Saturday, 7 April 2012

Dog fight

These photos are posted for amusement. They're all cropped, a result of using the pitiful viewfinder of the X10 for framing. There are a few aspects of this camera that are beginning to drive me nuts: the viewfinder (I can't get on with framing using the rear screen), in part because the information it displays (which you can't find anywhere else) obscures part of the image;  the aspect ratio - which I like for portrait orientation but find 'wrong' for landscape; the focus/shutter lag - if the camera is moving when you half press to focus the image freezes then unfreezes and the framing is out.

Image quality is fantastic for a compact, and for static shooting (as in the photographer is stationary) with plenty of time to get a shot the camera is great, but for action like this encounter with two dogs it all adds up to frustration.

The same frustrations had driven me nuts in the tackle shop today trying to get some deliberate motion blur. Trying to get an off centre focus point quickly was beyond impossible and the automatic focus point selector did what it should and focussed on the closest object. I guess I should have enabled face detection, but it's so much easier when using an SLR to simply turn the focus ring to shift focus. For a camera that can be carried in a jacket pocket I'm beginning to think I might as well get a smart phone.

As chance had it there was someone in the camera shop today who had his shiny new X-Pro1 with him, and he was kind enough to let me handle it. Like the X10 it felt like a 'real' camera. Better still, the essential controls were just what you need - a shutter speed dial on the top plate and an aperture ring round the lens barrel - you can check the settings without looking at the rear screen or through the viewfinder. Turn both to 'A' and exposure is fully automatic, shift one or the other and you get that priority, shift both and it's manual. Just like the old days!

I was interested to see what the electronic/optical viewfinder was like, and it was impressive if a little small. However it has no adjustment for poor eyesight, requiring the purchase of a screw in dioptre lens. It's a highly tempting camera, but unfortunately it is both new and expensive. New, these days, tends to mean 'not quite finished'. The lens selection available isn't what I'd like either. I bought a roll of film and left to continue considering if I'll ever find my ideal digital 'street' camera or whether I should spend what one might cost on film and processing instead!

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