Fujifilm FinePix X100 First Impressions Review with Jon Savage

Today I had the great pleasure of meeting with Jon Savage, an active street photographer in my Facebook community. He let me play around his Fujifilm FinePix X100 for a few hours and I gotta say– I am impressed. Not only does the camera feel good in the hands, but the optical viewfinder paired with the responsive controls make this camera a win. Check out the video above to see more about what Jon had to say about the camera, and how I felt about it as well.

Got any questions about the Fujifilm FinePix X100? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Leica X1 First Impressions Review

Although I am very sad to say goodbye to my Leica M9, I just received a Leica X1 in the mail to test and review for about a week. Check out my first impressions in the video above, and please leave me any questions you may have about the camera by leaving a comment below!

*Edit: The body is made out of magnesium, although the outside casing appears to be made out of plastic (thanks to tribalknowledge for the clarification).

BREAKING: Olympus Announces PEN EP-3 and Zuiko 12mm f2.0 lens (24mm equivalent)

Olympus PEN EP-3
Olympus PEN EP-3
Olympus PEN EP-3

Recently I reviewed the Olympus PEN EP-2 on The Phoblographer, and was quite impressed with this micro 4/3rd camera for street photography. Little do I know that about a week later, Olympus announces their new PEN EP-3 along with their new Zuiko 12mm f/2.0 Lens (24mm equivalent). From the looks of it, the camera looks great with an all-metal redesigned body, a reengineered autofocus system, a 1080p video mode, with a nice OLED touchscreen in the back. Sources show it will cost around $900 and will be available for purchase in August. Make sure to check out their full press-release here.

Review:

The New 12mm f/2 lens by Olympups (via The Phoblographer)
The New 12mm f/2 lens by Olympus (via The Phoblographer)

Make sure to check out the hands-on review of the Olympups PEN EP-3 and 24mm f/2.0 lens on The Phoblographer.

Live Q&A:

Olympus will also be holding a special three-hour Olympus Tech Thursday on their Facebook page from 12-3p.m. PST (3-6 p.m. ET)  www.facebook.com/getolympus where Olympus spokespersons be answering a variety of PEN questions from fans and will be sharing additional new PEN content.

Micro 4/3rd Street Photographers Rejoice: New LEICA DG Summilux 25mm / F1.4 ASPH Announced

I am a huge fan of micro 4/3rds cameras, as I think they are a wonderful compromise between DSLR’s and point and shoots for street photography. Therefore it is great news to see that Leica has just announced a new 25mm f/1.4 lens (which equates to 50mm on a 2x crop factor). This can be a great lens for anybody shooting with any of the Olympus EP-series or the Panasonic GF-series. Also if you didn’t know, Henri Cartier-Bresson shot mostly with a 50mm focal length ;)

You can see some shots from it here (in Chinese).

Press release:

The New LEICA DG SUMMILUX 25mm / F1.4 ASPH. Lens Compatible With Panasonic LUMIX G Series of Compact System Cameras, Including LUMIX GF3

SECAUCUS, N.J., June 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Panasonic today announced a new interchangeable Micro Four Thirds lens, the LEICA DG SUMMILUX 25mm/F1.4 ASPH. (H-X025), compatible with the company’s LUMIX G Series of compact system cameras (CSC), including the LUMIX GF3, which was also announced today. The LEICA DG SUMMILUX 25mm / F1.4 ASPH. lens features outstanding brightness of F1.4, and despite the high-performance, it also remains incredibly compact and lightweight. The lens’ brightness allows for a beautiful soft focus when shooting both photos and videos – without having to rely on a flash.

The LEICA DG SUMMILUX 25mm / F1.4 ASPH. lens adopts Panasonic’s Nano Surface Coating technology on the surface of the lens, which helps dramatically minimize reflection at the entire visual light range (380nm-780nm). The technology encompasses an extra-low refractive index coating with nano-sized structure and results in the super-clear photo with dramatic reduction of ghost and flare.

