Feb 062014
 

The $11,500 Hasselblad HV! Oops, I mean Sony A99! 

frontofh

The new Hasselblad HV. A DSLR that offers no compromises with tough as nails build, jaw dropping beauty and is already a proven winner because it is indeed a Sony A99! All for $11,500! Woohoo!

Yes, this was announced 3-4 days ago or so but I had to wrap my head around this one and decide if I even wanted to give it exposure. Then I figured..well..why not, not many, if any, will buy one of these anyway! I mean, restyling a NEX-7 could have been cool as the NEX-7 is a cool camera. Restyling the mighty mite RX100 could also have been cool, as it is one hell of a pocket camera. Hasselblad accomplished to screw both of those up and turned the “could have been” into “Damn..we screwed up”.  The slow selling Lunar and Stellar prove that one.

But fear not, Hasselblad is forging on with the Sony morphs with the new Hasselblad HV 99 mainly because they had to as it has been in the works for a long while already.

I call this new Hasselblad the “HPV 99″ (there really is no 99 in the name, nor a “P”) because it is the Sony A99 with a new coat of paint and cosmetics at an almost $9000 premium, which to me sounds like a big old genital wart on the camera industry. Yep, should be called the HPV 99.

Yes, that is correct… the now older A99 that sells for $2700 can be had for $11,500 featuring the same shape, sensor, image quality, speed, and using the same Sony lenses for $11,500 US. Basically, we get a wooden case and fancy styling for our $9k and nothing more. Oh yea, “tough as nails” build quality.

hassy1

Someone at Hasselblad has either lost their minds or they are trying to only sell 50 of these worldwide. 

Like I said, I can see them blinging out the small and cool and capable mirror less cameras. Hell, even I held the Lunar and Stellar and liked the Stellar (RX100) quite a bit but could not bring myself to pay $3500 for a $600 camera, no matter how cool it looked and how good it felt.

The HPV 99 comes with a pelican style case because Hasselblad KNOWS that us photographers always like to carry our camera not in a bag or with a strap, but in a suitcase. 

hassycase

But why is Hasselblad giving this treatment to a fat bulky DSLR that will use the same fat bulky Sony DSLR lenses? I mean, who here would pay $11,500 for a Sony A99 with a new coat of paint when you can get a standard black A99 for $2700?!?!? This is not the same as Leica with their special editions as Leica is not taking an OM-D E-M1 that sells for $1600 and pimping it out with a Leica logo, blinging it out and charging $8,000 for it. Leica does not take a Fuji X-E2 and throw a coat on it and charge $7500. Leica takes their own premium M design and puts out a special edition here and there with very few units being made. What they do with Panasonic does not count as even when they give this treatment to the Panasonic P&S cameras they come in at a $200-$300 premium yet offer longer warranty, better software and better aesthetics.

hassyh

I am just confused as to what Hasselblad are doing but maybe I am cranky because I did not have my morning cup of coffee. One one hand Hasselblad seem to want to be like Leica yet at the same time they have no clue how to go about it. But I am here to offer my help to them.

Hasselblad..DESIGN YOUR OWN MASTERPIECE OF A CAMERA that lives up to the Hasselblad name. When you do that you will have something special. 

I am sure the HV will be beautiful, solid and extremely well made. But it is still an A99 any way you slice it. My question for you is..who here will be ordering the Hasselblad HV? $11,500 can buy you an amazing camera and a few lenses  - say a Sony A99 with $9k left for glass ;)

Vote in the poll below and feel free to comment!

Steve

May 232013
 

minimteaser2

June 11th 2013: The new Leica will be revealed. A smaller M? A fixed lens RX1 competitor? An APS-C M mount?

Leica hit us with a surprise announcement today and it looks like it will be quite special and possibly something everyone has been waiting for. With their new  factory set to open soon it seems they have been hard at work getting ready to deliver something new for us to Salivate over.

The new “family member” will be announced on June 11th so stay tuned. 

From the looks of it, this will be a smaller IC camera (interchangeable lens). Just because they are calling it “The Mini M” does not mean it will take M lenses as they are dubbing the X2 and D-Lux 6 “M’s” as well. They are placing this new one between the new M 240 and the X2 which they are dubbing “Micro”.

I see this as one of three things:

A: It could be a “Mini M” that takes M lenses, sort of a dumbed down 240. Smaller and lighter on features. Priced at $3995 this would be a home run grand slam hit. But if that is the case, there would be mass cancellations of the M 240 orders, which they can not even keep up with. So this is not likely. 

B: It could also be an all new camera..Something like a new Full Frame Sony RX1 copy,  like a fixed lens M camera. Hmmmm. Id also say this would come in at around $4000. It would be pretty cool. 

C: It could also be something like a new “M inspired” APS-C or Micro 4/3 mount camera. With an APS-C using the M mount, it would compete with the Sony NEX series or Fuji X series, both of which have cut into Leica’s sales in the past two years. So if Leica released a smaller body APS-C sensor M, it would also be quite the hit. $3500? This is MY guess. 

