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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Comments

Never.

If the camera doesn't give me the results I want, I don't like it. It may still be a camera I use, but it will never be the camera I use.

Your experience with the Exakta 66 was like mine-great results. but I couldn't afford the repeated repair bills-so I traded it in. My repeated problems aren't this one, but the "I know what I want, but I can't afford it" and the "I wish they would make a camera with the combination of features I want, but there ain't none". A good example of the latter is the desire for a DSLR with intercangeable eye level and waist level viewfinders - like the old Exaktas and my Pentax 67. Maybe the Nikon D750 will do-if I could afford it...

Right now I'm shooting with a Nikon DSLR. I strongly dislike the damned thing, all bulky with plastic all over the place. I never want to carry it with me, and for the life of me I can't figure out why my 28mm lens is twice as big as my 50mm. From an aesthetic standpoint it's just awful.

But it gets the shots. It's fast, which matters to me, and the image quality is excellent. So I'm sacrificing aesthetics for raw performance for the time being.

On a side note, I have an M6 that I absolutely love. Too bad about that hole in the bottom I have to load dollar bills into.

I agree with results matter, except when it come to EVF. Even if a camera gave me images like a gigapixel monster, I couldn't cope with the little TV screen.

Happened to me with Fuji X100. I loved that old-timey aesthetic (Something I'd at that time been predicting for a couple of years on my blog.) But I found out that I sorely missed a zoom when using it. Sigh.
Then came its bigger brothers with exchangeable lenses. But they were bigger and heavier, and worst, they lost a lot of the beauty.

Same with Fuji X10. Loooved the look and feel, loved the fast zoom lens. Good results. But two months later came out Sony RX100, with a bigger sensor and a smaller form.... argh.

I would say go with the camera that gets you the best pictures - which in my experience is the one I use, not the one I leave at home. So there is something to be said for enjoying using your camera.

The Fuji X100 was my equivalent of your M6 I think - I really, truly wanted to like it but in the end the lack of an ability to focus meant it didn't give me good results most of the time (well, that and my lack of ability of course). Unfortunately, when it did work, when it accidentally focused on the same thing I wanted it to focus on, well then my oh my the results could be lovely; sadly this meant I persevered with it for far to long. I still have it in fact, but its place has been at last sensibly usurped by a Panasonic GX7, a camera that produces more humdrum pictures but pictures that are, at least, in focus. In my heart of hearts I still hope that Fuji will produce a camera that I can trust - maybe the X Pro 2 will be the answer to my prayers?

It seems that I am a quite happy person, who after straightforwardly iterating through some cameras has found one to stick with because it gives the results I want *and* is pleasing to use (maybe a bit more pleasing to the eye with its retro design than to the hands with buttons too small to use with gloves on, but still...). But for me the experience and the results go hand in hand, and I certainly would not accept a camera which does not deliver what I seek after some period of getting accustomed.

And I use basically only this one camera, making sure that I won't get distracted by having to mentally switch from one user interface concept to another. Mark Hobson wrote along this lines recently, too.

I have rejected cameras for both reasons. There is enough choice today to get one that handles well and produces good results in a predictable way.

I don't mind a learning curve (all cameras have those) but once I know how it works best, I just want that technique to be repeatable. I lost count of the DSLRs that would focus fine one day, or on one subject, and then then next day on a different location, all the shots were OOF.

It took a while to learn the quirks of Fuji's X cameras, but now I hardly miss a shot. Combined with light weight and simple controls, it is the best of both for me, and the files are extremely malleable once you understand the sharpening routine.

For me it was (and still is) the Oly EM-5. On the surface it's the perfect camera I've been looking for, small, fast, light, built like a Swiss timepiece, and takes gorgeous images.

But no matter how hard I try, I just can't get comfortable with it. The buttons are too tiny and squishy, I can never remember where certain setting are, and it never feels quite "right" in my hands when I'm holding it (yes, I have the hand grip).

Sharply observed, sir. Almost all of my other cameras (mostly 35mm,a few digital) are more pleasurable and satisfying to use. But the one that returns most keepers these days is a Sony RX-10. Maybe it's that big chunk of Zeiss glass in front of the (not at all bad) Sony RX-100 II sensor. Certainly I enjoy the 24-200 equivalent zoom wherever and whenever I want it.