The new lens system comprises of nine elements in seven groups using two aspherical lenses and one UHR (Ultra High Refractive) index lens. The newly developed UHR index lens and glass mold aspherical lenses achieve uniformed description from the center to the edges.

The lens’ versatile 25mm focal distance (Equivalent to 50mm on a 35mm camera) is suitable for wide variety of occasions, giving users the flexibility in composition, perspective and aperture control.  The lens is capable to take daily snapshots including scenic sunsets to dimly-lit indoor shots to the deliberately-creative shots using soft focus.

When mounted on the Panasonic LUMIX G Series digital cameras, the LEICA DG SUMMILUX 25mm/F1.4 ASPH. lens can take maximum advantage of Contrast AF system, which boasts both high accuracy and high speed for optimal photos. Furthermore, seven blades give the aperture a rounded shape that produces an attractively smooth effect in out-of-focus areas when shooting at larger aperture settings. The lens also features a metal mount, making it extremely durable – even when repeatedly changed.

The LEICA DG SUMMILUX 25mm / F1.4 ASPH. lens will be available in August 2011 and pricing will be announced approximately 30 days prior to shipping. For more information about Panasonic LUMIX G Series digital cameras and Micro Four Third lenses, please visit www.panasonic.com/lumix.

-Via Leicarumors

Micro 4/3rds users–is this a lens you would want to add to your camera bag?

First Test Shots of the Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux Shot Wide Open

Hey guys, I have been able to do a few test shots of the Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux wide-open at f/1.4 and the shots truly blow me away. The images are tack-sharp, and the bokeh is so deliciously creamy. All of the shots are taken in RAW, and unedited straight out of the camera. Check out some of the shots below and make sure to click the images for the full-resolution images!

Test Shot #1:
Leica M9, 35mm f/1.4 Summilux @ 1.4

Test Shot #2:

Test Shot #3:

Leica M9 and 35mm f/1.4 Summilux Unboxing and First Impressions

You guys may have heard that Leica has generously sent me a Leica M9 and 35mm f/1.4 Summilux to test out and review. Here is a quick and dirty video I put together unboxing the work of art, and giving my first impressions. I have already taken a ton of great images, and have many exciting things to say about the camera. Stay tuned for more images and a full-review of the Leica M9 and 35mm f/1.4 Summilux.

Got any questions about the M9 or the 35mm? Leave a comment below and I’ll try my best to hit all the questions you may have!

The Ricoh GRIII: The Ultimate Compact Camera for Street Photography Review

The Ricoh GRIII Digital Compact
The Ricoh GRIII Digital Compact

Hey guys, you might have heard me doing all my raves for the Ricoh GRIII for street photography. I put together my thoughts and review over on The Phoblographer, and have put in some of my best images as well. Long story short, I highly recommend everyone to purchase one, as it can be a great primary street photography camera or back-up. Make sure to check out the review, and leave me any questions you may have below in the comments!

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Available at B&H Right Now, Act Quick! [Edit: SOLD OUT!]

Fujifilm FinePix X100 at B&H

Hey guys just wanted to let you know that the Fujifilm FinePix X100 is available RIGHT NOW at B&H Photo! Act quick before it’s sold out!

Check out some of our great Fujifilm FinePix X100 reviews below:

How Would You Change the Fujifilm FinePix X100?

The Fujifilm FinePix X100 has definitely got to be one of the most hyped-up cameras for street photography? What could we complain on? It has an optical viewfinder, has the looks of a retro rangefinder, and is pretty solid on price. From recent reviews there has been disappointments in terms of the auto-focusing speed, the manual focusing, as well as some small quirks here and there.

If you guys were able to design the second version, how would you change the Fujifilm FinePix X100? Leave a comment below and tell us what you would do!

