The newest "retro" trend in camera design... Bigger really is better.

Let me be really clear about one thing. I love the mirrorless cameras for the EVFs and all the power and convenience that gives you when shooting but I have often railed against the trend to grow cameras smaller. I'm so happy to see a bit of a move in the other directions. Both Panasonic and Leica have come out with cameras that have more "real estate." More places to put your hands and more places to put full sized, vital plugs. More interior space to wick away heat from sensors and circuit boards. More of everything. 

The whole camera size preference cuts across two intersecting cohorts. On one hand we have professionals and on the other enthusiasts (everyone else is shooting with their cellphone now). As the pros age up they'd love to have lighter and lighter cameras and lenses because it's a shoulder and lower back saver. The smaller weight is also an energy conserver. But even the most physically feeble pros still need certain camera parameters in order to do their jobs correctly. They need to be able to have access to controls, to be able to hold the cameras correctly and to use them with flashes, remotes, plugged in video monitors and also tethered to their computers. As one reader pointed out, when buying a shrunken camera, like the Sony A7 series, you get a nice camera and a bag full of compromises. The A7s do nice video but.... the batteries run down quickly (too small), mini and micro HDMI cables break and get loose at a much higher rate than the full sized HDMI cables (more contact area more torque distribution, etc.), there's insufficient internal space to maximize heat management and, since the cameras have full frame sensors there is absolutely no weight or size savings when it comes to nice, elegant, fast-glass. FF lenses are just always going to be heavier. 

So, you get a mini-camera that's horribly hobbled for pro shooting. I'm sure this is what Leica was considering when they designed the SL. I think it's a sleeper video camera that will break out and be the next step fun the hybridization process between pro stills and videos. Why? Because there's enough room to hang stuff on the camera. And I think most users have issues with the size of the smaller cameras where handling is involved. Too much finger, too little camera. 

Most of the same arguments can be made for the GX8 from Panasonic. The body is bigger and it is more comfortable to hold and use. I'll also bet that it handles heat distribution from video more efficiently than older body designs. If it were all about handling I'd be smiling more about the GX8 but I'm still pissed that they went back to a weird size for the microphone inputs and capriciously elected to not include a headphone jack.

I notice that the cameras the a lot of serious photographers still use are not shrinking in size. The D810 is an ample package, as are the D4s and the Canon 1DX. The Canon 5D line is still a full size camera body style. And the Nikon D750, while measuring smaller still feels like a full grown camera. 

I love the Olympus EM-5.2 but I'd love it even more if was bigger. That's because I love the features. The stuff like killer IBIS, a great EVF and a nice movie mode. But I'd love it even more if it was integrated into a body that had batteries that lasted through whole video interview or half a day shooting stills. And if I'm carrying only one camera and a nice lens I don't really care about the weight. I'd rather have the excellent handling. A nice, good fitting outline to wrap my hands around...

But there is another whole cohort out there that loves the idea of "small" and drives some parts of the market. These are the users whose overriding priority for a camera are whether it fits in the pockets of their tight pants. I guess this group is why Sony is making a killing on the RX100IV.  I think the RX100IV and its ilk are transition cameras. They are cameras for people (who own only one camera and..) who thought at one time that they might want to be real photographers but who have decided it's too much work so they are downscaling from DSLRs to high end compacts on their inevitable transition to being a phone photographer. 

Most styles and designs are like swinging pendulums that overshoot the mark of balance and swing into silly and excessive self-parody. Cameras are no different a fashion statement. The phone is one extreme while the medium format cameras and ultra pro 35mm style bodies like the D4s and 1Dx are the other extreme. Leica is wisely returning to the middle ground. To stasis and to the normal order of things where the tools fit the hand as well as the imaging purpose. 

A couple of analogies about size: While manufacturers could make framing hammers much smaller and lighter the skinny handles wouldn't fit in beefy hands well, would not provide a secure grip; and a smaller, lighter hammer head wouldn't drive a 16 penny nail worth a damn.... 

I'm okay with smaller sensors. That's cost savings and depth of field on the opposite end of the spectrum from full frame dof control. I love eves over optical finders. But I never thought I needed to trade those attributes for body size. Like most pampered North Americans, I want it all just exactly the way I want it. Until I change my mind. Again. 

