This picture illustrates where I come from. I started out with the Nikon FM and a 50mm 1.8. A fantastic camera in sturdiness, controllability, dimensions and weight, and usability. The FM served me well for over 15 years. As a reporter camera, though, I always felt it slowed me down, due to being completely manual.
Therefore I moved on to the Hexar AF. It’s ability to quickly auto focus and it’s ingenious exposure program coupled with its excellent 35mm lens made it a joy to use when shooting people and situations. After I went digital in 2007 I was desperately hoping for a digital equivalent.
Which never came.
I also bought the Canon Eos 5 to be able to use different lenses, such as 28mm, 50mm and 85mm.
That camera did bring a digital equivalent, so I settled on the Canon 5D and 5D mark II. A hunk of a camera, but cumbersome to carry around and large and loud enough to be easily noticed by the people you’re trying to photograph. And scare them. I never really fell in love with that camera, but as a professional tool (I’m a wedding photographer) it sure gets the job done in all situations, quick, reliable, efficient.
– EVF in dark situations
– Also EVF when shooting at close distances, to avoid the parallax problems both with framing and the focus point missing the mark
– OVF in daylight, with a clear viewfinder (no projection of extra information such as histogram and horizon)
– The focus switch on Manual, using the AFL/AEL lock button to lock focus
– OVF power save on, I had no problems with AF being slower
– All sounds off
– Flash off
– I switch back and forth from program mode to aperture priority a lot and it is very annoying that you have to set the ISO for each when changing from one to the other.
Will I use the X100 for professional work, wedding photography? Well, it has a lot going for it: it’s silent, it’s small and discrete, has excellent low light capabilities, an excellent lens which suits me well for the way I shoot weddings, nails the exposure and white balance reliably and is a lot easier to carry around all day than my 5D.
But for now I feel that the way I work during weddings is too demanding for this otherwise very capable camera. There are moments that are too fast changing for the X100 to handle. For example, I use the continuous auto focus quite often, and I found the continuous setting next to unusable on the X100. The X100 does 3 or 5 frames per second, but after 10 shots it locks up for a while to be able to process and write the files. This makes it impossible to get ready for what happens next.
On the coast of the Italian island of Sardinia. I find the rendering of the scene to be excellent, but I missed the boy jumping of the cliff with the X100
Maybe, it just takes a bit more getting used to. I’ll see. For now it does not give me the confidence to use it as a professional tool. But it sure as hell makes a fantastic carry everywhere camera, and I’m sure it will serve me well during trips and in less dynamic situations. And I suspect it will really shine doing theatre photography. My girlfriend studied theatre, so I do a bit of theatre photography, usually during live performances with the audience present. This is where the 5D was too loud during silent parts. At the festival I photographed a few poetry performances in difficult lighting situations and the results with the X100 were very convincing with no exposure compensation needed.
Bad lighting inside a food and drink stall at the festival. These files are usually very hard to get right when tweaked.
Of course no camera review can go without a dog picture. So here you go: