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Tuesday, 23 October 2018


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I thought I'd got there with my X-T1.....

[I still like my X-T1. --Mike]

The footnote alone would have been adequate.......
...Just Saying'....as they say.

Nope, and definitely not with that lens.

[Hey, no fair. You have to propose an alternative. P.S. I switched the picture because of your suggestion.... --Mike]

Water, dust, shock, heat, cold, idiot resistant, is that too much to ask?

Question for Fuji owners...

I have an XE1. This camera is the only digital camera I have ever used that does not provide a histogram in the preview/review image. It forces me to take a picture, then press the play button. I don't like this. My other cameras are set to automatically display the histogram in the EVF immediately. This gives me instant feedback on exposure.

Do later models correct this rudimentary flaw?

Fuji are supposed to uniquely listen to their customers, continuously improve, even give new features away for free in firmware upgrades.

Please tell me it is fixed...

Having just taken delivery of a Lumix G9 I will agree to disagree. The Fuji seems to be a lovely beast and fits your sensor size requirement better that the G9, but I am loving the 20meg files from the Sony sensor.

[Jealous jealous jealous jealous. Me of you, I mean. --Mike]

or my beloved X-T2 plus 23mm F2

Excellence in one hand

Funny, I always feel the pull from the impractical and the odd, a weakness.

Like the Pixii.

All agree? Probably not

Well just about every review has touted it as the best APSC camera on the market. Which is a roundabout way of saying it's the best compact format camera system available with an entry price under $2000.

Kind of like a VW Golf.

I told myself before I clicked on the link, I bet it's a Fuji. Yup the Fuji love fest on TOP continues. Mike ever get the feeling you are swimming up stream with all this Fuji love lol. If I had to choose one it would be the Panasonic GH5

Can we pretend we all agree? :-)

What fun would that be? 8-)

But Mike, it doesn't have IBIS. (And for that matter, neither does the Chamonix 45N-2).

Well, the X-T3 or X-H1 would take the lenses I currently own (which have OIS) and, as an X-Pro 1 owner, would be so logical; but I would vote instead for a Nikon Z7 or Z6. Guess I am too caught up in this FF parade marching past me. Maybe a walk in the woods will clear the air!

I want one, but every time I go stick one and a 23 f/2 into a shopping cart somewhere, I remember the 900-odd pictures I shot with the excellent X70 over the 14 months I owned it, and how looking at those pictures after leaving the camera on the shelf for several months convinced me to sell it. It's the photographer, not the camera and all, but I've taken more pictures with my FM3a and 35mm f/2 D in about the same amount of time, and there are some I'm actually really very pleased with, plus, I can change the sensor after every 24-39 shots, and am not stuck with simulations and don't have to play around in software much.

Still, if I was going to buy a new digicam today, it would no doubt be the XT3 with the 23 f/2, without question. It looks like a fabulous camera and just about the ideal one for me, pretty much as close as I'm going to get to a digital FM4a (DM4a?), I'm just not going to buy a new digicam today.

I'm good with this choice; I've been shooting with an X-T3 on loan for the 10 days or so, and it really is as excellent as the reviewers, YouTubers, etc. have said it is. Its set of functions, features and performance for $1500 is just off the charts, IMHO.

In real world use, I've experienced four lockups/freezes so far, three shooting stills and one shooting with it for motor racing (11 FPS, AF-C, in Boost mode). I've had to pop the battery all four times to get the camera to re-start. I've also been experiencing some slightly inaccurate metering; the camera tends to meter a scene about 1/3-1/2 a stop darker than it is, resulting in an exposure that is about 1/3-1/2 too bright. Interestingly, I had this exact issue with my first X-T2, which I received the first week they shipped, but not my current Graphite Silver one, which was manufactured/shipped much later.

That being said, my X-H1 produces a very special image quality I like very, very much, the metering is exceptionally accurate, and that shutter is just to die for; the X-T3's shutter has a noticeably more "breakover" by comparison. And the grip/body, haptics and controls are much more to my liking as well. The rear AF button for back-button autofocus on the X-H1 is much better for shooting sports, also.

