12.14.2012

Top Five Camera Purchases My Friends Made This Year And My Two Favorites.

The hottest camera of the year on the Visual Science Lab lust-o-graphic measuring instruments is, without a doubt, the drool inducing Nikon D800. Even Michael Johnston, reasonable and restrained reviewer that he is, couldn't withstand the lure of the magic number: 36 million pixels. And to all who know they seem to be really, really good pixels. But that should come as no surprise since there were crafted by Sony (yes, wink, wink, nod, nod....according to a Nikon design).

My friend, Chris, has one and he's shown me some files that are amazingly detailed. If you are a Nikon head and you've already got the lenses and the wherewithal chances are you already have one. This is the first of what I think will be a string of medium format digital camera killers. Just wait and see. If you want the most detailed camera in all of the 35mm sensor kingdom you have no other choice. And it really seems to deliver the goods.....if you have the lenses to resolve the detail...and a good tripod to keep the pixels all lined up


(and just in time for the holidays the price dropped a couple hundred dollars.)

Pocket Champion.

This is the camera that's always on the edge of my radar and always on the shopping list for me but I've never actually snapped and energized the transactional transporter that would ionize money from my bank about and leave me with the Pocket Champion. Why? It's kind of a religious thing. I can't stand the idea of a camera whose only mode of operation is the stinky baby diaper hold. The camera is called the Sony RX100 and nearly everyone of my professional photographer friends has one and gushes about it like a guy who just got air conditioning in his car for the first time. "Revolutionary." That's what they like to say. You won't see me with one (unless they drop under the magic < $500 price point because I need to wear reading glasses to see the screen properly and, as I've said, it's pretty much against my religion. But the one inch, 20 meg sensor is, according to Digital Rev: Better than the APS-C sensor in a current Canon Rebel.  It's actually pocketable (another religious stumbling block for me) and it's got a lot of the current, cool Sony operational features.  Couldn't they just get rid of that screen on the back and replace it with a cool EVF? You may like operating your camera in a novel new fashion. You may crave a well designed camera that fits in your drawers. If so, the consensus is that this one.....rocks. 

So many of my pro friends have one I might have to pass on it just so I can be different...

 2012 Compact Camera of the Year. Smell the Zeiss all over it.

M43 MYSTERIOSO. THE STEADIEST CAMERA IN THE WORLD.

Would my year have been different if the Olympus OMD EM-5 had come on to the market in time? Would I have stayed with the Olympus family instead of fickly turning to Sony for my working cameras? It's possible that my back wouldn't hurt as frequently but it's equally possible that, given all the cool lenses you can buy and implement into this system I would still be carrying too much. At any rate I think the OMD stunned the camera making world in two ways. First Olympus was able to pack in more performance (burst rate, file quality, high ISO performance, incredible image stabilization and great EVF) into one small and, for the most part, well designed package at a reasonable price. The second thing that stunned the world is just how quickly it was accepted. Not just by amateurs and "advanced" hobbyists but by working professionals who wanted all the performance they'd gotten used to but without all the unnecessary baggage that camera along with legacy based cameras.

And Olympus has followed through with some stunningly good lenses (as has Leica and Panasonic). The force is strong with this system. Probably because it combines great engineering with common sense. My friends love them. Frank loves his. And I can see why, the photographs are as nice as you'd want------and you end up hauling around half to a third of the weight and cubic space you would if you buy a commensurate system from some other makers (excepting, of course, the Sony Nex's).  This must be the fastest selling interchangeable lens mirror-less professional camera in history. Tiny. Potent. Fun.



I've played with a lot of cameras this year. I even bought a few. While the Sony a99 might be the highest quality file generator I have ever used it doesn't make the grade as my favorite. To do that camera must be more than proficient and durable and reliable. It must be affable and intriguing. That honor was going to go to the Sony Nex 7---- it was until I became acquainted with the younger sister, the Sony Nex 6. I can't say that many of my friends have rushed out and bought one. Most of my friends are far too practical and had already settled earlier in the year on this or that small camera as their second camera or their carry around camera. Some went with the Olympus and some went with little Leicas or even Sigma DP2 Merrills. But for me it was a slow warm up with the Nex 7 and then a quick romance with the Nex 6.  Look, it has almost everything I want. It's sleek and black and beautifully designed. If fits me like a glove. The 16 megapixel sensor is a perfect compromise between resolution, performance, high ISO chops and less processing time than the Nex 7. 