It's nice when things come together, and the camera that does the best job is also likable, but that's not always the case. For me, results always trump likability. That's not to say that an acceptable result is an objective quality. It's just as subjective as my fondness for the camera.

In my opinion, gone are the days when a choice of camera/lens makes any recognizable difference in image quality (I'm talking choices between full-frame, APS-c, and m4/3). Now it just comes down to what makes you feel good using. I've used all three types and I can see almost zero difference in image quality, at least up to 13 x 19 inch prints (my printer's limit).

I feel a bit blessed that the cameras I like the most, the Fuji X-series, also give me the best results.

I also like the Olympus OM-Ds quite lot, but I find the images don't have quite the magic that I get from the Fujis.

My pro Canon gear I find to be ruthlesslessly effective, superb at "getting the shot", but using them leaves me completely cold. A tool for professional applications, but not an embodiment of inspiration.

For Patrick Dodds: The autofocus performance of the Fuji X100T and X-T1 are vastly improved over the original X100. I would consider renting one or the to give them a second evaluation. I was shooting motor racing with my X-T1 this last weekend with the amazing 50-140 f/2.8 pro zoom, and the results were gorgeous and tack sharp.

I have a Canon 5DMkII that, with my favourite 50mm focal length produces images I open on the computer and say blue words too (in pleasure, not frustration). But I grab the Fujifilm X-E1 with its own 50mm-equivalent and all is good in the world. It's not a size-weight thing, as neither/both bother me equally. And don't get me wrong the X-E1 produces great images technically, but the 5DMkII's are better (to me). And yet because the X-E1 is the closest I've got to owning a digital Voigtlander R3A (my favourite) I think my pleasure in using it sometimes compensates for the differences. It's the camera I will likely use if ever I start your 'Digital variant: one camera, one lens, one year' project (http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2014/11/one-camera-one-lens-one-year-the-digital-version.html). It's not quite Voigtlander-perfect for me but it tells me my "fits like a glove" camera is likely to come from Fujifilm's stable (weatherproofing of both body and 50mm equiv. lens would be nice).

Your favorite camera is one you trust, respect and admire; one whose results can inspire- and when they don't, make you question yourself as well (as with any mutual relationship).

I confess I'm frivolous about cameras. My first serious camera was the Olympus E-P1. I became obsessed ever since I laid my eyes on it. I just had to have it.
At that time the only thing I knew about cameras was that I needed to have interchangeable lenses. I didn't know about the blown highlights, the poor autofocus performance, and a puzzling lack of sharpness that I remember Ctein mentioning a few years ago, if my memory serves me well. The lack of a viewfinder didn't bother me: I was using a point-and-shoot before I bought the E-P1. (My current addiction to optical TTL viewfinders would come much later.)
I could have opted for a DSLR - the Pentax Xk-1 was in my shortlist back then -, but I fell for the looks of the E-P1. Now the latter has been lying idle inside the Lowepro backpack I store my gear in for almost a year. That is largely due to my conversion to film, but it is possible that I would be using a digital camera more often if I had chosen a camera for its performance rather than its design.
There are no lessons to be learned from this, however. I wasn't aware of the camera's limitations and was misled by the glowing reviews the E-P1 got in its day. If I could go back in time I wouldn't have bought the E-P1, but knowing myself as well as I do, chances are I'd have waited for the Fuji X-Pro 1.
If I had the benefit of hindsight, however, I might have opted not to buy a digital camera at all. My Olympus OM-2n is a beautiful camera, especially after removing the hotshoe. Aesthetics might not be important where it really matters, but I can't help it: I couldn't bear being caught in the street holding an ugly camera. Fortunately, ugly SLR cameras are something of a rarity.

Note to BH on lens size. The reason wide angle lenses for DSLRs are so big is that they have to commit an unnatural act. Ideally, the lens would physically extend closer to the sensor, more or less in proportion to the shorter focal length. But because of the mirror, that can't be done. So there's a bunch of extra glass to make everything work without putting the back of the lens into the path of the mirror. Some of the old Nikkor fisheyes required you to use mirror lock-up for exactly that reason - the lens _had_ to extend backwards into the mirror path.

