Tidbits.

  1. Leica announced today that the new generation M9(P)/M-E CCD sensors are ready.  Good news for those affected by the dreaded corrosion issue.  Good news also for those of us who are hanging on to our M9(P)/M-E cameras.
  2. By now, most of you are aware of the new Sony A7RII:Sony A7RII

For many reasons, I should be jumping on this camera.

Strangely, I’m not even remotely interested.

Am I:

  • getting old?
  • happy with what I have?
  • becoming more and more an admirer of film?
  • all of the above?

—Peter.

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15 thoughts on “Tidbits.

  1. Linden says:

    You are an independent minded empiricist who knows that one size does not fit all, and you have come to your own conclusions. Those conclusions will change from time to time, but the reasons will be your own. That’s a more satisfying way to indulge a passion.

  2. Actually I’m not surprised Peter! I bet against you once thinking that you might keep the previous Sony A7(s?) that you owned for a short time… having since owned a Sony A7ii share the feeling.

    I kept mine for 8 months this year, and felt like I should be enjoying using it more than I actually was. To me, whilst I did really like some things about it (IQ, and the handling) and I knew it was a wonderful and very capable, innovative tool – it just left me a little bit cold.

    I traded the whole lot in for a Fuji X-T1 which feels like a far better fit! As Linden said too, what fits for one person will likely not for the next. The wealth of choice available today is something to be very grateful for.

    I can understand why the A7r ii is simply not a good fit for your style and approach to photography. There’s something sterile about the user experience that I was never able to put my finger on. It feels like a camera designed and built by an electronics company. Fuji and Leica are among the companies building cameras that feel like… well… cameras, first and foremost!

  3. Nick Devlin says:

    The A7r2 is a technologically stunning and utterly souless camera. I have rarely been that impressed and disinterested at the same time. All of which is to say, you are right.

  4. For my work (such as it is) the new Sony would be ideal. But I don’t know if I’d use it for anything else. That’s not for the sake of being a contrarian, it’s just how I feel. Interesting point: a used M9 is about the same price as an A7RII. What we prefer will depend on many factors, not just specifications. But they’re both arguably the best full-frame colour cameras available today.

    Of course DSLRs are almost redundant now, so I’m not really bothered with them. In fact I don’t know if the Leica S still has relevance, either, but its image quality, though due to its lenses, is far superior to the other DSLRs on offer today.

    I’d like to use film more, but maybe just b&w for now. Colour slide film would be great but that stuff is expensive to develop and scan. No more pre-paid slide film – I think I took Kodachrome for granted until it disappeared. And Richard Photo Lab is expensive and they don’t even use the best scanners.

    So what’s funny is that despite the huge improvements in digital sensors, film still appeals. Steve Huff reckons that Sony’s next A7S will probably have an ISO of one million. I think he’s right. But, ISO is one variable among many. I think the M9 is inferior to film in many ways, but not in all ways. So it’s not “I prefer digital over film” but “I prefer this specific digital sensor over this specific type of film,” or whatever. And if people think the iPhone can give as good enlargements as 35mm, they’re kidding themselves.

  5. andygemmell says:

    The great gear mind games. To some extent we are all tied up with this…some more than others. But it is nice when you are happy with what you have and stop chasing.

    As for this camera, Nick summed it up very well.

    As for the Leica announcement it is certainly encouraging. Id be curious to know if a new ME has this sensor in ut free of problems.

  6. Jim says:

    I wouldn’t turn down a A7 body if someone gave me one, but I prefer the a6000 form factor better. It’s smaller, and I like the EVF being on the left side of the back instead of the middle.

    I tried an M8 for almost two years. While I did like the characteristics of the sensor in good light, the low light performance was hard to deal with. I know what my ultimate camera would be, but nobody makes it. I’d like a Leica Q or Ricoh GR with a 50mm f/2 lens and fast autofocus, and Leica CCD sensor that handles ISO 6400 in dark places and still looks good.

  7. I agree with Nick; the A7r2 impresses me with all the technology it encompasses, but it leaves me completely cold as a possible purchase.

    I had the A7 (which completely fried itself just five days out of the box), replaced it with the M240 (too big, heavy, and $$$$; plus too many lockup issues during use and the sensor was the worst dust magnet I’ve ever dealt with), then replaced the M240 with film. I’m still working out which film body to keep and which emulsions to use, but hope to wrap up both of those sometime in the next several months.

    Digital? I’ve still got my a6000 and the RX100 to keep me company at present. Will I ever go full-frame digital again? I dunno. The cost of full-frame digital remains prohibitively high and I still feel that the look of full-frame film trumps digital even today. I would be a lot more tempted if the full-frame digital were in the smaller form-factor of the a6000, and lacking all the extra bells and whistles — I just want a digital version of the M3, where I manually control the exposure, focus, and shutter speed.

  8. sgoldswo says:

    I owned the A7 and original A7R, the latter of which was one of the most horrible cameras I’ve owned – I was constantly fighting it and just gave up. The A7 was better, but I didn’t enjoy using it. I didn’t really bond with the A7 II, it was a bit soulless, but easier to use and more ergonomic than the A7. I could only really get results with it that made me very happy with the 70-200 lens. That said, the A7RII (which I part exchanged my A7II for) really impresses me. There are a couple of reasons for this: (i) the autofocus is a good bit better; (ii) the electronic first curtain gives sharper results and a practical increase in resolution; and (iii) the results are lovely. The samples on the internet don’t do the camera justice. It’s definitely worth downloading the RAWs and pushing results with blues and greens in them. There’s a lot of colour depth. In addition, the high ISO results are up there with results from the Df/D4 sensor.

    On the downside, the AF isn’t really as good as a DSLR and the files don’t take sharpening as well as those from a D810. Also, a D810 has better DR at base ISO.

    I fully appreciate Sony cameras have a reputation regarding how much fun it is to use them (I owned an A900 back in the day). There’s some of that here, but… this is an impressive camera looking at the results as well as the specifications. On that basis I would advise taking a look at one.

    All of that said, the most fun I’ve had with a recent camera is from the Leica Q. Whoever commissioned that camera at Leica deserves a medal.

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