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Thread: The X1 Chat Box

  1. #201
    wblynch
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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    I am anxious to see the X1.

    My greatest disappointment with every digital camera I've owned is the pictures out of the camera are never good enough and I have to spend way too much time editing them in Photoshop or other tools.

    I have thousands of digital pictures that are stuffed away on CDs or hard drives that no one will ever see because I don't have time to adjust them all. I have printed thousands of digital pictures as well and they are also in piles in a cabinet.

    In my film days I never messed around in the darkroom. I took pictures, got them developed and printed. As long as I used a good camera, good film and a good lab I got great pictures back.

    I am expecting the X1 to produce pictures that can be printed straight out of the camera without spending hours in Photoshop just to make them good enough.

    The time savings there alone can make the X1 worth the dough.

    I hope the X1 can deliver that one thing.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    ... I don't know which dlsrs you have Godfrey but I can't get anything near my lowly Fuji S5 quality from the GH1, love to see some samples, maybe I'm doing something wrong.
    I'd hardly call a Fuji S5 as "lowly". It was lauded by several people as being one of the finest cameras for people photography made, particularly for its ability to render skin tones. So if that's your beef, I doubt you'll find much better than that.

    Yes, I can vary the colors with processing too but I don't seem to get any decent skin tones, no matter what, specially black skin, do you have any good dark skin samples to post?
    I have a whole shoot of a black couple's first baby shower, but unfortunately I cannot post that work without their explicit permission.

    I find both my 14-140 and 7-14 zooms too slow as well, specially since I find them useless wide open. I almost never use tripods so iso 400 and above is the reality for me when using the current micro 4/3rd zooms. I'm curious about what you're comparing your 14-45 IQ to. I'm asking these questions hoping to be proven wrong, I very much want to like the GH1, for a lot reasons!
    I work with Panasonic/Leica and Olympus FourThirds SLR lenses a good bit of the time, including the Summilux-D 25mm f/1.4 ASPH, the Olympus ZD 50-200/2.8-3.5, ZD 35mm f/3.5 Macro, and ZD 11-22/2.8-3.5. I also use a bevy of other fine performing lenses (Nikkor 20mm f/3.5 AI, Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4, Olympus Pen F G.Zuiko 40mm f/1.4, G.Zuiko 70mm f/2).

  3. #203
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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    I must admit to having been much keener on the IQ of the micro 4/3rds before getting one, but its debatable now. I'm struggling with my GH1, I don't see the IQ anywhere near APS quality of my dlrs, if anything its closer to my none Fuji P&S cameras. I must even admit that as much as I hated the dp1 its IQ was head and shoulders above the Panasonic. I'm having hell of a time with skin tones, specially with black skin. DR is limited or at least that's how I see it using PS and iso 400 is my acceptable limit for screen and even lower for print.
    David, I agree with your assessment on the DR, quality and such. Closer to a P&S cam than any average APS-C DSLR.

    The one and the only reason I like (and use) the G1 is the versatility. That plus non use of the Pana/Oly zooms and the very limited use of the 17/2.8.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    I am anxious to see the X1.

    My greatest disappointment with every digital camera I've owned is the pictures out of the camera are never good enough and I have to spend way too much time editing them in Photoshop or other tools....
    I'm not sure where you are getting your expectations from since a major weakness on the M8, M8.2 and from what I have seen the M9 is their poor JPG quality and the great deal of work that is required in LR or C1 to get skin tones right. Hence the numerous threads on LUF with various profiles by guys like Jamie Roberts and others.

    The best and most natural skin tones I have seen straight out of the camera are on the Olympus E-P1. Their JPGs are ready to print in 9 out of 10 cases. I found I could not take the RAW files and improve on them much above the JPGs right out of the camera. I have had two M8s, the G1, the E-P1 and the GF1, Nikon D90, Canon G7, Leica D-Lux3 to name just a few. I have never owned the FUji SS so I can't comment on its performance.

    This is not to say that it may be possible to get very good pictures out of the X1 with some PP work.
    V/r John

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    JPEGs? Oh, I thought you guys were talking about what the camera can do, not what some dinky little in-camera image processor can do.

