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Thursday, 13 March 2014

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The Olympus E-M5: it's not got the objectively highest image quality of any camera and it's not the smallest, but it hits the right price / performance / size / lenses combo for me.

When I shot with DSLRs I missed a lot because the DSLR was too cumbersome to take out.

The Fuji X-100
Mi dos pesos!

Fuji xPro-1

Olympus E1 with a Panasonic/Leica 25mm f1.4.

I supposed I liked my Nikon D700 the best, because its high-ISO performance was so dramatically improved over everything that came before that the camera finally became essentially transparent to me. The thing did away with the last annoying limitation that used to keep me fiddling and compromising all the time. I like my D800, but that D700m was the first camera to fit me like a glove.

Simple... Leica Digilux 2 ... the photo's still shine out. Part Exed for an M8...

I have owned quite a few, we have a number now and have even had highly regarded recent models but my all time favourite is the M9 and 50mm lens.
Just works for me, simple, quick and after two models is always just an extension of my hand, no thought necessary, just do!
Does not get any better, and image quality that I love :)
JRB

Favourite film camera: Olympus Pen EE. Tiny with a fixed focus, sharp 40mm-e lens and automatic exposure. Snap, snap, snap. Street-shooting Derringer.

Much as I'm smitten with the X-T1 (seems photographers on the internets are buying new cameras every 2-3 months), I'm thankful for my F3 and my 20mm (and 40mm Ultron) to take care of business as usual...

My favorite camera of all time, hands down, was the lovely Pentax MZ-S. This was the last 35 mm film SLR from Pentax. Released in 2001, it was delightfully quirky and very compact yet extremely capable. It provided 95% of the ability of the big pro CaNikon monsters at half the weight, though its autofocus was so-so.
It had two fabulous features. First, its exposure/metering system remains the best I have ever encountered. Two big control dials, one for your thumb and the other for your index finger; one shifted aperture and the other shutter speed. You could shift exposure on the fly using the bar-graph in the viewfinder. And the little 'reset' button instantly centered the exposure if you got lost.
The other great feature was ergonomics, still the best I've ever seen. The top plate angled back toward the user, so you could read the two little LCD's easily. The pentaprism viewfinder was excellent. The 'naked' camera was marginally too small for my large hands, but the matched battery grip made it just perfect. And unlike the ugly 'industrial' grips for CaNikon, it was sleek and sinuous like something out of H.R. Giger's notebook. Everything fell to hand perfectly.
Also worth mentioning were Pentax's superb lenses. The 85 mm f:1.4 remains the finest lens I have ever used, from *any* manufacturer. Crazy sharp at most apertures, just soft enough wide open, perfect bokeh. The 200 mm f:4 macro was fabulous. The 80-200 f:2.8 zoom was not quite as good as Canon's equivalent grenade launcher, but it was also half the price and 40% lighter.
I sold my entire Pentax system to fund my jump to digital. No regrets about going digital...but I still mourn for that 85 mm f:1.4......

I am currently in the midst of a passionate affair (cheating on a FF Canon) with a Fuji X camera, as a "poor man's Leica", but I suspect this comes from my love for the camera I bought in the dying days of my film experience. The camera I'd therefore nominate as my favourite camera of all time is the Voigtlander R3A.

For digital... well I wish I wasn't a "poor man".

Ricoh GX100/GX200. My ultimate decisive moment cameras, so many of my best pictures came out of these.

Because they worked so well for me, Ricoh decided to discontinue the series. I tried substituting with the GXR S10, then more recently the APS-C GR. The experience was not to be repeated.

Now I have a smattering of very good cameras on my desk, the most appealing being the OM-D E-M10. But I usually do better with the iPhone than any of them. RIP, GX series...

Olympus OM-D E-M5

X100s. Easy!

Despite its many faults, the Kodak DCS-Pro SLR/n.

Leica M8 for its Gestalt, sadly electronically immature, thus Nikon D700.

Olympus E-PL5, with the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm/1.4. Or for people shots, the Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm/1.8 on the same camera.

The next one coming down the pike.

Sony Nex 7 with Canon 40mm pancake. Great combination.

Ricoh GR Digital II/IV

hello Mike,

I really started photography with digital cameras (a nikon d70), but I owned quite a few digital and film cameras from various brands. I never really liked nikon ergonomics thoug. clearly my favorite cameras were the the Canon 5D and 5D II camera, with the last one being my absolute favorite. I sold it a few days ago, as I am switching to mirrorless cameras, but the ergonomics, sturdniess, reliability and image quality of my 5D II always amazed me. It´s a great tool that I had great pleasure using. I really like the compact size and weight of my a7r, but it really is a gadget compared to these two canon cameras.

