• #645. Monday Post (18 September 2017): Chewing the RX10 IV cud
  • #645. Monday Post (18 September 2017): Chewing the RX10 IV cud
  • #645. Monday Post (18 September 2017): Chewing the RX10 IV cud
  • #645. Monday Post (18 September 2017): Chewing the RX10 IV cud
  • #645. Monday Post (18 September 2017): Chewing the RX10 IV cud
  • #645. Monday Post (18 September 2017): Chewing the RX10 IV cud

#645. Monday Post (18 September 2017): Chewing the RX10 IV cud

 

 

Behind the scenes at DearSusan, the contributors occasionally indulge in some robust discussion, mostly not for publication, but sometimes delivering excellent content – just the kind the Monday Post was created for.

 

This conversation was started last week by my reading of Kirk Tuck’s comments on Sony’s brand newly released RX10 IV: “Sony’s new RX10 camera just got announced. It’s called the Sony RX10 IV and it looks like everything I wanted.

 

I’ve always felt the RX10 warranted more credibility than it gets. Kirk Tuck has used his earlier Mk II and III extensively and found them excellent photographic tools. I’ve been toying with the idea of buying one, just to see whether it lives up to the hype.

 

Here’s what the rest of the Susans thought:

 

Adrian (Turner): The RX10 is indeed an intriguing camera. I have come close to purchasing earlier versions, but could never quite commit due to the sensor size. Everyone says they are excellent.  I have been intrigued by one to use to photograph physique sports competitions.  This latest version with its high frame rate and potentially fast AF could be the one that finally convinces me!  I might try to hire one next time I need to photograph a competition… It’s a difficult choice as the APS-C A6500 shoots at 11fps with little viewfinder blackout and a buffer of over 100 RAWs too… Choice is a terrible thing. Sony’s enablement (of us to do things we couldn’t do before) marches on…

 

Steve (Mallett): Doubtless it’s a game changer….

 

Pascal (Jappy): No experience of the RX10 sorry. Isn’t it a bit … big ?

 

I think Steve is right though. Small sensor, big camera. Total game changer.

 

Bob (Hamilton): It’s still a very small sensor (physical dimensions that is) with image quality on a par with its RX100 compact camera stablemates. Reasonable, but very limited, quality and a serious lack of dynamic range.

 

I wouldn’t waste your money.

 

 

 

 

Steve: Remind me, what’s the game?  It’s changed so many times I think I may be in a game where I’m the lone player 😉

 

Adam (Bonn): But I thought that little cameras with big sensors was the game charger, or is this the camera that changes the game back to the original game, so it’s old school but with new rules, or is it new school but with old rules?

 

Bob: The game is profit for the camera companies’ shareholders……..or is it survival…….by dint of being last man standing?

 

Adrian: Contrary to the statement about dynamic range, the attached measurements from DP Review show the 1” sensor compares very favourably to cameras such as the FF Canon EOS 5Dmk3 and APS-C Canon EOS D70/750/760 – actually the DR and colour depth is very good for such a modest sized sensor.  Only the high ISO ability holds it back.

 

 
 
There really isn’t any other camera I can think of that can shoot at 24fps, with potentially good AF, has a 600mm f4 lens of good quality, and shoots 4k video by down-sampling rather than pixel binning, meaning high ISO video footage is cleaner than some full frame SLRs.

 
 
My view is “what can I use this for?” rather than “who would want that?”.

 
 
I’ve been looking at the RX10 series for events work for some time, and this one really looks interesting as it allows continuous shooting (without viewfinder blackout) and a long fast (ish) lens is a relatively small, relatively inexpensive package.  The only camera that I can think of that can shoot as fast as the potential of the RX10 IV is the Sony A9, which costs 3 times as much for the body only – let alone with an f4 lens that zooms to 600mm.

 
 
Several of Sony’s previous cameras like the RX100, A7s or A7R2, I see it as an enabler – it will allow people to photograph things in ways that may not have been possible before.