    Sorry.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    wblynch is talking about NOT having to spend hours in Photoshop or other tools. I would consider having to make profiles and various adjustments in PS or LR or C1 as working with RAW files. Seems like the E-P1's little in camera image processor can do it just fine. Are you suggesting a $2K camera's or an $7K cameras processor should be less capable?
    V/r John

  7. #207
    ddk
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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    David, I agree with your assessment on the DR, quality and such. Closer to a P&S cam than any average APS-C DSLR.

    The one and the only reason I like (and use) the G1 is the versatility. That plus non use of the Pana/Oly zooms and the very limited use of the 17/2.8.
    Thanks for getting back Vivek, your confirmation is very helpful!

    actually it was your image of the Korean performers with the Angenieux lens that first turned me on to this format. I get decent results with my Zeiss lenses which is really good enough for my intended use for this camera, which is basically family snaps and videos. I was really hoping to get away with using Panasonic zooms and AF for this purpose but I can't live with them for stills...

  8. #208
    wblynch
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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Thanks John and Godfrey,

    ..and yes, I expect a $2,000 or $7,000 camera to do the processing work for me. What would I be spending that kind of money for otherwise?

    A digital camera is just another computer and imagine if you had to program your desktop computer everytime you wanted to sit down and read your email.

    Macintosh and Windows were invented and made their developers into billionaires just so people wouldn't have to type arcane commands into a text interface.

    I think digital is still crap compared to film if I have to spend several minutes to an hour for every picture on post processing.

    I just want to dump the card at my local photo processor and come back to pick up perfect photos !! I hope the X1 can deliver that one thing.

    John, perhaps the EP1 is what I need after all.

    But I'm still excited by the X1 until proven otherwise

    Thanks, Bill L.

    Quote Originally Posted by barjohn View Post
    I'm not sure where you are getting your expectations from since a major weakness on the M8, M8.2 and from what I have seen the M9 is their poor JPG quality and the great deal of work that is required in LR or C1 to get skin tones right. Hence the numerous threads on LUF with various profiles by guys like Jamie Roberts and others.

    The best and most natural skin tones I have seen straight out of the camera are on the Olympus E-P1. Their JPGs are ready to print in 9 out of 10 cases. I found I could not take the RAW files and improve on them much above the JPGs right out of the camera. I have had two M8s, the G1, the E-P1 and the GF1, Nikon D90, Canon G7, Leica D-Lux3 to name just a few. I have never owned the FUji SS so I can't comment on its performance.

    This is not to say that it may be possible to get very good pictures out of the X1 with some PP work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    JPEGs? Oh, I thought you guys were talking about what the camera can do, not what some dinky little in-camera image processor can do.

    Sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by barjohn View Post
    wblynch is talking about NOT having to spend hours in Photoshop or other tools. I would consider having to make profiles and various adjustments in PS or LR or C1 as working with RAW files. Seems like the E-P1's little in camera image processor can do it just fine. Are you suggesting a $2K camera's or an $7K cameras processor should be less capable?

  9. #209
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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    David, The only way I get away with decent prints is through my workflow (which has become real simple after having spent a lot of time). Technique with holding the camera (which has become a natural thing now) also helps a lot.

    Yes, it was simply astonishing for me to use the Angenieux 25/0.95 and the like, able to nail the focus and such. Something that was one of those real advantages of a range finder, up until the G1/live-view showed up.

    After all that excitement (and the feeling that I was being very "clever" in finding and making use of various esoteric lenses), an objective comparison with a simple D40x snap drove home the reality.

    It is an exciting concept with lots of potential but it isn't there yet for broader use.

    I look forward to Sony/Nikon/Pentax etc to come up with mirrorless cams with short registry that would offer dramatic improvement when it comes to picture quality.

  10. #210
    ddk
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    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    I just want to dump the card at my local photo processor and come back to pick up perfect photos !! I hope the X1 can deliver that one thing.
    No problem, you'll end up with the same great quality prints as you did when you dropped off your film at your local One Hour Lab!

    Great prints from film always took a lot of work too, from what I'm reading one of the Fuji cameras with their great jpg quality is what you should look at. An S3, S5 or even one of their bridge or p&s cameras will give amazing jpgs straight from the camera. We use and love them!

