Sunday, January 31, 2016

Firmware Update Review: Leica T vs Leica T

The firmware update is the future. Fujifilm made a slick marketing video for firmware version 4.0, treating it like a new camera release. Leica didn't go that far, but it was treated as an event and it should. Like Fujifilm, Leica's camera cycle is slower than other major manufacturers so the firmware update is the best way to keep a camera up-to-date and competitive within their own eco-system as well as the competition's. The Leica T has had at least 3 major firmware releases, as well as smaller in-between touch-ups. We are currently at firmware version 1.4.3, and I hope there are plans for more. On my most recent Youtube video, I tested the latest firmware against the previous version. Here are the most noticeable changes:

Thursday, January 14, 2016

First Impresions: Fujifilm X-Pro 2

The day has finally arrived, the announcement of the new Fujifilm X-Pro 2. I remember it was almost a year ago when I was talking with the Fuji Guys in Vancouver and we were discussing the upcoming flagship camera. Greg told me that they wanted to get the camera right the first time so they were in no hurry to rush its release. I totally get it. Most brands' flagship model rarely gets updated annually, and in some industries (like cars) they typically lose money on the flagship model. Fujifilm could not allow the X-Pro 2 to become insignificant within 1 year of release. It would have been easy for
Fujifilm to release the X-Pro 2 last year with parts-bin features from existing X series cameras. If all they did was throw in the existing hybrid EVF/OVF from the X100T, the upgraded firmware from the X-T1/X-T10, and throw in weather-sealing, the X-Pro 2 would have been released on time. This would have been a disappointment for many. The flagship should wow people. There should be significant upgrades to the body, sensor and processor. Has Fujifilm done it? Have they produced a camera worthy of being the flagship that will lead the rest of the X branded cameras? From my review of the pre-production X-Pro 2, the answer is a clear YES!

Fujifilm X70: Ricoh GR Destroyer?

I love my Ricoh GR. I bought the original GR-1 back in 1998 for my honeymoon and I've never looked back. It was so good I started using it for some commercial and wedding work. I currently own the GR Limited Edition and it is my EDC (Every Day Carry). It is also so good that I can still use it for some of my commercial work. No other camera has come even close to replacing it, except for maybe the Fujifilm X100T. However, due to the size of the X100T, I always stuck with my Ricoh GR. This is because as my EDC, it has to be small enough for me to carry with me when I go out for dinner, to a concert, to a wedding (without looking like I'm trying to take over), or even going incognito for some serious street photography. No camera has come close... until now. Can the Fujifilm X70 topple the king of the compact APS-C sensored camera? Let's find out

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Shooting with the Leica M and D-Lux in HK

Back in October John Lehmann of the Globe and Mail met me in Hong Kong to shoot some YouTube videos. For one of the projects we decided we wanted to shoot with Leica cameras, so we both approached our contacts at Leica North America and got what we wanted. John went with the M Monochrom Typ 246, an excellent choice. It made sense for him since he already owns an M240 and a few lenses (28mm, 50mm, 90mm); but which camera would I choose? After much thought, I decided to borrow the Leica D-Lux Typ 109. Why the D-Lux? It is a perfect camera for travel because it's compact, light, feature-rich and powerful. Check out my full review with pictures on my YouTube channel here: