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Andrew Reid

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To really love a camera it must be a comfortable, fast sportscar, not a mundane commuting experience.

Here's what I've grown to like the most, from the past year of camera releases which I've owned and shot with.

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To really love a camera it must be a comfortable, fast sportscar, not a mundane commuting experience. Here's what I've grown to like the most, from the past year of camera releases which I've own

Great post! I think design, UI, and ergonomics are an under-reported element to our work. As every NX1 will say, it is such an enjoyable camera to use. Not just the chunky grip and sensible button pla

For ergonomics nothing beats the NX1 for me. Also one of the reason's I've stuck with my Nikon gear over other options. 

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+1 for the fp.

Very rarely have to go into a menu once you've set it up, which is always a good sign but could maybe do with a programmable button on the front.

One annoyance with the QS button is that it retains selection by numbered position rather than function so I leave it on ISO (which is option 6 when in Cine mode) as thats what I am most likely to change but when I change to Stills mode and press the QS is it is on the JPEG/RAW selection which is option 6 in that mode.

Tell your mate about that one next time he is re-tweeting your pictures !

With regard to the SL2, I could have done with that faux leather finish on my SL as it probably would have averted the disaster I had dropping it onto the tiled floor.

 

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The Fp is like a Sony RX camera done right. Made by a camera design team, not the Playstation lads.

Lovely chunky controls given how small it is.

But yes, does need some Func. buttons. The AEL and center key can only really be assigned to focus mag. AEL has a range of AEL related things, but no ISO. That Tone key is a bit underused by me as well.

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Have only owned a limited number of cameras but the GH5 has been my favorite body. That isn't saying much considering I've mostly owned smaller cameras other wise (Fuji, APSC Sony, older Panasonic's)

The XT3 is about as small of a body as I can take. I really dislike the XT30 body. Its just way too small. Its nice as a travel camera though as it can more easily fit in a pocket.

I prefer tilt screens to flip screens. Screens that are built into the body are unacceptable and pretty useless IMHO(looking at you Blackmagic and Canon). Black magic definitely has the nicest menu's but they don't have to include any photo oriented settings which makes it way easier. I feel like it would be better if hybrid cameras had a completely different menu for the photo and video modes, rather than just having things greyed out.

 

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Sometimes I miss my GX7. Front grip is MILES better than the GX85/GX9 ones, larger and softer. AF/MF switch with a very good button on center for back-button AF.  And the more "rounder" design is much more attactive to me than the newer ones.

Only problem was the DISP button - it was easily pressed by the "base" of your thumb. a problem solved in the GX85 / GX9. And the shutter sound, was like a scissor closing - liked it but kind of loud.

But I miss it.

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35 minutes ago, Geoff CB said:

For ergonomics nothing beats the NX1 for me. Also one of the reason's I've stuck with my Nikon gear over other options. 

Yeah NX1 still amazes me, how something so 'conventional' in design feels so right. The smooth curves, big grip, direct controls, lightning fast responses, superb build quality, great screen, and then there's the image itself and the colour. Easily holds up today!

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I am using photo and video cameras for a lot of decades now (since when we only had film), nothing is even close to the NX1, it is just unbelievable how right this camera feels/is.

Super AMOLED screens, everything can be done in at least 3 ways, best touch screen implemantation so far, and still the best menus ever (Black Magic are amazing too, but they are just video cameras and their screens are bigger).

If you just grip the camera and take a couple of photos, then you are hooked for life.

Best size to weight ration also for me,.

I am waiting the new Canon R cameras, maybe they will be the closest thing to perfection.

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Haven't found a perfect one yet and I've mostly bounced between Sony, Fuji and Canon. Its been awhile since I sold it, but I do remember the NX1 got a lot right, but needed a flippy screen. Sony needs a better grip, LCD, menus, a functional touchscreen, and...

From a current body standpoint, I really like the design of the EOS R, Canon got a lot right - they just overthought it with the goofy touchbar instead of a simple joystick and jog wheel. Looks like the R5 got it sorted. The R's grip is perfect, its tall enough so the pinky doesn't curl under, its deep enough to carry the camera by the fingertips (I like to hold the camera when walking around so it doesn't bash into anything, but I have a loose grip on the body so I don't develop a claw from gripping it), and its spaced far enough from the mount so fat lenses don't squish your fingers. I like the return of the top display too, its nice to have another place to see settings. One underrated aspect with the R is the placement of the strap mounts - they're flush in the top plate, none of those annoying pointy lug mounts that stab your hand when grabbing the grip or when you press the shutter like Fuji and Sony use. The touchscreen is so good compared to Sony and Fuji too. I don't like the bulk of vertical grips, the new Meike grip extensions are a great solution, had one on the a7III and now have one on the EOS R.

