Single In Single in January (SiJ) 2021 - day 21

Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
This is simply, for me, a jaw-droppingly beautiful photograph.

I know you have mentioned, in articulate fashion, some of the issues you've been having with your GX9 camera, Matt - but... damn! Any camera (and lets not forget the lens, too!) which can allow a photographer to produce images like this... is a worthy one.
Thank you once again for your kind words, Miguel! Much appreciated.

As I've said before, yes, IQ is fine. However, fiddliness abounds in use. Case in point (that actually cost me yesterday's RAW files because I was, well, fiddling with the camera ... :dash2:):

Yesterday, I used the GX9 and the Z 50. Background information: I usually do a round of backup in the evening - *after* processing the images, which I often do on a different machine. I don't catalogue my images (no Lightroom or similar), I just save them. After backing up the files, I format the SD card.

Yesterday, I had finished that procedure for the Z 50 - which went: turn on, press "Menu", "Format card" (or whatever that would read in English) is already highlighted, click, confirm, done. This made me crack - I picked up the (not yet backed-up!) GX9 and did, well, the "same": turn on, be greated with the infamous focal length question, half-press shutter to say "no", press "Menu", land in "C" choice menu, click left, click down, click down, click down, click down, click right, click up, click "Format card" (see above), confirm - then swear, swear, swear ... Yes, pilot error, caused by weariness. However, you can count the actions: 4 with the Z 50, 12 with the GX9. Yes, you can shorten that procedure slightly by using the touch screen, but I prefer handling the GX9 with both hands because it's quite slippery and has already slipped out of my grip once. Anyhow, this is just an eminent example of what Hugh Brownstone ("Three Blind Men and an Elephant") calls "futzing" - a term hugely offensive in (Swiss) German, but completely accurate in Jiddish.

Add the "wandering" EVF (it won't stay put) with its less-than-competitive optics and panel, and you have a camera that delivers the goods *only* after causing frustrations in the process, at least with manual lenses. I've more or less learned to just get on with it, but the nuisances stay just that. That said, the camera has its advantages - the mechanical shutter is super-quiet, I.B.I.S. is effective, the on-off switch is in a very nice place, and it's really quick to deploy and fast when used with native AF lenses ... It's kind of a conundrum. My only real "problem" is that I have used lots of cameras that *haven't* presented me with that number of minor, but constant annoyances ...

M.
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Thank you once again for your kind words, Miguel! Much appreciated.

As I've said before, yes, IQ is fine. However, fiddliness abounds in use. Case in point (that actually cost me yesterday's RAW files because I was, well, fiddling with the camera ... :dash2:):

Yesterday, I used the GX9 and the Z 50. Background information: I usually do a round of backup in the evening - *after* processing the images, which I often do on a different machine. I don't catalogue my images (no Lightroom or similar), I just save them. After backing up the files, I format the SD card.

Yesterday, I had finished that procedure for the Z 50 - which went: turn on, press "Menu", "Format card" (or whatever that would read in English) is already highlighted, click, confirm, done. This made me crack - I picked up the (not yet backed-up!) GX9 and did, well, the "same": turn on, be greated with the infamous focal length question, half-press shutter to say "no", press "Menu", land in "C" choice menu, click left, click down, click down, click down, click down, click right, click up, click "Format card" (see above), confirm - then swear, swear, swear ... Yes, pilot error, caused by weariness. However, you can count the actions: 4 with the Z 50, 12 with the GX9. Yes, you can shorten that procedure slightly by using the touch screen, but I prefer handling the GX9 with both hands because it's quite slippery and has already slipped out of my grip once. Anyhow, this is just an eminent example of what Hugh Brownstone ("Three Blind Men and an Elephant") calls "futzing" - a term hugely offensive in (Swiss) German, but completely accurate in Jiddish.

Add the "wandering" EVF (it won't stay put) with its less-than-competitive optics and panel, and you have a camera that delivers the goods *only* after causing frustrations in the process, at least with manual lenses. I've more or less learned to just get on with it, but the nuisances stay just that. That said, the camera has its advantages - the mechanical shutter is super-quiet, I.B.I.S. is effective, the on-off switch is in a very nice place, and it's really quick to deploy and fast when used with native AF lenses ... It's kind of a conundrum. My only real "problem" is that I have used lots of cameras that *haven't* presented me with that number of minor, but constant annoyances ...

M.
Apologies for such a short post after that detailed one but I have to say, the older I get, the less buttons and features I want. If that means having to own 10 year old gear, I'd do that.
 

MiguelATF

Hall of Famer
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Real Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
Thank you once again for your kind words, Miguel! Much appreciated.

As I've said before, yes, IQ is fine. However, fiddliness abounds in use. Case in point (that actually cost me yesterday's RAW files because I was, well, fiddling with the camera ... :dash2:):

Yesterday, I used the GX9 and the Z 50. Background information: I usually do a round of backup in the evening - *after* processing the images, which I often do on a different machine. I don't catalogue my images (no Lightroom or similar), I just save them. After backing up the files, I format the SD card.