 
 
If I can find a way, I may hire one next time I plan to shoot a competition, and see how it performs, because it looks seriously tempting.

 

Pascal: This, in a single sentence, probably sums up important differences between two types of photographers.

 

Those like me, who want to do a single thing and just want the camera to get out of their way.
Those like many others, who want the largest possible shooting envelope to try all sorts of new stuff.

 

 

 

 

Adrian: It’s only recently that I started to consider some of what I photograph as “sports”, as I always thought of it as stage or event type photography.  However, the particular challenge of “fitness” gymnastics categories presents as much technical challenge as many other sporting events where there is “action” (and I assume that also translates to other fields such as wildlife, birding, etc).

 

The A6000 was a revelation as it had excellent image quality, and was one of the first APS-C mirrorless cameras that could AF quickly and track etc.  It’s abilities surpassed any SLR I had ever owned, including some very expensive full frame models, and yet this small camera derided by many as a consumer electronics gadget could do so much yet cost only £600 at the time or purchase.  I’m not saying it did things that no other cameras could, but it was much cheaper, smaller, lighter, and even had a few party tricks that it’s DSLR peers couldn’t do (eye AF, face detection, object racking).  It wasn’t perfect, but it did so much so well, it was a “game changer” for me, because it made some things easier and did things that previously were impossible for me to do.

 
 
I see the RX10 series as an evolution of that trend, and what Sony have been doing with most of their range (format sizes).  There is no other camera I know in any equivalent or larger format that combines the frame rate, no blackout, and other features – and anything that may come close could be a seriously expensive proposition just for the body, let alone a very long fast aperture lens.

  

To some extent the RX10 series are a “jack of all trades” camera that combine decent image quality with an excellent lens and generally pleasant handling in an SLR like experience.  The view often expressed by those who have used them is that for many, including some professionals, the performance and image quality is more than enough to make it the only camera you may need for all sorts of photography.  It’s only limitation is it’s modest sensor size, which limits its performance at higher ISO, yet it still manages to equal the output of the M43 system, a sensor twice the surface area, and some Canon APS-C and FF models from only a year or two ago. 

 
 
I guess if people don’t understand it, they probably don’t need or want it.  There are some things it clearly cannot do well.  However, for the price, size, and potential performance, there is little in the price range with the same combination of attributes.

 
 
Initially when I saw that the Sony announcement was for another RX series camera I had slight disappointment, as rumours were of new E mount products.  Then I looked at the specification, I thought about what I already knew about the “mark 3” version with the same lens, and then I thought “what can I use this for?”.  Ultra slow motion video of athletes in flight.  A 600mm 4K video camera with good high ISO image quality.  A 24fps action camera with a 600mm f4 lens.  It opens up possibilities, so rather than say “why would I want that?”, my question is “how can I use that?”.  I don’t see Nikon, Canon , Pentax, Olympus or Fuji really doing much of that  (Panasonic do some, as did Samsung).

 
 
I don’t understand the general negativity every time Sony try to push another boundary – enabling people to do things, and pushing the boundaries of what is possible, can only be a good thing.  Sony say they want to push the boundaries to expand the camera market (rather than just expand their share in a declining market), and the obvious subtext is that they believe that doing so will benefit them financially as other brands stagnate and wither away.  Jason Lanier points out that for professional photographers to survive, they must do things that people cannot do with an iPhone: this camera is another example of that ethos.

 
 
Sorry to sound so serious in what I understand is a jovial conversation.  I think Sony push the boundaries.

 

Philippe (Berend): Though I have no personal interest in the RX-10 III, I agree with everything you state so clearly.

 

I can see clearly who the RX-10 is for. People who want a fixed-lens camera which can do it all, with as good IQ as possible. Not hard to understand IMHO.

 

I happened to watch the livestream from Sony, and IMHO one figure says it all. The overall market for ILCs is down 3%. Excluding Sony, it is down 8%, while Sony are up 47%. It is that simple. The market is speaking, the people are speaking. It happens to annoy the cognoscenti and the enlightened, and so what?

