Feb 032014

A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E tilt/shift

My/the dream team for architecture:

Sony A7R with Canon 17mm/4 TS-E

By Dierk Topp

First I would like to mention, that I am not a Pro, I take pictures for my own pleasure and sometimes for others.

I bought the Canon 17mm TS-E for use with the ordered Leica M240, but when I got the M240, I sent it back after 2 days. The main reason (besides many others) was, that the focus field in life view was fixed in the center. Using tilt lenses with a focus only in the center of the frame is useless, and for shooting a portrait session, when you want the focus on the eyes is useless with a focus control in the center of the image, and shooting stills from a tripod with a fixed focus field in the center is useless as well.

I ended having no FF body for this lens! So I tried to use the 17mm TS-E with my Leica M9 and the MM and it was no problem. I used the 18mm finder for a rough composition and very often had to do only one or two test shots (no live view!) till I got, what I wanted (you will find two images from the M9 at the bottom).

When then the A7R arrived in October 2013, I discovered a big problem: my Metabones adapter Ver.1 was unusable, it is blocking the edges and the vignetting made it unusable. But I found the info, that the new Metabones Mk. III supports FF and I was very happy, when I got it a few days later and it worked perfect.

Why using a tilt/shift lens?

If you know about tilt/shift lenses, there is not too much to say about shooting this combination.

If not, here is an excellent post on shooting architecture with shift lenses:

Let me quote a few sentences, I hope you don’t mind James?

  • Point your camera up at a tall building. See how the lines of the building converge to the top of the frame? That’s an extreme case of perspective distortion. For a shot like that, sometimes it looks cool. But back up a good bit, zoom out, and try to shoot the entire building. More times than not, you’ll notice the verticals are not perfectly straight. It’s extremely difficult to get it right handholding the camera and trying to guess. That’s because in order to have no perspective distortion, you have to have the capture plane, be it film or digital sensor, parallel and plum with the building.
  • There is a lot of misunderstanding about tilt/shift lenses. Basically, it’s a lens that projects an image circle much larger than the frame it intends to cover. Then, it is allowed to be moved independently of the camera body to anywhere within the projected image circle.

If you are interested in the tilt function of this lens, you find an excellent description here at the site from Keith Cooper:


Now let the images speak for themselves.

  • images made with f/8 and tripod
  • as the camera is on a tripod, I very often just shoot additional shifted images and have more freedom during PP for stitching
  • very often prefer a different aspect ratio than what I get out of the camera and stitch images by shooting two or three frames with different shifted lens. And very often I shift the lens more than recommended and decide later, if I have to cut the outer (blurred) part of the image. With stitched images there is plenty of resolution for that. But you have to plan that during shooting.
  • if I want to get a wider angle of view and shift up (or down), I use two images with the lens shifted left and right up by 30° or 60°
  • if you have a close foreground and/or have to avoid parallax error with slightly differing images from moving the front lens by the shifting, you can use the special “Canon TSE Tripod Collar” from Hartblei: http://www.hartblei.de/en/canon-tse-collar.htm, this collar is mounted on the front part of the lens and keeps it in exactly the same position, while the rear part of the lens including the camera is being moved for shifting.
  • my post processing: LR 5.3, B&W conversion with Nik Silver Efex PRO2, stitching with PTGui or MS ICE (free for Windows)

The A7R or ILCE-7R with the Cannon 17mm/4 TS-E on Metabones smart adapter III

(I took the pictures with the NEX-6 and Micro Nikkor 85mm/2.8 PC, also a tilt/shift lens, on a Metabone adapter, tilted for more DOF)

the lens on this picture is shifted up for about 9mm, as you can see on the scale on the lens in the middle of it.

The front part of the lens for tilting is not tilted, you can see it on the second picture below.

The Metabones MK III adapter supports the electronic diaphragm and correct EXIF, this lens is manual focus (as all shift lenses) and I could not test the AF support of the adapter.

A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E tilt/shift

A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E tilt/shift

and here are some images made with this fantastic combination:

One shot shift up

A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E tilt/shift


This one stitched of two shifted images (shift left and right), no HDR, 11.000×5.000 pixel

A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E tilt/shift, stitch of 2 shifted images


This is a 1:1 crop of this picture

A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E tilt/shift


Gut Trenthorst

again from two stitched images, but this time the shift was 30° up to the left and right, to get the view upwards

Gut Trenhorst, A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E, stitch of two shifted


from two shifted images (no HDR, the sensor has no problem with this high contrast!)

Gut Trenhorst, A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E, stitch of two shifted


Now some pure architecture shots

 This is just a standard shot, lens shifted up

A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E tilt/shift


HavenCity, Hamburg

Shifted full 12mm up, recommended is 8 to 10mm on the long side, the top of the building is getting blurred!

HafenCity Hamburg


If the camera is perfectly aligned, buildings tend to look strange, as if the top is getting bigger,

just a bit perspective distortion could look more natural.

HafenCity Hamburg


Bad Oldeloe, Germany

stitch of two images, shifted down and up

A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E, stitch of shifted images


Three images, shifted left, center and right

image size 12.000×5.000 pixel

A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E, stitch of shifted images


… the same, three stitched images

A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E, stitch of shifted images


and Hamburg, Speicherstadt

Three images shifted, 11.000×5.000 pixel

Speicherstadt Hamburg


…and two images, shifted up 30° left and right, 9.200×5.000 pixel

Speicherstadt Hamburg


Last but not least:

You can even use this lens on a range finder. Here are two images made with the Leica M9 with a cheap adapter. I used the 18mm finder on the M9 for rough composition and one or two shots, till I got it right. The M9 has no live view for controlling the image before the shot! And for the electronic aperture you need a trick with an extra Canon body.

 The Marienkirche, Lübeck, Germany

Mail Attachment


This is a special combination of shifted lens up on the M9 and rotating the camera on the tripod for much more than 120° view. I shot many very much overlapping images to make sure, that it will work for stitching – and I think it worked :-)

Leica M9 with Canon 17mm TS-E tilt/shift

Thanks for your interest and I hope, you find it informative and useful … and sorry for my English :-)

More images are on my flikr:

Canon 17mm TS-E tilt/shift (including A7R) and the Sony A7R images

thanks and kind regards


May 072013


The Nikon Coolpix A Quick Review – Amazing quality in the palm of your hand

You can buy the Coolpix A at

B&H Photo  – Black – Silver

Amazon – Black – Silver

Hello to all! Welcome yet again to another one of my “Quick Reviews”. What is a “Quick Review”? Well, basically it means that I have only had the camera less than one week, and in the case of the Nikon Coolpix A, 5 days with 4 days of use. When I only have this small amount of time with a camera I do not pretend to be an expert on it and write a 5000 word review (only a 3700 word review, lol), instead I will give you my thoughts after a few days of use. I feel it takes 2-4 weeks to really use a camera and get to know it fully so for that reason this is a quick review. I can indeed tell you that this camera review could have easily been called “The Camera I Expected to Hate PART 2″ because yes, like the Nikon V1 I reviewed a while back I expected to dislike the A, which is why I was not going to review it in the 1st place. I have to stop doing that because guess what? I really like the Coolpix A:)

I originally saw the Coolpix A when it was just freshly released and someone let me handle it for a few minutes. I walked away with the impression that the AF was very sluggish (I did not know it then, but the camera I tested was in Macro mode which slows down the AF dramatically) and the fact that the camera did not have a built in Viewfinder made me feel it was not worth the $1098 asking price. After using it for 4-5 days I can state that my mind has somewhat been changed on this little guy, almost to the point where I prefer it in some ways to the Fuji X100s (but not in every way). I am about to tell you why and how that happened so read on, I promise it will not be too long.

