UPDATE on this site, and what is to come…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

UPDATE on this site, and what is to come…

By Steve Huff

Hello to all! It’s been a while since I have posted a full-blown review of a camera, and I wanted to explain why and also let you guys know that my next review will be up within 2 weeks. That will be a review of the Fuji XH1 as used with the 16-55 f/2.8 lens as well as the 23 f1.4. 

I recently took some time off, sort of, from this site (though not fully). I needed a breather and to evaluate where I want to go with all of this for the next few years. Ten years have passed since I started this website with a passion as strong as an F5 Tornado. Back then I worked on this 12-14 hours a day. I never rested. That went on for years and years and then this year it all got to me….

I had a little burn out (slightly more than a little) and the fact that the cameras of today are ALL FANTASTIC it made it more and more un-interesting to me to do full-blown reviews. I never looked at what I do here as a “Job” even though it has been my career for the last ten years. I always saw it as following my passion, my love for the craft of photography and my desire to test and use new gear, I a real world way. So this has never been a job for me, it has always been fun, exciting and wonderful.

SO when it started to feel like a job, I knew I had to take my hours down from 8-12 a day down to just 1-2. Which is what I have done over the last 3-4 weeks.

But something interesting happened.

After a few weeks off of my review process and routine which involves acquiring a camera and then using and testing it for 2 weeks… filming video, analyzing images, and then writing all about it…I AM NOW energized and refreshed and ready to get back into my routine ; ) I missed it. While there were a couple of weeks where I did not even touch a camera (1st time in years) I woke up the other day saw y M10 and A7RIII on my desk and said “I need to get out and shoot”!

The good thing about all of this is that THIS is my OWN website. I have no boss, I have no one to answer to but myself. So luckily I was not forced to keep working during my burn out phase. If so, it would have made it worse. Makes me feel blessed and lucky to be able to just take time off if I need to.

So it is now back to business as usual, I have the new-ish Fuji in hand and have been enjoying it. I will be shooting an event this weekend with it, and will have a full review up ASAP.

I may even review the Fuji GFX next and compare it against the Hasselblad X1D. Sure, there are many of those reviews out there but I have owned the Hasselblad X1D for a while now, and know it well. I have held and shot the Fuji and while there is no way I would ever switch to that camera from the X1D (due to size, design, and low light being better on the X1D) the Fuji has some pros over the Hassy as well.

So that may come next, after the XH1. What do you guys want to see me review?

I also have a great new bag that was just released, and it’s pretty sweet. That video review will be up SOON.

I also have a Sony A7III on order and will discuss more about that amazing camera after it arrives with some interesting comparisons. I love these new Sony’s for photo but adore them for video. The AF is so responsive, the battery life is what it should have been in prior models and the speed and response is nice to have. For $2k, it is hard to beat the A7III for all out IQ and features. Full frame, amazing low light ability, beautiful video quality. I currently have been using the A7RIII (loaner) with a Zeiss Batis 18mm (AMAZING lens) for video and it is something I can not live without. My A7III will replace that RIII as I do not need the RIII as I am keen on 24MP sensors and the 7III for $2k saves me a ton of cash over the RIII. It ships on April 10th, just a few days away!

So I should have a new bag review up, maybe even today. If not, then tomorrow. Then look for the Fuji XH1 review SOON. Also, thanks to all of you who have been submitting your user reports, reviews, and posts. Any of you can do so by emailing me HERE. Just send me the text, photos and any links you would like to include. This site has always been about cameras but also about YOU, the community. This has always been a website for ALL of us to enjoy so your submissions are always amazing and enjoyable and shows us the diversity in photography. From cameras used to subject matter. So thank you guys!

Finally as of today I own a Leica M10, Sony A7III (on order), an Olympus EM1 MKII, Olympus PEN-F, and a Hasselblad X1D. Way too many cameras but I love them all.

I admit I am waiting for a Leica SL 2 ; )

Thank you all, just wanted to give an update. Stay tuned for more reviews, videos, posts and user reports!

