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Monday, 06 February 2023


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I shoot MFT, and although it's true that its sensors have fallen behind, they are still more than good enough for what I need. Now and then, I think about what I'd do if I had to start over. Because I shoot some amateur sports, cycling and motorsports, it's really convenient to have certain features and I get them in spades in the Olympus E-M1 series along with small light but PRO quality MFT lenses. If I tried to replicate that functionality in "full-frame" I would not do it, I could not justify the expense and would resent the weight. And except for Fuji, there is no real support for sports/action in the APS/C world. And a Fuji system would cost me a lot more than an MFT system, and I'm not sure that I would be that much better off.

When I'm shooting for my own pleasure, I could see some advantage in up to date sensors. A friend with a Sony A7 version never worries about blown highlights whereas I have to think about them. That would be nice, no question, but I don't feel as if I'm losing out on that much, certainly not enough to switch systems.

If I stopped shooting sports, I'd be tempted by the Fuji E series of bodies and 2-3 primes. Or, since I started my photo life with a Spotmatic, I could see myself getting an APS/C Pentax body with some of their primes, but that would be more nostalgia than anything else.

I see no personal need for the expense or weight of full-frame, mirrorless or not. But that's just me.

If I had to choose one of the current 24MP 35mm cameras, I'd go with the Panasonic S5ii.

But, in the real world I will be sticking with the MFT system for the foreseeable future.

Hmm - interesting post (well, for gearheads like me…). I would define it a bit further: the Panasonic S5II is an example of a standard mainstream ILC for AdAms *on a budget*. The Canon R6II and Nikon Z6II are other examples. However, the AdAms probably really lust for the next model up in each range - the Canon R5 and Nikon Z7. (They’re all financially well beyond me, btw.)

This is an example of a trend that’s been apparent for many years now. I remember when I was buying Canon SLRs in the 80s and 90s (e.g. the EOS 650 and EOS 100), you bought ordinary lenses to go with them. I never saw an L lens in a local photo dealer; you had to go to a professional dealer (probably in London) even to look at one. Yet today an AdAm feels that they must have a 24-70 f2.8 L or equivalent. I’m not convinced that they’re really necessary. It seems to me that professional success is about a) being there at the right time, b) the composition, and c) the photographer’s technical competence. The quality of the lens comes somewhere below those, in my view. Much the same could be said about the camera used.

I would tell people to use their phone, and then maybe one of the down market full frame mirrorless ... like the Z5.

I myself have a 4/3rds camera and a Z6. I got into the Nikon recently because of Olympus' increasingly dodgy position as a going concern.

But, I'd still rather shoot with the Oly if I could. The Nikon does two technical things better:

1. focus, esp. easier follow focus

2. some aspects of noise performance

But it's not quite worth the jump in weight/size, esp. with the lenses, to get those two things.

I still use my phone a lot too. 🙂

Oh. In retrospect I'd rather have the Z5 ... I think the camera does enough, and I like SD cards better than those stupid next gen CF cards that are bulky and annoying.

So ... all of the above is interesting and valuable information ... but how does this mesh or intersect with the type of photographs the buyer plans to make? And how do we label or describe or quantify those photograph types?

My history has been to use a camera and lens/lenses until something I could afford came along that would allow me to do that which had been out of reach -- indoor low light ... fast action sports ... race cars on track ... big prints ...

My rule has been that the camera/lens has to be better than the photographer -- which for me has been a pretty low bar.

I really like the M4/3s medium and hope the tech in sensors keeps moving forward. The Panasonic G9 is the most ergonomically friendly camera I have ever shot with. It feels great in the hand and every lens feels balanced. It makes me want to go out and shoot and hey, that's the goal isn't it.

On the other hand, I have a hankering for a Nikon D700 with a Nikkor 28-70 2.8 to play with. I was looking at some older D300 photos and I have and loved the color balance. It's only about $600 total for the two.

Ten years ago, in 2013, the standard mainstream AdAm camera was probably an APS-C DSLR—wouldn't you say?

No, I wouldn’t. For me it would be the Canon 5DII or III or Nikon D700. In other words a full frame DSLR in the 12 - 24 MP range.

‘ This is too bad, if you ask me. The 4/3 format is the smartest format for digital photography.’