So, I don't plan on getting an X-T3 at this point; I am likely going to hold out for the X-H2.

A lovely camera, agreed. For the past year I have been using one of its precursors, the X-T20, and I have to say it's the most satisfying modern camera I've ever owned. You really get the sense it was designed by people who know what a photographer needs.

Note I said "modern." My most satisfying camera of any era is my Rolleiflex 3.5 F TLR.

I've never used a Fuji of any sort, and I've only ever handled the X100(s/t...). The XT3 seems like an absolutely great camera for what it is: an APSC camera with APSC-sized lenses.

I'll stick with my m43 kit until the laws of optics get finagled enough to shrink the lenses some more. I really like my E-M1.2 (and E-M1, and GX7). The image quality possible out of these cameras is better than the image quality out of me. And I especially like seeing the size of my kit whenever I'm out and about, whether it's a day in the city with a small primes, or a safari with the 100-400.

It's not even the most desirable Fuji. :)

The "most desirable" isn't going to be an APS-C. That's like saying the most desirable car is a Honda Civic. It might be the best compromise (maybe), or the favorite (around here, anyway :) ), but no way it's the most desirable.

That would be a D850.

[I dunno--I don't desire a D850 in the slightest, having briefly owned a D800. And the Civic Type R had the car world all lathered up not long ago. --Mike]

One camera to rule them all. One camera to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them

LOL, even though I know TOP is enamoured with Fuji, for some strange reason Nikon D750 came to mind. I’ll agree to let you have your fantasy if you’ll agree to let me have mine :~)

Nope. The most desirable camera on the planet is the Sony NEX-7 with Sony ZA 24mm ƒ/1.8 Carl Zeiss Sonnar-E lens.

You said so.


I'm content with my Sony A7R III (which, unlike the X-T3, offers the anti-yipps image stabilization that you said that you wanted,) but, really, it's no Nex-7.

Can I have the Chamonix please?

Pretending gets you into trouble, Mike.

The best camera of them all, today, exists in reality as much as in memory. The camera is the Hasselblad 500 Series - pick any of them, but I'd make it the C/M - and the sensor has yet to be made because if has to fit the full frame of that Swedish delight or it won't count; square is/was the whole point.

Expensive is a relative term, and it all depends on who is faced with the invoice.

I never found a better machine for what it did best, which was not the case when I tried to use it as a heavy Nikon.

Which I guess just proves that ideal is a myth.


I wonder how we'd all vote if we were considering only the still photo cababilities? It seems that most reviewers these days are all agog over video and the benefits a camera provides to vloggers. These days I find I can skip over at least two thirds of a review because I have zero interest in video.

So, is the X-T3 the best stills photo camera? I vote no because it causes me to pay for all those video components. I might instead vote for the Sigma SD Quattro H (except that Sigma's lens line-up is sadly lacking in modern f2.8 primes). Or maybe the Nikon Df?

What camera does hugh desire?

8x10 Gowlandflex ?

According to Peter "affectionately known as "The Beast" was nearly three feet tall. It was not very practical for most kinds of shooting. Seven were made and sold"

Sony RX10iv, except for astrophotography

Light weight, good lens (I make excellent pictures of the moon with it hand held), fast, great focusing, etc.

I just got the X-T2 with a 35 f2.0 in the latest round of sales. Love them. Love them more each time I use them. But if my lotto ticket hits this weekend, I'll buy enough X-T3 bodies to never have to change a lens again.

Oddly enough, as much as I like the idea of Fuji cameras and how they're made for photographers, I've never really gotten along with them very well whenever I've tried them. Part of this might relate to what you wrote about the X-trans files in Lightroom which is where I do 95% of my post-processing. Having to alter how I do 95% of anything does not endear me to a brand and I think this may be part of what turns me off of Fuji.