The more lenses I buy for it the better it serves me. Why you should get a Nex 6:  You know you want to stop carrying the "back crusher" cameras for your own orthopedic health. You know your photography will always be better with an view finder as a opposed to a matchbox screen hanging out in the ambient light, soaking up passing color casts like a loose tart. You know you want the best 16 megabyte sensor on the planet and you know you want to be able to use a huge selection of lenses from lots of different makers. I use Olympus Pen lenses on mine because it gives me magic focus peaking so I can really focus those rascals. It's also simple to double check focus with the quick magnification button. The color is great and the low noise is competitive with any APS-C chip camera on the market. Take the lens off and it'll fit in your pocket. (But I will judge you....).  Once I mastered the menu I fell in love. I won't live without one.


THE CAMERA EVERY STREET SHOOTER WHO IS OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER THE MYSTICAL FEEL OF AN M SERIES LEICA IN THEIR HANDS WANTS.  ULTI-RANGEFINDERESQUE-MAGICMETAL-NOSTALGIOTASTIC.

The final camera in my list is one that every single one of my friends has mentioned owning but none are brave enough to pull the trigger on until they see one in person, touch it and play with it. Even then they'll be tortured by its appeal and equally by its breathtaking cost.

The camera is the Sony RX1. A fixed lens, 35mm full frame camera that carries a price tag suggesting that the entire camera is made out unobtainium by a crew trained at NASA who also did their internships at the Bentley motor works. I am sure the lens will be scary good and very well matched to one of the best sensors in the world. I would only buy one if it was configured with the EVF,  which heaps ruinous amounts of money on top of its basic selling price. Altogether it is an almost infinite supply of Lattes, in my internaitonal currency coffee scheme. But if I had the budget and my child was already through college I'd have one in my hand right now.  But I would add one thing to the inventory to go along with it......many batteries. Because I wouldn't want to stop shooting. This is the camera for poets and the kinds of people who write with fountain pens in little Moleskine notebooks in cranky coffee shops. People who do art with a capital "A".  But I'd buy it anyway because the whole idea of it is so darn cool.  


LET THERE BE LIGHT.

I had intended to write only about the cameras that had gotten maximum buzz in my circle of friends this years and I tried to hold myself to those. My friends who upgraded from Canon 5D mk2's to mk3's didn't seem to do it with much passion or fanfare. It was more like, "Well, geez, I've got all these Canon shift lenses and L lenses and my current camera has over 100,000 actuations on it, maybe I should upgrade before it craters..." That's not the passion I was looking for.  You still have people trying to make the Pentax KR-5 into a cult camera but that's not really going to happen because there's not much there to differentiate it from everything else out there.
The Sony a99 makes me smile because it makes work easier and the files are great but it doesn't holistically take my breath away and spike my punch with adrenaline. But all of the above camera bust through the clutter in one way or another and do something cool.

So, I'm sitting here writing this and thinking about cameras when there's a knock on my studio door and my post man, Victor, delivers yet another brown, cardboard box to me. It's from Fotodiox. It's yet another 312AS LED panel.  And then it dawned on me that no matter how much money I spent on all the cameras and lenses nothing brought as big a smile to my face this year as my little Fotodiox 312AS LED panels. Pound for pound some of the best money I spent this year. Why? Because they cost around $150 and I've used them on most of the shoots I've done this year. Many time as exclusive lighting on sets and on location. They are fun, reliable and workable. At this point they are the little lighting fixtures I most want to keep in the bag. I wish I had access to them when I was putting together the first LED Lighting Book in the world. They would have made the perfect touch.

I'm thinking just one or two more and I'll have as many as I ever needed. For now. 


Fotodiox 312AS. Here's what they come with.


