new camera

Feeling GReat already!

I got my Ricoh GR yesterday after waiting over a month for it. For starters I can say that all the waiting seems to be worthwhile.

Wouter Brandsma, Jorge Ledesma, and Richard Wanderman have been positive about the GR, and those are the guys with that kind of experience in photography that you can trust them.

Here are, however, my own very initial thoughts of the GR.

First of all GR felt nice in my hands from the beginning. Grip is very nice and GR is easy to operate with one hand even if I can’t make all the adjustments by one hand. I have to get more used to the camera to master that.

GR is highly customizable. Can’t say much more of that at the moment. It is a very good thing but could be quite overwhelming when you realize all the possibilities. So, lots to learn in the coming days!

I just charged the battery and went outdoors to shoot few initial shots with it. I put it in TAv mode just because this is my first camera to have that mode. And I immediately realized that this mode is going to be my absolute favorite. Pick your aperture and shutter speed and let the camera decide the suitable ISO. Cool. And it works. Because GR has the fantastic auto ND feature, you can shoot wide open outdoors in the sunshine without remembering to active the in-camera ND filter by yourself. Really, really nice. I used F2.8 and 1/250 plus macro mode for the close-ups. I feel that GR is very nice camera for shooting close-ups. Perfect DoF, beautiful bokeh, and 28mm focal length which gives you some background in the shots making them more environmental.

I didn’t get full understanding about all the focus modes GR has. That’s part of the learning curve thing. I mainly used Pinpoint AF because I felt it was more accurate than the Spot AF. Just my feeling, nothing else. I tested also the Snap focus system and it may well be useful for my kind of shooting, at least in some situations. For example when I am photographing our lively sons. Choose f-value between 5.6 and 8 , and shutter speed less than 1/250 with Snap focus and you are set up for that situation. Of course that kind of apertures will work nicely mainly outdoors in good lighting but it really is worth of trying. Kind of “street” photography at our own yard.

And by the way, I was shooting JPEGs. GR may well be a JPEG camera for me. Of course I have to test out DNGs too before judging but if GR is exposing well (and I learn to use exposure compensation properly) I may end to shoot JPEGs with it. There are some nice in-camera effects (like high contrast B&W and bleach bypass) which I find interesting ones to test out.

I have found a new main camera for me. That says quite a much.

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There is an X in the model name

I was very fast with my actions to get a zoom compact. I have had Olympus XZ-2 for few hours now. Here are some reasons why I decided to have it to complement my Sigma DP2 Merrill and Fuji X100S (which I am going to buy when it will be in the stores).

I read Robin Wong's great four-part review on XZ-2 and was quite much sold after it.

XZ-2 has a great fast lens (f/1.8-2.5).

It seems to have a decent ISO performance up to 1600-3200.

I really like tilting LCD. Have been wanting that for a long time.

Nicely customizable. Fn1 and Fn2 buttons plus great hybrid control ring (having stepped and smooth modes) on the lens.

Built-in ND filter. Nice to have if you want to shoot wide open in bright lighting conditions.

Good resolution but not so huge file size. I have other cameras (with bigger sensors) for superb resolution.

So those were reasons why I decided to have the XZ-2. I may later on write a short mini review of it.

Initial thoughts on Sigma DP2 Merrill

I got my new DP2 Merrill yesterday evening. When I opened the package and took the camera in my hand I was smiling. It really feels solid and very well made. I got the feeling that I am holding a Braun or Junghans product. I immediately felt “home” with it. Maybe even more than with my late Fuji X100. Menu system is simple and easy to understand and use. QS (Quick Set) button and system is a joy to use. Fast access to the most needed features like ISO, metering, and WB.

I feel the focusing is quite fast. And it is really accurate. Have to say that DP2M focuses faster than my Fuji X-Pro1 (even with the XF 35mm lens). Quite funny actually because DP2M does not even have a focusing assist light. So, I am very pleased in this respect. The whole camera is nicely responsive.

The battery life is quite horrible and you have to remember to keep both supplied batteries charged all the time. Fortunately I never shoot lots of shots in one instance, so I believe this is not going to be a very big problem to me. Writing times to memory card (I use a 95 Mb/s card) are slow. Camera has a 7 shot buffer which helps the situation a lot because you can still shoot with the camera when it is writing the files.

Awesome. That’s my overall initial feeling. More later.

F2.8, 1/20, ISO 400.

Kaapo testing his new camera

Olympus T-100. He had our old Canon Ixus 400 before this one but its battery is not in a good condition anymore.

It is so nice to see how keen he is on photography. And he shoots very nice photos and is able to use camera’s features by himself.

I think Tiitus is soon going to be as good as Kaapo because he got the old Ixus from Kaapo.