What cameras have you "connected" with and why?

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Amin Sabet, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator Moderator

    Jul 3, 2010
    When I tried the Sony NEX-5 in a store the other day, my overall impression was very positive. If money were less of an issue, I think I'd like to have one to accompany my current Micro 4/3 gear. However, I always try to estimate how much of a "connection" I'm likely to feel with a camera, and I don't think I can truly connect with the current Sony NEX implementation.

    Visiting various photography forums, it's common to come across a comment that a certain camera is like an extension of the hand. Why do certain cameras feel this way, while others do not?

    Here's a list of cameras with which I've felt that connection:

    • Olympus OM-2n
    • Leica Digilux 2
    • Ricoh GX100 and GRD (haven't owned the latter, but it feels so natural in use)
    • Panasonic GH1 and G1 (especially with the Lumix 20)
    When I think about why I had that feeling with those particular cameras, it is a combination of ergonomics, ease of controls for the basics (focus, aperture, shutter, ISO), size/weight, and viewfinder (or LCD) quality.

    Feeling connected to a camera is a personal thing, and I don't mean to disparage the new Sonys in any way. I was genuinely impressed with the NEX and may pick one up still. However, there are some cameras out there where I feel like I am almost guaranteed to feel a connection (three of which start with "Leica" and end with an upset wife) so I'm holding back for now on the Sony.

    Question to all: Which cameras have you felt especially connected to and why?
     
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  2. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator Moderator

    Jul 3, 2010
    A note about the Sony NEX: I wonder how having aperture and focus control on the lens would change things for me. I use aperture priority most of the time, so a good manual focus lens might help me feel that connection to the Sony, especially if the auto-ISO implementation were good.
     
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  3. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    578
    Jul 6, 2010
    Leica M8 - soon as I picked it up I started smiling.

    Pentax MZ-5 - I picked it up and it was like somebody had made a camera specifically for my hands.
    Still my favourite ever camera. Unfortunately Pentax never replicated this design for digital.

    Olympus EP-2
     
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  4. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    Amin, I think you've hit on the big secret - what makes that connection for each of us with our camera/s.

    In my film days, it was my OM-1 especially with my 28mm lens, but the 50mm 1.4 is also a jewel. I loved it because of the way it felt immediately and because of its size. I still have real love in my heart for this camera but I put it aside due to eyesight constraints (unless it was an inanimate object, I would hear complaints about too much time spent focussing), and eventually the cost of processing, since I no longer had a darkroom...and even if I had, I felt guilty about pouring all those chemicals down the drain.

    My own digital "connection jury" is still out right now...but I'll get back to you, sooner rather than later, I hope.:smile:
     
  5. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 8, 2010
    Ricoh GRD2 ignited my interest in serious compacts and Ricoh cameras. The GRD3 is still my most effortless camera to use and always functions as a direct extension of my vision. My new GX100 also felt immediately comfortable familiar. Both are so easy to hold in hand.
     
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  6. arpoador

    arpoador SC Regular S.C. Charter Member

    In the '70s and early '80s: OM-1 (my first serious camera) and shortly thereafter it was joined by an OM-2. I would often have both of them hanging around my neck, one with a 50 the other with an 85. (In contrast to BB, I have more of a telephoto "eye".)

    In the late '80's and '90s: Nikon AF3 fixed-lens rangefinder. My primary camera at that time was actually a Maxxum 7000i, but I wouldn't say I ever "connected" with it.

    In the early '00s: Nikon Coolpix 5000. It was ugly, had a tiny little lcd (but articulating!) and took high-noise low-res photos even at base ISO. It was my first digital camera, though, and I loved playing with the images in Photoshop. I'd been using Photoshop since release 1.1 (around '85 or so) but had never used it for its intended purpose. This was followed by a string of forgettable cameras (SD300, SD500, S3is, SD990, SX1is) but none of them ever clicked, and I was always ready for the next one.

    In the last year, in rapid succession: Canon S90, Olympus EP-2, and Lumix G2. OK - maybe I don't have enough perspective on these yet (would I have nominated the 7000i in 1988?) - but I've used each of these more than any of the previous cameras save the OMs, and they have successively rekindled my infatuation with amateur photography.
     
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  7. Brian

    Brian SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    638
    Jul 7, 2010
    The Leica M8 for a Digital, and the EP2 with the EVF for a compact digital.

    Film cameras, long list. Nikon F2, Nikon SP, Leica M3, Canon P and a few others.
     
