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Author Topic: A decent street shooting camera  (Read 8257 times)
adam z
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« on: April 07, 2009, 02:45:11 AM »
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I feel the need to complain about something, so here I go..............

I struggle to pull out my DSLR gear as often as I should for personal shooting, it's just too bulky for keeping handy for everyday shooting.

Trouble is, I cannot find any digital camera that suits my needs, except for one, but that is too expensive - the Leica M8 (or8.2)
I had a look at some of the better P&S with manual controls, but I just don't like them  (including the Leica, I think it was the digilux 4). I would also like interchangeable prime lenses - I dislike zooms a lot.

Surely someone else could come up with a digital rangefinder targeted at street shooting, and it could be reasonably small with the micro four thirds format now out there. Imagine a slightly smaller version of an M Leica with coupled rangefinger. I think for the type of shooters that would use it, a 6mp (if micro or even a standard four thirds chip was used), or even better an APS-C of about 8mp. This would mean great low noise shots thanks to current sensor and processor technology - perfect for reportage type work.  I would carry a camera like that with me almost every day. I would be happy to pay about Australian $2000 or so for a body like this, as long as there are a small number of good lenses available to go with it.

I did look at the new baby Olympus SLR, but the range of lenses is limited at least for what I want and is still a bit bulky being a reflex camera. There is no wide prime (a fast, 35mm full frame equivalent is what I would want most), the 25mm pancake(50mm equivalent) is great as it is tiny, but a faster version would be better. The 50mm Macro would also be good for portraits (100mm equivalent). I can only imagine it would be very difficult to manually focus in dim lighting though. I certainly don't want to resort to using flash for this style of shooting.


Since it doesnt to my eyes look like that will happen, I am seriously considering buying a Leica M6 and a couple of lenses and going back to film for my personal shooting. Not Ideal, but al least I can work the way I want to. I love manual focus  and who needs autoexposure!

Would love to know what others think
« Last Edit: April 07, 2009, 02:48:33 AM by adam z » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2009, 02:57:44 AM »
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I see you don't like zoom's, but the Panasonic G1 would fit my bill for a modern 'street' camera.

Don't look at the lenses available now as the be all and end all. Both Panasonic and Olympus will be introducing new bodies and lenses, both prime and zoom, over the next year. Indeed one of the Olympus bodies is likely to be along the lines of a 'compact'. There is also scope in the micro 4/3rds format for rangefinder bodies. Additionally with a suitable adapter a whole range of prime legacy lenses can be used, including Leica.

Other than that, and if you have a collection of Leica lenses already, there is the Epson RD1 rangefinder. But it has never really caught on.

Steve
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dalethorn
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2009, 05:34:58 AM »
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The Pana G1 will focus easily in very low light.
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ddk
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2009, 06:15:28 AM »
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Quote from: adam z
I feel the need to complain about something, so here I go..............

I struggle to pull out my DSLR gear as often as I should for personal shooting, it's just too bulky for keeping handy for everyday shooting.

Trouble is, I cannot find any digital camera that suits my needs, except for one, but that is too expensive - the Leica M8 (or8.2)
I had a look at some of the better P&S with manual controls, but I just don't like them  (including the Leica, I think it was the digilux 4). I would also like interchangeable prime lenses - I dislike zooms a lot.

Surely someone else could come up with a digital rangefinder targeted at street shooting, and it could be reasonably small with the micro four thirds format now out there. Imagine a slightly smaller version of an M Leica with coupled rangefinger. I think for the type of shooters that would use it, a 6mp (if micro or even a standard four thirds chip was used), or even better an APS-C of about 8mp. This would mean great low noise shots thanks to current sensor and processor technology - perfect for reportage type work.  I would carry a camera like that with me almost every day. I would be happy to pay about Australian $2000 or so for a body like this, as long as there are a small number of good lenses available to go with it.

I did look at the new baby Olympus SLR, but the range of lenses is limited at least for what I want and is still a bit bulky being a reflex camera. There is no wide prime (a fast, 35mm full frame equivalent is what I would want most), the 25mm pancake(50mm equivalent) is great as it is tiny, but a faster version would be better. The 50mm Macro would also be good for portraits (100mm equivalent). I can only imagine it would be very difficult to manually focus in dim lighting though. I certainly don't want to resort to using flash for this style of shooting.


Since it doesnt to my eyes look like that will happen, I am seriously considering buying a Leica M6 and a couple of lenses and going back to film for my personal shooting. Not Ideal, but al least I can work the way I want to. I love manual focus  and who needs autoexposure!