The Olympus E-1 was definitely my favorite. It had everything going for it: size, toughness, responsiveness, color response. Too bad Olympus belatedly replaced it with a D200 copy, and then gave up on the SLR business when they figured out that people were buying their D200s from Nikon.

The 5D Mark II is a close second. It's a camera that you can just forget about and concentrate on images.

Sony a99. Why Nikon and Canon don't put a flip-out screen on their pro bodies is beyond me. Once you use one, you'll never want to go back.

And because you're (not) asking. The a99's favorite lens. CZ 135mm f/1.8. These go together like a bagel and smoked sable.

I am an optical viewfinder photographer. In spite of the not full frame category I started a love based relationship with my Fuji X pro 1. I lost one some days ago when my car ended all burned with a very appreciated 23 1.4. But now I am knowing more a 28 mm that is more compact and a focal lens prime that I never used. Interesting times for me.

I,ve got a special place in my heart for the old nikon D200. Build like a tank and solid performance.

In time, it's my good'ol'300D (aka Rebel), because at the time the gap with anything nearly as affordable was quite significant.
Used it for 7 years (and most of my galleries' photos). Now it's my E-PL5 : better IQ and wayyy better interface for less weight.

I haven't had all that many digital cameras (2 point and shoots, 2 dslrs, and 1 mirrorless), but for what it's worth my favorite is the OMD EM5. I have to admin that most of my best shots were taken with the dslrs but I've only had the EM5 for 2 years. However, I'm far more likely to pull out my EM5 than I ever was my dslr.

Olympus E-1

Absolutely the best ergonomics of any DSLR, before or since. Amazing image color. Awesome lenses. Perfect H/W format for portraiture. Uniform noise across the entire brightness range. Oh, and quiet.

Pixel count, high ISO performance and AF stunk up the show. But if none of those mattered, the camera is best of class.

I only use film cameras, and I have many, but my main gear philosophy is to find the right tool for a given job: right format, right type( SLR, TLR,PS, Panoramic or RF), right lens, and once it has been calibrated and tested, stick to it. In practice, given that I am predominantly a 50mm man, my favourite everyday rig is a Leica M7 with the motor drive and a 50/2.8 or 50/1.4 lens, depending on the available light.

Film: OM4Ti + 2,8/24mm, 2/40mm, 2/85mm (for years!)

Digital: GX7 + 9-18mm, 1,7/20mm, 1,8/45mm (think not so long as 4Ti)

Future: Fuji X ??? ;-)

I have to agree with you on Konica Minolta 7D. It was also my first DSLR and it had some really nice features that I've been missing in some newer cameras, for example interval timer. I still have it around and occasionally use it.

Panasonic GF1 with the 20mm f1.7. Made me realise I didn't need a dSLR all the time and made shooting fun.

Fuji F30. What a great little camera, and the files had a nice look.

Olympus Pen E-P5 with the Pan-Leica 25mm f 1.4 (Konica Hexanon AR 50mm f1.7 is a close second lens)

Canon S3 IS.
My first non-previously-used digital camera. Ergonomically perfect, light, adaptable to several situations. I took it with me almost everywhere. Then I switched to Pentax K10D, largely superior as a photo-machine, but too heavy and bulky. Now I have a Panasonic G3, much better than the Canon, but not so versatile.

The go every-where, rock-solid, never-failed-me camera is the 12 MP Nikon D3. I wrote "do-everything" too, but erased it just now knowing that someone would object due to lack of video. I don't use video that much, so it just isn't part of the analysis for me. Man, the files on that thing just sing. Great low-light performance (which I define as better-than-film), pleasing skin tones, works with, I don't know how many lenses. The M9 is nice, the Fuji X-1 Pro is fancy, and the Olympus P2 is tiny. . . but the D3 is just bomb proof. In fact I caught myself cruising past KEH's web site to see what a used one runs . . . you know, just in case.

Ricoh R4.
Killed by a rouge wave in Habana.

I love my Fuji X20. It's small, with a very fast built-in 28-112mm zoom, an optical viewfinder, and easy navigation. Best of all is the quality of the RAW files I get from it. Also, in size, feel, and build quality it reminds me of the Contax TVS, my all-time favorite film camera.

Nikon D700

After a year of discomfort I have bonded with my OM-D E-M5. It gives me great color and with any of three lenses, the 17mm f/1.8, the 25mm f/1.4 and the 45mm f/1.8 I get wonderful files.

My all time favourite camera is a toss-up between the Rolleiflex SL66 and the Toyo 810 M MkII, though decades apart. The Toyo lacked the precision control of my Sinars, but it always made me feel connected with the subject.

I've only ever used Nikon's best - D1x, D2x, D3s,D700, D800. None of them have been my favourite (unlike my film days with the Hasselblad 500cm or the Leica M6). I'm still waiting and I would hazard a guess I'm not alone.