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  8. Boyzo

    Boyzo SC Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    258
    Jul 14, 2010
    For me it has to be my film Minolta srt101's with aperture/shutter speeds in the superb OVF plus open aperture metering.

    I am talking here about Physical handling balance and feel .. settings are another thing ALL digital are Idiosyncratic compared to pure manual all need some button pushing some more tham others although the G1 has to be the best of the

    button pushers.

    My first digital camera that felt good in the hand and here I am refering to the physical size / balance and comfort would have to be the
    Panasonic FZ30 (now with my sister) a great ultra zoom.

    The other great camera that feels right is the Panasonic L1 for an OVF camera it feels just right with perfect balance although a bit heavy (what a pity Pany did not continue this line) and the lenses are superb.

    The G1 is not far behind but a bit small and at times awkward and settings can be inadvertently mal-adjusted around the 4 way controller (the body is just too small)

    Of the GF1 /E-P2 or E-PL1 the E-P2 is my favorite by far its at its best with small lenses and using the LCD which allows viewpoints not easy with an EVF it takes some adaption but with long use becomes very natural.

    The EVF never feels like a built in one in terms of integrity but none the less quite competent

    I don't feel the need for a NEX or similar camera collecting for me has slowed .. now its Ray Ban sunglasses :wink:
     
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  9. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    There's been a few over the last 40+ years. Mostly Leica M's. I never connected with the Nikon F's....used them for stuff but they were just cameras...tools.
    The M's I share a kinda synergism with. We work in visual synergy. My favorite M is my Black Lac M4. I had Leica change the finder frames to just be 35mm.
    There's nothing else in there...just the 35 frame line and the RF patch.
    Moving to the present...I guess it's the Pens. The EP1 more than the EP2 cause I don't like using the EVF. The EVF changes the form of the camera and thus my shooting style. It interferes with my process. I don't like hiding behind the camera and I also like to see the world outside my frame.....

    The Pens give me the feeling and freedom of the M feel even more so than the M8. The M9 is out of my grasp even tho I would love to use one with a 35mm.... but alas, the Pens are it for the moment. It's not just a FEEL but a sense of the camera working with me when I am making images. They don't resist or inhibit my vision. They just kinda let me work with them in a hassle free mode.
    So, yes, I am connected to the Pens...more than I thought I would be.....

    shooter
     
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  10. Archiver

    Archiver SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    610
    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    Although I started with compacts, and have many of them, I have only had that 'connection' with a few. The Ricoh GRD III is right up there as one of the best. The feeling of the camera in my hand and the way it operates is perhaps the best I've encountered. I really wanted to like the Canon S90 but it doesn't give me the same feeling. I don't like the files from the S90 anywhere near as much, either, despite them having the same sensor. I really like the G10 as well, for its grip, ergonomics and output.

    I loved the feeling of the M8 the second I held it, but didn't like the M9's feel as much. I attribute this to the covering, as they are different. Operationally, they are pretty much the same. But the files from the M9 are glorious, and that gives me a wonderful feeling of connection with it.

    The Sigma DP1 and DP2 are great. I love their feeling and files; I particularly like the way the DP2 operates as well, button wise.

    I adored the 5D Mark II as soon as it was in my hands. The feeling of the camera, the heft and button placement were spot-on for me, and the images were just wonderful.
     
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  11. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member Subscribing Member

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Real Name:
    Antonio
    I do not feel that I have fully connected with any of the many cameras I have owned over the years. To my surprise, I think the closest I have come is with the Oly E-P1. My only complaint is that sometimes it is hard for me to compose using the LCD, but other than that it is the perfect size and weight and feels good in the hand, especially with the 20mm Lumix.

    I could say the same about the Contax G1 and G2 I used to own when I shot film. Those felt great except that lens changing was very finicky, and the AF could sometimes be hit or miss on the G1. However, the Zeiss lenses were absolute gems and the entire system (G1, G2, 28, 35, 45, and 90) fit into a relatively small and light bag.

    As to DSLRs, I felt very comfortable with the Canon 20D. I currently own and use a 50D, but although it is a more capable camera, I had more of a connection with the 20D. I also own a T1i, and while it is also a capable camera, it does not feel quite as nice in the hand. It is nice and light, though.