 

BTW, I think you are not quite fair with Olympus, who try to innovate, with, for example, class-leading IBIS, and now pixel-shift.

 

Adrian: Firstly regarding Olympus, you are right, I paused momentarily over my list, and they went in the naughty list, but they have pushed hard with some technical innovations, and deserve respect for that.

 
 
I saw some detailed figures for camera sales from around 2010-2015, and it was sobering reading.  As you say, all ILC camera sales are down, including mirrorless.  SLR sales are declining at a faster rate than mirrorless… but they are all down.  I didn’t see brand specific figures, but if you have seen other data that shows Sony sales growth (which is generally what I am led to understand), doing so in a generally declining market shows that some things they do are “sticking” and generating sales.  There was the well reported data from early this year that suggested that in north America their FF sales had exceeded Nikon, although the sample period was short and therefore it’s hard to claim a trend or significant success.

 
 
Interestingly, in that time, lens sales are up.  Why do you think the challenger brands have been filling out their systems so quickly? Lens sales!

 
 
Your comment “It happens to annoy the cognoscenti and the enlightened, and so what?” really struck a chord and made me laugh, if only because it often feels so true.  The internet is full of damnation and misunderstanding about some (many?) of their products – I can guarantee right now there is a blog or comment about how the RX100 mk4 is completely unusable as a 4k video camera because of it’s bit-rate or something.  As you say, given the sales data, it appears that it doesn’t bother some consumers, just perhaps some of the internet commentators or the users of the established brands.  A member in a Sony forum recently noted that the general press attitude to Sony products had gone from critical to complimentary, and as a result Nikon and Canon users were becoming much more vocal in their dislike, probably because at some level they didn’t like a change to the status quo.

 
 
None of what Sony is doing should really be a surprise to anyone.  When they announced their company financial recovery strategy a few years ago, they clearly stated their goal was using disruptive technology to create unique products with unique features that could command a premium in the market.  The camera division have clearly stated their 3 goals are resolution, ISO performance, and speed.

 
 
And there we have it – RX1, RX100, RX10, RX0, A7R, A7S, A7R2, A9, several E mount FF/APS-C video cameras, perhaps the A6000 series.  None of it should really be a surprise – they aren’t even being secretive about their aims.

 
 
My general view is “how can I use this?”, and not worry too much about the imperfections. 

 
 
Full disclosure: I came to Sony as a Minolta user of a decade, got frustrated with where their SLR system seemed to be going, tried something else and didn’t like it, and ended up back with Sony E mount, where I felt some of the cameras (unique?) abilities opened new possibilities and opportunities.

 

 

 

 

Steve: Being an Olympus aficionado, as you might expect, I’m with Philippe on this!  It seems to me Sony and Olympus are the leading innovators who seriously invest in R&D and produce stuff that is actually interesting, useful and envelope pushing.

 

Philippe: Come to think of it, in film days, photography was a upper-class sport, to a large degree. Not that you couldn’t use a Brownie, but Cartier-Bresson and others were hardly Mr Everyman. That may (I am thinking aloud here) have led to the Leica snobbery.

 

Come Canon and Nikon, that is acceptable. Superb Japanese engineering, but with no Gestalt. We’ve seen that happen in bikes (cars as well). That didn’t kill BMW, Triumph is reborn, as is Harley, and Ducati roars on.

 

But come Sony to contest the title. A mass production electronics company. Mr Walkman wanting to wrestle with Mr Lizard-skin-plated-Leica-for-HCB. I can understand why the litterati and glitterati cringe…:-)

 

Bob: To a large extent, I can only agree, Adrian, but why, oh why did Sony not make the A9, which is, after all, touted as the outdoor sports/wildlife photographer’s dream camera, “guaranteed weather proof” and why, oh why can one of the largest electronic companies in the world, and the maker of smartphones, not include GPS in their top end cameras at least – even Leica do that…!!

