Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Is it time to ditch the SLR?

Canon 5DmkIII w/40mm F2.8 Pancake vs. Fujifilm XE-1 w/18-55mm F2.8-4.0
Every so often I find myself blabbing on how, when I shot film, I sold off all my SLR gear and bought my best loved camera of all time, a Contax G2. It's autofocus was slow, the Carl Zeiss T* prime lenses I had weren't terribly fast but the camera oozed Swiss watch build quality in a small, light-weight, discrete package and boy, shoot a roll of slide film and prepare to drool when you pull it from the developer. To this day with all the cameras I've gone through, I have not had one that I have loved more. While my current 5DmkIII and bag full of 'L' glass can produce some stunning images. They're Critically sharp, high contrast images that the engineer in me really appreciates but the artist in me finds them sterile. I think I understand what Leica owners talk about when they say one camera can render a scene more beautifully than another.

So here we are at the end of 2012 and I'm looking for a compact camera worthy of dumping all my SLR gear over - and we're pretty close. Right now I'm test driving a Fujifilm XE-1, which, while not a pocket camera, with its largest lens attached, it is much smaller than my 5D is with its smallest lens attached- and the whole package weighs less than just one of my 'L' lenses. It's 16 megapixel, APS-C sensor promises to have the resolving power of a full frame. While I haven't taken many shots yet, just playing with it around the house, it appears the IQ is quite good. Good enough to put my 5D on Craigslist? We'll see...
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