Scenes, Volume 7

Seventh entry in an analog photography feature at Noise Floor.

Towards the end of last year, in my ever-expanding attempts to shoot more film at the gig, I sort of unknowingly set up a shootout between two of my point-and-shoot warriors.

Back in November, I attended the second show of a two-night Jeff Rosenstock run at the Paradise (the first of which I already covered in great detail here) sans photo pass, taking in the spectacle of Ska Dream with just my Olympus Mju-II Zoom and a roll of Delta 3200 to accompany me. I was feeling the effects of a Moderna booster shot earlier in the day and thus mostly lingered at the edge of the nonstop pit on the floor. Not exactly my original plan, which was to simply dive into and out of the fray as my whims compelled me, but a pretty fun time nonetheless.

A couple of weeks later, I found myself in NYC to see hyperpop visionaries 100 gecs headline a sold-out Terminal 5. Given that I’d be seeing them again in Boston a few days later (I swear I wasn’t following them like the Dead, one got announced before the other and it just fell together that way), I opted not to get a pass for the T5 show and try my hand at forcing Cinestill’s 800 T to play nice with the Canon Sureshot I’d written about taking to the Hella Mega Tour over the summer.

I didn’t exactly intend to pit one shoot against the other, but as 1-roll, 1-camera, no-photo-pass experiments, they do sort of beg for comparison. Film stock aside (I love both for very different reasons), I think the Sureshot came out on top here. It’s the less trendy of the two models (and certainly the cheaper one nowadays), but it boasts something extremely useful that the Olympus lacks in its exposure compensation modes. Obviously nothing is really manual about mid-late 90s point-and-shoots, but the Canon does give the user the option to shoot a stop and a half below (or above) the meter’s reading, which can easily be the difference between a sharp shot and a blurry mess with the extreme contrast of stage lighting. Both cameras would certainly have performed better in general closer to the stage (that old photographer’s adage rings true), but in a way, standing in the middle or towards the back of the crowd does a better job putting you in the shoes of somebody who might’ve used these things for this purpose back when they were shiny and new – which is at least part of the point of this recurring feature.

Anyway, check out some lovingly imperfect results from both shows below and see if you agree with my assessment, or think this whole thing is a waste of chemicals!