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Mark Baigent

Cameras... against the tide

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Hi all

 

Some people here have been very helpful, to me, talking about cameras, especially the Nex and Fuji offerings.

So here is an update.

 

I did buy a Nex 5n to try (now sold) and have also tried a friends Nex 6, I have not tried the Fujis but I will when the chance arrives.

 

But having browsed image samples around the web and my Nex usage I have fallen back in love with my full frame Canons and will be adding to my full frame kit by upgrading to the 5D 111, and tracking down a 24-105 for walking about stock.as soon as funds allow.

 

 

Issues raised have been

 

 - image quality, I have seen nothing from the mirrorless cameras that can touch the 5D 111.

 - Handling, I found the smaller cameras... well the Nex's, a pain to use. Too fiddly for my hands.

 - High iso, I tend to use a tripod most of the time (the nex looked a tad daft on a 5 series Gitzo), so

   high iso is not that important to me.

 

 - Weight, there is no doubt that the 5Ds are heavy but a lot of the weight comes from the lenses and switching

    back to primes may help. Also a good bag helps a lot.

 

 - At work, I would not feel comfortable turning up on a commercial shoot with the tiddly cameras.

 

 - Walking about camera, no doubt the smaller cameras have an edge here,  I will look at the fujis one day.

   But I have managed with the 5d 11 until now and am happy to continue to do so.
   For family snaps I will use the phone.

 

I think that my mind set, needing maximum IQ to be confident selling images, stock and commercial play a major factor in my camera choices. If I had the budget I would want a Phase one :-).

 

So I wil not switch systems and as yet have no commercial reason to add an extra smaller system.

 

So here I am swimming against the tide, as usual :-)

Edited by Mark Baigent
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I am with you Mark, I did buy an RX100, which is great for slipping into a pocket, for use on those occasions when I would not ordinarily have a camera with me and indeed it has been useful.

But when shooting in my studio, or on location shoots I much prefer my D700. No chance, any time soon, of me ditching the full frame. 

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"Issues raised have been

 

 - image quality, I have seen nothing from the mirrorless cameras that can touch the 5D 111.

 - Handling, I found the smaller cameras... well the Nex's, a pain to use. Too fiddly for my hands.

 - High iso, I tend to use a tripod most of the time (the nex looked a tad daft on a 5 series Gitzo), so

   high iso is not that important to me.

 

 - Weight, there is no doubt that the 5Ds are heavy but a lot of the weight comes from the lenses and switching

    back to primes may help. Also a good bag helps a lot.

 

 - At work, I would not feel comfortable turning up on a commercial shoot with the tiddly cameras.

 

 - Walking about camera, no doubt the smaller cameras have an edge here,  I will look at the fujis one day.

   But I have managed with the 5d 11 until now and am happy to continue to do so.
   For family snaps I will use the phone.

 

I think that my mind set, needing maximum IQ to be confident selling images, stock and commercial play a major factor in my camera choices. If I had the budget I would want a Phase one :-).

 

So I wil not switch systems and as yet have no commercial reason to add an extra smaller system.

 

So here I am swimming against the tide, as usual :-)" -- Mark

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

>>> Different strokes for different folks. And one more cliche: A camera is a tool for taking pictures. No one tool does every job perfectly.

 

I agree with most of your points, Mark. But I have come to some opposite conclusions. 

 

>Image quality is just too large and complex a subject to deal with in a multi-points post.

 

>Handling can be fiddly with small cameras that do so much . . . but smaller is the major point here, no?

 

>For me, for street/location stock, higher ISOs and IS have all but replaced the tripod, surely here on the crowded streets of NYC, they have. Yes, I own several good tripods and a folding Leica table pod. I see a must for using a tripod for everything in the digital age as a bit too retro. 

 

>I must agree that if I were still doing commercial assignments I would not want to show up with a little Mickey Mouse camera. The Romans (not the ancients, the ones I lived among) call it bella figura . . . you have to look good, look like you're a pro. 

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Funny thing about NEX cameras is I've never seen one being used. It seems that everyone has a DSLR on the streets -  I guess if I do see one in action, I'll know it's someone shooting for Alamy.

