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Friday, 28 September 2018


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If well done (and that's a BIG if, since it's mostly about software, with which camera companies have a historically bad record) ... this might be interesting.

I am very skeptical though.

I think this camera, the GFX 50R, and the Zenit-Leica are the three most interesting new cameras. I will hold off judgement on the FF Foveon having owned the DP Merrills not once but twice. Wow the image quality is amazing, but Wow at some point you just lose your patience with them. If they can get the camera parts right I could live with the ISO 400 limitation. They should go back to the Merrill sensor. It makes amazing B/W photos. Anyway, the cameras above make the Sony, Canon, Nikon FF cameras look kind of boring. All that said, I am going to get the GFX because the package lens deal at B&H is too good to pass up, but that Zeiss camera does look really fascinating.

This is the one that interests me most. Not necessarily the one I'd buy but definitely the future direction for some cameras.

Major worry: if there aren't updates that keep that Android system up to date, will future versions of Lightroom CC for Android be incompatible in a few years' time? That would be acceptable on a cheap phone but not on an expensive camera.

Minor worry: no IS.

I hope there's a good plan in place for the updates—this is a brave and intriguing camera.

This, and the big ol’ Fuji “rangefinder”, are the most interesting things for me of all the recent announcements.
There’s something about the simplicity of a single lens, matched to the sensor. I owned a RX1 for a while. Amazing image quality, but poor ergonomics. And, actually, too small.
Hopefully Zeiss will get it right. At a “fair” price point (ie, not a Leica price point). I’ll start saving my pennies.

But that big ol’ Fuji, though...

There’s a difference between”fresh air” and brain fart. Fixed-lens, single focal length lens on a camera severely styled like Leica’s rather regrettable TL featuring no removable memory media. What’s not to like? (Maybe they’ll offer the ability to stream movies and browse on that “oversized” screen?) And does anyone expect the price tag to come it at much less than $1,500? What represents new-thinking here?

Sheesh. Group-think.

The Zeiss 35mm f/2.0 Biogon, and the 35mm f/1.4 Distagon, that I use on my digital (and film) Leicas, are the last two lenses I would ever sell. They pull all the beautiful tonality and crisp resolution possible out of the Monochrom, and that is saying a great deal. The Distagon is better wide open, but the Biogon is a better balanced all round lens. I don't believe Leica has a lens to compete at this time.

So this announcement is for me easily the most interesting thing to come out of the flurry of new stuff being announced: DSLRs without the mirror, nah. Bloated Panasonics with suitably bloated lenses, nah. And just when I was feeling complacently self satisfied with my GAS immunity this happens!

Now THIS camera has really tweaked my interest. Finally something different, beyond just taking the mirror out and adding a new mount.

Essential controls only
Connects on its own to wifi
Lightroom CC built in.

What's not to like. Will need more information though.

On their teaser web site Zeiss at least has got my country right when you sign up for news — “Create Britain” :-) That’s one I haven’t seen before, perhaps fitting for a ground-breaking camera!

Very interesting specs, nice clean design. It would be good to have Zeiss fully back in the game - for cameras as well as lenses.
If it is as good as I hope it might be I will be very tempted to buy rather than upgrade to an RX1RII and sacrifice a few pixels - if only to encourage Zeiss to go further in this direction.

The new Zeiss Camera looks suspiciously like the Samsung NX300/NX500 cameras. Hmmm, I wonder if the camera is being made by Samsung?

Almost my first thought upon seeing this camera was the design language, or rather lack thereof, it deploys. It reminds my of Phase One's numbing boxes.

I have dubbed as "Bauhuh?" this new spare, boxy, allegedly functional, aesthetic.

Looks like this is the successor to the Sony RX1rii. If only it had some form of stabilization, and focused closer, I would be seriously considering this. 35e is my ideal focal length, and I have a soft spot for fixed-lens cameras (the original X100 was my main camera for almost 3 years). Of course, what I dream about is a full-frame version of the X100 with OIS/IBIS!

this looks suspiciously like the Yi M1

Too big and clunky in my mind for what is essentially a point and shoot.

...a fresh approach.

A crankier than usual c.d. says: Is copying the 2014 Leica T (typ 701) a fresh approach? Who knew 8-0 https://bit.ly/2Ra7OPJ

Funny, I just read through the previous article "No One Gets Out of It Alive" and thought pfffft.....doesn't apply to me. I had the original X00 for years, and just upgraded last year to the X100F, so I'm golden for quite awhile.
And then I read this article. Uh Oh.

Hmm....looks like a Leica T. I expect it will sell about as well.