Also below are some of our Fujifilm FinePix X100 Reviews:

Published
Categorized as Equipment

Leica Rangefinder for Street Photography – Good Things Come In Small Packages

"Morning Ashram" - Adam Mareli (Leica M9, 75mm Summicron)
"Morning Ashram" - Adam Mareli (Leica M9, 75mm Summicron)

Eric’s Note: For this guest blog post, I am honored to have Adam Marelli talk about his experiences shooting with a Leica M9/M6 for street photography. This blog post will be especially helpful for those of you who currently shoot with a DSLR or are currently thinking about making the jump to a rangefinder. Make sure to read more to see his inspirational images and great thoughts on the pros of using a Leica rangefinder for street photography.

The Sexiest Bag for Street Photography: The Think Tank Retrospective 30 Review

Think Tank Retrospective 30 Camera Bag Modeling Photos
The Think Tank Retrospective 30 for Street Photography (like my shoes?)

As a street photographer who is always trying to capture fleeting moments, its important to always have your camera by your side. With the craziness of everyday life this can often be extremely difficult. That’s why I highly recommend everybody to get a messenger bag for their street photography, as it is a casual way to always have your camera by your side (without sticking out like a sore thumb). The kind folks over at Think Tank photo were generous enough to send me over the Think Tank Retrospective 30, their specialized camera bag for street photographers. Having used it for about two weeks now, I can say flat-out that I am in love. Read more on this review to get the gritty on this essential piece of equipment. Warning–there is a ton of photos below (and also a video!).

What Would Happen if the iPhone 4 and Leica M9 Had a Baby?

The i90 - Leica M9 and iPhone 4 Hybrid
The i90 - Leica M9 and iPhone 4 Hybrid
The i90 - Leica M9 and iPhone 4 Hybrid

A design company based out of Los Angeles called Black Design Associates, LLC, just posted some sexy photos of a Leica M9/iPhone 4 Hybrid concept. They imagined the i90 to take any regular iPhone 4 and make it something more powerful and did I say sexy? The imaginary specs and images are below.

The Ideal Street Photography Camera – Nikon S1 Concept

Recently one of my readers, David Cohen de Lara, showed me some awesome mocks of what would be his “ideal street photography camera.” I love the clean and minimalistic design, and the nice viewfinder in the middle as well. Make sure to click below to see a bigger version, and check out his website as well.

Nikon S1

What do you think of David’s mockup? Leave a comment below and tell us what your ideal street photography camera would have.

Street Photography Messenger Bag Review: The Timbuk 2 Commute 2.0

As a street photographer, having a good messenger bag is essential to ensure you will always have your camera and equipment by your side. Often people ask me what bag I use, which is the Timbuk 2 Commute 2.0 Messenger Bag. It is not a camera bag per-se, but I have found out it works incredibly well, especially when you put in a Padded Camera Insert. Check out this quick review I did of my bag below!

What camera bag do you swear by when it comes to street photography? Leave a comment below!

Can the Fujifilm FinePix X100 be a Primary Street Photographer’s Camera?

Eric’s note: Below is a guest post from MarkB over at X100photo.co.uk. He is not only a talented street photographer, but he is passionate about the new Fujifilm FinePix X100. Check out his awesome review and thoughts below.

Question, can the X100 replace a DSLR or point & shoot and be a primary street photography camera?

Fujifilm FinePix X100
With the release of ever more capable cameras that have the maturity of DSLRs but in more compact packages, this seems to have created a renaissance in the somewhat related genres of street, documentary and photojournalism. So as I thought about how to answer the above question I realized that with more and more photographers considering rightsizing their camera choice for street photography, this really is the question of the moment. The X100 then, really has set the cat amongst the pigeons.

This is not another in-depth review of the Fuji X100. What I aim to do is outline the factors we might take into account when trying to answer the above question. Perhaps a little more controversially, I then present my own conclusions! If nothing else, I hope my approach in breaking down the considerations might provide a useful means of making what is for many photographers a very individual decision.

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Release Delayed Until Late March/Early April

Want to snag a hot Fujifilm FinePix X100 as soon as you can? Well unfortunately according to Engadget,  these bad boys won’t be shipping until late March/early April in the US due to production shortages (they sold too many pre-orders). Looks like we have to wait and twiddle our thumbs until it comes out.

In the meanwhile, are you as stoked as I am?

