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Monday, 26 December 2011


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Speaking of the year in review ... How's the darkroom coming?

My favorite camera was the E-PM1, but I suspect that my little opinion won't affect the forthcoming coronation of the X100, a camera that I would award the title, "Camera Whose Popularity is Most Perplexing."

"Nikon simultaneously made a splash and a fizzle with its new 1-series mirrorless cameras."

"Splash" seems an unfortunate term to use here given that the majority of the industry's problems this year were caused by water.

Reading this post made me realize that the Ricoh GXR M module won't be considered for a lot of "best-of-year" gear lists and "contests" just because of its odd-duck nature. It most likely won't get considered for any camera lists, certainly not lens lists, and probably not accessory lists either. I'm not qualified to say whether the GXR+M module is a contender for camera of the year (any year), just sayin' it's too bad, as it sounds like a camera, an idea, and a risk, that at least deserves some attention and applause.

my personal "camera of the year 2011" is - just because i purchased it within this year - a 1967 built leica M4.

while i guess that this choice is invalid in the terms of your article, i still enjoy it as much as my friend rob enjoys his (impulse buy) X100.

I know people like to read top 10 and cameras of the year but I think two points should be made :

I find it odd too that the Ricoh GXR-M is not even mentioned.This shows once more that People like to think along conservative lines and that thinking out of the box is always frowned upon , at least at first
Secondly I think it is interesting that the X100 which will be your camera of the year will still not have addresses the issues asked by many reviewers more than a year after it came out
Very telling in my opinion

Canon 60D. The D60 was a camera made in 2002.

Not having worked with all the cameras you noted, and not having any hard metric for just what characteristics such a distinction requires I really do not know what you'd choose, Mike.

Personally, I would have to choose the Fujifilm X100 based principally on its thoughtful amalgamation of proven legacy industrial design with 21st century optical and imaging technologies. In many respects it is the camera that Leica should have produced instead of that lame X1 mess of theirs.

The NEX-7 would certainly have been a contender, and the NEX-5N is certainly nearby. (The 5N is fab.) But unfortunate weather prevented the 7 from contention.

Re: the quite DSLR front, I think we're seeing the end of that era. Of course these cameras are not going to disappear and new models, particularly at the high-end, will drip forth indefinitely. But dslrs are a largely perfected, and infinitely versatile, design whose primary onus is now to support sales of their lens lines.

Mirrorless is the clear camera design path for the immediate future, probably for at least 10-15 years. New lens lines are being developed for interchangeable lens bodies as I write. Next year's "Camera of the Year" will quite likely be such a camera.

"my personal 'camera of the year 2011' is - just because i purchased it within this year - a 1967 built leica M4."

Yes, that's completely invalid, I'm afraid.

What the 1967 M4 is is one of the top cameras of the entire 20th century.


Mike, your statement about the 1D X ("It's not even in the hands of beta testers yet as far as I know.") is not entirely correct - well, depends on how you define a beta tester.

Dutch Formula 1 photographer (and Canon Ambassador) Frits van Eldik has been testing the new camera months before the launch in October. On his weblog he posted a promotional video on the day of the launch which shows him with the camera during the Monaco Grand Prix in May:
http://fritsvaneldik.nl/webpost/2011/10/promo/. His weblog is in Dutch but in various posts he commented that he has been able to test the camera several times prior to the launch - obviously with the aim to improve the camera even further using his feedback.

Thanks. I stand corrected. Still, I think it's legitimately a 2012 introduction.


Mike, I'm not going to argue about that! :)

me, too, won't argue about what you said :-)

happy new year to everybody, gong xi fa cai.

Nice strategy Mike! If you were trying to hunt down those scraper sites, you've got your list for this week. Check it out:


Both my cameras of the year were released in 2010.

The Canon 60D I use on my job is an amazing camera that delivers top-notch image quality and beautiful video. I am trying hard to imagine what else I could want in an affordable SLR that I would use on a daily basis with the occasional foray into sports.

The Olympus E-PL1 I bought for personal use made me a believer in the Micro Four-Thirds concept. The images are a HUGE step up in quality from point and shoot cameras, and its size was very welcome after I had carpal tunnel surgery in November and struggled to use my DSLRs for extended periods of time.