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...

 

>I must agree that if I were still doing commercial assignments I would not want to show up with a little Mickey Mouse camera. The Romans (not the ancients, the ones I lived among) call it bella figura . . . you have to look good, look like you're a pro. 

 

 

Would that include a Leica M? Surely it depends on the assignment - even a big DSLR would look out of place if you were shooting large sets for major ad campaign in a studio?

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 Hi Ed

 

 

> Different strokes for different folks. And one more cliche: A camera is a tool for taking pictures. No one tool does every job perfectly.

Absolutely, buit it makes commercial sense for me to own one kit So I go with the most flexible kit that I can.

I am making an assumption.... all things be equal quality lenses, upto date technology in the camera, and good technique then a big sensor will produce better IQ. If A client want AO prints from me I want to be happy that I have done what I can to supply the best IQ that I can (if I could I would shoot medium format.

 

>Handling can be fiddly with small cameras that do so much . . . but smaller is the major point here, no?

 

Not for me, as I have discovered, comfort, handling is more important that the size of the camera. But then I do not shoot "street"

 

 

>I must agree that if I were still doing commercial assignments I would not want to show up with a little Mickey Mouse camera.

This is where my only one system comse in to play, if I can only have one system it has to cope with stock, commercial and the architectural images that I shoot. 

 

> The Romans (not the ancients, the ones I lived among) call it bella figura . . . you have to look good, look like you're a pro.

Agreed, to get the hourly rate you have to look worth it before you even make images.

Edited by Mark Baigent

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...

 

>I must agree that if I were still doing commercial assignments I would not want to show up with a little Mickey Mouse camera. The Romans (not the ancients, the ones I lived among) call it bella figura . . . you have to look good, look like you're a pro. 

 

 

Would that include a Leica M? Surely it depends on the assignment - even a big DSLR would look out of place if you were shooting large sets for major ad campaign in a studio?

 

 

Jim's a very well know commercial shooter shooting for major clients, nice bloke...forgive the facial hair.

 

http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/news/536887/exclusive-interview-with-jim-marks.html

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Hiya

 

 

Would that include a Leica M? Surely it depends on the assignment - even a big DSLR would look out of place if you were shooting large sets for major ad campaign in a studio?

 

Interesting question :-)

 

I would have thought that the Leica would look out of place in a studio and that the 5D 111 would be ideal with medium format being better.

I have just shot three hundred products in the studio (for web and print)  and my tethered 5d was perfect especially with the large viewfinder.

 

If by sets you mean room sets the above is even more true... IMHO

Edited by Mark Baigent

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Hiya

 


 

Jim's a very well know commercial shooter shooting for major clients, nice bloke...forgive the facial hair.

 

http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/news/536887/exclusive-interview-with-jim-marks.html

 

 

 

 

I have read that but not watched the videos yes...

 

I get from reading that that he shoots DSLRs and Fujis, the main factor in his choice being weight. Which is great if you have (can afford) two  systems. If he could only have one system I wonder which he would choose.

Edited by Mark Baigent

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I have shot news with my Fuji X-E1 alongside staffers using DSLRs and not felt at all looked down on. On subsequent contacts I was made very welcome.  I think it came down to personal attitude, approach and self-confidence. Not that it would have bothered me one way or another.

 

As far as I am concerned it comes done to results. I use the Fuji as a lightweight, discreet go anywhere outfit. I use my Canon 1Ds3 and big lenses when appropriate like shooting motorsport from trackside. Flying with the Fuji is so much less hassle!

 

If I could only have one outfit it might well be a DSLR as I like shooting sport. But if it was for travel or most news/street stuff it would definitely be the Fuji (would like faster AF though, need to try X-E2 or X-T1). I use the Fuji 80% of the time at the moment. It will of course change as mirrorless cameras mature.

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The camera manufacturers love us photographers,  most of us are always looking and paying for a new piece of kit to make better images or life easier,  in my case i often find myself going back to what i have used in the past simply because it is better.