Would love to know what others think

Take a look at the Ricoh GRD, while not a 4/3 camera it has many of the features that you need. AF is pretty accurate and relatively fast, SNAP mode is instant, great ergonomics, full manual controls, shoots raw, IQ is very good even jpgs are good, optional VF is brilliant, fixed focal lenght 28mm with fantastic additional 21mm & 40mm lenses. Like you I dislike zooms and this is the closest thing that I found without going to an M8 and pretty happy with it.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2009, 06:16:13 AM by ddk » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2009, 06:47:07 AM »
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Epson is coming out with a revised version of their RD-1. Perhaps that would appeal?
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BJL
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2009, 12:27:19 PM »
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Quote from: adam z
Trouble is, I cannot find any digital camera that suits my needs, except for one, but that is too expensive - the Leica M8 (or8.2)
...
Since it doesnt to my eyes look like that will happen, I am seriously considering buying a Leica M6 and a couple of lenses and going back to film for my personal shooting. Not Ideal, but al least I can work the way I want to. I love manual focus  ...

Since you are willing to work with manual focus, you might want to look at the experience that some have reported using the Panasonic G1 with various lenses including Leica Ms attached using adaptors, to go with the 20/1.7 normal prime that Panasonic promises soon for Micro Four Thirds. The very short registration distance of Micro Four Thirds allows just about any lens to be mounted with a suitable adaptor.

But decent normal to wide coverage will probably rely on what lenses Olympus and Panasonic offer for Micro Four Thirds, rather than using adapter mounted 35mm format lenses. For lens quality, so far Olympus reassures me more than Panasonic, even when the brand "Leica" appears on some Four Thirds lenses that are mostly designed and completely manufactured by Panasonic. So I am happy to see that Olympus consistently shows its Micro Four Thirds mock-up with a compact prime lens attached (or is it to be an incredibly compact zoom?!)

Here are some photos of that mock-up body and lens, appropriately enough at rangefinderforum:
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/sho...ead.php?t=71107
« Last Edit: April 07, 2009, 12:29:23 PM by BJL » Logged
JonasYip
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2009, 02:49:55 PM »
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Quote from: adam z
Trouble is, I cannot find any digital camera that suits my needs, except for one, but that is too expensive - the Leica M8 (or8.2)

Thought I'd add another mention of the RD1, which is a really great camera. I would choose it (and have) over the M8. I personally wouldn't lump the GRD in as an option... it's really just a teeny-sensor p&s with some nice features, and the image quality follows accordingly (I have one). The u4/3 cameras on the other hand might work. People are having a lot of fun sticking various lenses on the G1... I would wait and see what Olympus has up their sleeve though.

In any case, there is much discussion of all of these over at rangefinderforum.com...

j
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250swb
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2009, 03:34:19 PM »
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Quote from: JonasYip
I personally wouldn't lump the GRD in as an option...

j

Its a good point. A lot of P&S cameras like the GRD, and even the Canon G10 are great at the overall concept, and look good in overall specification. But for street shooting they fall down on the basic's, they can't shoot fast enough and on many you would be pumping the shutter button in frustration trying to capture 'action' photo's.

Steve
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dalethorn
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2009, 03:47:07 PM »
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I sure don't agree with Leica's pricing on the M8.  The M6 and later were perfectly good cameras, and they could have added whatever they needed for digital for a few thousand dollars less than what they charge for the M8.  Making their customers pay dearly for "innovative" features to make that body style and their sensor work with existing lenses, well, that doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
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k bennett
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2009, 05:57:56 PM »
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Well, you are not alone. I am waiting (with varying degrees of patience) for Cosina/Voigtlander to bring out a "digital Bessa R" camera. No reason why it should cost more than $1500*, and they would sell a ton of them along with a ton of their M-mount lenses to go with all those new cameras. I would buy two of them, along with half a dozen lenses.


(*With perfectly good 10-megapixel SLR bodies going for less than $600. I mean, seriously, you can buy a Canon Rebel and a (film) Voigtlander Bessa R4, and do a Frankenstein thing, and the total cost would be about $1200.)
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stever
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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2009, 10:27:43 PM »
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i've long been a fan of miniature/compact camers (got good use of a Ricoh R1 and Minox ML35 which have been sitting in the closet for some time).  and i really hope that Olympus and Panasonic will support micro 4/3 - but if i'm travelling and need the capability of for great images, do i add another body and lens(es) with different funtionality or do i just put the 50 1.4 on the 5D-II?

to be successful, the 4/3 system must offer a truly pocketable camera/lens combination with M8 IQ (the latter shouldn't be a terrible stretch).
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lensfactory
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« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2009, 10:30:37 PM »
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The olympus 420 with the 25mm pancake does the trick.
Why super fast lenses? 2.8 at 800ISO is more than you will ever need. A lot of "street shooters" fixate on this, as if it's that important. Maybe in the days of film...but not now. For $500 (street price) you can get this combo. I use it...and I got it for exactly the purpose you describe. Cheap,fast,small,and big files...
simple
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JamesA
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« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2009, 12:16:09 AM »
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Quote from: adam z
I feel the need to complain about something, so here I go..............

I struggle to pull out my DSLR gear as often as I should for personal shooting, it's just too bulky for keeping handy for everyday shooting.

Trouble is, I cannot find any digital camera that suits my needs, except for one, but that is too expensive - the Leica M8 (or8.2)
I had a look at some of the better P&S with manual controls, but I just don't like them  (including the Leica, I think it was the digilux 4). I would also like interchangeable prime lenses - I dislike zooms a lot.