 

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44 Comments

  1. G’day Steve, your site is a pleasure for us on the outside to look into but look after your mental health before you worry about the site, you do a good job but no one wants it to be at the detriment of your health.
    Look after yourself mate.

  2. Steve if you find yourself becoming bored with testing what are more or less universally competent modern lenses and cameras, why not try what I do. In my case I particularly enjoy using old classic lenses on modern cameras. They can be a challenge in some cases especially the so called character lenses from the 1950s. I for one would enjoy your take on more both older lenses and older cameras film and digital, from time to time. And I am sure it would perk your interest.

    • Oh I have done that EXTENSIVELY! A few years ago I tested a slew of classic lenses, and went broke doing so ; ) But yes, I have been there and enjoyed it. Still do. Thank you.

      • Hi Steve you are right of course and I am remiss for not acknowledging this.

        But I guess I was thinking of more of the really older and in some cases, obscure lenses where I still think there are many candidates. For example, I have been playing recently with a 1950s Schneider Kreuznach Tele Xenar 105mm f3.5 lens (cost $70 – originally designed, I read, for medium format but at some point a version of it was adapted for 35mm cameras). I was also thinking about some non major brand, 3rd party lenses. For example another one I have played with is a “Force” 135mm f3.5 lens (cost $50 – originally marketed by much better known and well respected, Super Acall Company). Many of these types of these lenses can be had for a song today and yet perform very nicely (within their limits). I have also become a little addicted to trying a range of early Pentax M42 Takumar lenses and Canon FL mount lenses. Again most are inexpensive, in some cases very inexpensiv, and yet are very good. (Maybe I should try to put together another article for you along these lines). My point though is that there are many, many early, obscure and cheap lenses that are worth mounting on mirrorless digital cameras and it may give you new interest without breaking the bank. (Which after all is why I have been experimenting with these lenses not, say, Leica glass -though I have a little of that too. In my view in fact the ability to adapt old lenses like these, is one of the main attractions of mirrorless. Just a thought. Best regards Peter

        PS a link to demonstrate what the Tele Xenar is capable of. https://www.flickr.com/photos/life_in_shadows/39416134571/in/dateposted/

  3. Hi Steve,
    The world of photography and the web would be a duller place for sure without your great site. This is more than a website, it’s a bit like your favourite coffee shop where you can pop in, sit down, relax and have a craic with some friends and that is why I love it, as I’m sure many others do.
    As well as offering your real world ‘no BS’ reviews you give exposure to many of us from all around the world who contribute with fascinating insights to lives, situations and kit punctuated by some amazing images, please do not underestimate the value this brings to everyone, both as readers and people who want to put an article out there with some significant guarantee that someone will read it!
    Anyone who puts as much effort into anything (such as you do with this) reaches that point of burnout and sometime we all need a bit of a break. The Internet has brought us many great things but it’s also changed (massively) our need for speed and instant gratification/answers. I bet when you started this you never dreamt it would reach the level it has and like everything these days, there’s a tendency for things to grow arms & legs very quickly! When you run a socially active and high profile site like this I bet it’s very easy to get consumed by Google’s analytics and I imagine you panic if there’s a dip in any of the stats. I would say, don’t worry, your site has reached a level of maturity like a fine malt whiskey, we all know it’s there and don’t mind waiting for the next cask to be opened, even if it takes a while.
    One last thing, my passion other than photography is cycling and I have a plaque thing on my wall which I was given some time ago, it says “Life is like riding a bicycle, if you want to keep your balance you have to keep moving forward”. I guess that is true but it doesn’t have to be at 100 miles an hour, so Steve keep moving, but don’t worry about the speed! 🙂

    All the best to you, Debbie and your family.

  4. Interested to see reviews of:
    Veydra glass
    GH5s
    Panny 12-60 vs Oly 12-100
    Photo editing software review, pit all the big ones against each other
    Fuji real Film vs Fuji digital simulations
    Olympus 35SP
    🙂

  5. Glad you were able to take some time away. It’s very important to recalibrate life! I would be interested in an in depth review of using M lenses on the Leica SL. This combination seems very enticing to those of us with old eyes and find EVF helpful and who don’t want to carry the heavy SL lenses. There are only a few in depth reviews I’ve found. Cheers!

