Dec 042014
 

Quick (not so crazy) Comparison! X100T, LX100, Stellar (RX100)

JUST FOR FUN!!!

A few asked me for one of these but I have been busy most of the day with personal things. Even so, I had time to shoot THREE JPEGS with each camera wide open, letting the camera choose exposure (just as most of use would shoot these in the real world, letting the camera choose exposure).

What I found is that the Stellar (Sony RX100) is sharpest, has pleasing Bokeh and rich color. The LX100 is the most accurate for the colors and the Fuji is the softest as the lens at f/2 is known to be a bit soft. The Fuji also has the most shallow DOF due to the APS-C sensor. The Stellar has a 1″ sensor, the LX100 a Micro 4/3 sensor and the Fuji, APS-C. Fastest to AF is a tie between the LX100 and Stellar with Fuji coming in last for AF speed AND accuracy.

Goes to show that these days, any camera can provide very pleasing and nice looking results.

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Smallest camera is the Stellar by far as it can fit in my front jeans pocket without an issue. The LX100 is next but it is a bit thick and large du to the body and lens and the Fuji is the largest of the lot.

Take a look at the quick shots below and click them for a larger 1800 pixel wide version! Tomorrow I will have my 1st look video on the new Sony A7 Mark II, so see ya then!

LX100 can be purchased at Amazon or B&H Photo.

The Fuji X100T can be bought at Amazon or B&H Photo

The Hasselblad Stellar can be found here for 70% off (while supplies last)

Steve

Images are out of camera JPEGS resized. Just meant to show DOF differences wide open as well as color/sharpness out of camera. Each camera was shot wide open and each camera was allowed to choose exposure as this is how most of us use these types of cameras. So what you see is what you get. 

stallar

lx100

fuji

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and a couple more comparisons

Below I see the Stellar capturing the most OOC detail – all at f/4 (which is Fuji’s sweet spot)

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lx100b

x100tb

Below I see the Stellar once again capturing the most detail (see the dirt on the bucket on the left side blue patch) – The Fuji is the smoothest and I prefer the color from the LX100

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lx100bucket

x100tbucket

…and by request, a few more quick snaps from the Stellar (will not be reviewing it as it is the same as the RX100 HERE)

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sa1

sa2

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and size comparisons

stellarpocket

stellarpocket2

lx100pocket

x100Tpocket

Jan 112013
 

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THE SONY RX1 IN INDIA

By Richard Geltman

I ordered the Sony RX1 in September 2012 from Amazon and expected delivery in December. Departure for India was set for the 15th and it seemed likely that the camera would not arrive in time and I would be “forced” to rely upon a NEX-7 and/or the Sigma DP1/2M cameras that I had recently acquired. Happily, the camera came on December 3rd giving me some time to use it before leaving and to become accustomed with its behavior in different situations.

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The camera is weighty-feeling and very solid. It feels like a miniature M9. I was unable to obtain the EVF so used, in addition to the LCD, an optical viewfinder. I found after a few experiments that the Voightlander 28 mm finder gave the best match for the 35 mm lens field of view. I’m sure the Zeiss finder made specifically for the RX1 is nice but I think it somewhat over-priced. I fitted the lens with a 49 mm B+W clear filter and purchased a very inexpensive screw-in vented lens hood on Ebay for around $10. These two served to protect the front surface of the lens throughout 3 weeks of travel. The lens cap (solid metal) was never used at all. While a wrist strap would be quite comfortable with this device I prefer the 60 cm Lance loop-type strap which allows the camera to lie diagonally across my chest and rest on my left hip, making it quickly available yet at the same time unobtrusive and fairly safe from being snatched or damaged.