I guess we will all see on June 11th! hehehe.

Whatever it is, it is exciting to see Leica release something new!

I also believe it will be Made in Germany.  What do YOU think it is?

Vote in my Poll below!

minimteaser1

Jan 152012
 

Fun Poll: What camera did I use to shoot this portrait?

Hello and happy Sunday! Just for fun I decided to throw up this quick poll and since I usually do not post anything on Sundays I figured why not?. I just shot a portrait of my Nephew about 15 minutes ago. This was shot in my living room with lighting that is super dirt cheap. I currently have three cameras in my possession. The Leica M9 and a 50, the Nikon J1 and V1 with the zooms and the Olympus E-P3 with the 25 1.4 and 45 1.8. Which camera do you think took the shot below? This is just for fun as polls always seem to get everyone involved! You can click the image for a slightly larger version.

UPDATE – It’s only been a few hours but figured I would update this before heading to bed. Quite a few guesses in the poll and in the comments. The answer was fairly easy to get because as someone pointed out..almost any camera can do great with decent lighting. Which proves my point that just about any camera in the mirrorless segment today will give great results. 90% of the cameras in this segment are very slow or fail to AF in low light. Cameras like the NEX-5n can do very good when the lights get low  but getting it to AF is another story. The image above, and the ones below were shot with the…Nikon J1. Not the best sensor but plenty good enough AND it’s AF is a dream.

So most of you got it correct. I have to send it back tomorrow so I took it out today and shot with while out shopping with my Son and Nephew.

The image above and the one directly below was shot with a great little light setup I received from B&H Photo. It’s basically a stand, light and umbrella. It throws some soft light but I think I will pick up a 2nd one and keep them in my office for portraits. This is the setup I used, and it rocks for what it is. I am a fan of lighting vs strobes because what you see is what you get. When I shot the image above I used Matrix metering but during the RAW conversion converted to B&W and deepened the blacks. It was shot with the Nikon 10-30 at 30mm f/5.6 at ISO 250 and 1/60th.

Below is another I shot with the same settings but I left it in color. This again with the J1 and 10-30 Zoom. 

-

In case you missed it, the point I was making with this post is that just about ANY camera today will give you great results, and backs up my statement that even a J1 or V1 is good enough for 90% of our every day uses. The ones who still bash the J/V1 and attack it no matter what I say….open your mind. The 1 system is not perfect and Micro 4/3 outshines it in many areas, but the 1 system also outshines M4/3 in many areas so the best thing to do is decide what you desire the most in your photo equipment. It is after all YOU that is behind the camera and making the shot. What you want is a tool that gets out of the way the most and delivers quality results, which any mirrorless will do with ease today (give quality results).

A few others from today with the J1..click them for larger and better versions otherwise you will not be seeing them correctly.

ISO 800 – at the mall through a window – you can see some grain here but it is not offensive. Still, you will not get crystal clean ISO 800 here. 

-

ISO 400 – 10-30 at f/4.5 – 1/30s

-

10-30 zoom at 10mm – ISO 800 – f/3.5 – 1/30s

-

10-30 zoom – ISO 200 – f/3.5 – 1/100s

-

and one at ISO 400 with crop – same results as from the V1 due to the cameras sharing the same sensor/processing. Click image for 100% crop

So there you go. The Nikon J1 is a good camera though I prefer the V1 and I really hope NIkon follows through with some fast primes like they mentioned. If they do this, and I feel they must, the J1 and V1 will get even better because we will then be able to play with Depth of Field a little. As it is now they are speed demons with some grain at higher ISO but they still keep the color when the ISO goes up.

BTW, who heard about the new Olympus OM-D that was hitting the internet in the last 24 hours? Supposedly in February we will see “pro” Olympus – an OM digital. February should be an exciting month with the Fuji and supposedly the new Olympus. It never ends! As always, thanks foe reading and for participating in the poll!

Aug 232011
 

Will you buy the upcoming Fuji X50?

Well, it appears to be coming soon…the Fuji X50. The pint sized baby of the X100. Looks like the X100, feels like the X100, works like the X100, has the same build as the X100 but it is half the size of the X100, with a small point and shoot sensor. Me, I will pass as I am no longer buying any small sensor cameras but I have to admit, this will look pretty cool with a wrist strap :) I just do not think the success will be there for the smaller version. The X100 is almost the camera so many of us have been begging for (just needs a few tweaks and enhancements to make it perfect). I don’t see a small sensor zoom version to be anything too exciting. BUT what about you?

Here are the specs of the X50:

12 MP 2/3-inch EXR CMOS – SMALL sensor so this camera will be competition for something like the Leica D-Lux 5
4x f/2 manual zoom lens (Fujinon) – Zoom lens…f/2 at wide end
Optical view finder – NOT hybrid
1080p HD movie recording
RAW+JPEG
Same lovely X100 build quality
Just under $600 at $599

So the question is..WILL YOU be buying a Fuji X50? Participate in the poll below!