If I dislike the camera, the results will always be awful. Maybe self fulfilling, but effective reality.

The reverse is not true - there are cameras I really liked that I could never get the results I wanted out of.

Laugh if you will (and you just might), but although I have a number of DSLRs and a couple of micro 4/3rds, once in a while I pull out the Nikon 1 V1, attach a 50mm (equivalent) prime, and have a grand time. I know what's wrong with it--have read several laundry lists in that regard--but the thing typically nails focus and does so rapidly. Those times when the files display some noise, the noise is nicely grain-like. It's fun to shoot b&w jpegs (with the camera set for RAW + jpg, of course) and feel like a time traveler from the land of film. A good little street machine.

My favorite camera is the one that is invisible, which means that it doesnt get in the way when using it. No shutter lag, silent, manual button controls, small, unobtrusive, light, and a comfortable and decent viewfinder. I dont care for AF, because I use it very little. The X100S and the XT1 give me that. The X100S is great because it looks analog and old and people dont take you too seriously when shooting, and thats good. Not having interchangeable lenses is liberating. Plus you can shoot with only one hand and that draws even less attention. Less is definitely more.

About the looks, I care a lot about the aesthetics of my pictures, not of my cameras. I tend to get better pictures when looking like a tourist than a photographer. People dont pay much attention to you that way.

Leica, I'm OK with. But my Olympuses (OM-2 to OM-4 to E-3 to EM-5 to EM-1) seem to be made for me- hardly have think when I shoot them, fit in my hand like a glove, and deliver great shots--unless the photographer screws up. However, me & Nikons have never gotten on well.

When I shot film, I had but a single camera, and it was fine, and for 20 years (times two). I knew each one inside out.

An embarrassment of riches: In this digital (disposable) age, I can count eight cameras that are now history, and a current "choice" of three newish ones. Every time I pick one up, I need to remind myself of what's different with THIS particular one. I don't think any one of them suits me perfectly.

I'd love to have a 35mm digital "cartridge" (think Instamatic form factor) that would fit where the film canister went, all else being the same old comfortable camera.

The most "transparent" camera I own and use is my D700. I can almost forget that I am operating an intermediate device of translation. This thing is superlative. I can get what I want, even with a glass of wine or two in me. Sometimes, that actually helps.

*****
Other notable cameras:

D300: it was to the D700 what Moose's 60D was to his 5D. Oddly unsatisfying. I liked my little old D50 better.

Leica M6: adequate for usability, fine results. Has high potential if used as only camera.

Mamiya 7: adequate-minus for usability (for instance, I keep forgetting the viewfinder for the 43, and shoot fast-and-loose); generally outstanding results. I love it, but no wine to go with this one.

Micro four-thirds (E-P2, GF3): Adequate-plus for usability, very reasonable results.

I have a battered Pentax 67 that never puts a frame in the same place twice but gives me results that made me tear up in the darkroom. I also had hassleblads. Except for one amazing day, never managed to get good stuff from them. (But SWC? love that beast). I love the way panasonic cameras do so many things, but rarely loved the images out of them. And despite being a canon EOS guy from the day an EOS 650 showed up literally on my doorstep, I never could understand anything bast the first digital Rebel - the Nikon D80 was such a revelation to me i was sold for life, until Fuji:)

My problem is not the aesthetics but the format... For the life of me, I can't be satisfied with APSC.

I do all my personal work with 35mm film, either Leica or Minolta but I purchased a Sony A77 for cheap since I had people asking if I can shoot for them. The A77 works wonders, it is everything I like in a camera (Very Robust, Excellent Files, Fast and Responsive) and then some (EVF!) but it's not Full Frame like when I am shooting film.

I'm pretty sure it is all in my head but I want my 50 to act like it is a 50. I just need to get over it or shell out for the A99 whichever comes first. For now, I'll work with what I have.

I've never really bounced off a camera, at least not one I got serious enough about to take home for the night. And I've often had variant pairs -- like a Leica M3 and Pentax Spotmatic. Never had two *identical* bodies, it was always an FM and an FM2 or something. Currently it's a D700 and an EM-5. No doubt there are benefits to working with just one body, if you can stick to that long enough.