The Poor Man’s Leica: Fujifilm FinePix X100 Sample Photos, Unboxing, and Review

Fujifilm Finepix X100
Fujifilm FinePix X100 by Pieter Franken

Over at Steve Huff’s blog, street photographer Pieter Franken gave his first impressions about the Fujifilm FinePix X100. He is originally from Holland and currently lives in Tokyo (where he was able to get the camera). Although he already has the Leica M8 and the Leica M9, he comments that it is a great companion camera (not nearly a replacement for either). All-in-all, Pieter gives the X100 a glowing review and mentions it is great for High ISO, the silent shutter,  as well as the compact size. Read the review for more in-depth details.

Pieter Franken also has a plethora of sample street photographs on his Flickr as well (which look great in my opinion). Click more to view the sample street photographs, as well as the unboxing and review.

Leica M9 Titanium Unboxed In All Its Sexiness

The Leica M9 Titanium (only $26,500 in the US)
The Leica M9 Titanium (only $26,500 in the US)

If you thought that the Leica M9 was expensive, check out the limited edition Leica M9 Titanium. The difference? There has only been a limited quantity of 500 Leica M9’s produced, and each are individually numbered and packaged with a Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 titanium lens. Oh yeah, and it costs $26,500 (compared to the $6900 Leica M9). Only the seriously wealthy and eccentric photographers can probably get their paws on this, but for the rest of us commoners, we can still dream. Check out this unboxing video below.

Why You Should Always Use and Abuse Your Gear

The stupidest looking thing for your camera, ever. I doubt you will see any photo-journalists using this in the jungle.
Click to read more
A true photographer's camera.

I have always been a firm believer that photographers should use and abuse their gear. This means that you shouldn’t be scared to get little scratches and minor nicks in your camera when you are out exploring for photos. This means that you shouldn’t handle your camera like a newborn child. This means that you shouldn’t worry more about the warranty than actually taking photos. This means that you shouldn’t leave your camera at home in fear of getting in stolen.

Fujifilm FinePix x100 Sample Photos Live!

Fujifilm FinePix x100 Camera. Truly Gorgeous.
Fujifilm FinePix x100 Camera. Truly Gorgeous.
Fujifilm FinePix x100 Camera. My next camera for street photography.

My good friend and fellow street photographer Tom Kaszuba just informed me that Fujifilm has their FinePix x100 Sample Photos live on their site. I have taken the liberty of showing you some photo samples which show how awesome a camera it can be for street photography with its pancake 35mm f/2 lens. Keep reading to see more pictures of the camera, as well as the hot and new sample photos!

3D Street Photography: The Future?

The Panasonic Lumix 12.5mm f/12 3D G Lens. Looks pretty damn go ofy
The Panasonic Lumix 12.5mm f/12 3D G Lens. The future is here!

Recently my friend Jimmy Hahn sent me a link of the new Panasonic Lumix 12.5mm f/12 3D lens for the Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras: the GF2, G2 and GH2. When he first posted the link on my Facebook, I was taken back by how odd and funny it looked. Upon closer inspection, I was fascinated to see that not only is it a prime lens, but it is incredibly thin as well.

The Street Photographer’s Ultimate Christmas List

So Christmas is around the corner and you have been a good boy/girl this year. So you want to buy a new camera and/or some new lenses? Sure we know that it is the street photographer, not the camera that makes his/her photos amazing. But hey– it is always fun to experiment with new cameras and lenses as well.

I have gotten many questions from aspiring street photographers–asking what lens or body to get next. Read this list and pass it onto your loved ones (hopefully they love you enough to buy you some stuff in this list).

Also please note that these are my personal recommendations. If you don’t agree with this list, please leave a comment below and let me know whats up!

Cameras:

DSLR’s

  1. Canon 5D (used)
  2. Canon Rebel XSi
  3. Nikon D3100 (update by Ironside Photo)

If you are interested in purchasing your first DSLR, I would highly recommend a used Canon 5D. You can get them used for only $1200, and they are full-frame, meaning that the lenses you get will show their true focal length. It is also phenomenal at low-light high-iso situations.