  6. I’ve been reading this site for years, and I for one am grateful that you do what you do. Take as many breaks as you need, but keep it running 😉

  7. I can’t get enough of the X1d discussion and would like to see more examples of what it is best suited for.

    • Me too! My most likely next camera will be either the X1D (or X2D?) or a Sony A9r. Perodic updates on your use, reflections, role in your collection of cameras, and sample output from the X1D would be welcome even if brief. I’ve never had a medium format camera and I’m very curious about whether it would be a good complement to an A9.

  8. Steve, when all is said and done, your site is the one that most resonates with me. I’ve learned so much here about what really matters in photography, along with making new friends and feeling a part of a community. Plus you turned me into a Leica guy recently (I’ve been one for years without knowing it). All the best to you and your family. Thanks for everything you do.

  9. When I think back through all my mirrorless cameras, from the Sony RX1r to the Sony A72, the Fuji XPRO 2 and now The Fuji GFXs ( with a few others in between) ! excepting the GFX my purchasing decisions were made largely because of what I read here! Your general disdain for Fuji really got me quite interested and I love them for many of the reasons you don’t. My battle hardened XPro 2 is this poor mans Leica and when i did finally have the cash for a Leica I got the GFX and no regrets there. But in the end the RX1r was and probably will for a long time be the best advice you gave; still magic! Thanks Steve, always a good read, looking forward to the Fuji reviews.

  10. Looking forward to the Fuji X-H1 review. I own both lenses you say you will review with it (23 1.4, 16-55 2.8) and both are outstanding in my opinion. I look forward to hearing how you feel they match up with this new body.
    An occasional re-charge along with coffee every day – highly recommended!

    • both good lenses but the fuji 16mm and the 90mm is where is at, the best in the amazing lineup. Is i didn’t have a bunch of shoots this month i would send both to Steve to review.

      • Thanks for the advice. I am really enjoying the XH1, more so than any Fuji I have ever tried or shot with. The 16-55 is fantastic and this is coming form a Prime guy ; )

  11. Hi Steve,

    As many others I always look forward to your next post. However, try 8 hours a day and spend the rest of your time with the ones who deserve it the most…your family.

    I and many more visitors of your website would not mind reading a couple of posts less knowing you are enjoying your time and life with Debby.

  12. My favorite blog these many past years. Always informative, always interesting.
    The hard work of reviewing, testing and looking at the submissions is stellar.
    Being your own boss a problem! Been there and done that! The worker in me hated my boss. Relentless, driven and obstinate.. A break needed from time to time. Looking forward to new postings.

  13. I love your site so much !

    BUT first your health and happyness in life.
    I can survive without your site or less thing updated, I mean not every day.

    First you and your family.
    The best for you.

  14. Waiting for the new Ricoh GR – everyone needs a happy snapper, this will be the happiest yet… if it ever arrives.?!?!

  15. A review of the new emount Nocturnus III 50mm f/0.95 would be nice.
    Also curious about your take on the Touit 12/32/50 lenses on a6500 with internal stabilization, as the lenses are unstabilized.

  16. Hey Steve, great to read you’re back full of energy. I’m really looking forward to your next reviews and hope that we may probalbly see some smartphone camera and app reviews? I mean smartphones have come a long way and it’s so much fun to shoot with todays devices 😉 All the best Tom

  17. Hi Steve, I admire your passion and work ethic, and I love your site. Hope you find the right balance to your life. Look forward to your content as always. While I have a Leica M240 and use the Elmarit 28mm f/2.8 and the 50mm Summicron f/2, I do like reading reviews of other cameras and posts by users of such cameras with their beautiful photos. So do keep this site going strong.

