A house of substance

Today’s image was taken in London in the build up to Christmas last year. Part of a very elegant house, the exterior flood-lit, all the rooms alive with light, and the occupants clearly visible as silhouettes  – and even a Christmas Tree on display.

Impressive place? It’s actually part of a large doll’s house display in a shop window. Were you fooled, just for a moment? Without something ‘other’ in the frame to provide a sense of scale, we can be easily misled, or find it difficult to interpret exactly what we are viewing and how big it is actually.

And 0n that note I will bid you all an enjoyable weekend. My beloved companion (no, not my wife), my faithful Canon G10, has finally died on me and cannot be resuscitated. I am in mourning and wondering how to replace it. It has to be pocket-able, and must have a viewfinder – at altitude in the Alps, the back screen cannot be seen well enough to compose images. Any suggestions, other than a secondhand G16 which I am seriously considering, would be welcome.

Click on the image to view an enlargement.

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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23 Responses to A house of substance

  1. oneowner says:

    Wonderful shot, Andy. I’m looking for a small viewfinder camera myself but the G series is more than I want to spend. I’ll be interested to know what you get.

  2. Heide says:

    You fooled me, Andy — I was marveling at how you’d captured those people just so, until I smiled as I read your caption. Very sorry to hear about your G10, though. It’s quite spendy, but the Panasonic LX100 may be worth a look. I’ve been shooting with Panasonic for years and have found them to be consistently reliable with great out-of-the-camera results. Best wishes to you!

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Heide. I will look into the Panasonic you mention. It’s a bit bulkier than the Canon but seems to have an impressive set of reviews.

  3. My condolences, Andy, but no suggestions. And, yes, I was fooled.

  4. Sue says:

    My condolences, Andy…

  5. paula graham says:

    Ha, ha, I am a sucker for so much, I believe almost everything anyone say!!

  6. Lisa Gordon says:

    What a great composition this is, and I love it in monochrome.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Lisa. Glad you liked it. We’ve actually had the same rain – the first for a few weeks and everything is looking so much greener all of a sudden.

  7. rabirius says:

    Great composition.

  8. shoreacres says:

    I didn’t think it was a real house, but I was unsure what it might be. I think my years of experience with dolls’ houses, dioramas, and Advent calendars with opening windows might have played into my viewing. This much is certain: my dolls’ houses never were so elegant.

    I’m really sorry to hear about your camera’s demise. I don’t have the experience or knowledge to make a recommendation, but I’ll send along plenty of wishes that you find the perfect replacement — and soon!

  9. bluebrightly says:

    The people looked a little too posed, and everything is so perfect….so I was skeptical but wow, that certainly is a beautifully toned, balanced photograph!
    Someone I know has one of the Fujifilms X-t’s and loves it; I used to enjoy my Panasonic Lumix. But either one would mean learning a new system. I’ll be interested to hear what you choose. Change is good! Everything is temporary, and this, though painful, will shake things up. OK, enough preaching….

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Lynn. It was fun processing that image and dealing with one or two distracting reflections. Someone else has mentioned Panasonic and I’m going to take a look at the LX100. It becomes harder to learn new systems as we get older certainly, but whatever I buy will have different controls even if it is the last upgrade of the Canon G series. The more you use a camera the more you learn about it. So I will look forward to using Whatever it is a lot. I had run 10,000 images through the G10 I discovered when I checked the archive.

  10. Hi Andy,

    It is very easy to get sucked into the world of camera reviews when looking for a new camera and quite often there is an overload of information on the internet. I think absorbing key points from any reviews you might read is a good starting point but equally as I’m sure you are aware is holding the camera in your hand…

    I recently looked into high end compact cameras for a friend so that I could help guide him through his choices.

    I assume you will be looking for something which is reasonably portable/pocketable as a replacement for the G10 and not be buying into a small system camera?

    I shoot Panasonic and find their controls ergonomic and intuitive. Of course these things are very personal. I shot Nikon for a few years and my switch to Panasonic was a breath of fresh air! I have handled the LX100 although not used it.

    The LX100 is a great little camera with a Leica 1.7-2.8 lens. Being a Micro Four Thirds sensor it is bigger than other high end 1″ sensors. It has a lot going for it. I have handled the LX100 although not used it. It is a nice size with a nice heft. It felt good in my hands and the controls felt well laid out.

    If you are thinking of sticking with Canon then the G5X has a 1″ sensor with an F1.8-2.8 lens and slightly longer zoom than the Panasonic. The G5X is a lovely little camera with a few very useful things which are absent on the Panasonic. It has full touch screen which I find useful. The screen is fully articulated which is such a useful and creative feature for all types of photography (no more lying on the floor to get those low level shots!). Fully articulating is far more useful than a tilting screen. The G5X has an abundance of of physical manual controls and unlike most of the competition it also features a built in 3 stop ND filter. Again this is a great creative bonus. I have handled this camera and once again the controls seem pretty intuitive and well laid out.

    Alongside the LX100 and the G5X most people in the market will also take a look at the various incarnations of the Sony RX100. With the various models representing different price points and features. The Sony RX100 is a camera with rave reviews so its abilities are well documented. Personally the lack of a proper grip on such a small camera might make it feel more fiddly and less easy to control. There are less manual controls on the RX100 and I think I’d miss having direct easy access to settings. Also the viewfinder is pop-up rather than always available.

    On the Fujifilm front the only real pocketable contender from their line up of rather fine cameras without venturing into system bodies might be the X100 model which has a few incarnations with the latest being the X100F. This is a fixed prime lens camera with a DSLR sized sensor. It has loads of manual controls and delivers fantastic image quality. It also has a price which for some might be rather steep! Having a fixed lens without any zoom can be a limiting factor and one which would steer many to make a different choice.

    The above cameras might be a good place to start your research. As you might gather I am not loyal to any brands. I have Canon (the long discontinued compact and wonderful S95), Panasonic and Fuji cameras. Each have their merits and place in my collection. With current technology as it is I don’t think you’d have too many problems learning a different brand. It’s simply a question of familiarisation. Ergonomics are more important to me than menu systems. If the ergonomics and direct access manual controls are good then everything else falls into place. The camera should be a pleasure to use and if it feels right in your hand then you will be inspired to use it.

    As I am sure you are aware, whichever camera you choose you will be making certain trade offs against other makes and models. There are no like for like cameras so setting out certain criteria or boxes a camera should tick is also a good starting point and may knock a few off your shortlist immediately!

    If you are interested in the outcome of my friends purchase… I passed him a shortlist of cameras that suited his needs. He handled them all in store and fell in love with and purchased the Canon G5X. He has large hands and despite the camera being quite compact he has no problems with it’s handling. He has continued to enjoy using the camera and is getting some great images.

    I hope that some of this reply is of some use.

    I hope you’ll keep us all updated with your final choice 🙂

    Best wishes
    Mr C

    • LensScaper says:

      Many thanks Mr C for the time and effort you put in sending me that information. I will certainly take a look at your suggestions and look up reviews. The number of cameras out there is bewildering, we could do with an algorithm that could be worked through to narrow the hunt down to a few particular ‘must haves’.

  11. shoreacres says:

    This morning, I happened upon a real-life example of your doll house.. I laughed to see life imitating art — the first thing I thought of when I saw the photo from Kew was your photo.

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