Time to Buy a new camera

While in the current climate cameras are difficult to get hold of for some models, in the current economic situation some truly great offers are available.

It’s time to bite the bullet and jump into mirrorless. I have decided the camera is going to be mainly studio and location portraiture with some landscape work. For events, action and street I am going to continue using my Nikon D800 and Leica M10.

I want good flash support and high megapixel count, stunning primes at f/1.2 and f/2 but at a reasonable price. So that rules out the Leica SL and tends me towards Nikon and Canon rather than Sony.

Then ergonomics and feel good in the hand, that again raises Nikon and Canon to the top of the list.

  • Nikon Z7 46MP
  • Canon R5 45MP
  • Sony A7R IV 61MP
  • Leica SL2 47MP

The Sony is 61MP, the highest in this list, the Canon the lowest at 45MP but practically these are all about the same resolution. The old Nikon D3 which 12MP not quite half the resolution of a Nikon Z7 at 46MP. Resolution is measured linearly not over the area.

The difference between these cameras is not going to be visible to the human eye. So on that front they are all about equal.

Build quality and weather sealing for when I shoot landscapes is going again to put Nikon and Canon to the top of the list.

I have used Canon and Nikon in the past and been happy with both. I currently own a lot of Nikon F mount glass, Nikon is always going to be top of the list.

Now to see who has the best offers, the Canon is generally above £4000 but I have seen the Nikon Z7 under £1700, leaving more money for things like the Nikon Z 85mm f/1.2 when its released.

Practically image quality is pretty similar, you may as well buy the model that you get on with the most. I have recently tried the Sony’s and Nikons and due to my years of using Nikons’, that felt the best and was very easy for me to use, so I have purchased a Nikon Z7.

The Leica M11

I remember waiting for the M10 release, immediately placing. my order and waiting patiently.

Leica M10, 50mm Summilux-M 1.4 ASPH

Now five years later with have the M11, and in so many ways its a better camera, easier to work with quickly, a quick access USB-C port in the bottom, better colour, dynamic range, stronger and lighter.

Many reasons to upgrade.

Leica M10, 50mm Summilux and Ivory Flame modeling

For my model shoots where I use the Leica M10, the new M11 makes a lot of sense, and a worthwhile upgrade.

But this is a niche use for me. I mainly use it for street photography and a carry everywhere camera when I do not want to have the size and weight of medium format or my SLR.

While the model shots above and this landscape would benefit from the upgrade, for a general purpose camera currently 24 Megapixels is easier to handle.

Leica M8 sample – walk to the gig

So for me I’ll be sticking with my M10 for now, while I spend the cash investing in a mirrorless studio solution.

Contrast and Black and White

I love high contrast Black and White but it can be quite tricky.

I find using the Tone Curve in Lightroom the best way of controlling contrast and then tweaking it with the contrast, highlight and white point sliders. Starting things off with a nice high curve and gently tapering it off seems to give the best results.

These were the initial settings I started with on the original colour image, I then took it to Photoshop to add a gradient on the background and touch up the skin slightly, then back to Lightroom for a BW convert and Orange boost and then I added some more contrast.

Outdoor photography

Leica M10, 50mm Summilux and Ivory Flame modeling

With the year starting in lockdown due to COVID-19, when we could finally get out and shoot I did a lot of outdoor photography.

Nikon D800 with Flash at Hartsholme Park

At first this was essential as few studios were open and working in doors with other people was just not a good idea.

Leica M10 and Cariad Celis

Put post lockdown its something that I have continued to do. Whether your shooting simply with a 50mm fixed focal length lens, or using flash out doors with more equipment.

These outdoor shots have been some of my favourite that I have taken for many years and so once spring arrives next year I’ll be heading out again into the great outdoors.

The end of the SLR?

Canon have announced the current Pro 1 D X Mark III will be their last. So its likely the big manufactures will now concentrate on mirrorless.

There are still a few areas where a pro SLR is better but with cameras like the Canon R3 and Nikon Z9, the gap is now very narrow.

I can see many professionals now transitioning. Many have a high end mirrorless already, often Sony or Fuji, but with the adapters Canon and Nikon have for older glass and these new high end mirrorless cameras from the big two, many are going to transition, Canon SLR users to the Canon mirrorless R system and Nikon SLR users to the Nikon mirrorless Z system.

a Bikers – Night before Christmas

On the Biking Blog “Ride it like you stole it!” which is sadly no more by Dave Dragon, there was a poem “The Biker’s Night Before Christmas”.

Biker Days

I have posted this before but as it is Christmas Eve I thought I was worth posting again.

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the pad,

There was nada happenin’, now that’s pretty bad.

The woodstove was hung up in that stocking routine,

In hopes that the Fat Boy would soon make the scene.

With our stomachs packed with tacos and beer,

My girl and I crashed on the couch for some cheer.

When out in the yard there arose such a racket,

I ran for the door and pulled on my jacket.

I saw a large bro’ on a ’56 Pan

Wearin’ black leathers, a cap, and boots (cool biker, man).

He hauled up the bars on that bikeful of sacks,

And that Pan hit the roof like it was running on tracks.

I couldn’t help gawking, the old guy had class.

But I had to go in — I was freezing my ass.

Down through the stovepipe he fell with a crash,

And out of the stove he came dragging his stash.

With a smile and some glee he passed out the loot,

A new jacket for her and some parts for my scoot.

He patted her fanny and shook my right hand,

Spun on his heel and up the stovepipe he ran.

From up on the roof came a great deal of thunder,

As that massive V-twin ripped the silence asunder.

With beard in the wind, he roared off in the night,

Shouting, “Have a cool Yule, and to all a good ride!”

Camera of the Year

Leica M10, 50mm Summilux-M 1.4 ASPH

I watched a few YouTube videos proclaiming the camera of the year for 2021. Some were serious and some less so.

Sony, Canon and Nikon were the usual ones mentioned, but one reviewer did mention that today you could walk into any camera shop and pick any new camera and if you cannot get good shots its not the camera but the one using the camera.

Different Sensors – same camera

Leica M8 50mm Summilux

Over the years a number of camera manufactures have done two models of the same camera, with different sensors.

Nikon used to do this the most with higher resolution and lower resolution versions of there D2 and D3 professional cameras.

Leica are now doing this with the SL2. With close to 50 megapixels its quite a beast, but for say weddings and wildlife or video, a slightly lower number of megapixels, faster response and smaller files to edit; you could say less is more.

This is where the SL2S comes in. Its basically the same camera but with a 24 megapixel sensor and faster performance and more optimised video.