A 200Mp smartphone, a lost (and found?) Hasselblad X1D, creative fireflies, a photographer in the top 100 most influential people of the year, the best printers of the year, a new film camera, tilt-shift effects without a dedicated lens, copyright infringements, Sony going green, photography you can … write, cropping vs teleconverters, magnificent smartphone photographs, a good way of analysing your photographic style, and more 🙂
By the time you read this, I’ll be eating with my wife in a nice restaurant in Aix en Provence. Why would you care? 😉 They have my camera!
Earlier this week, a work lunch took me to this restaurant. The conversation must have been interesting as I left … without my camera bag, X1D plus 2 lenses, batteries, notebook. The restaurant owners not only secured the camera for me, but called my contact (who had booked) got my number and called me to inform me. TRUST rules! Beyond the factoid, there is a – photographic – reason for me telling you this. Continued at the end of this post. Onward.
OK, so my camera and I should be reunited by now. The incident got me thinking, however.
It’s easy to say the best camera is the one you have with you, but lugging a Hassy system with you everywhere is not all that convenient. I still think it’s the best system I have ever used, and it will always be with me during trips. But for everyday life, a nice notebook camera – that goes beyond the smartphone – is worth looking into. I like to walk a lot, and something vaguely pocketable that’s always with me and high quality does make a lote of sense.
Several contenders exist in the market, one of which I’ll be writing about soon. But I’d like to hear what your thoughts on the ideal notebook camera. What would you look for first and foremost? What would be a dealbreaker?
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Pascal, the older I get the less weight I want to lug around as you know Zeiss Lens are on the heavy side. I think a good walk around camera for me would be the Leica Q2. I know it expensive and many will say other cameras are its equal or better for a substantial amount less. I have used the Q2 a few times very briefly and it feels good and makes you want to shoot. This alone has to be a good thing! Alas I would be divorced if one appeared in my bag. So for now the status quo remains.
Ah, the Q2! You are not the first to suggest that one to me 🙂 Brilliant, but not worth a divorce 😉
“But for everyday life, a nice notebook camera – that goes beyond the smartphone – is worth looking into. I like to walk a lot, and something vaguely pocketable that’s always with me and high quality does make a lot of sense.”
Pulleez, not a cellphone! – with those critters, you don’t take the photo – the robotics and computer programs inside those things do it all instead.
I have a Nikon S9700 that I bought because it fits in a pocket – and because I’d never owed one before, a Canon PowerShot. Over the years, the Canon has won over the Nikon – not on size, but for what it can do – or stuff it can do better than the S9700. There’s nothing “wrong” with the S9700 – I just seem to reach for the Canon instead, more often than I take the baby Nikon out.
You might even like something from Olympus – more expensive, but I’ve never heard an Olympus owner complain about what his camera can do.
Nan Golding’s story is interesting. The drug companies are a “case” – they get sued a lot – but they still keep pouring the pills into our faces.
Volterra is interesting, isn’t it? Sigh – you find towns like that all over the place, in Italy – France – the Iberian peninsular – the former Yugoslavia.
Your iPhone didn’t ring to tell you off, for driving away without the camera bag? I had a similar experience in Blois – the cochon en croûte was so delicious that I completely forget the camera bag under my seat. We drove back, and I was very relieved to find that although they were closed up and about to go home, they’d stayed back for an extra 10 minutes just in case I returned for the cameras. Another impressive example of how delightful the french are!
Everyone suing everyone! This is getting rather tedious. I think it’s all cooked up by lawyers, who are short of work. Next is Boeing suing all the other plane manufacturers, because it holds a patent on planes having two wings? Breach of copyright or patent – hmm well as far as I’m concerned, that’s only the case if “copy” is the right description. Two people could quite easily end up approaching the same problem and coming up with a similar solution. What’s next? Nobody else will ever be allowed to follow Nikon’s example, and have a larger lens mount/improved optics? I heard of one of these “ambulance chasing” lawsuits recently that was so absurd that I suggested they should sue the lawyer for doing it in the first place.
Yes, that’s what I mean by “beyond the smartphone”: something that leaves the decision making to you.