  11. #211
    ddk
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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    David, The only way I get away with decent prints is through my workflow (which has become real simple after having spent a lot of time). Technique with holding the camera (which has become a natural thing now) also helps a lot.

    Yes, it was simply astonishing for me to use the Angenieux 25/0.95 and the like, able to nail the focus and such. Something that was one of those real advantages of a range finder, up until the G1/live-view showed up.

    After all that excitement (and the feeling that I was being very "clever" in finding and making use of various esoteric lenses), an objective comparison with a simple D40x snap drove home the reality.

    It is an exciting concept with lots of potential but it isn't there yet for broader use.

    I look forward to Sony/Nikon/Pentax etc to come up with mirrorless cams with short registry that would offer dramatic improvement when it comes to picture quality.
    I see it exactly how you're describing it Vivek, and you're the king of micro 4/3rds for me! We might get lucky if Fuji gets in the game, at least the DR and tonality issues should be taken care of, I doubt that any of the others can bring anything special to the table at this time.

  12. #212
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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by barjohn View Post
    wblynch is talking about NOT having to spend hours in Photoshop or other tools. I would consider having to make profiles and various adjustments in PS or LR or C1 as working with RAW files. Seems like the E-P1's little in camera image processor can do it just fine. Are you suggesting a $2K camera's or an $7K cameras processor should be less capable?
    No, I'm not.

    I'm relating that my comments and experience is based on my usage of these cameras, which is 100% RAW capture. I've never once looked at the JPEG rendering output of any of my cameras unless a) the camera only produced JPEG files, or b) I was explicitly doing testing.

    Just like my work with film cameras, I see my task when making exposures is to expose properly, focus properly, and frame what I want to capture. I don't expect the camera to know how I want to render the scene. That is what the photofinisher did when I sent work out, or what I did when I did my own processing and printing.

    No digital camera will deliver 100% of its potential performance in rendering JPEG images, if you are looking to obtain everything that the camera can deliver in terms of recording the scene and presenting the data for you to use. If obtaining *finished* JPEG images is your goal, then you're evaluating a cameras on a different set of criteria from mine.

    That's why I said "I'm sorry." It was my mistake that you were evaluating a camera on the same criteria I was.

    Olympus has a long tradition of producing some of the best JPEG rendering in-camera in the business ... The C8080WZ (despite being an utter pain to use), the E-1, and the E-P1 all show this long tradition.

    I hope the X1 might prove pleasing, but I don't buy a camera based on how good or bad its capabilities for delivering JPEGs might be. JPEG files are an end product format for finished image display and distribution, not what I use for rendering, printing and archiving.

    When evaluating a camera, I concern myself with how well it captures the image data I want to work with, not how it renders it to a finished product.

  13. #213
    wblynch
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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    I do appreciate the sarcasm but truthfully, for 40 years, the prints I got from film always looked great and without post processing on my part. Even this year I shot $4 Fuji and $8 Portra with great results and gorgeous prints.

    My digital prints have always looked poor. -Flat and lifeless- without post.

    I would have never invested in so many versions of software like Photoshop & Lightroom, bigger and better computers, bigger and better monitors, "bigger" and better digital cameras, lenses and on and on, if my digital prints came from the camera as good as a typical 35mm slr.

    Maybe Fuji has the answer. I've never owned a Fuji camera.

    I was thinking Leica would be that magic bullet, but perhaps not

    -Bill L.

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    No problem, you'll end up with the same great quality prints as you did when you dropped off your film at your local One Hour Lab!

    Great prints from film always took a lot of work too, from what I'm reading one of the Fuji cameras with their great jpg quality is what you should look at. An S3, S5 or even one of their bridge or p&s cameras will give amazing jpgs straight from the camera. We use and love them!

  14. #214
    ddk
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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    I do appreciate the sarcasm but truthfully, for 40 years, the prints I got from film always looked great and without post processing on my part. Even this year I shot $4 Fuji and $8 Portra with great results and gorgeous prints.

    My digital prints have always looked poor. -Flat and lifeless- without post.

