Personal gear review

Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Aug 21, 2011
Los Angeles, USA
I keep my D750 bodies around for flash work, event shooting and because I like the Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR and 300mm f/4 PF VR lenses. The D780 was almost perfect, but with Nikon removing the vertical/battery pack, they lost a potential sale due to their penny pinching and product niching. The Z cameras don't interest me and it's more than likely I'll be in the Sony camp full-time eventually.
 

agentlossing

Top Veteran
I just love the attributes of M4/3 systems but the bodies are too computer-y -- as they are modern mirrorless cameras. But I have only explored Olympus' side of things. What if I bought a semi-serious (this is because Panasonic hasn't made an entry-level body in a long time and there's hardly any out in the markets) Panasonic body, GX80 (GX85 in some sides of the globe) for apprx 70 € resale loss or a GX8 for 110 € resale loss. The cost of the experiment remains reasonable even though I swore that my 'second system' can't cost more than 100 € (that logic went out of the window with that Df desire anyway).

Panasonics sure are computer-y gadgets just like Olympus but maybe they at least do the things I expect a digital camera to do. Mirrorless CDAF cameras have the potential to focus accurately within the focusing square so who knows, maybe Panasonic actually does it? Not to mention Leica Q, the absolute nicest piece of "digital" gear I've shot, has Panasonic DNA in it to some extent.

Likewise, the minute chance that Panasonic has an answer to my wildest dreams, could be very big indeed. Very affordable, lightweight lenses (so no breaking the bank nor the back) and capable bodies and all that good stuff. Huge potential, but again the chances are not the strongest. Then again the ticket to enter the "lottery" isn't prohibitely expensive either. These computer gadgets may not be the fun M or Df are but affordability and lightweight is also fun.
The GX85 is a bargain at current prices, and it does a lot. Focus is ridiculously good and fast in single AF. It is still computer-y but simple and engaging to use. I have moved on to the GX9 now, as I wanted the 20MP sensor, the 16MP one is getting pretty aged, and the tilting EVF on the GX9 is more comfortable for left-eyed use (I had to switch to right-eye with the GX85).
 

William Lewis

Veteran
Feb 10, 2020
Hayward WI
William Lewis
Essentially this is what I've been up to since the fall. Around my birthday (late September) I realized that I was hardly ever using my E-P3 camera. The EVF was cracked and near to breaking. I can't stand to use compose on a screen (unless the view is upside down and reversed while under a dark cloth :rofl: ) so I started jonesing for a DSLR.

Fast forward to now:
I have sold all my m4/3 and lenses.

I have bought a Nikon D3200 that came with the 35/1.8G. To go with it I've bought or been given:
Nikon N20s
MB10
AF 28/2.8
AI 50/1.8 Series E
AF-S 50/1.8 G Special Edition
AF-S 18-55 VRII
AI Vivitar 70-200/3.8 manual focus zoom.

The juices are flowing, I've been out shooting and, over all, I'm excited about my art (such as it is :doh: :laugh:) again.
 
Dec 31, 2013
Louisville, Ky
Something I’ve come to realize after shooting with the 2.8 zooms this week. While I love the very light weight of the fujicrons. I very much prefer the handling of the larger lenses. With the f2 primes, there isn’t much real estate for your hand to hold onto. Also, due to the small size and tapered design, it’s easier to bump the aperture ring on the smaller lenses. At least it is for me. On the larger zooms, my hand is farther away from the aperture ring.

Something else I noticed, which is personal to me. Since I’ve made changes to the way I train and do conditioning. The large zooms are not fatiguing to carry around like they had gotten to be in the past.
 

Matero

All-Pro
Jan 28, 2014
Helsinki, Finland
I started with film Nikon and came back to Df. I wish I could had afforded to buy Df earlier. I spent too much time and money to find my way. I just hope I don't lose my sight too soon, I just love to use MF lenses. And Df's viewfinder is not the easiest for manual focus, but very decent, though. And when my eyes don't serve me well enough, I've built a stock of marvel AF lenses to use then.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
I just love the attributes of M4/3 systems but the bodies are too computer-y -- as they are modern mirrorless cameras. But I have only explored Olympus' side of things. What if I bought a semi-serious (this is because Panasonic hasn't made an entry-level body in a long time and there's hardly any out in the markets) Panasonic body, GX80 (GX85 in some sides of the globe) for apprx 70 € resale loss or a GX8 for 110 € resale loss. The cost of the experiment remains reasonable even though I swore that my 'second system' can't cost more than 100 € (that logic went out of the window with that Df desire anyway).

Panasonics sure are computer-y gadgets just like Olympus but maybe they at least do the things I expect a digital camera to do. Mirrorless CDAF cameras have the potential to focus accurately within the focusing square so who knows, maybe Panasonic actually does it? Not to mention Leica Q, the absolute nicest piece of "digital" gear I've shot, has Panasonic DNA in it to some extent.

