Weekend Tidbits. Canon EOS-M, RX1 lens rated and new Leather straps…

Weekend Tidbits. Canon EOS-M, RX1 lens rated and new Leather straps…

Hello to all and happy Saturday! I’m feeling a but better today after going through the worst flu of my life for the past 6 days straight. I have had so much bed rest during these past 6 days I am starting to go stir crazy! I am now feeling a bit better I NEED to get out of the house and see some sunshine. Since I have not done too much work over the past week I want to get caught up and post some things I will be talking about and reviewing soon.


Canon EOS-M – Dud? 

I have had a Canon EOS-M here for about 5 days but did not even take a serious look at it until today. I fired off some test snaps with the included 22mm f/2 pancake and was all set to write the shortest EOS-M review ever (not good). One reason why is that the AF on this guy is turtle slow and makes the Fuji X cameras appear to be speed demons. The EOS-M is also very small and overly simplified to the point where it is basically a point and shoot with an APS-C sensor. There are no real dials or enthusiast buttons and I am puzzled as to why Canon even released this.

They only have two lenses for it, the 22 and a 18-55 kit quality zoom. That is it. For $799 with the 22mm (which will almost give you a 35mm equivalent due to its APS-C sensor) and no EVF, VF or real controls, I would buy a NEX-6, NIkon V1, Olympus OM-D or even a Fuji X-E1 over the Canon EOS-M. I just do not get who it is for but have a feeling hardcore Canon fans are the ones who are buying it because it is NOT a fun camera to use due to the slow AF, lack of VF, and the fact that it feels like a small P&S. It does not really inspire me in any way. You figure Canon would have been able to release something to kick all of the others to the curb in the mirrorless world but nope. Not even close.

I will still shoot with it over the next week though and even will be trying out a Leica 50 Summilux ASPH on it to see how much fun it is with manual quality glass. To me, the 50 Lux ASPH is the best Leica lens ever. I’ve always been stuck between the 35 Lux and 50 Lux but the 50 is THE ultimate Leica lens, period. My best shots over the years have come from this lens and I plan on making this my exclusive lens with the new Leica M.  Not sure how it will do on the EOS-M though, but I will see soon enough 🙂 I enjoyed using it on my OM-D a while back and it delivered that “lux” magic even with the smaller OM-D sensor. It is a lifetime lens and no longer has year-long waits, in fact Leica dealers should have a few in stock right now and I know for a 100% fact that Ken Hansen has a LOAD of them right now.


Still, I would never buy the EOS-M to shoot Leica glass on anyway as Leica glass works so well on the Sony NEX, Fuji X or Olympus OM-D (and best on the Leica M bodies) due to them having actual viewfinders. So first impression of the EOS-M without any shooting time is a big disappointment. I can tell the IQ is good but it does nothing that other APS-C sensors can not do but give you those Canon colors.

The Sony RX1 Ziess lens tested by DXO..and it’s a beauty!


So DXO tested the Sony RX1 Zeiss 35mm Lens and boy did they REALLY RAVE ABOUT IT. This will give you an idea on why the RX1 is priced as it is..THE LENS  is the heart of the system and tested better than the stand alone $1800 Zeiss 35 1.4…

“Its optical performance is outstanding, and particularly noteworthy for its consistent sharpness and homogenous imaging across the frame. With excellent image quality at maximum aperture becoming outstanding at f/2.8 and on, the Zeiss Sonnar T* 2/35 is likely to become a classic, against which all others are judged. Of course the lens can only be obtained with the purchase of the RX1, a camera that is not entirely without its own quirks and shortcomings. In spite of this, if you have the money to invest, then close to perfect imagery is assured.”

 “With a high overall DxOMark score of 33, the Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* is a superb performer optically. That score puts it comfortably ahead of the $1,850 manual focus Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 1.4/35 (35mm f/1.4) on a Nikon D3X, which achieved a DxOMark score of 30.””

So there ya go. This Zeiss lens is “likely to become a classic, against which all others are judged” – Same thing I thought from the get go without needing to do any measurements. The RX1 is a beast.

