Friday, March 11, 2011

The Diana Mini

the Golden Half (collage via Analog Dummies)

I've been looking up reviews of both cameras online because I've gotten a little interested in half-frame cameras lately.  The thing with half-frame cameras is that not only do you get twice the number of exposures per film, you can also make diptychs with them and tell a story.  They're not like action samplers which have their own charm but require movement to be interesting.

As per usual, I've been obsessively browsing flickr for photos taken with both cameras, and here are my favorites:

Golden Half Gaudi
A golden half shot via Heather Tempest Elliot's photostream

A Diana Mini shot via Garrett Riffal's photostream

I'm not trying to pit the two cameras against each other, but it's more of trying to weigh pros and cons of each camera for a relative beginner like me.

Kitsch factor considering, Diana Mini wins big-time, but the Golden Half is so darn cute as well, so you can't really take looks into consideration.  With that superficial consideration aside, I started looking around flickr for photos and felt like I loved the images taken by the Golden Half.  They're on the clearer side, with a little bit of grain, which I find makes the photos moodier.  But I was still not that convinced, so I decided to look around online for reviews, and I found 2 posts (on the Diana Mini and then the Golden Half) on Four Corners Dark.  I shouldn't have looked any further, really.  This was the blog that convinced me to buy the Disderi Robot Camera after all.  It validated me.  Though the Diana Mini has the awesome Alice in Wonderland themed camera, I don't really want to base my decisions on that alone.

According to the review, the Diana Mini's dual feature - the coveted square format and the half-frame format - is a double-edged sword.  While it is indeed a great feature, manipulating it can be a pain in the ass.  The Golden Half wins in the half-frame battle because it has a fixed focus, it's not confusing to use, and it's a little sturdier than the usual plastic cameras.

Plus, let's face it, the Diana Mini F+ costs a lot more than the Golden Half with flash.

This is not to say, though, that just after getting an Ansco Pix Panorama, that I'll buy another camera.  I probably won't buy another camera in a few months, unless, of course, they're selling for P300 (less than 7 USD) or less. :P  I just like to know what my next camera purchase will be.

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