Friday, 20 January 2012
We may spend inordinate amounts of time discussing the strengths and weaknesses of cameras. At long last, we strike the deal and our expectation rises with the seemingly everything-is-better new toy in hand. But well before it is far from its due day, some newer models give us a good excuse to moan and grumble about the shortcomings of the once new camera for its lacking of longer zoom range, non-ideal high ISO performance, hundredth of a second slower AF speed, yada yada.
Every camera has its flaws and foibles in matters of actual use. Just as the author noted from a local camera reviewer, the X Pro-1 is going to fail the photographers for its AF speed. But why don't we make use of the constraints of a camera before bitching it? Lately, the author has been using the Leica X1 everyday. It has lots of "weaknesses" for street photography compared to Ricoh GX200, especially for the shallower DOF when aperture stopped down. But then, it compels the author to think up effective ways to work around the shortcomings.
That takes some willpower. Left to our own devices, we would have started contemplating selling the no longer new camera and then top up the cost for the newer model. In fact, it takes a photographer roughly five years to outgrow a serious camera.
After having jumped over the obstacles, a photographer will grow in skills. Try it!
Thursday, 19 January 2012
Now check out your camera cabinet again: one, two, three, four.... Has there been a point in using any forum that you sarcastically wrote about you being a real photographer not a camera collector? Well, your stock of five cameras cannot qualify you as a collector who has a stock of cameras double yours. But look, isn't there a slight flight of fancy deep inside yourself making your mouth watering about the X Pro-1, about adding just one more to your collections?
What on earth is the reason that you want it? For focusing speed, you have a fairly reliable DSLR. For the claimed near-full-frame image quality, you have no need to make any large prints. For using the vintage lenses, you already have a decent mirror-less camera for that purpose. So, for what cogent and practical reasons that you need a new camera, maybe the X Pro-1?
Stop and think twice before you step forward. By the way, have you made full use of the five cameras in your keep?
Wednesday, 18 January 2012
"Sorry, I'm...terribly sorry..."
"The Dolce & Gabbana policy is to welcome the Hong Kong people and that of the whole world respecting the rights of each individual and of the local laws."
Tuesday, 17 January 2012
1) Leica will probably offer a ILC-like camera to fill the line-up and pricing gap between the X1 and the M to mark its centennial celebration which is in 2013
2) That bridging camera is not expected to have a diminutive body but will have an EVF.
3) The features will be in line with Leica’s philosophy: not too flowery to upstage simplicity in design and functions
4) The sensor type is still to be decided (Considering that the reporter probably has no good knowledge in camera because she keeps relating MFT to Sony, Canon and Nikon ILCs, as well as the business cooperation between Leica and Panasonic, my guesstimate is that Schopf’s was a polite reply. But it can also hint that the MFT sensor will be a choice if the larger APS-C under consideration doesn’t prove better and more cost effective.
As a side note, obviously, it doesn't take rocket science to figure out what the CEO means about smart phones and cameras: first, they are never the same even though in some cases the latter like the X1 doesn’t have an integrated VF; second, we now know the answer for sure as per the perpetual myth of what differs an image from a photo -- "If you look at the picture quality, it’s different. You can shoot images with such devices (phones), but (they are) not photos” Very humourously well-said indeed.
The full interview article is as follows:
Singapore’s My Paper (English) SOPHIE HONG 2011-09-16
MOBILE-PHONE manufacturers are increasingly equipping their handsets with higher-megapixel cameras these days.
The trend has led some to wonder if the traditional camera would go the way of the dodo bird.
However, in the eyes of Mr Alfred Schopf, the global chief executive of Leica Camera, that is not an issue at all.
Here’s why: The sensor of a traditional camera is more powerful than that of a cellphone camera.
“Currently, the cameras on mobile phones have very small sensors, due to the space limit. The smaller the sensor, the lesser the depth of field in your photographs,” he told my paper on Monday in an exclusive interview. Mr Schopf was in town to visit Leica’s office here.
“If you look at the picture quality, it’s different. You can shoot images with such devices, but (they are) not photos,” he said. That is why high-end brands in the market, including Leica, do not feel threatened by the emergence of cellphone cameras, he added.
For Leica, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013, worldwide sales in the first quarter of its fiscal year have gone up by 28.7 per cent.
The German firm’s interim report also noted that camera sales in the Asian region have seen a rise of over 30 per cent.
Of late, camera manufacturers have been racing to come up with mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses.
Also known as Micro Four Thirds cameras, these devices are close to digital single-lens reflex, or DSLR, cameras in performance but come in much smaller sizes – one factor that has made the Micro Four Thirds system a hit in the mass-consumer market.
Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that Sony’s market share in Japan has doubled after its foray into the Micro Four Thirds market with the Sony Nex series.
In contrast, the combined Japan market share of the world’s two biggest high-end camera makers, Canon and Nikon, which have not unveiled any Micro Four Thirds camera, has dropped by 35 per cent.
When asked if Leica would be launching its own line of Micro Four Thirds cameras, Mr Schopf said that the brand already has the Leica X1, a compact camera, and the M-System, which has interchangeable lenses but not an electronic viewfinder.
“We are at the borderline of compact-system cameras already, with the Leica X1 and Leica M-System, and it’s pretty obvious that, at one point, we are going to offer something in between,” said Mr Schopf.
“But we have to look very carefully into what sensor parts we are using and what features we are offering.”
It may take a bit more time to see a Leica Micro Four Thirds camera on the market, but Mr Schopf reassured fans of the brand that this is to ensure that high standards are maintained.