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danwells

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danwells last won the day on October 15 2016

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About danwells

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  1. The Fuji one isn't an L-bracket if I remember correctly... It's just a baseplate and grip set without vertical capability, no? If it IS an L-bracket, it's actually cheaper than the RRS equivalent, once you add a grip to the RRS version. RRS hasn't announced any plans for a grip for the X-Pro 2, but their grip sets for other Fujis are around $190. The L-bracket (no grip) will be $130. Fuji wants $130 for a baseplate and grip, with no L component, and I haven't seen anything suggesting there will be an L component for it (I don't think Fuji has offered L components for other cameras). If RRS doesn't add a grip to their offerings, which they do for some Fujis, but not others, there will be an interesting dilemma for any photographer who wants both a grip and an L bracket... They had a grip for the X-Pro 1 and still offer them for the X100 and X-E lines, but they don't do grips for the X-T line (and the X-Pro 2 has a more pronounced built-in grip than the X-Pro 1 or X-E lines, but not nearly as much as the X-T line). Also, an X-Pro 1 baseplate won't fit. Even if the dimensions were identical (as I recall, the X-Pro 2 is a couple of mm thicker), the X-Pro 2 tripod mount is on-axis, while the X-Pro 1 mount was off-axis..
  2. There is a confounding factor here - the asymmetric slots mean that it's possible to put one card in the camera that is much faster than anything the second slot can take advantage of (you can put a UHS-2 card in the UHS-I second slot, but it won't be any faster than a good UHS-I card). This leaves four basic configurations (even before accounting for speed differences among cards in the same class), and makes the most logical fast configuration with dual UHS-2 cards a waste of money. UHS-2 card in slot 1, slot 2 empty UHS-2 card in Slot 1, UHS-I in slot 2 Two UHS-I cards UHS-I card in slot 1, slot 2 empty I have one of the new Lexar 2000x cards arriving tomorrow, and will be happy to try this with the very fast Lexar in Slot 1 and a fast UHS-1 card in Slot 2. I'm almost certain that the camera won't run any faster than the slowest card in backup mode (where it's writing to both cards), but it could if it's only writing JPEGs to the slower card, or in sequential mode where the slower card is not used until the fast one is full. The other test (and I'm not sure I can find two identical UHS-1 cards) would be two identical UHS-I cards - is it faster or slower than a single card?
  3. Assembling a carefully researched travel tripod - this is a fairly high-end set of pieces, but light and sturdy. I thought about the RRS legs, but they are much longer when packed, because they don't reverse fold, Legs: Gitzo G1545T (2.3 lb - a little lighter with the center column removed) Head: Arca-Swiss p0 inverted ballhead (10 ozs.) Quick release: RRS lever action (5.3 ozs). I have never seen a serious tripod under 3 lbs, and this one is right at that figure. Anything under is either a "shorty" or has serious compromises in stability. It is possible to save a LOT of money by substituting a Chinese Gitzo clone leg set for the real Gitzo I'm using (even with a 10% educational discount and the current $80 mail-in rebate, that is still a $600 leg set, and similar legs from Feisol, Benro or Sirui would be half the price). The difference is mainly in the details - Gitzo (and probably RRS - I've never used their legs) locks open and close really solidly, in about 1/4 turn. The clones are more like a full turn to open, and the legs rotate as you're messing with the locks. Gitzo legs are also a lot sturdier than any clone of similar weight - Gitzo and RRS use a higher grade of carbon fiber, which allows wider, but thinner-walled legs for the same weight. Gitzo's quality is certainly better than any fake Gitzo, but you pay for it... Are they overpriced? Probably that, too... I don't know if there are patents preventing one of the cloners from producing a very high grade tripod for a price in between their usual range and Gitzo's prices. It's also possible that the top-grade materials really ARE that expensive, and that the comparatively shoddy details on the clones are the only way to get the prices down. It could also be a combination (locks patented, high grade carbon fiber really expensive)? The Arca head is also expensive, but it's a unique design. A conventional ballhead would certainly be cheaper, although not from Arca, RRS, Markins or another well-known maker. There are some higher grade clone heads in the $200 range that are really nice, but you can't get the inverted design of the p0 from any clone. It turns out that buying the Arca head with no quick release and adding the RRS quick release is actually slightly cheaper than getting the head with Arca's quick release system, plus it's guaranteed compatible with RRS plates... The head and quick release are still on the way, so I'll let you know whether I ordered the right one! No Fuji system should need more than a Gitzo or RRS Series 1 tripod (there is some argument for one size heavier in some of the less sturdy brands, especially with the longest couple of lenses). I own the 100-400, and that is certainly the lens that causes questions if any of them do. I decided on the Series 1, remembering that that particular lens both has spectacular image stabilization and is unlikely to be used with the head fully locked - it's going to be following wildlife, which means not locked down and with the OIS on (the only time you turn off stabilization on a tripod is with the head locked).