For film cameras, I mainly used an Olympus OM-1 and a few Oly rangefinders. The OM-1 was all I needed until the digital age.

Then, after starting with a Nikon D70, I moved to a D300 which is still the camera I go to for waterfowl photography. Don't have a replacement Nikon for it, and since Nikon has more or less ignored the higher DX line, I now ignore Nikon.

I got an Olympus EP-3 which took a month of brawling with to figure out how to best use, and it is still my go to camera for most purposes. Just love the EVF with highlight warnings so I can get exact exposes very, very quickly without messing with a viewfinder cluttered with video game distractions.

Speaking of which, my most recent purchase of a Panasonic GX7 is both the ugliest camera I have ever owned combined with the most disappointing. The highly rated viewfinder is so soft* I cannot tell if the camera is in focus or not, nor can I accurately judge exposure by either the histogram or the EVF (no highlight warnings). I very rarely use it.

Then I have the "quirky" Fuji X100. I like the looks, but frankly that isn't the reason I stuck with it. Within a month of buying it, I was rewarded with the Sticky Aperture Blade Syndrome and sent it back for repair. It was a year before I started using it again and by that time the firmware had been updated so that one could actually use the autofocus. Now I am used to its "quirks," even adjusting to the lack of highlight warnings in the EVF. I even manage not to curse the fool who decided that we need an inaccurate DoF scale in the viewfinder when using manual focus. The main drawback for me now is the 35mm lens. The reason I like it is that the files it is capable of producing is are impressive, even 3-4 years after it was introduced. And it is unsurpassed in low light among the cameras I own.

*I looked over a number of GX7s in camera shops in Tokyo after buying mine and found the soft was not rare.

I'm still terribly in love with the Olympus OM-3Ti, OM-4Ti and the E-1. Technical specifications don't seem to matter much. The bulk of the image I sell are made with those cameras.

If the car's not quite right, who cares? It hardly uses any petrol and it is the safety that matters, above all. And if the car's not quite right, well, so what.

If the house's not quite right, who cares? It’s comfortable and it is the nice neighborhood that matters, above all. And if the house's not quite right, well, so what.

If the wife's not quite right, who cares? It's her terrific cooking and her pleasant company that matters, above all. And if the wife's not quite right, well, so what.

The things we buy, consume or surround ourselves with are extensions of our personality. Some are buying very expensive cameras to show that they are well off. Others buy a certain brand to show that they know what is going on in this world. Then there are people who try to impress with their knowledge by buying the best value for money. And of course there are blokes (these are mainly men of course) who want to inspire us with awe with their powerhouses, motordrives, megapixels, megasensors and megazooms. Many target groups, great for the industry and marketeers.
The reason I sold my DSLR with all its lenses is not that I wanted a better image quality, but simply because I don’t want to walk around as a huge male gorilla but as someone with brains. At least that is what I told my wife. So I bought this micro43 camera and now I have to get myself a practical wide angle and a portrait lens again. And of course a macro might be handy as well. But if I really had brains...

Cameras that never failed to dissapoint, in chronological order:Pentax Spotmatic, Leica iiiF, Canon VI-T, Contax G2, Leica M9, Still on the fence on the Nikon D3. Cameras that never failed me, again in chronological order: Nikon F, Olympus OM1, 2SP, 4ti, Hasselblad 500CM, Sony R1, Panasonic GX7. The lenses that were/are most favorable were those for the Contax, the 'blad and the OM's but the ones for the Panasonic are surprisingly good, and haven't failed me yet.

OMG, as the kids would say. the camera that has suited me most and made the biggest improvement in my photography is my Hasselblad Xpan. Great camera, great lenses, I sleep nights dreaming of the Fujiblad Xpan Digital.I can dream, can't I?

One of the reasons why I have used the EOS system for 20 years was the ergonomics of the cameras. I still remember the excitement I had when I finally could scrounge the money to buy an EOS 1V, the thing just molded to my hands perfectly.

More recently, I have the same experience with the Sony A7II, just handles nicely. Not so much with the A7, but hey, it does give the results I want!

