Earlier on this blog I write a piece about the perfect street camera, this article follows on from that post.
It seems that for me at least the perfect street camera is like searching for the holy grail!
For I don’t know how many years I have been trying to find a small inconspicuous digital camera that would do the job I required which is as follows: fast auto focus, built in viewfinder ( I am old school and like composing through a viewfinder not by holding a camera at arms length), no shutter lag, 35mm equivalent built in lens ( my focal length preference for street) or interchangeable lens option and finally at least 10 megapixel coupled with a decent sized sensor. Like many others over the years I have lusted after the infamous Leica however my funds just can’t justify the purchase of an M9 and to be honest I just can’t get on with a rangefinder, just too slow for me (yes I know it’s probably me that’s too slow!)
So when the Fuji X100 was announced last year, I thought eureka I had finally found my camera. So in May last year I bought one, it was love at first sight. It really is a beautiful looking camera with an outstanding and revolutionary viewfinder. The image quality I found to be stunning and the ISO control amazing. But! After seven months reluctantly it had to go. Why you ask, well like so many others have reported, the auto focus is just too slow for capturing the ‘decisive moment’. I have missed so many potential great (in my opinion) street images because the camera didn’t focus in time. In desperation I even tried workarounds like manual focus, which frankly is hopeless with it’s ‘fly by wire’ system and even ’ zone focusing’. But the bottom line is that on a camera costing so much I really shouldn’t have to resort to these methods.
I would love to have kept it, as for slower types of photography, like travel, it’s brilliant as the shortcomings don’t show up, but I needed the funds to purchase its replacement.
So what did I get? Well after much research I went for the Nikon V1. Now this camera has also had its critics, but after reading several ‘real’ reviews like Roy Galbraith and Steve Huff’s, I went for one. It’s early days but so far so good, it’s very compact, has an amazingly fast AF, no shutter lag and surprisingly good IQ for its sensor size. It’s ISO handling is pretty good too and very usable even at 3200 and it has a built in EVF viewfinder.
So have I finally found my holy grail?
Of course not, on the horizon the Fuji X1-pro is due out soon and if they can get the AF and the pricing right, this will be a winner and one worth saving for. But for now I’m happy to get on with the main thing and that is getting out there and taking pictures!