 

I have 3 heavy pro cameras with lenses to match,  also the very small where is it lost in my pocket RX100,  when i am lazy and in a very casual mood for photography and not wanting to stand out, my RX100 cannot be beat,  but when it is time to be serious the heavyweights come out to get better images.

 

Long live the DSLR!

 

Paul.

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...

 

>I must agree that if I were still doing commercial assignments I would not want to show up with a little Mickey Mouse camera. The Romans (not the ancients, the ones I lived among) call it bella figura . . . you have to look good, look like you're a pro. 

 

 

Would that include a Leica M? Surely it depends on the assignment - even a big DSLR would look out of place if you were shooting large sets for major ad campaign in a studio?

 

 

 

I would expect the frame lines and composition could be challenging in the studio (unless space is left for cropping). What you see is NOT what you get.

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Mark:

 

If you are in quality mode when you walk around, be wary of the Canon 24-105L.

 

I traded my 24-105 in because I was not happy with the corners. Initially I thought I had a bad copy. I downloaded some full rez 24-105 sample images from Canon and found the Canon images showed the same corner problem!

 

I am using the Canon 5D11 mainly with primes. I have a Sony RX100 for walking around shots. It is rated at 20.2 megapixels but if you output the file at 14 megapixels the image quality is great. With the small size of the camera it is very easy to be a fly on the wall, and it is always with me. 

 

However I do not like shooting hand held with live view on the RX100. Just cannot see the image as well as I can when looking through a viewfinder. Have more trouble with composition.

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Yes, different strokes for different folks. Personally, I've found the move to smaller, lighter cameras (in my case, the NEX system) to be very liberating for the general travel and and walk around photography that I do. If I were a serious wildlife, sports, studio, or news photographer, I would probably feel differently. As far as handling goes, I only have average sized hands, so it hasn't been a major problem adjusting to the smaller camera bodies. I found them a bit fiddly at first but have adjusted. I've also never been a fan of huge camera bodies and lenses that look like bazookas. The happy snapper look works for me.

 

I think that one of the main reason you still do not see a lot of tourists, etc. with smaller cameras is that they don't know enough about camera technology to realize that they don't necessarily need a DSLR. They also assume that "bigger is better" and automatically buy a DSLR when upgrading from a point-and-shoot. In addition, I think that people often assume they are getting more for their money if they buy a bulkier camera, and that using one will magically make them better photographers. And then, of course, there is the thing about wanting to look like a pro. 

 

Viva el DSLR, but Viva la Revolución (the mirror-less one) as well! 

Edited by John Mitchell

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Mark, shooting side by side with the 5D MK III and the Fuji X-System - I would recommend having a look at the Fuji system.  My experience is that from an image quality perspective, the two are VERY competitive...and I tend to favor the Fuji.  The disadvantage of the Fuji system is focus speed...but that has improved with recent firmware updates to the point of it not really being much of an issue anymore.

 

I am seriously thinking of aquiring the new Fuji X-T1 as I think given the focus speed enhancements, the electronic viewfinder field of view, the tethering via a phone device (rather than having to carry around a pocket wizard), etc., etc. will be a big advantage over the 5D III.

 

I've not tried the NEX system but I am extremely impressed with Fuji.  This new camera may be a game changer and I honestly think that within the near future, you will see a movement away from the DSLR and more towards mirrorless systems.  The advantage of mirrorless is the ability to shoot at slower shutter speeds handheld and lighter weight.

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Mark:
 
If you are in quality mode when you walk around, be wary of the Canon 24-105L.
 
I traded my 24-105 in because I was not happy with the corners. Initially I thought I had a bad copy. I downloaded some full rez 24-105 sample images from Canon and found the Canon images showed the same corner problem!
 
I am using the Canon 5D11 mainly with primes. I have a Sony RX100 for walking around shots. It is rated at 20.2 megapixels but if you output the file at 14 megapixels the image quality is great. With the small size of the camera it is very easy to be a fly on the wall, and it is always with me. 
 
However I do not like shooting hand held with live view on the RX100. Just cannot see the image as well as I can when looking through a viewfinder. Have more trouble with composition.