And here's what the back looks like...

I think it's stunning that Sony has three of the four products that get my friends juiced up this year. They are certainly innovating circles around Nikon and Canon. It's an amazing evolution from a once very stodgy camera maker into a new taste maker. And so quickly too.

Chime in and tell me what camera made you smile this year.










53 comments:

James Liu said...

Remember when you were on a Nikon 1 kick? Well, I got one before they got all nice and $300. And I've been too busy with other stuff to shoot pictures with it. But a friend of mine asked what she should do about replacing a dslr and her phone camera, so I put mine in her hands for a couple of days. Put a big smile on her face, and she's getting one of her own.

I haven't pulled the trigger on the 50-e lens for it. I will, and I think once I do I'll like it a whole lot more.

spycamera said...

To me the sony RX1 is the ferrari of the camera world small and packs the big punch a bit like the bruce springsteen of the camera world,Hot. I personally could not justify the price,as a working photog one has to be sensible about these things,just like the Ferrari it is a luxury. just my thoughts.Michael Petersen.www.spycameramuseum.com.au

Jim Hughes said...

Still shooting the Nikon V!, and since the 18.5 f1.8 came, it hasn't left the camera. Also picked up an RX100, and love it, though it makes me wish Nikon had used the Sony sensor on the V1 or at least the V2. Thought I must me missing something important, so I went in and hefted a D600, and it only took me about 5 minutes to remember why I no longer carry a DSLR around. I love the idea of the RX1, but not enough to pay for it. Maybe next year Sony will give us a NEX with a full frame sensor -- now that would really be something!

Raymond Alexander said...

The cameras that made made my bells chime this year were a Yashica Mat 124 and a Yashica Electro 35 GSN. Sorry, I didn't throw any money into the never ending digital gear acquisition race. But I make my money as a writer, not a professional photographer, so there's no tax write off or reasonable-sounding justification for constantly upgrading equipment. I just like to make photographs, and though I am progressively listing ever more heavily toward (back to) analogue, if I had to buy another digital, I'd be interested in the A99 or D800.

Daryl Davis said...

So far it's only made me smile in the store, but I'm voting for the NEX-7.

I was in Palo Alto a couple of weeks ago and wandered into my favorite (since 1982) camera purveyors, Keeble & Shuchat Photography. Coincidentally, they had a manufacturers demo day going. I checked out the OM-D, NEX-6, and NEX-7.

I have long fingers. The OM-D felt cramped, the NEX-6 less so. The NEX-7 came to my hand like a tame dog. I'd read the OM-D's viewfinder is more compatible with eyeglasses, but I didn't notice a problem and you've never written of it: looks like another Internet molehill-to-mountain conversion to me. On the other hand, the NEX-7's viewfinder is every bit as spectacular as you've said.

The NEX-6 seems to have replaced the NEX-7 in a number of hearts and minds. It does have compelling advantages, including lower cost, a standard hot shoe, better low-ISO performance, and (probably--I haven't seen any side-by-side comparisons) better shadow detail. But I can't get over the feel of the NEX-7. I finally have my cash together, so I'll be back at KSP soon and I'm not leaving without a camera. Now if only I can resist the 24mm Zeiss...

Robert Roaldi said...

I bought a 2nd-hand Oly E-620 for not much, and sold the E-520 and E-410, but I hadn't paid much for them either. I'm such a cheapskate when it comes to cameras. The E-620 does everything I need and more. I manage to keep my equipment purchases always 2-3 years out of step. I have all the same experiences as other people, except later. I'm being a little tongue-in-cheek but not much.

tsb said...

the fuji x-e1. I was extremely close to buying the sony nex 7, but caved as soon as the x-e1 was announced.

for me, its the throwback to the film camera that i learnt to take photographs in-- the shutter speed dial on the top, the aperture ring on the lens and an auto ISO that I wouldn't mind if it chose to go upto 6400.

it does have its issues though- the EVF at night is terrible, it does not have focus peaking which i so desperately crave since I couldn't afford the fuji lenses so I m using my hand me down minolta lenses (Which, I must admit are great)-- but IMO, its these tiny frustations that make something more loveable. Its sort of like Batman- flawed and with weaknesses, but still manages to hold his weight to Superman's annoyingly perfect all-roundedness.