 

The words “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory” sum up Sony’s approach for me.

 

I’m fed up with companies such as Sony (and Leica) who do business on the premise that the paying consumer won’t mind spending a further few grand on the latest model, which incorporates features that the previous model could, and should, have had, had they not been so intent on screwing every last penny out of their paying customers. Fuji is not perfect but, at least, their record of firmware upgrades is impressive and demonstrates an interest in keeping customers happy and loyal with a virtually “new” camera once a year at least until the next iteration is released.

 

Adam: Like most legendary ‘togs HCB basically made his name by taking new tech (35mm) and using it in new places (unobtrusively on the street).

 

Had he lived today, he might well have selected an RX100 or even a drone (FWIW I think Adams would of used a drone).

 

Of course SOME of the Leica folk think he selected Leica because it was Leica, but the truth is it was just small and discrete. Ironically, the modern Leica is not that small, not at all light, and that red dot makes it beckon people like a lighthouse.

 

Personally, I doubt that a modern HCB would have touched an M with a bargepole.

 

Sony stated their aim was to overtake Canon or Nikon right from the get go, so jokes and glib aside, re the RX10 – bridge cameras aren’t a new thing. That Sony has upped the pace of that genre of camera is not a surprise.

 
 
But they didn’t invent the category.

 

Adrian: That’s an interesting view.

 

And lets not forget that most of Leicas affordable products are made by Panasonic but with a badge and an aspirational price tag.

 

Don’t forget the Lenna Kravitz pre aged M edition 😉

 

Maybe that’s what Sony need – a Louis Vuitton group edition special edition – except Hasselblad already sort of tried that to much derision.

 

There’s plenty of material there.

 

Think of the RX10 as a Swiss army knife of photography and videography.

 

Bob: If he were alive today, I would put money on HCB using a Fuji X-Pro2 (or XE3) not a Sony or a Leica.

 

Adrian: I’m not excusing it (and Canon and Nikon make plenty of equivalent faux pas), but I saw an interview some time ago that I think explains some of it.

 

Sony said with such rapid product development cycles for each generation, there is limited time to improve each generation. As a result, the company targets certain features or abilities, such as focusing, and has to overlook other issues until the next product cycle. Basically what is known in the software industry as “agile” – time box the work and focus on what adds the most value.  Sony said for example its why the A6000 series used the same body design and battery.

 

Their “weather resistant” marketing is all rather confusing (disingenuous?). GPS never bothered me, but I know others do – they used to have it in A mount, then got rid of it. I guess not a priority.

 

I do think the rapid development cycles explain the need to leave much of each generation the same and improve specific areas.

 

I’m not excusing them… I guess they could do a Nikon and take several years to develop something, and possibly miss the market when it arrives.

 

As for upgrades and expense… Its a free world, we buy what suits us at the time. What something should have had is a subjective opinion – I’m happy that the features something has work properly, and I don’t have to wait 2 years for a firmware update to fix something that should have been right at the time of sale (I’m distinguishing something not present at the time of purchase from a feature present that doesn’t work properly or whatever).  I can assure you that the early days of X system (first 2-3 years) were rather less cosy. 

 

If I buy something from Sony, its because of what it can do today, and that’s my choice. If a year later they bring out something better, more powerful, with extra features etc. it doesn’t stop my old model working, and if the new version offers something of value to me, I may choose to buy it.  I still use an original A6000 and A7S and I don’t resent in any way that newer models have replaced them.  I’m thinking seriously about an A6500 or an A9 or an RX10 IV, depending on which I think best meets my needs. They all do things that the competition mostly can’t.

 

As for Kaizen, I have to point out that I paid £1500 for an XPro 1 body, and no amount of kaizen would prevent the need to buy an XT1 to get performance improvements (another c. £1200 at release) and then probably an XT2 for the further improvements (another c £1200). Kaizen doesn’t really give you the added performance such as a new Sony model with 24fps, for example.