I prefer bigger cameras, up to a point. In fact, I hope the makers of cameras don't overreact to the swinging pendulums of camera fashion and start making giant cameras. But they might be able to sell them for higher dollars. We like big packages and still believe that bigger is better. I saw that this weekend at the Formula One races in Austin. The parking lots were filled with big Suburban SUVs and pick-up trucks. Big cars for big people. hmmmm. Any camera makers paying attention?

Besides Leica and Panasonic I mean....

My Thoughts on the Leica SL.

Many reviewers at many photo-oriented sites and blogs have rushed to breathlessly discuss the newly announced Leica SL. The problem with their assessments is they are mostly photographic neophytes who don't understand the Leica value equation. They obsess about camera features that real photographers will find unimportant while ignoring the one dominant attribute a true Leica should possess; absolute image quality. And that absolute image quality comes from the design and manufacturing precision of the lenses and the necessary tight tolerances of the camera and sensor integration with the lenses. That's it. No other magic beans. No vampire killing, secret silver bullets. 

Being a member of an extreme, mercantile culture here in the U.S.A. we need to talk first about the value proposition of the whole package from Leica. The legions of bean counters have trained us as consumers to salivate in reaction to shiny new gear with newly enhanced specifications (not necessarily enhanced performance) and, when they couldn't sell product on merit alone, to follow Dell Computer's many examples and race to the bottom of the pricing ladder. Camera makers are rebating and having sales left and right these days as they try to move low and mid-priced product in today's fragmented and confused markets. But, Leicas are relatively expensive and have never, ever been cheap. They are not traditional bargains. Their real products (M series rangefinders, the MF cameras and now, the SL) are not aimed at casual users or tentative hobbyists. They have traditionally been aimed (excluding "collectable" versions) at working photo-journalists (now almost extinct) and serious, committed image makers. The bodies (with the exception of the Ms during their nascent period) are never breakthroughs or platforms for experimentation. They are, instead, good, solid platforms for what many experts feel are the best lenses on the planet. 

I'll repeat what I wrote in a review of M cameras in 2001, "Everyone seems to have an opinion about the Leica M series rangefinder cameras, yet so few people have actually picked one up and used it for enough time to understand the unique features and benefits that make it one of the finest tools for certain kinds of photography."
(Go read the review here: Photo.net leica m6 review )

It's the same now. People see the fun, relatively cheaper Leicas, based on Panasonic bodies, and dismiss them out of hand. They see that they can buy the same lens, sensor and body from Panasonic for half price. And they extend this logic forward into the more professional tools Leica makes. But the difference is that no one else makes products that are like the top Leica products. 

I started shooting with Leica R and M cameras early on in my career. Up until the late 1990's I never owned a brand new body from Leica, all of them were purchased used. I owned the original Leicaflex which was their very first single lens reflex camera. As budget and supply allowed I moved on to the more efficient Leica SLs and SL2s. These were the most solid cameras I ever worked with until I moved on to the last, real generation of Leica SLR cameras, the Leicaflex SL2. It had a reputation as the toughest SLR ever built. After these hefty, wonderful cameras came a host of cameras based on Minolta camera body designs. Some were quite good because Minolta was not a poor camera company but it was early days for the incorporation of electronics of all sorts in cameras and reliability was an issue for almost every generation of these cameras, right up until the introduction of the R8 cameras. Those cameras were perfect. But they came to market too late. Digital imaging was gathering steam and people began directing their camera buying resources at shiny new product with sensors. Leica dabbled in digital with the R9 but it was half hearted and they could never implement new sensors at the rate required to serve the whims of the market. 

That led to a number of years in which the only professional Leica imaging product for photographers was the M series. No DSLRs. And while M cameras are wonderful platforms for wide and normal focal length lenses they were never conceived or designed to work well (viewing and focusing accuracy) with long lenses. And certainly not with zoom lenses. That has always been the primary reason for owning and using DSLRs. 

I used the Leica R cameras because many jobs require longer lenses and precision framing. I also used them because the lenses I liked (80mm Summilux, 90mm Summicron, 100 Elmarit Makro, 180mm f2.0 apo, etc. were demonstrably better than anything else I could buy and worked well with the types of film and the styles in which I shot.

It was a sad day when I realized that clients were never going to go backwards and accommodate a film workflow again. I traded in many good Leica lenses and bodies for not much money in order to re-tool as a digital shooter with Nikon gear. I have never gotten over the visible difference in lens performance between my Leica R series primes and just about anything else on the market, although I am sure that 50% of my dissonance is due strictly to nostalgia. But if you had ever shot a 90mm Summicron R on a Leica R8....