Chris

 

 

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Great post! I think design, UI, and ergonomics are an under-reported element to our work. As every NX1 will say, it is such an enjoyable camera to use. Not just the chunky grip and sensible button placement, but the straightforward, simple menus deserve a shoutout. As a general use photo camera nothing comes close.

Though I haven't used them, I think the Z6/Z7 are noteworthy for actually including a locator pin hole on the bottom--so simple, but so helpful.

On the other side, the Z Cam E2 has some unique design choices that stand out. Lack of a grip makes gimbal balancing easier, and the presence of two 1/4-20 threads makes it super stable. Unlike larger pro cameras, it's tiny and much more easily managed for a single person crew. Then there's the phenomenal Z Cam app: wired/wireless monitoring and control from an iPhone.

7 minutes ago, Trek of Joy said:

One underrated aspect with the R is the placement of the strap mounts - they're flush in the top plate

I noticed that! Definitely a nice touch.

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19 minutes ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

King of forgot about the A6300 body, it actually had a nice grip, compared to the XT3 at least. 

worst camera ergonomics ever! Haven't used a worst thing! Also, menus, touch screen(is it?), battery life, red hot camera body..name it.

Older A7 cameras were terrible too, the iii is a lot better, still far from optimum, still the menus in chaos. 

Not a big fun of Fuji ergonomics either, to be honest, but still they have some buttons and dials, unlike the a6xxx..

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25 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

worst camera ergonomics ever! Haven't used a worst thing! Also, menus, touch screen(is it?), battery life, red hot camera body..name it.

Older A7 cameras were terrible too, the iii is a lot better, still far from optimum, still the menus in chaos. 

Not a big fun of Fuji ergonomics either, to be honest, but still they have some buttons and dials, unlike the a6xxx..

Yeah Fuji menus are sucky. I don't usually need to change anything though that I can't access with the buttons. Menus are still better than Sony. 

On the Fuji I have the high speed option assigned to a button, so if I want to switch to 120p is super quick. However say I want to switch from 24p to 60p or from HD to 4k, then I have to go into the menus.

I like the A6300 grip but yeah it heats up in 4k and the battery life sucked. 

One big thing I think a lot of people don't take into account on the XT3 is the battery grip! Some battery grips only have a single battery or don't allow you to utilize the in camera battery. Fuji gives you two batteries in the grip plus the one in the camera. That makes for pretty amazing battery life and the extra weight honestly helps for video.

Its one of the many reasons I haven't went with a Pocket camera over the Fuji. Fuji has AF, flip screen, easy compact battery solution, and nicer out of camera color. Whats the point of a Pocket camera if you can't really easily use it in its native form factor. Of course the Pocket cams will be worth it for some people but I'd rather just grab my Ursa if I really need the IQ. I can actually shoot handheld on my URSA without it looking a mess. 

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1 hour ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

Yeah Fuji menus are sucky. I don't usually need to change anything though that I can't access with the buttons. Menus are still better than Sony. 

On the Fuji I have the high speed option assigned to a button, so if I want to switch to 120p is super quick. However say I want to switch from 24p to 60p or from HD to 4k, then I have to go into the menus.

I like the A6300 grip but yeah it heats up in 4k and the battery life sucked. 

One big thing I think a lot of people don't take into account on the XT3 is the battery grip! Some battery grips only have a single battery or don't allow you to utilize the in camera battery. Fuji gives you two batteries in the grip plus the one in the camera. That makes for pretty amazing battery life and the extra weight honestly helps for video.

Its one of the many reasons I haven't went with a Pocket camera over the Fuji. Fuji has AF, flip screen, easy compact battery solution, and nicer out of camera color. Whats the point of a Pocket camera if you can't really easily use it in its native form factor. Of course the Pocket cams will be worth it for some people but I'd rather just grab my Ursa if I really need the IQ. I can actually shoot handheld on my URSA without it looking a mess. 

Fujis are real cameras made by people being in the industry for decades, Sony older bodies were/are a joke.

The Pocket comment is a bit unfair, it is not a hybrid camera, you can't reallly compare it with a hybrid. It is a different thing, that does different things, while you can use it as a hybrid when you can't the Ursa!

I have used handheld the P4K with a 12mm Samyang and a lot of times with the 12-100mm Olympus, it is doable, I have done it, it ain't a Sony!