I’m not sure this is anything other than a tenacious prejudice. Obviously, marketing wise it wasn’t very smart as you acknowledge as things haven’t worked out so well in sales. In terms of overall size of the system (a potential advantage) I can’t see that it is much smaller or lighter than a small FF system, such as Sony. Add the bodies and the lenses up and there is only a very small difference in overall size, and for that you sacrifice shallow depth-of-field, which many people do not want to sacrifice. I can shoot all day at f8 or f11 on a FF camera and get deep depth of field if it is necessary, but someone with a 4/3 camera cannot opt for the sort of shallow depth of field that a ff 50/1.2 or a 135/2 lens on ff camera can. Zooms on 4/3 are even worse.

IMO the criteria for most recommendable cameras for ambitious amateurs haven’t changed much since the SLR era: excellent full manual and semi-manual operation, and a robust system of lenses, bodies and accessories to grow into. And the mid-range sensor tech of the day. Today, wireless connectivity or good video performance/controls might be desirable for a subset, if not the majority. I don’t know enough about today’s offerings to get specific, though Mike’s pick of sensor sounds about right. As an aging AdAm i have slightly different needs. For a long stretch of time, both Nikon and Canon offered multiple jump-in points, expansive systems and even multiple growth paths.

The convergence of stills and video offers some new twists, like access to the world of standardized modular rigs. Not compact, but infinitely versatile.

If you're going to constrain the choices to 24MP full-frame, then I think the Panasonic range is the only way to go. The L-mount range has filled out nicely and gives the amateur photographer the choice of smallish primes, smallish short zooms, or big honking statement lenses.

I feel comfortable in saying that the Sigma fp is not where I'd steer the average amateur. I owned one for a year or two, the rolling shutter is very real and the camera basically gives up on flash.

I've never used another FF 24MP camera, but agree that 24MP is a perfect size. It is no longer popular of course, but APS-C 24MP is what I think is the perfect sweet spot. The Nikon Z50 that I tried out for a few months gave files that were fairly indistinguishable from the Sigma fp's IF you accepted that the fp was 1-stop "better" at any given ISO. Since the Z50 has stabilization and the Sigma does not, you can shoot at ISO 100 at lower shutter speed by far in the Nikon. And of course, my favorite Pentax K3 iii or a Leica CL.

But I get that the amateur, largely non-demanding market is all in on the FF wagon. So it goes.

OK!, OK!, I get it full frame mirrorless. But that may be but I'm sticking to my APS-c Fujifilm X cameras. I have three of them but the oldest has been retired, then again maybe not.

My go to is the X-E4 and my backup is the X-Pro2.

I have never been close to getting a FFM camera. You may get one for a good price but add lenses and there goes the budget. A zoom lens with a fixed aperture is probably heavier then my PT Cruiser car. And cost more then the camera itself.

No, I will stay with Fujifilm. They have never let down, yet.

"And it's not differentiated far enough from the smartphone cameras for marketing purposes."

I like the grip, controls and viewfinder on my m4/3 cameras just a tiny bit better than those on my phone. Can't marketing focus on anything other than sensors?
And don't get me started on lenses...
But then, i gave back my AdAm card years ago when i sold all my big and expensive Canon FF kit for good.

I think the original Panasonic S5 might be a mainstream bargain now, with the added bonus that when you convert it to black and white (ha ha) it already doesn't have phase detect autofocus, so you don't lose it in the process. Still 24 mp. Probably the biggest drawback is a lower resolution viewfinder, but I could live with that.

You're right about 24mp FF cameras, especially in the general sense. But for me, I still prefer APS-C 24mp. I stepped down from full frame Nikon to APS-C Fuji a couple years ago. I prefer the smaller lenses and more compact gear, although I use a X-T4 which although is good size, it's still somewhat smaller than FF cameras. At least the Nikon Z6 that I agree would be a solid choice.

10 years from now I'm pretty sure I'll be full time with my iPhone. I don't think I'll replace my Fuji gear, so I hope it lasts.

For me, the L mount would be a minus. A Nikon Z with the 28/2.8, 50/1.8 & 105/2.8 would be far more interesting.

Yet, honestly, if I lost every camera and lens I owned and had to start over?

