Now that my jet lag is receding I’m remembering where I put (hid) stuff when I left Mumbai before Xmas. The charger for the EOS 5D3 was in another bag which I discovered this morning. Phew. And this means that I’ll be able to directly compare both the performance and the user experience of the DSLR and my compacts.
I’ve been giving some thought to what it is exactly that makes me want to use a certain camera and what the downsides are. I am, or certainly have been, concerned with the outright ‘quality’ of the files I have been producing and by quality I mean sharpness and resolution as well as the more obvious focus/exposure/ DR /Framing etc. I have a feeling that having explored this to the utmost I can afford, to whit: 5D3/Zeiss glass/RRS tripod and head, I am now moving into a new phase where this becomes rather less important and the emotional response to the image moves to the fore.
Having said this, there will I think always be the urge to record in the highest possible fidelity, the things in the natural world that fascinate and attract me , like insects and flowers and for this, DSLR/Macro lens/tripod and strobe will be important at least for the next few years although I can see small sensor cameras being better and better for macro as time goes by, I’ve seen some amazing files from an Olympus OMD. Telephoto is a different matter however, there’s only one way to get the pop that can be obtained from a super telephoto and large sensor camera and that is by spending the money. More money than I will ever be able to justify…….
The X100 however has, as I have already mentioned, enabled me to take some of my all time favorite pictures, simply by being in my hand at the time and ( and this is most important) being so fast and easy to use. This is where I take serious issue with the reviewers. Apart from the controls being so intuitive, allowing me to take the picture I want to take with no peering at menus or pressing of buttons, I have found the autofocus to be fast and precise…. I know, this is not what the reviewers say and maybe not what a lot of users find. I can only tell you what has been my experience. I put the camera to my eye frame the shot and half press then fully press the shutter release, this gives me a correctly exposed and focused image, even in quite low light. To be honest It takes maybe half a second longer than with a DSLR with autofocus. Maybe its because I often use manual focus and live view to ensure critical focus with my 5D3 that the X100 seems fast, I dunno.
Whatever, it works for me.
So: Will the DSLR get much use or will it gather dust? Watch this space!