Click the image for a larger view. This one is at f/2.8, ISO 100

I was in the grocery store when I saw this smiling boy who appeared to be the happiest kid on the planet. I pulled the Coolpix A from my pocket and snapped the picture. Even at 28mm I was able to capture the scene and the moment, thanks to me having a camera on me.


What is the Nikon Coolpix A?


So what is the Coolpix A? It is a damn small and damn cool little 28mm camera that puts out quality MUCH bigger than the size of the body suggests! But really…

The Nikon Coolpix A is Nikon’s answer to the APS-C sized sensor cameras like the Fuji X100s, Canon EOS-M (which I was NOT a fan of AT ALL), etc. The Fuji X100s is $1299 and has an amazing built in OVF/EVF as well as a sleek retro style with beautiful output. The X100s feels like a serious camera. The Nikon Coolpix A looks toy like on the outside at 1st glance but on the inside it is filled with an amazing and large APS-C Sensor and a fixed built in prime 28mm f/2.8 “equivalent” lens that is indeed quite special for a camera of this size.

The build of the Coolpix A is SOLID and feels very nice in the hand. In other words, it does not feel like a cheap point and shoot though it may have a cheap-ish looking P&S design. Below you can see it is pretty much a boxy slim shape. I included shots of the top, back and front. It is sure not ugly and many will love  the boxy shape. Others will feel that it looks like a Point and Shoot. I am in between. I kind of like it though admit it could pass for a $400 Coolpix in looks.




The main draw to this camera is not only its 16MP APS-C sensor, but the fact that it can fit in your pocket. This is truly a supercharged high power pocket cam to challenge the much smaller sensor (but fantastic) Sony RX100. What I also like about the Coolpix A is the controls. You have your mode dial up top, another dial to change aperture of the included 28mm f/2.8 prime built in lens and plenty of buttons and another dial on the back to control whatever else you need to control.

When I 1st took the camera out of the package and installed the battery I immediately turned off Noise Reduction and set the camera to JPEG and RAW to see how it did with each. I soon discovered that shooting at f/2.8 using the macro mode (which is activated on the left side of the camera via a button/switch) I was able to get some decent out of focus rendering and yes, to me, the Bokeh is quite pleasant. I turn off all NR on every camera I use as I feel Noise Reduction only smears the details and makes your images look like MUSH, and the Coolpix A was no exception in the test shot I took at ISO 1600-3200. I feel the output looks much nicer without any noise reduction added. Today’s sensors can do quite well in just about all lighting situations. Low light is no longer a DSLR game and neither is gorgeous colors and shallow DOF. Nikon seem to always be on their game when it comes to color and auto white balance.

ISO 100, f/2.8, Macro Mode


The camera is pretty much loaded with everything you could ask for. Below are the full specs of the Coolpix A:

DX-Format CMOS Sensor – This is the big deal..a pocket camera with a huge sensor!

Large APS-C size sensor–the same one used in Nikon D-SLR cameras–features a resolution of 16.2MP. It works with the EXPEED 2 image-processing engine to produce sharp image quality, high ISO sensitivity up to 25,600 equivalent, and low noise. The processor manages image data with high speed and accuracy while preventing the generation of excess heat. With the removal of the optical low-pass filter, the COOLPIX A is able to capture images with exceptional sharpness and extremely fine detail. Micro-lenses located above the sensor are arranged to produce natural, edge-to-edge sharpness

28mm f/2.8 NIKKOR Prime Lens – I found the lens to be insanely sharp, even wide open and with superb colors straight from camera

Despite its small size, the fine optics of this ultra-compact 18.5mm (35mm equivalent: 28mm) f/2.8 wide-angle NIKKOR lens are specially designed to deliver exceptional edge-to-edge sharpness, smooth tonal gradation, highly effective spherical aberration and coma correction–for consistent quality throughout the entire frame. Capture images comparable to those taken with D-SLR interchangeable lenses. The lens has an ultra-compact configuration of seven elements in five groups, as well as a seven-blade iris diaphragm for sharp detail at the focus points and pleasing background blur in the out-of-focus regions of the image

3.0″ LCD – LCD is beautiful, easy to use and I was able to frame and shoot in sunlight

Featuring an integrated panel and glass structure, the large 3.0-inch, 921k-pixel TFT LCD monitor remains viewable even in bright sunlight. The structure minimizes reflections and decreases light loss for clearer visibility, while providing a wide viewing angle. The LCD features 9-level brightness adjustment and offers approximately 100% horizontal and vertical coverage

Comfort and Control – When shooting it feels and looks like a Point and Shoot, nothing fancy. I wish it were slightly longer for my use.

The buttons, dials and switches on the camera have been designed and arranged to afford maximum comfort. Manual options like focus ring adjustment allow you to wield precision control over your compositions. Most of the operation system and the GUI are consistent with Nikon DSLRs. The camera features a tough aluminum alloy frame with a top surface covered by magnesium alloy for greater durability.


Exposure Control – Mode dial makes it easy to control manual features

You can control the COOLPIX A exposure options with the same operating system used by Nikon DSLR cameras. The Mode dial makes it easy to choose from AUTO, P (with Program shift), S, A and M exposure control modes, as well as two of your own personalized setting configurations: U1 and U2. For still photos, exposure compensation is +5 to -5 in 1/3 steps, while for videos, it’s +2 to -2. AE lock, AE bracketing and manual with exposure bracketing are also available

Autofocus – I found the AF to be a teeny bit on the slow side. Not horrible, but not Olympus OM-D fast. No Phase detect.