I think I'm in agreement with Thom Hogan and his choice of the D850 as the best all around camera one can get right now. Having had the opportunity to use a D850 on a couple of different occasions now, I can't think of any type of photography that it couldn't do well and there is a lot of stuff it can do exceptionally. Indeed, if I did as much sports shooting as I did 5-10 years ago, I'd probably be swapping my D800 out for a D850 because I'd have a superlative landscape camera and a more than capable sports camera all in one body. As it is, I'll probably try to eek out a few more years on the D800 and see what's next for Nikon.

One could argue that this is heavy on some of your requirements (weight and pixels) but everything else is pretty much a match. While it might not be the most sensual of camera offerings at the moment, it's certainly a workhorse that meets or greatly exceeds the needs of all but 0.5% of the photographers shooting today. It's hard to argue with a camera that can do that much that well.

Nikon D850. The only substantive objection to the pick would be that the body and lenses are too big -- but pros have been dragging these around the world in the worst possible conditions, and they hold up. I used cameras just as heavy for years (took a D3 and two F2.8 zooms to Iraq, along with a couple of nice primes) and put up with the weight and size to get the quality. If you are in even reasonable physical condition, the weight isn't a huge problem.

That would be the best all-around camera, followed closely by the Panasonic GX8 with its excellent array of lenses, including either three or four f0.95s from Voightlander. (The G9 has a few -- very few -- improvements, at the cost of more size. The GX9 was actually a step backwards.) The GX8 is more compact than the classic Leicas.

Compared to either of those cameras, the Fujis seem, well...somewhat primitive.

To me so much depends on the format....
Digital DX or similar: ?
35mm film: Nikon F2 Titan
Digital FX: Nikon D700
6x6: Rollei SL-66
4x5: Sinar Norma
Whole Plate: Chamonix.. my all around favorite
8x10: Sinar Norma
11x14: Chamonix

One can never own too many Deardorffs.

Mike, the most desirable camera would be the the one I take the next great photo with. You just have to be ready for it.

Fuji get it right with the X-H1. Terrific camera. Unlike seemingly all the Japanese makers they made a brilliant decision to ditch the completely and utterly useless exposure compensation dial. Have proponents of this wasted top-plate real estate not realized that that's what the shutter speed and/or aperture rings are for?

Where is Goldilocks when we need her?

"Ahhh, this camera is just right,"

Technology has evolved and improved so much on the past few years that pretty much any camera can archive outstanding results, you can’t go wrong whichever you choose.

What really makes a difference these days is ergonomics. You can buy a Canon with a big, vertical thumb wheel, a traditional two-small-dials Nikon, an Olympus that’s build around a touch screen interface, analog style dials on a Fuji, and so on and so forth, all of them with beautiful, state of the art sensors that let you take pictures in lighting conditions that would have sounded like science fiction a decade ago.

To twist a song lyric, if you can't have the one you desire desire the one you have.

Hey! What about us Chamonixes??!!!!

With best regards,


“But not unaffordable”
You do know that, among hobby photographers this camera is exactly that for about 65% of them, especially after adding 2 or 3 primes onto the body price. Note; this figure is a WAG made up on the spot but I just wouldn’t be surprised if it is about right.
I dunno, maybe that income demographic is not as common as I imagine or all my friends are unusual.

I second John Camp’s nomination of the D850. If and when my D800e ever bites the dust (there’s no indication that it will anytime soon), the D850 will be the replacement.

These cameras are a few ounces heavier than your Fujis, but for my purposes they’re worth the weight. I just carry fewer lenses to keep the weight down...

(Nice to see some snow in the mountains and rain in Santa Fe today...)

I take many more pictures with modern FF digitals, but I take better pictures with Rolleiflexes and Hasselblads. So for me they are the absolutely best. But it's really fun just to have so many of the classic great cameras at a fraction of their intrinsic value.

Assuming that I have at least a good camera phone but no others, and I have to choose between the view camera or XT-3, I will... take the view camera.

A majority of my favorite images are taken on the 4x5 or XPan. It's just how I roll...

Sorry, but the most desirable camera is clearly the one you always have with you - and indeed one that does both stills and video, not to mention work as a phone, an address book, a GPS, a shopping list... the single most useful electronic device ever invented!