Volterra is lovely 🙂
I do not own an iPhone 😉 And the Hassy is as old tech as it gets, no warning lights when it gets left behind 😉
I’m happy your Blois mishap ended well 🙂 Cheers
Apple or someone sells you things like the microchips in animaux de compagnie, so you can tell where your missing Hassy (or anything else!) is. They’re [considerably!] cheaper than a Hassy & lens! But no doubt you already know that anyway.
Yes, airtags. Strangely, I’ve been reminded of those by quite a few people, in recent days 😉 Thanks for having my back, guys 🙂
This is an interesting question. My first thought was something in the point and shoot world like a Sony RX100X. That was until I thought about what I do, which is leave my Sony RX100X at home in favor of my phone, so some extra thought was necessary to give you a good suggestion.
Thinking back into my past, I did have a camera that fit what I think of as a “Notebook” camera; small easy to carry, a good lens, and results that would make you not regret having something “larger and better”. This camera was a Kodak Retina IIIC rangefinder, and it was my travel camera when I was traveling for work and could not take my Nikons. It and 3 rolls of film could fit in a corner of my briefcase, or a large coat pocket.
Keeping the concept of the Retina IIC in mind, off the top of my head I would say the Fuji X100V would fit the bill nicely. It is small-ish, has a lens and resolution that will satisfy, and is reasonably priced to make it almost disposable. Other less desirable options would be a Panasonic GX-85 or an Olympus Pen-F with either the Olympus 17mm f1.8 or 25mm f1.8 lens, or the Panasonic Lumix G 20mm II lens.
Why are the M43 options less desirable? Easy! The inter-changeable lens mounts. Inter-changeable lenses tempt us with versatility. So over time we add lenses, and end up with a system that weighs us down.
Don’t ask me how I know. 🙂
Interesting, Paul. That’s 2 votes for the Fuji X100V and 2 votes for the Leica Q2 (some people reply privately instead of commenting).
No need to ask, my guess is I know the answer 😉 😉
I’m sure you do know the answer. 😉 🙂
I’m looking forward to what you have decided to try. I’m sure it will be eye opening. Though, I am wondering if it will be conventional, like of of our suggestions. Or quirky, Like one of the Sigma fp models.
Like you, I’m intrigued by the idea of a “notebook’camera that goes beyond the smartphone.’ The new Ricoh GR IIIX might be the one for me.
I’ve regularly used the little Sony RX100V that I purchased for my daughter–and even used it as my only camera on walks like the summer Haute Route, when weight really matters–but, while it works, I don’t really enjoy it. Since I often walk with just a manual-focus, moderate wide-angle lens mounted (the Loxia 25), a small autofocus camera like the Ricoh with it’s 40mm-ish wide-normal lens should suffice for record shots and quick photos of my companions.
Brian, the Ricoh is an interesting proposal. The talented outlier here, with nice creative modes and nice IQ. And enjoyable, unlike more “technical” cameras, as you mention. Cheers
If you’re willing to stretch the definition of “vaguely pocketable . . . and high quality” to include the Leica Q2, you might consider the Sony RX1R II. It is smaller and weighs almost 1/3 less than the Leica, so it might be more pocketable. As to the quality: the RX1R’s lens is revered for its rendering as well as its sharpness. The Sony’s battery life and autofocus may be inferior to the Leica’s, but, well, it’s more pocketable.
Indeed. It was love at first sight when that camera was first released. Its fixed lens was a problem for me, because I only walk around with just one camera, but to be stuck with just that lens is no real hardship. Samples everywhere were really lovely!
Hi Pascal, Do not be fooled the Fuji X100V although it appears so is nowhere near pocketable and the Lecia Q2 , who is trying to fool who when it comes to pocketability. I can definitely support Pete , and speaking from first hand experience , the Canon G7X mk ii or iii is 100% pocketable, shoots raw, exposures excellently, has a 24-100mm equivalent focal length zoom, with a decent feature set. On top of that its has support software to create your own custom colour coded picture styles ( or film stock for want of another word ) saved in camera. They are reasonably priced second hand and produce high quality jpegs straight out of camera on a 1″ 18MP sensor. Along with a fast 1.8 to 2.8 lens and built in 3 stop ND filter they provide pretty good bang for buck. Well worth looking into. I was always skeptical of canon but if you can live with a slightly clunky menu system – when compared to say the convenience of Fuji’s user interface – then don’t overlook it.
