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A discussion of digital rangefinder style Cameras (ex. Leica M9, Fuji X100/X-Pro 1, Sony NEX-7,...

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

I'm really exited by the recent announcement of the Fujifilm X-Pro 1. It's really very close to what I personally would want in a general use everyday type camera. The Leica M9 is too expensive for me and I think is overpriced for the overall level of functionality. Fuji X100 has a fixed lens so is very limited. Sony Nex-7 is almost too small and lacks dedicated buttons and good ergonomics.

 

One of the major reasons I like these new rangefinder style cameras in particularly vs. SLRs is the very small distance between the sensor and the lens which allows the use of adapters for using virtually any lens made. This can also be particularly useful if you have already invested in a professional Nikon or Canon system as you can utilize those lenses. However I still see a tendency to compartmentalize functionality of cameras by types which is no longer needed with current technology. You can already see this type of thinking is slowly breaking down as Video SLRs are now being seriously used by professionals. However I would like to see the barriers broken down completely which will happen in the next few years anyway.

 

What I would like in a camera is a rangefinder style design but not trying to copy all the details of the old aesthetic like Fuji is doing with the X100 and X-Pro 1. Leica started to come up with a very beautiful modern aesthetic with the Titanium version of the M9 (although I don't care about the Titanium part and it's way overpriced like most Leica stuff) For reference I do find the X100 to be pretty but the X-Pro-1 to be a bit ugly in comparison; the Titanium M9 is drop dead gorgeous.

 

Weatherproofing like the Pentax K5, Olympus E3/E5, and Pro bodies from Nikon and Canon. Once you get into the price range of the Fuji X-Pro 1 and certainly the Leica there is no reason not to include at least some weatherproofing. There is no reason I see that rangefinder style cameras have to be delicate. (compared to SLRs) Obviously this is going to be limited by the lenses you use.

 

I see no reason not to have most of the advanced movie mode functionality of the high end Canons for example in a rangefinder size body. Processors are getting powerful and small enough this shouldn't be too big of a challenge. Sony Nex-5n and Nex-7 have about done this. Also they now have a pellicle mirror adapter for use with their A-mount lenses that allows their compact Nex cameras to have the super fast focus and high-speed continuous auto focus with video of their newer SLR's. Now if Sony would design the technology and have Fuji design the interface and have Leica in charge of the overall aesthetic and put into one camera it would be close to perfect, lol.

 

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post #2 of 34

In my mind, if one were to buy a true pro-level mirrorless camera in the next 3-6 months, Fuji X-Pro 1 and Sony NEX-7 basically own the market.  I wish Fuji's body was smaller and NEX lenses smaller, not to mention the price of both systems.  Despite the claims and theories, in real-world use the final IQ produced by both should be more than adequate.  Who is shooting the photo will be more important than which one of the two cameras is used.  

 

Here's a collage showing the Fuji 18mm, 35mm, and 60mm "Macro" (only 0.5x magnification) lens, as well as the size of X-Pro 1 vs. NEX-7.  I am leaning towards X-Pro 1 plus the XF35mm f/1.4 lens if Fuji can price it a little more mercifully as a kit.  

 

 

 

6691492121_3afa9e3637_z.jpg


Edited by Jon L - 1/13/12 at 1:14pm
post #3 of 34

X-Pro is:

1. still a damn aps-c sized sensor. Useless for me (and frankly, expensive for such a tiny sensor). 

2. appears to be a proprietary lens mount - I've not heard word on compatibility/adapters - I'd like to use my M-mount glass. 

3. Limited selection of lenses available. 

4. Does not appear to actually use a rangefinder mechanism for focusing - eliminating at least one of the major advantages of the form factor (especially in low light) 

 

Deal breakers, all. 


Edited by liamstrain - 1/15/12 at 10:21am
post #4 of 34

I love the rangefinder style of camera, even if it's just for aesthetic reasons. My favorite cameras, as far as a type, have been the fixed lens rangefinders. The focusing system and the optical viewfinder are certainly part of the charm of shooting a rangefinder. I hope the mirror-less revolution doesn't drop the optical viewfinder.

 

It does seem that a mirror-less cameras are just getting better and better; fact is, all digital cameras have come pretty far, and I imagine the difference from the Epson RD-1 to the Fuji X-Pro 1 isn't minor. Still the questions of, "how much is enough" still hangs around my mind. It's a question that only the individual can answer for their own photography.

 

 

 

post #5 of 34

Still too early to tell re: fuji. Don't really like the controls on x100. The new one seems a bit big especially it is only has APSC. Let see whether the 3 new fuji lens deliver the goods. Also love to see what Leica will come up in Sept - they suppose to have a new changable lens system (non RF) or something.

post #6 of 34

A useful hands-on experience with X-Pro 1.

 

http://vladdodan.ro/blog/fuji-x-pro-1-hands-on-preview/

post #7 of 34

Thanks! That is useful indeed!

post #8 of 34

I think that the upcoming Olympus OM-D ( 8th of February) is going to become the camera which will appeal many people. It has bigger selection of lenses and more compact ones than Sony Nex system. 

 

As Steve Huff wrote on his blog:

 

Out of all of the announcements, even the Fuji X-PRO 1, I am most excited about the OM-D. Why? Well for starters, it will have OM styling with a built in high res 1.44 million dots EVF. Yes, BUILT IN. It will also be WEATHER SEALED which is the 1st of its kind for micro 4/3.  No other mirrorless has gone that far yet, so Olympus is paving the way like they did with their original and beautiful E-1 back in the day.