And I’m someone who’s had various cameras since childhood, SLRs since teenage years and still suffer from GAS 😉

I figured you would go for the Fuji. Looks great, although a bit large for me. I rather have a GRII (or III) myself.

The one that fits under the cabin set on the way to Iceland:

The digital version of a Mamiya 7.
Jus' pretendin' ...

Well, it lacks IBIS, that is why I got the XH1:)

I am a realist and I am happy. The most desirable camera on the planet is the one I have.

No, I don't agree. Ask five people and you get five different answers.
Too many buttons scattered around.
Leica manages well with much less buttons. Not to nominate any Leica as your 'one camera' either. For some of the reasons you stated.
I had a medium format Fuji before. It broke and Fuji service wanted so much for the repair that I could have bought the same camera as second hand for less money. It is now on my museum shelf along with a few other expired cameras including couple of Minox 35s with fried electronics and one Ricoh GRD.

I think your illustration demonstrates exactly why your question makes no sense. For it to make any sense you'd need to define what you mean by an 'all-around photographer', and I think that there just is no useful definition of such a person. I'm definitely not one, but, for instance, I own both the Chamonix 45N-2 with with a 150mm lens and a small rangefindery camera with a 40mm lens, which is about the equivalent focal length. And those two cameras are not equivalent at all: if I got rid of one of them there would be things I simply could not do. You can't take the same pictures of people with the little camera that you can take with the field camera because their reaction to having their picture taken is completely and utterly different if it involves a ritual including a dark cloth.

It's like saying 'is oil or watercolour best for an all-around artist?' or 'is a Telecaster or an ES-175 the best guitar for an all-around guitarist?': these questions make no sense because the things you are trying to compare are incomparable, and asking questions that make no sense just isn't a useful thing to do.

The soon to Be Nikon Z6. With the gams that camera has, it’ll be a “cheesecake” desire.

Excepting phone cameras, any current camera is a better picture maker than I am, so I'll sit out on this debate.

Obviously, it should be the Sinar P2. I put black gaffer's tape on the front standard to prevent scratches and inadvertently turned it into a candid street camera.

I think "desirable" is a bit too wishy washy of a word here to get any sort of consensus.

However, I will agree the X-T3 seems to have achieved that rare sort of status (attributed in the past to cameras like the D750) where it's just downright hard not to recommend it to anyone looking for a new camera.

Certainly, it's got it's own share of flaws and there are edge case uses that it won't handle. But it just seems to fall right in that Goldilocks zone for the large majority of uses.

The Most Desirable Camera on the Planet is... whatever Andre Kertesz used. Or, maybe Garry Winogrand? Walker Evans? Vivian Maier? I dunno... lots of good cameras out there.

The Leica M10-D was announced today https://bit.ly/2SdvDGF Thom Hogan says: ...I believe Leica's on the right track here. No matter how its done, our cameras need to be able to talk to the outside modern world. https://bit.ly/2PTydAf

Real retro meets the modern world ...

Is that your final answer?

I'll echo Stephen Scharf above preferring the X-H1 and anticipating the X-H2, and I own the T2 and played with a T3. I think the T3 is a great camera but is being oversold because of its eye candy appeal.

The H1 stabilization, better grip (for my medium hand), and lovely shutter have the T3 beat in actual use.

I would also prefer the Lumix G9 over the T3 for a pick-one desert island camera.

I could pretend to agree if it was available with a standard Bayer sensor. XT-3s maybe? (s for standard).
I'm impatient to read your opinion on the X-H1 when it finally arrives.

I choose the Fuji X30 as my most valuable camera on the planet. With it's little fingernail-size sensor and fixed 28-105 (equivalent ) zoom lens, it's laughably out of date, but with the help of the application Blow Up, I make 17x22 prints that museum curators seriously consider.

Sure, I'm looking at the X-T3 with the 18-55 kit lens lust in my heart like everyone else, but I wonder if I'd get any better photos with it than I'm getting now.