A bit short on cash? Check out the Rebel XSi or the Rebel XS (a bit cheaper). Both are small, and give great performance as well. Oh yeah, also heard great things about the Nikon D3000 as well.

Micro 4/3rds

  1. Panasonic GF-1
  2. Olympus EP-1

If I was in the market for a new camera, it would definitely be for a micro 4/3rds. They are small, inconspicuous, and give fantastic image quality. Definitely the best “bang-for-the-buck” imho. I tried out Thomas Leuthard’s Panasonic GF-1 and instantly fell in love with it. Super-responsive auto-focus, and great image quality. I also heard that the EP-1 gives great image quality as well, but the autofocus is painfully slow.

Point and Shoots

  1. Canon S95 (or S90)
  2. Ricoh GRIII (update thanks to Dan Patzer)

Out of all the point and shoots for the street photographer out there, the Canon S95 (or S90) blow all the competitors out of the water. It is one of the smallest point and shoots out there, but offer great control with the front and rear dials–and has a super fast f/2 lens. Don’t consider anything else.

Update: If you have a little extra $$$ to spend, check out the Ricoh GRIII. It has a beautiful fixed focal 28mm 1.9 lens and with its “snap-focus” function, it has practically zero shutter lag (while the Canon S95 has a slight shutter lag). Also its built like a tank with its alloy body, and feels great in the hand as well. A worthy (but more expensive) competitor.

Rangefinders

  1. Leica M8

If you are interested in getting a digital rangefinder on a budget, check out the Leica M8. Sure it is not full-frame, but it will give you the true “rangefinder experience” without having to shell out $6900 on a Leica M9.

Lenses:

Primes (Canon)

(For full-frame)

The Canon 35mm f/2 is my lens of choice on my full-framed 5D. Small, inconspicuous, and sharp– it is the perfect walk-around lens for a street photographer. I personally like the 35mm focal length, as it is wide enough to capture a background, but at the same not too wide. Also note that the 35mm focal length is my preference, although many street photographers out there such as Markus Hartel prefer the 28mm focal length.

  1. Canon 35mm f/2
  2. Canon 24mm f/2.8
  3. Canon 50mm f/1.8 (or 1.4)

(For crop)

For 1.6 crop bodies, the problem about primes is that they are often too close. Therefore you are good getting a 20mm 1.8, which will translate into roughly a 32mm (close to a 35mm).

  1. Canon 20mm f/2.8
  2. Canon 24mm f/2.8
  3. Canon 35mm f/2

Primes (Nikon)

  1. Nikon 24mm f/2.8
  2. Nikon 35mm f/2

Additional Equipment:

Bags

  1. Timbuk 2 Commute 2.0

Accessories

  1. Handstrap (any cheap one on eBay)

The Best Camera for Street Photography

Leica M9
This is the best camera for street photography.
This is the best camera for street photography.

Haha–tricked you. As there is no “best” paintbrush for a painter, there is no “best” camera when it comes to the street photographer. The camera is merely a tool, and there are different tools required for different situations and tasks at hand.

In street photography as well as general photography, photographers can sometimes become more obsessed about camera gear over actually taking photos. Photographers who are obsessed with camera gear often feel that their images are lacking due to their equipment, when their underdevelopment of photographic vision is the culprit.

Therefore many individuals fall into this trap and go on a never-ending chase in the hope that buying more expensive camera bodies and lenses will help them get better images. However most of them are quite dismayed when they realize that when they buy the newest and most expensive equipment, their images don’t get any better. Now don’t get me wrong—nice bodies and lenses can indeed give you images with better sharpness, resolution, and color, but they won’t give one intrinsically better photos.

When it comes to street photography, I like to believe that the best policy is to have the least obtrusive camera and lens as possible. The antithesis of an ideal camera for street photography would be a 1D Mark IV with a Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L lens attached to it.

Although my knowledge of cameras may be limited when compared to the 20+years plus photo veteran, I will try my best to outline the pros and cons of different cameras that street photographers use, including rangefinders, DSLRS, or compact “point and shoots”.