..but the camera shines when half rigged which is a lot lighter and smaller than an Ursa. I personally do not like at all the shape/design of the BM, but you do not buy one to use it as a photo camera, that is why I have kept all my NX stuff and still use them, even today! 

You cover your dedicated video needs with the Ursa, I do with the Pocket. Maybe Sigma is the real pocket, there are options! For the price point, the 3200ISO performance and the codecs, the camera is great for what it is, a very cheap device that offers what it was unheard of a few years ago. 

I also have a second very light setup, 12-100mm again and this battery adapter https://www.hawkwoods.co.uk/Cine/P/DV-BM4 with 2 of those batteries https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1420284-REG/idx_system_technology_sl_f50_l_series_batteries_high.html that have a normal weight and size ratio for the camera (not too heavy on weight, not too light on power. Also X-tap and USB), and I am oldschool anyway, I use mono/tri - pods a lot!

NX1 battery grip has 1 battery, plus the internal one, I do not remember a time that it went to the battery at the grip! Even today, after so many years with the same batteries and their performance is stellar. I also do not like flippy screens (with the tilt mechanism you can hold the camera on center and balances nicely for tilt up/down moves), and I remember a lot of people were making jokes(!) about the little screen at the top plate, while today that is consider - and is ofcourse - a plus..

Olympus seems to do things right in ergonomics (not so much in menus, since forever,  and specs, these days). If I ever move from my NX stuff I could try one for daily photos and use with the 12-100mm. That would be crazy stabilized.

GH5, I have to say I do not like it much, not very well balanced, too heavy for m43 lenses. A video workhorse, I have used them a lot, and a lot handheld, but there are a few things that Panasonic has to short out to make it better ergonomically. I am not so keen on Panasonic ergonomics in general, they are not Sony bad (noone can be that bad!), but still can't match the better ones. There is always something missing from Pana cameras to invest on them full heartedly.

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4 hours ago, Márcio Kabke Pinheiro said:

Sometimes I miss my GX7. Front grip is MILES better than the GX85/GX9 ones, larger and softer.

The first thing I did was buy a Vello grip for the GX85, it was a must for holding especially for my big hands. 

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37 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

Fujis are real cameras made by people being in the industry for decades, Sony older bodies were/are a joke.

Some older Sony bodies in the phase between Minolta / Alpha cross over were superb. A700 and A900 top notch stuff. Better menus than now, and Minolta colour science, tons of Zeiss glass, including the best OVF on the market at the time, still one of the best to this day... It had a lovely built body, great ergonomics, responsive operation and no major flaws.

Then they go and do shit like the early NEX playstation cameras which ergonomically are toys.

They are still doing it today with A6300, which was one of the most flawed products the ever made - over heating, rubbish ergonomics, it is a shadow of a camera compared to Fuji's APS-C cameras, no matter what the specs sheet says.

Sony are only now starting to make baby steps towards a refined, nice to use body. A7R IV is alright. But it still lacks a soul.

37 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

The Pocket comment is a bit unfair, it is not a hybrid camera, you can't reallly compare it with a hybrid. It is a different thing, that does different things, while you can use it as a hybrid when you can't the Ursa!

Pocket potato.

37 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

I have used handheld the P4K with a 12mm Samyang and a lot of times with the 12-100mm Olympus, it is doable, I have done it, it ain't a Sony!

..but the camera shines when half rigged which is a lot lighter and smaller than an Ursa.

*Shudder*

Does this rig involve a wobbly HDMI cable sticking out the side by any chance, along with a tripling of the weight, still no EVF, a big brick of a battery and no balance whatsoever for handheld shooting? No thanks. I'll take my mirrorless camera any day.

37 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

NX1 battery grip has 1 battery, plus the internal one, I do not remember a time that it went to the battery at the grip! Even today, after so many years with the same batteries and their performance is stellar. I also do not like flippy screens (with the tilt mechanism you can hold the camera on center and balances nicely for tilt up/down moves), and I remember a lot of people were making jokes(!) about the little screen at the top plate, while today that is consider - and is ofcourse - a plus..

Imagine how nice an NX2 would have been with IBIS. Biggest shame of the decade that we never got that!

37 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

Olympus seems to do things right in ergonomics (not so much in menus, since forever,  and specs, these days). If I ever move from my NX stuff I could try one for daily photos and use with the 12-100mm. That would be crazy stabilized.