Leica Q2. It would do what I want and with that high quality of a lens, cropping to simulate longer focal lengths would not be a problem for me. Given the cost of new lenses, it would be cheaper in the long run than all the lenses a Z body would inevitably "need" :D

The Nikon F2 [1971] had photomic metering (match needle), the same manual exposure adjustment as its predecessor, the Nikon F [1959] with its eventual manual metering pentaprism.

Instead, the big technological advance at that same time was aperture priority automatic exposure with the EL Nikkormat [1971], which automatically adjusted the exposure time. Since we prefer manual focus, we didn't feel a need to replace our three EL Nikkormat film cameras until the wonderful full frame digital Nikon D700 became available decades later.

24-MP is the new 6-MP ...
But this time we really might be there. I can hardly believe that beyond 24-MP the pixel count is a limiting factor. Optics, yes, focussing, yes, blur, camera shake, yes, and sensor size to a certain extent, though I agree with you that Four Thirds might be sufficient.

I recently bought the Nikon Z7ii because I used their DSLRs for the past 12 years. The time I have available for photography is limited and I didn't want to waste it with learning another user interface. This plan worked out well - if you're used to Nikon the camera is straightforward to use and doesn't have a steep learning curve.

While the Z7ii is a really good camera I'm afraid that I can't easily recommend it. More specifically, if you (like me) like small, unobtrusive prime lenses then the Z system offers only a 28mm and a 40mm. The S-line primes are so huge that they are impractical for my needs and not an option. Right now, Nikon seems to work on even bigger f/1.2 primes so unless Sigma steps in and offers the iSeries Contemporary primes for the Z-mount, you're out of luck if you need mid-of-the-line autofocus primes. My own solution is to use Voigtländer M-mount primes on an adapter. That's manual focus, of course. Works very well for me but it's not for everyone.

Regarding a photographer who uses only a smartphone (as per your reply to commenter Jeff), there is Mark Hobson (http://lifesquared.squarespace.com) who currently uses only a smartphone and does interesting and beautiful work with it (imho).

This is an interesting topic. I’ve had my feet in the full frame and APS camps for a while now. I started shooting full frame Nikon as soon as the D3 was released, and that was basically my only digital camera for well over a decade, and only then that I replace it with a used D4S. Meanwhile in the background, I was slowly acquiring Fuji bodies and lenses which honestly got a little bit out of hand. I know I have an X H2, S and some of the new fast 1.4 primes. It’s a fantastic little system but I still thought I missed full frame.

I bought a Nikon Z72 and honestly I found it boring. I just don’t know how else to describe it. The image quality is very good but I just found it kind of boring. I traded the Nikon for the XH2S. So basically, I use the Fuji for pretty much everything unless I needed the amazing low light ability of a Nikon D4S.

Then I rented a Sony A74. Wow, the image quality is great, I find it more interesting if that’s the way to describe it then the Nikon Z72. We know the auto focus is phenomenally ridiculously great. The body is basically the same size as a Z72, a Fuji XH2S and even a Canon R6. It just comes down to the size of the lenses where the Fuji when’s there and the others are all fairly large. The difference in image quality between the Fuji and the Sony is not as vast as you might think given the difference in the sensor sizes. It is may be sort of the difference between processing TriX in D76 versus Rodinal. I know that’s an obscure reference that some people may not even get but that’s kind of how I describe it. I think I’m going to move into the Sony system for my full frame and stay with Fuji for its size portability and quality. I apologize for typos, and possibly strange grammar. I’m speaking this into the phone and relying on its ability to understand what I said.

It's not just sensors of micro 4/3 falling behind - for me, at least, the main advantage is the potential smaller size and lower weight. But many high-end FFM offerings are now only marginally larger and heavier than high-end micro 4/3 offerings (especially from Panasonic). I really, really WANT to love the OM system - but just can't bring myself to it...

For advanced amateurs, it's a bit unclear what "standard, mainstream" is in terms of FF vs. APS-C vs. MFT, whether that gear is from five years ago or today, and whether or not to move in that direction. Even if 50% of camera sales in the future might be FF then 50% are not. It reminds me of how I once thought about not getting married because 50% ended in divorce. My stepdad told me 50% of marriages work out and I ended up following his advice and it's worked for 15 years.