    I would have never invested in so many versions of software like Photoshop & Lightroom, bigger and better computers, bigger and better monitors, "bigger" and better digital cameras, lenses and on and on, if my digital prints came from the camera as good as a typical 35mm slr.

    Maybe Fuji has the answer. I've never owned a Fuji camera.

    I was thinking Leica would be that magic bullet, but perhaps not

    -Bill L.
    I'm glad to see that you have a sense of humor Bill . I know what you're saying regarding pp, it can be a waste of time and life. Take a look at Fujis, best jpgs out there and if you setup the camera right you don't need to touch anything for print.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    I do appreciate the sarcasm but truthfully, for 40 years, the prints I got from film always looked great and without post processing on my part. Even this year I shot $4 Fuji and $8 Portra with great results and gorgeous prints.
    That's a compliment to the photofinishing staff where you get your work done.

    With a digital camera, YOU are the photofinisher and have to learn how to make the camera do what you want as well as how to make a print, Bill.

    I'm sorry to tell you this, but photofinishing machines on their own do not make great prints. The photofinishing machines require guidance from a human being, trained in how to tweak their adjustments, to obtain the best prints. I worked for a photofinishing lab for two-plus years ... to make them produce prints the way you like, we calibrated the machines twice to three times daily and had four trained operators on staff to run them. Transparency work also required lots of machine calibration and maintenance, and were even harder to make excellent prints from due to the vagaries of the various printing methodologies.

    In the past, you've simply been paying a human being (or a team of human beings ...) to do that work for you.

    If you balk at the requirement to learn and practice that skill yourself, well, you can still pay for human beings to do the job. I am contracted to do image rendering and printing for clients who have better things to do and are willing to pay the price. Of course, given that I do this on an image-at-a-time basis rather than using a volume photofinishing machine, my price is higher than the $4-$8 you mention.

    No machine is sentient enough, yet, to know what you want when you press the shutter button except in the broadest of terms. Rendering photographs requires insight into your intent, or a great many assumptions about what that intent might be.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    I think it's fair to point out that many of the more expensive cameras being discussed are aimed at the Pro market. The best and most expensive cameras have always been so. Part of the reason they are expensive is because they provide the best possible optics and advanced exposure options that can be extremely valuable to a working pro who has invested the time and effort to use them to their potential.

    In the "old" days, a Hassleblad (as an example) was considered one of the top of the line cameras in the world (still is), but it required a great amount of skill on "capture" and in the darkroom to bring out its full potential. I would almost go so far as to say that the more sophisticated (which can equal expensive) the tool (camera) is, the degree of skill and effort required to extract top notch results will be greater. I know I had to study and practice and put in a ton of hours in the darkroom before I could feel like I had mastered even the first part of the potential of a "pro" camera. The effort required to produce good results with digital seems very similar to film in that regard (to me).

    At the other end of the spectrum, by the time disposable film cameras started showing up in the grocery store next to the checkout line, the film and processing industry had completely sussed out what the average joe was looking for when it came to snapshooting. The results were predictable and had been made relatively brainless. As far as I know, that avenue of photography is still available.

  17. #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    ...I'm sorry to tell you this, but photofinishing machines on their own do not make great prints

    ...In the past, you've simply been paying a human being (or a team of human beings ...) to do that work for you.
    Of course I have known that all along. Now, instead of paying $12 per roll for film and human processing, I wish pay up front for the camera to do that work for me.

    Honestly, I don't want to spend 4 nights a week editing photos on a dang computer when I could be enjoying life with my wife and friends. I will happily spend $2,000 for that freedom.

    But, I want the pictures to come out as good as a $100 p&s 35mm.

    -Bill L.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    My digital prints have always looked poor. -Flat and lifeless- without post.
    What specifically are you doing to them in post, that you can't achieve well enough by adjusting the camera's jpeg settings? And can you be more specific about how you're making your prints and what you don't like about them?

    No, I'm not suggesting that jpgs are "as good as raw" in any general sense; I shoot only raw myself with my digital cameras. But Bill has already said he's been happy with machine prints from film, and that he values auto-everything convenience. So philosophy aside, the question remains as to whether he's missing something within easy reach that could get him much closer to what he's looking for.