Yesterday, I had finished that procedure for the Z 50 - which went: turn on, press "Menu", "Format card" (or whatever that would read in English) is already highlighted, click, confirm, done. This made me crack - I picked up the (not yet backed-up!) GX9 and did, well, the "same": turn on, be greated with the infamous focal length question, half-press shutter to say "no", press "Menu", land in "C" choice menu, click left, click down, click down, click down, click down, click right, click up, click "Format card" (see above), confirm - then swear, swear, swear ... Yes, pilot error, caused by weariness. However, you can count the actions: 4 with the Z 50, 12 with the GX9. Yes, you can shorten that procedure slightly by using the touch screen, but I prefer handling the GX9 with both hands because it's quite slippery and has already slipped out of my grip once. Anyhow, this is just an eminent example of what Hugh Brownstone ("Three Blind Men and an Elephant") calls "futzing" - a term hugely offensive in (Swiss) German, but completely accurate in Jiddish.

Add the "wandering" EVF (it won't stay put) with its less-than-competitive optics and panel, and you have a camera that delivers the goods *only* after causing frustrations in the process, at least with manual lenses. I've more or less learned to just get on with it, but the nuisances stay just that. That said, the camera has its advantages - the mechanical shutter is super-quiet, I.B.I.S. is effective, the on-off switch is in a very nice place, and it's really quick to deploy and fast when used with native AF lenses ... It's kind of a conundrum. My only real "problem" is that I have used lots of cameras that *haven't* presented me with that number of minor, but constant annoyances ...

M.

Damn, Matt! That sounds... truly irritating. And annoying. And I totally 'get' the nature of the seemingly thousand and one things that can drive a person mad. Kind of makes a person wish, even momentarily, for the simplicity of the bygone analog film ages - where all a person had to worry about was aperture, shutter speed, ASA - then developing and printing. But then, of course, for nerdy photographers, you could always start to study Ansel Adam's 'zone system', and try to choose between the million and one ways to measure light with your Weston meter (is reflected better? or incident?), and how that corresponded to both exposure decisions and later development questions and... you can easily get lost among all the trees and branches and never see the forest.

rayvonn's comment about less buttons and less features, being a good thing - is something I can definitely relate to, and agree with.

Your comment which intrigues me, however, was when you mentioned one can shorten a complicated procedure, slightly, by using the touch screen. I've tended to be a person who either likes physical dials and settings - or menus or controls which seem more clear-cut and logical - but on two or three cameras, I've discovered - or had to teach myself - that actually embracing touch-screen options... can simplify some things. I've found a handful of Panasonics (Lumixes) of recent vintage, tend to share some simple and powerful touch-screen features which part of me has resisted - but when I've allowed myself to give in and go over to the Dark Side (aka the touch screen side ;) ) I've enjoyed it. The other camera which has quite a few powerful touch-screen capabilities is the tiny Canon G1x Mkiii. Canon seems to have embraced the camera-as-a-larger-touchscreen-device philosophy more wholeheartedly than some others - and the more I've used them... the more fun the cameras have gotten.

It would be great if cameras offered radical options to pare down or eliminate the 'fiddliness' - to cut the Gordian knot of complexity, so to speak - and just pare things down to simple, satisfying, logical functionality. Someday, maybe... one can always dream ;)
 

theoldsmithy

Hall of Famer
Location
Cheshire, England
Real Name
Martin Connolly
Thank you once again for your kind words, Miguel! Much appreciated.

As I've said before, yes, IQ is fine. However, fiddliness abounds in use. Case in point (that actually cost me yesterday's RAW files because I was, well, fiddling with the camera ... :dash2:):

Yesterday, I used the GX9 and the Z 50. Background information: I usually do a round of backup in the evening - *after* processing the images, which I often do on a different machine. I don't catalogue my images (no Lightroom or similar), I just save them. After backing up the files, I format the SD card.

Yesterday, I had finished that procedure for the Z 50 - which went: turn on, press "Menu", "Format card" (or whatever that would read in English) is already highlighted, click, confirm, done. This made me crack - I picked up the (not yet backed-up!) GX9 and did, well, the "same": turn on, be greated with the infamous focal length question, half-press shutter to say "no", press "Menu", land in "C" choice menu, click left, click down, click down, click down, click down, click right, click up, click "Format card" (see above), confirm - then swear, swear, swear ... Yes, pilot error, caused by weariness. However, you can count the actions: 4 with the Z 50, 12 with the GX9. Yes, you can shorten that procedure slightly by using the touch screen, but I prefer handling the GX9 with both hands because it's quite slippery and has already slipped out of my grip once. Anyhow, this is just an eminent example of what Hugh Brownstone ("Three Blind Men and an Elephant") calls "futzing" - a term hugely offensive in (Swiss) German, but completely accurate in Jiddish.

Add the "wandering" EVF (it won't stay put) with its less-than-competitive optics and panel, and you have a camera that delivers the goods *only* after causing frustrations in the process, at least with manual lenses. I've more or less learned to just get on with it, but the nuisances stay just that. That said, the camera has its advantages - the mechanical shutter is super-quiet, I.B.I.S. is effective, the on-off switch is in a very nice place, and it's really quick to deploy and fast when used with native AF lenses ... It's kind of a conundrum. My only real "problem" is that I have used lots of cameras that *haven't* presented me with that number of minor, but constant annoyances ...

