Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Smaller cameras

I've worked all my professional life with big cameras. Bronicas, Hasselblads, Linhof 4x5 and 8x10. But for my 35mm work, which was mostly for slides. I used a Nikon FM. For the life of me, I can't remember why I chose it rather than it's bigger brother professional Nikons. Choose it I did and it served me well for many years. It was petite, small and comfortable in the hand and non aggressive in it's appearance, but usually, that didn't matter. Later, after a career switch and then a switchback, I ended up using a Canon, which of course, was big and ugly. But for my personal work, which eventually led me to Alamy, I bought a Contax G2, a rangefinder but totally automatic (if you wanted it) with fantastic Zeiss lenses. It was a joy to use, small and light but with a quality which I considered to be the equivalent of the 6x4.5 cm Mamiya I used professionally a lot. So a bag of the camera and four lenses was a doddle to walk around with when exploring exotic places.

Therefore I am gladdened by the industry trend towards EVIL cameras. EVIL stands for electronic viewfinder interchangeable lenses. Fuji has the XPro-1 and the lenses are supposed to be very good. Nikon has it's new 1 system and Canon is bringing out it's solution in late summer. Meanwhile the Olympus OM-D EM5 is getting good reviews. This is a case of the industry listening to the gripes of it's customers and that is gratifying.
Bear in mind that the DSLR will not be made redundant by this development. I could never have envisaged using my G2 in the studio, and many of the Alamy contributors who have gone in the direction of EVIL cameras have not disposed of their DSLRs, they've simply added to their arsenal.
I still wish somebody would resurrect Contax and bring back a digital version of the G2 and it's Zeiss lenses.

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