    Bill, the other reason for trying to be more specific about the diagnosis is that it's extremely doubtful that the X1 will deliver anything that's fundamentally different from what's possible with existing cameras. The lens may be subtly better for those who groove on such things, the controls more congenial for traditionalists, the construction quality nicer than other compact digital cameras, and so on, but it's unlikely that the jpg engine will be much smarter than the best that have been seen so far. So it makes sense to figure out if there's something that can be tweaked about the settings you use with your current camera and printer to produce results that you like better while still allowing you to work on auto. If the answer is no, you may well be better off with film. If the answer is yes, it's better but it's still not quite right, at least it would be clearer just what problem you're trying to solve and there'd be a more specific basis for figuring out what other digital camera and/or printer might be worthwhile for you to try.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    The process of quality photography includes seeing the image and capturing it using the best equipment available for exposures and capturing them with the best range of light values. This was accomplished in the past with an extensive variety of films and chemical processes and now with digital sensors and a variety of software applications. If getting a perfect image (jpg) right out of the camera was the norm what would be the artistic challenge in photography? Digital capture and software today gives a photographer unlimited possibilities and the tools to create master quality photos. The limitations come from lack of experience, knowledge, and patience and not from cameras, chemical and digital processes.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    Of course I have known that all along. Now, instead of paying $12 per roll for film and human processing, I wish pay up front for the camera to do that work for me.
    Buying the camera is equivalent to buying the photofinishing machine. Once you have it, no matter how much it costs, you have to learn how to operate it. Same goes for the printing operation.

    But, I want the pictures to come out as good as a $100 p&s 35mm.
    They'll be far better. But only if you know how to make the machines work.

    The point is that the machines don't know what you consider to be "dull and lifeless" vs "vibrant and rich". They simply do what they are told ... to get "vibrant and rich" requires human intervention.

    Instead of looking at the notion of "spending some time on a dang computer", maybe you should think about it as "spending your time enjoying doing photography". Or just hire someone to do the work for you, like you always have been, and paying their price.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    I think it's fair to point out that many of the more expensive cameras being discussed are aimed at the Pro market. The best and most expensive cameras have always been so. Part of the reason they are expensive is because they provide the best possible optics and advanced exposure options that can be extremely valuable to a working pro who has invested the time and effort to use them to their potential.

    In the "old" days, a Hassleblad (as an example) was considered one of the top of the line cameras in the world (still is), but it required a great amount of skill on "capture" and in the darkroom to bring out its full potential. I would almost go so far as to say that the more sophisticated (which can equal expensive) the tool (camera) is, the degree of skill and effort required to extract top notch results will be greater. I know I had to study and practice and put in a ton of hours in the darkroom before I could feel like I had mastered even the first part of the potential of a "pro" camera. The effort required to produce good results with digital seems very similar to film in that regard (to me).

    At the other end of the spectrum, by the time disposable film cameras started showing up in the grocery store next to the checkout line, the film and processing industry had completely sussed out what the average joe was looking for when it came to snapshooting. The results were predictable and had been made relatively brainless. As far as I know, that avenue of photography is still available.
    Good points, but, as Bill says, one would expect "better" results from an expensive camera like the X1.

    If anyone thinks that it is not an expensive camera for what it is then I live on a different planet than them.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Good points, but, as Bill says, one would expect "better" results from an expensive camera like the X1.

    If anyone thinks that it is not an expensive camera for what it is then I live on a different planet than them.
    I may have jumped into this discussion too late and missed some things. Does someone actually own an X1 and has been experiencing quality output that they consider to be inferior to much less expensive cameras? if so then I missed the mark with my reply.

    On the other hand, if someone is talking about an expensive digital point and shoot (similar to an X1) then I might suggest that even with those cameras, some investment of time is necessary to understand how to set them up to yield results that meet your own criteria of "good". To simply open the box, place the batteries, turn it on and shoot the thing without any further adjustment is asking for a disappointment. Even the lowliest P&S cameras take some finesse to make them give optimal results. And maybe that is different from film.

  23. #223
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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Thanks Oren,

    I don't want an auto-everything camera. In fact I don't want auto-ANYthing if I can have it.