  4. There are two separate questions here - 44x33mm vs. larger sensor and the 50 MP sensor vs. something new with more pixels, and more importantly, newer technology. My vote is for 44x33 (anything larger means much larger lenses and higher prices), but NOT for the 50 MP sensor. The 16 MP sensor that became the X-Trans was released in the Nikon D7000 in September 2010 (with availability somewhat later - DPReview's review came out in December, and I'm not sure how findable they were that holiday season), The X-Pro 1 was released in January 2012 - sure, there were parts of three years involved, but the sensor was 14 months old (if you count from real availability of the D7000). Fuji did keep the same sensor forever, but they introduced it when it was relatively new (and even more so with the X-Trans III sensor - that's a brand-new sensor, although at a resolution that's been around). In fact, the reason why a three year old sensor is unappealing to many is that Fuji keeps sensors for years. I'm speculating that switching sensors is a bigger deal in an X-Trans camera than a Bayer camera. Sony may even make a standard Bayer design that they sell with the sensor, so the camera manufacturer doesn't have to source another part at all (and MANY cameras can share that part). Since X-Trans is unique, Fuji has to make or order a fairly complex part (yes, it's a glass plate with splotches of color on it, but they're splotches of color a few microns across, and that may not be easy to do - I'm not sure how you print color on glass at over 6000 dpi, especially with edge precision much higher than that). They can only make enough for their own needs. My suspicion is that the expense is largely in setting up a run of a particular filter, not in making each individual filter (so they kept churning out 16 MP X-Trans arrays for years). If they go with the 50 MP sensor, I'd suspect that sensor will still be around 5 years later, when it's 8 years old. Even now, the 50 MP sensor underperforms the A7rII sensor in some ways (and may actually underperform the 24 MP X-Trans III sensor per pixel in some measurements - overall performance will be better because it's a larger, higher resolution sensor). By five years from now, sensors that outperform that one will be commonplace, and they will include not only full-frame sensors but also APS-C sensors (imagine if the 16 MP X-Trans had fallen behind Micro 43 and 1" sensors in performance during its long run - it never did, performing slightly better than the newest 20 MP Micro 43 sensor, and much better than any 1" sensor). I agree with EyesUnclouded that the GX-Pro 1 should be 44x33mm, but I'd like to see a new sensor... Call it a 44x33mm shrink of the Phase One 100MP sensor, an enlarged A7rII sensor or a huge enlargement of the X-Trans III sensor - they all produce relatively similar results. Depending on which pixel pitch you use, you wind up with somewhere between a 67 mp (shrink of the 100 MP sensor) and a 96 MP (enlargement of X-Trans III) sensor using copper wiring, possibly BSI (A7rII) and possibly with 16-bit output (100 MP). I don't care whether it's 67, 72 or 96 MP, but I'd like to see Fuji start off with a sensor that uses the newest technological generation. This should be easy for Sony to make, and would also appeal to Phase One (who are trying to move to CMOS, but only have an underpixeled 50 MP back and a VERY expensive 100MP back), Hasselblad and Pentax. Pentax's newer lenses all depend on 44x33mm, so they have no interest in the 100 MP Phase One sensor (not to mention the price). Most of Hasselblad's lenses would work with the larger sensor (all except for a couple of wide angles), but they seem to be trying to undercut Phase One, and may not like the price of the 100 MP sensor. Since Sony has the technology from three other sensors, I can't see that sensor being much more expensive than the 50 MP sensor that shares technology with an older generation of smaller-format sensors. By 5 years from now, the 50 MP sensor may actually be more expensive than a newer alternative, as Sony transitions all of their sensor manufacturing to copper. Right now, Sony makes a mix of old and new sensor types (ignoring sensors smaller than APS-C) - they have three sizes of current-generation sensor (24 MP APS-C X-Trans III and A6300, 42.4 MP A7rII and 100 MP Phase One - there may also be a Super 35 version in a movie camera or two, and there are certainly 1" versions ), but ALSO make at least four or five older-generation sensors (20 MP APS-C in the A5100, 24 MP APS-C in the A6000 and other cameras, both 24 and 36 MP full-frame, and the 50 MP 44x33mm sensor). Five years from now, will any of those still be in production? If the 50 MP sensor is an "orphan", its price may go up while Fuji still wants to use it.