 

 

 

Bill, I have had two Canon 24-105 lenses and both were just not acceptable to me.  I tell people this and I get criticized for it...I'm glad I'm not the only one that dislikes that lens.

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Mark, the 5D MkII/III are fine instruments but there must be other reasons why you don't see the same quality from the NEX-6 - perhaps just not the right lenses (this is where Fuji wins, good lenses from the start). I still use my A900, 2008, 24 megapixels, superb colour and tonality in the studio or for ISO 100 tripod/landscape mirrorlock-up work. I prefer it to the later A99.

 

But for me medium format has arrived in mirrorless form! I've worked with MF often enough and the peculiar thing is that it's the camera screen display size which is the 'format' in the end. So the big 3 inch on the Sony A7R 36 megapixels, with various prime lenses including my tilt-shift Hartblei 80mm (the perfect studio still life lens on full frame 35mm, maybe a bit short), is both a small travel camera and a replacement for rollfilm on 5 x 4 technical... it allows such extremely accurate focus, within fractions of an inch for large subjects like rooms, within a millimetre for table top work. And precision adjustment of the Scheimpflug focus plane, move the 14.2X magnified point wherever you want - and my SLR lenses are all tilt lenses thanks to a couple of tilt adaptors. And... my Leica M and screw mount lenses work on it too.

 

It is a technical instrument not a casual camera to use. Most comparable, perhaps, to one of my old favourites - the Mamiya Super 23 6 x 9cm with the macro/swing back extension and the 50mm/90mm/150mm lens set. But an eighth of the size!

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Hi David,

 

Every time I get on to this subject my viewpoint changes, todays viewpoint being commercial.... based on another sale of $ 6.47

 

Initially I wanted a small Alamy friendly walkabout camera and picked up the Nex 5n but it's IQ was not good enough for me, I could add better lenses

as you suggest but then I am starting to build a kit, spending money that would take a while to recoup on Alamy.

 

Commercially, todays viewpoint, it does not make sense to start building a new system that will not better what I have. What I have does the job, and

looks the part for commercial work.

 

I try to make each new piece of kit a profit center ie will it make me more money, it does not have to be better or lighter it has to enable more revenue.

For me The cost of the Nex 5n and a couple of good lenses would probaly not be viable.

 

The same goes for changing all my kit for a different system the cost to benefit factor does not work for me.

 

The Sony A7R 36 megapixels looks interesting but I would need a very good commercial reason to justify the cost of what would be an upgrade.

 

I am differentiating between what I want and what I need.

 

ATB

Mark

 

PS the tilt-shift Hartblei 80mm looks interesting but a weird focal length, a tad short for products and waay to long for most architectural

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I traded my 24-105 in because I was not happy with the corners. Initially I thought I had a bad copy. I downloaded some full rez 24-105 sample images from Canon and found the Canon images showed the same corner problem!

 

 

 

 

Bill, I have had two Canon 24-105 lenses and both were just not acceptable to me.  I tell people this and I get criticized for it...I'm glad I'm not the only one that dislikes that lens.

 

 

The 24-105 is certainly not the best lens ever made. I presume by "corner problem" you mean the harsh vignetting at the wide end. It also suffers badly from CA at both extremes of the range, and a degree of pincushion distortion too. But all three of of these can be cured with one click of a button by applying the lens profile in Lightroom.

 

For me, its value as an all-purpose walkabout lens far outweighs its drawbacks, and I find myself using it for about 95% of my images.

 

Alan

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It's simple for me. 

 

The Nikon D800 and lens trinity is hard to beat when I'm trying for specific things. Things I can't do with the RX100 II or the Fuji X100 (wife uses it actually; I just it borrow sometimes), just based on lenses alone.

 

When walking around the street the RX100 II is hard to beat in terms of size and quality (for it's size etc).

 

I would ditch the RX100 before I ditched the Nikon if I had to make a choice.

 

That said, the last 10 or so shots in I just sent in around the coast were RX100 and they came out alright. I tried Philipes RX100 handheld technique with the Next store shot at night on the  RX100 was amazed.

Edited by Gervais Montacute

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Hi David,

 

Every time I get on to this subject my viewpoint changes, todays viewpoint being commercial.... based on another sale of $ 6.47

 

.........