Out of left field.....
During the early days of the pandemic, I bought a used Nikon FM and 35/50/90 lenses of the same period - just like the one I bought 40+ years ago and used for about 15 years. My brain adapted immediately except for forgetting the manual film winder and the time it took to send film off to get developed and scanned.
Then Nikon introduced the Zfc - a retro APS-C digital clone of the FM. I could not resist for the retro value alone. Camera kit with 16-50 and 50-250 zooms with IS got me started. All really good modern equipment that produced really good results.
Since I've owned it, I added the Nikon retro 28/2.6 lens and a series of Chinese manual lenses, 25/1.8, 60 macro and 10mm fisheye, none of which cost more than $100 and all of which produce nice pictures.
Then after I mastered the menus, I programmed the camera to act like my film FM using Tri-X, monochrome, ISO 400. Since it has manual dials (OK Thom, I know you have to understand how they are working but if you leave it setup the same way, it's OK) I turned the monitor display to face the body and just take pictures. Nice pictures IMHO.
I am happy.

A commercial photographer friend has given up cameras for his iPhone.

I've been pleasurably daydreaming of a new camera for a few years now, and it really has to be a Sony E-mount due to an expensive adapter I have (the Shoten Contax-G to E mount with autofocus).

But full frame or APS-C? As a long time film shooter, FF is second nature, but I like the advantages of APS-C - extra reach with telephotos, therefore smaller lenses and slightly smaller bodies. I guess I'll go on pleasurably dreaming.

But for travel, which was my main interest, I'm happy with a fixed lens do-it-all camera, such as the Panasonic FZ-1000, or my Nikon P900 (gulp). It means I have all the lenses I need in one body (I do like wider though), with no agonising over weight, what to take and how many lenses will fit in my bag. Sure, smaller sensor, but the quality looks great to me and good enough for what I do.

If I purchase, it will probably be a Sony A6400 or similar. Ironically, it will be to fit my Zeiss Contax G FF lenses. That will make the 28mm Biogon = 42mm, the 35mm Planar = 52.5mm and the 90mm Sonnar = 135mm. Useful, but not my first choice.

after going through nikon d300 d700 canon 7d sony a7 series i have now found my spot with oly om 1 due to the longer lens less weight thing. im aging out of schlepping heavy stuff around these days. i still shoot ffm via a lightly used leica q2 monochrome which scratches several itches and have now found that gas has disappeared ( without any medication ) and contentment has set in. for my pursuits the mft
sensor can print on my epson p800 more than well enough (17inches wide) and ive fallen in love with the epson advanced black and white mode prints from the q2. ive given up on ftfeoaf (finding the fine end of a f**t) (AS SOME BRITS SOMETIME SAY) pursuit of 'better quality' my life has improveD. now this may not suit all the young guns but there you go

So much depends on what one wishes to do. I have two distinct kits. For general photography, travel, etc. I use a pair of OM-1s. I am not uncommonly seen tromping about wearing one body with 12-200* lens and another with 100-400 lens, plus 1.4x telextender, and a 7-14 mm in pocket or pouch.

I do a lot of photography, mostly around home, with vintage lenses and LensBabies. I use FF mirrorlesss for a different reason that assumed here; to avoid cutting off much of the interesting parts of the image these lenses create. I currently have an A7R II and an A7C for that, after prior A7 and A7 II.

With lots of 20 MP µ4/3 files and 24 MP FF files, I can't say one is much better than the other. I do a lot of post processing, deep into the pixels, and am usually not aware, in the moment, which type I'm working with.

I guess I keep the A7R II around 'cause I feel I must need 42 MPs sometimes. And of course, the OM-1s do hand held HR of 50 MP and tripod based of 80 MP.

Truth is, the 20-24 MP files do all I need. Sure, I occasionally try the higher res files, but I can't at the moment think of a single shot where that made a difference.

BTW, there's the usual comment from someone who only uses modest FL lenses that FF, body plus lens, isn't much bigger/heavier than crop sensor systems. There is no way on Earth I could cover the 24-1120 mm focal range I carry around my neck in FF without at least a Sherpa, possible physical damage to my not so young body, and missed shots, as gear is swapped, lenses changed.

"Ten years ago, in 2013, the standard mainstream AdAm camera was probably an APS-C DSLR—wouldn't you say?"