    Typically my post processing is levels and curves adjustments with occasional color, vibrance and saturation adjustments. I sometimes crop and rarely do I need to do touch up or blurring. I don't usually apply sharpening.

    I learned way back to compose in the camera and most always get what I want in that regard.

    I have not gotten the knack of Lightroom for RAW processing and it's a very non-intuitive program.

    My biggest anger with digital cameras is they don't work like film cameras.

    That is what is attractive about the X1 - or more so, the M9. I like the simple rotary switches for shutter speed and aperture. I don't know what to think about the manual focusing wheel. (of course I would prefer these controls to be on the lens itself).

    This capability of the Panasonic G1 to use legacy lenses is mainly what attracted me to that camera.

    Of course Vivek, with his lens experimentation and published results, unknowingly convinced me to buy the G1.

    But, I hate the small sensor crop-factors. I need a FF camera. But is it too much to ask for a FF that is no bigger than a 35mm? I mean, those Nikons and Canon monsters are ridiculous.

    My perfect digital camera would be an OM1 with a FF sensor sitting on the film plane.

    I am sure I will end up in the M9 camp but spending over $10,000 for a camera and lens is hard to swallow. It's a culture shock that will take some time to accept. ( and at that price I certainly don't want to live in a computer cave fixing pictures )

    Thank you all again, Bill


    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    What specifically are you doing to them in post, that you can't achieve well enough by adjusting the camera's jpeg settings? And can you be more specific about how you're making your prints and what you don't like about them?

    No, I'm not suggesting that jpgs are "as good as raw" in any general sense; I shoot only raw myself with my digital cameras. But Bill has already said he's been happy with machine prints from film, and that he values auto-everything convenience. So philosophy aside, the question remains as to whether he's missing something within easy reach that could get him much closer to what he's looking for.

    Bill, the other reason for trying to be more specific about the diagnosis is that it's extremely doubtful that the X1 will deliver anything that's fundamentally different from what's possible with existing cameras. The lens may be subtly better for those who groove on such things, the controls more congenial for traditionalists, the construction quality nicer than other compact digital cameras, and so on, but it's unlikely that the jpg engine will be much smarter than the best that have been seen so far.

    So it makes sense to figure out if there's something that can be tweaked about the settings you use with your current camera and printer to produce results that you like better while still allowing you to work on auto. If the answer is no, you may well be better off with film. If the answer is yes, it's better but it's still not quite right, at least it would be clearer just what problem you're trying to solve and there'd be a more specific basis for figuring out what other digital camera and/or printer might be worthwhile for you to try.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    I may have jumped into this discussion too late and missed some things. Does someone actually own an X1 and has been experiencing quality output that they consider to be inferior to much less expensive cameras? if so then I missed the mark with my reply.

    On the other hand, if someone is talking about an expensive digital point and shoot (similar to an X1) then I might suggest that even with those cameras, some investment of time is necessary to understand how to set them up to yield results that meet your own criteria of "good". To simply open the box, place the batteries, turn it on and shoot the thing without any further adjustment is asking for a disappointment. Even the lowliest P&S cameras take some finesse to make them give optimal results. And maybe that is different from film.

    The second part has no dispute whatsoever. It is a general thing that applies to anything about photography.

    The first part, again, anyone who have been using digital cameras (P$S or whatever) can easily see that the X1 can not deliver any magic given its specifications.

    To come up with a price tag like this, in this day and age, is simply indicative of this being a boutique item than an actual photographic tool.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Perhaps I've been going about this in the wrong way.

    I'm trying to communicate what I HOPE the X1 can be.

    (but like a "Hope Sandwich" maybe all I will get is air...)

    I want a high quality "photo capturing instrument" with great build standards and fine optics. I want to have control over how I compose and focus my pictures. And I want to know that this instrument will last a long, long time. No plastic throwaway junk.

    Then if the camera could have profiles to replicate the look of common films, like Ektachrome, Superia, Kodachrome ...whatever... and the popular black and whites, that's what I want.

    There should be a method to load film profiles into the camera so the user community could craft their own and share them.

    Take your pictures, let the camera create the output and go have them printed.

    Just make it simple. High quality, but simple.

    I mean, what is the target market for the X1 anyway?

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    The second part has no dispute whatsoever. It is a general thing that applies to anything about photography.