So now Leica launches a new, non-rangefinder body. A "mirror-free" body. A camera for the well heeled AND serious photographer. What is it? Simply put it's a platform for a line of R series lenses. Lenses we can't buy from other vendors. Apochromatically corrected 90mm, 180mm, 280mm primes that are wicked sharp, and contrasty and possessed of true nano-acuity (sufficient even for my stringent requires for my patent pending HYPER-PRINTS) that deliver really wonderful quality in a field dominated by the compromise of zoom lenses. There's no reason you can't use the R lenses with adapters on Canon bodies but newer Leica lenses will work well, one supposes, on their native cameras. 

Given the size of the lenses shown at introduction with the new SL it makes sense that the body is bigger. One needs true purchase on the camera body to use it effectively. But the bigger, heavier lenses are always the price one pays for the best performance. 

In a nutshell the body offers four things: Tight integration with new and older Leica R series lenses. An absolutely state of the art EVF (shot over the bows of Nikon and Canon -- for sure!). A sensor and software combination that is certain to be tweaked for Leica color and tonality (color purity and depth instead of the passing obsession with high ISO noise - if the MF camera is an example of their POV). 
A totally different way of looking at high end work tools; EVF and mirrorless versus flipping mirror and optical finder (with all of the EVFs efficient shooting features) and, finally, great 4K video in the body.  Those are the selling points in a nutshell. 

If you make professional videos for people the selling price of the system is in line with what you'll pay to get an entry level, state of the art, video camera like the Sony FS7 (the current, under $10,000 darling). But the FS7 is a super 35mm sensor instead of a full frame sensor so the Leica offers more depth of field control (in one direction). And consider that Leica makes very, very good and much coveted "cine" lenses for big time productions.  If the look of the files is wonderful then no one in that industry will bat and eye at the price of the body. Or the lenses. Does the 28-90mm zoom look expensive? Compared to a similar product by Nikon or Canon --- then yes. Compared to a $35,000 cine prime? Or a $40,000 Angenieux zoom? Not very. 

For me, if I were a risk taking fan of new technology, the single feature that would tip the scales for me between something like a Nikon D5 (coming soon, I am sure) and the Leica SL would most certainly be the integrated, 4.4 megapixel EVF and all of its associated optical parts (eyepiece magnifier, etc.). For a couple thousand more dollars over the Nikon I'd have the finder I want (and predicted five years ago) and all the video advantages of a mirrorless implementations as well (focus peaking, punch in, zebras, WYSIWYG real time color, tone and exposure evaluation. 

Just looking at the specs, the images and talking to dedicated Leica fans who have been privileged to use the new body I can say that Leica got most everything I was interested in just right. If I did not have a child at a private college I would already be in line for the camera body and the current lens, with the announced, longer zoom on order. But life isn't always logical, easy or straightforward. I worked with a D750 for most of the weekend and it work just fine. Can I justify the Leica on more than nostalgia and the IDEA of "ultimate image quality"? Naw. 

But I am certain that a group of working pros who value the fluid back and forth between video and stills, who relish the best image quality, who want the look and feel of their images to differentiate from they competitors and rivals, will embrace the camera and they system. And, for the most part they will be correct. For them. It's not a toy but a tool for creativity, and in that regard visual design of the product is a part of the mix. To some a very important part of the mix. And the cohort that admires and respects this will like this camera. 

A final note. Leica understands the shift in the market. I conjecture that they've given up the middle and bottom of the markets; written it off as deceased for serious camera makers. What other company is better positioned to go after the remaining high end photographers and photo enthusiast with unfettered budgets? The others have already screwed up their reputations by trying to embrace every step of the demographic ladder with some sort of product. They've damaged their brands in the eyes of the last, remaining consumers with money. They'll pay for that...


I'm having a love affair with portraits right now. I love looking at work I've done and work that others have done. It's all about the lighting and the expression. Nothing else really matters.

I've been spending more time really looking at portraits these days. Everything from the early Avedon photos, in Paris to the fashion spreads in V. It's amazing how compelling the human face is when described by photography. I love images that are well lit. Even if the lighting is already in place by the grace of nature, and the photographer has seen it well.

I had a small studio on the second story of a crumbling downtown building that used to be called (no lie) the California Hotel. We had neither heat nor air conditioning but we did have laughably cheap rent, and I had a wonderful window to the north. I built my portrait lighting designs around that window.