M.
Matt, have you tried populating the “my menu” tab on the main menu? That cuts down clicking enormously, especially since the camera remembers which tab you were last using. If I can’t get at a setting from the Q menu button, I’ve added it to the “my menu”. So far that works pretty well.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
Damn, Matt! That sounds... truly irritating. And annoying. And I totally 'get' the nature of the seemingly thousand and one things that can drive a person mad. Kind of makes a person wish, even momentarily, for the simplicity of the bygone analog film ages - where all a person had to worry about was aperture, shutter speed, ASA - then developing and printing. But then, of course, for nerdy photographers, you could always start to study Ansel Adam's 'zone system', and try to choose between the million and one ways to measure light with your Weston meter (is reflected better? or incident?), and how that corresponded to both exposure decisions and later development questions and... you can easily get lost among all the trees and branches and never see the forest.

rayvonn's comment about less buttons and less features, being a good thing - is something I can definitely relate to, and agree with.

Your comment which intrigues me, however, was when you mentioned one can shorten a complicated procedure, slightly, by using the touch screen. I've tended to be a person who either likes physical dials and settings - or menus or controls which seem more clear-cut and logical - but on two or three cameras, I've discovered - or had to teach myself - that actually embracing touch-screen options... can simplify some things. I've found a handful of Panasonics (Lumixes) of recent vintage, tend to share some simple and powerful touch-screen features which part of me has resisted - but when I've allowed myself to give in and go over to the Dark Side (aka the touch screen side ;) ) I've enjoyed it. The other camera which has quite a few powerful touch-screen capabilities is the tiny Canon G1x Mkiii. Canon seems to have embraced the camera-as-a-larger-touchscreen-device philosophy more wholeheartedly than some others - and the more I've used them... the more fun the cameras have gotten.

It would be great if cameras offered radical options to pare down or eliminate the 'fiddliness' - to cut the Gordian knot of complexity, so to speak - and just pare things down to simple, satisfying, logical functionality. Someday, maybe... one can always dream ;)
Very well summed up, Miguel - you and Ray have laid the finger on one of my more "ominous" switches in recent years: The simplicity (along with the often gorgeous results) was instrumental in my embracing the Leica M system - after fighting my fascination for literally decades. It was the right thing to do - but as satisfying as rangefinder photography can be, it can be limiting, and it definitely doesn't put an end to GAS.

I think it's perfectly possible to design a thoroughly modern UI while keeping it user-friendly in the best sense of the word - the Nikon Z system (as well as the Nikon DSLRs before them) are, to me, a case in point. Of all small cameras I own, the Z 50 does that get-out-of-the-way thing best - without skimping on controls, and with only some very minor downfalls. I admit I mumbled a bit at first, but you get used to that camera enormously quickly, and after that short period of accommodation, it's pleasantly smooth sailing. Add the fact that this small body is truely competent, and you have a winner. It's not outstanding in any way - but it *works*. The G1X III you mention is actually very good at this as well, though it can feel a bit crammed at times. But it's very well thought out.

The touch screen thing is an acquired taste in my eyes - cameras that have a well implemented interface make better use of it, too. The GX9's implementation is good, but again, fiddly because everything is pretty small with little margin for error, and there's always a ton of options to wade through. It works well enough in terms of technical implementation, though (it's responsive enough, for one thing).

Matt, have you tried populating the “my menu” tab on the main menu? That cuts down clicking enormously, especially since the camera remembers which tab you were last using. If I can’t get at a setting from the Q menu button, I’ve added it to the “my menu”. So far that works pretty well.
I actually hadn't - now I have, and it's much faster! And maybe I should have tried it sooner. But in all honesty, it's only a partial solution - the focal length pop-up will still annoy me whenever I power up the camera, and I'll still end up in the "C" section whenever I enter the menu ... And it's only substantially quicker when I use the touch screen, too (which, as I said, is not something I like doing with that camera, but it works). But: Things are just not straightforward *by design*.

I've also found out today that you *can't* release the shutter as long as you're in magnification mode, which cost me another shot ... This is not a camera for the enthusiast photographer, it's the Nintendo Switch of ILCs (only joking - I'm just a bit frustrated because there *is* a lot to love about the camera!). Specifically, in spite of its pleasantly understated looks and layout, this isn't a camera for a rangefinder lover! The Fujifilm X-E3, while sharing some of the ideosyncrasies of the GX9's menu tab dance, comes much closer in use (i.e. while shooting) ... But as far as I know, the upcoming X-E4 will *not* have I.B.I.S., so it's not a replacement for the GX9 ...

Whatever I do, I'll have to wait a bit to see what options will become available. As much as I moan, you're all right about one thing: This camera *can* perform impressively well ... I'd better make sure I'll not miss it once it's gone - which means I need to truely replace it with something I like better, not just something new and fancy.

M.
 
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