Old Gray Roy said...

As a long-time retiree on a fixed income I am very careful with money. Finally the Nikon D7000 started sliding in price with a deal at Amazon that made all kinds of good sense (to me if no one else). So now I have the camera I've wanted since introduction in 2010. Weight be damned, I'll keep pumping iron to deal with that. Most of my photo money goes to our local community college to pay for excellent photography courses, both film and digital. Seems to me it is money better spent for professional instruction than throwing it away on gear and not knowing what I'm doing. Plus you're never too old to keep your brain and body active. And finally, keep up the good work Kirk. Reading your intelligent commentary is a pleasure.

Philip Ho said...

I am thinking of dipping my toe into studio portrait photography and I want to start with one light that is continuous. I would like to shoot all the way from ISO 100 to 1600. My concern is if the Fotodiox 312AS will provide enough light for a full body shot of a person -head to toe. My other option is to head down to the DIY store and make my own softbox light out of 4 flourescent bulbs.

Opinions, anyone?

steve said...

this year l splashed out on a brand new direct from the factory Rolleiflex 2.8FX. at 3000 euro its the most I've ever spent on a camera but such a sexy and iconic camera.

It goes nice with my other TLR's I have a bit of a TLR fettish i think.

Neal said...

I can only dream of owning a 2.8fx however, this year I finally got my hands on 2 cameras I haven't had the chance to before.

A lovely Mamiya RB67 kit. and finally delved into Large format with a Busch Pressman 4x5. and after seeing the results from my 4x5 negatives, lets just say. the Nikon D800 won't be on my xmas list.

Andreas Manessinger said...

OM-D!!!

In winter I experimented with an E-P2 that I'd acquired from eBay, already knowing that there would be something new soon. The OM-D wasn't available here in Europe until late April, but Robin Wong's review already signed the deal for me and carried me across the desert :)

When I got it, it was all I had hoped for and then some. There is one drawback though, and you already mentioned it: too many great lenses :)

I currently sell all my Nikon gear and invest in first rate Olympus and Panasonic glass. No way I would ever go back.

Wolfgang Lonien said...

It's a lens, and it's the Olympus M.Zuiko 1:1,8 45mm. We now have two of them, because the one of my wife really never leaves her camera. And she made some portraits of our soon-to-be 8 year old daughter with that tiny little lens, which I would be proud of.

Together with the two pancake lenses from Panasonic (14 and 20mm) this makes a low budget low cost but high quality kit which really is good enough for about 95% of what I/we do.

Seems like one day I have to get the OM-D, and an E-PL5 for my wife...

Wolfgang Lonien said...

Philip, I think for full body shots and that through softboxes, you'll need very high ISO settings to do so. But for head-and-shoulders they should be good. Maybe Kirk can answer that one better.

waardij said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
waardij said...

There must be something wrong with me. as far as I can find out, the high iso performance of the nex-6 is comparable to that of the 5n. I do own a 5n and a 7. and I can not find any convincing evidence that one is beating to other in high iso performance. maybe above 3200 the 5n keeps together a bit more, but that is pushing it anyway. to me they seem the same (printed at the same size). DxO also say they are the same.
what am I missing??

I also own a a99. I must say I am in love with that camera. I was never going to buy something bigger than say a nex-7, ever again. then the a99 came and I tried it anyway. for me it is everything I ever wanted. Would not even consider a d800 in its place. I love the files, love the articulating LCD, love the EVF, love the colors. if only those nice Canon 17 and 24 TSE would fit on it.....

Philip Ho said...

Thanks Wolfgang :) I appreciate the help. I was hoping Kirk would answer too, but I'm open to suggestions from anyone else here -y'know, since Kirk is probably busy wading through a sea of post-processing from the dell conference.

Patrick Dodds said...