In this case I loved the portrait so much that I subsequently dated, and then married the subject. I took this photograph back in 1979. About 36 years ago.

We obsess about gear (me at least as much as everyone else) but this was done with a Mamiya C220 camera with an ancient 135mm f4.5 lens. Could I do better now? Not very likely as there was nothing I wanted to improve upon. I still don't.

If you don't love your images maybe you just aren't pointing your cameras at the right subjects....


Square aspect ratio portraits are infinitely better than any other aspect ratio. Prove me wrong.

Amy. In the current studio. 

Early experiments with LED lights proved to me that my assumption that LEDs would become a dominant photographic light source was correct.

Cuties. Lit with LED panels. 

Around 2010 I became very interested in LED technology as it related to photography. The consensus at the time was that LEDs were too weak, too color inaccurate and too expensive to ever be a workable light source for photography. I thought I knew differently because I had read about cinematographers already pressing LED lights of various makes into service to illuminate feature films. 

The first, serious LED lights I got were re-branded Chinese units sold by Fotodiox on Amazon.com. They made a $225 light that was constructed of 500 (quasi) daylight balanced, 3mm LED bulbs and they also made a lighting unit that used 1,0000 of the same LEDs. While many technocrats scoffed at what they described as the limited "spectral response" of the lights I knew that the custom white balance capabilities of the modern cameras would be able to compensate for any shortcomings as long as all the light sources were consistently consistent. 

I bought three of the 500 bulb versions and two of the 1,000 bulb units and I proceeded to use them on jobs for me and for clients. While the output was a bit low for action portraits the lights quickly proved themselves as the perfect source for still life photography of all kinds, and food photography, especially. I probably shot over 100 assignments with the first set of LEDs and I sold them to a photographer who has probably used them for hundreds more assignments. 

These lights were the impetus for the book I wrote on LED light for photographers called, LED Lighting For Photographers, which was published in 2012 by Amherst Media. It is still the best selling guide to acquiring and using LED lights for photographers, in the world. 

The basic information and techniques stands the test of time, while the products available have advanced rapidly. I still think the book is worth reading at least once. I suggest you buy it and read it from cover to cover but, if you are a cheap bastard, you can always ask your library to order you a copy....

Sometimes all you need is a one stop scrim. Not a camera with infinite dynamic range or limitless ISO.

I worked on a project for an ad agency a number of years ago. At the time the state of the art digital camera was the Kodak DCS 760. It was a fine camera for its time and had many wonderful attributes, including a raw file that was amazingly pliable. But even though it had one of the highest dynamic ranges of any camera on the market, at the time, it wasn't even in the ballpark compared to the camera sensors we enjoy today.

In order to get really good (technically) images in full Texas sun we had to use the lighting techniques we learned over the years, fashioned in the era when we used very unforgiving and limited D-range color transparency film.

This image of a professional softball pitcher was done at one p.m. on a hot Summer afternoon. I positioned her to put the foliage in the background because I knew that most sensors rendered green leaves about a stop darker than metered indications would suggest. This positioned her facing into the direct sun which was merciless on her face.

I brought along (as I usually do) a one stop, 4x4 foot silk scrim (diffusion panel) which I placed on a weighted light stand and "flew" over her head. The edge of the frame for the silk is just out of the frame, right over the top of my subject's head. It's just enough diffusion to flatten out the harsh lighting but not enough to materially change the authenticity of the prevailing light. It was a simple and elegant solution when most would call for some form of fill flash.

The simplicity of execution is what always draws me to this particular image. It is a reminder to me always to build from the simplest solution to the most difficult to employ solution instead of the other way around. When you find something that works then STOP fussing and start shooting.

You make your own dynamic range if you understand how to light. Or how to modify light.

Stories from the field: Packing the Olympus cameras and lenses but ending up with the Panasonic fz 1000 in my hands for the morning. Why? How did it go?

A shot from the Blanton Museum. It has nothing to do with the content of the post 
but I'm not able to use the images from the job we shot, yet. This is a placeholder.
It was shot with the camera we are discussing; the Panasonic fz 1000. 

I was booked on an assignment last Friday morning. It was at the headquarters of a radiology practice that has over 100 doctors, and lots of locations around Austin and central Texas. They are a wonderful client and we have provided photographic services and video to them for nearly 20 years. 