Aug 012011
 

-

Just spoke with SLR Magic/Noktor and was told that the new lens they are releasing soon is indeed a Leica M mount 0.95 50mm lens. This is an all new lens by Noktor and is made for the full frame Leica M9 as well as Leica M film cameras. The previous Noktor lens that was released for Micro 4/3 and the Sony E-Mount is a smaller lens and would not work for a full frame sensor.

This will be 6-bit coded as well. Yep, a new 50m f/0.95 lens for the M mount that will be MUCH less expensive than the Noctilux. The lens is coming soon but Noktor is still doing some design enhancements and they asked me to post a poll so you guys can help!

NOKTOR NEEDS YOUR HELP!

As you can see from the image of the prototype, the focusing ring does not appear to give much grip. I mentioned to them my preference but they had the idea of me putting up the poll to ask you for your preference.

They asked me which type of focusing ring Leica users would prefer. Scalloped, Round Barrel, or Focus Tab? Also, would you prefer a green ring on the front of the lens or a black ring? Vote in the poll below so Noktor can finish the design and get this lens released!

May 232011
 

UPDATE: The TOP image was from the Leica X1. Bottom X100. Full comparison can be found HERE.

Happy Monday!

Im heading out to Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon AZ this morning to shoot the Leica X1 and Fuji X100 side by side to not only see the image quality differences, but to also see which one I prefer shooting with all day. I have a soft spot for the Leica X1 but also am really digging the X100 so I wanted to see the real deal between the two as so many have been talking about the 3D depth of the X1 and the flatness of the X100.

When I reviewed the X100 I did not have an X1 on hand, and now I do so this is going to be fun :)

I posted a sample and poll on Saturday of my son asking what camera you guys though took each photo, and the voting is pretty close! I will reveal which camera took which image either later on tonight or tomorrow morning with my full X1 and X100 side by side report.

Until then, here is one more comparison!

FULL SIZE OUT OF CAMERA IMAGES!!!

YOU MUST CLICK ON THESE TO SEE THE FULL SIZE IMAGES!

These were shot RAW, f/8, and exported from ACR without ANY change of settings or PP.

One of these came from the Leica X1 and one from the X100.

When you click on them they will open as one but in FULL size.

Instead of asking which one you think came from which camera, this time vote for the one you like best. It’s a crap image but was just taken to test detail, color and rendering at f/8 with each camera. I will have some better images later tonight or in the morning from each camera, along with my full comparison.

With that said, I think sometimes it is pointless to over-analyze things such as this. Obviously, both the X1 and X100 are fantastic cameras capable of high image quality and each one can inspire confidence and deliver the results. Which one you prefer is all up to what you want to use it for. For example, if you wanted a viewfinder and close up capabilities, the X10o would be a better choice. If you wanted that “Leica Look” that some of you see, and some do not, then the X1 is the only choice.

BRW, both cameras are easy to use and have similar AF speed (using the X1′s V2 firmware).

 

 

Jan 132011
 

-

POLL!

OK, quick poll. SLR Magic is thinking about releasing a Leica M mount 90 f/2 lens in the $250 range. They have made a prototype and are wondering if it is something they should release. I’m just not sure how popular the 90mm focal length is these days. So the question is…if there was a 90mm f/2 Leica M mount lens available with decent build and a little bit smaller than the 90 Summicron, AND it had very good quality…would you buy one for $250 or less?

The company is SLR Magic, the same guys that brought us the Toy lens for micro 4/3 and the 35 1.7 for NEX mount. The 90 would be an all new lens, not a toy lens. Here is the sample I was sent from their prototype which they say is 70% of the final quality.

So, what do you think?

Oct 132010
 

I’m in NYC and in my room so I decided to update this with which image is from the M9….It is indeed #4!

Hey guys! Just a last minute post before I head to bed as  tomorrow I wake up at 4Am to catch a flight to NYC for Fridays meet. Im in a mood to do some street shooting in New York so cant wait to get settled in the room. Today I took some quick snaps of my son and his new puppy and one of the images was  taken with a Leica M9 and 35 Summilux while the other three were shot with the Panasonic G2 and 20 1.7 lens.

This should be easy to figure out but just wanted to see if anyone can spot the Leica M9 shot here so here is a just for fun poll. Which one was shot with the M9?

It is my belief that at web resolution, just about ANY digital camera will do when it comes to providing pleasing images so this is not meant to be a test of which camera is better, just a test to see if anyone can spot the “Leica Look”. I did convert these to B&W, and they were all shot JPEG. So, lets have some fun! Next update will be from NYC…

Which shot is from the M9? CLICK THE IMAGE FOR LARGER 1300 PIXEL WIDE VERSION!

© 2009-2014 STEVE HUFF PHOTOS All Rights Reserved