Monday, 23 May 2016

A Photographer’s Perennial Doubt

Nevin_20160509_L1011645(Leica X1)

If the camera industry and in fact the whole photographic community had been all the trees in the garden, what could be the photographers’ perennial doubt as the nourishment other than the constant wondering of when the non-existent best camera would be here on earth?  Notwithstanding the lack of preciseness in the question asked, the doubt itself is the fuel that has kept the history of photography going in a big way.

So to contribute to the course of that history, and hence the development of humanity, I have recently been wondering if it is high time for me to make a proper upgrade to hopefully the Leica system.

Nevin_20160523_GR006366(Ricoh GR)

The Ricoh system was my first sortie into the digital photographic era as I evolved from what the quantum leap in digital photography has made it seemed the medieval film period.  I still keep the the historical relic, the Minolta Dynax 7 (film) for its sentimental value to me though.  Kudos to the Ricoh GX200 designed with photographers in mind, it had left me with lots of keepers before I sold it to get the GR4 and then the GR.  The GR has since been my trusty daily companion.  Very sharp lens.  Image quality amazing.  Haptics-wise excellent.  The only gripe is that it is not with a FF sensor.  I know, it would have make it bulky in that case.

Nevin_20151027_L1050295(Leica D-lux 5)

But then there have been times when I really wish the camera is fitted with a full frame sensor, especially when I discover some very agreeable images made with it on the computer screen at the end of the day.  It was this reason why the Leica D-lux is now mainly for ornamental value sitting in my camera cabinet, and why the special edition white GR4 was sold in less than a year after I bought it.  Instead I got the GR to replace its daily companion’s role.

001447_2015_January[2](Ricoh GR)

Granted, Leica costs a premium for every single addition to the system.  But there is nothing like Leica.  The image quality and the color rendition are uniquely pleasing to most eyes.  It is widely argued that for reason of the CCD senor the Ms after the M9 are too digital and for want of the film feel in the images that are signature in M8, 8.2 and 9.  I can understand that for the GR’s images initially looked too clean to me compared to those from the previous model so much so that the grainy feel in the images are lost.  If that is also the case for the newer Ms, there are only two ways forward for the upgrade, which are either getting a used M8, 8.2 or 9 (the price difference compared to the 9 is too steep to make it justified for a sane choice IMHO) or laying my hands on the Q which is a better digital Leica, skipping the 240 and the 262 for now.