When my Editor-in-Chief asked if I’d like to review the Fujifilm X-T1, I responded with an emphatic, “YES.” Having worked with the X-E2 for several months and the X-A1 and X20 before that, I’ve become the Fuji lover both on staff and around my friends. The X-T1 has something of a traditional SLR design with the the viewfinder in the middle, as opposed to the left side, and all manner of dials along the top. It’s only slight larger than the X-E2, but it’s far more satisfying to use. While the core elements of the X-T1 are the same as the X-E2, there are several important factors that keep it comfortably above the rest of the crop.
The world of prime lens users can be divided into two categories: fans of the 35mm focal length, and fans of the 50mm focal length. Some prefer the slightly wider angle-of-view of the 35mm, while others prefer the more restricted view of a 50mm. Now, when buying into a camera system, you might want to make sure that there is a lens available corresponding to your preferred focal length.
Pentax, for example, used to have a selection of both 35mm and 50mm lenses back in the days of film, but that changed with the digital age when 35mm lenses suddenly became equivalent to 50mm in terms of angle-of-view, due to the smaller format of the APS-C sensor. In the current DA lineup of lenses designed specifically for digital SLRs, you’ll find several lenses corresponding to the classic 50mm, but none that will satisfy the needs of a 35mm shooter.
It’s no secret that despite how hard manufacturers are trying to push mirrorless cameras, DSLR sales are still better. Recently, Amateur Photographer looked to investigate why this is. According to Mirrorless Rumors’ summation, it’s because mirrorless cameras are too small, have confusing category names, and DSLRs have more lenses, have become cheaper and also have more appeal because of the fact that consumers are holding onto Canon and Nikon’s glory days.
The interesting thing about the study though is that it only seems to have sampled the complaints of a small few and it doesn’t seem to be a worldwide test at all.
Sure, folks are really holding onto the glory days of Canon and Nikon, but let’s also face it: not many folks are as geekily into the camera world as most readers of this site. So they only go with what they know–and that means Canon and Nikon. For what it’s worth, let’s think about where you see ads for these companies: at baseball games, football games, hockey, etc. You barely ever see Olympus anywhere else besides in Tennis and I haven’t seen very much Fujifilm or Sony other places. Canon and Nikon both have television ads too. So maybe part of it is brand awareness. If I told my sister what brands make good cameras, she would probably say Canon immediately and might say Olympus because my mom taught us on Olympus cameras. But otherwise, there is very little customer education. She owns a Samsung Galaxy S4 phone but probably knows nothing about the company’s Galaxy Cam.
For what it’s worth too, lots of consumer tech websites also mostly focus on phones and laptops with very little going towards the imaging world. Cameras require special attention though–blending art and tech knowledge in order to give them their due.
The folks over at hastalosmegapixeles put together an interesting infographic showing a breakdown of cameras used by press photographers for the World Press Photo 2014 awards. And despite the fact that we always say that it’s about the picture first and the gear second, it’s still an interesting breakdown to look at. Canon seems to dominate with the 1D X and DSLRs overall seem to still be the primary tool of photographers out in the field. Of course, this seems like no big surprise but we’re also quite shocked at some of the other cameras in use. For example, there is a Rebel, Sony NEX 5n, Nikon D80, and the venerable 5D Mk II seems to be still in use.
Even more interesting is the fact that the Mamiya 7 is being used–which is a medium format rangefinder and a wonderful camera. Plus, the RX1 compact is in use and the Olympus OMD EM5.
Looks like the mirrorless world isn’t going to be overtaking DSLRs any time soon.
The big box arrived on my doorstep about a month ago. Inside rested the Sony A7, one of the company’s latest offerings that has shifted the industry. A gorgeous machine both inside and out, the A7 sports a 24.3MP Full Frame sensor and a shutter that is so satisfying to hear. Adjusting to the field of view took a short while as this is my first foray into the full-frame space, but the shooting experience was as smooth as butter.
We reported on this lens a while back when pictures of a prototype were floating around the internet. But now the lens has officially been anounced. The Ibelux 40mm f0.85 is the fastest current production lens for mirrorless cameras (though not the fastest lens in the world, as the press release boldly claims) and was jointly developed by German IB/E Optics and Chinese Shanghai Transvision. The lens sports 10 elements in 8 groups, weights 1.2 kg (2.65 lbs) and will be made available for Sony NEX, Fuji X, Canon M and Micro Four Thirds cameras. It will come with an MSRP of US-$ 2,080.
In the press release, the company also announces full-frame lenses for Sony’s A7 and A7R cameras. Currently, Handevision is working on a high-speed telephoto APO mirror lens, a tilt-shift lens and a compact fixed focal length lens, among others. We reckon that these will be designed and manufactured to meet the same high standards as the Ibelux 40mm f0.85. The full press release including MFT charts and sample images can be foud here.