Besides, with the best wife and best cat on the planet, why should I be greedy and insist on any other best anything?

Not without IBIS. Anybody over 50, OR any coffee drinker (never mind both), should restrict themselves to all-stabilised photography.

You can do that will all-stabilised lenses and no IBIS, but you can't do it with the X-T3 and those lovely Fuji primes.

Sorry Fuji, that's a strike. You're out.

The XT-3 has no image stabilization, so how can it be desirable? :) If there is one Fuji that appeals to me, it's the X-H1.
To me it's probably the Pentax K-1 II with its improved AF and hand-held pixel shift. That and some light Limited lenses are actually a smallish package for what it can do.
For sheer image quality, a Pentax 645D - the old one with the CCD sensor. But it's too big to walk around with...
But since I don't have that amount of money to play with, I'm sticking to APS-C and I don't think it's holding me back at all...

But it can't be used hand-held! How about a Linhof Technika 4x5? Expensive and versatile - film or digital, with an even more expensive 100mp back!

I thought the answer was always "Miata."

"Nikon D850" ???

Sure, with autofocus lenses.

But I wanted to get a Nikon D850, and could never figure out how it could be used handheld with manual focus lenses. How do focus a manual focus lens using the viewfinder on a camera that provides neither a focus screen optimized to let you see what's in focus, nor an electronic viewfinder?

Seems so easy for Nikon to have provided a proper focus screen and/or an EVF for manual focus with the Nikon D850. Why didn't they?

[I seem to remember that the Dƒ was the camera optimized for use with manual-focus lenses. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.... --Mike]

For Dave Millier,
Yes it's fixed. A small histogram in the viewfinder if you want it plus a more accurate one with seperate rgb at the touch of a button. This is available in the X-t2 and X-t3, and probably in the X-H1.

For Stephen Scharf,
I hear that Fuji have fixed the X-T3 lock-up with a firmware update.

For some others,
Why would you want to eliminate the exposure compensation dial? Personally I use aperture priority and that dial most of the time.

Why would you want a Bayer sensor? There is nothing wrong with Fujis X-trans sensor.

Reading the various answers was great fun. Obviously there is no such thing as a camera that fits all - as if we didn't know that.

The thing is though, how lucky we are to have all this choice. That is providing you have the spare cash.

I thought you had caught sight of a Fujifilm GF50R.

I seem to remember that the Dƒ was the camera optimized for use with manual-focus lenses. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong....

It's been a while (i.e. years) since I looked into it, but I think the main knock against the Df being the serious instrument it was touted as, was precisely that it was not optimized for manual focus lenses. The focus screen was for autofocus, and while you could make the focus points disappear, there was no split prism or similar aid for manual focus, and the screen could not be changed. In order to focus manually, you had to rely on the camera's electronic rangefinder to indicate when focus had supposedly been achieved.

You make a strong case for the X-T3 being the most desirable camera on the planet for all-around photography. And even if, as the comments indicate, no single camera can lay claim to this title, the X-T3 is certainly among very few cameras that have a legitimate shot at it.

I'm a little put off by the way Fuji has chosen to bifurcate its camera line. I'm still not sure what they were up to in introducing the X-H1. It seems to have been introduced specifically to meet the requirements of professional use, but why not just do that with subsequent iterations of the X-T series?

Bob Johnston said: Why would you want a Bayer sensor, there's nothing wrong with X-trans.
I'm sure that's true. What's wrong is that it's a proprietary system and Fuji won't share their secrets. Paraphrasing from internet talk I read: Fuji raw file support is sketchy in most applications or non-existent for some.
If jpeg is all you need then Fuji is one of the best if not the best. If you want raw, well, enough said.

Okay. I get it. But some of us love bright lines and accept the idea that an EVF is sometimes useful as well. For us, THE camera is the X-Pro2 (or whatever comes after it).

Also, some of us like not having our nose grease smeared across the LCD.

No way. I'd never chose an APS-C camera for my only camera. Maybe the Fuji GFX=50R but NOT THIS !!

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