Contrast-detect AF with the following focus-area selections: Face-priority, normal area, wide area and subject-tracking AF

Manual Focus Operation

In addition to autofocus operation, the COOLPIX A has a manual focus ring for when you want to take creative control DSLR-style, with the ability to alter the focus plane slightly forward or backward. This can be especially helpful in macro work

Full HD Movie Recording

Capture Full HD 1080p videos at 30fps with stereo sound. The subject-tracking AF feature keeps even moving subjects in clear focus. By connecting an HDMI cable to the camera’s HDMI mini port, you can output the movie to an HDTV for playback. The HDMI output provides the following resolution options: Auto, 480p, 576p, 720p, 1080i

Continuous Shooting at 4fps

To help capture fast-moving action, the camera can perform continuous capture of full-resolution (16MP) images at up to 4 frames per second, for a maximum of 26 shots (when image quality is set to NORMAL)

Picture Control – The typical color settings, all worked well but shoot RAW for best performance

Choose from six settings: Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Landscape and Portrait. When you desire further fine-tuning, you can manually adjust the sharpness, contrast, brightness, saturation and hue. The settings can be saved for future use

Auto White Balance – The AWB of the Coolpix A was excellent, beating the new Leica M easily

In order to determine an ideal white balance, this feature precisely analyzes scene color and brightness information. Select normal to render white as pure white, or choose to render the warmth of ambient, incandescent lighting. White balance bracketing is also available

Virtual Horizon – always nice to have this feature as you will know when you are 100% level

The in-camera virtual horizon feature can detect and display horizontal inclination on the LCD monitor. This function is especially useful when shooting subjects such as still lifes, landscapes and architecture

Wi-Fi via Optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter

With the optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter connected, you can wirelessly transmit images taken by the COOLPIX A to a smart device with Wireless Mobile Utility installed, allowing you to share your photos and videos via email or social networking services (SNS). Additionally, you can use your compatible smartphone or tablet as a remote shutter release for the camera while using the device screen as a monitor

ISO 100 f/2.8, straight from camera colors, which Nikon is always good at.

I went to a pet store to pick up some food for my dog. They were having adoptions of homeless and unwanted dogs. This poor little guy..hope he ended up getting a home.


So tell me about the image quality, focus speed and high ISO! 

With a camera as small as the Nikon Coolpix A you have to wonder if it can actually give you DSLR or even Fuji X100s output. Coming in at $200 less than a Fuji X100s you are losing the EVF/OVF, Retro Style, and you swap a 35mm equivalent f/2 lens for a 28mm f/2.8 so your field or view will be on the wide end of the spectrum. Before spending $1100 on a camera such as the “A” make sure you are comfortable only having a 28mm equivalent lens on board. If you are comfy with that then you are in for a real treat as the only weakness I have found is the whole “no EVF/OVF” problem and the AF being slower than most other cameras in the mirrorless segment.

The Image Quality – Details/Sharpness

This can not be faulted. While I only had 4 days of shooting with it (and not full days either) I can state with 100% fact that the lens/sensor combo on the A is FANTASTIC, in fact, I give the Coolpix A and “A” in this area. The quality, even wide open, challenges what I have seen coming from a Leica M9 and 28mm Elmarit in regards to sharpness and color. No, this is not full frame but in the 28mm (or equivalent) world this is about as good as it gets. Take a look at the shot below which was taken at f/4 on a full sunny day in Scottsdale AZ. You can click it for the full size but I have also put a crop below it.

Click image for the full size from RAW file – it is insanely sharp. I have put two 100% crops below the image as well. 



Razor sharpness – really too sharp!



A crop from the bottom left corner



Also, at f/2.8 this lens/sensor combo can give you some nice color and depth as well as sharpness and micro-contrast. Image below at 2.8 in very contrasty conditions with a crop below it



So this lens has the goods, even wide open unlike the Fuji X100s which is soft at f/2 and sharp starting at 2/8 but razor sharp by f/4. The Nikon lens here fantastic.

Focus Speed

The AF of the Nikon Coolpix A is decent but not blazing. It is about on par with the old X100 and the latest firmware updates. The Olympus OM-D is quicker, the Sony RX100 is quicker and the X100s is quicker. The “A” is on par with the full frame Sony RX1 when it comes to AF speed. Not bad, but not amazingly fast. One thing that irked me before I realized there was a dedicated Macro button the camera was the minimum focus distance in standard mode. I could not get any kind of close focus whatsoever so make sure you set it to Macro when you want to shoot up close. IN fact, they should not call it “Macro” mode as you can not do really close up shooting. It should be called “Close Up” mode. Still, I am happy they have this mode as it allows me to get pretty close to my subject about 4″. Normal mode has about a 20″ limitation for close up. 

Auto focus in low light is a bit slower than the day of course. I have had it hunt and miss focus. If Nikon had put in an EVF and had super fast and accurate AF this could have been a game changer of a camera.

High ISO Capabilities

The Nikon Coolpix A is up there with competing cameras when it comes to higher ISO. If you stay at 3200 or under you will be just fine shooting just about anything. After 3200 you may object to the noise, or you may not. Still, these days most APS-C cameras provide such good low light and high ISO shooting capabilities that we need not worry about these things anymore. I rarely go over 1600 and I shoot in all kinds of light. WIth the wide angle of the “A” and an f/2.8 aperture we can get away with hand holding the camera at a slower shutter speed than even a Fuji X100. No issues. Below are a few high ISO samples without any Noise Reduction added. The 1st image is a B&W from the camera. When you click on them you will see the ISO they were shot at embedded on the photo and I go up to 6400.





and below is a full size file at ISO 1250 which was taken in my kitchen at night


and one more below at ISO 6400. This is an OOC JPEG


If I had the camera for more than 4 days I would have done a full ISO crop test but in reality, those tests are no good anymore as all of these modern cameras can do high ISO very well. As I said above, we really should not worry about ISO anymore but instead worry about using a camera we can get along with and bond with. While all cameras have some sort of limitation, we can learn to work around them. That is what helps to create and make an artist, using the tool one has on hand to create something beautiful.

Pros and Cons of the Nikon Coolpix A


  • Large APS-C Sensor delivers the goods
  • Great color out of camera
  • Small size can indeed fit in your pocket
  • Black or Silver, no extra cost for black
  • Image quality is superb!
  • Best Auto White Balance I have seen in a mirrorless
  • Lens is very sharp, even wide open
  • Macro mode is useful for getting in closer
  • Controls are all on the outside so no menu diving required
  • Built in flash
  • Build is SOLID
  • No lens cap to lose
  • ON/OFF is quick
  • HD video on board


  • AF can be sluggish at times, not as  fast as other cameras on the market
  • Macro mode focus is even slower while not really being Macro
  • No built in EVF or VF at all. Boo.
  • No focus peaking in Manual Focus mode
  • Not as much charm as the Fuji X100s

Next to the Leica Monochrom


My final thoughts to wrap up this quick look review of the Nikon Coolpix A, and where I prefer it to the X100s

So as you can see this was indeed a quick review. After four days of use I found that I really enjoyed using the camera as well as the output it has given me. I usually do not shoot the 28mm focal length often so I am not a wide angle guy, but yea, it was starting to grow on me. If I had more interesting things to photograph while I had it I feel it would have easily been able to take on any task. The build is solid. The controls are superb. The Menu system is great. The LCD is very nice and the output is awesome with rich colors, some of the best AWB I have experienced and high ISO that is up there with the best of them. In comparison to the X100s I prefer the Nikon Coolpix A’s Image Quality. There is no flatness to be found with the Nikon. I also prefer lens on the Nikon as it is much sharper wide open and is just about as sharp as what comes from a Leica M9 and 28 Elmarit lens, a $8k + combo.