 

Commercially, todays viewpoint, it does not make sense to start building a new system that will not better what I have. What I have does the job, and

looks the part for commercial work.

 

I try to make each new piece of kit a profit center ie will it make me more money, it does not have to be better or lighter it has to enable more revenue.

For me The cost of the Nex 5n and a couple of good lenses would probaly not be viable.

 

The same goes for changing all my kit for a different system the cost to benefit factor does not work for me.

 

 

Although I posted the Jim Marks link, I do feel exactly the same way as you. I would like a smaller camera for snaps, reference images for 3D or for textures for same but I can't see much value in otherwise buying a camera for a less than profitable area of stock work. At a push I might use a Fuji Pro for lifestyle but I just cannot see myself giving up my shift lenses and DSLRs.

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I am with you, too, Mark .....

 

Except that I still use my Canon 5d II with the 24-105mm L lens as walk-around lens. The upgrading is not just round the corner....

 

Canon 24-105L - any vignetting and CA Canon settings and DPP take care of. a tiny bit of blurry corners at extreme wide angle is no more than can be accepted here for a general walk-around lens in my opinion.....

Edited by Niels Quist

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Hi David

 

It is a technical instrument not a casual camera to use. Most comparable, perhaps, to one of my old favourites - the Mamiya Super 23 6 x 9cm with the macro/swing back extension and the 50mm/90mm/150mm lens set. But an eighth of the size!

 

I have just, very reluctantly, sold my Linhof 6cm x 9cm‎ probably my favorite cameras ever.

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It's simple for me. 

 

The Nikon D800 and lens trinity is hard to beat when I'm trying for specific things. Things I can't do with the RX100 II or the Fuji X100 (wife uses it actually; I just it borrow sometimes), just based on lenses alone.

 

When walking around the street the RX100 II is hard to beat in terms of size and quality (for it's size etc).

 

I would ditch the RX100 before I ditched the Nikon if I had to make a choice.

 

That said, the last 10 or so shots in I just sent in around the coast were RX100 and they came out alright. I tried Philipes RX100 handheld technique with the Next store shot at night on the  RX100 was amazed.

 

I'm with you, Gervais.  I love my RX100, it is handy to carry around.  I have many images taken with it on Alamy.  It definitely has a place with me and I would hate to do without it.

Yet, when I go to shoot the newborn in my family, it will be with my D800. 

 

I will and have used the RX100 interchangeably with my D800 in circumstances where I have a lot of time to shoot both, or even relied on the RX100 alone, but knowing I had also shot similars with the D800.  For instance, when I went to the Caribbean, I might walk out of my cottage to the beach and shoot with the D800, and go back inside.  Come out an hour later, carrying the RX100.  All beach/palm tree/people shots, each a little different. but if the RX100 shots turned out wanting, I had plenty of D800 shots to fall back on.  As it turned out, I used the images from both about equally.

 

But if I am preparing to take an image or some images that are very important to me, and have to pick one camera, it will be my Nikon D800.  I have really good glass for it. I shot the baby shower with my RX100, but the infant portraits will be with the Nikon.  All about the importance.  I don't do assignments so how I appear to people is of no importance. I find street photography always works best with small cameras.  Nobody considers me a "photographer", just a happy snapper. 

 

Not to say in the future things may change.  It seems improvements are being made to the small cameras at warp speed.

bl

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I shoot primarily with a Canon 5DM2 and five or six months ago purchased the NEX 6 to carry in my backpack/purse, and to use where the larger Canon attracts too much attention.  Although I'm happy enough with the NEX 6 images under standard lighting conditions, I have not been able to post high ISO/available light images taken with the NEX 6, just too much noise.  It's good enough for stock images but I still prefer the Canon for my serious photography.  I have a 200mm zoom and a 50mm prime for the Canon but I use my 24-105mm zoom most of the time. I do have a Canon-brand lens hood on it but I don't have serious issues with vignetting and I can't say that I've noticed much CA either.  If I had the money I'd love to upgrade to the 5DM3 or possibly the Nikon D800.

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