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My opinion on the Zeiss ZX1


Andrew Reid

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And there we were at Photokina thinking this camera might shake Leica into stopping taking the piss over the price of the Q.

I'm not sure what the "right" price is for this camera now in the present market, particularly considering its "quirks" but I do know that pricing it higher than the Q2 and on the same level as the Hasselblad 907x HC50 is not going to get it anywhere near the top of my "expensive objects of desire" list.

In fact, I might print this blog piece out as justification for the defence when I eventually do break down and succumb to buying one of the other two !

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Hopefully it'll be down to it's real price of £2000 on eBay in a about a year. I like the design and the image quality, great lens, ergonomics look nice. But the marketing people doing the Android bit and the price are as incompetent as it gets.

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Even Leica lovers are laughing.

I don't knock shit for the sake of knocking shit and was quite interested when they first started talking about this back in around 2004 or whenever it was.

But in 2020, they just jumped the shark that was eating a Q2 that a dentist had been surfing with.

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It's a very disappointing camera, largely because it's Zeiss's first digital camera. People (including me) have been wanting them to make a camera for years - ideally a rangefinder like their Zeiss Ikon ZM. That's a market they could really tap into, given Leica is (essentially) the only option for digital rangefinders. I wouldn't have complained about a fixed lens rangefinder either, if they wanted to do that.

It's just weird because they have a phenomenal line-up of excellent M mount lenses.... why not make a camera that can use them?

FYI, the sensor is NOT the old 36MP one in the a7R / K-1 / D800. It's a 39.5MP sensor with 37.4 effective MP and a base 80 ISO. It's a totally new sensor designed by Zeiss - not sure who made it, but most likely Sony.

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2 hours ago, pixelpreaching said:

FYI, the sensor is NOT the old 36MP one in the a7R / K-1 / D800. It's a 39.5MP sensor with 37.4 effective MP and a base 80 ISO. It's a totally new sensor designed by Zeiss

I'd be surprised if it wasn't; having played with the raws the attitude in the shadows is underwhelming. And typically with the same sensor in a Sony body its always a megapixel or two smaller, probably due to the small lens mount. Try shooting with the 28mm f2 on the Sony and when you use the crop tool in C1 you gettthe option to enlarge the crop area as there are extra pixels captured in both dimensions as that lens has the ability to project an image on the entire sensor.

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4 hours ago, PabloB said:

I'd be surprised if it wasn't; having played with the raws the attitude in the shadows is underwhelming. And typically with the same sensor in a Sony body its always a megapixel or two smaller, probably due to the small lens mount. Try shooting with the 28mm f2 on the Sony and when you use the crop tool in C1 you gettthe option to enlarge the crop area as there are extra pixels captured in both dimensions as that lens has the ability to project an image on the entire sensor.

I can 100% assure you it is not the same sensor. Numerous sources have stated such and there is no reality in which a 39.5MP/37.4 effective sensor can be the same as that old 36.77/36.4 effective sensor.

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It's obsolete before it's released. Someone at Ziess should have put their hand up at said this is a ridiculous concept and will fail. 

I have an iPhone 12 Pro in my pocket with far superior processing power and connectivity, much bigger high res screen for editing and choice of apps. All Zeiss needed to do was make an $3500 compact RX1 style camera with seamless connectivity. 

Apple have seamless connectivity with Airdrop using Bluetooth and Wifi on the fly peer to peer network for effortless behind the scenes connectivity. Cameras by comparison have tedious unreliable slow connectivity.

If Zeiss could have used 'Airdrop' technology to offload raw files to my iPhone 12 Pro, that would have made a fantastic useful camera. 

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I really don't see the point of this Zeiss camera, besides conspicuous consumption.

Earlier this year I rented a Nikon Z6 to try it out and was blown away by the in-camera raw photo editing capabilities.  Not quite Lightroom, but the best I'd ever seen in a camera.  And of course it (like my Sony a7iii) can transmit photos and videos to my smartphone via an app for sharing or further editing.  So I really don't get the point of this Zeiss camera, besides the Zeiss name (and of course you can put a Zeiss lens on a Nikon).

B&H has the Nikon z7II at $3,046.  You can then put any lens on it, but if we're sticking to the comparison let's go with the Nikon Z 35mm 1.8, which B&H has at $696.  I rented that lens (see example shots below), and it was excellent, but I ended up buying the Rokinon 35mm Cine t1.5 since I like doing everything manually.

So with Nikon you're spending $3,742, and have a camera that can do way more than the Zeiss, has more resolution and way more video options, and of course it can even switch lenses.  What's the point of the extra $2,258?

Duckling and mother.jpg

Sarah reflection.jpg

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