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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:38 am 
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Hmm, maybe the X-Pro1 is back on the list of possibles. The blog at f8 Photography suggests that MF is perfectly feasible, even with a 50mm f/0.95 lens attached! So that (short) list is the NEX-7, X-Pro1, whatever CSC Leica announce later this year and, should they bother, whatever CSC Canon may announce this year.

Bob.

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Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:26 pm 
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Things go from average to below average in the CSC stakes. Ergonomically maybe the best CSC out there is the NEX-7 and now the PhotoZone E-mount lens tests using the NEX-7 are in - my thread here refers. That pretty much rules out the NEX-7. If, as popo suggests in that thread, the issue is with the NEX-7 sensor then one has to wonder exactly what substance the Sony engineers were smoking!

Maybe the best APS-C sensor ever is housed in the Fuji X-Pro1 body but there have been enough bad reports now about the AF performance of Fuji's initial lens offerings, especially in low light, to give serious cause for concern and, from what I read, the camera isn't exactly manual focus friendly either although, to be fair, I've not had a chance yet to try it out.

More and more I'm pinning my hopes on the promised Leica CSC or, if miracles really do happen, Canon's eventual entry into the CSC market. If they both disappoint then maybe I'll have to rethink and look again at m4/3, if only on the strength of the Lumix G 7-14mm f/4 ASPH which looks very sweet, and if I still can't convince myself that I can get the IQ I want from such a small sensor then maybe I'll just give up, go back to dinosaur land and get a 5D3. Image

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


Last edited by Bob Andersson on Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Updated as issue with NEX-7 may be sensor rather than glass driven.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:24 pm 
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"maybe I'll just give up, go back to dinosaur land and get a 5D3."
Hehe, someone would call this a 360° turn :D
Cheers!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:46 pm 
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If I do end up with a 5D3 it will feel more like a 720° turn but I'm still hoping to plough a straight furrow. The wide angle lens situation with the NEX-7 has been a severe disappointment. The camera can perform really well when used with legacy glass but the border resolution with the wide angle E-mount glass is a disgrace. I can't imagine using the NEX-7 with legacy glass on a day to day basis but I am trying to keep an open mind. At least, with the sale of my Canon kit, the budget is generous so I can even contemplate one of Germany's finest if push comes to shove!

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:52 am 
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Hi folks,

I was reminded this morning that it's very easy to pixel peep the sample images from the various new cameras that are announced, say "Wow" and think "I must have one of those". I took a shot (this post) a few days ago with my trusty Canon G10 and, ignoring my usual artistic bloopers, when I opened up the image at 100% (link) I was reminded just how good that camera can be if you can work within the limitations of a small sensor. Try shooting at even moderate ISO or with subjects that aren't relatively static and the camera really struggles but the level of detail is impressive at ISO 80.

The image from the camera had a graduated filter applied to the sky and my standard landscape sharpening (not tuned for 100% viewing so you will see artefacts, particularly around the tree branches) were applied in ACR and the image was lightly cropped and a little noise reduction using the Topaz Labs add on were applied in Photoshop. Fortunately the camera got the exposure absolutely nailed so the limited dynamic range of those small pixels wasn't an issue.

Moral of the story: "Keep feet firmly planted when planning next purchase". :idea:

Yes, I want an APS-C sensor or larger for those big pixels with greater exposure latitude. Yes, I want DSLR level performance (but not size), not least in the area of AF. Yes, I want interchangeable lenses so I can bulk out the camera's abilities as needed. But no, maybe I don't need everything to be 100% perfect although, given my interest in landscae photography, I do draw a pretty firm line in the sand where optical performance is concerned.

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:27 pm 
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Come again, Bob: Why is the new Fuji X-Pro 1 not on your short-list?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:24 am 
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Hi Thomas,

It certainly was on my short list but most reviews seem to flag slow and erratic AF and MF is only assisted via a magnified view rather than the focus peaking offered by the Sony NEX-7. Whether the iris noise from the Fuji lenses would be an issue for me I can't tell until I hear it. One final point is that the X-Pro1 isn't that small being about the size of an M9 despite only having an APS-C sensor. I'm still trying to keep an open mind about the X-Pro1 despite all of the above because of the reported IQ - maybe things will improve as the new lenses come out and maybe a firmware fix is issued?

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:48 pm 
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Hi folks,

Another entry in what is almost turning into a personal blog regarding my thinking processes in choosing a CSC.

Today I've been re-evaluating the micro four-thirds offerings and comparing against the Sony NEX system. My first step was the aspect ratio with micro four-thirds having an, ahem, 4:3 aspect ratio while the NEX uses 3:2. It sounds like a big difference but if the ratios are expressed with a common "width" we have 12:9 and 12:8 respectively, a difference of height of about 12.5% which isn't much.