Yeah, I think ‘pocketable’ may be an overstatement on my part 😉 A notebook camera. Something with pleasant handling, pleasant image quality and a solid workflow. Phones are hard to be, in that respect, it has to be said.
The built-in ND filter you mention is an excellent idea! I’ve been thinking about one of those myself.
Most interesting subject, the notebook camera. Back in the days when I had a DSLR, I wanted a smaller and lighter option and went fort a pocketable Panasonic (2010s). Not convinced.
Since then, I have indeed looked at those mentioned here, Q2, Fuji, Ricoh, but somehow, I always go back to my Sony alpha which is not that big after all, and when fitted with my ubiquitous 21 CV remains manageable. And as said to Nancee, I find phone cameras cumbersome.
To answer your question, my first criteria would be size, and then IQ.
Interestingly, I saw a quote from a Sony manager saying that smartphone pics would be better than those of mirrorless cameras by 2024 … https://bityl.co/CRak
To be continued, I guess.
Yes, I suppose that when a camera isn’t fully pocketable, you might as well go for the normal camera and not lose anything along the way. I need to be more precise about what the notebook camera will have to do 🙂
Thank you for the link. It’s looking more and more like that …
A new notebook camera. After the quality you’ve grown used to from your Hassy, anything else has got a job on its hands to impress. I’d go for the enjoyment angle and the chance to use something that feels different – either a Ricoh GRiii(x?) or a top end smartphone. If going the phone route, I’d want the option of RAW files and a manual mode. I may or may not be weighing up my own options . .
The image stacking(smartphones) for extended DR has got better and better and some of the nighttime shots are impressive. The sort of stuff you’d never get straight out of camera and would sometimes struggle to match when processing images. Apparently the Capture One merge to HDR does a good job, avoids the overdone HDR look and outputs a high DR DNG file. Nice. However, you’ll probably want a static scene and smartphones will be better at working out images with a bit of movement in them.
The Fuji x100. I have a Fuji X100 – original – that’s a lot of fun to use(the viewfinder!). It also has that knack of not putting folk on edge the way a larger camera does. Many assume that it’s an old film camera. However, it’s not really pocketable the way a phone or Ricoh would be. I got hold of a Sony last year and have yet to gel with it the way I did with the Fuji. I always use it with a 35mm, so not an enormous lens, but it still puts people on notice. When I say gel, that’s an ergonomics and joy-to-use sort of thing. The Sony files are a lot more flexible, but the latest X100 versions would be similar and with the bonus of those Fuji film modes as well. Did I mention the viewfinder?
The original Fuji X100 was a blast to use. Paul Perton gave me his to play with for an afternoon, and it was very enjoyable.
But the more I think about it, the more a phone makes sense. It can act as a viewfinder and a lightmeter for a manual camera, adds GPS tagging to every photograph and allows on the spot editing. Not a bad value proposition 😉
Good choice. A large screen seems a good option and I’d pick up a stylus to make the editing more enjoyable.
A cherry-picked comment from one of Thom Hogan’s articles says it well . . . The things I’d pull a dedicated camera out for over my highly competent smartphone keep declining.
I’m interested to see what you get and how it works out, particularly when it comes to enjoyment.
Thanks Mer. Enjoyment is the key word here. To echo Tom Hogan’s comment, the main reason I’d go for the main camera would be greater enjoyment over the smartphone 🙂
After reading the discussions here I was reminded that several years ago I made comparison images of my Leica M9 along side a Sony A7II and an Olympus Pen-F. The result was a bit surprising to me. If you cut off the finder bump on the Sony, the 3 camera bodies were very similar in size. Though there was a huge difference in lens sizes.
You may want to consider a used M body and Sumarit or Sumicron lens. The smaller lens samples would give you a package you can sling over your shoulder under a sports-coat and carry all day. Spare batteries and SD cards will fit in a pocket, and (if desired) a spare lens will fit in a coat pocket.
Thanks Paul. That is indeed one possibility being explored 😉