was shooting an Olympus OM-2N 35mm SLR film camera.

•After talking to the late Tom Ulrich about Nikon versus Canon, I purchased a Nikon F100 with accessory lenses, including, my pride, an auto focus Nikkor 80-200mm f2.8.

I packed that big outfit in an inflatable, waterproof vinyl SportsPouch bag on my float tube for years while fishing on the Blackfeet reservation.

• In l995, at a writer’s convention, I overheard an Olympus rep mention, “You guys are gonna be blown away by what’s coming!” Digital photography.

• A few years later I purchased one of the first digital point-and-shoot cameras, a Minolta DIMAGE. What a pain. Took at least a second for the shutter to open after pushing the button, then another several seconds for image to save.

• Next camera was a waterproof, pocket-size Olympus Stylus. Loved it! Bought two of them, then a third. No. 2 is currently under many feet of snow in Glacier National Park after Nan slipped off the Highline Trail years ago.

• I stepped up to DSLR tech with a Nikon D70. Best experience was shooting a NASCAR weekend in Phoenix with a Hot Pass in 2006.

• Tired of packing heavy photo gear, my current go-to camera is a Panasonic Lumix ZS-40 which I also took to Mexico.

• Years ago I used a bellows, then magnifying rings and now I just use my iPhone to take photos of flies.

• Despite the crazy advancements in technology, the best camera is still the one you have in your hand!

Jerry Smalley’s Fishful Thinking column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

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