    The first part, again, anyone who have been using digital cameras (P$S or whatever) can easily see that the X1 can not deliver any magic given its specifications.

    To come up with a price tag like this, in this day and age, is simply indicative of this being a boutique item than an actual photographic tool.
    I completely missed the point here. I read something that made me think the essence was something along the lines of: "The more money you spend on a camera, the simpler and more-stunningly-perfect-without-any-additional-work the images should be."

    As for the X1... who knows. I bet it'll be a wonderful thing. I gave up bitching about Leica prices after I recovered from the S2 announcement. Personally, I think it'll be a honey of a camera, especially with an external viewfinder. And I'd even go further and prognosticate (big word alert!) that of all the digital Leicas, this little X1 has the most potential of becoming a collectable. How's that for some off-the-cuff fantasy?

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    As TRSmith said " ... the film and processing industry had completely sussed out what the average joe was looking for when it came to snapshooting. The results were predictable and had been made relatively brainless. As far as I know, that avenue of photography is still available. " I have a friend who has a couple of digital p&s cameras that she barely understands how to operate, certainly no RAW files or computer processing: she takes her cards to a photo store, chooses the pictures she likes, on a kiosk I think, and gets prints (4x6) made. And I have to say that results that I have seen are very good, and make me wonder whether I could do as well, much less any better, with my (certainly limited) PhotoShop skills, and Epson pigment printer. I am happy to have control over the process, and more or less enjoy it, but for someone who doesn't, and for someone who didn't make their own prints from film, I think that the commercial options for having digital files (e.g. jpg's) processed are probably comparable or better than they were for film. If someone was hoping that the digital world, with expensive digital cameras, would somehow make things much easier and better than it was with film, then I think they will be disappointed.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Target market for the X1,Id say it was probably me........not that Im egotistical at all.... however,leica didnt you notice that I nearly always use a 50mm summicron!!..I dont use flash and object to carrying one around.I thought the leica axiom had some connection with truth and fidelity;...well flash blasts that to hell and back,,.....take it off and make it a viewfinder and Ill buy one,even if its a 35mm lens.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    Perhaps I've been going about this in the wrong way.

    I'm trying to communicate what I HOPE the X1 can be.

    (but like a "Hope Sandwich" maybe all I will get is air...)

    I want a high quality "photo capturing instrument" with great build standards and fine optics. I want to have control over how I compose and focus my pictures. And I want to know that this instrument will last a long, long time. No plastic throwaway junk.

    Then if the camera could have profiles to replicate the look of common films, like Ektachrome, Superia, Kodachrome ...whatever... and the popular black and whites, that's what I want.

    There should be a method to load film profiles into the camera so the user community could craft their own and share them.

    Take your pictures, let the camera create the output and go have them printed.

    Just make it simple. High quality, but simple.

    I mean, what is the target market for the X1 anyway?
    Why bring a knife to a gunfight?

    Take a look at the size of the processor on a camera. Then look at your computer. Which do you think will give you faster/better results? Raw workflow is incredibly simple today...to the point of it not even requiring much thought.

    I use Aperture. I've used Lightroom, and it is less intuitive (to me), but the process is the same.

    1. shoot picture in raw
    2. hook camera up to computer
    3. computer automatically recognizes camera, starts Apterture, and I pick photos to transfer.
    4. Aperture shows the photos and I can quickly/easily manipulate - or just print right then and there.
    5. There is no 5. I'm done.

    If you want specific looks, there are ways to get that. For instance SilverFX pro lets me choose the b&w "film" along with other parameters. In order to do that I select an image, choose "Edit with SilverFX pro" from the menu, the image opens, I click a few things and then I save.

    PP is only as much work as you want it to be. I've printed things that looked great (to me) that had maybe about 30 seconds of tweaking in Aperture.

    The beauty of raw and PP is that you can make a lot of your creative decisions after the fact and change on a whim. If you tell the camera to shoot "Tri-X", then you'll be stuck with a Tri-X shot. If you shoot raw, you can have SilverFX turn it into Tri-X with a few clicks. Or anything else.