 

Fuji has much slower development cycles.  My view is that Fuji are very conservative in their product development cycles, possibly as a result of their market share and position etc.  That gives them longer, although the level of true innovation and adoption of new technologies/features can be quite slow.

 

I admit I got my fingers badly burned with my relationship with Fuji (both emotionally and financially), so I think we sit on different sides of the fence on this one.

 

10 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Fabrizio Giudici September 18, 2017

    I’ve been evaluating the RX* series a few years ago, when I decided to switch from Nikon to Sony. I thought that it could have been a place in the designed new bag, which would have contained two camera bodies and a set of interchangeable lenses between 8mm and 600mm. A RX* could have replaced one body and a couple of lenses.

    In the end I reckoned it wasn’t a good idea. The problem with this series is always the most obvious one with the 1″ sensor: quality at higher ISO. Sure, looking at my stats with the Sony cameras, about 2/3 of shots are taken below ISO 200. But this means that 1/3 is above; they are not a few, but thousands per year (dozens of keepers per year). The problem, of course, is especially important when going to longer focals, such as 600mm: ISO easily goes up to 800 (even higher, but I limit it). The quality of my a6300 at that ISO is decent to good, but I couldn’t accept anything less. This basically defeats the whole idea of the RX10 V, at least for me. Also, what is the quality at 600mm f/4? With the Sigma 150-600mm C I know I traded some money save for a somewhat reduced quality at 500/600mm. Again, it’s decent: I doubt that the RX10 V is on par (furthermore, with the Sigma I have 900mm equivalent, not 600mm; should I stay at 600mm, I could pick the latest Sigma 100-400mm which has got an excellent quality, for sure not comparable with the RX10 V).

    Now, maybe the quality in the 24-300mm equivalent range is similar to the one of the SEL1670Z and SEL70200G. Is it? If it is, I could think it could replace a camera body and the two lenses (once I thought that it would be a problem having a single interchangeable camera for backup reasons, but today I’m working with three camera bodies and this is no longer a problem). It would be more compact and cheaper. But, again: what about those shots at higher ISOs? I enjoy a very good quality with my setup, while I should give up a portion of shots with the RX10.

    Not counting minor details… the SEL70200G is very good with an additional lens for macro; would be the RX10V the same? Some other times I use extension tubes, that the RX10V can’t… So, in the end, this camera can’t totally replace my other stuff. If I had plenty of money to spend, it could be a handy additional camera to use in cases in which I have to travel very light and compact. But on that purpose, being a redundancy, it’s way too expensive.

    Just my perspective, of course.

  2. Avatar
    Fabrizio Giudici September 18, 2017

    Quick correction, sorry: “but HUNDREDS per year”. Also the meaning of “keepers” should be expanded, but now it’s not important.

  3. Avatar
    jean pierre (pete) guaron September 18, 2017

    I am going to fall in with Fabrizio & Bob on this one.

    Of course that’s partly because of the things I like to shoot – for instance, available light photography puts the pressure on these companies to provide me with a sensor that can give me a high dynamic range without too much noise on the darker nights.

    But the MBA graduates who presumably dictate strategy, marketing etc seem to me to be pushing too many models, too many replacements, and too high a price tag for some of this gear. And I’m left floundering – if the D810 that I bought not so long ago is no longer as good as they told me it was, why should I expect their next offering to be “better”? – anyway, the D810 wasn’t cheap – and if I’m supposed to trade it in on a D850, I’ll not only drop a bundle on the D810 when I trade it in (and it’s still reasonably new), but I’ll also have to stump up with a large lump of cash to fund the difference in the price tags of the two cams. This isn’t really impressing me very much.

