Score one for fun to use

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by dixeyk, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    If I had to choose just one of my cameras, which thankfully I don't...I think I just might choose my Fuji X10 over all my other cameras. I wouldn't choose it because it is best in anything. I would choose it because it can do a lot of things for me and everything it does it does pretty well. It's easy to point out how the sensor is too small (cameras like the E-PM2 or E-PL5 are almost as small and have much better IQ), or how you can see the lens (and lens hood) in the OVF, how the battery life is comically short, how it has too much noise at high ISO, not enough dynamic range or the RAW files don't seem to work well in LR or Aperture. It's not the best at anything it does...but it IS pretty darned good at a lot of things and a lot better than you might expect at many of them. I would choose the X10 because it's small and that means it goes with me everywhere so when an opportunity arises it's handy. I would choose it because the lens is fast, the zoom range useful and it has more than enough manual controls to allow me a good measure of control over the images. I would choose it because I can get really close to stuff and don't need a special macro lens. I would choose it because every time I look at the images it produces I find myself delighted and surprised at how they are a lot better than they have a right to be. Most of however I would choose it because I find making images with it makes me smile.

    And yes...I am surprised at how much I like it. It's not everyone's cup of tea and I think to get the best from it you need to spend time learning how to do it but of you do it's immensely satisfying...faults and all. It may not be the best at anything that is measurable or quantifiable but it sure is an absolute blast and I think it is the most fun I have had with a camera in ages. I don't plan on getting rid of my G2 and Sigma 30 or my NEX and my lovely collection of Rokkors. I like all my cameras very much. Each has a place in my photographic cabinet and I don't need to choose between them...but if I did the X10 would be very hard to let go of. Very hard indeed.

    The Boardwalk by dixeyk, on Flickr

    Curbside by dixeyk, on Flickr
  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    being satisfied with one's gear leads to better photos. :2thumbs:
  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Fun to use is hugely important to me too, and seems not to get as much discussion as the various measureable IQ issues. It's why I dumped the the RX100, which was no damn fun (for me - obviously subjective) for the much more enjoyable X10, and why I ultimately sold it for the even more sublime (again, just to me) LX7, even though each of those steps was arguably a step down in IQ, cetainly in sensor quality.

    In any case, I'm glad you're enjoying the X10!!

  4. snkenai

    snkenai SC All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    If some of us are doing photography, just for the joy of it, then why not use what "tickles your innards"? :smile:
  5. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Ray, watch out or you're going to end up with a pinhole camera
  6. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    I really like that first one.

    Here lately, I'm having more fun shooting with my other half's XZ-1 than I am with my E-PL2. Just wish it had RX100 like IQ.
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    There is much to be said for the convenience and utility that a nice point and shoot offers.
  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I sort of think of my iPhone as the modern equivalent of a pinhole. I use it sometimes. And the Olympus body cap lens makes any m43 body sort of a pinhole cam, although with a hell of a sensor.

  9. Phoenix

    Phoenix SC Top Veteran

    Dec 28, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix Gonzales
    I think this is a very important aspect for all of us, the importance of being happy with what you do and what you use as with what Luke has mentioned this will reflect on one's images and I think this will apply no matter what gear you use.

    I had a discussion with a good mate recently who is also my partner in crime regarding photography and he is planning to shoot with a Holga for awhile and he has no prior experience in shooting film, so after discussing the pros and cons of shooting film it came down to, "it makes me happy", and I think this sentiment alone is reason enough to put up with the cons of shooting film.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. nianys