Handsome is as handsome does.
I've looked at, handled and drooled over a broad range of 35 mm film and subsequently digital SLR's over the decades. Some have given me great results, others less so. Two stand out and confirm Mike's pithy observation. The very pretty and compact Pentax MZ-S 35 mm film SLR was flat-out perfect ergonomically. With the optional battery grip it fit my large hands perfectly, the angled top plate made it easy to check settings, and the exposure control system still the best I've ever seen. But my results were mixed at best, possibly due to its mediocre autofocus.

By contrast, the Canon Eos-1Ds III is a massive blob of aluminum and magnesium that handles like a rounded-off cinder-block. It's too big and heavy to bring along as an afterthought. It wants to tip over when you set it down because of the fat battery grip. Drop it on your foot and you'll break some bones, but not the camera. And yet it gives me just what I want. The viewfinder is fabulously bright, the massive weight steadies my hands, and I've made my peace with its quirky controls. I've got two newer and smaller SLR's, but they just don't match my photo gestalt the way this beast does.

To Mike R's point...it's a 'digital age' thing...I'm a pro, and have been one for 40+ years, made most of my money with sheet film, and some with 120. Deardorff/Cambo/Linhof, that's it for sheet film cameras, Hasselblad, that's it for 120 (yeah, I know, Mamiya RB/RZ, etc. etc. but I remember when the RB came out and with many of the lenses you could physically see color fringing on an 11X14 print!). I've been through a few 35mm systems, but never made professional money with them.

Now, I've been through a few different camera systems, and I own two I work with (Nikon and M4/3rd's), and I still can't pick one to focus on (and lets face it, I hate the 35mm aspect ration [+1 for M4/3rd's], and I don't like the 35mm body dimensions compared to 120). I, of course, can't afford a modern digital Hasselblad or Leaf/Mamiya, if I could, I would buy it.

The amount of cameras I've already been through, that haven't paid for themselves through work, and that I grew uncomfortable with, have made me realize I cannot buy anything without seeing and feeling it. No ordering out of New York sight-unseen anymore. I'v lusted after 3000 dollar digital camera, and when I finally got the chance to pick one up, they were a disaster!

I did the Leica thing twice.

First time I tried it after several years of using Nikon F and F2 cameras exclusively. Total failure with lots of out of focus photos. Damn rangefinder! My best-focused Leica pictures were done from a tripod. Sold the camera and lenses for what I paid for them.

Second time worked out much better. I had been using Canon AF cameras for several years at that time but I don't think that had any real bearing on the outcome. More than likely, I was just in a different frame of mind at that time. I couldn't match the speed or accuracy of the Canons so I used zone focus a lot. I eventually sold my Leica equipment (for more than I paid for it) when I moved to digital.

Today, I'm split between two camera brands. I love the handling and familiarity of Canons but I also use the old discontinued Olympus DSLR system for the lenses. (Using the word "old" for five or six year old cameras seems weird to me since I still own the first Nikon F2 I bought in 1974.)

My thoughts on the current state of camera shopping, gratuitous self-linking to my web site, feel free to filter it out. I link it here because it has my opinion on the sort of Platonic Ideal for classic 35mm film cameras.

http://mutable-states.com/the-golden-age-of-cameras-part-2.html

There is also a part 1, but it is mostly about iPhones.

My mismatch comes with my little Fuji system, based around an X-Pro1. The camera's EVF is crummy, but it's the only way to see the whole field of my Touit 12mm. The OVF is very nice, but I can't see the bokeh from my 32mm Touit, or what's in the lower right corner with either lens. Neither combination is stabilized or waterproofed, like my Pentax K5IIs. But the sharpness and detail it produces is just out of this world...

I don't use the camera enough, but I'm hanging on to hope the XP2 fixes some of these shortcomings.

I think it's the Fuji X100 that epitomises this. I bought a beautiful black one .... How gorgeous was that. Here was a camera that was built to use manually ..which you couldn't. Here was a camera whose AF was out of the arc.
After 6 months of trying I put it aside ... Then improvements in MFN and AF. In firmware appeared .... Although it took time for me to realise. After FW 2.2 I think it was a camera transformed.