I wish I could find the light panels in the UK. I've looked around and seen similar for £900... Not, I thin, a price worth paying. The Sony RX1 though - even without a viewfinder, and even at the price it first comes out at, is tempting. That said, I've been caught out before - I've never enjoyed my X100 much as it is too complicated and not fast enough, even with software updates - so I shall wait and see what early reports of the Sony are like.

Carlo Santin said...

There were no new camera purchases for me in 2012, it's been a tough fiscal year for my wife and I. I would buy the Sony RX1 in a heartbeat, I love the idea of a single focal length camera, and it reminds me of all those great 35mm rangefinders of yesteryear.

Alex said...

For gods sake, Kirk, get a Sonx RX 100 and think of your son while holding it "stinky diaper style". :)

thequietphotographer said...

No camera this year, but in a few weeks...struggling between OM-D and Fuji EX1 to use beside my Leica x1 mainly when I need a medium tele lens (75/100 equiv). Unfortunately no shop where I live had the fuji with a charged battery to show me, they all pushed for the Oly (do they have higher mark up on the it?) . I guess IQ is similar and for me handling and simplicity in the menus is important. As maybe manual focusing. So long I cannot test both camera side by side I'll no buy any!
yes, these Fotodiox are very interesting, not sure if available in Europe, I'll investigate about.
robert

Crix said...

Don't despair :-)
If you can't find Fotodiox, try POLAROID 312. At least at Amazon.de you get plenty of its and the pictures show it is exactly the same device.

Kirk Tuck said...

The 312AS will NOT be enough light for what you want to do. If you're going to shoot through softboxes you'll need a lot more power. I've made my own out of florescent tubes before and as long as you use enough tubes you can make that work for not a lot of money. It's a cool way to start experimenting. I once bundled eight under counter florescent fixtures together. They were on sale for $12 each at home depot. Worked for me. Search the site and find the blog with Ben and the homemade florescent fixture. It's on here somewhere.

Kirk Tuck said...

That's a beautiful lens. I miss not having the same option with the Nex cameras.

Kirk Tuck said...

And I love the way the shutter sounds on the a99....

Kirk Tuck said...

Be careful. The 312 is a different model than the 312 AS. The "AS" designation is the one with the changeable color temperature setting. The basic 312 is white light only!!!

Philip Ho said...

Found it!

http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.sg/2009/06/its-all-florescent-all-time-this-week.html

(Just in case anyone else wants to read it as well.)

I'm heading down to the DIY store tomorrow.

Might possibly try this out too. The sample photograph in the article reflects the kind of low-key photography I am aiming to do:

http://briancparks.com/diy-makeshift-continuous-light-beauty-dish/

Thank you for your help Kirk :) Not just in this reply, but in your persistence and devotion to sharing the knowledge and the opinions you have with the rest of us, despite the busy schedule.

waardij said...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Walimex-Pro-Bi-Color-Video-Light/dp/B008DBW830/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355585095&sr=8-1

Mike Hendren said...

"Another" great post, Kirk! (How do you do that?) :-)
I mostly agree with all of your suggestions. I had the OM-D and it realy stole my heart … even though it's gone now, I still miss it. But in its place is that beautiful little NEX-6 which is slowly but surely working it's magic on me.
As for the RX1 … yes, I'd love to bring home one of those, but (like you) the lack of an EVF (and $$) is a deal breaker for me.
Lastly, thanks to you, I tried the 312AS and can't imagine not having it - I want more!

Wolfgang Lonien said...

http://www.amazon.de/Video-Leuchte-Fotodiox-LED-Licht-Kit-dimmbarem-Adjustable/dp/B009L5E4X4/ - and as usual, $=€ :-/ But I think they're worth even that.

Wolfgang Lonien said...

To be honest: on those Nexes (as well as on every Canon, Nikon, and so on) what I'd probably miss the most is the IBIS. Just took another cat shot with the E-PL1, hand-held at 1/6th of a second with that 45mm (90mm-e) lens, and while it's not the sharpest I ever took, it's still usable...

Other than that, I'm sure they are all remarkable cameras. APS-C is not the worst format to have ;-)

Dan Rosenthal said...