The Panasonic G3 is underrated by a lot of people.
It's a great camera: Small and lightweight, built-in viewfinder, articulated screen, a great line-up of lenses (20/1.7 and 45/1.8!), and it produces very good files.
Go with the X100 if you like, I like the G3 better.

How about the RED camera family? Don't know if it is really a 2011 event, but look at the Peter Jackson trailer that describes shooting "The Hobbit" in 3D and raw-file full frame digital using something like 48 camera bodies across the production. That seems like a transition that will shock Kodak and Fuji more than the entire DSLR takeover.


For me, the camera of the year is the iPhone 4S. It's displaced my GF1 as the camera I always carry with me (though I still get plenty of use out of the GF1). It's really the first phone-camera that I've found acceptable, quality-wise.

Funny, we just had this discussion over at the Micro Four Thirds forum - http://www.mu-43.com/f35/what-your-camera-year-19313/

"But I'll announce it anyway, somewhere between now and some day not too far into the New Year."

You toy with us sir. And we love it!

"You all know already what our Camera of the Year is going to be for 2011, don't you? From amongst these contenders? No-brainer, right?"

I'm slightly puzzled by that. I assume you mean the X100, with the buzz it created (no disrespect, I was buzzing too), the innovative VF, the somewhat innovative concept of a fixed-lens digital camera with an optical VF, and the reported image quality of the finished product. But I could also see giving the award to the Nikon 1 V1, or the two Nikon 1 cameras together. They broke the pattern of sensors in basically standardized sizes, and showed how good a "big-enough" sensor could be. They met with upturned noses from a lot of internet experts, but I know of two pros who blog about cameras who are very enthusiastic about the V1 as their "off-duty" camera. (Actually one who sometimes uses it on-duty.) They also do things like user interface and autofocus a lot better than the X100. So I guess I don't see how this is a no-brainer, and I'm looking forward to your announcement of your selection.

Pentax 645D

Along the lines of the Fuji X100, I would like a DSLR with the heft and feel of my Nikkormat. Of course, it would be nice if it used non-AI lenses too!.

Just wishing - I would probably get tired of the weight, lack of amentities, etc. and go back to using my D40x.

"Nikon simultaneously made a splash". Very appropriate comment Mike, as this camera looks like it belongs inside a Trident class submarine. The more I look at it, the more I like it.

My camera of the year 2011 is the X100, the most frustrating and moody camera I've met, because it's the lightest, most inconspicuous camera helping to make images that make me happy. I'm looking for the happy compromise between minimal gear and decent quality, the X100 is the current champion for that sweet spot.

"Pentax 645D"

You forget.


"I find it odd too that the Ricoh GXR-M is not even mentioned."

Uh, because it's not out yet.

Another 2012 introduction.


Funny that you say the GXR-M isn't out yet because as I type this I have a GXR-M sitting right next to me that I ordered and received 3 months ago from Adorama. Fabulous camera, BTW.

Oh, I'm sorry, my mistake. I can't keep up with the availability status of everything....



There's a GXR-M sitting in my bag as well.

My vote is for the Nikon 1 system.

While I do not think the cameras themselves are the best pure cameras due to the small sensor sizes, its this system more than anyone else's that everyone else will be copying over the next 4 years. The 1 system is the first truly bridge camera system between still and video. It has its faults (e.g. fast, but only with good light), but future cameras, and additional players, will inevitably address the faults.

It is hard not to see most of the operational elements of the future of mainstream cameras in the Nikon 1 system. EVF, AF integrated into the sensor, video and still coexisting as equals, sheer unmitigated speed, etc. As such, it is seminal. As much as has been written about the small sensor, that is not really the issue with the system. Rather the ergonomics and operational controls of the Nikon 1 are... not really designed for photographers. And while most of that is fixable in future cameras, the decision to omit a ring control on the lenses is a big loss. (The zooms have a zoom ring, but there is no equivalent to a focus ring. It could have usefully been done under software control so it could be mapped to focus, aperture, ISO, etc.)

Both the X100 and the NEX-7 lost me on usability. A shame as they are both wonderful cameras in many other respects. The X10 and the S100 are both really exemplary in terms of photographic use for the type of camera each is.


No not the Nikon 1 - Mike never does that: showing an image of what's going to be the winner on top.... or does he?

I bet it's the NEX-7.

A list from Spain

If it isn't the nex7 Id love to hear how. It is a game changer.

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