  5. Even though I have rarely used the OVF in my first few days with the camera (we'll see as I have it for some actual time), I find the handling superior to the X-T1, because a few critical controls are larger or in better places. 1.) Shutter speed and exposure compensation dials are both significantly larger (easier to find and turn with camera to eye) than the already good operation of those dials on the X-T1 2.) AF joystick is an improvement over D-pad AF point selection on X-T1. 3.) I prefer "lift and turn" ISO selection over "push and turn" on the X-T1. Both require moving camera from eye, but the lift and turn is slightly faster for me, and doesn't risk knocking the drive mode - I'm forever accidentally winding up in bracket and other odd modes while trying to change ISO on X-T1. This is especially annoying because some of those modes disable raw shooting.
  6. Here's the lineup I'd like to see and I also think it optimizes Fuji's use of sensors and processors: The rangefinder style: GX-Pro 1 (Photokina announcement, 2017 availability? $5999? 72MP, 33x44mm medium format sensor. Stills focused (does it even record video?), hybrid viewfinder, weathersealed, Texas Leica ergonomics. Uses its own lens lineup, of course - good luck getting APS-C lenses to cover 33x44 mm. X-Pro 2 (already here - there's one in my camera bag) - 24 MP, stills focused, hybrid viewfinder, weathersealed, rangefinder ergonomics. It's a real joy to shoot - they've made some major ergonomic improvements over both the X-T1 and X-Pro 1 (come on, Phase One, I'd love to be able to process those raw files in Capture One!). X-E3 (mid-2017 release, $999) 24 MP, stills focused, EVF, not weathersealed. Probably uses a single core variant of the X-Processor Pro, because it doesn't need the speed. X-E2s (already here) 16 MP - lingers to give a low-cost introduction to the joys of the X-series. The DSLR style: X-T2 (June announcement, available before Photokina, $1799 or even $1999) - 24 MP, very high resolution EVF (perhaps the one from the Leica SL), still/video hybrid, weathersealed. Uses the speed of the X-Processor Pro to deliver superb 4K with Fuji lenses, but also the ideal camera for the longest lenses - if they're really introducing a 200mm f2, this is the body for it!. Chases the D500 and GH4 (but not the GH5, which may well be a 6K movie camera) simultaneously, with high frame rates in stills mode and excellent video. More expensive than the X-T1 to pay for fancy EVF, dual UHS-II slots, etc.. May be slightly larger than X-T1 (no heavier than an A7rII, and probably lighter) to accommodate the best of the X-Pro 2's control improvements, such as the joystick and the large shutter speed and exposure compensation dials. X-T7 (Photokina announcement, holiday availability, $1199). 24 MP, X-T1 class EVF, 4K video (but not the level of the X-T2), possibly weathersealed. A "cut down" X-T2 with one card slot and without the luxury controls from the X-Pro 2 and X-T2 (the X-Pro 2 shutter dial is the nicest I've ever seen, but a regular one will do here), also missing the fancy video codecs and the Leica SL EVF, but it's lighter and cheaper. X-T10 hangs around at $699-$799 to provide an entry level option Inexpensive, very compact X-A3 (not willing to guess a release date). A modest, 16 MP update to the X-A2 (which isn't X-Trans, X-A3 may not be either). Westerners almost forget the X-A2, but it sells well in Asia, where younger photographers tend to like tiny cameras.