Olympus OM-D. Sold my entire EOS system, film and digital and beloved lenses and feel no regrets. Friggen LOVE the OM-D...

Daryl Davis said...

I still haven't gotten used to not having aperture rings on lenses. It seems so much more natural that way. I'm hoping to have a go at the X-E1 before I pull the trigger for sure on the NEX-7.

Craig Yuill said...

My "big" purchase this year was a "lesser" camera (as in costs less/weighs less/takes up less room) that you are quite familiar with, the recently super-discounted Nikon V1. I felt a need to have a more suitable camera on an upcoming trip than my biggish, expensive DSLR, and long-in-the-tooth compact digicam. The V1 is compact, produces high-quality images, and has proven to be a very-capable video camera. I also bought the tiny SB-N5 flash and FT1 lens adapter that allows me to use my Nikon AF and AF-S lenses without losing too much of their capabilities. It might not have mind-blowing performance, but it's a good camera that is a lot of fun to use.

Kirk Tuck said...

You are very welcome. It's fun to have smart people all over the world to bounce ideas and theories off. Good luck in your adventure. One always seems to learn more building stuff than buying a fixed solution..

Kirk Tuck said...

Hang in there. 2009-2011 were the roughest years I ever experienced running a business. It seems the ice is starting to melt. We sure had enough belt tightening to last us for a while... I found it hard not to take it personally but my wife convinced me that it was nearly universal in our business.... I hang my hopes on the idea that everything is cyclical. Then someone mentions buggy whips.....bastards.

Kirk Tuck said...

I love those lights and use them all the time. I even carry one in the car now. Better than a flashlight and dual use is implied.

Brian Rybolt said...

Thank you waardij - I thought I would have to wait to buy my 2cd one when I travel to the USA. These are excellent lights.

Anonymous said...

Brad Trent calls these his Home Depot Getto Flos http://damnuglyphotography.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/sxsw-special-the-bird-call-cover-shoot-a-song-of-the-day/ Scroll down to the first comment for URLs of parts.

Great Strip light look. Here's an executive portrait for Barron’s using 4 HDGFlos http://damnuglyphotography.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/in-case-you-were-wondering-ceos-are-very-busy/ Scroll down to the bottom for lighting set-up and the results.

c.d.embrey

Cato Kristiansen said...

In the beginning of this year I planned for buying an Nex-5n, figured out it would be on sale when the replacement was revealed. Then came the OM-D along and I was very tempted but it was far over my budget, and it lacked focus peaking. Time passed and rumors of the Nex-6 started. It ticked all the boxes. Due to some unexpected cash I could increase my budget and thanks to a friend in a national photo chain I got a personal delivery the same day they got it in. I did fear the menu system but every setting you change is very easy to access from the four way wheel or the Fn button. Just love focus peaking and the feel of legacy lenses. A split second today I thought I should have bought the OM-D. It was snowing heavy and I tucked the Nex into a plastic bag and back into my pocket. That doesn't happens often, manual focusing does :). Thanks for your blog Kirk. I enjoy it very much.

Peter Tsai said...

Hi Kirk, great seeing you at Dell World this year. Really enjoyed the chat among photogs to break up the long working day.

Thanks for the links to the LED panels you mentioned, this might be a great way to blow off any end of the year profits for tax purposes!

Also, I couldn't be happier with my OMD EM5 - so many great lenses and 2-3 times lighter than a full frame DSLR system. I did write a quick comparison of the OMD vs a Canon 5dmkIII on my blog featuring comparison pictures from equivalent portrait lenses.

http://www.petertsaiphotography.com/blog/2012/12/10/olympus_omd_em5_review/

Kirk Tuck said...

Peter, it was fun to see you at Dell World. I had a blast doing photos during the Clinton Speech and the Freakonomics Speech and I even got to meet Mike Shinoda, backstage for a while (we were all waiting to do some group shots...). Love your comparison between the EM5 and the Canon. Light and sharp is good. Please stay in touch.

Philip Ho said...

Thank you too for your help :)

AlexG said...