Yeah no 10bit and specs look a bit reheated, but the E-M1X is damn FAST though, and built like a tank. Fastest shot getter in the west.

37 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

GH5, I have to say I do not like it much, not very well balanced, too heavy for m43 lenses. A video workhorse, I have used them a lot, and a lot handheld, but there are a few things that Panasonic has to short out to make it better ergonomically. I am not so keen on Panasonic ergonomics in general, they are not Sony bad (noone can be that bad!), but still can't match the better ones. There is always something missing from Pana cameras to invest on them full heartedly.

In no world is the GH5 a heavy camera!

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3 hours ago, Trek of Joy said:

 

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I missed the tiny A7S body when they replaced it with the larger chunkier heavier one.

If they can go back and do it properly, but keep the size and weight the same, that would be nice.

Not everyone wants an S1H size mirrorless camera.

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I have never had any issues with ergonomics of any camera from any manufacturer and I have owned,used or tried dozens and dozens from just about everyone from tiny P&S (still have four of those) up to medium format and a huge professional Polaroid interchangeable lens instant camera (600SE).

I actually LIKE the ergonomics of the first version A7 cameras (had an A7 and on my second A7s).   I also like my old Fuji superzoom bridge camera (evf is a bit blah but it is older).

The thing I like about cameras the size and shape of the A7 first gen cameras (and same with GX7 I had) is they are similar to many of the old 35mm film cameras i used.

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5 hours ago, Kisaha said:

Older A7 cameras were terrible too, the iii is a lot better, still far from optimum

I hated the A7iii ergos. I was one of the lucky ones to get that camera when it first hit the market and was back ordered for months. I sold it after 3 weeks.

My perfect camera would be a Olympus body  with a Panasonic menu system and GH level video specs with 10-bit Olympus colors. Especially with PDAF with tracking. If only Olympus would up their video offerings even just a little it would be more compelling for me to switch. I consider the Oly 12-100 f4 one of the best all-around lenses ever made. If someone told me I could only bring one lens and didn’t specify what I would be shooting I would put that lens in my bag.

I’ve briefly used a EM1X in store. It felt really solid in the hand. Didn’t feel bulky, really. IBIS was amazing. Really wish it had 4K60 and 10-bit . Maybe a firmware update 🤞

My current camera is the GH5S. I like it. Buttons are placed well for my hands. Dedicate WB button. Spin dial for ISO. Lots of function buttons left side, right, top, and front. I wish the grip was a bit deeper, like the EM1 style. The image can be really good. VFR over 60p is rubbish. Horrible horizontal noise. Really disappointed in it in that respect it. I do miss IBIS, a lot.

Probably going to buy EM1.3 when it drops in price a bit more.

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I was never really satisfied with the GH5 even though I loved the body/IBIS. The low light performance and dynamic range on the A6300 impressed me initially though after moving to Fuji I'd never want to go back to Sony colors, even Panasonic color was always lackluster at least on the GH5. Maybe I would have liked the GH5S better, but no IBIS is a bummer. 
 

3 hours ago, Kisaha said:

Fujis are real cameras made by people being in the industry for decades, Sony older bodies were/are a joke.

The Pocket comment is a bit unfair, it is not a hybrid camera, you can't reallly compare it with a hybrid. It is a different thing, that does different things, while you can use it as a hybrid when you can't the Ursa!

I have used handheld the P4K with a 12mm Samyang and a lot of times with the 12-100mm Olympus, it is doable, I have done it, it ain't a Sony!

..but the camera shines when half rigged which is a lot lighter and smaller than an Ursa. I personally do not like at all the shape/design of the BM, but you do not buy one to use it as a photo camera, that is why I have kept all my NX stuff and still use them, even today! 

 

Perhaps I was too harsh on the pocket. But I just can't understand why they didn't at least add a flip screen. Its very hard to shoot with a fixed screen and see what you are doing, at least with the way I shoot. Battery swapping can be a pain but its doable, though the P6K pretty much crosses the line with the poor battery life. 

In terms of body design though I actually love the original Pocket camera by black magic. Yes the battery life sucked, but the grip was amazing. Probably the nicest feeling small camera I've held. Felt so nice in the hand. Of course that was killed after I rigged it up with a cage and all that BS(eventually selling it) If I were to go to an older BM camera it would be the Micro, really the only decently designed one.

I think with the crazy specs we've come to expect bigger bodies that can accommodate bigger batteries make more sense. Also if a Camera is meant to be small and compact I think a built in flip/tilt screen is a must(the brighter the better). External monitors are just way to bulky. 

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