Electric Cameras

100% crop of RICOH GR III— high contrast monochrome jpeg. Berlin, 2019

We love Elon Musk, Tesla, and electric cars. Why no love for “electric cameras”?

We already got electric cameras!

Crop leaf

A bias:

Digital photography isn’t as legitimate as analogue photography.

Similar bias in auto sports: electric cars aren’t seen as cool as (very loud) petroleum cars.

But what if electric cars were superior to gas cars? (I think they are).

And what if digital (electric) cameras were superior to analogue (film) cameras?

RICOHMAFIA

Crop leaf

Currently shooting with RICOH GR III, 21mm adapter, and ERIC KIM NECK STRAP. Best combo I’ve ever used thus far.

Leaf

This is the insane thing:

I think I actually prefer the high contrast jpeg files of RICOH GR III even MORE than black and white film.

This is huge. This means— why waste money on buying film, and meddling around with processing and scanning film?

We’re in a brave new world in photography: I think finally in 2019 digital photography has surpassed analogue photography in terms of image quality and aesthetics.

100% crop of RICOH GR III— high contrast monochrome jpeg. Berlin, 2019
Berlin, 2019 — original photo
Berlin, 2019 — original photo

Digital medium photography for color, RICOH GR III for monochrome

My proposals: digital medium format photography for color photos (Pentax 645z), and RICOH GR III for monochrome.

Benefits of electric cameras

Leaf
Berlin, 2019 // RICOH GR III
  1. Easy to charge: RICOH GR III able to charge with USB-C (same charger as my MacBook Pro).
  2. Never runs out of film or photo shooting ability: JPEG unlimited ability.
  3. Economical: RICOH GR III only $890. Much cheaper than purchasing film ($5-15 a roll), developing and scanning costs ($10-15 a roll). Assume film is $10 a roll and develop/scan is $10 (total $20 a roll of film), that will get you around 45 rolls of film (1,620 frames). I think I’d rather choose the RICOH GR III — I can easily shoot 1,000+ frames in a single day!
  4. Tightened feedback loop with digital: Shoot, import, select, and share your best photos hyper fast and easily with JPEG files. This allows you to learn, iterate, and improve your photography much quicker!

Film is still great

I still love film photography, but I just want to make the case to NOT get suckered in the bias that film is more legitimate than digital. They’re the same. They’re simply different. But if you’re like me— living nomadically, on the road, prefer to be minimalist and ultra-lightweight, to travel, and learn and develop quickly — digital (electric) cameras seem to be the way to go.

Let us never stop evolving — evolving with our artistry, and also technologies!

ERIC

EQUIPMENT

There is no “perfect” camera. Don’t fall into GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) and falsely believe that buying a new camera will make you a better photographer.

If you’re not feeling inspired in your photography, I recommend you to buy books, not gear. Also check out these 75+ Inspirational Photo Books You Gotta Buy. You can also download my free books.

Equipment Articles >

Digital Medium Format Photography

Smartphone Photography >

Film Photography 101 >


My favorite camera: RICOH GR III

silhouette Ricoh gr iii

Currently my favorite camera is the RICOH GR III:


Best Equipment by ERIC KIM

eric kim photographer hanoi portrait by cindy a nguyen
LINDBERG glasses / UNIQLO button-up / UNIQLO jeans-joggers / Nike Flyknight Motion RN

This is a list of my personal favorite equipment in photography, computers, and life:

Of course, this list probably won’t apply to you — but this is advice I would give myself (if I needed to buy stuff):


Film cameras

If you’re new to shooting film, pick up a copy of FILM NOTES.

eric kim melbourne benjamin thompson
Portrait by Benjamin Thompson // Leica MP + Henri Neck Strap + SF 24D flash + Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron ASPH lens

Best film rangefinder

Leica MP + Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron Lens

Best affordable film rangefinder

Leica M6 + Voigtlander 35mm f/2.5 Lens

Best compact film camera

Contax T3

Best medium-format film camera

Fujifilm GF670 (discontinued, find on eBay)

Best black and white film

Kodak Tri-X 400 (pushed to 1600): $5

Best color film

Kodak Portra 400: $8.50

Best film scanner

For medium-format/35mm: Epson v800: $800

For 35mm: Plustek OpticFilm 8100: $270


Camera accessories

eric kim street photography gfx fujifilm medium format digital-7340

Best camera shoulder bag

SAIGON SATCHEL

Best camera backpack

Fits 13” Laptop and Camera: Thinktank Perception 15 (black): $120

Best photography neck strap

Best photography wrist strap


eric kim street photography x100f fujifilm-7189

Best photography inspiration website

MagnumPhotos.com

Best photography news blog

PetaPixel.com

Best photography software

Adobe Lightroom

Best video editing software

iMovie (free) or Final Cut Pro X ($300)


Books

buy books not gear eric kim

See all my free books.

Best educational photography book

Magnum Contact Sheets

Best black-and-white photography art book

“Exiles” by Josef Koudelka

Best color photography art book

“The Suffering of Light” by Alex Webb

Best photography handbook

Street Notes

Best philosophy book

On the Shortness of Life – Seneca ($8) // 10 Lessons Seneca Has Taught Me.


Best digital tools

Best laptop

Maxed-out 13” MacBook Pro (Refurbished)

Best phone

iPhone Xs


Best Mac Apps

Best writing app

IA Writer (for writing)

Best screen recorder

Camtasia

Best image resizer

JPEGmini Pro


Audio

eric kim hanoi street photography-0012663

Best earbuds

In-ear monitors


Apparel

Cindy Project Monochrome-3

Best underwear

ExOfficio Men Boxer Brief (black): $26

Best T-shirt

Outlier NYC Merino Wool T-Shirt

Best socks

Outlier NYC Black Merino Wool Socks

Best pants

Merino Wool Leggings (black)

Best glasses

LINDBERG – Titanium


Finance

eric kim street photography x100f fujifilm-7232

Best bank

Chase


Best entrepreneurial tools

Best blogging platform

WordPress.org + Genesis theme


Best paid online services

eric kim street photography gfx fujifilm medium format digital-7360

Best cloud storage

Dropbox (Pro)


Diet & Nutrition

Food

Intermittent fasting — with one big meal a day (only dinner)

Workout

Deadlifts (one rep max) + squats + dumbbell press + chin-ups + pushups


Conclusion

eric kim hanoi street photography-0012576
Hanoi, 2017 // Portrait by Cindy A. Nguyen

Of course this is just a list of stuff that work for me. It probably won’t work for you.

But I got inspired to make this list– because it took me about 10 years to figure out the best equipment for me. And this works for me, and I hope it can help simplify your purchasing decisions (at least in photography and some other details).

Cindy Project Monochrome-12

I’ll continue to do articles and videos related to equipment– because I do believe (up to a certain degree) having the ‘right’ equipment in life makes life easier. But the problem is falling victim to GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) where we are buying stuff for the sake of it (has happened to me).

If you already have a bunch of equipment that works for you– stick with it. But if you need some help, I hope this list helped you.

Always,
Eric