New Cameras: Plain Sailing Out of the Fog?

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Continuing the blog serialisation of my popular X-Pro Series lust/hate/love story:

Part 131: New Cameras: Plain Sailing Out of the Fog?

Hi everyone!

 

You may have noticed that I took a break last week! (update January 2019: this was weeks ago, I didn’t take a break last week!)

 

We had a small trip away to great place called Vigo (in northern Spain)

 

While I was away enjoying some great food, inspiring views and having a lazy time….

 

…..the camera world was going nuts  🙂   (update January 2019: this was weeks ago, now the camera world is calmer!)

 

I know not every new camera was announced while I was away, but it seemed that in a very, very short space of time everyone and their dog released, announced or rumour leaked a new camera!

 

FF Mirrorless from Nikon

 

and

 

FF Mirrorless from Canon

 

A new Leica, the M10p with a touchscreen, a quieter shutter and a bigger price tag!!

 

A rumour of a FF Panasonic (yes FF !!)

 

A rumour of a brand new Zeiss camera – yes a camera (update January 2019: this was weeks ago, a true rumour too!)

 

Perhaps a new Sony A7s

 

and of course the X-T3

 

This is primarily an X-Pro-cenric site, and unless I’ve missed something….. (it’s quite possible that I have) there’s no rumours yet about any X-Pro3….

 

….Although if (IF) it’s coming anytime soon, methinks the spec of the X-T3 will be a reasonable expectation yardstick.

 

I’m a little confused about the X-T3…. probably just me… but it seems that it wasn’t that long ago that Fuji released the X-H1 aimed at video users…. and now the X-T3 that has a better video spec, except for the lack of IBIS, which should appeal to video users. So Fuji loving videographers must be having a headache about now, no? Do they buy the X-T3 for the video spec or the X-H1 for ease of recording video?

 

I guess they could buy a X-T3 and Fujifilm branded Gimbal… oh yeah… 🙂

 

Seriously though. The operational improvements to the X-T3 seem very, very tangible… more speed than speedy mc-speedface, better AF stuff (which incidentally is the thing you most often write to me about) which should be a huge winner. More SOOC Jpeg stuff and a far better spec’d EVF, which a) better bloody well turn up on any X-Pro3 and b) might have been nice if it was 4+mp to be ahead of the game rather than the one that Sony, Leica and Panasonic did already….

 

But going back to the generic state of play within the new camera game…

 

These new cameras are in a very real tangible sense a complete embarrassment of riches

 

Not only because there’s never been so many current and cutting edge models to chose from, not only because there’s never been so many different brands offering consumers so much choice, not even because the new models tend to push down the cost of the outgoing units (eg the X-T2 will surely get even cheaper now)

 

No, the embarrassment of riches is simply because we’ve never had it so good.

 

There’s never been this many cameras, from this many manufacturers that offer this many features.

 

It really doesn’t matter which brand we’re talking about, now every brand offers a product that simply put, spec wise blows every camera from a few years back out of the water

 

Four years ago the best Fuji was the X-T1, four years ago the best mirrorless Sony was the A7

 

Look how far we’ve come in that time.

 

We’ve never had it so good. A true embarrassment of riches

 

Now… I’d like to think I get it…. After all, one photographer’s must have feature is another’s meh I don’t even know what this is for….

 

….But…..

 

What a load of chatter about these new cameras!

 

I mean seriously…

 

This is naff, it only has one card slot or I’m not convinced about the lens range or XQD what were they thinking or OMG how big is that zoom lens.

 

As a photographic community we’ve never had it so good and I think we’ve never complained so much 😀

 

We can buy now a Canikon with FF and no mirror or a Leica M with a touchscreen, even a Fujifilm (X-T3) that DPR rate the AF on 😀

 

We’ve. Never. Had. It. So. Good.

 

Can we ever truly see cameras for what they are now?

 

Adam do mean that cameras are designed for us to form bonds with in the way that people do with sports teams? Do you mean that camera brands are effectively lifestyle accessories by which we should judge photographical gestalt?

 

No.

 

Cameras are for taking pictures.

 

And we’ve never had such a rich and featured filled set of cameras to chose from.

 

SURE if you PERSONALLY need feature xyz, then for goodness sake buy the camera that offers the best implementation of this feature.

 

But….

 

Important to note I think that the way of working and the features your camera has, that YOU need is a rather personal thing inside the head of the photographer, once other people see the image they’ll have no idea if it was taken using tracking AF mode 89 or auto seductive smile capture mode. They won’t know if it was saved onto a UHS-ii SD card or an XQD one. They won’t care either. They’ll only care about the shot.

 

You should care – it’s you taking the shot. But what YOU need to take the shot is an internal dialogue, no?

 

But I was thinking that this obsession about camera performance, this camera can do this or that… but that camera can’t… This brands says that in x years they’ll make this lens and that brand wont…

 

…it’s a bit like talking to people about what you’re thinking during sex, rather than being into who you’re making love with… which is a bit daft… unless one isn’t making love at all…

 

Try and make love to the photos you take folks, and get whatever gear it is you need to make your photo-motor hum.

 

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7 Replies to “New Cameras: Plain Sailing Out of the Fog?”