Hand made Leather straps – Tap and Dye


A few weeks ago I received some straps from a company called “Tap & Dye” who told me their straps are hand made in the good old USA (New York) and I have to say they are very nice quality straps. With so many strap manufacturers out there today it is not hard to find a great strap but sometimes it can be tricky to find one that really gives you what you are looking for when it comes to comfort, usability, security, length, etc. I have seen some Leather straps selling for $200+ but Tap & Dye straps come in under $70 which makes them a good buy for a strap that will last you a lifetime.

These straps will get soft over time and wear in to your own body but when you first get them they will have some stiffness going on.

You can order in any size from 38″ to 48″ and they also sell hand straps using the same quality leather.


Each strap is made from Full Grain,Cowhide leather. All edges will be left unfinished and distressed for a vintage antique look.

Each strap features durable, high quality antique nickel plated solid brass rivets.

To see all of the offerings from Tap & Dye you can click on over to their site HERE.


  1. The Canon M is not all that bad! I have been shooting with it since May 14th and have found it a great camera for the street. The 22mm F2 is great in low light. Very sharp.

    • IQ is great. Usability not so much. I have compared it to everything else and it falls flat when it comes to AF speed and usability. But what is important is what YOU enjoy, that is all that matters. Many enjoy it and take gorgeous images with it. What I write is my opinions for me 🙂 But mostly any camera today can give superb results from someone who knows how to use it. I just feel for the money there are much better options with just as good or better IQ, faster performance, more intuitive and better lenses available.

        • I too was wondering what you thought of this camera at $299 and the firmware upgrade for those who don’t care about lack of EVF.

          • I bought mine in June 2013 at Munich Airport (Closeout sale 224,50 Euro with kit zoom and flash), thinking I would try it and trade it in later without too much loss. Kept it, put new firmware on (big improvement in performance, IQ was quite ok from the start), like to take it along on trips where I do not wish to risk my RX1, A7 or NEX-7…

            For 299 USD, with new firmware, it is quite ok.

            One has to like the user interface, and live without EVF, though (touch screen). Use is otherwise quite intuitive, though, and RAW IQ is good.

  2. Question: need ( want) a new point and shoot for vacation. Have a panasonic with Leica lense now DMC-tZ4. Just want great pics easily. What would you recommend?
    Would you recommend The V- Lux 40?

  3. I expect to be able to buy a decent belt for $42. This Tap & Dye outfit reminds me of the lunch joint that took over when an old deli went out of business. They hired a marketing firm to design their “look” (logo and paint scheme) and come up with a mantra that’s painted on their wall (I see that Tap & Dye has a mantra, too) … all fluff and no substance. What makes Tap & Dye (established in 2012) a “heritage brand” ? What value is added by shipping a wrist strap or key fob in a cheesecloth bag with the distressed logo printed on it ?
    It looks like the straps are made by a photographer who decided to expand his business:
    More power to him !
    I’m sure the straps are very nice, maybe nicer than the Gordys (I have no idea; I use the freebie from an old Canon digicam on my NEX, but I do love the look of the Gordy in black and might be tempted to buy one for the RX100 that’s on its way). And if you like them, $42 (or more if you want a “Limited Edition”) isn’t a lot of money. But let’s not fool ourselves into thinking a little strip of leather and a bit of hardware is “worth” that money or that it’s reasonable. It’s an overpriced little indulgence.

  4. Steve, I look forward to your testing the Leica lens on the EOS-M. I was disappointed in this Canon attempt in the mirrorless market, but see it as a potential back-up camera that could salvage a shoot if a Canon DSLR malfunctioned, using the M-to-EF adapter. If the M can perform decently with a fully manual lens, that would show the M has at least a bit of creative utility.

    I also hope that the rumored second Canon M offers something more for suited for pro, semi-pro, and enthusiast-level shooters.

    It is good to see you are recovering well from the flu!

    Thanks for your continued real-world reviews!

    • The issue with the idea of the EOS-M (btw canon and m4/3 shooter here) being a back up is that you can pick up a rebel for around the same price and get better performance.

      And if size is the issue EOS-M is still not optimal because while it’s small the lens selection is small as well. And if you go and use existing canon lenses on it really ruins the whole small proposition.