Dunno. After five happy years with a 5D, I switched to APS-C, a 60D. I won't say it was at fault, but we just didn't get along. Friends noticed poorer work from me, too. It's not as though I didn't give us a chance. 14 months and 6,000 shots later, I was put out of my misery with an Oly E-M5, right at your 10 years ago mark.

"what will the standard, mainstream camera for AdAms look like ten years from now?"

No idea. If I had one, it would be wrong. \;~)> Thinking back to when I got the E-M5, I would never have imagined the vastly improved capabilities of the latest µ4/3 bodies.

Ten years ago, there were things I wished I could do that I now can. But there are things I can do now that I didn't have the imagination to wish for back then. OM-1, 100-400 mm, 1.4x TC, ProCapture Mode and Bird focus are like sci-fi, or maybe magic, from back there.

* Yes, a little soft at the long end, although not as much as one might think. But the other body takes over at 140 mm.

Kirk Tuck’s latest post on VSL ( https://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/2023/02/after-i-posted-some-photos-from-iceland.html ) is a good argument that m43 is good enough, one I find hard to argue with, BUT…

I think you could class me as an AdAm but I don’t think all AdAms are looking for the same things I am, I don’t think most of them are. I have doubts as to whether a majority of AdAms are looking for the same things in a camera which is one reason why camera manufacturers load up their cameras with more features and functions than any single user wants. If you go by the specifications most cameras these days seem to me to be capable of being the “standard mainstream camera”, the mainstream is pretty ubiquitous now. On features and functionality for “mainstream” use, I don’t think there’s a camera that stands out from the crowd but some are more suitable for sports or wildlife use, some for landscape, some for video, and so on. All of them have differences in menus and handling and all of them have advantages when it comes to one sort of subject matter and disadvantages for others.

I think the decision AdAms are making now when they buy a new camera has little to do with functions and specifications, a fair bit to do with what sort of photography they like doing, and a lot to do with personal taste when it comes to the menu system, handling, and what kind of user experience they’re looking for. I think we’ve reached a point where our choice of camera says more about us than it does about the camera and what it can do. Cameras have become more and more standardised. When nearly every camera is capable of being a “standard mainstream camera”. camera buyers are no longer looking for a standard mainstream camera, they’re looking for the camera they want to use and which camera that is no longer depends on functions and specifications as much as it once did.

If performance and size and weight (particularly of lenses) were the determining factors, then FF would be dead. Now that the big players have decided to go FF the marketing departments have been peddling their propaganda relentlessly,so that people believe that there is a big advantage. I have Fuji gear, but there is no doubt in my mind that MFT should have been the way to go.

The thought of "mainstream" made me think of this quote from Neil Young:

“‘Heart of Gold’ put me in the middle of the road. Traveling there soon became a bore, so I headed for the ditch."

In my experience very few people are printing large enough to actually need a Full Frame camera much less taking photos that justify being printed that large. It's like the folks here in Texas who have the fancy $70,000 truck that never gets one inch off of paved road. However, environmental concerns aside, if it makes someone happy I say go for it.

In the end, it's really not about the camera but about the photograph. A good photographer will take an interesting photograph regardless of the camera they use. A friend of mine who is a photography instructor at a university here in Texas took some folks to West Texas a couple of years back on a photo trip. Virtually everyone took the same photo except two people. Those two folks took the only interesting photographs. The rest of them were competent, mildly interesting, and basically the same photo most people would take. Interestingly enough, the two people who looked for something different didn't have the best cameras (one actually was shooting film on an FM2 and the other person had an older X-T Fuji + two lenses). The worst by far was the dentist who had a multi thousand dollar Nikon set up. This guy had so much gear he really needed his own vehicle. He had at least 4 different zoom lenses and a few prime lenses that he never used. We had a good laugh about it. Just because you have a sports car doesn't make you a Formula One driver. He did seem happy with his photos so that's all that counts. The counter argument could be it's virtually impossible to take a "bad" photo modern digital cameras.

It is hard to take an interesting photo though. I don't really think the camera will help with that much.

The main advantage of M4/3 is lens size. Putting aside the shallow DOF thing, light gathering capabilities at a given focal length are equally as important. In my work, having more DOF at a given aperture is actually more useful to me in both my personal work and my commercial work where having a bit of context is important.

