If you are old fashioned like me then you will hate modern compacts. Composing on the back screen is no way to use a camera, with the camera braced to your face and either an optical or EVF you can focus and compose better and use a slower shutter speed if necessary.
I have yet to use the Fuji X T1 but that promises to be the best EVF yet. I still feel that an optical finder is the best and we are still two to three years away from an EVF that can match an optical finder.
So, if you want a decent camera with an optical finder what are your options. Well surprisingly you do not have many. In the small sensor department there is the Canon G16 and G1X and of course the little Fuji X20. These are good compacts but still small sensor compacts, what if you want better image quality. Well there is the Leica M, the Leica Monochrom and the Leica ME, these cameras are £4k plus but are true range finders and full 35mm frame. Focusing a range finder is not for everyone and takes skill and lots of regular practice.
Well the only other option is the Fuji X range with there DX X Trans sensors and there are only two models with optical viewfinders the fixed lens X100s and the Fuji X Pro1.
I loved the X100 idea when the prototype was announced but it had a few issues, these were fixed with the X100s but they also introduced a new issue; the X Trans Sensor.
Like the Leica’s and also cameras like the Nikon D800E, the Fuji’s have no antialias filter meaning stunning sharpness. The problem has been the new sensor does not have a standard 4 x 4 Bayor array but a new Fuji designed 6 x 6 array. This has taken RAW software developers a lot of time to sort out but it looks like it may finally be sorted.
If your interested about reading the issues with the new array check out the Chromasoft Blog.
Capture one and the soon to be released Adobe Lightroom v5.4 may have fixed these issues.
As I have talked about in my blog, I am still looking out for the perfect travel compact. Something that can be carried without noticing and kept in my motorcycle tank bag.
The options I have looked at is keeping my current choice the Nikon V1, switching to the smaller Panasonic LF1 or Fuji X20, or a the Nikon Coolpix A or Ricoh GR. Now the first two are small but have viewfinders, the second two have better image quality but no viewfinder.
Until now I have dismissed the larger Fuji’s due to the colour bleed issues with the X Trans Sensor but if its true and Adobe have fixed this then its another option for me.
While a Fuji X100s or the Fuji X Pro1 is about as big as my Leica M8, I would feel better about it getting chucked around in a motorcycle tank bag due to the lower cost. The X Pro1 also has the option of acting as a second body for my Leica using Leica glass. Something I have been researching with the Sony A7 and A7R, but the Fuji may be a better option due to the DX sensor and being less likely to suffer from colour drift in the corners.
So Fuji how about a fast 35mm f/2 or f/1.4 equivalent pancake lens with a real manual aperture ring for the X Pro1?