Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Leica M9 price drops: $500 off for M9, $1,000 off M9-P

News flash!

The Leica M9 and its upgrade, the M9-P, are on sale at Adorama. Yes, I added them all to my shopping cart to see what the final price is. If you've been on the fence and almost able to scrape together enough money and chutzpah to buy the camera with my highest Street Photography Camera Cred rating, now may be the time to do it. After all, you could save $1,000 off the cost of an M9-P or $500 off the older M-9. Not too shabby, if you can afford it.

Read my Street Photo Stress Test of the Leica M9 at the Adorama Learning Center and yeah, that's me up there.

Here are the new prices. I don't know how long they will stay at this level.

Leica M9 body, black: $6,495.00 (down from $6,995.00)
Leica M9 body, steel gray:  $6,495.00 (down from $6,995.00) l

Leica M9-P, Silver $6,995.00 (down from $7,995.00)
Leica M9-P, Black $6,995.00 (down from $7,995.00

(If you do decide it's time to buy an M9, please help support this site by clicking on the above links. As an Adorama affiliate, I get a small but greatly appreciated commission for every sale generated by your clicking on these links.)

Street Photo Of The Day, Aug. 29, 2012

Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. © 2012 Mason Resnick. Gear: Olympus Pen Mini with 14-42mm kit lens, 28mm optical viewfinder.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Olympus Digital Pen Mini E-PM1: Affordable and Surprisingly Capable Street Camera

It was a year ago, almost to the day, that Olympus invited me and a small group of camera critics to test out their claims that their newest and smallest interchangeable-lens compact, the E-PM1 (also known as the Olympus Pen Mini) was king of shutter responsiveness. Fast autofocus and technical guts built for speed resulted in DSLR-level shutter lag, they said.

To prove their point, they had us test the camera at the U.S. Open. And indeed, as I wrote in my test results, the camera delivered a surprisingly action-stopping, split-second timing, shutter lag-free performance. But besides shooting the courtside action, I also managed to sneak in some street photography while walking through the grounds in Flushing Meadows.
U.S. Open, Flushing Meadow, New York. Photo © 2011 by Mason Resnick. Olympus E-PM1 with 14-42mm kit lens, Olympus Electronic Viewfinder VF-2.

Last week, while vacationing in the Boston area, after the battery on an Olympus OM-D that I'm testing for Adorama crapped out (not the camera's fault: I'd been shooting like a maniac, pushing that camera to its limits all day), I pulled out my backup camera: the Olympus Pen Mini, to do some street shooting. Most of the photos were taken in Harvard Square, in Cambridge, with the 14-42mm kit lens. I kept it at 14mm (which is the 35mm equivalent of 28mm) and mounted a 28mm optical viewfinder on the flash mount for framing purposes, since the camera lacks an eye-level viewfinder.

I'll share some of the photos is shot with that setup this week, but the bottom line for street shooters? Image quality at ISO 800 was very good, and while operating manual exposure control is a bit more menu driven in this camera, it is fast enough for street photography and at $399 it is a great option if your budget is limited.

Read my review of the Olympus E-PM1 at the Adorama Learning Center. And if this has convinced you to buy the E-PM1, please help support this site by clicking on the following links to buy it and recommended accessories from Adorama. This site is an Adorama Affiliate, and I get a small commission for each sale generated this way, which justifies my time putting this thing together. Thanks!

Support this site! Please click the following links to buy:

Street Photo Of The Day, Aug. 27, 2012

Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. © 2012 Mason Resnick. Gear: Olympus Pen Mini with 14-42mm kit lens, 28mm optical viewfinder.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Happy Birthday, Henri Cartier-Bresson

Today is Henri Cartier-Bresson's birthday; he would have been 103.

I met Cartier-Bresson once, and it was all to brief. It was at the press preview for his "Early Works" show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in September 1987. I was there with my mentor and fellow Modern Photography editors Peter Moore and Katie Calhoun. Katie walked off into another room and Peter and I looked up and saw, just a few feet away, Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Meeting HCB was on my bucket list. He was (and still is) an influence. His photos had a profound influence on me and inspired me to pursue a career in photography as a photojournalist. Or something.