  7. I agree with gdanmitchell that Fuji likes to zig when the market is zagging. The reason Fuji has been successful at APS-C is that Fuji APS-C ISN'T a crop system - it's a full frame system for a different frame size! The difference is that all the lenses are optimized for the actual frame size. If you look at Nikon DX or Canon EF-S, there are two distinct types of lenses - APS-C lenses (which are generally cheap zooms - there have been a few primes and better zooms, but they aren't the majority) and FF lenses, many of which are either needlessly bulky or odd focal lengths on APS-C sensors (a 24-70mm f2.8 is a classic example of both, not going usefully wide on APS-C as well as being 50% bigger and heavier than it has to be). There are a few focal lengths that serve different roles in the two formats, but happen to work in both (35mm is the best example - it's a useful slight wide on FF, a normal lens on APS-C, and a 35mm FF lens is very compact, so there's no real disadvantage to using it as a normal lens). There are others that work both ways, but the lens designs are different (a 24mm wideangle on FF is similar to a 35mm if used on APS-C, BUT a good FF 24mm is quickly becoming a big, heavy lens; while it's easy to build a very compact one if you only need to cover APS-C). Long telephotos also work both ways - they inherently cover huge formats (most 300mm f2.8s cover 4x5", or would if they didn't have baffles to prevent reflection), and they tend to be "the longer the better", rather than an optimized focal length for a particular effect. By designing an entire lens lineup for APS-C, Fuji has the right focal lengths at reasonable sizes (note that their "50" is actually a 56 - a regular 50 works as a portrait lens on APS-C, but it's always just a bit short - 56 is a better length)... There are some big lenses, but they are unavoidably big lenses, not needlessly bulky ones. A 100-400, especially a scary-sharp 100-400, will never be a small lens! I'd expect (and hope for) them to do the same thing in medium format. If they embrace 33x44mm and design all their lenses for it, they will have significant size and quality advantages over manufacturers trying to repurpose 645 film lenses. On the other hand, I hope they go for a newer sensor, rather than that 3 year old 50MP one. It would be very easy for Sony to make a ~70-75 MP 33x44 mm sensor that uses the same technology generation as the X-Pro 2 sensor, the A7rII sensor and the big 100 MP sensor Phase One has. Fuji and Pentax are the logical customers...
  8. Ergonomics are, of course, extremely personal choices, so what one person thinks is a huge handling flaw can be just fine to someone else... I've used cameras with a lot of different methods of AF point selection, and I find the two-dial method about the clumsiest I've seen on modern cameras. My first choice is a dedicated joystick like the X-Pro 2 (and most pro DSLRs). It's very easy to find it when you want it, it's not easy to hit accidentally, and it's both quick and precise for actually moving the focus point (most of them support diagonal movement, which is a big convenience). My second choice is using the d-pad that most cameras have. You lose diagonal movement and have to use an L-shabed "knight's move" (think of how a knight moves in chess) instead; and it's enough easier to hit by accident that it usually has one extra step (hit a button, then move the AF point). Still, it works pretty well with a good d-pad - Olympus has one of the best, Sony's are really mushy and among the worst. My third choice is a touchscreen. My moviemaker friends will immediately say "are you kidding? With the camera on the tripod and the screen tilted up, nothing could be better than a touchscreen". I don't disagree, but a joystick is almost as good in that situation, and it works handheld as well (touchscreens are real pains unless you're on a tripod, preferably with the screen tilted). I find two dials a real pain, although other people like two-dial point selection. There is no natural correlation between the direction you spin the dial and the direction the point moves (vertically - the dial that moves the point horizontally works just fine). The one exception to this is the very rare camera that actually has one dial in a vertical orientation. I've seen it once, but I can't remember where.
