Day one of shooting in Paris and we had to get a bit of the standard sightseeing out of the way. Unfortunately that meant huge, imperial avenues and not a lot of original material in the architecture department. Eiffel Tower, anyone? Continue reading
This is the first frame from four days in Paris last weekend. I had every intention of cranking through the rest today but it’s just too darn sunny out there to be stuck inside glued to Lightroom. Sorry Paris, you’ll have to wait. Continue reading
You only have a few days left to check out Tom Stoddart’s Perspectives exhibition on London’s South Bank just west of Tower Bridge. It’s an account of human suffering in areas of conflict and starvation, taking in Africa, the Balkans, Asia and the Middle East. Continue reading
I had the best of intentions to photo walk yesterday. But first a nap got in the way. Then prolonged thunderstorms got in the way. Then dinner got in the way … you get the idea.
Today I had better luck. After a quick trip into town to see whether the Panasonic G5 was in stock (it isn’t), I took the X Pro 1 for a little outing to see if I could get my phojo back before Paris next weekend. (And yes, I know phojo is terrible, but I think it just might stick.) Continue reading
A couple of rumour sites have just posted leaked images of a more compact X-mount camera from Fujifilm, the X-E1. It seems to sport the same style and control interface of the X-Pro1, without the bulky optical viewfinder unit. I’m not a fan of the optical viewfinder, so if the specs are good and the camera is faster to focus and more responsive than the X-Pro1, I may downgrade. It also appears to have a built-in flash and comes in a silver option. Those Fuji engineers are working hard.
Check out the original post here:
Everybody’s very excited about the Canon EOS M, the ubiquitous Japanese camera maker’s entry into the compact system camera, or mirrorless, market.
Most amateurs who lug around a DSLR do so for reasons of quality. Now, thanks to the Sony NEX range and other mirrorless cameras that sport an APS-C sized sensor, they believe they can have that quality without the burden of an SLR with big lenses. Which is true, to an extent. The extent of your focal length.
Have you ever noticed how these magical cameras are launched with either short-range kit zooms or pancake prime lenses? There’s a reason for that. Physics.
Nixing the mirror means you can have a smaller and lighter camera. But if you want DSLR quality you’re still gonna have to project a good image onto the entire sensor. A shorter flangeback distance can give you a smaller lens in the short to medium focal lengths, but sooner or later you’re gonna want something longer. That’s when you have to put something like the giant Sony 55-210mm e-mount on your tiny NEX-7 body. Suddenly your kit isn’t looking much smaller than that Nikon D5100 which costs less than half the price! Look at it. It’s HUGE. That’s a £280 lens with a variable aperture. Imagine how big a fixed f2.8 lens would be.
That’s why you never see a telephoto lens on the marketing images for a mirrorless camera. It’s all pretty pancakes and standard zooms, most of which fail to maintain quality and sharpness across the entire frame. With quality almost always comes size and weight. That’s why Sony’s 24mm e-mount Zeiss lens, at £850, is bigger and heavier than the 18-55 e-mount kit zoom. It’s a great lens, but Sony will struggle to produce that level of quality at longer focal lengths without making the lens unwieldy on the tiny NEX cameras. (Notice how they have bulked up the design for the F3?)
If you want a genuinely smaller kit (and the exception might be Leica but who can afford it), you need to bite the bullet and embrace a smaller sensor. Olympus and Panasonic benefit from smaller lenses due to the smaller and squarer micro four thirds sensor. However, even at that size the telephoto zooms aren’t small.
Nikon have come up with a truly portable system in the Nikon 1 – it’s 30-110mm zoom gives an 81-297mm equivalent reach in a lens that is genuniely tiny and feather light. The sacrifice is megapixels and high ISO performance – a sacrifice most of us have been unwilling to make, even if it comes with the added benefit of blazing speed (60fps). The main problem with this system is it’s pitched at a new market, and Nikon don’t seem interested in making pro-grade wide-aperture glass, even though it could be genuinely compact.
My point is you can’t really have your cake and eat it too. Dropping the mirror will get you a smaller camera, but the size and weight of your kit will be very much about the lenses. If you’re trading down from a full-frame SLR, the benefits might be clearer due to crop-sensor lenses being so much smaller. However, if you want quality glass and a camera body that can handle it, keep the humble SLR in mind. You might even save some money in the process.
Personally, I want smaller. Genuinely smaller. And yes, I’m willing to sacrifice some quality to get it. Let’s see whether Photokina has anything to tempt me.
Hey guys – a few images of the new Canon EOS M mirror less camera leaked yesterday but it seems we now have the official product shots, so check them out below.
You can read Steve Huff’s take on it too.
When I first laid eyes on this camera I was sure it had a tiny sensor – maybe Nikon 1 size, and the 22mm pancake it was pictured with made it anybody’s guess, as 44mm is a good standard lens size if the crop factor was 2x (same as micro four thirds). But equally the crop factor could have been longer or shorter.
No more guesswork, though. The latest pics show an 18-55mm kit lens which means the camera will definitely have an APS-C sized sensor. That’s the same sensor size found in consumer grade DSLRs.
It doesn’t have a viewfinder, so maybe that’s Canon’s way of ensuring sales of DSLRs aren’t hurt. However, it’s equally likely that they will bring out a second model with an EVF, which is what Nikon did.
Judging from the design and choice of sensor, it’s clear Canon sees Sony’s NEX series as the biggest threat to market share and the one to compete with.
Do you want one, or is it just Canon being unimaginative again?
I’ve been off the grid, at least photography wise, for a couple of months now. You may have noticed I gave the site a new coat of paint then left it without finishing the job, then repainted it again, and am now just finding the time to properly sort it out. The blog itself is moving platforms, too, so this is where you’ll find all posts from now on. The old URLs will live on as a working archive and once I’ve rewired the temporary redirects to permanent ones, nobody should feel a thing.
So where have I been? Nowhere really. I got flattened by moving house (my third move in three years), work stuff, social stuff, life stuff etc. It happens. I even got so busy that I missed a day of my 365. Then I missed another. And another. And, well, I’m not sure whether I’ve stopped, but I’ve had to take a more relaxed approach to things as feeling bad about taking a crap photo at 11.59pm each night wasn’t working for me. I could have just started snapping with my iPhone, but that’s not really what 365 was about for me. It was about daily exercise for daily parts of my brain that usually only work out a few times a year. Mission accomplished in that respect, but it’s a shame I couldn’t keep it up through the summer.
However, it is not all bad news. There was a very important photographic reason (among other, unimportant practical reasons) for moving house : ceiling height. I now have metres of it! Which means that, if I want to, I can get a deep octa shining down from two metres above a model’s head. It means I can light, finally. As many combi-stands and kick-ass modifiers as my battered bank balance will allow. It’s home studio time. I also live in a big old Victorian building that puts a multitude of great shooting locations on my doorstep.
Meanwhile, I can’t say I’ve missed much. Things seem to be pretty quiet in the land of photography, unless you’re a wedding photographer – in which case you are probably crazy busy and investing heavily in weatherproofing your gear Nikon’s been super quiet, slowly catching up on their D800 and D4 manufacturing backlog. You can get the D800 now, but I think those who didn’t pre-order are over it. Expensive, large, heavy, huge file sizes. Panasonic dropped a bunch of new models this week, but nothing to get excited about. The new Fuji X-Pro1 lenses are available for pre-order at some places – Park Cameras told me they were expecting the first stock in September. That’s probably optimistic but they do seem to get some of the first stock from other manufacturers. Still no word on new Nikon 1 lenses, or indeed anything new for that system. The D600 will probably be announced at Photokina. I had a play with Canon’s EOS 650D a few weeks ago and came away pretty impressed – they say it’s a beginner’s camera but at that price with those features I think it’s cutting the 60D’s lunch a bit. Oh and Canon might announce a new mirrorless camera next week – that could be interesting. And everybody still loves the OM-D. I’m determined not to buy it on principle, and fortunately I have some very real-word financial constraints that will help me keep that promise
Better get back to sorting out the site. Take it easy.
p.s. I’ve just noticed that this wordpress theme turns my old-school smileys into yellow happy faces. I just want you to know that is not how I roll.
Read my Review of the Nikon V1 mirrorless compact system camera.