And so, Peter and I looked at each other and said, "let's go!" Knowing that HCB was notoriously shy, I was ready to keep our meeting brief and non-threatening, and to forego the adulation. Peter and I introduced ourselves as editors from Modern Photography magazine and I quietly, simply said "thank you" and smiled, hopefully pleasantly enough. Then Peter, who didn't get my internal memo, started to say in a bit too loud a voice "I have always admired your work and..." but was cut off as HCB, with a look of absolute fear on his face, shouted "No No No No No!" and backed away into the next room and around the corner, never to be seen by us again.

Well, at least I did get to shake the man's hand.

Street Photo of the Day, Aug. 22, 2012

Times Square, November 2010. © Mason Resnick. Gear: Leica D-Lux 5. Read my review of the Leica D-Lux 5 at the Adorama Learning Center.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ricoh GXR with 28mm Module: Street Photography Bliss for Around $1,000?

What the heck is this? Why, it's the Ricoh GXR and 28mm/APS Sensor Module. Again...what the heck is this?

In my ongoing quest to find a relatively affordable camera capable of producing high-quality images and still have the ease of use and quick responsiveness to use as a digital street photography camera, I came across the Ricoh GXR. The GXR system is one of the most innovative designs on the market. Rather than a self-contained camera or a camera body with interchangeable lenses, the GXR consists of a base with all the controls but no sensor, and a series of lens-sensor modules that snap into the base.

While networking with other street shooters someone mentioned that he thought the GXR with the 28mm lens and APS sensor module was one of the best cameras he's tried, and that piqued my curiosity. (This was before the A12 module with the Leica M mount was introduced). I borrowed a kit from Adorama and subjected the Ricoh GXR/28mm-APS Sensor combo to a Street Photography Stress Test, and added a 28mm optical viewfinder that I took off my Leica M3 for composing purposes. Here's what I found out...

Read the Street Photo Stress Test: Ricoh GXR with 28mm/APS Sensor Module.

Cut to the chase: Do I recommend this setup for street photography? Definitely! Read the article to find out why, and decide for yourself.

Street Photo of the Day, Aug. 13, 2012

Times Square, New York, 2011. Photo © Mason Resnick. Gear: Ricoh GXR with 28mm/APS Sensor module, Panasonic VF1 Optical Viewfinder. Exposure: ISO 800, 1/500 sec at f/5.6.

Read Street Photo Stress Test: Ricoh GXR with 28mm/APS Sensor Module.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Pentax K-01 Review: Strange shape, killer sensor, but is it street-friendly?

With so many Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens compact cameras coming out, the Pentax K-01 distinguishes itself as the only camera to feature a built-in DSLR lens mount—a K mount—that lets you mount any Pentax K-mount lens ever made on this camera, without the need for an adapter, and without diminished functionality. And it has a bonafide APS sensor, the exact same sensor found on many of today's best-rated DSLRs. But do the trade-offs render this camera unfit for street use?

This week, let's look at some of the images I shot with the Pentax K-01—a camera that has a lot going for it, but which also has its quirks. Is it ideal for the street?...Read my full review of the Pentax K-01 at the Adorama Learning Center.

Union Square, New York, NY. Photo ©  Mason Resnick. Camera: Pentax K-01 with Pentax 40mm f/2.8 Pancake Lens. Exposure: ISO 400, 1/250 sec at f/5.6.

Street Photo of the Day, Aug. 6, 2012

West 23rd St., New York, NY, 2012. Photo © Mason Resnick. Gear: Pentax K-01, 40mm f/2.8 Pancake Lens. Exposure: ISO 80, 1/60 sec at f/5.6.

Read my full review of the Pentax K-01 at the Adorama Learning Center.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

My first (and only!) street photography video

I had a chance to try out Animoto, a service that lets you create videos featuring your photos and videos and mixing in music. It's automated and very cool! Here's what I created out of photos I shot in NYC, Atlantic City, and Las Vegas from 2009-2010. (Note: Because of the relatively low resolution, I don't recommend watching this in full-screen mode).