Next up is resolution and that's much more difficult to compare. Relying on the PhotoZone test results one can compare the 12MP GF1 against the 14MP NEX-5 or the 24MP NEX-7. This should be a hands down win for the NEX-7 but for the shorter focal lengths my reading of the test results is that away from the centre of the image the NEX-5 comfortably outperforms the NEX-7. :shock:

Another surprise is the performance of the various micro four-thirds kit lenses on the GF1. They struggle in peak resolution in the centre of the image, as would be expected when comparing against the higher resolution NEX sensors, but actually do very well out at the edges when comparing the shorter focal lengths even after factoring in (or out), as I believe one should, the 12.5% factor that micro four-thirds enjoys in line widths per picture height because of the 4:3 aspect ratio. I'd love to see the results of the micro four-thirds lenses on the higher resolution 16MP sensors that are now available but it's hard, in my very unscientific way, not to draw the conclusion that the micro four-thirds offerings are better balanced over the whole frame while the Sony lens has been too heavily optimised for centre resolution.

Of course there are many more options than just the kit lens and it's only fair to point out that the NEX-7 does do rather better when fitted with the 16-50mm f/2.8 DT SSM via the EA-LA2 adaptor but that is a combination which rather negates a lot of what CSC cameras are about. On the extreme wide angle front the picture is even rosier for the GF1 not least because there is no E-mount alternative to the Lumix G 7-14mm f/4 ASPH. You'd also think that the NEX-7 would beat the GF1 hands down when comparing the resolution of the Sony E 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 OSS against the Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175mm f/4-5.6 ASPH OIS but the same pattern recurs away from the image centre. How is it possible that the 12MP GF1 with the lens at 175mm and f/5.6 can out-resolve (line widths per picture height) the 24MP NEX-7 with the lens at 210mm and f/6.3 at the image borders? Answers on a postcard please!

Gordon's own tests have highlighted the better high ISO performance of the NEX-5N compared, most recently, with the Lumix GX1 (here) but the performance difference isn't massive so far as I'm concerned and may disappear altogether if one factors in the availability of fast glass. Again, this is not scientific analysis on my part but just a "seat of the pants" feeling I'm getting so I'll be delighted to be educated about this.

I've not tried to factor price into the discussion as that is just so difficult to do without a very tightly defined shopping list but the bottom line is that I am seriously re-evaluating my prior prejudice against m4/3 which I held on the grounds of both aspect ratio and "smaller than APS-C". I'm even considering putting the Olympus OM-D E-M5 near the top of my list of contenders! "What took you so long" I can hear some folks mutter but I'll take some comfort from at least being able to admit to my sin! :P

Bob.

Update: I've just been reading the SLR Gear review of the new Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 ASPH Power OIS where they state "the new 14-42mm 'X' version is much sharper than the previous version; it's also much more resistant to chromatic aberration, shows less corner shading, and has a better profile for distortion". Given the "previous version" referred to was the one that PhotoZone were using in their tests it would seem that the Sony offering looks even shabbier by comparison but I'll add a health warning that it's difficult enough comparing two reviews from the same site without then trying to cross reference with reviews on a second site!

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:16 pm 
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Bob Andersson wrote:
Another entry in what is almost turning into a personal blog regarding my thinking processes in choosing a CSC.


Bob I’m convinced that you will never buy another camera, as you are too affixed in tech details and don’t spend enough time analysing technique which is the essence of picture taking.
You will always be waiting for the improved evolution of what is available today.
The one we all want hasn’t been built … yet.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:19 pm 
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Hi WestCoast,

I'll unconvince you later this year! :P :lol:

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:21 pm 
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Come on Bob, just click the 'Buy now!' button the NEX-7's Amazon page...We all know you want to :twisted:!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:36 pm 
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Joris, you need to update you signature, assuming that you have bought something new as well.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:41 pm 
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Cheers for reminding me :)...I've updated it on every forum I'm on, apart from this one apparently :oops:. Off to update it...

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:44 pm 
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Bob Andersson wrote:
Hi WestCoast,

I'll unconvince you later this year! :P :lol:

Bob.


Here is what I would do, since there is only a limited amount of cameras that fit your current criteria and assuming that you have some means, just go and spend $1,500-2K on what is the best out there "at the moment".
Play with it for a couple of months, and if it's not what you wanted, just re-sell it. The worst case scenario will be that you have "rented" the system for a couple of hundred bucks which should be the max loss taken.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:47 pm 
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Or simply get a M9 and be as happy as Bjorn is!
---
Hmm, just thinking: Should I start a thread "Not even 7500 posts and already the best DSLR!" to counterbalance the ruminations about getting a non-DSLR here :wink:

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