It is still mischievous, it is still quirky and slow ... But now it is worth working with. It does misfire. It can frustrate , but now at last it is good enough, often enough to be worth the occasional frustration.
When I was younger I had an 1963 beautiful soft topped Alvis. The X100 is the same beast ... In camera form. Not for everyone , but once smitten you are lost.

I must be the odd person who doesn't quite like any of the current cameras. In that past I had the same syndrome as Mike. My film Minolta XG-M felt edgy and plasticky but never failed and my greatest pictures came from it. Tried Leica rangefinders and had the Mike experience: not a single worthwhile photo. I dreamed of a Contax RTS but bought an S2b instead. The Zeiss lenses were great but the camera oddly less reliable and harder to manage than the Minolta ever was.

Digital came along, I bought a Nikon D70 and it was OK except for the backfocus... so no true happiness. And I thought that digital cameras just should not have mirrors. So when m4/3 came out I thought, finally a thing that makes sense, and I ran to buy a Panasonic G1 ... Very convenient and I loved the flip screen but in truth, a lot also wasn't right with it. The unprofessional button layout, rubber grip became sticky fast, no locks for settings, and just awful shadow noise / Hi ISO. But I stuck with it for years because I could live with it and it was so convenient. Now I have a Panasonic G5 and great lenses, the objective results are much better in color and noise than the G1, and the flip screen is just as great. The EVF is objectively awful though, glarey and off color.

The camera does absolutely everything I want, but I don't love it and I find myself lusting after ... well a FF DSLR, again. For the pro controls and ergonomics and manual aperture rings (pleeeease!!! pleeeease! I missed you for 10 years already. come back!). And fast AF and super hi ISO chops and occasional low DOF and all. But I don't want a brick. And I want a flip screen. That alone puts almost all DSLRS out of scope. And cheap fisheyes. And lenses that don't need weapons permits. That now means all FF DSLRs are out.

Now, Fujis and Olympuses have great sensors and manual controls. But. But. I can't s-t-a-n-d retro design. So the OM-D and all Fujis are out of the question. I find holding them physically revolting. The edgy 70s-early 80s look, the slippery black plastic that coats, say, an X-100, it's all so, urgh. The lustiest thing these days, oddly, are current Canon DSLRs for me, say 5D or 6D. I don't connect with the Nikon designs. But either way - either no flip screen, or brick, $$$, no cheap fisheye, monster lenses.

So there really isn't anything for me to save up for. The thing I want doesn't exist. I just had my G5 repaired for a loose flip screen. It also has a crack from falling out of my hands onto the asphalt. It bounced off. And still works. And works. And works. I'll keep on hobbling around with it.

Arriving with my nomination late. Sad to admit it but my least favorite great camera is my PhaseOne system. It's big, heavy (5-7 lbs), slow, and simultaneously very advanced and very primitive. (I could write a whole article on the subject!)

But there is absolutely nothing quite like my IQ's full-frame files for detail definition or spacial separation. When I need it I just have to get into its unique rhythm and learn to smile at its eccentricities and limitations.

I will say, however, that the Sony A7R comes the closest to producing similar results among my smaller cameras. And, of course, it's much MUCH more enjoyable to use and more versatile. I'm eager to see how the new Canon 5Ds measures-up although I'm not lining up to get one any time soon.

To me, trying to keep up with Moore's Law when it comes to cameras is a fool's errand. Sensors and software gadgetry morph so rapidly I can't keep up and would go to the poor house if I tried.
It's now approaching 40 years since I took up the Nikon F for a newspaper career, which required good picture capability and toughness -- which I once tested by dropping an F and 105 lens and watched it bounced down a flight of concrete stairs to no ill effect. (I also distinctly remember using the same camera -- when a hammer was not handy -- to pound a nail into a wall to hang a picture.) The little money I had went for lenses, the bodies kept on working.
When the time came in the new millennium to go digital, I chose a Panasonic FX20, figuring Leica's trans-national lens designers knew what they were doing, even if produced by a Japanese company using Chinese labor.
Last fall I stuck with Panasonic for the LX100. The shutter speed and aperture controls are back where I want them and I can ignore the modes I had to put up with on the FZ20. It's much smaller, lighter and has capabilities I will be learning for years, hopefully.
I wonder what I'll be in the market for in 2025, and what that market will offer.