  9. danwells

    Leica

    Interesting that the classic designs don't get improved upon much - anyone who can handle an M6 can pick up an X-Pro 2 and everything will be where it's supposed to be (same with an FM2 to an X-T1). After more than 20 years of playing with interfaces (many late film cameras handled like DSLRs), nobody's really improved on 1960s Leica or 1980s Nikon for the basic controls, since even fans of other brands admit that Fujis are about the best handling cameras around today (the only other make I usually hear mentioned in the same breath is Olympus). The sensor on the X-Pro 2 is going to be very close to equivalent to 6x9 cm film (35mm film is often compared to a 6mp sensor, and that was several generations of sensors ago), meaning that we have the image quality of a Texas Leica in the body of a Wetzlar Leica. If Fuji gets into medium format, we'll be looking at large format film image quality in a portable package, probably with excellent handling...
  10. Mine arrived Thursday, took it out for a sunrise shoot along a frozen river on Friday. Handles beautifully (even better than other Fujis), and image quality looks fantastic on the rear screen - Capture One isn't dealing with the raws yet, so haven't had the mages on the computer yet,
  11. First shots on my Pro-2 this morning, and it's a wonderfully handling camera - I immediately like it even better than my X-T1 (itself a beautiful handler), although the EVF is not quite as good. The joystick makes a big difference, and the shutter speed, exposure compensation and control dials are all improved. I even like the dial-in-dial ISO mechanism better than the locked dial on the opposite side of the X-T1. I really don't miss the drive dial, which I knock out of position frequently on the X-T1 (I use it just enough that I can't always leave it shut off - I'd far rather have a drive mode button in X-Pro 2 style). Build quality is improved from the already very good X-T1 (the most noticeable spots for me are the dials and the SD card door). Who knows if all those improvements will make it to the X-T2? I suspect a couple of them will, but others won't. I'd be surprised to get the big, beautiful shutter speed and exposure compensation dials, because there may not be room on the X-T2's smaller top plate (unless they make the body a bit thicker). Since the tilt screen takes up additional space, I'm not at all sure the joystick will fit, either. On the other hand, there will be some improvements that go only to the X-T2... X-T2 owners WILL get a tilt screen, and I have a strong suspicion it might be a touchscreen if the joystick doesn't make it. I'd be very surprised if some version of the improved card door design doesn't make the transition to the X-T2, and I suspect the front and rear control dials will either make it or even see another improvement. There is, of course, more room for an EVF in an X-T2, so it will certainly have the higher magnification from the X-T1, and possibly a higher resolution or refresh rate as well. One real determinant of how advanced the X-T2 will be is where Fuji decides to position it in their line. With some of the new lenses (especially the long telephotos), it might make sense to have a body above the present position of the X-T1 ($2000?). Such a camera would have a very high frame rate, dual card slots (maybe both UHS-II), and a really high grade EVF similar to the one in the Leica SL. It would probably also have very high grade video - 4K with a high quality codec and high bit rates. It could be a true hybrid camera, similar to an A7rII in that respect, although without the full frame and very high resolution, and with the full Fujinon lens lineup (not a "mostly video" camera like an A7s or GH4).Both the sensor and processor from the X-Pro 2 can actually support a hybrid like that. It might be a slightly larger or heavier body to accommodate even better weather sealing, some of the X-Pro 2 controls and more battery capacity(although a grip might be a nice approach to the battery issue, rather than an inherently larger body). If they did this, I would hope they leave the X-T10 in the line and introduce an intermediate model with the new sensor, but without some of the bells and whistles. The other option would be a camera positioned similarly to the X-T1, rather than above it. It has already been confirmed to have 4K, but I wouldn't expect a fancy codec at X-T1 positioning. Similarly, the viewfinder will probably be very, very good, but still a 2.36 megapixel unit, not the much higher resolution finder from the very expensive Leica. Body size will almost certainly be nearly identical to the X-T1, meaning that the enlarged shutter speed and exposure compensation dials from the X-Pro 2 probably don't both fit, although one or the other might. I hope they manage to include the joystick, but, looking at the back of my X-T1, I'm not completely sure where it would go?
