My dream camera - does it exist?

TraamisVOS

Hall of Famer
Nov 29, 2010
124
Melbourne, Australia
I've been sort of looking through some cameras and also the camera search on dpreview, looking for a camera with these features which I say are essential for my purposes:

i) It must have a rangefinder focusing system. I say this is crucial for me because many of my photos are taken in ultra or extreme low-light conditions. I took my Canon DSLR 7D out with my Leica for a dark-of-the-night shoot for example and the 7D failed miserably, whereas my Leica came through for me. This is because with the Leica, I could see through the viewfinder and find the tiniest and barest visual focusing point, even if it's the tiniest microscopic sliver of light on the edge of an object, and use that as a point of reference to gauge focus overall. With the DSLR, I couldn't even see anything through the viewfinder to find a focus point because it's way too dark and everything is out of focus to begin with it's so it's impossible to find focus.

ii) It must have manual focus, for the reasons stated above. My LX5 and 7D could not find focus at all in the dark conditions. I really needed my eye to find it myself.

iii) It must have full 1080p HD video, at 24/25p.

iv) It must have at least APS-C or larger sensor size, I really enjoy having a shallow DoF option. Although if there is a 4/3 sensor I may consider that.

v) And macro...

Is this asking for too much? Zoom is not essential, I'm happy to stay put at 50mm or its crop equivalent.
 
Jul 6, 2010
3
Separate rangefinder plus manual focus camera?

i) It must have a rangefinder focusing system.
have you considered taking a separate rangefinder along? There are various (older) models about the size of a chewing gum pack. With one of these, you'd have the low-light focussing ability regardless of the focussing system of the camera!


ii) It must have manual focus, for the reasons stated above.
Ricoh GXR with 50mm comes to mind, as does the M mount module for the GXR...


iv) It must have at least APS-C or larger sensor size, I really enjoy having a shallow DoF option.
... and both of these have large sensors and, in the case of the 50mm A12, a fastish aperture. Then again, you could even manually focus your SLR...

Hope these suggestions help?
 

TraamisVOS

Hall of Famer
Nov 29, 2010
124
Melbourne, Australia
hi kompaktkameratyp - well, I already have a rangefinder which I'm really happy with, I was hoping not to have to carry around my other cameras that do what my rangefinder cannot do, all in the one package.

But manually focusing an SLR - that will not work in low light as I have described.
 

Lightmancer

Super Moderator
Aug 13, 2011
164
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
Sadly, separate rangefinders are not ideal in low light. Most are vintage, and in practice quite squinty to use. In any event, if it,s that dark you would struggle to read the settings off the rangefinder and transfer them to the lens in use. Ditto in that level of "unavailable light" I can imagine sensor noise being a real issue with video? Personally, I would (and indeed do) stick to a film M for such purposes - or of course you would save your pennies for an M10. ...;)
 

TraamisVOS

Hall of Famer
Nov 29, 2010
124
Melbourne, Australia
Hi James are you asking opinion for fujifilm X100? or the X-Pro1?
Funnily enough, I was reading the DPReview preview as we speak. I'm not exactly sure how the viewfinder works though, I don't get the feeling that it is rangefinder style focusing.

Sadly, separate rangefinders are not ideal in low light.
I'm already taking low light photography with my Leica. The Canon 7D failed miserably under the same lighting conditions. The rangefinder focusing system allows me to find focus whereas with the DSLR I tried but simply could not find focus at all.

I can imagine sensor noise being a real issue with video?
With video I would take into account cinematographic principles in that case (ie.proper lighting for filmmaking).
 

stillshunter

Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
123
Down Under
Mark
James, mate, I think #3 is your biggest problem unfortunately. I'd love a camera that would do all you ask barring #3 (as it's my lowest priority). Thankfully there are a few around....and if I don't need digital then several decades worth to choose from.

Odd to think that after all this time they have yet to make the DMD (Decisive Moment Digital) - which is pretty close to my dream camera (but must be FF). I think Fuji came close with the X100 but I think this can be pared back much, much more. :tomato2: No need for 14 art filters, 36 focus points, 51 point matrix metering, 180 degree tilt screen, ISO 25600, please just give me one control for aperture, another for shutter speed and a final one for ISO....thank you and all where they should be....oh and the most comfortable viewfinder, with a silent shutter and the best resolution and widest dynamic/tonal range known to man of course ;)
 

buebo

Rookie
Jan 31, 2012
13
At least as far as I know there is no camera that combines hd video and a rangefinder, and I wouldn't hold my breath for that to change. So you do need two cameras at least.