    Regards,

    Antonio
     
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  12. twalker294

    twalker294 New to SC

    3
    Aug 18, 2010
    Well I didn't get into photography until the digital age so I have no film cameras on my list.

    As for digitals, I've owned so many (probably around 30-35 by now,) it's hard to remember but a few that I remember fondly in the "connection" department:

    Sony R1
    Canon G2 and G3 (but not the G1 or G9 interestingly enough)
    Panasonic FZ20 and FZ30

    I am sure hoping to add the EPL1 to the list once I get mine later this week.

    I think that what creates that connection for me is when the camera feels just right in the hand, all the controls are in the right place, it gets out of your way and lets you take the picture the way YOU want to, and gives you results that you can't wait to have the pleasure of enjoying on your computer screen.

    Notice there are no DSLRs on my list. I've had the Olympus E20, Canon 10D, Canon 450D, and Canon 40D (I still have the 10D and 40D.) Although all have been excellent cameras that are capable of superb images, I don't really feel a connection, perhaps because of their bulk.
     
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  13. Wouter Brandsma

    Wouter Brandsma   S.C. Charter Member

    116
    Jul 7, 2010
    For me it still is the Ricoh GR1 (film). When I saw a first preview in a German magazine I knew that this was going to replace my Nikon SLR set. Used it for 13 years.

    When it comes to digital I still think the Ricoh GX100 was my most special compact camera. Currently I have the GRD3 which is pretty good, but the best connection with a camera was last year when I used a M8 for a day.

    I can like cameras when I don't have to fight it, but generally speaking I really hate all cameras. There is always something that distracts me. The winder of the GR1 has an annoying high pitched sound. I miss an OVF on all compact cameras I had (except for the old Olympus C4000z I had). Slippery finish, way too slow (DP1), or incredibly bulky and ugly (my Canon 10D).
     
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  14. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    Wouter, I'm laughing at your "but generally speaking I really hate all cameras. There is always something that distracts me." Not laughing at you, but laughing with understanding. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could just use our eyes and brains to take the photographs the way we see them and then transform them into a photograph?

    That's really my goal - to be able to use the camera as a means to capture what I see and then translate it into "print" or into an image viewable as I want it to be, on the Internet and computer.

    Right now, I'm feeling a real connection with my new Leica X1, but we haven't become one quite yet.
     
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  15. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Real Name:
    Barrie
    In my film days my Mamiya Press Standard and my Leica M3, superbly engineered and a joy to use, just 2 lenses, a 35mm, f/3.5 Summaron and a 90mm, f/4 Elmar.
    Now in the digital age either my Panasonic G1 or GF1, the former with a 105mm macro fitted, either the f/4 micro Nikkor or the f/2.8 Sigma DG whilst on the GF1 any of the Voigtlander Leica screw lens collection that I've built up for use with it.

    Barrie
     
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  16. misiekbunnik

    misiekbunnik New to SC

    6
    Aug 26, 2010
    Valkenswaard, NL
    I guess the connection is with the cameras you keep in the end...
    I feel connected to a olympus trip 35; I love the simpleness, ever ready, no charging etc...
    A Sigma DP1; my first Foveon camera, love to look at the files, amazing at 100% on screen. Slow it is, and i did order some 'leatherlike' finish online to make it non slippery..(sold my dp2, loved the view 41mm, but.. there was no connection using it??)
    The dp2 funded a Digilux 2 that i have only for 2 weeks now, I think this one is going to stay! Such a joy to use and hold, filesize is same as my sigma dp1 and after a dp1, the digilux is very quick and lcd is great in sunlight. I really want to print files from it, very curious about the outcome.

    ronald
     
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  17. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    Ronald, thanks for adding your feelings about your cameras here. I'd also really love to hear back from you regarding your continued involvement with the Digilux 2 and how you feel the prints work out. Please don't hesitate to start a new thread about it.
     
  18. neilvan

    neilvan SC Regular

    46
    Sep 25, 2010
    Beautiful BC, Canada
    My current collection of 'keepers', they have fit my needs, ergonomically and image quality wise:

    Olympus OM-4T - It's just to pretty to let go!
    Sony R1 - A camera that will never be sold, wondeful image quality and amazing lens.
    Panasonic LX3 - Great little pocket camera that has the 18mm adapter permantely attached.
    Panasonic G1 - Still feeling this one out...it's just a fun little camera to use with my OM legacy lenses.
    Sony a700 w/grip - My close-up/macro machine. Fits my XL hands like a glove.

    Olympus C5050z - Keeping for 'sentimental' reasons.

    A shelf full of other random cameras that suit specific purposes (underwater etc).