Rangefinders

Leica M9

Rangefinders are glorified for their ability to take images without a battery, being small and unobtrusive, quick in operation, and virtually silent in terms of a shutter sound. Rangefinders are fully manual, meaning that you have to manually focus and manually control exposure through aperture and shutter speed.

The most popular rangefinder (by far) when it comes to street photography is the Leica. It carries all of the fore mentioned characteristics and has a tradition for being built like a tank with superior optics. Shoot—the granddaddy of all street photography (Henri Cartier-Bresson) used a Leica for his entire career.

Taking photos with a rangefinder is much different than many other cameras because what you see through your viewfinder is not necessarily what your photos show up as. There are superimposed grid lines showing the borders of how much your camera will actually capture which many photographers claim that gives them a sense of freedom and seeing entire scenes.

However there are obviously cons with using a rangefinder camera. First of all, rangefinders are fully manual, meaning that one has to learn how to constantly adjust for the changing lighting in an environment with aperture and shutter speed, while modern digital cameras can do this automatically. Although many advocates of using fully-manual settings do not see this as a disadvantage, the aspiring street photographer may have a difficult time constantly adjusting his or her settings.

Furthermore if one decides to get a digital Leica rangefinder, they are most likely going to drop a huge chunk of change.

DSLRS

Canon 5D

It seems that nowadays many street photographers use digital SLRs (DSLRs) to take their photographs. DSLRs are massively popular due to their overall image quality, quick shutter speed, and their ability to interchange lenses, and relative affordability.

However the downside to DSLRs for street photography is that they are relatively large and clunky, and look intimidating to the average person. Furthermore due to the fact that it has a mirror inside, it makes a loud clicking (or clunking) sound when taking photos, which can disturb the serenity of a scene. There is nothing more apparent than the loud mirror-clacking of a DSLR on a quiet subway.

However that doesn’t mean that it is impossible to use a DSLR for street photography. I currently use a Canon 5D for my street photography and in order to make my camera more stealthy, I covered up my “Canon” and “5D” logo with black gaffers tape. I feel the advantage of this is that it converts my “professional-looking camera” into any old generic-looking camera. This makes the camera look less conspicuous in public, and makes people feel less anxious when you are taking photos of them.

Furthermore, DSLRS have great high-ISO capabilities, which make them ideal for shooting at night without having too much noise in the shots. The 5D is infamous for having creating clean images at even high-ISO’s. I never hesitate to shoot my camera at ISO 1600 or even 3200 at night when capturing scenes with faster shutter speeds.

Furthermore, another huge advantage of DSLRs is the ability to interchange one’s lenses. Therefore, one can switch up his or her lenses once in a while if you want to shoot at different focal lengths.

Generally for street photography, I recommend a 35mm “full frame equivalent” lens.

"The Corridor" - Shot by me with my Canon 5D in Prague.
“The Corridor” – Shot by me with my Canon 5D in Prague.

Point and Shoots

There are currently a handful of high-end point-and-shoots on the market that many street photographers use for shooting in the street. These cameras tout larger image sensors, which gives better image quality as well as cleaner images at higher-ISOs.

The advantages of point-and-shoot cameras for street photography is that they are small, have a virtually silent shutter, and that they are unobtrusive. However on the other hand, many point-and-shoot cameras have shutter-lag, which can make it difficult to capture moving people without getting them blurred out.

"Sunflower" - Shot by me and my 5-year old Canon Powershot SD600
“Sunflower” – Shot by me and my 5-year old Canon Powershot SD600

Micro 4/3rds

Micro 4/3rds cameras are also a fantastic option in street photography, because of their near instantaneous autofocus, small form factor and weight, as well as solid image quality. Their image sensors aren’t as good as Aps-c DSLR sized sensors, but they still make beautiful images you can’t complain about.

Learn more about street photography equipment

Check out my newest and up to date recommendations on cameras for street photography here: Recommended equipment for street photography >>