Where I prefer the X100s over the “A” is the fact that the Fuji has that gorgeous EVF/OVF, the retro and solid design and the new Phase Detect AF speed. It also has more charm and fun factor but if Nikon had put these three things in the Coolpix A and kept it at $1100 this would have easily been my #1 pick for a mirrorless camera. It would have had it all, but with the limitations of a 28mm equivalent lens of course, but many of you LOVE the 28mm focal length and that is a great one for some up close street shooting as well.

Before going to buy a Nikon Coolpix A you must make sure you enjoy the 28mm focal length as that is all you get here. It is not quite 35 and not quite 21 so it is not ultra wide but an in between.

The Nikon is great for all kinds of shooting as you can get as close as 4″ to your subject when activating Macro Mode so it even works for portraits if you wanted it to.

There are things I did not even touch on in this quick review like the built in flash, the hot shoe for adding accessories, and the HD Video, which I did not get to test. Maybe if I can get a hold of one for longer I can add to this review at a later date but even so, I know the flash is decent for snapshots and some fill, and I know I would not use the WiFi add on, but some would and the video is probably just as good as modern day mirrorless cameras, but probably even better than the Fuji X100s video. The Nikon V1 had some fantastic video capabilities.

For now, I do recommend the Nikon Coolpix A if image quality is important as well as small size, and a wider angle 28mm lens.

With the new Ricoh GR coming soon it will be taking on the Nikon head on and the GR series has MANY fans because it is known as a “Photographers Camera” with the right mix of design, features, settings and quality. The new GR will have an APS-C sensor as well so it will be interesting  to see how it compares and if it can match the IQ of the Nikon.

At $1100 the Coolpix A is not cheap but when you look at cameras like the Sony RX1 at $2700, the Fuji X100s at $1299 and even a used Leica M8 and 24mm lens at about $4500+, the Coolpix looks quite affordable.

To me, the IQ can beat the X100s, the RX100, the Nikon V1/V2 and the Leica M8 with 24mm Lens (which will be closest to a 28mm focal length) but it does not beat the RX100, X100s and M8 in usability simply due to the fact it has no viewfinder installed.

I enjoyed my four little days with the “A” and if I wanted a 28mm solution I would probably buy one. As with the Nikon V1, I expect the prices to drop on the Coolpix A eventually but even at $1098 it is a great buy for those who appreciate quality and tiny size.

I expected to hate it but ended up really enjoying it and appreciating it for what it is, one hell of a 28mm shooter that will feel right at home at home, on vacation or on the street. Just wish I had more time with it to extract more memories from the little box :)



You can buy the Coolpix A at:

B&H Photo  – BlackSilver

Amazon – BlackSilver


A few more images from the Nikon Coolpix A

Exif is embedded in all photos! Thanks for reading this quick review of the Nikon Coolpix A! On to the next :)








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Mar 072013

Forgotten Friends, the ‘Year Old’ Camera – Fuji X10 by Colin Steel

Bangkok 1-1-7-2

Hey Folks, it’s been a long time since I had the energy to write anything here but I thought you might like to hear about a trip I made to Bangkok recently with the now very unfashionable Fuji X10. I am continually amazed nowadays at how quickly cameras come and go and it only seems like yesterday that I was eagerly awaiting the launch of this super-sexy little cam and Fuji’s nice ad campaign really had me wanting one. However, some major travel and expense came along at that time so somehow I passed it by but I never forgot the impact that the look and apparent usability of the camera had on me so when I got the chance of one recently for S$ 450 (US$365) I jumped at it, and believe me, what a bargain I got. Here is Steve’s review for those of you that may have already forgotten it :) Steve Huff X10 Review:

Bangkok 1-1-7

So just what exactly attracted me so much about the camera given that it was picking up some mediocre reviews and some folks were making a big issue out of the ‘white disk’ sensor problem? Well firstly, this is one beautifully made and designed camera, it just oozes quality. The black finish is very understated and with the lack of front logos, very discreet as well. The metal lens cap is something I thought I would dislike but it turned into a key feature for me. I usually put a lens hood on my cams only to protect the lens from knocks as I don’t believe in putting a filter in front of good glass. I quickly developed a workflow where I can whip off the cap, turn the lens to 35mm and start shooting very quickly indeed. which leads me on to the other key feature for me and that is the phenomenal lens which serves to switch on the camera and then manually zooms all at fast apertures if you want. I find that I have judged the ‘twist and on’ movement so that I end up spot on 35mm at which I can shoot at a reasonably fast f2.2 in low light. Really classy design, well done Fuji, none of that dreaded zoom hunting that plagues small camera.

Bangkok 1-1-8

One of the criticism I always read about with small cameras and M43 is that there is no great depth of field possible for blurring backgrounds, I am at a total loss to understand this, I want all of the depth of field I can get !!!! Take the above shot which was taken underneath a motorway overpass in the Klong Toey slum area of Bangkok and the light was not as good as it might look in the photo. I was very close to this guy and shooting at a wider aperture than my ideal for the shot in mind, but I desperately wanted to keep the people in the background at least enough in focus to be discernible, particularly the old guy with the little baby. I almost made it but this kind of shot would be impossible at wide apertures on a DSLR, I know it’s not what everyone wants but I think it’s really important to show context and other important elements that make the subject come alive.

While in Bangkok I was able to speak to Magnum photographer Nikos Economopoulos about this very subject and he told me that he only ever uses two ISO settings with his Leica M9, 640 for daylight and 1250 in poor light, the reason for this was simple, he wanted to shoot at F11 or at worst F8 as often as possible so that he could arrange the elements clearly in his photos. I know this will surprise many people but I also believe that for a documentary style its better to shoot at smaller apertures if you can and the more depth of field the better.

Bangkok 1-1-9

While on the subject of Bangkok areas to shoot in, all of the shots shown so far were taken in the slum area of Klong Toey which is easily reached by train from the central areas of Bangkok. Although poor I found the people to be very tolerant and gracious to me at all times (even when they were very drunk !!!)

Bangkok 1-1-3

Back to the X10 and it’s not my intention to re-iterate a review of the camera as, given its age, its been reviewed many times by people better qualified than me. What I want to do is let you know how I found it in terms of usability for documentary style photography and I have to say that it performed better than I expected and I have grown to really like the camera. Although I mess about with and own many cameras, very few of them make it into the ‘loved’ category but this little beauty certainly has. It is one of the few cameras that I like to use with a wrist strap and it seems to fit perfectly into my hand and, as I said, I have developed a shooting workflow where I can have the lens cap off, turned it on at 35mm and be shooting extremely quickly. This is very important to me and that usability factor along with the manual control for exposure comp really makes this cam work for me.