    And I’m inclined to stay with what I’ve got, and explore fully what I can achieve with that, without giving any real further thought to replacing any part of my current gear. After all, why should I expect to do better with yet another new camera, when I cannot honestly claim to have given a full study to all the things I can do with the present one – that would simply mean I’d succumbed to an attack of GAS. 🙂

    • Avatar
      Bob Hamilton September 18, 2017

      I can only agree.
      The “next game changer” doesn’t make the “previous game changer” obsolete or a bad camera.
      Bob

  4. Avatar
    Adrian September 18, 2017

    Most say that the RX10 24-600mm lens is of very good quality, all the way to it’s longer focal lengths. I can’t say from personal experience, but that’s what I’ve heard. The issue with the “mark 3” seemed to be that it’s CDAF could hunt towards the long end of it’s focal length range – perhaps the PDAF of the new model will improve that. Obviously higher ISO work is the Achilles heel of all smaller formats, but the advantage that fixed lens cameras such as the RX series can have is that the lens aperture is fast enough, and the smaller sensor negates the need to stop down for depth of field, so in some cases the smaller format may have the benefit. The obvious benefit of the smaller sensor is that the entire camera is smaller and lighter and cheaper than a 600mm f4 equivalent lens on a larger format. It’s raison d’etre seems to be a combination of very high quality 4K video, a host of video trick play features such as 120fps, an extremely wide ranging high quality lens, and decent stills in all but the most challenging light. Hugh Brownstone had a review copy and spoke about it on his vlog, and showed some ISO4000 stills of a bird of prey in the video that looked fabulous (but then a video is not the best way to inspect stills, of course). Other cameras will have better image quality – but they will be more expensive, larger, heavier, probably won’t better the 4k or HD video quality, and certainly don’t offer 24fps. As I said previously, people who question the point of the camera probably don’t need one, whereas other people will know that it offers something for them, particularly those who shoot video.

  5. Avatar
    John Wilson September 18, 2017

    I’ve owned and used a 1″ sensor camera for two and a half years, mainly for street photography. Like any camera the best results come from filling the frame with what you want; there’s not much room for cropping on a 1″ sensor. Beyond that I regularly print 13x19s with no problem whatsoever and the Sony has a better sensor. The other absolute requirement is a good RAW noise reduction tool. One of the best I’ve found is DXO-Prime and its a once click operation – don’t use it for much else due to the abysmally slow export.

    Also have a look at the comments by Kirk Tuck on “The Visual Science Lab” – https://visualsciencelab.blogspot.ca/ – posted 9/3/2017.

    If you like send me a an email address and I’ll send you a dropbox link with some images.

    • Avatar
      Adrian September 18, 2017

      John, you make a good point about “filling the frame”. One the challenges I sometimes face with competition work is that a 200mm lens of APS-C (=300mm) sometimes doesn’t give me the reach I need, and so I need to crop. A longer lens such as the one on the Rx10mk4 (and hence no need to crop) could narrow the gap with APS-C. To be honest, having looked at some ISO3200 raw samples from the DPReview studio comparison tool, although of course the image quality isn’t as good as APS-C, once NR is added to the development process, at “normal” sizes that you mention, the difference really isn’t that great. I suspect a 20Mp 1″ sensor now is no worse that the 6-12Mp APS-C sensors we used to use just a few years ago, or possibly better. That the DXO results compare so favourably to some Canon APS-C and FF sensors (let alone m43rds) shows how good these small modern sensors are. I would really love to see what 24fps looks like for competition / sports photography – I would also like a Sony A9 and a 300mm equivalent lens, but the cost is somewhat prohibitive!

  6. Avatar
    Peter Oosthuizen September 20, 2017

    “Camera sales are down” should not be a surprise as the camera business appears to be becoming a “fashion” industry with new models being pushed in a desperate effort to maintain market share. The example of the D810/850 mentioned above is typical.

    There is a parallel to be drawn in the golf business where Taylormade’s regular release of a new improved driver guaranteed to add 10 yards of distance led to a disenchanted customer base. Fed up with having their latest and greatest purchase rendered obsolete just months after buying it, customers moved to other brands and Taylormade was dumped by Adidas.

    The old saying that no-one wants a 1/4 inch drill but a 1/4 inch hole applies equally to photography – it’s the result that counts.