    nianys SC Regular

    Sep 10, 2012
    It's a tough question, and a very interesting topic, what is the most relevant in a camera, the end result, or the joy getting there ?
    I had a GX-1 that I was crazy about. Everything about this camera was awesome. I had configured it to my exact needs, had the fantastic PL25/1.4 lens on it over 90% on the time, which fit my vision perfectly, it had super fast AF, a state of the hart touchscreen, genius UI. Plus it was a real system as I had 3 truly geat lenses and a very useful viewfinder. What on Earth happened that I sold everything ??
    Well, one reason is rational, the other is not. First, I felt limited from day one by the smaller chip. As fantastic the PL25 is (I also had the excellent 45/1.8, though I never bonded with it), I DID feel impoverished DOF control from the sensor and it was very real to ME (vs APS-C). The second reason is that the m4/3 internet crowd didn't resonate well with me at all, I just wasn't comfortable with the formated thinking and bully attitude (not saying all m4/3 users are like that of course, but there's a self rightousness that I experienced on nearly all boards involved with the format, that was tiresome). The forced OM-D veneration was a burden (knowing I thoroughly disliked the cam upon handling it, and hate Oly menus and UI with a passion).
    So here I was, getting rid of a perfectly joyful camera and all around superbly performing system, for an IQ glitch (deeper DOF by default) and a community issue ??
    I got a NEX 5N. Body only at first, no E mount lens, just legacies primes. The first 10 shots I nailed with Peaking threw me off my feet. For the ease of use on MF, and for the output. The beauty, clarity, and bokeh of me dumb Barbie doll test shots with a 50 1.8 wide open was like being reborn.
    That's the exhilarating phase. Then all the quirks, bizarre UI, sluggishness, not so great touchscreen etc of the camera landed on me at once. When I got the 18-55 and lost most of my shots to the leisurely AF, I knew I had to move up. Had the 6. I call its "improved" hybrid PDAF placebo efffect... The Fn button was godsent, but I lost the touchscreen (not a huge loss, they're far from the best on NEX). Tested some more E mount native lenses and the same underwhelming experience repeated itself. Good, even great optics (30/2.8DN, SEL50/1.8), same sloooow operation and lack of responsiveness. My main subjects are a lively 4 yr old, and now an athtletic puppy. And I was still doing better with MF. Something is wicked here. Still trying to move up the ladder, ended up trying, and liking, the 7. At least most of the ergonomics and camera controls complaints are gone. The IQ is over the top. I pair it mostly with the PEN F 38/1.8, and the results can be astonishing in detail, color, sharpness etc.
    But now I'm wanting the old GX-1 experience back. I want a 50mm equivalent lens that can grab and lock focus on the spot, no question, and let me the shot, including in low light. NEX AF is pretty much up to modern standards in bright daylight (heck, who is not ??), but most of my shooting happens at night in my living room. No dice. I'd need to try the SEL 35/1.8 (and intend to). It's not in stock with Amazon in my country yet, and I'm NOT taking the risk of buying this lens without a serious return policy. A few things from written and video reviews tell me that I might run in the same glitches again.
    So now, what's more important ?? Getting gorgeous, rich pictures with the NEX 7 and MF lenses, or getting frustrated as hell because an expensive, top of the line camera can't figure out of to focus half as well as a now heavily discounted, lower specified m4/3 GX-1 ??
    It seems like my dream camera is gonna be... the XE-2. That'll be the XE-1 with added new superfast AF from X100s and X20, and focus peaking. That, I'll buy. Until then (won't be very long, camera makers have figured out CSC's are the only market with some inherent profit left to milk) I'm buying an X10, to get familiar again with Fuji stuff. "Again", because my first digital camera, ever, was a Fuji, and so was my first DSLR, ever (and I've had a handful of Fujis far and between). The X10 will of course not replace anything for my "main" portrait stuff, and the purchase and assessment of the SEL35 is still in the cards, but considering what Dixeyk wrote (and we're a lot alike and old partners in crime at Talknex), I'm rather confident that there is some enjoyment to be had from it.
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    I think my criteria are pretty simple. I just want something that enables me to make images that please me. There are a lot of things that all of use to evaluate cameras but more and more I am finding that some make more of a difference than others. For me, it's about convenience, some degree of manual control and flexibility. The X10 proving to be what I reach for first. I would not have predicted it but it is. I'm not sure I can even quantify why I like it better other than to say that the X10 is a blast to use and never fails to impress me with it's images.
  12. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    It is interesting that the cameras we tend to think of as being the most fun to use are the ones that on some level at least we feel limited by. The most fun camera that I had in recent memory was an Olympus E-PL1; a camera which had it's fair share of operational shortcomings but just felt right when you held it and shot with it (most of the time, anyway).

    I don't know if I would label any of my current cameras as being particularly "fun", but they are still all enjoyable to shoot with.