Bangkok 1-1-12

Surprisingly for such a small sensor, the X10 handles difficult light really well and the dynamic range appears to be better than I would have imagined. I also mentioned the exposure comp dial and it works seamlessly with the rear screen to allow you to see the result of your adjustments. This isn’t unique to the X10 of course but is an extremely useful aspect of electronic screens and viewfinders. I used to use a Nikon D3 for just about everything I shot and I picked it up recently and was shocked at how stone age it felt with the DSLR mirror slap and noisy shutter.

Bangkok 1-1-9-2

I don’t use it often but, as many reviewers have pointed out, the Fuji cameras are really classy when it comes to balancing light when you use the in cam flash. Take the above shot for example which was just completely impossible without a little help form the pop up flash on the X10. I think you can see how very bright it was behind the couple but the flash dealt with it very nicely indeed.

Bangkok 1-1-2

One of the other criticisms of the X10 was of the optical viewfinder and its slightly narrow view and lack of any shooting information. For me I have found that I mainly prefer to use the screen to compose and that allows me to ‘grab’ shots like the one above where I see something that is going to change very quickly but I can lift the camera to above eye height, frame and shoot very quickly. It’s almost like using a giant rangefinder where you have complete visibility of everything around you but can frame what you want. The criticism of the VF is I think pretty fair but it’s not at all unusable and you quickly learn to trust the focus if you leave the focus point on centre and recompose so for me it’s no big deal. There is a somewhat strange effect here that I noticed in myself though and that is that I seem to adapt to the camera rather than have a totally fixed personal style. Let me try to explain, I also have and often use a Fuji X100 (another loved cam) but I very seldom use the rear screen and almost always use the viewfinder because it works so well. With the X10, whether its to do with size or whatever, I find that I use the viewfinder less and shoot maybe 75% of shots with the screen and I am entirely comfortable with this.

Bangkok 1-1-10

A final comment on the usability of the X10. Most of you will have noticed by now that I have shot all of these in a 1:1 or square crop. This is something that I struggle to be able to explain and it doesn’t always work as you lose the narrative effect that comes with 3:2 however, somehow I find that I can get nice tight expressive framing with it and I find that it defines the main subjects better for the way I have been shooting. With the X10, like many other cameras, it’s so easy to set the camera to square and compose that way on the screen safe in the knowledge that you will have a 3:2 RAW file if you get it wrong. In terms of shooting approach then, I set the camera on square, RAW + Fine jpg and the B&W film effect with a yellow filter. This wont work for everyone but it certainly produces the results that I am looking for and gives me the RAW insurance policy if I need to re-crop.

Bangkok 1-1-5

I would like to pull this together now and one of the things I hope this little article does is make people think about the ‘year old’ camera if they are thinking of changing gear. Its very clear to me that models are changing so quickly now that the previous models are just nothing short of extraordinary value. I have now seen the X10 for sale in Singapore used and in exceptional condition for S$ 350 (about US$280) and that includes the good quality fuji case that came with the camera !!! Similarly the X100 is down to S$700 (US$560) these are incredibly good if not great cameras and they can be picked up for the price of a cheap DSLR lens !!!!
Having said that, I am as prone as the next guy to marketing and my mind is already a whirl at the thought of new X20’s and X100S :) its such fun though to pay small money for a camera that can deliver great results for you. Just ignore the forum talk about image quality, lens sharpness and all of that guff, find a cam that you like to use and focus on thecontent, light and form of your shots, the results will be much more satisfying.
Bangkok 1-1-18
Well that’s about it folks. I am very pleased to return to posting and I really hope this was interesting for at least some of you. If anyone would like to see more in this style I have three free ebooks that can be downloaded from Blurb here Colin ebooks. The process is very simple, just log in (or create a free account) add the books to your cart, check out (remember its free) and Blurb will send you the link to download to Iphone or Ipad. I have found that the app looks better on the iPhone.
I have an upcoming trip booked to Sicily for the Easter festivals there and will be spending some time in Rome on the way back so I should have some more material and experiences to discuss soon.
in the meantime, safe travels and happy shooting.
Jun 302012

A question I get several times a week: Can a small mirrorless camera replace a DSLR? 

With the trend in digital photography today heading to the small powerhouse bodies with larger sensors many have dumped their DSLR’s for the likes of  a Sony NEX camera, an Olympus OM-D, a Leica X2, Nikon V1 or one of the many other small mirrorless cameras that are now flooding the market.

It seems that ever since digital cameras started being produced, photography has taken a turn of some sorts. Today, for many, it is just as much about the device being used as it is the images themselves. Many shooters today get more enjoyment out of the GEAR than they do the PHOTOS. This is a true fact, and I try to keep a balance myself as I love the gear but I also love and am passionate about photography. But what is the most important is that people are gaining joy from all of this and if buying a Leica X or Sony NEX makes you happy, then why not?

I feel it is important to use a tool that you can bond with..learn with and thoroughly enjoy. I have had a love affair with smaller cameras over the past few years because I was so tired of lugging a huge backpack around whenever I wanted to go out and shoot.

Back in the earlier digital days DSLR’s were everywhere as we did not even have a choice if we wanted small AND high quality. I remember going to disneyland about 6-7 years ago and seeing everyone with a large DSLR. I remember thinking ‘how could you lug that around Disneyland AND still enjoy your day”? Made my back and arms hurt looking at some of those rigs.

When I was there at DL I waltzed around with a Leica M7 and a few rolls of film and it was no problem though I do remember worrying that the rides would jar the rangefinder out of alignment but even after 3 days there and many rides the RF was fine and even with water splashing on the old M7 I had zero issues. I would not try this with an M9 though as it somehow seems more delicate due  to all of the electronics inside that can have water leak onto them since there is no weather sealing in an M camera. Yet.

Yea, those days with the old M7 were fine indeed. No worries. Compose, snap, shutter and wind. But before I go on a rant about remembering my easy days with the M7 I have to stop myself because that is not what this article is supposed to be about!

Many readers e-mail me and ask me if a small mirrorless can replace a large DSLR. That is a very common question I get these days but you have to remember that these small cameras are usually not as versatile as a DSLR. For example, if you want to shoot sports action, a DSLR will usually be the best bet, though someone like me and a few others would use an M9 without worry, lol.

For sports the only mirrorless choices are really the Olympus OM-D as it has the speed, the lenses, and the high quality and ISO performance that almost matches a nice DSLR. Something like an X2 would not be good for sports with its limited 35mm lens and slow operation. A Nikon V1 could do sports but with the slow zooms available you would need REALLY good light. The AF is good enough as is the IQ if you keep the ISO lower. The Sony NEX series is great for sports as well as you can use some kick ass manual glass to do so.

While the cameras mentioned can do great, a DSLR will still be the sports shooting king so if you are a sports pro a mirrorless would/could not replace a DSLR just yet.

