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Tuesday, 05 December 2017


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I can only imagine the discomfiture you must feel, having lusted so much for the promises of IBIS, only to fall once agin for the more subtle seductions of the Fujifilm XT-series. It just goes to show that as valuable or essential as any one feature might seem, it's how everything all fits and works together that matters most to whomever is using it.

Check-out Leica maven Thorsten von Overgaard's YouTube video of his first experiences with his new Fujifilm X-Pro2. He goes into detail about how hard it was to go from simple Leica controls to Fuji's menu driven system. He admits to having had to RTFM to make the viewfinder work https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tD3oRSTRDgw The X-Pro2 is his first non-Leica camera.

I get e-mail. Mike, the Cambridge in Colour web site has released a book. As both an e-book and a paperback. Sold by Amazon http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/books/understanding-photography/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=sale201712

"I wish they'd switch to a flip-up viewing screen for the non-video-oriented GX8 successor rather than the video-type swing-out one."

The vertical shooters of the world are in vehement disagreement. That's the one thing that I would change on Sony's cameras.

Bussiness opportunity for the companies that hot rod cameras by changing out the filter stack etc. - change the screen hinge on Sony mirrorless cameras to something more ergonomic. I think $200 - $300 to mod an a7 with a warranty would be reasonable; well at least for me.

My question is how does the swing out LCD benefit video shooters? They hardly ever shoot verticals.

Have no doubt, the XT-2 is a marked improvement/refinement over the XT-1. Personally, I grabbed the XT-1 at a bargain price and have no regrets. I miss the compactness of my snub nose 20mm Nikkor, but the performance of the 14mm Fujinon is... spectacular!

re: "But come Spring, the Fuji will have to do battle with an A7II."

Having switched from an X-T1 to an A7II, I expect you'll enjoy using the Fuji more. The A7II sometimes feels like taking pictures with a VCR. The kicker is that it's a VCR with IBIS that can mount some really beautiful lenses. Every time I look at photos I've taken my Zeiss ZA and Batis lenses, I'm reminded why I put up with stuff like the fiddly focus point controls or "This operation or setting not available as follows" popping up across the viewfinder. A few years ago, I'd never have thought I'd be shooting Sony "for the lens selection", but here I am.

Fuji have just improved the camera with yet another firmware upgrade. I love the way they do that. The lenses are excellent. For me personally the ergonomics are far superior to the NEX. If, like me, you can only justify having one camera the X-t2 is a fine contender.

"I haven't tried to shoot action with it yet"-MIke

It does just fine with action....

Charlie Kimball and Alex Rossi, flat out, GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma 2016.

'Another thing I used to say all the time is that the degree to which you master the camera you choose is significantly more important than which camera you choose. That's still true.'

Although I've never thought of it like that, this is probably the reason I still use my Panasonic GF1 which I bought second hand a year or two ago. It is interesting that you praise the GX8 design so much as from looking at pictures the layout looks very similar to that of the original GF1--I think they struck gold with that design, apart from the thumb wheel which it looks like they've improved to a top dial AND an exposure comp which I'd love.

Camera comparisons are pretty close to completely irrelevant. Even my phone makes it possible to make better images today than possible without a whole lot of expertise in the past.

Pretty much the only things that matter today are available lenses if offered, frame rate, and user interface, both external - nob driven and menu based.

Pretty much any phone will do will be better than your photography skills.

We live in a time of imaging extreme, the new phase is completely false images generated by computer based generated visuals.

The future image is not to be believed.

How are the B&W conversions on the XT-2, compared to the XT-1?

I think a lot of X-T2 users would be of the view that you can't really assess the image quality of the X-T2 unless you're doing RAW conversion with either Iridient Developer/Transformer or Capture One Pro 10/11.

There’s just no wrong choice between these cameras for most folks, eh Mike? I own both cameras and have been an avid user of both of their systems for years. If I was suddenly left with only the X-T2 and its lenses I could certainly carry on happily with my photography. It’s a camera and system designed very much with what I’d call classic photographic style (fashion and form) in mind. Not only is it an excellent camera but its owners look and feel like -real- photographers.

But I admit that my own bias is toward the Sony side. Here, for the benefit of TOP readers still weighing their choices, is a concise summary of the five practical attributes of the Sony A6500 that most influence my bias.

Size The A6500 body is more compact than the X-T2. Having been freed from the 20th century camera design dogmas from day one (the NEX cameras) the A6000 series bodies are statements in functional simplicity. They’re durable, light, functionally minimalist cameras nearly small enough to fit into a jacket pocket. Yet that A6500 houses a top-notch 24 mp APS-C sensor.

Lens Selection The A6500’s E-mount is native to both Sony’s original E-lenses (APS-C) and their FE (full-frame) lenses. This is a very wide selection of excellent lenses! The E-lenses are generally quite a bit smaller, lighter, and less costly than their FE siblings. But, with few exceptions, they’re the optical peers of them.

Touch Screen I admit to becoming spoiled by the touch-screen operations of Panasonic, Canon, and Fuji’s GFX cameras. I find touch-to-focus and touch-to-place the focus point tremendously useful features and hard to give up. Admittedly the A6500’s general touch screen facility is not among the best. But it does work and does make a difference for me.

Auto-Focus Speed. The A6500’s focus is very fast and quite accurate even in low light. The X-T2’s is fine...but not even close to that fine.

IBIS Some years ago you extolled the virtues of the then-new development of in-body image stabilization (IBIS). I largely shrugged. But IBIS has become a very sophisticated facility in Sony cameras. Its greatest value to me personally is that it enables me to mount a costly, but rock-dumb, Leica lens and shoot at lower shutter speeds than might otherwise be practical. Of course IBIS has similar benefits for non-stabilized Sony lenses, too!

Image quality? Honestly, the differences are not so much a matter of quality as they are of subtle characteristics. Honestly, the distinctions aren’t really factors in my preference. There are many situations where I prefer the Fuji X look over the Sony.

Having just spent three weeks literally on an island with the A6500 as my “big” camera enabled me to become even more deeply acquainted with its characteristics and operations. I know I would have enjoyed the X-T2. But the Sony was very easy to get along with, easy to schlep, and easily up to the most challenging situations I encountered.

According to fujirumours there will be a new Fuji aps-c mirrorless camera in early 2018 called the X-H1, costing around $2k, which will have IBIS, but no pixel shift and it will have a bigger body than X-T2.

Mike! When I looked at your webpage today, I was thrilled to see you have quickly responded to my question about these 2 cameras. I have owned a Fujifilm X-T1 for over 3 years and do make pictures that I really enjoy with it. I had the Sony NEX-6 before the Fuji and have been looking thru and working on old picture files that I made with the NEX-6. I like the clarity and cleanness from the Sony picture files. They are easy to work with on the computer. But, the Fujifilm films sometimes have a "Special Spiritual Light" to them. I do not like the feel of the Sony Body or the Menu setup when I gave it "A Try" in the store, but I want Great Image Quality from my choice, so that is why I even considered the a6500. With the Fujifilm X-T1 I use my Exposure Compensation Dial constantly. I do enjoy the Fujifilm Film Simulation Bracketing feature, giving me 3 different "Looks" to a scene. The Sony has great lenses available but they seem very expensive. But I know that Sigma is expanding their lenses into the Sony mount and this will help. I already own the Fujifilm 18-135mm lens that came in a kit with the Fuji X-T1. Fujifilm has "In-Camera" processing of RAW files, where Sony does not offer that option. Another thing that is pushing me towards the Fujifilm Camera is their customer service. When I first had my X-T1, I had a light leak problem and a non-responsive button on the back. I was actually able to talk with a technician at Fujifilm in Edison, New Jersey about my issues. Fuji paid the shipping both ways and took care of my problem. I have never experienced such caring customer service for any electronic product I have owned. I am now convinced that the Fujifilm camera is going to be my choice. Thank You so much for your opinions on this and all the various topics that you bring up. Many of the events and stories you post are new to me and I would miss them if you did not post about them. e.g. Neil Young's Archive Catalog. Again! Thanks... Happy Holidays! - Bob Travaglione in Kansas City, Missouri www.FoToEdge.com

I bought the Panasonic GF1 due to recommendations from this site many years ago, and it is the worst camera I have ever purchased (I loved the 20/1.7 lens that came with the camera). I hated everything about the camera. Complex menu structure, poor layout of controls, slippery surface, no viewfinder (and the electronic accessory finder I bought later was awful) - absolutely nothing, except for the lens, worked for me. The lesson I took away from this was to NEVER buy a camera based on other peoples opinion - rent, borrow or fondle one first.

I went with the lenses, ie the Fuji X System.
I also have a Sony A65 because I had a slew of old Minolta A mount really nice lenses.
But as a system I love the Fujifilm X - I have th X Pro2, an X100F ( with built in 23mm f2 ) and an XE3 all terrific! But! It's the lenses that are the BOMB! 16mm 35mm 58mm 85-200mm all OUTSTANDING!!!!!

The Fuji has a shutter speed dial.


Well, that didn't help... Having an X-T1, I totally subscribe to your analysis. Worse, I'm sure the X-T2 is everything you make it sound to be and I just want to go forward shooting with Fuji cameras, for the same reasons you mention.

Yet every ounce of logic I possess tells me I should go M43. For every need I have, or think I have, that's arguably a much better option. The problem is, the cameras just don't excite me. I'm sure they are terribly efficient tools though. In some kind of precise, clinical, leave-me-cold way.

Every time I start leaning to the side of reason, some article such as yours puts me in doubts again. I've been agonizing on this for close to one year now...

When the original A7 series cameras came out I was making much the same assessment. I had made a decision to switch mounts and it came down to Sony E v Fuji X.

In the end Sony won, here's my logic then and nothing much has changed since.

1. The Sony system options. The e-mount gives me a tiny APS-C body option and a bigger ff (but still smaller than DSLR) option. Taking the bicycle out but want to taken photos - the A6000 fits in a cycle jersey rear pocket. Going for a walk through the middle of a european capital, the A7R gives me IQ just short of MF (ok - its dues to be replaced soon - I know but if I was making that assessment now it would be an A7Riii and probably true again).

2. Fuji HMI repells me. I know, how that that be, the fuji is lauded for its design, whats wrong with me? Despite being on the wrong side of 50 I've only ever been a digital photographer. So my ideas of design are firmly rooted a post 2000 milieu. With that in mind the fuji retro hmi introduces - for me - unforgiveable sins. Dials that appear to work backwards are bad but can be tolerated because you will get used to them but what I cannot forgive are settings with two sources of truth. Having mixed hard and soft controls for settings (such as shutter speed) means you have to remember what control you used to make a setting to know what the setting is. After a week with a borrowed fuji I was ready to throw it into a wall - hard. Luckily I just gave it back. Im told that later fujis are less handcuffed to the past and work better but I'm still scarred I guess.

3. Price. Again, sounds weird - Sony are infamous for their (high) pricing so what gives? Basically when I sat down and said to myself - these are the photos I want to take, this is what that means in terms of gear specs and this is what that means I need to buy in each system the Sony was waaaaay cheaper in Australia at least.

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