The assignment was in conjunction with a video project they were also doing. They straightened up the offices, asked the employees to dress well, and let everyone know that a photographer and a videographer would be in the building, and while the videographer would mostly be interviewing three or four people and taking "B-roll" shot, the photographer would be ambling all over the building making shots of happy employees, working or just smiling into the camera.  I would be moving quickly and trying to capture a wide cross section of employees so there would be very little time for involved lighting. We would literally be asking for individual permission to photograph, quickly posing and interacting with each subject and then snapped anywhere from three to five quick shots of them. 

I didn't want or need a full frame camera for this adventure, after all, the biggest use of the images would be the top half of a magazine page sized print ad, and most of the images would end up being used on the web. Since we'd be carrying everything from cube to cube and from office to office it just made sense to travel as light as possible.  With this in mind I packed up the two Olympus EM5.2 cameras and a nice assortment of lenses; intending to lean heavily on the 12-35mm f2.8 Panasonic lens  with the longer Sigma 60mm f2.8 thrown in for good measure. When I arrived at my destination in north Austin I grabbed the bag of cameras, a battery-powered LED panel and a small light stand.

Once I was in the building the client and I lined out our plan for the morning. I started by shooting some portraits in a long hallway. I tried several different focal lengths on the EM5.2 but for some reason I just wasn't feeling the love. Too short, too long, too something. And the cameras seemed to be fighting me when it came to color balance. The blend of fluorescent ceiling fixtures and encroaching, exterior daylight seemed to conspire to make every face a thick, tangy yellow. There are some days when certain cameras (cameras that in other venues have given me good service) just get bitchy with me and we don't click together. This was one of those days. I kept telling myself that I was shooting raw and I could correct these faults in post production but that line of thought started making me dread the idea of post production.

Early on we had a natural break in the shoot as we waited for someone to arrive. They were a bit late. I took advantage of the time to run out to the car and grab the new Panasonic fz 1000 out of the backpack it's currently living in and quickly set it up for a kind of run and gun mode. Auto WB, Auto ISO with the top ISO set to 1600. Aperture priority mode. Raw. I hate to say it because I really like my Olympus cameras, but, the Panasonic just started nailing the color balance and exposure from the minute I turned on the camera. I turned off the Olympus cameras and stuck em in their bag.

A lot of the day was spent wandering around with the VP of marketing. We'd go into a phone support or scheduling area and make quick portrait after quick portrait. No real set up. Not much more than me smiling, introducing myself and asking the person in front of me if was okay for me to take their photograph. A couple people declined but nearly 60 others thought the whole process would be just dandy.

While I had heard and read many times that the Panasonic battery was a power lightweight that would give only about 300-350 shots I ended up the morning with about 650 shots and a bar left on the battery indicator. While that's not impressive when compared to DSLR battery performance what it means to me is that two batteries with a third in reserve will take me through a long and involved day of shooting.

The camera performed well in terms of focus acquisition. Again, it's better than the Olympus cameras at finding and locking on to focus quickly. The DFD focusing feature seems to live up to the advertising. The lens range came in handy when I went outside to photograph people conferencing over coffee on the company's expansive deck. I stood way back (fewer fake smiles that way) and took advantage of the long focal length compression. Even at the longer focal lengths the I.S. did its job and I didn't see much of the degradation that the more anal camera reviews had cued me to expect.

The client and I covered a lot of ground before lunch and we were happy with the coverage. But would I be equally happy with the final results?

I got home, had lunch with Studio Dog, and after the walk we took, which she insisted was for my health, I got down to the questionable pleasures of post processing in the non-deconstructed version of Lightroom CC.

The first thing I noticed was that no matter whether I'd shot with just the fluorescent lighting or if I had added in some front fill from the LED panel, the camera did a fantastic job of nailing white balance and, by extension, skin tones. The second thing I noticed was the lack of blown highlights and featureless shadow areas. But the thing that caused me to stop in my tracks and start pixel peeping was the lack of noise at ISO 1600. At 100% you can see a monochromatic pattern of noise in lower mid-tones and shadows but since there are no patches of mottled color the effect is more than just acceptable. It's film-like. On Saturday one of my friends who works professionally as a video producer came over to borrow a couple of lenses. He's extremely noise averse and already has the new Sony A7S2 in his hands. He stared at the Panasonic image on the screen and then clicked to the exif information just to be sure I wasn't messing around with the facts. He was amazed. I was amazed.