But what about Street? Portraits?

For street I feel a Leica M is king. That is MY opinion as I can shoot a Leica M faster than I can AF with most when on the street. I do not consider myself a street photographer though I do enjoy it and find it to be a great exercise to get your confidence up. Street Photography is nothing more than recording and capturing moments of real life as they happen. This is easier said than done but some people out there are very good at it while others are awful at it. It seems that in the past 2-3 years “Street” has become popular and it has brought out some great photographers but it also seems that there is a lack of REAL street shots with impact, even from old pros who call themselves street shooters because they shoot every week. I think I see maybe 1-2 really fantastic street shots a month from the slew of guys on flickr and Facebook who shoot street every day.

Like I said, I do not call or consider myself “street shooter” though I do shoot with an M and have shot street. I have tried my hand at it with MANY cameras and the Leica M just works. I had a hard time with the original Leica X1 but with that camera and the new X2 you can set the camera to manual focus and use Zone Focusing to shoot quick and easy so they also can work well. The Fuji X100 is also a great street camera as is the Nikon V1 (I have an upcoming Guest article with samples and they have def have impact). The NEX series can also do great with street and I had fun with the NEX-5 and 16mm a year or so ago so just about any mirrorless made today can do street well if you learn the camera and features and best way to shoot with it while out in the urban jungle.

Bottom line? For street I would say a mirrorless is MUCH better than a DSLR as DSLR’s are too large and scare people away. 

How about portraits?

Today I was sitting in my office reading e-mails and noticed I had a slew of cameras around me. A Leica X2, a Sony A57 DSLR with 16-50 lens and a Nikon V1. I also have a Fuji X100, Sony NEX-7 and NEX-F3 here as well (the F3 and A57 are here for  testing right now). I have heard and seen great things from the Sony A57 and 16-50 lens as this lens is super sharp even at 2.8 wide open. It also will keep the 2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range, so this is one of the premo Sony lenses.

My nephew is here visiting so I called him in the room and asked if I could snap 2-3 shots of him with a couple of cameras. I was not even going to post these but after viewing them I was impressed by what the Sony did with that 16-50 Zoom lens at 2.8. The camera seemed to put out a nice file. When viewing the file from the Leica X2 I was also pleased with what I saw. There was that Leica sharpness and detail but it also had a different color signature. The Nikon V1 could not match the richness of the two larger sensor cameras but it can do a good job, but the color is not as good or rich due to the smaller sensor.

First the A57 file with the 16-50 Zoom at 2.8


The Sony A57 puts out a beautiful rich file but with the camera and zoom lens attached it is MUCH larger than a Leica X2 (but much more versatile, faster, and with gorgeous video) The Sony combo will cost you $1650. $650 for the body and $750 for the lens (and this lens is superb but don’t take my word for it, read the reviews at B&H). The 16-50 lens is a quality lens, easily used for pro work.

The Leica X2 is a small little powerhouse. A little slow when compared to the competition but it is indeed a powerful imaging device put into a small body, that is the one thing that is certain. If you can live with the 35mm focal length and only the 35mm focal length then it is a viable but expensive option. Below you can see the shot from the X2..

Both of those images were shot as RAW files and converted using ACR.

The A57 seems like it has a richer and smoother rendering while the Leica retains that Leica signature. For in studio portraits, as in..if I were a portrait pro, I would choose a nice medium format camera for the absolute best quality. Either that or a Nikon D800 DSLR because in the studio you need all of the quality you can get and even shallow depth of field, which is the weakness of cameras like the Nikon V1 and in some cases Micro 4/3.

1st image is from the Leica X2 and the 2nd is from the Nikon V1

So while a mirrorless like the X2, Nikon V1 and X100 or OM-D can do studio, for more versatility and overall quality cameras like a Nikon D800 or Canon 5D III would be better.

A Sony NEX-7 also works well in studio especially when you mount Leica glass.

The new mirrorless cameras that are available today ALL make for amazing every day cameras. You can take them anywhere, capture anything you want and do it without looking like a big dork with your DSLR, 70-200 and sun visor and fanny pack on. A Leica X2 or Nikon V1 or Fuji X100 can be taken with you where a camera like a Nikon D800 would most likely be left at home. So for capturing life’s little moments smaller is always better. For pro work like weddings, sports, action or even studio a DSLR would give you more versatility and quality.

With all of that said, I would take a Leica M9 anywhere and shoot anything with it :)

Jan 142012


Mirrorless Mania – Which one should I buy? Nikon 1, Micro 4/3, Sony NEX

Hello again to all! After this mornings post about the ISO 3200 walk with the Nikon J1, and the uproar that followed I figured I would post a few more thoughts on the J1 in addition to more thoughts on the other popular camera choices available to us today. There are so many out there looking to get into their 1st serious *but small* system and reading reviews sometimes can make it even harder! So what do you go for if you are not invested in any one system yet and you want a small but capable mirrorless camera that has interchangeable lenses? That is the question of the year it seems (or so my inbox says) but it is not always an easy answer due to the fact that everyones tastes are different as well as their needs. For example, one person may love a certain camera and another may hate it. Much like the Nikon 1 series.

BTW, this little J1 I have been using is not my camera. It is just a loaner so I could try it out but have to say it is almost enjoyable to use as the V1 (for me). There are so many hobbyists out there in the enthusiast camp that think of this camera as a toy but the truth is that just about ANY camera in the mirrorless segment that is out today is plenty good enough f0r 95% of our needs, even the J1. These are not “pro” cameras, at least I wouldn’t use them in pro situations but cameras like the Nikon 1 series cameras, the micro 4/3 cameras, the Sony NEX cameras and a few others are all highly capable and plenty good enough for most peoples everyday needs. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. but which one ignites the passion inside of you? THAT is the more important question.

My e-mails say it all. I hear it every day and get the questions “Micro 4/3 or NEX”? Micro 4/3 or Nikon 1″? Nikon D7000 or Canon Rebel”?

It really is a tough decision because like I said, all of these little machines are pretty damn good but NONE are perfect in every way, NONE. As of today, if you want the perfect mirrorless it would have to be a mix of four cameras. If we mixed the speed, metering and responsiveness of the Nikon V1 along with the EVF of the NEX-7, the sensor of the NEX-5 and the fun factor and great styling of the E-P3 we would be pretty close to the perfect mirrorless camera.

Then again, the perfect mirrorless camera does indeed exist if you want to get into the costs and time of film :) But thats another story…

Digital is hot as ever, even in this so called recession and this industry is only getting hotter every year. Fuji is coming along with the X-Pro 1 which to me appears to be the closest of any camera released or announced to date in what I would call my perfect mirrorless solution. Then again, I have the best mirrorless camera made, the M9 :) Only issue with that is the cost and the insane prices of the lenses that were just raised yet again. The new Fuji is actually just about the same size as the M9 but in a much more affordable package. They are even releasing an M lens mount adapter so for the long term I think the new X-Pro 1 will be the ticket for those who do not want to invest the cash in the M system. I KNOW Fuji is gunning for all of  the people who want an M but do not want or can not pay the price. They did it with the X100 and succeeded by going against the X1. Leica will probably answer with the next X this year, at least that has been my prediction for the last year and a half and have said so many times.