The OM-D will also have all new in body image stabilization, magnesium body, a new 16MP sensor capable of high ISO up to 25,600 and will be available in black or classic silver. THIS WILL BE the best Micro 4/3 camera ever and the 1st lens, the 12-50 weather sealed (dust and splash proof) zoom which will be the kit lens.
 
Also there are rumors about Samsung NX-20:
 
According to two of our sources Samsung will announce the SAMSUNG NX-20 in February. The camera will than be available in April. One of our sources told us that it has a retro Konica IIIa (here on eBay) design with 1.8M EVF, manual control and swivel amoled display. It has the same NX-200 sensor but a better processor and buffer. The retail stores price is $950 only body for NX-20. There will be two new lenses, the 16-80mm and 12-24mm and a new Flash.
post #9 of 34

looks good, glad they are comparing it with FF systems. Still using my Olympus EP1 so looking for an upgrade this year. Xpro1 does appeal but I the ideof dedicated lens reduces flexibility A LOT. I guess i'll wait for more reviews and see if it is really worth upgrading.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L View Post

A useful hands-on experience with X-Pro 1.

 

http://vladdodan.ro/blog/fuji-x-pro-1-hands-on-preview/



 

post #10 of 34

And now Sigma throws their hat into the ring with their newly designed DP1 and DP "Merrill" cameras with 15MP x3 Foveon APS-C sensor, same as one found on their SD-1 $7000 camera.  

 

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/02/08/Sigma_DP1M_DP2M_Merrill_Cameras

post #11 of 34

I never really got the allure of rangefinder cameras.  The huge advantage they had as film cameras were their size/weight advantage over SLR's, and that their shutters were very quiet and some could synch at any speed.  Beyond that, why would anyone actually prefer looking through a window that outlines the approximate area of the lens coverage with lines that do not fill it, and have to rely upon a focusing system that is optically more challenging and less direct and slower overall to focus accurately?  OK, I'll give them nostalgia as well, and yes, they do look charming.  But from a functional standpoint, I'll take a DSLR any day.  If I want compact, well, these are just not compact, sorry.  They're not the kinds of cameras I'd not think twice about carrying with me just to have a camera handy.  If I were reaching for one of these I'd always choose a DSLR instead.  If you're claiming an advantage that they can take the DSLR lenses - well, if you're actually lugging along those lenses you might as well take an FX DSLR camera to go with them.  I don't get the point.

post #12 of 34

If i didn't already have the Panasonic GX1 which i absolutely adore, i'ld take a closer look at the upcoming Olympus OM-D. It seems to bring together the best of retro rangefinder styling and a comprehensive selection of high quality lenses at nearly all focal lengths and price.

post #13 of 34

Ok I would want want a rangefinder but I am tired of all of this misleading stuff, the term rangefinder refers to the focusing system, which means Leica is the only company making digital rangefinders right now. Fuji is making pretenders the throne, I would call them rangefinder-alike cameras. The NEX7 is nice but more like a bridge camera or an SLR not a rangefinder because you see right through the lens via a digital EVF. In short the title is quite odd, I know that the Leica is expensive too much for a digital ody but the build quality is insane, I actually used a Leica M before and its no toy the build quality alone is the feel of a real pro rangefinder. .. Sony and Fuji needs to know that you dont get to the Leica standard by simply calling your product pro. Since I want a real rangefinder I am shooting film til I can afford a Leica M9. (a real digital rangefinder camera)

post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeonNantonPhoto View Post

Ok I would want want a rangefinder but I am tired of all of this misleading stuff, the term rangefinder refers to the focusing system, which means Leica is the only company making digital rangefinders right now. Fuji is making pretenders the throne, I would call them rangefinder-alike cameras. The NEX7 is nice but more like a bridge camera or an SLR not a rangefinder because you see right through the lens via a digital EVF. In short the title is quite odd, I know that the Leica is expensive too much for a digital ody but the build quality is insane, I actually used a Leica M before and its no toy the build quality alone is the feel of a real pro rangefinder. .. Sony and Fuji needs to know that you dont get to the Leica standard by simply calling your product pro. Since I want a real rangefinder I am shooting film til I can afford a Leica M9. (a real digital rangefinder camera)


 

To be fair, the OP said rangefinder style. And to clarify, the M is a well built camera for sure, but all pro level cameras are. I have a D3s, it's a tank (did you see the D3 that was dropped off a motorcycle, I think during the Tour de France? completely mangled, still fully functional). My Oly E-5 is also very well built. And have you handled the Fuji or Sony? If you want a digital rangefinder, you indeed have only one option, but there are extremely well built digital cameras on the market that don't wear that little red dot that inflates the price so.

 

The Olympus E-M5 is intriguing, it's just too bad they put that damn hump for a mirror box when it's a mirroless camera. But it's still compact and weather proof. I really like the Panasonic GX1, as well.

post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by crumpler View Post

If i didn't already have the Panasonic GX1 which i absolutely adore, i'ld take a closer look at the upcoming Olympus OM-D. It seems to bring together the best of retro rangefinder styling and a comprehensive selection of high quality lenses at nearly all focal lengths and price.



It's retro SLR styling. Why did they have to put a hump for a pentaprism in it? There's no damn pentaprism! 

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