Friday, September 28, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Street Photo of the Day, Sept. 27, 2012

Broadway, New York City, 2012. © Mason Resnick. Exposure: ISO 2000, f/8 at 1/1000 sec. Gear; Fujifilm X-Pro 1, Fujifilm XF 18mm (27mm) F/2.0 Lens.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Breaking: Adorama Now Taking Pre-Orders for Leica M, M-E

Leica M rangefinder camera.

Adorama today just taking pre-orders for the two new Leica rangefinder cameras introduced last week at Photokina. Both cameras promise to be outstanding choices for street photographers. The Leica M is a 24MP full-frame rangefinder with HD video capture capabilities, Live View focus peaking, and a ruggedized body that has been sealed against dust and spray. The new top-line camera will be available in early 2013 for just under $7,000.

Leica M-E rangefinder camera

However, Leica also announced a relatively affordable model, the $5,500 Leica M-E, essentially a very basic version of the M9, which costs about $1,000 more and shares the same 16MP Kodak sensor. The Leica M-E should be available by next month.

Read my First Look at the Leica M and Leica M-E at the Adorama News Desk.

Street Photo of the Day, Sept. 25, 2012

23rd Street, New York City, 2012. © Mason Resnick. Exposure: ISO 2000, f/8 at 1/500 sec. Gear; Fujifilm X-Pro 1, Fujifilm XF 18mm (27mm) F/2.0 Lens.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Coming Soon: More Digital Cameras for Street Photography

Prediction: Photokina, which starts tomorrow, will mark the start of a new era in digital photography where small, stealthy, fast digital cameras that deliver high-quality images will proliferate.

That's great news for street photographers!

It's already started: Just in the past couple of weeks in the run-up to Photokina, Sony and Fujifilm announced competing sub-$1,000 interchangeable-lens cameras with 16MP sensors that have already been shown to deliver outstanding overall image quality on pricier models, eye-level electronic viewfinders placed on the left corner of the camera back,  and virtually instant shutter releases.

First came the Fujifilm X-E1, a less expensive but (if the company claims hold up) a faster performing alternative to the X-Pro 1. Read all about it here. The price? $999.95—$700 less than the X Pro 1.

Sony punched back last week with the NEX-6, a less expensive but (if the company claims hold up) a faster performing alternative to the NEX-7. Read all about it here. The price? $845.95—$700 less than the NEX-7.

Are you starting to see a pattern here?

The price of street-photographer-friendly digital cameras is coming down, making street photography more affordable for a wider swath of photographers.  And with Photokina starting tomorrow, I strongly suspect we will see more street-smart cameras.

I'll get back to you next week with a thoughtful round-up of new cameras from a street photography perspective.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Why the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 Is One Of The Top Digital Cameras for Street Photography

When I first got my hands on the Fujifilm X-Pro 1, I was impressed by its image quality...but was frustrated by its shutter lag. Then Fuji announced Firmware Upgrade 1.11 and when I downloaded that, it gave the camera new responsiveness that transformed it into what I now consider of the best digital cameras for street photography.

I was wowed by the Fujifilm X-Pro 1's images at ISO 2000, which looked like they were shot at ISO 400 with very little noise. I was immediately comfortable with its control layout, which any Leica-raised shooter would be at home with. I thought the unique hybrid digital/optical viewfinder was brilliant.

It's not perfect. It still hesitates occasionally in bright sunlight (although the latest firmware update, just announced, might fix that). But overall, for a camera costing thousands less than the Leica M9, the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 delivered the goods for this street photographer.

Flatiron District, New York City, 2012. © Mason Resnick. Exposure: ISO 2000, f/8 at 1/500 sec. Gear; Fujifilm X-Pro 1, Fujifilm XF 18mm (27mm) F/2.0 Lens.

I spent over a month with this camera and hated to have to send it back. Read my full review of the Fujifilm X-Pro 1, which includes some street photos. During the next few weeks, this blog's Street Photo of the Day will be culled from the thousand-plus images I shot with the Fujifilm X-Pro 1.

If the Fujifilm X-Pro 1's $1,700 pricetag is still too rich for your blood, consider the just-announced Fujifilm X-E1, which will be available in November for $999. It won't have the optical viewfinder but will have the highest resolution electronic viewfinder available to date—and shares the same sensor and easy control layout as the X-Pro 1, and is claimed to have virtually no shutter lag.

Update 9/16/12: But wait—there's more!  In the past two weeks, both Fuji and Sony announced competing lower-priced cameras designed to appeal to shooters for whom the price tags of the Fuji X-Pro 1 and Sony NEX-7 are, say, about $700 too high. Read about 'em here.

If you are ready to buy the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 now, please support this site by clicking on these links, so I can get a modest but appreciated commission:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fujifilm Announces X-E1, potential street photography camera with high image quality, for under $1,000

Fuji today announced the  Fujifilm X-E1, a camera that has the potential to bring uncompromising image quality to a street-smart camera that is expected to sell for just under $1,000. The X-Pro 1, which is built around the same outstanding 16MP sensor with a film-like, semi-randomized pixel array, is generally fast enough to handle most street shooting situations (and as a street photographer you know that no shutter lag is a necessity) after updating the firmware, and isthe second-highest rated camera on the Resnick Digital Camera Street Cred Index.  Well, Fuji claims the X-E1's shutter lag time (assuming AF is turned off) is 0.05 seconds—which is virtually a non-event. If this claim holds up in street tests (which I hope to do as soon as the camera becomes available) this camera becomes an exciting new option for fast, unobtrusive street photography.

One possible objection is that the camera uses an electronic viewfinder rather than an optical one. This needs to be put to the test, as the finder's resolution is over 2 million dots, which may help overcome resistance to the whole EVF idea. However, since it also has a hot shoe, you could always trick it out by installing an optical finder such as this Voigtlander 28mm Brightline Optical Viewfinder.

As I wrote in today's First Look article about the Fujifilm X-E1 for the Adorama Learning Center, it carries the same sensor as the Fujifilm X-Pro1, which in my review I found delivered outstanding image quality. Imagine ISO 400 quality in ISO 2000 images! That's what I got with the X-Pro 1 and I expect similar results from the X-E1.

I can't wait to get my hands on this camera!

Photo of the Day, Sept. 6, 2012: US Open Special

U.S. Open, 2008. © Mason Resnick. Gear: Canon 20D. Lens unknown.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Street Photo of the Day, Sept. 3, 2012: US Open Special

This week, in honor of week 2 of the U.S. Tennis Open, here are some shots I took around the grounds (and during a behind-the-scenes tour for the photographic press) in 2008 and 2011...

U.S. Open, 2008. © Mason Resnick. Gear: Canon 20D, lens unknown.