A life-long dedicated Nikon man, I bought my first Nikon digital camera back in the very late 90s. That was the very cool indeed and twisty Coolpix 950.
When the D70 hit the camera world like a cyclone in 2004, I got my first Nikon DSLR, along with a gazillion other people. From there I got a D2Hs to shoot sports. Not my favorite camera in the world, I replaced it with a pair of D80s. The D80, with its D2x-lite sensor, was and still is one of my favorite cameras ever.
But once you get used to a pro body in your hand, you can never really be happy with a consumer-grade camera again especially when you’re using your gear in pro-settings and putting it all through the wear and tear of celebrity rope lines or basketball baselines.
So when the D3 came into existence, the first full-frame digital Nikon, I got one of those. Soon I backed it up with a D200 and then I added the D3’s little brother, the D700.
Wow. I’m losing track. That’s a lot of cameras. I know some of you have me beat by a mile, too. You know who you are. 😉
I threw in a Lumix LX3, a kicky little gem that set the standard for point and shoot cameras for more years than it should have.
Then… I bought a Leica M9. The first full frame Leica M camera was mine. I shot the M9 for a solid year. 24k shutter trips. It was a love/hate relationship. ‘Nuff said.
They’re now all gone. Every one of them.
The only digital camera I currently own is the Fuji X100. And I love it.
Here is what I love about it. It is the only small sensor point and shoot camera that I know of that allows for actually narrow depth of field / wide aperture shooting with good bokeh and out of focus areas.
This really hasn’t been something doable much on point and shoot cameras do to the inherent small size of the sensors.
But the Fuji X100 does something else with that capability that’s even more remarkable.
I allows you to SEE that narrow depth of field and out of focus look, exactly what you’re getting, on the LCD before you shoot.
And we’re not talking about the barely usable Nikon version of Live View. This is a standard point and shoot LCD, but with the added joy of showing you, instead of you having to imagine, what your narrow depth of field image is going to look like.
Can you imagine what this feature would be like on a Leica M, working with THAT glass?
It’s a wonderful advancement. I know some other camera systems now provide it but this is the first that I’ve owned and it has to be one of the smallest cameras that gives you this capability. But this isn’t a blog that is even remotely about keeping up with the latest gear. I’m happily out of the loop on much of the latest gear and what it all does.
Do I shoot the X100 a lot? No. I wouldn’t say I do. The reason I don’t is because I’m in love with shooting film and I shoot my Leica M7 a lot. But this camera is a keeper for a guy like me.
I even use it at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to grab shots for my sports coverage articles. Yes, you can even manage a couple of passable sports action shots with this camera.
High ISO capability is better, in some ways, than the D3/D700 sensor. I think the x100 files retain good color integrity further up in the ISO range than those two Nikon pro cameras do.
Anyway. From the outset I found the X100 to be a fantastic addition to my own personal photography. Mostly all of the images here in this post were taken last November, the first month I got my hands on the Fuji. Hope you enjoy them. They’re a little ‘creative.’ (insert wink here)
Interesting journey you’ve had. I have a D700 but seriously haven’t touched it since I bought an x100.. If I had to critique I would say it’s weakest area is it’s focusing, by this I mean one has be careful as it doesn’t snap into focus like a DLSR, other than that I find it amazing…
It’s a great little camera, Steve. And I’m sorry I don’t use IT more than I do. I’m really in love with film at the moment but the X100 isn’t going anywhere and will get used plenty.
Sometimes I have to remind myself how far we’ve come since even just 3 years ago when the LX3 was the hottest little camera on the planet. The high ISO performance, the narrow depth of field, etc. For most of the last ten years this kind of stuff seemed like a pipe dream in a camera this size.
It’s a great camera and I think a leap forward. Thanks for visiting, Steve.
Reblogged this on 50'Lux and commented:
When some kind soul likes an old post of mine from back in the days when clicks around here were rare… well… if figure that’s enough of an excuse to reblog the darn thing!
Oh. I don’t own this camera any more. Oops!
Great post, really interesting.
I own the X100 for about 2 years now and all through the time it was a really happy affair even though it was a compromise from the first day on. My original favourite was the X-Pro 1 which was way too pricey when it was launched in my opinion. So I decided the X100 to replace my former accompanist the Olympus PEN E-P2 with its lousy low light performance.
During the last 18 months the X100 is the machine that follows me everywhere everyday. I never wanted a full dSLR set to be my steady companionship as it’s just too heavy , too bulky and carrying various lenses on your body can make you really slow in street shooting. A nice point and shoot with an excellent lens that’s all I want. I still own a Konica Hexar AF for the same reason and I would even call it the X100’s analog sister. But since I have the “X” hanging on my body films are passing slower and slower through the Konica’s body.
Scrolling through my own photoblog I’d estimate that 95 per cent of all photos there (and at least 90 per cent of all digital shots) where realized with the X100. What a wonderful time we had together.
But all good things have to come to an end. I’m selling the silvery jewel on the bay these days as a less beautiful black X-Pro 1 is finally heading towards my place. Let’s see if that collaboration will
be as great.
Best regards from Munich
thank you, mac. when I look back at these pics I wonder why I sold my x100. it was such a capable camera. I think ownin it just happened to coincide with my beginning to (finally) shoot tons of film with my M7.
anyway, thank you and enjoy your new camera!
I never owned an M7 (or any other Leica), but everybody keeps telling me what lovely machines those are. Hey wait, the X-Pro 1 offers an adapter for all M-lenses… !!! Gonna have me one and then discover a whole new range of lenses. Can’t wait to have one of those fully manual tubes in my hands…
Here here! I have the EX-1 Pro and I love it!
So many great cameras! Thank you for reading and visiting!
quite interesting I made a similar journey: started with a Leica M2, being a life-long in love with Nikon (starting from a second-hand F3, in stone age), then DSLR with a few models, till I hit back by coincidence in a Leica M8, then M9 , and recently M T240. Now I own that and a M7 for film shoots and realise I can do almost everything with those 2 bodies and a few lens …
I think the simplicity of the Leica cameras is what makes shooting with them so rewarding. Not easy, by any means. But not complicated either. I have an M6 TTL with the .85 viewfinder. I LOVE that viewfinder, no matter that as a glasses wearer I should like the ‘wider’ .72 (standard) and .58 (I think that’s the right number of the one that’s specifically recommended for glasses wearers).
But that .85 makes everything larger and I just love that. I wish I could have that viewfinder installed in my M-E, either taken from the M6 and maybe done locally or done by Leica with a new one. I’ve got to investigate because Leica encourages customization and it’s time I moved towards customizing my own choices.
Because honestly, I might bite on the new Sony. But I’m perfectly happy now with the M-E, that sensor, no bells and whistles, etc.
Anyway, thank you for visiting as always!