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Author Topic: A Matter of Character  (Read 34353 times)
tesilab
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« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2013, 11:39:38 PM »
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You wrote:

For example, the camera can optionally display a live histogram on either the EVF or the OVF (Optical Viewfinder). But not if Power Save is turned on. What's that about?!
Is this a bug? Is it a quirk? It certainly isn't a feature.


I would guess it was a simple and deliberate choice. Powersave means saving power to them. The histogram is taxing on the battery, so they automatically disable that feature when in that mode, since it is inconsistent with that priority. You may feel that it should only effect how long the idle camera will remain powered on, with whatever settings, but they might have a more comprehensive approach.

It's a great article. Fuji gets it so almost right, but I'm not sold on xtrans filter array. The RX1 with auto-iso in manual mode has also spoiled me, though if the X100s (and the improved Lightroom) had been released back in December, it might have made a big difference.
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markd61
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« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2013, 01:03:58 AM »
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For me it would be the Topcon Super D.
I have to say it would actually be one of many cameras from the 70's that exude character. Alpa 10D. Exakta VX-1000, Nikkormat, Rolleiflex, Hasselblad, Rollei SL66, Kowa 6, Petri FTEE and the original Olympus PEN cameras
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Phender
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« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2013, 02:17:04 AM »
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As this seems a bit of a trip down memory lane I would have to say that as a child of about 12 I thought the Minolta 16mm subminature camera was about the ants pants, just oozing character and what is more style. When I grew up it was a Mamiya 6 that had that character and as British sports cars are also hot in this thread an Austin Healey Sprite MkI - Noddy car for grown ups and oh so quirky.
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laughingbear
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« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2013, 03:02:17 AM »
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It was in October 2003, I was taking some pictures in rather rough conditions, high winds, driving rain, and most critical of all, we were sand blasted on this beach. I had this camera only since 2 weeks or so, and it started to become attached to my right hand permanently.

There were other photographers as well, and one of them I remember, I should meet him again in the local pub a few hours later.

Sand and salt, a rotten combination for every camera, and usually has to be avoided. However, I put my faith in the manufacturers claims, and in deed I should never be disappointed, neither lenses nor body ever gave me any trouble in that respect at all. In the pubs mens room I held the entire camera and lens into the sink and was  cleaning it under fresh water running from the tap, when this chap came in and at first he looked at me as if I would be serial killer or something the likes.

He never saw anyone holding a camera under the tap for a longer time. I was moving her around to make sure every surface is thoroughly soaked. In my bag I had a large leather cloth, and rubbed her dry afterwards.

Build like a tank, perfect fit for my hands with the vertical grip attached, rock solid, never gave me any troubles for years, I loved the color rendition, the lenses were amongst the very best produced at this time, and both, lenses and body fully weather sealed. I had this camera in heavy rains (Irish rain!) for many hours.

It was the Olympus E-1, a love affair that should last many years.  Smiley

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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2013, 04:20:58 AM »
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Canon A1, only camera I ever fell in love with.

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bobjanes
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« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2013, 05:10:24 AM »
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The 'Toaster oven' comment stung a little, I might have to comfort my own NEX 7 which is looking full of character with it's rear screen which, after a year's use is looking the kind of ugly that only a mother could love...

Have been using some other film cameras of character though, as part of a film challenge over at Dyxum - started with the Dynax 7 and Minolta XG-M - the first of which is Amazing while the second has possibly everything you need from a MF SLR but is very light on character (other than the annoyance of a touch sensitive metering system which doesn't always react to my touch).

Heaps of character were exhibited by the next film camera - a Minox 35EL: a real bitch to load, a bit fiddly and uncomfortable in operation (two strokes of a quite stiff lever to wind-on), but a gorgeous little lens - oh and to compete with the 'Jag' factor, I found mine doesn't cock the shutter if you wind it on with the lens retracted.

I'm now on on to the Contax G1 using a 90mm - I'm sure that will be an education too...
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Sareesh Sudhakaran
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« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2013, 05:27:05 AM »
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Character? Mamiya RB67, Nikon F2 - any camera that doesn't require batteries.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2013, 05:27:42 AM »
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Hum... Yes... I have probably used some of those...

Kodak SLRn
Mamiya ZD

And recently the DP2m.

Now for the first 2 I could never really get over the downsides and truely enjoy the experience though.

Cheers,
Bernard

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Pete_G
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« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2013, 06:45:20 AM »
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Another vote for the Hasselblad V series. The weight, shape and the sounds it makes when winding on or releasing the shutter.
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soboyle
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« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2013, 06:53:10 AM »
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..it's little brother, the X-E1. Wonderful camera with the 18-55 and the 35. Perfect for the projects I've been working on in dimly lit museums. They are working the quirks out with each successive camera release. The Q menu went a long way at squashing the handling of the camera and getting to buried menu items. I do miss the optical viewfinder of the X100.
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KLaban
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« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2013, 06:54:49 AM »
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Box Brownie.