Surely someone else could come up with a digital rangefinder targeted at street shooting, and it could be reasonably small with the micro four thirds format now out there. Imagine a slightly smaller version of an M Leica with coupled rangefinger. I think for the type of shooters that would use it, a 6mp (if micro or even a standard four thirds chip was used), or even better an APS-C of about 8mp. This would mean great low noise shots thanks to current sensor and processor technology - perfect for reportage type work.  I would carry a camera like that with me almost every day. I would be happy to pay about Australian $2000 or so for a body like this, as long as there are a small number of good lenses available to go with it.

I did look at the new baby Olympus SLR, but the range of lenses is limited at least for what I want and is still a bit bulky being a reflex camera. There is no wide prime (a fast, 35mm full frame equivalent is what I would want most), the 25mm pancake(50mm equivalent) is great as it is tiny, but a faster version would be better.

Can you still buy the Leica 25mm f1.4 for 4/3rds?
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adam z
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« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2009, 12:38:11 AM »
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Thanks for all the replies

I most certainly want to stay away from any camere with a sensor smaller than micro four thirds.

Problem is, everyone seem intent on shoving as many MP on a sensor as they can, and that is great in ideal lighting, however, I want to be able to shoot even indoors with very poor lighting. I sometimes have shot at f/1.4 at 3200 (f2.8 at 1600 not that uncommon at 1/30th second handheld), Like I said, I would be happy with 6mp, as these would be printed as 8x12 at most. I doubt anything new will be much under 12mp.

I am happy to hold out for up to maybe 6 months and watch the developments. If olympus put a rangefinder on that little prototype, I would love one.

Will be interested in the Epson revised RD-1 if it happens, also the digital Bessa would be perfect but have heard nothing about cosina doing anything like that.

I guess if I get a M6 and shoot film, the camera is not going to be worthless when I replace it with a suitable digital replacement - I handled one for the first time yesterday morning before writing my original post - a beautiful machine!
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MarkL
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« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2009, 06:30:47 AM »
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Quote from: k bennett
(*With perfectly good 10-megapixel SLR bodies going for less than $600. I mean, seriously, you can buy a Canon Rebel and a (film) Voigtlander Bessa R4, and do a Frankenstein thing, and the total cost would be about $1200.)

Making digital rangefinders just isn't that easy as leica will attest. They even said at point point that it was impossible.
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MarkL
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« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2009, 06:47:29 AM »
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I too am waiting for exactly what you describe adam.

High iso performance is a big deal, for street shooting I am often zone focused (so stopped down to f/8) and need 1/250 to freeze people walking.
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250swb
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« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2009, 04:08:22 PM »
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Quote from: MarkL
I too am waiting for exactly what you describe adam.

High iso performance is a big deal, for street shooting I am often zone focused (so stopped down to f/8) and need 1/250 to freeze people walking.


f8 and 1/250th you'd be using a fast grainy film (400 ISO at least) wouldn't you? I tend to think the ISO performance (noise) at 400 ISO from the main street shooting digital contenders is on a par (or less) with the grain you would normally see on film. I'd have to add a fair chunk of fake grain in post processing to an Olympus E420 or Pana G1 image to get a similar Tri-X grain at the same ISO. Or is comparing digital noise and ISO performance to film grain pure nostalgia?

Steve
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situgrrl
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« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2009, 06:16:28 PM »
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Quote from: adam z
I guess if I get a M6 and shoot film, the camera is not going to be worthless when I replace it with a suitable digital replacement - I handled one for the first time yesterday morning before writing my original post - a beautiful machine!


That's what I did (well, M4-P) and scanning film is a pita - but crucially - it works now and vapourware doesn't.....wish olympus would hurry themselves up with that mock up.

If you do go this way, Neopan 400 is up at 1/roll if you know where to look!
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k bennett
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« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2009, 07:31:07 PM »
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Quote from: MarkL
Making digital rangefinders just isn't that easy as leica will attest. They even said at point point that it was impossible.


Understood. My example was hyperbole to some extent. But the fact is that digital rangefinders *do* exist, and it should be possible to build a reasonably-priced version that will sell in high enough quantities to make a profit (not to mention increase sales of M-mount lenses.)
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adam z
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« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2009, 07:37:19 PM »
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MarkL, Leica did indeed say that a digital rangefinder would be impossible at one point - they proved themselves wrong. They are however a small company compared with the likes of Canon and Nikon which have no doubt huge R&D budgets in comparrison. Nikon especially made some great rangefinders a long time ago according to the research I have been doing - perhaps they could do something. Imagine if they could squeeze in the same sensor/processor as D3/D700 - that would be the ultimate, and the only thing not to like is the fact that it would not likely to be Leica M mount. Canon also made rangefinders, and something like the 1DMkIII sensor would be perfect if the full frame issue in DRF cannot be sorted.

Anyway, will wait and see what happens in the short term.
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