And the wonderful thing about the noise profiles at 800 and 1600 is that the fine details of the images are still sharply rendered and defined. This little camera had smacked that job right out of the ball park!!

Which led me into a philosophical discussion of sorts with my video counterpart. Had technology reached a point where, other than niceties like XLR connectors and S-Log3 and handling, consumer cameras were flattening the barriers to entry by putting high performance into cameras that cost a fraction of what it had cost to do certain types of work only a few years ago? Is the A7S2 within a gnat's eyelash of the performance of something like a Canon C300 or A Red camera? On so many parameters the Panasonic fz 1000, a $750 camera, was outperforming almost all the previous generations of all digital still cameras up to about the introduction of the new generation of Sony sensors in the Nikon, Pentax, Olympus and other cameras (around 2012).

Was it only ingrained, professional user prejudice that was keeping people from pressing the newer, cheaper cameras into service in projects? And the same in video?

For the most part I would say yes. The one place where the differentiation is easy to see is in the one parameter of focus ramping and depth of field. It is basic physics. A full frame camera with a fast lens will allow the artistic choice of quickly dropping backgrounds (and foregrounds) out of focus. With a longer, faster lens the backgrounds can be blown entirely out of focus. It's a nice effect and one I like to use in my personal portraits but it's hardly mandatory on all jobs, especially in documentary jobs and events. But also jobs or projects where overall context is a concern.

Are we mostly holding on to the older, bigger, more expensive tech out of reflex and habit?

I am deep in thought today about my relationship to all the gear I've been shooting with. The Nikons prove their value to me in portrait shooting situations. Part of my prevailing style is to shoot with wider apertures on longer lenses and to play with the out of focus tonalities of backgrounds. But not all of my work falls into this camp. I've spent years and years shooting all kinds of events, both social and business. I'll be doing so again on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of this week.

On Thurs. I'll be shooting portraits in my usual style and have already selected the Nikon D750, along with the 85mm and 105mm lenses for that part of the job. But the rest of the time I'll be standing back, documenting client and customer interaction, making images of business meetings, attending dinners and catching candid images at the Formula One race --- images of the clients and customers, not necessarily of the cars.... We'll also be shooting a concert in a downtown venue. One evening we'll be doing a walking tour of restaurants on Rainey Street. These are almost all situations which seem perfect for an all in one, high performance solution that's highly portable. A week ago I had made up my mind to use the Olympus cameras for these various functions but now I'm not at all sure and am leaning toward the fz 1000.

How serious am I about using the new camera? Serious enough to head out to Precision Camera to buy a second one. Why? No professional should show up for a job without a rational backup camera. And the best back up camera is one that is identical to the first. Same batteries, same flash, same menus and the same handling. It's this a dicey decision? Naw. If the camera can make help me make beautiful portraits, by available light, in small office cubicles I should be able to do just about anything else with it too.

The past exerts a tyrannical hold on us. It keeps us in a certain stasis that may not be beneficial. Belinda and I remind ourselves when we are out on morning walks that our tendency, when charging for work, is to hew to what we've always done. But that doesn't take inflation and increased skill sets into consideration properly. We always remind ourselves to change with the times. Twenty years ago it was heretical for corporate photographers to accept credit cards, now it is mainstream. Small flashes replace big flashes. Internet replaces print. And smaller, more capable cameras can replace a dozen or more pounds of last generation gear when the final deliverable product is taken into consideration.

At a certain point, if the work supports the decision, it makes good sense to continually downsize the gear that you'll have to carry and conserve for eight or ten hour days at a time. And if you can buy a camera that does all this for what you would have paid for one prime lens for your heavyweight system, then how does it not make sense?

This particular blog post, I think, is aimed at working professionals. If you aren't doing photos for money you can use and carry whatever you want whenever you want to. We, on the other hand, have felt I think culturally constrained to use what has always amounted to "herd approved" gear for the bulk of our work, even when it doesn't serve a rational purpose. The upheaval of the past few years may change all that; especially if the quality of the images in their final use doesn't take a hit.

And it's not just that the fz 1000 is some magical tool, I could feel just as comfortable with the Sony RX10.2, and for most uses even the Sony RX100.4 or the Panasonic LX100. They are quick and functional. In conjunction with flash and ISO 200 they match what we've always gotten from cameras--- all the way back to the film age.

Need narrow depth of field for everything you shoot? Then you need a large sensor camera. For everything else? Now it's your call.