I propose to anyone, go to a camera shop and put any FF 70-200 f2.8 next to the Lumix 35-100 f2.8. Both lenses see the same FOV and gather light at f2.8. Do the same with a 50mm f1.4 and the Lumix/Leica 25mm f1.4. You might want to compare prices too.

Sensor size is not nearly as important as being able and willing to carry your camera all day, if that’s your goal. On all day commercial jobs, or even just shooting on the street all day, a heavy camera and lens combo will do a number on your shoulder, elbow and forearm lifting it to your face 1000 times.

Printing is another story, one where the big fallacy is that you can’t with a smaller format. I have many examples that would refute that story. But once someone gets an idea in his head, it seems nothing short of a hammer and chisel will be able to dislodge it.

It’s kind of like the auto market these days. Everyone thinks they NEED an SUV or a pickup truck. But really most people are just terribly insecure and are easily swayed by group think. Very few people seem to think in a truly critical manner anymore about their actual needs.

I would not consider myself advanced at all. Purley amateur but I have played a lot with different cameras and systems all very well used to keep cost down. I simply cannot use a phone for a camera. The only instances I made an attempt while walking the dog are a few landscape pictures. They turned out nice but all I did was tap a screen after framing. Not much satisfaction in that in spite of the result. I have sold the majority of what I have used over the last 7-8 years since starting this endeavor. Still don't shoot anywhere near enough to be considered advanced. What has been written here and reiterated numerous times, it takes a lot of practice and time. Since my kids are older now, subject matter is difficult to find. I am not much into landscape photography. So I ended up keeping my D2h and V1 with a couple of lenses. I am not a big fan of sitting in front of a computer to process beyond a few slider adjustments. Both cameras mentioned seem to need very little with prints up to 13X19 though I rarely go beyond 8X10. I did not find that 24MP improved my prints. I am careful with framing and really don't crop. I certainly need to consider blown highlights when metering as compared to more modern cameras. I mostly try and shoot in good light. My next move will be to attempt Mike's Lecia for a year challenge with black and white film. I have a borrowed camera ready to go. Not a lot of motivation to start during the winter.

moved to Fuji from Pentax ... initially sadly ... but now joyful. The XT2 had no IBIS and the X100 had really woeful focusing ... but were otherwise fine for me.

So now the XT4 ... perfect and the X100V have all I need and as I approach three score years and ten ... as with all things I buy now ... these will, I trust, see me out.

Off to Paris in May with Peter Turnley. I think I will use almost entirely the X100v as it is so unintimidating.

Essentially every camera I've had was better than me! Starting with an Argus C-3 (well, maybe that one wasn't so great), through Nikon film cameras, to Nikon digital cameras (who needs more than 6MP anyway :-)) Also Hasselblad and Arca-Swiss 4x5, to Fuji and finally, whew, to Sony. I am fortunate to have and to have had some wonderful toys.

I agree with the commenter who emphasized image and composition. I've said many places that people, even fellow photographers almost NEVER comment on the technical quality of my images. Bokeh?-BS! The total image is what matters; the camera is the tool that allows you to get the image; then... you MUST print. No print... no photograph in my not so humble opinion.

If you're still looking for an iPhone photographer whose work is stunning and superbly interesting, you need look no further than my friend Susan Bein, (@wizmosis on Instagram) She uses a couple of phones, has had gallery shows, and is a great teacher online and here in the Portland, Oregon area.

My problem with M4/3 is that I think my two GX8s are about shot. They've been rattling around in cameras bags for something like six years now, and nothing better has come along in M4/3. If Panasonic would come out with a GX10 24mp sensor, that would be it, for me. I'd buy a couple and use them until I'm dead.

I still shoot them, but now I find myself with a Z6 and Z7II, shooting quite a lot these last couple of months, and they are better cameras than the GX8s. More evolved. Better in dim light, which I like. Also bigger and heavier. The S glass is exceptional. I currently have a 24-120 zoom on the Z7, and I really think it's better than any Nikon lenses, including primes, that I had on my F3s, F4s, and F5s. I mentioned on Kirk Tuck's blog a few days ago that I was sitting in my living room fooling around with the Z7. I was across the room, maybe fifteen feet away, from a couch. The light was dim, and to my eyes, the couch was sort of an unvariagated gray. I shot a photo and when I looked at it on the camera's back screen, I could not only see the individual weaves in the fabric, I could see individual stitches. And that is good enough for anything.