Got me hooked before I was knee high to a grasshopper and I've been addicted ever since.
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Rawcoll
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« Reply #31 on: April 18, 2013, 07:00:26 AM »
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A very thought provoking article. I suppose I tend to associate character with something I experienced in my formative years. I don't know whether it was the simplicity of things in those days, mechanical even, that I find characterful, or whether it is just that those experiences were indeed formative. Or perhaps it is because we have issue with all the modern technology that is foisted upon us whether we want it or not. It will be interesting to see if, in 20 or so years time, folk brought up today on plastic boxes containing a computer and with a lens attached, will  regard them as characterful when compared with the equipment that will then be available.

In that respect my most characterful camera is one I bought some years ago, the Lumix LC1 (twinned with the Digilux 2). Yes, it had an EVF (poor by today's standards, mind), but the whole thing operated in a way that harped back to what I was familiar with, an aperture ring on the lens and speed ring on the top plate. Where they should be! Oh, what joy! Quirky? Yes, the 6 second delay whilst the raw wrote to the card, during which one couldn't take another photo!  And the noisy sensor. When I sold it recently I thought how good it would be if they made a camera in the same mould, with the straight forward simplicity, with a modern sensor and EVF. Well, maybe the X-E1 is just that. I am starting to seriously contemplate buying in to the system.
 
What is interesting, though, is that at the same time as wanting to harp back to my formative years, I am still quite happy to embrace the modern conveniences that come in the retro package, such as a good EVF and A/F!
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psimison
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« Reply #32 on: April 18, 2013, 08:00:22 AM »
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I purchased a Fuji Xpro1 about 8 months ago.  I was skeptical.  Today, I really like the camera for its output and lens quality.  They have and continue to improve the software to run the camera.  It is quirky, but so am I.  I have the 35, 18-55 and have ordered the 55-200.  I will buy the 14 soon and others as they come out.  The only place that Fuji is short is in their information.  The sometimes grow muchrooms and other times seem to have cranial-rectonitis.  High quality product.
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snoleoprd
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« Reply #33 on: April 18, 2013, 08:42:18 AM »
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I bought my X-Pro 1 and the three primes shortly after it was released. I had rented a copy and really liked it and ordered it. Even though it was quirky to begin with I felt it really made me connect back to photography. I had also just been diagnosed with prostate cancer and was soon to start successful treatment and the small lighter camera was a real joy to use and carry with me daily even when I was not feeling so good, I would never had carried my dslr around as much. So in a way it was also good therapy. 

I had started years ago with a Canon A-1 and I still have it and some FD lenses, which I can adapt easily to the X-Pro 1. I still use my Canon EOS setups from time to time but they mostly sit at home, over the last year. I now have the 14mm prime and I have preordered the 55-200mm and really looking forward to it. I like my Fuji so much that my wife now as the X-E1 and the kit zoom and she is having a lot of fun with it. The firmware improvements have been great and really helped the camera a lot, and like Michael mentioned it has character and is maturing. High quality lenses, small package, fun to use and great image quality.

To me a very successful camera that has made it a lot of fun to carry with me daily.

Alan
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Alan Smallbone
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« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2013, 08:44:29 AM »
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I don't think "cameras" have character as much as lenses have character. I loved the character of the 50mm f/2 Summicron on my M4. I love the character of the 16-35mm f/4 on my D800, and I love the character of the Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux on my E-P1. The other lenses in my lens stable do good work, especially the 70-200mm f/4 on the D800, but there's less "character" there.
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JeanMichel
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« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2013, 09:10:22 AM »
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A camera such as the X-Pro is attractive to me, primarily due to its hybrid viewfinder and AF ability while framing trough the OVF. I am a very long time user of Leica's (M3,4, 6 and now 9) with mainly a ( 1962)35 and (1968) 50 Summicron. The 'character' of the images I make with those  is as much due to how the camera feels in hand and eye, and the mental process that accompanies it's use. Whenever I used a 4x5, a Mamiyaflex, or Hasselblad, and now a Canon 5d2 I am photographing very differently -- not better or worse, just differently. Still, I love the idea of photographing people with my Speed Graphic, handheld -- there's character there too -- perhaps some day again.
Jean-Michel
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WalterEG
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« Reply #36 on: April 18, 2013, 09:21:30 AM »
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Box Brownie.

Got me hooked before I was knee high to a grasshopper and I've been addicted ever since.

Ditto.
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Rob C
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« Reply #37 on: April 18, 2013, 09:23:02 AM »
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Character? Mamiya RB67, Nikon F2 - any camera that doesn't require batteries.




I agree with the F2; had the F, F2 Photomic, the F4S and then sold the latter to go backwards to a simple F3. The best, IMO? the F2 because it had more comfortable rounded edges and corners. The FM and FM2 were okay for higher synch, the only use I gave them, but not in the same league at all. I, too, detest battery dependence. But today and digital - what choice can one possibly have?

Rob C
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tolims
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« Reply #38 on: April 18, 2013, 09:35:36 AM »
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Exata Varex IIb camera body. Mine came with Zeiss Jena 50mm f2,8 lens. The selftimer and 130 degree left hand film rewind lever gears when activated sounds very subtle mechanically - like when winding a precision pocket watch. The shape of camera body is somewhat triangular and the shutter button can only be operated using left hand as it is located on front left hand side when in use, however very practical when shooting as i am right handed. Has   built in film cutter!
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David S
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« Reply #39 on: April 18, 2013, 09:47:11 AM »
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Pentax XM and Leica CL from the olden days.

Dave S

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