Me, the Trigger Happy Shutter Bug

As part of my overall rehabilitation, I finally took a more serious interest in photography again.
The thing is I've always loved taking pictures. I remember in high school, I was always the undeclared yet designated documentalist of parties and other events.
In college, I took great photos for our plates in photography class. Except my photos with my partner Krystal as my subject came out blurred while her photos of me came out great. That was our final plate and I got a 70+ and she got 90+. But all of those ideas and concepts -  including the ones she shot me with, were all mine! I was just under student-leader-related stress when we were shooting them.
Krystal took this photo. Concept: MINE!

Anyway, I wanted to get a DSLR but I realized I didn't want the bulk just yet plus I had other things I really wanted to spend that budget on. Besides, while I know my way around a camera, I'm still not a pro. So I settled for a semi-pro, training camera instead. A bridge or zoom camera, if you will.

My ideal model just had to meet the following criteria:
1. Must have a viewfinder
2. Must run on non-proprietary AA batteries
3. Must write to SD cards
The only models that fit were the Kodak Z981 (my first choice but I couldn't find anywhere in the country), the Fuji Fine Pix S1800 (which received some unfavorable reviews) and the GE X5 - my new baby!

The GE X5 might be touted as the poor man's DSLR and it would be very flattering. I got mine for only P9,878 and it already came with a couple of 2gb SD cards (KingCom didn't have one 4gb card) and a couple of recheargeable batteries with charger (They give out four pieces in other branches. Was I shortchanged here?)
I actually thought I was gonna have to spend further for these additional items so when I found out the package already comes with them, I knew that unit was mine. Oh, and it's also glorious in black! (I didn't really care for the white version).
Despite not having a detachable lens and hot shoe, its manual controls are very impressive. I can actually compose my shots with adjustments to the aperture, shutter speed, ISO and even exposure compensation! The DSLR-lite form factor is a major plus too!
Of course, the X5 prides itself for its 15x optical zoom and 5x digital zoom. I have yet to fully appreciate its immense zoom capabilities but it already makes for an interesting feature.
Very cute icons illustrating the X5's features

I've been having a lot fun with the X5 these past weeks. Mostly training my eyes to compose and getting the hang of photography again. I hardly ever shoot in automatic mode unless I actually mean for it to act like a basic point-and-shoot.

What's also great about my experience is that there is a local group of enthusiasts on Facebook.
 So we can chat about the camera and offer each other tips. I've given out a couple myself already.

Also, since my unit didn't come with its own carrying case, I've been looking around for one that isn't too expensive as most camera bags are wont to be because that would just defeat the purpose of getting the X5 at a steal. Thankfully, I dropped by Hidalgo today and discovered this from Fans Digital.

Its padded and fits the X5 just snugly. There are compartments for batteries and cards plus I can sling it over my shoulder or strap it to my belt. As luck would have it, it was also on sale: P420 from P840! Score two for me!
My mistake. I thought the 512mb was the 2gb one.
Someday I will be worthy of a DSLR. Right now, I just gotta go back to basics and evolve from there. May I just say that my skills and the camera both aren't too shabby either. Just check out these test photos I took these past few weeks!


  1. dude, you don't have to be a pro to get a dslr. there are such things as beginner dslrs, you know. my 1000D is Canon's most basic, entry level model and is great for beginners. on Nikon's side, a D40 is a great starting point, though your lens selection will be limited due to its lack of an internal autofocus motor.

    still, those would cost more than double the camera that you got.

  2. Peppy: I wanted to get an entry level DSLR (P30k++ budget) but then I realized it was still too bulky and a bit more advanced for my needs. Also, after all the saving up I did, I kinda feel like I wanted to buy more stuff than just one camera.
    Greedy is me?

  3. if you were greedy, you'd have gotten the dslr anyway along with all the other stuff you wanted. :p

  4. not completely related but this might be an interesting read.