Digital - Canon 6D with 40mm pancake lens
Film - Leica M6 with 35mm Summicron

Pentax 6x7 and the Takumar 6x7 105mm F2.4, with Velvia 100F, Fuji acros 100 or Tri-X.

I mainly shoot black and white film, my favorite camera is the Leica M6 I currently own.

The Epson RD1 was probably the camera I liked the most. It wasn't perfect in any sense, and I wouldn't want one today. What makes it special for me is that it far exceeded my expectations, and that is something no other camera has done.

First "real" camera, Nikon F, 50 F1.4, black, 1968, built like a tank, heavy like a tank, even sounded like a tank .... no wait, .... Canon S110, small, fits in pocket, almost silent, shoots in available darkness, and is usually with me. Like it a lot! 8-)

Film: Leica M3

Digital: Pentax K5iis

Honorable Mention: Nikon V1

I have very fond memories of the Epson R-D1 and '70's 35mm Summilux Combo I used to have.

My all-time favourite camera is always the one that I currently use. Otherwise I would have kept the old one. For the past two years, my main shutter squeeze and all-time fave has been a Canon 5D2.

Olympus E30.
It made me feel more like a "real photographer" than any camera since my first Argus C3 50 years before!
It's too slow (congress could act while it writes to memory), too heavy (better than a Speed Graphic for fending off muggers), only has 5MP resolution, and cost $1500 in 2002.
But in the first month I got more printable images than I'd gotten with all of my Linhofs and Leicas in the previous 10 years.

(My new Sony RX10 may be it's logical do-everything all-in-one successor -- I hope.)

Equal first place: Fuji X100S and Leica Digilux 2

Favorite would have to be the Nikon D800. The files are fantastic and I love how the camera handles. Plus the f1.8 primes are great for the money.

Second would be the Canon 5d MkII. Improved on the original, and still a very capable camera all these years later. The 6D really isn't all that different from what I have seen.

Honorable mention goes to my first digicam, the Sony DSC-S30. 1.3 megapixels and a somewhat unusual design, but I still miss the old guy sometimes. Nostalgia!

As primarily a film photographer, the Cambo Wide DS, a compact flat-plate technical camera. It's large format lite. With it, I can use wide angle and ultra wide angle lenses with shifts to keep everything vertical in combination with the elegant 2:1 ratio 6x12 cm format (using a Horseman roll-film back) or 4x5" full-frame. The WDS has no bellows, and instead uses lenses on helical focus mounts, doing away with getting under a dark cloth to focus. Gives me very distinctive images of landscape, industrial and architecture.

Pentax Q with 15-45.

It's like having a 5D with a 2.8/70-200L, but you can carry it in your pocket!

iPhone 4.

It's the one I use most. It gives me great pleasure.

The Nikon F4 is the best camera I've ever used. Solid, accurate, reliable, and worth about $50 these days. Sad, huh? Having said that, I haven't shot film in years, so I'd have to say that the Canon EOS 5D Classic is my favourite digital camera, but the Panasonic GF-1 comes a close 2nd.

Jeff

Work: D4+f/2.8 zooms

Personal: D700+f/1.8 primes

The D700 gets the most love, the D4 the most work. One day, Nikon will update the D700, I hope. Love the 85 mm and the 50. Today the D700 and the primes are really great value.

NEX-6 and the Minolta XE-7 (old film cam, used longer than all of my other cameras combined (I think)!).

Favourite for ergonomics: Lumix GH2. Shame about the sensor and distortion on the kit 14-42mm lens.

Favourite for sensor: NEX-7. (The ergonomics are middle of the road: ISO changing from auto in P,A,S modes to 100 in M saves a lot of dial-spinning, but you can't beat having 3 custom modes to choose from.)

I've always liked the Canon G series compacts (currently have a G12) but the camera I love is my Nikon D800E. The quality of the images it produces is just so amazing. I've been going back through my image library lately and the old images from my D70 and D300 are just so poor in comparison!

Fuji X-Pro1

Canon 5D (original). So simple ... but OMD-EM5 may take its place.

Nikon D5100. Only my second digital camera.

Minolta Maxxum 7 (not D). Considering getting a third just in case the two I already have wear out...

Nikon FE2 with motor drive and Kiron 28-85. Served me well for 25+ years. Guess it says something that I listed the film camera first. Favorite digital - Nikon D700 but I own a D7000.

epson rd1 with rollei 40/2.8

Nikon D700 with primes. Runner up: Ricoh GR

Primarily a film photographer now, so my favourite camera is the Hasselblad 500CM + 80/2.8 lens.

Oh, I forgot....
The most important reason that I loved my Olympus E30 is that the images look like they were taken on Kodachrome II through an Elmar lens. They are just GORJESUS!