Looking at the price of LED's I am tempted to make one for experimental purposes. A thousand will cost me around £18 plus say another £20 for other parts and I could make a nice sized panel. But then you can via online auction sights get ready made ones for a really low price it may work out not worth it unless I want some totally unique shape say 6ft tall or an L shape. Now I could buy a shed load of red green and blue and make a panel where I can change colours, that could be interesting.

Claire said...

2012 was the year I went mirrorless. All in, too (from FF and APS-C). I first got the Panny GX-1 with assorted lenses, and fell in love with it. Until the lack of DOF control, even paired with the best lens I ever used, the PL 25/1.4, nagged me so much I had to go back to at least APS-C. Got a NEX 5N (trusting the fact you Kirk loved your 7), then the 6. Like you, I think it's an awesome camera. However, as Thom Hogan says, I "love it but I'm not in love with it". It's capable, serious looking, ticks a lot of boxes, but I feel no passion for it. Besides, I find NEX AF a bad joke (a personal thing, it seems ok for a lot of people). If Sony got their AF fixed, offered 1:1 in camera ratio and a couple of cool lenses (like a 24-70/2.8 zoom), I'd be peach. Until then, I'm discreetly eying the EX-1... (which probably has even worse AF. Give it Peaking and I might take the jump, though).

Scott Kirkpatrick said...

Late in the year Olympus came out with the 5-series imaging chip and support circuits in their Pen series. I picked up an E-PL5 on Black Friday for what I think was $250 off because of its unfashionable white paint job, added tjhe 45/1.8 lens that everyone says good things about, and the electronic viewfinder VF-2. Presto, I am back shooting faces and stuff that I haven't seen since my Nikon-F and 105/2.5got packed away twenty years ago. My usual gear is a rangefinder and a 28 mm lens, and as a result I see the frame around those nice sharp autofocused faces starting to get organized, filled in a balanced way. I understand that the OM-D is waterproof, like the old E-1,3,5s. The Pen is certainly not waterproof, but OK...

scott

cidereye said...

2012 was the year I went back to the future and MF. The Mamiya 6 ranks as one of my best ever purchases apart from a Leica M6 (both M6's!). My NEX-7 is great but as with most digital cameras it still lacks that certain something that both MF Portra 160 & REAL silver B&W offer.

Mind you, that said there is one little digital brick of a camera that makes my heart beat faster and lust for and that is the new Sigma DP2M. My goodness, load up the RAW files from that on a screen and they really are something else and offer maybe the missing link between film & digital. £750 is a lot for a camera that has the aesthetics of a brick, can't capture anything that moves and has plenty of other issues. I want one real bad! :-)

Dog Photographer said...

I bought the Nikon 1 V1, I was heavily influenced by your review on Amazon and your comments here. I had been carrying a SLR around. I love the V. I loved the reduced price. It is qwerky, but takes great photos and it focus tracks great. Thanks for that review

Dogman said...

I also bought a used E-620 this year. Also a used E-520. And a used 50D. I financed them all with the sales of other cameras for which I no longer had any use.

Somewhere around 10 or 12 megapixels, I found I could do just about anything I wanted to do and any more resolution than that is just icing on the cake. Don't want or need video or prints larger than 13x19 and Live View is turned off in everything I own that has it. Discovering how many low-priced used cameras there are available that are capable to fulfilling my requirements makes me a very happy man. But, damn, really good lenses are still expensive. Even used.

Anonymous said...

I've seen Nikon D200's for around $200 on craigslist. Incredible.

Anonymous said...

That's why I still use Nikon and AF/AF-D lenses, all with aperture rings where they belong--on the lens! No G lenses for me, thank you very much. Removing aperture rings is another cost-saving move, without concern for haptics and ergonomics. Good for soccer moms, bad for photographers.

thequietphotographer said...

Thanks for the links
robert

Libby said...

Camera that made me smile? Agfa Isolette II with Solinar lens and Compur Rapid shutter. I love this thing. It's all CLA'd and the camera is just sweet in my hands.

http://ohnostudio.com/2012/09/just-a-few-more-frames-to-go/