But for now, this Fuji is real and it will most likely be the hottest release of 2012 if it doesn’t fall flat on its face with issues. I doubt that it will.

So where does that leave the other cameras? What should you go for if you want a great interchangeable lens mirrorless camera that will do what you need and you do not want to spend a fortune? Here is my take as of today, Jan 14 2012:

Micro 4/3 – The Olympus E-P3/Panasonic GX1/G3/GH2 – This group of cameras are all really really good. Make no mistake, Micro 4/3 is in this to stay and have a rather large following. The lenses available such as the Olympus 12mm, Panasonic 25 1.4, and Olympus 45 1.8 are absolutely SUPERB. There are no lenses like this available for any other mirrorless camera, so in many ways this format is one you can invest in and be confident because LENSES are the heart of any system. I am also hearing that the Olympus PRO PEN may be released sometime this year, but who knows. If they update the sensor, give us a built in EVF and add the rumored weather sealing then they will have a home run hit. There has been a surge lately in Olympus E-P3 sales for some reason so Micro 4/3 is still hot. The lenses…they have them! My recommended kit? E-P3, 12mm f/2 and 45 1.8. In chrome :) Cost – $1900

A few from the E-P3



Sony NEX System – NEX-3/5n, NEX-7 - The Sony cameras are alsofantastic and Sony let us all know that they were in this seriously when they announced the NEX-7. That is a powerhouse of a camera with so many technological features it is almost like shooting a computer instead of a camera. Where Sony falls short is in the simplicity factor. Like I said, it is like you are shooting a small handheld computer. Their lenses are large, focus is good but not as fast as the latest M4/3 or Nikon 1 cameras and the metering is not always the best BUT their sensor and low light performance rock. The NEX series is great but the lenses are not as good as the ones available for M4/3. Still, fantastic images can be made with the NEX cameras. They have the largest sensors of the ILC’s to date. This means better low light and dynamic range. My recommended kit? NEX-7 and Zeiss 24.  Cost – $2200

A few shots from the NEX-7



Nikon 1 Series – The J1 and V1 – You guys know where I stand on these. I love them, and have been enjoying shooting them but in order to get the most out of the smaller sensor, which is indeed the smallest sensor of all the cameras mentioned here is to shoot RAW. No doubt about it. The RAW files from the 1 series are very hardy and much better than the JPEGS. These cameras are fast, accurate, have superb metering and really great video without the nasty Jello effect. They lose ground due to the small sensor and the fact that the only lenses available are very slow zooms. No shallow depth of field for these guys right now. The one 10mm prime, which will give you around a 28mm equivalent is an f/2.8 lens. Nikon needs some fast primes and when they release these (this year) I think more people will start to see just how good these cameras are. Even with the slow zooms the quality is there when you shoot RAW. I recommend the V1 and the 10mm along with the 30-110 zoom. The weakest lens is the 10-30. All have built in VR and it works well. This is my most used camera of the past couple of months. Cost – $1000.00

A few images from the Nikon J1 and V1

 So to summarize my fave three mirrorless cameras…

E-P3 – Great build, fast AF, good metering, good IQ with good lenses. Suffers in low light/high ISO.

NEX 7 – Feature packed, superb video, killer EVF, highest resolution. Lacks lens choices and lenses are large.

V1 – Great build, superb battery life, great EVF, Phase Detect and contrast detect AF, best metering, great video. Sensor size is small so no shallow depth of field until we get fast primes.

Not sure if that makes it any easier but these are all enthusiast models to some extent with the NEX-7 taking the prize for the most “enthusiastic”.  If you are looking to get into a new mirrorless system I hope some of my words help you out. I can not tell you what to buy but if you break down your needs and wants it should be fairly simple. I will leave you with a few shots from the “toy” camera of the bunch, the Nikon J1. :)

Dec 122011

A new hub for your Mirrorless camera fix – Mirrorless Central

The new breed of digital camera is starting to take over the digital world and for good reason. They are small, sleek, sexy and getting better with every release. I have been a fan of these cameras since day one and have written quite a bit about most models. Since this website is a blog style site, these articles may be hard to find unless you want to spend all day searching every article on this site, and I know that none of us have the time for that :)

You can also check out the entire site index HERE but still, there are so many articles it would be tough to find the ones you want to see. I made a new page here on the site that is called “Mirrorless Central” and this will be the area of the site where all Mirrorless camera reviews and useful articles will be posted. Only the good stuff!

Want to find info on the NEX series? The PEN series? The Fuji X series or even Ricoh? Then head on over to the “Mirrorless Central” page and see if there is something you may have missed! You can access the page at any time by using the navigation bar at the top of any page. It is listed under “Reviews & More” and then “Mirrorless Central”.

Anytime there is a review or cool article on a mirrorless camera I will also list it on that page so you can find it quickly and easily. Also, don’t forget there is a search bar at the top right of any page as well! Enjoy!


Sep 212011

Nikon enters the game with the new MIRRORLESS J1 and V1 cameras!

Haha! Hot off the heels of my “No need to buy a new camera” article….

So here we are, FINALLY! Nikon decided to enter the Mirrorless Camera market game with the newly announced J1 and V1 camera system. A system designed from the ground up with a new sensor, new lens mount and all new Nikon System! The J1 seems to be the one for the everyday person and the V1 seems to be made for the enthusiast. I am thrilled that Nikon has finally taken this leap but the design of these cameras seems rather lackluster IMO. Still, it is all about the image so if the quality is there that is all that matters. Well, quality, control, speed…

These cameras both have a  smaller sensor that Nikon is calling the “CX” format so who knows if the quality will be there? It has a 2.7X crop and is 10.1 MP, developed by Nikon. So the sensor is SMALLER than the micro 4/3 sensor and their 2X crop! Uggg.

The V1 has the built in EVF which is now finally starting to show up in cameras like this, and this is a GOOD thing. Wow..so many choices…NEX-7, New Nikons, Pentax Q, Micro 4/3…it’s getting crazy but all seem to serve a different purpose. Nikon seems to be going for tiny, fit in your pocket convenience. Specs looks great, price looks right.

You can read all about the new Nikon system directly at Nikon by clicking HERE. What do you know, Amazon is already taking pre-orders! Available in less than 30 days so says Nikon. IMO, this can not compete with the Sony NEX-7 and its APS-C sensor. This seems a bit more like the Pentax Q that I will be reviewing next week. I will also review these cameras as well, so stay tuned.

My guess is that the picture quality will be pretty good as Nikon would not release something dodgy after all of this time (or would they)??. There are already sample images here. You can tell it has a smaller sensor though when looking at the full size shots.

All of these choices makes me hope Leica has something REALLY great up their sleeve for 2012….I think they are going to HAVE TO but this Nikon announcement is rather, umm…blah. Just an FYI, Id buy an E-P3 over this in a heartbeat.

Pre-Order the J1 at Amazon in Black with the 10-30 Lens

or See all of the new Nikon options at Amazon!




  • Type
    Digital camera with interchangeable lens
  • Lens Mount
    Nikon 1 mount
  • Picture Angle
    Approx. 2.7x lens focal length (Nikon CX format)
  • Effective Pixels
    10.1 million
  • Sensor Size
    13.2mm x 8.8mm
  • Image Sensor Format
  • Image Sensor Type
  • Total Pixels
    12 million
  • Image Area (pixels)
    Still Images (3:2 aspect ratio)
    3,872 x 2,592
    2,896 x 1,944
    1,936 x 1,296
    Smart Photo Selector (3:2 aspect ratio)
    3,872 x 2,592
    2,896 x 1,944
    1,936 x 1,296
    Movie Mode (16:9 aspect ratio)
    3,840 x 2,160 (1080/60i)
    1,920 x 1,080 (1080/30p)
    1,280 x 720 (720/60p)
    Motion Snapshot (16:9 aspect ratio)
    3,840 x 2,160
  • File Format
    Compressed 12-bit NEF (RAW)
    JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx 1:4), normal (approx 1:8), or basic (approx 1:16) compression
    NEF (RAW) + JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats
  • Picture Control
    Selected Picture Control can be modified
    User-customizable Settings
  • Storage Media
  • Card Slot
    1 Secure Digital (SD)
  • File System
    Compliant with DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0
    DPOF (Digital Print Order Format)
    EXIF 2.3 (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras)
  • Viewfinder
  • Shutter type
    Electronic Shutter
  • Fastest Shutter Speed
    1/16,000 sec. in steps of 1/3EV
  • Slowest Shutter Speed
    1/3 second
  • Flash Sync Speed
    Up to 1/60 sec.
  • Bulb Shutter Setting
  • Shutter Release Modes
    Single-frame [S] mode
    Electronic [Hi]
    Self-timer mode
    Delayed remote
    Quick Response Remote
    Interval Timer Shooting
  • Frame Advance Rate
    Electronic [Hi]: Approx. 10, 30 or 60 fps
    Other modes: Up to 5 fps (single AF or manual focus, S Shutter- priority auto or M Manual exposure mode, shutter speed 1/250 sec or faster, and other settings at default values)
  • Top Continuous Shooting Speed at full resolution
    5 frames per second 10, 30 or 60 fps using Electronic (Hi) shutter
  • Self-timer
    2, 5, 10 sec. Timer duration electronically controlled
  • Remote Control Modes
    Delayed remote (2 sec)
    Quick-response remote
  • Exposure Metering System
    TTL metering using image sensor
  • Metering Method
    Center-weighted: Meters 4.5 circle in center of frame
    Spot: Meters 2 mm circle centered on select focus area
  • Exposure Modes
    Programmed Auto with flexible Program (P)
    Shutter-Priority Auto (S)
    Aperture-Priority Auto (A)
    Aperture-Priority (A)
    Manual (M)
    Scene Auto Selector
  • Scene Modes
    Night Portrait
  • Shooting Modes
    Still Image (3:2)
    Smart Photo Selector (3:2)
    Movie (HD 16:9)
    Movie Slow Motion (8:3)
    Motion Snapshot (16:9)
  • Exposure Compensation
    ±3 EV in increments of 1/3EV
  • Exposure Lock
    Luminosity locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button
  • ISO Sensitivity
  • Active D-Lighting
  • Autofocus System
    Hybrid autofocus (phase detection/contrast-detect AF)
    AF-assist illuminator
  • AF-area mode
    Single-point AF: 135 focus areas
    Auto-area AF: 41 focus areas
    Subject tracking
    Face-priority AF
  • Focus Lock
    Focus is locked by pressing AE-L/AF-L button or lightly pressing shutter release button in (S) AF
  • Focus Modes
    Auto (AF)
    Auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A)
    Single-servo AF (AF-S)
    Continuous-servo (AF-C)
    Full-time Servo (AF-F)
    Manual Focus (MF)
  • Built-in Flash
  • Guide Number
    5/16 (m/ft ISO 100, 20°C/68°F) Approx.
  • Flash Control
    i-TTL flash control using image sensor available
  • Flash Mode
    Slow sync
    Red-eye reduction
    Slow sync with red-eye reduction
    Rear curtain with sync
    Rear curtain with slow sync
  • Flash Compensation
    -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3 EV
  • Flash-ready indicator
    Lights when built-in flash unit is fully charged
  • White Balance
    Direct Sunlight
    Preset Manual
    All except preset manual with fine tuning
  • Movie Metering
    TTL exposure metering using main image sensor
  • Movie Metering method
    Center-weighted: Meters 4.5 circle in center of frame
    Spot: Meters 2 mm circle centered on select focus area
  • Movie File Format
  • Movie Video Compression
    H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding
  • Movie Audio recording format
  • Movie Audio recording device
    Built-in stereo microphone; sensitivity adjustable
  • Movie
    HD: 1920 X 1080/60i
    HD: 1920 X 108/30p
    HD: 1280 x 720/60p
    Slow-motion: 640×240/400fps
    Slow-motion: 320×120/1200fps
    Motion Snapshot: 1920×1080/60p (plays at 24p)
    Audio file format: ACC
    Movie file format: MOV
  • Monitor Size
    3.0 in. diagonal
  • Monitor Resolution
    460,000 Dots
  • Monitor Type
    TFT-LCD with brightness adjustment
  • Interface
    USB: Hi-speed USB
    HDMI output: Type C mini-pin HDMI connector
  • Supported Languages
    Chinese (Simplified and Traditional)
  • Date, Time and Daylight Savings Time Settings
  • World Time Setting
  • Battery / Batteries
    EN-EL20 Lithium-ion Battery
  • Battery Life (shots per charge)
    230 shots (CIPA)
  • AC Adapter
    EH-5b AC Adapter
    Requires EP-5C Power Supply Connector
  • Tripod Socket
    1/4 in. (ISO1222)
  • Approx. Dimensions
    Width 4.2 in. (106mm)
    Height 2.4 in. (61mm)
    Depth 1.2 in. (29.8mm)
    Excluding projections.
  • Approx. Weight
    8.3oz. (234g)
    camera body only
  • Operating Environment
    32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C)
    Less than 85% humidity (no condensation)
  • Supplied Accessories
    • EN-EL20 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
    • MH-27 Battery Charger
    • UC-E6 USB Cable
    • BF-N1000 Body Cap
    • AN-N1000  Strap
    • ViewNX 2
    • Short Movie Creator CD
    • User’s Manual
    • Reference manual CD
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