Very close call. The two cameras I regretted selling and repurchased later are the X100 (makes me work, rewards me with superb images from a discrete camera that allows you to blend into the background) and the Olympus E-1 (like shooting with a Rolex, and superb images at the lowest ISOs). But my most capable camera by far is the Pentax K-5iiS. Thing is, I prefer to use the Fuji, and turn to the Pentax only when I need to.....

Fuji X100 in black - it reminds me of my Konica Hexar AF...

Olympus E-M1. What I wished every camera I had ever owned would have been.

Pentax K-5IIs. Just plain fun, and great photos as a sidelight.

Canon 7D is my favourite. I have 2 of them, one with a 400mm F5.6L lens permanently mounted to shoot birds and the other with an 18-200 zoom as a walk around. After 4 years, I don't have to stop and think about how to use them.

I still really like my old D70. The 18-70 is very sharp and what shortcomings it does have are easily fixed by software. I keep threatening to replace it but the old tank just keeps chugging along.
For those rare occasions when I sill shoot film (two or three times a year) a fifty year old Rollei 2.8f does the trick and it's a great conversation starter at national parks. It's the only camera that makes me happy just to carry it around.

Mike, I have liked everyone of my nikon cameras but my d800 is far and away the best camera I have ever owned. It generally lives with a 24-120 f4 lens on it or the 50. I have owned it for almost 2 years now and had to send it for service once, but it makes photography so easy and enjoyable. Hope this wasn't too long. Thanks for asking.

i've hated all the digital cameras i've ever shot with mostly because of the interface. i guess the nex-7 bothered my the least, but it was still super annoying.

the rx1 is my favorite digital lens though.

Digital EOS 5D MKIII - it feels like a mature camera and it just lets me work the way I want!

Film EOS 1V - Great body that sits in my bag beside the 5D MKIII and I only need one set of lenses and speedlite's for both! If it had the thumb joystick it would be perfect.

It would have to be my Pentax K20D, which has served me well. It does what I say, it does what I ask.

It's usually seen with the 16-50 f/2.8 zoom, but I've started going out with just a Sigma 28-105mm, as I'm a bit of a wide boy when it comes to lenses and I feel that I should spend more time on the long side of the standard length, rather than trying to get as wide as possible.

I hope to buy a K3 soon, and the K20D will be relegated to 2nd camera.

It is only the second digital camera I have owned, the first being a secondhand Minolta Dimage S414, which I still have and does give nice muted colours.

My 7D became a brick, so I switched to Canon and really like my 50D.

Might have been a tough call between the Nikon D700 and the Fuji X-E1 I bought when I sold the Nikon, but loving the X-E1 and 3 lenses I got for it lead me to the Fuji X100s, which is the clear no-contest winner for me.

Film camera would be the Pentax K1000 I learned on, by a mile.

Canon 5D. First digital camera I could have happily used for the rest of my life (as if).

Dear Mike,

The Canon 20D was my 'first' and still my favourite. Photographer nostalgia reigns supreme.

Since you turned me into a film photographer with your "best bargain in medium format" article my favorite is the Fuji GW690III. My GF670 which just arrived yesterday could very well take it's place.

Got to agree with the Minolta 7D - waited a long time for that and it was worth the wait!


Nikon D2H, 4 large Mp, love the way B&W files look. Camera is fast, fast, and fast. Also,
my old Sony F717, 5 Mp love the color, but camera is slow, slow and slow.

Film: My Nikon Ftn from 1969 with a bunch of non AI and AI'd lenses. All still click'n

Olympus E-M5

Minolta X-700

Canon S95, because it's generally the best camera I have with me. tl;dr justification here: http://thesetbackpost.com/photography/the-faithful-companion/

In order:

1. D700 while I used it.

2. Panasonic LX-3

3. iPhone 4 and 5.

4. Olympus OMD.

The Noritsu at my local lab because it accepts all kinds of accessories: Nikon F3s, Fuji GW690s, Hasselblads, etc.

digital: monochrom (for usability and the wow in the pictures)

for film, i'm pathetically undecided between M4, pentax spotmatic, and rollei 35

I'm primarily shooting film, and my favourite is easy to say: Pentax MZ-S. It's small, fast, has a very ergonomic design resulting from Pentax's brave attempt at a "clean sheet" redesign of the modern camera interface. It's the perfect match for the FA 43mm and 77mm Limited lenses. The results on Kodak BW400CN make me very, very happy.

Film: Ebony 45SU, especially its asymmetrical tilts.

Digital: Sony A900. The Intelligent Preview feature works well. I wish the Custom Modes 1-3 could remember the image stabilisation setting though, since I usually forget to activate it for handheld.

My favorite film camera : Zeiss Ikon ZM, 50mm Planar, contact sheets and prints.

Fuji Xpro1. Though it may become the XE2 I am planning to buy next tax year....

Nikon and Canon score pretty low here, considering their enormous market share...

Canon 10D, my first DSLR

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