Yesterday was the Lincoln Photo Show. We had Canon and Nikon with there current range, no Nikon DF (more thoughts about that soon). Olympus and Panasonic where also there and Sony.
The second hand stalls had some great old film classics, Large Format, Medium Format and 35mm all covered. I was tempted a little by one of the old wooden large format cameras with a brass lens but I have to keep reminding myself, despite my collection of Leica’s, a Ebony, Hasselblad and a brace of Nikon SLR’s I am not a camera collector.
I was particularly interested in trying out the smaller mirror less cameras. I am still not sure where Nikon is going with the Series 1 range and I may give it the boot and move to either a high end compact like a Ricoh GR or MicroFourThirds.
The little Olympus OM-D E-M5 was my first port of call, I did not have as long as I would have liked with this but it felt good in the hand. Unfortunately it had no battery so I could not give it a real try.
Next was the new Full Frame Sony A7, now this was much better then I expected from the pictures. If I wanted a camera as a second body to my Leica then this would bit it. I also found the viewfinder very good. I have issues with the viewfinder in the NEX-7 and was worried about this one, but I had no issues with it.
Lastly I had a good long play with the Panasonic GX-7. Now this was a fantasic little camera and the viewfinder was excellent and even had an easy to use and very powerful diopter adjustment.
I spent some time comparing the Sony and the Panasonic. The Panasonic is a very competent camera with nice handling. I would struggle to justify the extra price of the Sony. While I know the Sony is aiming at a very different market being full frame, the Panasonic is just so good for so much less cash.
The Panasonic would fit in with my needs quite well and would replace the Nikon V1 but a Sony A7 just replicates what I already have in the Leica M8. While one could consider the Sony to be a very good spare body for a Leica outfit, and with its high image quality, full frame sensor rivals a Leica M which costs a great deal more.
I think a number of owners of Leica Glass would be very tempted by the Sony and Leica glass would get round the biggest issue with the Sony, and that is there lack of very good high quality glass.
So that has given me lots to think about.
While at the show I also got the change to have a look at the NEC Spectraview Reference Monitors. Capable of displaying 98% of Adobe RGB they make an excellent monitor for a digital darkroom. I might just have to get one for the new office as a Christmas present to myself.