Likewise, the minute chance that Panasonic has an answer to my wildest dreams, could be very big indeed. Very affordable, lightweight lenses (so no breaking the bank nor the back) and capable bodies and all that good stuff. Huge potential, but again the chances are not the strongest. Then again the ticket to enter the "lottery" isn't prohibitely expensive either. These computer gadgets may not be the fun M or Df are but affordability and lightweight is also fun.
After a week of GX80 ownership I can happily say that yes, YES, Panasonic has an approach to CDAF focusing that works with my style much better than Olympus. Focus accuracy seems to be top tier, likely better than Leica Q.

And I've happily accepted the fact that Panasonics are computer gadgets. I'm embracing the great touch focus capabilities (Panasonic is probably the market leader in touch interfaces in cameras?) With this level of interface design the features hardly get in my way!

I bought this camera to be a secondary but now I'm all $-eyed thinking if I can actually kick my Leica habbit for real? I shouldn't be hasty.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
That's what happens when there's no perfect camera out there, YET we all wishfully think the next purchase might be it.

If I won the lottery, do you think Panasonic/Leica would build a camera for me for $10 million?
 

Graham Moore

Regular
Oct 15, 2018
Vancouver BC
Graham
If I won the lottery, do you think Panasonic/Leica would build a camera for me for $10 million?
I'd call Roger Cicala at Lens Rentals and have him build a couple of cameras for me. He and his team are obviously talented, given they have designed and built a huge fisheye lens and have serviced many thousands of lenses plus probably more than a few camera bodies.
 
I agree with what Mattias Burling said, today's cameras are good enough for most of us, use the one that you enjoy...

An article from Fstoppers:
Five Questions to Ask Yourself Before Purchasing a New Camera or Lens
Ask Yourself These Questions When You Think It's Time to Buy a New Camera
Last of the Five Questions: "Is It Just for Enjoyment?" If the answer to this is affirmative, it overrides all or most of the other considerations :).

My recent upgrade to the Sony A7Rm4 from the A7Rm2 brought me much better autofocus, enabling me to use AF for impromptu street shots, which consistently failed with the A7Rm2. Together with a lot of significant useabiltiy improvements the upgrade made it worth it to me. Also my income quadrupled, going from zilch to nada. And even though the present camera is almost a perfect do-it-all camera for me, I'm not at all immune to future upgrade options. And don't even get me started on lenses...
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Jan 19, 2015
Last of the Five Questions: "Is It Just for Enjoyment?" If the answer to this is affirmative, it overrides all or most of the other considerations :).

My recent upgrade to the Sony A7Rm4 from the A7Rm2 brought me much better autofocus, enabling me to use AF for impromptu street shots, which consistently failed with the A7Rm2. Together with a lot of significant useabiltiy improvements the upgrade made it worth it to me. Also my income quadrupled, going from zilch to nada. And even though the present camera is almost a perfect do-it-all camera for me, I'm not at all immune to future upgrade options. And don't even get me started on lenses...
Interesting comment about the AF, was it really that bad?
 
Interesting comment about the AF, was it really that bad?
Well yes. Tracking was reasonably good, but initial acquisition really was too slow to get me a properly focused impromptu shot on the street; it sort of hiccuped before acquiring focus, which caused me to rely on zone focusing with an aperture like f/8. The A7Rm4 still isn't as fast as the A9 but fast enough to get me a fairly good keeper rate, let's say 80 % or more.
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Jan 19, 2015
Well yes. Tracking was reasonably good, but initial acquisition really was too slow to get me a properly focused impromptu shot on the street; it sort of hiccuped before acquiring focus, which caused me to rely on zone focusing with an aperture like f/8. The A7Rm4 still isn't as fast as the A9 but fast enough to get me a fairly good keeper rate, let's say 80 % or more.
Interesting. Ok, so A7RII = manual lenses only then. A damn fine camera for manual lenses though.
 
Interesting. Ok, so A7RII = manual lenses only then. A damn fine camera for manual lenses though.
For me at least that's what it was. Call me stupid, but the main reason to even consider upgrading was peaking operation. The A7Rm2 made me pull my (few) hairs because of it: way too many button presses to switch peaking on/off. The A7Rm3, A7m3 and A9 and all successors can be customized to have peaking toggling with a single button click. Using MF lenses works so much more conveniently now. Won't repeat it here, but I did a write-up over on the TalkEmount forum.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
Absolutely, some features make a camera less fun to use with MF glass.

For example, having to press extra buttons to enable/disable magnification or FP. This made Olympus a pretty bad experience for me, one of the later reasons to let go of Pen-F.

One great feature is to allow magnifying the scene while also allowing to keep the overall full composition in view. Fujifilm X-T series does this, arguably X-Pro2-3 does this. Panasonic m4/3 does this too, in a sense...

Then there are other qualities, such as the quality of focus peaking algorithms. Olympus wasn't particularly good at this. Fujifilms are somewhat better, Leicas are the best.
 

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