The ergonomics are pretty good. It never slipped or dropped and was never uncomfortable when shooting in any position. The EV adjustment dial lies at the top right of the body and is fairly firm. I did accidentally dislodge it two times in three weeks. The movie button lies laterally and below the EV dial. While not as bad as the NEX-7 I did inadvertently actuate the video mode once or twice as well. Otherwise, I didn’t use video so have little to say about it. This camera is really small, almost too small for my hands. The shutter is nearly silent but for shooting with an OVF, I used the focus confirmation sound (unavoidably linked to an imitation shutter noise.) This noise was not a problem on the street and generally did not draw any unwanted attention. You quickly start to know where the focus point in the OVF is although I experienced plenty of misses as well. I experienced focus misses with the NEX-7 and the RX1 is faster and more accurate. The lens is large but feels solid and substantial. The markings are engraved rather than painted on. The aperture control ring which encircles the lens is also very solid feeling but lies adjacent to the camera body. For me this makes it somewhat hard to adjust. There is a macro mode ring at the far end of the lens which allows close focus (~22 cm.) I never used this and would rather have the aperture ring in this position as with most Leica lenses, making it more accessible and more usable.

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Battery life is acceptable for my type of shooting and generally I would get more than 250 exposures when fully charged. I always carry a spare but needed to use it only once or twice. The camera will shoot slightly more than two frames per second so one tends not to shoot many frames at a time. Rather one or two and then moving on. As has been mentioned numerous times, Sony requires that the battery be charged in the camera. I find this inconvenient and so purchased some spare generic batteries as well as an external charger. Several types are available and Steve just posted about a particularly nice one. Parenthetically, the non-Sony batteries worked perfectly well.

The only other feature of the camera I would describe is the fact the when using aperture-priority along with auto-iso, which I do much of the time, the camera always tends to a shutter speed of 1/80; rather than lowing the f/stop it will raise the iso and keep the shutter speed at 1/80. Given the pixel density and, perhaps, personal issues such as age, eyesight, balance and steadiness, I would like to be able to set a minimum shutter speed, perhaps 1/125, but the camera doesn’t allow this. Annoying. While you can use shutter priority instead, you get f/4 almost all the time. Again, pretty annoying. The only way around this is to go fully manual but I’m not too adept at it and I generally find it too slow for rapid street use.

All of the above being said, this is a wonderful camera: lovely in feeling, fast in focus (without the accessory lamp,) quiet in operation, smooth and threaded shutter release (as opposed to the halting Leica,) wonderful high iso performance (out to iso 6400 if not beyond,) great malleable files fully supported by Lightroom (unlike the Sigmas,) and ultimately, very small, compact, unobtrusive and with a huge sensor. As has been said elsewhere, you can set the camera to aperture priority, the auto-iso from 100 to 6400 and go out and shoot anything and everything without any problem.

INDIA

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Travel to India was a goal for me for a number of years. I have experienced tourist travel in western Europe, Argentina, Japan, Hong Kong and China and of course the US as I’m a native New Yorker. I assumed the experience would be challenging but rewarding. In this I underestimated India. It was extremely challenging and rewarding but also revelatory, invigorating, infuriating, spiritually awakening, amazing and wonderful. There is a sense of life and vitality in India that I’ve not felt elsewhere. And this in a place with tremendous poverty, social and legal problems (witness the recent rape/murder,) and dramatic disparities in education, economics and social equality. One sees women in saris using primitive hand tools while working on construction projects. One can walk down a street in Udaipur and see a gleaming, black Audi A6 next to a cart carrying the freshest produce pulled by two water buffaloes and guided by a partially toothless old man looking straight out of the 14th century. Driving is a nerve-wracking, chaotic dance of continuous darting in and out, weaving around animal-powered carts, vehicles traveling the wrong direction (even on the few significant highways,) truly horrible roads and passing and endlessly tooting one’s horn. Frequently I was told that driving in India requires a good horn, good brakes and good luck. It also requires nerves of steel, white knuckles and continuous vigilance.

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Mumbai is the city in India that evokes the most usual sense of urban life in me. It has a population of about 21 million and at any given time more than 57% live on the street and are, strictly speaking, homeless. This does not mean that a large percentage of the homeless don’t work and to support them, as well as all the other Mumbai denizens, are vast systems of services such as outdoor laundries, lunch box delivery services and all manner of unbelievably inexpensive goods and services. A vegetarian Indian “burger” sold on the street that costs 5 cents and is wildly popular; shoe shines in the railroad station (that of “Slumdog Millionaire”) for 2.5 cents; street-level haircuts, shaves and dental extractions! India has to be the most entrepreneurial nation on earth. Everybody is selling everything and something. Everything has some value and is recycled and sold by someone who can earn a living from it one rupee at a time. All this, also, from a people who quite generally are curious and friendly with foreign travelers. There is often a sense of over all gentleness that Indians project but, of course, all generalizations such as this are easy to prove false in at least some regard.