  1. Hey Adam, first things first – have yourself and your family a superb new year! I read since years, enjoy, not always agree and are, for the most parts, just silent. Lazy. Full of other thoughts and, well irritations. You deserve more, more (and honest) feedback, more support and more communication with us, your audience….
    Nevermind, sometimes it is probably good that the folks out there don‘t answer, at least that I don‘t answer / comment….a lot of bs would probably come to your attention (without you asking for it…)

    Anyway, I just read through some of your old(ish) articles and finally reached this piece and me thinks, well, it is as good a position as anywhere to tel, you how much I enjoy reading your technical skilled, nicely worded and for the most part really helpful articles. I really do – thank you.

    The reason why I was reeading your old stuff: well, I got my bew camera yesterday and so its time to say good bye to my trusty X-Pro1. No, I will not sell it, neither is it going to go into the electronic waste collection bin – mind you. It‘s such a nice piece of technology (yep, with it‘s set of flaws) and it acompanied me more or less around the world. So I keep it, not only at heart, but also physically….

    So what‘s the new baby then? Ha, obvious, right? A Canon R……nope I am kidding, saw it at Photokina, quite liked it for it‘s class, was impressed by the initial glass from Canon and happily snapped some photos with the Pro1 and that awesome 35/1.4 – not looking or thinking back for a millisecond, also not forward, for that matter, because there were Z6/7 and Panasonics… all nice, I am sure, but you know – maybe a big body is kind of ok, but that glass, I mean THAT HUGE CHUNK OF GLASS….I simply can not see me travelling the world together with a Sherpa to carry my 3 or 4 lenses…

    So X-T3? No, like the others, impressive piece of technology, for sure. Unlike the others good size, great compact lenses (compared to these CaPaNikon monsters at least), but…. for me….not my cup of coffee, it is a kind of SLR, at the end of the day. It‘s a Pro2, that I owwn since yesterday 🙂 everything about it is awesome so far, but I will put it to work next week, going to Japan / Korea.

    Why a Pro2, if the Pro3 is around the corner?
    I simply don‘t buy it! The Pro2 was launched just when Fuji had the new technology right to make a bang and that 26 MPix, while nice, is no bang…we will see. But in any case – the Pro2. Does not become obsolete if a new camera is lauched anyway 🙂 I DON‘T NEED THE LATEST, I NEED GREAT TECHNOLOGY.
    So sorry for that long post 🙂

    Take care!

    Like

    1. Hi Andreas,

      Thanks for the long comment, my articles cans be quite long so it’s nice to get a long reply!

      On the one hand, yes – I could get more in the way of reader interaction… But I don’t really write the type of things that get people reaching for the ‘reply’ button!

      Sure I could write articles with titles like 10 reasons why you’re an idiot if you shoot only Jpeg or 10 reasons why you’re an idiot if you shoot only RAW or 10 totally overrated photographers or 10 things that you MUST do with your PP

      But I feel things like this are just white noise, there’s far to much camera vitriol out there already and I just don’t want to add to it.

      Plus of course who am I (or indeed who is anyone) to say what others should shoot and how they should work or who’s a good photographer or not?!!

      This site has mainly ben about my X-Pro experiences and also my photography.

      Because of this focus I feel I attract a higher quality of reader than I might covering multiple brands or models.

      No one (outside of really very specific high end work) needs the latest and greatest, we live in times where all the cameras are superb. It’s just about finding one you like to hold and has the lenses you need.

      So congrats on your X-Pro2, the fact its been available for nearly three years without upgrade means that Fuji basically got it right to begin with.

      Thanks again, I hope you enjoy a fantastic 2019 and take care yourself

      Adam

      Like

  2. Thanks for your nice reply, Adam. I could not agree more to everything you said – particular the white noise portion! I could give you 999 reasons why I skip those articles 🙂

    Take care and keep up the great work here as well as out in the field.

    Oh, one more thing – no idea of how you see it, but for me a photo is somethi g I can hold in my hand.. so some stuff about printing would be great 🙂 again, only if this is in your workflow (obviously) and you find the time….

    Like

    1. Hi Andreas,

      Sorry for the delay in replying, I’ve been ill with flu and bedridden for 2 whole days!

      When I print I tend to pay a company to do it!

      Dear Susan has an ongoing saga about printing which the link below should take you too

      Cheers
      Adam

      Printing

      Like

  3. Hi Adam,
    Thanks for your column.
    It made me think…….and I got worried.
    I feel I get sucked into all these new announcements and commentaries on cameras and features and missing things blablabla.
    What happens is ….it kills my creativity somehow!
    I think more about the tool and less about the photograph. Somehow the annoncements awakes a gear curiosty in my mind. And it takes a lot of time away. That could be better used in honing my photographic skills, learning to use the camera and lenses I have NOW , watching life and the world and composing my view on both.
    All these camera’s are of course a blessing. BUT they also can be a curse in disguise. I am glad I have discovered the curse. Now I can balance my photographic activities in a better way. And I am alert when the curiosity and gear lust threatens to take over.
    Adam. please keep flooding us with your photographic insights and gear usage tips!

    Gert

    Like

    1. Hi Gert,

      Thank you very much for your kind words.

      I think that in many ways modern cameras are in competition to offer us the most customisable yet automated picture taking solution.

      What’s hot today is merely tepid tomorrow and makes us want to upgrade.

      Your desire to primarily pursue your photographic intent is brilliant.

      Take care
      Adam

      Like

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