A handful of cameras

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by christilou, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    Once again I find myself ogling various new offerings and enjoying the process of weighing up the usual criteria. I actually think that I don't want there to be a camera that "does it all". I love being able to use different cameras and I'm lucky enough to have some very good ones. I have four serious compacts and a K5 that's the least used of the bunch. I'm going to try and resist buying anything new for now and just try to get the best out of the ones I have. I can't promise that I'll be able to resist for more than six months but I can try! One day at a time, perhaps I'm on the road to recovery, who knows :eek:
     
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  2. sparth

    sparth SC Regular

    34
    Oct 28, 2011
    seattle WA
    i think it's totally fine from the moment you're expanding your general versatility hehe. :)
    for my case, having four general cameras, (5dmkII, leica m9, leica x1, Ricoh GRD IV) helps me create through photographic phases and moods we all have at moments.

    good luck at resisting!
     
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  3. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    Me neither! Although I recently sold off a few and it's nice to have fewer to choose from when going out.

    There's bound to be something tempting next year, but for now I'm satisfied.

    Hang in there Christilou. But it never hurts to just look right :wink:
     
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  4. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    I think it is kind of nice to get off the shopping merry-go-round. Oh wait, I just bought a GXR. Never mind. :biggrin:
     
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  5. snkenai

    snkenai SC All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    Oh well, waiting for the last purchase (Pentax K20d) to arrive. Never, "leave well enough alone".
     
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  6. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    every time I sell one to reduce the number, another somehow take sits' place. Nature abhors a vacuum
     
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  7. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    How's it going with the X100, Luke?

    I was flirting with that one still last week and then decided to go with the GXR 28 (arriving tomorrow), mostly due to the focal length.
     
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  8. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    hmmmm krugorg. Haven't had enough time to properly say. Love the look. Feels good in the hand....makes me want to shoot (but I'm in a HORRIBLE creative slump where I don't even WANT to carry it around). I've learned my way around some of it's funky flaws so user interface is pretty good. I'm just looking at the images and wondering what all the hoopla is about. It certainly doesn't seem very sharp. I think I need to use it some more, but I may prefer the old Panasonic gf1 with the 20mm attached. Unfortunately, that won't cure my GAS.

    Bottom line is I need to shoot more with it. It's a weird feeling though getting the girl I lusted after for so long and not feeling magic right off the bat. Maybe this will be one of those long, slow get-to-know-you kinda relationships (which is fine {and probably preferred} since it's a single focal length...I had planned on keeping this one around for a long time).
     
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  9. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Luke, The GF-1 & 20? Lord have mercy. Ya know how hard it is to get something better than that outfit..... Ya almost can't....
     
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  10. Xuereb

    Xuereb SC Veteran

    380
    Nov 5, 2010
    W. Australia
    Zen minimalism appeals to me. At any rate, philosophically. One tool, one spirit, complete mastery of the tool, an extension of one's eye etc.

    With this noble truth in mind, I ordered a Nex 5 N & kit lens, having decided to sell my GF1 & 20. Photographs of the red beauty were made ready for posting on ebay.

    The Nex 5 N then arrived. I realised the limitations of its aspect ratios, was struck with its better dynamic range, the fact that highlights weren't and nearly couldn't be bunt out, amazed by how little work files needed in LR. However, the GF1 & 20's qualities: sharpness, 'etched' 3 D effect, magic when the 20 is wide open, were missing from the Nex. Could I live without the GF1? In a word 'no'.

    And so it came to pass that I decided to keep both. Now I await the Sony 50 1.8 to see where its spirit takes me. The GF1 has a solidity & strength which I cannot part with. Indeed I may need to get the 45 Oly lens for it.

    I am left now to ponder the rules which ought to govern the choice of which camera to take up for each walk or journey.
     
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  11. Briar

    Briar SC All-Pro

    Oct 27, 2010
    Scotland
    Karen
    Well done Christilou! I walked past an X10 in Jessops the other day and barely gave it a glance. :confused: I don't know if I should be happy that I'm content with what I have or if I should check my pulse! I'm pretty sure it's still beating.
     
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  12. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Your expectations sound like they got the better of you. I bought the X100 when it was very new and I got it primarily for the interface, OVF, etc. Ended up keeping it because of the IQ and I'm not that heavily invested in IQ generally, but there's something about the files from that camera that I've never had with any other camera I've owned, including the Nex. I like the interface, but have found that viewfinder shooting is a decidedly second-tier pleasure for me - I'd generally rather shoot without but its nice to have one really nice viewfinder option for those days when I'm just in the mood. Don't like it for street shooting much at all in comparison to my other three cams. But there's just something about both the shooting experience and the resulting files that I just couldn't see parting with. Give it some time.

    That said, the GF1/20 is a really nice combination - one I put a lot of use into. Its the equal of the X100 in some ways, probably its slight superior in a couple, but a pretty different shooting experience. I don't have a gf1 or a 20 anymore, but I've got a pretty complete m43 kit and I wouldn't want to be without either. Or either the X10 or GRD3, although there's an awful lot of overlap there, but I know I'd regret selling either because of their unique qualities. But, its OK, I'm still one camera shy of a true handful, so I'll probably keep em all. And I guess if you count the iphone, I do have a complete handful of cameras...

