Carry Everywhere Camera – but which one

Tintern AbbeyI have a number of cameras for various purposes.

From my SLR’s which I use for wildlife, weddings, portraits and sometimes landscapes.

My Medium Format and Large Format cameras get used for my personal Landscape work.

But what about the carry everywhere camera.  Well currently; sometimes its Leica M8 or M4 and sometimes my Nikon Series One V1.  The V1 with the lens ranging from 10mm to 110mm gives great flexibility, but its frustrating to use in some situations.

I still keep looking for a carry everywhere camera.  Currently these duties are spilt between my iPhone and the Nikon V1.  I keep thinking about the Fuji X100, or the new breed of large sensor’ed like the Ricoh GR V.  Both of these are less flexible then Nikon V1 but offer better image quality.  There is the Sony Rx-100 with  the same sensor as the Nikon Series One.  Then there are the smaller sensored compacts like the Panasonic LX-7 and the Canon S95.  These have sensors even smaller then the Nikon V1.  The small sensor of the Nikon Series is one of the biggest criticism of the system.  The sensor is smaller then the Micro FourThirds system but still larger then most compact sensors.  The shot at the top of this article was shot with the V1, so as you can see it produce some lovely images.

Below are some crops comparing three of my cameras:

Summicron Wide Open
Summicron Wide Open
SLR Wide Open
SLR Wide Open
V1 Wide Open
V1 Wide Open

I was shooting a few test images at the weekend under the harsh midday sun.  These were taken with my Leica M8 and 35mm Summicron, Nikon D200 SLR and 24-70mm f/2.8, and the Nikon V1, shot at the equivalent of 35mm field of view for a 35mm film/sensor.

Under the bright if hard light all three cameras have done a great job.  With the manual focus Leica, I think I have missed focus slightly but all three images look pretty good.

I also shot the same tests at f/8.  It was here that the Nikon V1 looked noticeably soft in comparison.  After f/5.6 diffraction sets in and the image quality starts to suffer.

SLR f/8
SLR f/8
Summicron f/8
Summicron f/8
V1 f/8
V1 f/8

Below is a shot taken with the Leica.  If one ignores the cameras, the shot at the top is a great shot, as is the shot below.  It shows that a camera when used to its strengths can produce excellent images.  The old adage its not the camera but the photographer is certainly true.

Family Grave Its also true that the best camera is the one thats with you.  Thats why I am thinking so hard at the moment about small compacts, its finding one where the limitations do not limit me.

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