Non-removable memory?

No, thank you. Absolutely not. NAND-based flash memory has a limited lifetime.

While I like "large sensor" fixed lens, single-focal length cameras, much like the Sony RX1, this camera would be a non-starter for me for the simple reason it won't fit in a pocket of a jacket or my AlpineStars photo vest.

Part of the reason that the Fujifilm X100-series and Ricoh GR-series have been so successful is that they fit into a jacket pocket.

I love the idea of SSD instead of cards, more reliable (it is in your laptop and smart phone), makes the body easier to weather seal. USB C to unload quickly to your computer or another storage option.
Personally I love the idea of lightroom CC but others may prefer a different choice. I hope that the idea takes off. $5000 cameras are really starting to become the norm (sadly).

I'm a sucker for Zeiss, my focal is 35, and so love this sweet machine so much but... 1) my heart would be broken to see that lovely Distagon go when the camera breaks in a few years time, and 2) at the price it's gonna come there would be a lot of competition for my wallet's content.

I am more interested in this than any other camera launched for or around Photokina because it does seem like an attempt to rethink things. Leica, I believe tried something similar with the T and, as with that, I really want to try out this new Zeiss but will probably not be able to afford it.

It’s an indictment on the lack of imagination in the Japanese camera companies that the most interesting cameras which attempt to break with the 80s ur-design of the Canon T90 in recent years* have come from Samsung, Leica, Hasselblad and now Zeiss.

*And, IMO, mirrorless doesn’t really count - an EVF is just an iteration on the OVF.

iPhone vs Full-Frame Bokeh https://bit.ly/2NPQPEc

The sorta-phone-like Zeiss ZX1 isn't as ground breaking as a real phone. Eighteen months from now phone-tech will be even better.

I'm very intrigued by this, as much for the design as for the (implied) capabilities. My one concern is... how much?

Digital Konica Hexar.

One thing I don't think it will be is a style accessory.

Why, exactly, would anyone want to edit photos on a screen the size of a postage stamp?

May I amend my earlier comment with an important note?

It suddenly dawned on me that the "integration" with a variant of Adobe's Lightroom CC is a shrewd new Adobe strategy to build their Creative Cloud storage usage. Ever since Lightroom CC (the new cloud-based system, not the original desktop system which is now called "Classic CC") was introduced I'm "invited" to move over to the new package daily. The reason is simple: Adobe knows that if I store my library on their cloud service I'm far less likely to jump ship to another product like, say, Capture One. Crafty, eh?!

p.s. Andrew M.: Yes! The body styling of this camera does make it look like an accessory for my Phase One XF camera! A perfect analogy.

10 years from now, when we all operate our cameras as we would a mobile phone and most photographers have dumped their massive Otus style lenses, someone will say: "remember the Zeiss ZX1? It was the first modern camera. First to have a large viewing screen, first to have internal storage, and first to be truly connected".

To quote the ZX1 website: “Some features require a Creative Cloud Photography Plan subscription”

That got my back up straight away! 😉

@ Kenneth Tanaka:

Not only that, but I presume that using the built-in Lightroom CC features will require a monthly subscription, making this the first such camera to do so (that I'm aware of, anyway.)

It is a promising idea and the ergonomics appear to be better than the usual “bar of soap” but it might be too angular to be comfortable in hand. Will be interesting to see how the haptics work in person and, if they are good, I might be interested if the price point is not ridiculous.

As somebody once said in another context, "No Leica."

Wow. Tough crowd. LOL. I dunno, I kind of like it. And who knows, the image quality might just be OK. ;)

nice try Adobe. No thanks

The design appears to be a dead ringer for some of the Samsung designs from the recent past. From other angles it bears a certain resemblance to a less extreme version of the DP2 Quattro.

I think Zeiss have identified many things that are missing in traditional cameras, at least from the point of view of those whose experience of photography is based around a smart phone.

Whether the same people will be in a position to jump from a Ford to a Bentley, or whether they expect the experience to travel with them, are questionable.

Much of the same things are achievable right now by a simply USB3 connection between a smartphone and a well-endowed tablet, which has a much more suitable UI for reviewing and editing image.

Perhaps camera makers should be providing custom tablets as accessories to cameras. They could be used for tethered shooting and backup storage, as well as and editing platform. Putting a little extra RAM and a 256GB SSD in a tablet should be a breeze, and LR CC is ready to go.

The key will be the speed of the link.

I take slight exception to the comment that x100 pivoted Fuji to become a full line cameta maker. Fuji has been a camera maker for several decades covering a pretty full line from 35mm compacts and slr's to medium format systems and specialty cameras such as panoramic. Not to mention a full lineup of large format lenses as well.