Still, I find myself going out with the GX8s. If they were updated with the stuff we now have in FF cameras (mostly better sensors -- resolution isn't everything) I'm not sure we'd ever need ANY improvements. They'd be good enough forever.

i am one of those disappointed APS-c shooters who add a buzz everytime Thom Hogan says buzz buzz. I finally ditched the crop sensor of my D7000 and moved to full frame with the Z5. It's definitely on the cheaper end of the mainstream but quite mainstream nevertheless. and nikon's consitent ergonomics helped whereas i cannot be more annoyed by sony or confused by canon (no offense to anyone but my own incapable of adjusting brain)
if i was a pro, i would have purchased something more substantial but as i now earn my living lecturing instead of photographing i just needed something to keep me current.

If understood correctly, I am using a full-frame sensor. I’m have no idea of its resolution in pixels, as bulk load Ilford HP5+ omits such information. I expose it with one of three lenses, 50, 35 and 28mm. Would cheerfully go round the world with only a thirty-five. The fifty is useful, while the twenty eight is very rarely necessary – perhaps every eighteen months or so.

I’m completely with those who make prints, as my effective results are only seen that way. Even a small black and white print in the hand has a potency online screen viewed pixels lack. Of course, in part, this is the scarcity of both the tangible and greyscale among the present, relentless maelstrom of online colour.

Supposedly, every snowflake is different, but who can tell even when fat flakes fall gently, let alone in a blizzard?

One Christmas, in Manhattan, at the Rockefeller Centre, after watching the skaters circling beneath Prometheus, we went to the top floor restaurant looking for coffee. Though shut, the two waiters setting the tables for the evening, kindly let us in and magicked up coffee. Comfortably seated, we had two performances to watch. The quiet clatter as spot lit white tables gradually filled with cutlery, condiments and napkins, in preparation for the evening. Meanwhile, through the high windows were the city lights and falling snow. Fat softly drifting snowflakes.

Those close to the glass were falling upwards, while the masses beyond obeyed gravity.

Hot off the presses ... Canon R8 Body ... "Combines high-performance full-frame capabilities with a compact design."


Among my crowd (older millennial, espresso-sipping, bike-riding, urban) it seems like the Fuji XT3.

A lot to recommend it. I never liked Fuji colors, otherwise I would be onboard as well.

What John Camp said. I too have two aging GX8s that I love. They are the best cameras I've ever owned. But they are getting old. I bought a Nikon Z7II. I like it. I don't love it. I like the resolution and the better sensor. It's too big and heavy. But my 24-120 is indeed the best Nikkor I've ever encountered. But I'm not ready to give up on M4/3. It's the best solution. We just need a new sensor and a GX10 that brings back the goodness they stripped away in the GX9. I'd actually like to see a sensor with something in the neighborhood of 40MP. With the pixel counts on larger sensors coming out, that doesn't seem too out of the question.

For myself, a Sony A7C would be a fine place to (re)start. I'd probably give A7-3 a pass, however. Not because I think there's anything wrong with it, but A7R4 and A7R-3 seem like more compelling alternatives.

There are a number of reasons why I'd be reluctant to part with Sony:
SEL24F28G, SEL40F25G, SEL50F25G, SEL2860, etc. Compact, medium-speed lenses of high quality.

Non-Sony alternative: Maybe Sigma FP for it's tiny brick-like form factor.

Recommending a camera for someone else: I don't think there are any bad choices out there, so much as too-big and too-heavy ones. But that is a lesson that people need to discover for themselves.

I'm late to this party, but FWIW I use the term "Professional Amateur" versus "AdAm". To me this usage conveys that I act, behave, and photograph using professional equipment and techniques including post-processing (i.e., "professional"), but am not employed as a photographer (i.e., "amateur). "Advanced" is a nebulous term and is generally undefined (e.g., how advanced?). "AdAm" is almost pejorative.

I have a friend who has sold all of her "big girl" cameras--Nikon DSLRs I think--and now only uses her iPhone for all of her photography, including vacations.

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