  12. Green Mountain Camera in Burlington VT had two more not spoken for yesterday when I picked mine (preordered) up, along with a 100-400 mm lens. Good people - I have no affiliation with them other than "longtime, satisfied customer". I've bought gear from them for 10 years or more, and they've always been great to deal with Find them online at gmcamera.com
  13. It's a 7.2 volt battery, while USB is only 5 volts. The only cameras I know of that charge a 7.2 volt battery from 5 volt USB are some of the Sony interchangeable lens models, which are very slow to charge that way. They have a voltage boost circuit in the camera that allows them to do that, but it's inefficient. If the power is from the wall, it's going from 110 or 220 V AC to 5 V DC, then back up to something like 9 V DC to charge the battery. If it's from a laptop, it's even worse - 110 or 220 V AC gets converted down to 20 or so V DC to charge the laptop battery (happens in the laptop charger - mine is 19.5 V), then that gets stored in an 18 V (or so - some small notebooks and ultrabooks may be as low as 12 volts, and a few gaming notebooks may be well over 20 volts, although my HP ZBoolk workstation is just under 20, and I'd think that's likely to be on the higher end, being a quad-core with a powerful discrete graphic chip) battery, converted down to 5 V DC on the motherboard to power the USB port, then back up to 8 or 9 V DC in the camera to charge the battery! Probably due to all the voltage conversions (and the final boost converter in the camera can't be very powerful - it's in a very constrained space, and heat is also likely to be a problem), those cameras take 4 hours or so to charge a battery that charges in 2 hours using an external charger. The new USB Power Delivery standard in USB 3.1 (confusingly, huge parts of 3.1 and the Type C connector standard are optional, and you can have a Type C connector that is NOT 3.1, OR a USB 3.1 signal over a non Type C connector - what was the USB Implementers' Forum smoking?) can make this work better. A properly configured USB 3.1 Type C port can ask for 12 volts, which is great for charging 7+ volt batteries. It can even ask for 20 volts, which can charge things like laptops and big DSLRs (the Canon 1D series and Nikon D1/2/3/4/5 use 13+ volt batteries that won't charge from 12 volts). The X100 series also charge from 5 volt USB, but, rather than using the complex voltage regulation of the Sonys, they simply use a 3.6 volt battery which charges just fine from a 5 volt source. I was rather surprised by this, because they seemed like "big" cameras to use a low-voltage battery (same voltage as a mobile phone).Many other fixed lens, large sensor cameras turn out to use 3.6 volt batteries as well, and they may well charge over USB. Once I found this out, my suspicion is that the distinction is that you can't stick a 3 lb 100-400mm lens on an X-100t, while the interchangeable lens series need to be ready for big lenses and their high power draw for focusing and OIS. I've never seen an interchangeable lens camera other than the tiny Pentax Q that uses 3.6 volt batteries. Rather prescient of Fuji, actually - they could have gone for 3.6 volts, since none of the initial three lenses were much bigger than the X100 lens (and they had slow focus motors). Dan
  14. Mine's coming in at my local camera shop tomorrow...
  15. Depending on if you live near a Fuji dealer who will stock a full line, why not wait for an X-Pro 2 to go on display and try it alongside an X-T1? There are a couple of fairly significant ergonomic improvements from Pro-1 to Pro-2, including a better grip, some new button placements and the new focusing joystick (which everyone who's used seems to love). I'm almost sure the X-T2 will have a better EVF than the X-Pro 2, but it may not pick up the joystick - I don't see how they'd squeeze it in - the tilt screen takes up quite a bit of extra space? Given the probable increased video emphasis on the X-T2, it might (or might not) get touchscreen focusing control instead of the joystick... I know that I'd hugely prefer the joystick. I'm sure the X-T2 will at least have the X-T1's focus area control system, probably in addition to either the joystick or a touchscreen. If you play with the two, here are some things to keep in mind: The X-T1 EVF will serve as a minimum standard of what you can expect from an X-T2. Who knows what extra focusing controls the X-T2 will bring, but it should have everything the X-T1 has. The X-T2 will have either the X-T1's ISO dial or the X-Pro 2's. No idea if the X-T2 will pick up the dual card slots from the X-Pro 2 - it could be single-slot (if they can't fit a second one in), two slots, but only one UHS-II (like the X-Pro 2), or dual UHS-II in keeping with the increased video emphasis.
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