    I'm not lusting after any camera at the moment, but I know myself well enough to know that the only cameras I'm not lusting after are the ones that have already been announced/released. I'm sure something will come along soon enough to tempt me yet again. Although camera's are getting so good - pretty much everything I found lacking in my cameras even a year ago are there in spades now, so maybe there's a chance the lusting will die down..... But I do enjoy the gear end of the hobby too, so probably not.

    -Ray
     
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  13. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Luke, I am very surprised that you're finding your X100's image quality lacking. I know I'm not alone in thinking that the camera offers some of the most beautiful image quality around.

    Please, if you feel like, it add your thoughts or questions or concerns to a thread over here in the Fuji X100 Technical forum.
     
  14. snake

    snake SC Regular

    194
    Oct 4, 2011
    I'd love to have these problems. I'd kill for a k5 and was working on a sponsorship at one point to try and get one, but I think mergers took precendence ;)

    However, I think this is a symptom of the gear taking precendence over shooting. Just look at DPR. It's all about the gear and getting the latest thing and little about taking pictures. Then you have people with drawers of cams (like me).
     
  15. adanac

    adanac SC Veteran

    386
    Sep 30, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    One thing that should be looked at is whether the camera suffers from sticky aperture blade syndrome... that can certainly explain less than expected sharpness.
     
  16. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I plan on doing some testing today and some comparison shots at different apertures. One of my problems is that I shoot a lot at f2. I need to trust the camera at higher ISO and stop down, but then there's the trade-off of DOF, too. I'm hoping it's just a case of elevated expectations and not a mechanical problem. It's easier to re-adjust my expectations than to send a camera in for repair.
     
  17. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    The camera is known for not being super sharp at f2.0, so maybe that's what you're dealing with it you like to shoot wide open a lot. Can't have it all I guess, at least without getting into larger lenses...

    -Ray
     
  18. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    I don't know...I guess it all depends on one's idea of sharp. Have you used the Macro mode? For myself, I've found the f/2 and f/2.8 to be quite good...this is in pretty normal lighting. I also happen to like it at high ISOs, too, in low light - granted it's not going to give you crystal clear sharpness. I think this also comes down to a matter of taste and what one is after. I have examples of both that I've been very pleased with.

    Definitely test it, Luke. If it tests out well, but you just don't feel the X100 is the camera for you - that's OK, too. That's one of the things about cameras - there are so many that it can be overwhelming but once you find one you "meld" with, it's a wonderful thing.
     
  19. adanac

    adanac SC Veteran

    386
    Sep 30, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    I found my X100 was soft at f/2. This wasn't always a problem for me though, sometimes that's a nice look (my wife would prefer all shots of her be "softer") when shooting closer in to maximize the ability to throw background detail out of focus. When my X100 started suffering from sticky aperture blade syndrome on a long trip, I was left with a softish f/2.0 camera for the balance. Unfortunately that look isn't suitable for everything. ;)

    Comparing the X100 to a NEX-5N with a Zeiss 25mm mounted... I'm liking the sharpness I get out of that combo.

    I can't put my finger on it but I believe the two lens assemblies I had were not the best examples of what is out there in X100 land. Even shot tripod mounted with the best technique I wasn't able to get the sort of sharpness I'd seen in other peoples work, and for some subjects this mattered to me. My perception of the camera's ability to deliver sharp results (mostly landscape) did not cause me to abandon the X100, but was one factor in my mind.

    What set me on the "handful of cameras" (tying this back into the thread after all) crusade was a desire to be able to choose the lens up front rather than be dependent on the camera maker for that choice.

    Unlike christilou, I do hope to find a compact camera that "does it all" where "does it all" simply means replaces a DSLR in a more compact shape, with an APS-C or larger sensor. I'm willing to forgo one of the principle DSLR advantages - usually faster AF - but don't want to give up the utility of a built in viewfinder. Or a hot shoe for flash, which can't be used by an accessory viewfinder.

    As soon as there is a camera that has decent controls that a photographer can appreciate, with a built in viewfinder (even if its an EVF), M9 size or thereabouts is fine, it doesn't need to be tiny at all, just slimmer than a DSLR, that can mount any rangefinder or manual glass (a la NEX) but at least my M lenses, has a hot shoe not co-opted for other purposes (I do sometimes shoot with a wireless trigger), that has at least a minimum amount of buffering such that shot to shot time isn't stupidly long (hey, Fujifilm, Ricoh, I'm talkin' at ya)... then I'll get off the Handful of Camera train or Current Compromise Camera carousel.

    In other words, take any competent DSLR design, chuck the mirror, slim it down, and replace the OVF with an EVF built in and we are done. That's not asking too much, is it?

    Perhaps 2011 was just a little early; the NEX-7 *might* be the first that hits the target (depending on M lens performance) but clearly it is the closest at this point. GXR next, but no built in EVF.

    So I'm using a compromise camera. Funny, when I write about the 5N and what I don't like about it, it feels like a compromise, but generally when I shoot with it, I don't think about its short comings at all. I guess that's a good sign... it is close, just not quite there - for me, mostly that's ergonomics and the lack of a proper hot shoe.

    On the plus side, until the NEX-7 ships and/or the wide angle rangefinder lens on the 7 issue is decided once and for all, or some future camera from Ricoh or ? ships, there literally isn't anything on the market that meets my "competent APS-C DSLR downsized" definition, so resisting buying any others is really quite easy.