No fewer than a half-dozen Carolina Panthers have had GoPro cameras either strapped to their chest or heads or are holding them throughout the week.
But only one player has been taking photos with something better than an iPhone.
Center Ryan Kalil has been snapping photos with his favorite camera, a Leica M model.
“I just figure, everybody has video, everybody has cell phones, there’s a million photographers and cameras out,” Kalil said. “I just felt like this would have a lot more sentimental value.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
“If I wanted to recap, I’m sure I could ask any one of these guys with their crappy, shaky footage. I just feel like with a camera you tend to live in the moment a little more. Obviously these experiences are priceless and you want to enjoy them.”
Kalil showed an Observer reporter a few of his pictures from this week but wanted to keep most of it private.
The camera is made of metal with a vintage aluminum body, so it’s heavier than one would expect. Kalil boasted about the lens on the camera, saying it’s the best in the world.
While talking, he heard the snaps of dozens of cameras nearby during interviews. That brought up another reason why he likes his Leica.
“The other thing I love about this camera is you have to manually focus everything,” Kalil said. “They make cameras that make autofocus, so you really have to work for the shot. It’s kind of rewarding to me.”