Sunday, January 13, 2013

A few more photos. The first from Aperture and the second from RAW Developer. 

Welcome NEX-6

It was a such a strange thing. I was in a camera shop looking at the Fuji X-Pro 1, and was all ready to purchase the camera with the 35/1.4 lens. Then I was playing with a number of other cameras. One of them happened to be the Sony NEX-6. In the past few years, I have been following the Sony NEX system from afar. When the NEX7 came out, it was of curious interest, due to its EVF and the larger sensor size. But since the, there hasn't been much of any interest. Anyhow, once I spent about 10 minutes playing with it, I was sold. I didn't do any Internet searches of reading of any review, the camera just felt right. For the same price as the X-Pro 1 and the 35/1.4, I got the NEX-6 with the 35/1.8 and 50/1.8 with some left over still.  

Well, here are some initial test shots below. The first shot was processed with RPP and the last two were with RAW Developer. A few initial observations on the NEX-6 and 35/1.8 combo. 
  • Great usability for someone who likes a more traditional approach. The buttons and dials can be tailored to suit.
  • Manual focus is the best I have used on any EVF. This makes me want to use my old Contax lenses.
  • Very small and light-weight. But not the same as the Leica X2.
  • Quite responsive in its operation. The Auto-focus was quite quick, a lot better than the GF1 and the X2. But definitely not as quick as the OM-D. 
  • The 35/1.8 is a little soft at 1.8. But by 2.8 it is much better. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

GF1 compared with X2

My recent sale of my OM-D was linked to the fact that I didn't like its operational layout and its subjective image quality wasn't my taste. The sharpness, IS and autofocus is without peer in my current camera inventory (i.e., no other camera has the combination of all three). But it just didn't feel right in my hands and the images didn't present well to my eyes. I note the caveat that it is purely subjective to my own needs. On the other hand, the Leica X2 and the (old) Panasonic GF1 was much better suited. None of those two has fast autofocus or IS; but the tactile feel and operation of the camera and the final image all appealed to me.

What I wanted to do now, in tandem with my RAW processor comparison is to do a short comparison between the GF1 and X2. This will simply involve the comparison of a range of typical images between the two cameras. Nothing scientific. Each photo from each camera at about the same time. I will be using the 20/1.7 on the GF1, and the X2 has the fixed 24/2.8. Perspective will not change, so the images will have a different field of view. Apertures will be matched where possible. But as I said, nothing scientific.

At the moment, all my RAW convertors, with the exception of DxO 8 supports both cameras, and will also involve a RAW convertor comparison between cameras. It will be interesting to see how DxO's image processing compares with other converters (something that I have wanted to know for a very long time) and how that would compare against a hand tuned processing on different cameras. For me, that is, the question is; will getting/using DxO with a cheaper lens and camera combination better an inherent superior lens and camera?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

RAW Developers

In the next few weeks, I will have some time to devote to photography. The two items on the agenda are a OM-D replacement and testing of RAW Converters. Currently, I have licenses for Aperture, Capture One, Lightroom, DxO and RAW Developer. I have recently tried Raw Photo Processor and appears to be an interesting tool. For this test, my aim to take a few standard images from my Leica X2 and Panasonic GF1 and compare the outputs.

On that note, I have recently come to appreciate the GF1. Of those images that I printed out and loved of my kids, almost half of them were taken with the GF1 and the 20m f/1.7 lens. Not the fastest combination around, nor does it have the best high ISO performance, but the results speak for themselves. Incidentally, of those that I wanted to print, very few came from the OM-D.

Finally, I had a chance to quickly play with the XE-1. It appeared to be reasonable responsive, and focused fairly quickly. But I did notice the EVF did have a little bit of tearing in certain circumstances and also had minor lag. It was only a brief test, but I have to say that I wasn't 100% sold. The resolution is great, and the MF on the rear LCD was actually quite useable. Warrants more testing time.