    • Avatar
      Adrian September 20, 2017

      …but in a declining market, surely it’s good business to try to grow market share / the market but offering potential new customers something “new” that has capabilities that cannot be found elsewhere?

      The problem with successive Canons and Nikons is that they don’t offer anything genuinely new or innovative, they just do the same as the old model, but with slight incremental improvements.

      To compare the two is folly in my view – a D850 is a very good camera, but has no unique and compelling reasons to buy. An RX10 mark 4 might be argued to have a fairly unique set of abilities, should you have the need for them.

  7. Avatar
    jean pierre (pete) guaron September 21, 2017

    Peter/Adrian – as far as I am concerned, the techos in these camera companies seem to be banging their heads against the business management gurus that “run” the companies. What I am interested in – ultimately – is the quality of the image; the ease of operation; a good dynamic range; and the basics of any camera I’ve ever owned, to drive the thing. If I wanted a movie camera, I’d buy one – I actually resent the move to turning cameras into something like that Thermomix gadget that supposedly takes over and replaces all the other gear in your kitchen.

    And at least for the moment, the quality of glass you can buy is miles ahead of the quality of the images the sensors & related processors can produce. I don’t have the technical qualifications to comment, but I’m going to any way – for what it’s worth, I don’t believe the solution lies in jumping the number of pixels. It defies common sense. More pixels doesn’t really mean more information – because they will necessarily have to be smaller pixels, and smaller pixels can’t contain the same amount of information as larger ones. I suspect the real answer lies in having an “optimum” number of pixels, and focusing on making better ones – not just fooling around with pixel numbers.

    And I would point out that while the D850’s 45.7MP might be nearly 8 times as many as the 6MP cams we were expected to buy about 15 years or so back, it’s not even a one third increase over the pixels in a D810. That’s pixel numbers, of course – not total pixel area – which would have hardly changed much at all.

    Right now, I’m about 2/3rds of the way through printing the photos I took on my last trip. And the jury is out – IF the camera is in focus, and steady (eg on a tripod), the images the D810 produces with an Otus stuck in its snout aren’t just “excellent” – they are simply jaw-dropping astounding!

    The Taylormade golf club thing really makes the point, as far as I’m concerned.

    Ever since I could first afford to do it, I’ve always had at least one “very good” camera. And ever since I was 10 (which is a bloody long time back, now that I’m 75) I’ve also had a collection of other gear that I bought “to have fun with it”. And right now, I shoot with 4 cams, ranging between – I think – 12MP and 36MP. The 12MP thing is a bit limited – but that’s only to be expected. The 20MP & 24MP are fine, and the 36MP is awesome.

    So I really appreciate your final comment, Peter. Although the reference to drills might cause headaches for the camera manufacturers, if & when they read it. 🙂

    What I’d REALLY like from these people is a decent rangefinder. All this guff about AF is all very fine & dandy, until you try using it. I’ve gone back to MF, and my keeper rate is up because of it. So the Luddite in me says “ya, boo, sucks!” to the automation of the focusing process. I suspect it’s main application is really for sports photographers etc, not people like me who generally aim at stationary subjects.

    With the D850, I didn’t bother looking – have they weatherproofed it properly?

    The tilt screen is a joke – if they were serious, it would have practically universal tilt, like other cams do now – if it’s going to be so limited, I’d rather stay with a fixed screen and avoid the risk of damage inherent in a tilt screen. It’s a bit of an act of desperation anyway – like cellphones, the screen is backlit most of the time and unless we’re to put a black hood over our heads like my great great uncles did with their collodion wet plate cams, it’s not all that helpful.

    What I’m hearing amongst all the chatter on this topic is that Fuji is still trying to make “a better camera” in terms that photographers appreciate – and everyone else is chasing pipe dreams drenched in technological change. The only wild cards in the pack seem to be MF or Sigma’s foveon sensor.

    And given the impact of cellphones, there seem to be WAY too many “compact” cams out there, still.

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