Apart from that I don't see macro (if we are talking about small bugs and the like) and rangefinder focusing as an ideal combination at all. Parallax comes to mind.

If you're that flush, just get an M9 and a camcorder :biggrin:
 

Lightmancer

Super Moderator
Aug 13, 2011
164
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
I'm already taking low light photography with my Leica. The Canon 7D failed miserably under the same lighting conditions. The rangefinder focusing system allows me to find focus whereas with the DSLR I tried but simply could not find focus at all.
Preaching to the converted, there, Old Chap. I use M2, M7 and MP for exactly the same reason.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
124
Lexington, Virginia
Steve
I'd say you're out of luck on the rangefinder style focusing in general. Aside from Leica and (once upon a time) Epson, no one seems to believe there is enough of a market to justify the cost. Not impossible, obviously, but I think highly unlikely. I think your best hope for low light MF will be an improved EVF with focus peaking. Have you tried a NEX?
 

TraamisVOS

Hall of Famer
Nov 29, 2010
124
Melbourne, Australia
James, mate, I think #3 is your biggest problem unfortunately. I'd love a camera that would do all you ask barring #3 (as it's my lowest priority).
At least as far as I know there is no camera that combines hd video and a rangefinder, and I wouldn't hold my breath for that to change. So you do need two cameras at least.
I know, I know. :(

I do have a film degree so I could have made good use with even a small APS-C sensor 1080p 24/25p full HD video.

please just give me one control for aperture, another for shutter speed and a final one for ISO....thank you and all where they should be....oh and the most comfortable viewfinder, with a silent shutter and the best resolution and widest dynamic/tonal range known to man of course ;)
That is totally what I want too. Assuming aperture control will always come with the lens, that is. Fortunately on my Leica the ISO is relatively easy to acces on the menu but it would've been that much easier if it was a separate dial on top.


Apart from that I don't see macro (if we are talking about small bugs and the like) and rangefinder focusing as an ideal combination at all. Parallax comes to mind.
Ah yes, I completely forgot about the parallax issue. I used to know that but had forgotten about it.


If you're that flush, just get an M9 and a camcorder :biggrin:
Nooo nooooo, camcorders do not come with large sensors. Not the ones you're referring to anyway. Also, I'm not flush.


Preaching to the converted, there, Old Chap. I use M2, M7 and MP for exactly the same reason.
What did you mean that rangefinders are not ideal in low light?


I'd say you're out of luck on the rangefinder style focusing in general. Aside from Leica and (once upon a time) Epson, no one seems to believe there is enough of a market to justify the cost. Not impossible, obviously, but I think highly unlikely. I think your best hope for low light MF will be an improved EVF with focus peaking. Have you tried a NEX?
No I haven't tried the NEX but the focusing system there is pretty much the same way DSLRs focus (not talking about the mirror vs no-mirror though) which means I'm going to have the same problem focusing in very low light.
 

Landshark

PhotoDog
Jul 15, 2010
124
SoCal
Bob
This an old debate which style of manual focus is better in low light, which is compounded bt the fact that there are no dslr that are really set up critical manual focus anymore. So I would recommend using your 7d but bring a flashlight as a focus light
 

TraamisVOS

Hall of Famer
Nov 29, 2010
124
Melbourne, Australia
This an old debate which style of manual focus is better in low light, which is compounded bt the fact that there are no dslr that are really set up critical manual focus anymore. So I would recommend using your 7d but bring a flashlight as a focus light
I was not aware that there was a debate going on but for my purposes, I've found that the rangefinder style of focusing works much better for me. I do bring a flashlight but the only time I use it is on the odd occasion that I need to readjust the shutter dial!
 

Landshark

PhotoDog
Jul 15, 2010
124
SoCal
Bob
you can use your flashlight in two other ways to help with focus, first is the obvious shine it on your subject to gain some light to be able to focus the other is to have somebody else go to where you want the plane of focus to be and shine the light back at the camera the single point source is very easy to focus with, also unless you are using very fast prime lenses on your dslr, it will certainly be difficult to see through the camera
 

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