Earlier digital days I was craving for full frame sensors. I thought they would provide some additional value for my photography. But FF mainly provided frustration. Well, of course I have to admit that I got some nice narrow DoF and bokeh shots but many times I was struggling.
If I now go through my present camera gear, it seems that I am going towards smaller sensors. Few years ago I would never believed this to happen. Now my cameras have the following sensor sizes: 1/1.7″, 2/3″, 1″, and APS-C.
And all of my present cameras are kind of classics or even cult devices. I have Leica Digilux 2 (introduced 2003), Fuji X100 (introduced 2010), Nikon 1 V1 (introduced 2011), and Fuji X-Pro1 (introduced 2012).
Oh, almost forgot that soon there will be Ricoh GRD IV too. 🙂
I have been lately using optical viewfinder (OVF) extensively with my Fuji X100. Such a great feeling to use a superbly bright viewfinder. No electronic one can compete. OVF is so fast – no lack of course. And you can see more than you get. Very handy indeed. I have not been using any photo preview with my cameras for some time now. I do not need always the immediate response to see the shot I just took. This of course makes shooting so much faster and it also makes me feel more free. Just concentrate on shooting not previewing the shots.
If your camera has an OVF just use it. Learn it. It will be fun.
Few photos shot using OVF with my X100:
I almost sold this camera (well, some of my friends will ask now that is there any camera I would not have sold and then bought back) but I am happy that I decided to keep it. That camera is the Nikon 1 V1. I have learned to use it, at least partially. When I bought this camera I was having “problems” with high-ISO shots. Too much noise and everything. V1’s noise is actually not any big question even with ISO 1600. I have got some very good results with that high ISO because the camera focuses so precisely and fastly.
Outdoors this camera shines if you have to shoot moving subjects. Focus is really fast and usually I use sigle shots but of course you can utilize multiple shots or even the decent focus tracking. I have to admit that I have never before got so many keepers when shooting fast subjects, not with any camera I have owned (there are quite many). When you shoot with ISO 100-200 the image quality is very good indeed.
Below are some latest examples shot with the Nikon 1 V1. I have to say that I am very happy about all of them
Wow. I hope Sigma will be back in business with these new DP models. Really interesting ones, especially the DP3 Quattro with a 75mm equivalent lens. If the Quattros are faster and have better battery life than the DP Merrill serie then I would be highly interested. Image quality will be a stunning one. I know because I have had DPM 2 with a 45mm equivalent lens. The biggest irritating thing with DPM cameras, and I suppose also with the Quattros, will be the fact that you have to use Sigma’s own RAW processing software, Sigma Photo Pro. That is a very cumbersome and slow programme and I really hope Sigma will enhance its usability in conjunction with the release of the new camera serie. Foveon is a fantastic sensor but unfortunately only Photo Pro will read the RAW files it produces.
Here is some info about the new Quattro serie.
Info from Sigma’s site.
I have been lately testing RAW shooting with my Leica Digilux 2. Earlier I was not so interested in capturing RAW files with Digilux 2 because of the long writing times needed. It takes 6-7 seconds to write a single RAW file into an SD card! I thought in the first place that the slow operation would hinder me too much to shoot RAW but I found it to be different. Actually the slow pace makes me think about the shooting situation more and the slowness somehow suits so well for this dinosaur camera.
But what is actually the best thing in RAW shooting is the fact that I will get better shots in that way. When shooting JPEGs with Digilux 2 I had many times problems with the white balance. With RAW those problems are gone. Another big thing is that I seem to get more details in my captures using RAW. It is actually quite amazing how much details this 5 MPix camera is able to deliver. I like the CCD sensor rendering – it gives almost magical old-school feeling into the shots. This is quite difficult to explain but it is there.
Below are few shots captured in RAW with Digilux 2. First two of them have been developed in LR and the two last ones in Aperture which I am testing again and actually enjoying it. I am not sure yet if I am going to use solely Aperture but it is nice to have options in this respect too.
Wow. The coming X-T1 looks fantastic. I really dig its ISO dial on the camera and hopefully the viewfinder hump is a promise for a great EVF. I could consider that kind of a DSLR-like form factor if the size is still kept small enough. I have now XF 35/1.4 lens and I am soon getting XF 18-55mm LM OIS zoom so I would already have two great lenses for that body. These are very interesting news but they also rise the question that what will happen to X-Pro2.
Some additional info from Fuji Rumors site.
My beloved Fujifilm X100 arrived to today. It was a nice moment to open the package. Great reunion. I got a fantastic Leicatime half-case for it too and they say that this case is the Bentley of the half-cases. It surely feels great and is top-quality. But more of the Leicatime case later. Now I want to share my reasons to switch from Ricoh GR to Fuji X100.
I think one of the main reasons is the X100’s fantastic viewfinder. It seems I want one even if I am not using a viewfinder all the time. But I like to have options and X100 offers three options to me: an LCD, an EVF, and an OVF. It is so great feeling to rise the camera on the eye and become as a one entity with the camera. Of course holding camera using a viewfinder stabilizes the camera nicely too.
Number two reason is the focal length. I felt that the GR’s 28mm lens was too wide for me many times. I couldn’t get a proper grip to that wide focal length. It may seem that 28mm and 35mm are close to each other but in reality it is not so in this wide angle area. 35mm is so much easier to me.
Another asset is the full stop faster lens in the X100. F/2.0 versus F/2.8. Important thing especially in indoor shooting and gives better background blur and bokeh.
The above things were the main things to make me decide. But there are many others though. I like the feel of X100 more than of the GR. Fuji is nicer in hand and feel more pleasurable to use IMO. There are those sweet aperture and shutter speed rings in X100. Old school way. Me like. It is much easier to move the focus point in X100 and I use that feature quite a lot. Manual focus is better implemented in X100 providing nice focus peaking and a real (even if by-wire) focus ring on lens. I like Fuji’s JPEGs more than GR’s. Fuji’s colors are more pleasing to me in JPEGs. Just better. Spot metering on X100 is working much better than in GR. I am using also that in many instances. And last but not least, Fuji has better high ISO performance (at least at ISO 3200-6400).
So, here you go. My reasoning in brief. My X100 story is similar to my X-Pro1 story. Buy a brand new, sell it, and buy back as a used one. But I am not going to sell them again. My goal is going to have all-Fuji stuff (maybe I will keep my Leica Digilux 2 in addition to them).
I love certain cameras but I realize this only after I have let them go. But soon I will get my loved one back.
More later. Now let’s prepare to see each other again. Joy.