I took possession of an Olympus OM-D E-M5 MkII with Zuiko 17mm f1.8 about 4 weeks ago. It replaced a Panasonic G5 mirrorless. The Oly got great write-ups around its release. And I concluded that it was an upgrade from the Panasonic. I liked the looks too, and so I had to have it.
There are so many knobs, dials, and customizable adjustments available on the camera. That's okay and I am doing well learning and taking advantage of them. But I have yet to find a comfortable way to hold the camera, positioning it within my hands. Especially troubling is the placement of the lugs to which you attach your neck-strap. I a new strap from Peak Designs, trying to find a way to minimize this lug discomfort. And the camera is so small, that my fingers from my support hand (left) get crunched in intersection with the fingers of my shutter-release hand between the lens and the grip below the shutter release. And I cannot rest the camera securely on my left hand for stability. It's a very capable machine and in some ways I like it (functionality and quality of output), but I just cannot get comfortable with it. In that sense, yes, I am experiencing the mis-match between best results and liked the best.

Olympus OM1/OM4ti was always my favourite film camera, I loved the fabulous viewfinder and the way you could hold the little camera in your hand without the need for a strap. When I went digital, the Oly EM5 was the logical choice, the 20mm lumix and the 45mm Olympus covering most of my needs. I really shouldn't have been tempted by the Sigma DP2M, because now the EM-5 lives in the cupboard. The sigma isn't the easiest camera in the world, but the results, especially in black and white, have made bonding with it so easy...

Your years are lengthening? I think we are about the same age and I'm sure mine are shortening, what am I doing wrong?

I am always amused when people try M Leicas for a few months or a year and give up. It takes longer than that to learn a new camera, sorry.

I agonized over my switch but was using it every day working for a small newspaper so I had to get over the rough spots, and did.

I always waned to like my Hasselblad system but I know I have just not used it enough to appreciate it. I love it, but just don't use it. Now and then I have gotten great results and the SWC is just so sweet. But no film through it in 10 years. I did use the lenses for a while on my RoundShot so the system did finally earn it's cost.

Mike,

I come to your site several times a week - sometimes daily. But the sweet spot for me is when you toss in a fabulous word like "bodge" and clothe it with something like "a preposterous cranky old bodge of a camera..."
Happens pretty often, too. LOL
Love it.
The problem is remembering those words and dropping them into conversation :-)

I love my little Olympus OM-D-EM-10 (not the name, though) for its speed and light weight, especially with a 17mm f1.8 on it. But if I'm asked to bring back a "money shot," I invariably grab my Canon 70D and 24-105 f/4 or 70-200 f/28 lenses.

Honestly, I miss the Sony DSC RX100 I "sold" to my father a couple months ago. Great images, but the handling could be a pain.

Gee whiz, does any one camera tick off all the boxes?

My EM5's fell into the "want to love them but..." category, mainly due to handling and feel. I wanted to love them and the results were great, but the handling issues were real and frustrating. The fix came in JB camera resin grips. The feel,and hand placement is now nearly fit to form for me, high, low, one handed and up to the eye all got better in one easy fix. I had the Oly grip, but the grip only needed to be removed to change the battery and the bottom half failed after a while.

Apropos of Sergio's comment: why is it that the more you look like a real photographer, the more people care what you are doing? When did being an idiot with a crap camera become less threatening than a good camera in the hands of someone who knows how to use it? Do people like a plumber who brings screwdriver to the job? It makes me crazy - like all my friends who praise a good picture and say, geez, you must have a great camera. Yes, I say, I do. Wanna try it?
I too feel the need to be small in the landscape, and my big D700 makes a sound like a small cannon... but it does the job. Is it post-Diana, and the worldwide revulsion about paps? A much bigger topic, Mike, that I am sure you could write a two-volume book about, but it perturbs me. I keep wanting to say to people, don't be frightened, I actually care about the images I shoot, unlike a person with a phone camera. Would you rather a real dentist did your teeth or an amateur? With apologies to the real pros, from a committed amateur...
Nobody said holding back the rivers would be easy.

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