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Chaos, dirt, clutter, litter and crowd anxiety can be a deterrent to many contemplating travel to India. Also, fear of contagion, e.g., Delhi-belly, dengue fever, malaria or worse. I experienced no illness or inconvenient health problem while there for three weeks of travel from the north of the country to the southern tip although admittedly I was careful in my habits, never ate street food (as India has the world’s highest rate of toxigenic E. Coli enteritis,) avoided raw vegetables and fruit everywhere but in the best hotels and drank only carbonated water, beer, sodas or wine. If you can overcome some of these common anxieties then India offers an unequaled travel, photographic and personal experience and I would encourage all who are intrigued to take the plunge.

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The photos that accompany this article were all taken with the RX1 rig described above. I hope they convey some of the emotions and raw beauty of the people and the country.

Richard

Apr 232012
 

OM-D E-M5 greater Dynamic Range than the X-Pro 1? Plus 1st quick snaps…

You guys know I do not do “technical” tests with charts but some enjoy this scientific look into cameras and sensors. I have been shooting with the OM-D E-M5 for a few days now and absolutely love it. Without a doubt it is my top mirrorless choice right now. Above the Fuji, Sony and others. Why is this? Well, not only for its design, build, size, color, sharpness, high ISO performance and speed and responsiveness but also due to the lenses available. It also doesn’t hurt that tech radar.com just tested it and showed that using RAW, it outclasses the NEX-7 and Fuji X-Pro in Dynamic Range. IN fact, they say it measures better than any compact to date.

This test is from techrader.com and their OM-D review

Yes, Micro 4/3 has matured. I have been seeing great results in every area just shooting JPEG with the E-M5 and even the video is spectacular. So with the E-M5 I have been able to shoot JPEG in good light, low light, high ISO, bright light and low ISO and get superb results, great detail and sharpness and that Olympus color signature. Love it.

My early thoughts? It is fast, accurate, highly capable, and doesn’t really give up much of anything to the NEX or Fuji besides if you shoot at super high ISO’s like 6400 or 12,800 (then the Fuji beats it no question). Shallow DOF is attainable with the 45 1.8 and the soon to come 75 1.8 should be even better but you will still get a more creamy shallow look from cameras with larger sensors. So far the low light performance has exceeded my expectations as has the 5 Axis IS (which is sooo good for video..and no more “jello” effect). I would use this in pro situations due to the speed, accuracy, IQ and ISO performance. DR seems great as well, and is confirmed by the techradar report. More to come.

My review will be here soon, but do take a look at the results from tech radar.com   on this little jewel of a camera. Below are just a few fun snaps that I took this weekend while around town, nothing special but it does show that this camera is a big step up from previous PEN cameras in regards to low light and IQ. Clicking an image will make it larger and the EXIF is embedded in each photo. Again, this is NOT my review – I will be posting that soon-ish and it will be very detailed. I have a couple of trips planned where I will be taking the E-M5 with  me so I plan on giving it a real workout.

remember to click the images for larger view!

12mm at f/2 – OOC JPEG

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12mm at f.2 – ISO 1600 – OOC JPEG – sharp, detailed and noise is NOT offensive at all

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45 1.8 at 1.8 – ISO 400 – OOC JPEG

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45 1.8 at 1.8 – ISO 1000

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45 1.8 at ISO 1600 – OOC JPEG

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My beautiful fiancé with the 12 at f/2 – ISO 1600 – Was walking with low shutter speed so there is motion blur, this is not mis-focus (which has yet to happen with this camera)

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12mm f/2 – iso 200 – the color and detail of OOC JPEGS is great. Can’t wait for RAW support from Adobe.

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and something that was not attainable before…usable ISO 6400 – The X-Pro 1 does even better at 6400 but the OM-D is not too far behind. 

Remember, these were just quick snaps and all are JPEGS from the camera. I have yet to prices any RAW files.

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