  18. Waiting for Leica SL 2… Me Too! Have tried a Leica SL at a Leica store, and I must admit I never understood why would anyone buy that camera UNTIL I’ve put my hands on it. Amazing feel in the hand, unbelievably fantastic EVF, and it feels like a camera, unlike Sony a7 which feels like a high tech photographic gadget.
    However the a7 III series has so much more technology, better IQ, much bettter lens selection, and at a fraction of the cost, that as much as I want to own an SL I cannot justify such purchase.
    I hope Leica releases an updated SL with more technology without getting in the way of that pure photography feeling, along with few much-neede lenses for that system. And it would be very helpful if they could bring down the price, but that’s just my wishful thinking… of course it wouldn’t happen.

    • I know how you feel about the cost/performance ratio. For me, I would never buy a new SL but I broke down and bought one used…got a pretty good deal and the camera is mint. Most people don’t ‘get’ the SL but once you use it you understand. Personally I prefer it to every camera I’ve owned…everything from my M8/M240 to years ago and my 1DSii and 5D2.

  19. A review of the Sony FE 24-105 F/4 and Lumix GX9 would be welcomed. On another note, why is a pro f/1.4 version of the equivalent 28mm lens almost nonexistent, or “pancaked”, and constantly skipped as a pro lens especially in the mirrorless world? Just Nikon, Leica M and no other takers? Come on Sony, Zeiss, Panasonic, Olympus, Fuji, Sigma or Leica T mount.

  20. Always good to take some time away, get some perspective, re-energise and take stock! I agree that you almost can’t go wrong buying a camera these days; certainly I read and watch less reviews than I used to and have found a gear harmony… for the most part!

    Experimentation and genuinely exciting technological developments are always interesting to hear about though, especially when evaluated in a ‘real-world’ way. Always a great community here, keep up the great work in whatever way works for you!

  21. Hi Steve, your site is amazing and your rest is more than well deserved! Sometimes it is good though to take a rest before you reach burn out, but I guess this is something to learn (I haven’l learned it yet myself). As for the next reviews to come… I would really like to see a review on the new 75 f2 for the Leica SL. Btw I plan to be at the Photokina in Koeln, Germany in September – who knows what will be announced…
    Keep up the good work and don’t forget that sometimes we need some vacation from our passions as well to find the right balance and discover again why we love to do what we love to do.

  22. Hi Steve!

    Great to see you back on „duty“. Looking forward to see your next reviews.
    According your „I admit I am waiting for a Leica SL 2“ – maybe June will fullfill your wish as Dr Kaufmann in a recent interview mentioned June 14th as the date for news for the L-system.

  23. I have been following your life journey, or at least a portion of it through your website for quite a while now, actually since I somehow stumbled upon this guy shooting with Seal …
    I have always loved the different approach you apply over testing gear and I admit that you have pointed me into some directions gearwise. Just a couple of days ago I have sold my E-PL1 and E-PL7 and will do so with my EOS 70D plus lenses and stuff in the near future as I now have an a6300 – partly due to being influenced by your comments on Sony cameras.

    Take your time, I know that sometimes one tends to do too much and one needs to basically switch off that machine in our heads to refresh oneself.
    Looking forward to many more interesting reviews and stories and maybe i‘ll send you a review of the a6300 with the Sigma 30/1.4 after my trip to Madeira next week.

    Really love your work.

  24. Smart move taking a breather

    I think that one of the coolest things about your site is that it is a social stop for me and many others. Seeing daily inspiration and user reviews is kinda’ like talkin’baseball, or racing, or whatever –

    It has become a great recreational stop in my day..and many others I’m sure.

    Perhaps more “Crazy Comparisons”? Less time intensive than full reviews, but ALWAYS interesting.

    Thx and God bless Brotha’

  25. You’ll figure out the proper work-life balance. Stepping away for a little bit helps with this process.

    Just curious… you note you use an 18mm lens for video work. I would think the distortion that such a wide lens introduces would be distracting. Do you find this distracting? Do you do any kind of correction for such a wide lens? Thanks!

    • Thank you. For what I shoot (video) the 18mm Zeiss works perfect. No issues or concerns with distortion but I need a wide angle for what I shoot. (85% wide and 15% normal for which I use a 50). I used to use the Sony 16-35 f/4, at 16mm. Switched to the Zeiss and have much better color, quality and an f/2.8 aperture. Lovely lens. Also have the 25 f/2 Zeiss.

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