My first-ever camera was a Zeiss (Zeiss Ikon Contina L), bought in Hamburg in 1965. I wonder if I should close the circle?

Ernonomics look awfully slippery

Reading these threads about equipment gives me the feeling that people with photographic interests today are very different to those of yesteryear.

Back then, people didn't seem particularly obsessed with brand, didn't talk about or seem aware of size, and almost all knew that the fixed lens camera was its own worst enemy when it came to versatility (even Rollei brought out three different focal length fixed-lens units for its 6x6 format, four if you feel obliged to differentiate between 75mm and 80mm).

I think this change, this concern, this concentration of attention with all things that are not image specific, has come about because of various forms of social media, these specialist sites included, where, when folks find that there isn't much that they can write about photography itself, in order to stay plugged in and connected to a wider world, have to shift ground to chat about the fringes of the game, anything but the product of the enterprise.

I don't involve myself in any other genres of Internet travel than the photographic, but I would be pretty sure that many others must fall into the very same trap.

"nice try Adobe. No thanks"

HA!!!!! I didn't see the Creative Cloud part when I was reading about the camera. I can see this being an issue somewhere somehow with this camera. Too bad, it looks really intriguing except for the lack of direct controls. For Fuji film users tired of Adobe, Capture One now supports all Fuji cameras including the yet to be released GFX 50R. They have a specific versions for Fuji cameras (Pro and Express). I am about to download the free trial version of Express to see how I like it.

A propos conventional and derivative names, did you know that Clive Sinclair, creator of the famous ZX Spectrum computer chose the name exactly because the combination of those letters was fresh? Times are a changin'

It seems pretty certain this camera will require a subscription to Adobe CC. That's why no removable storage, which otherwise would make no sense at all. To me, it still doesn't make any sense at all.

There's something dystopian about it. Maybe I'm being histrionic, but I can see in this concept shadings of the Zeiss that used slave labor during World War II. I wouldn't use this camera if someone were paying me to do it. Count me out.

[I'm guessing the Lightroom CC features will be optional, and if you don't have a subscription then you can download the DNG files to your computer with the USB-C cable and process them on your computer as usual. I'll see if I can get an answer from Zeiss. --Mike]

Many of the design choices Zeiss has made for the ZX1 make no sense to me and I can't imagine ever buying one at any price.

Of course, this is probably because the camera isn't intended to appeal to me and I am not a member of the demographic group Zeiss is targeting.

In fact, being a photographer who came of age during the '70s, I have noticed an increasing number of new photo products don't appeal to me even a little bit. (sigh)

@ Stanleyk

The Fuji version of Capture One Pro is the only for which perpetual license is not available, only subscription (and more expensive than Adobe's!). Phase One giveth, Phase One taketh...

Fugly camera (as is the Leica SL).... whether that matters or not is another thing

Since I purchased a Google Pixel 2, which has a decent camera for a phone, I find myself doing more and more editing on the phone itself. It may not be ideal if you're making 60" prints, but it works just fine for posting online.

The promise of being able to easily bundle great image quality, handling, editing and connectivity is very appealing. The biggest limitation of the phone - besides overall IQ in certain circumstances - is the fiddly handling. If Zeiss nails the touch screen operation and software this could be a really nice tool that could make life simpler.

I'll agree with some others that the marriage to Adobe is a bit concerning. It'll be interesting to see how this shakes out.

I’m going to keep an open mind about the camera and see what the reviews say as far as usability. My favorite focal length is 35mm and I have the Sony RX1RII, which I love.

It’s kind of amazing that another company has the guts to put out a fixed 35mm camera. If Leica did a 35mm Q, I would buy it. I had the Q but 28mm is too wide for my taste so I sold it. I don’t like shoving a lens up people’s noses.

I wonder how Zeiss will give the user the ability to do exposure compensation while shooting. The camera only has an ISO button and a shutter speed dial, from what I see.

It will be nice to easily edit and post to Instagram while on vacation without having to load files onto a laptop or tablet. I just finished a trip to Paris and got annoyed with the workflow. My wife was always beating me to the punch by posting her shots right away from her iPhone while I had to wait until much later. Of course, sometimes it’s nice to think about which shots you should post, but we live in a fast paced world so I can see the beauty of having a connected camera.

Anyway, I think it’s exciting news! I’m a little worried about the use of Android, but hopefully Zeiss has savvy engineers who can make it work as a platform for the camera, now and in the future.

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