      I really don’t see the point of the EOS-M. They should have made a great camera but they ended up with a dog’s breakfast that no one really need.

  5. That’s an awfully expensive piece of, basically disposable, glass on the front of the RX-1. Hat tip to Sony but what happens to the value of that pricey glass when the RX-2 comes out..?

    • I would hope that an RX2 would cover the short tele/portrait range, anywhere from 80 mm to 100mm.
      Then you’d have a two camera kit without any image compromises, small and transportable, ready to take on the world.

  6. 70$ for a strip of leather and a bit of metal , please you must be kidding me !!!! Way way way over priced…. It just isn’t that good…

  7. Hi Steve,
    what would be interessting, where some low light shoots with the EOS-M vs. the NEX. Maybe the NEX-5R cause i guess, they are in the same price range.
    Thanks a lot.
    Alex from Germany

    • You can compare them now yourself by looking at any shots from a 7D, 60, T3i, T4i vs the sample shots (just use dpreview or imaging resource) from the NEX series. The EOS-M is still using the same old 18mp sensor technology that was release in 2009.

  8. btw, if you actually visit the website you’ll see that wrist strap shown in the bottom photo is not $70, it’s listed as $52 as it’s a limited edition beeswax finish. They have regular finish wrist straps that are reasonably priced at $42.

    • Regarding the Canon M….Canon rumors just published this wish list for the next model of the M… This the list pretty much covers Steve’s (and my) criticism of Canon’s first mirrorless camera offering, (M is for Mediocre). Hopefully all issues will be addressed..there is no excuse for a company with the experience and deep pockets that Canon has to not offer a modern mirrorless camera that photographers actually want to buy and use.


  9. Glad you are starting to feel better, Steve.

    I started with Canon for my first digital with an S20 back around 2001. Shutter lag and battery life was dismal compared to what’s available today, but the Canon colors were outstanding. So in 2006 when I got my first DSLR, I stuck with Canon. After seeing how good Olympuses OM-D was, I had high hopes for Canon when the EOS M was first announced. But then seeing the specifications and reports of turtle-paced AF speed and no physical controls, I was deeply disappointed and decided I will not be jumping on the bandwagon. I regularly visit a very popular forum for Canon, and most folks there are also disappointed. I rarely even see this camera discussed over there at all. That should tell you something.

    As you attested to regarding the Nikon 1 cameras, the smaller sensor is something we wish had been bigger. But at least it’s AF is smokin fast and accurate and there is an f1.8 prime available for it.

  10. Steve, it sounds like the EOS-M is no fun. Can you still do some shot comparisons with the top mirrorless contenders. It’d be nice to see if there is anything it does well.

    It seems both Canon and Nikon are protecting their DSLR lines by limiting their mirrorless one way or another. Seems both could have done fantastic APS-C based cameras with all the bells & whistles, and yet…

  11. A photographer friend of mine picked up one not too long ago, the wrist strap and its absolutely beautiful! It’s incredibly well built and feels great. Honestly, for $42 its way worth it.

  12. Am I the only one who finds these straps way overpriced (not only these but most that I’ve seen)? It’s just a short piece of leather and a bit of metal.

    • As someone work in fashion bag business for years, I just don’t understand the pricing of this strap. I guess it’s a Hermes in camera accessories.

    • Not just you, George. It’s what you don’t get that makes this genre look tatty after a time; no burnishing of the edges, which we’re amusingly, and accurately, told gives it a “distressed look” (help!). Since that process is more labour intensive, you would think the $70 price tag would already cover such treatment, Then it would not only look “antique” but help durability (and it does not interfere with flexibility).

      (I’ve made several such bands, and for watches, too. Burnishing is not hard to do but takes up time. Gum tragcanth is a useful aid and is cheap.)

        • As an owner of both Gordy’s and Tap & Dye’s I can tell you that the Tap and Dye strap is waaay better both in quality and use. Breaks in beautifully and feels very comfortable. FYI Tap & Dye wrist straps cost $42 not $70.

        • I have a Gordys and it is perfect. Made in the USA, really thick leather that breaks in with use. A fraction of the cost of the Tap and Dye.

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