    I want the camera to collect the light the best it can. Beyond that, I think there are better platforms for manipulation.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    "The beauty of raw and PP is that you can make a lot of your creative decisions after the fact and change on a whim."

    .........believe it or not this is exactly what a few people object to,.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    And I'd even go further and prognosticate (big word alert!) that of all the digital Leicas, this little X1 has the most potential of becoming a collectable. How's that for some off-the-cuff fantasy?

    Completely agree!

    A camera that is so beautiful ought not to be touched with bare human fingers.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Completely agree!

    A camera that is so beautiful ought not to be touched with bare human fingers.
    You might be on to something there, included with every Leica product, a pair of one-size-fits-all, skin-tight, lintless, gloves. White with a big red emblem on the back of each hand.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    I am not sure how the Nikon D300 compares to the D90 (which I owned) but maybe due to my poor taste in imagery I like the colors and images I am getting from the E-P1 and the GF1 better. True the DR is not as good but to my eye there is something more pleasing and natural looking in the little M 4/3s camera images than the big D90's images. I have printed them at 13x19 and they look stunning and friends I have given prints to usually frame them and put them in their homes. Since I don't do this for a living it satisfies me that it brings pleasure to me and others I share with. Though I work with a calibrated monitor and calibrated HP Photo printer using pigment inks and high quality photo paper, I find that the print images are different and often better than what I see on the 24" monitor. I wonder just how good the sensor (assuming it is the Nikon D300 sensor) is in the X1 and how good an image it will render. Unless Leica is using Nikon software in their camera they will have a long learning curve to master and perfect the output from that sensor.
    V/r John

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    "The beauty of raw and PP is that you can make a lot of your creative decisions after the fact and change on a whim."

    .........believe it or not this is exactly what a few people object to,.
    Well, unfortunately not all of us are artistic geniuses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    Why bring a knife to a gunfight?
    ...
    I want the camera to collect the light the best it can. Beyond that, I think there are better platforms for manipulation.
    Really like that leading line. ;-)

    I think your summation is about what I'd say, with the exception that I'd use "rendering" rather than "manipulation".

    But Bill seems to want something else ... He wants something that does exactly what he wants it to, "I don't want an auto-everything camera. In fact I don't want auto-ANYthing if I can have it", yet is smart enough to figure out what he wants without telling it anything: automated, adaptive and obedient robot intelligence. He wants it to be a film camera that has all the advantages of a digital camera ... or is that the other way around? That "emulates" films ... rather than has distinction of its own look and feel in the images it makes. I don't know. It all seems too contradictory, and too much at odds with the realities of technology. I'm certain the X1 will never live up to this fantasy wish list; I don't know any camera that could.

    As I said in prior comments, it took a human being to process your film exposures into photographs that are vibrant and rich. With a digital camera, you've taken those other people out of the processing. If you won't do it, don't expect a camera to: it's nothing more than a machine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    Well, unfortunately not all of us are artistic geniuses.
    I guess I'm still not clear on why you have to be. Most (all?) of these software packages have presets. Want sepia? One click - done. Want b&w conversion? One click - done. Want vivid colors? One click - done. Or you can "roll your own" and change the details to your heart's content. You have a choice.

    Digital is not analog. It never will be - they are in many ways orthogonal to each other. Photography has always been essentially two steps - take the shot, then develop the shot. That still is the case. In the past the latter step was either the photographer breathing chemicals or sending it off to a lab. Now it is the photographer hunched over a computer. And it can be as easy or as detailed/complicated as you choose to make it. Want easy? Use iPhoto. Click, click, print. Done. Want complicated? Use Aperture or Lightroom or CaptureOne and tweak curves, move multiple sliders, apply custom settings, etc.

    Either way the photographer has way more power over creating the image than they ever have. And not only that, the technology has also made it incredibly simple to get a finished product. Getting a *good* finished product though still requires work. The amount depends on the person...

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post

    But Bill seems to want something else ...

    He wants something that does exactly what he wants it to, "I don't want an auto-everything camera. In fact I don't want auto-ANYthing if I can have it", yet is smart enough to figure out what he wants without telling it anything: automated, adaptive and obedient robot intelligence.

    He wants it to be a film camera that has all the advantages of a digital camera ... or is that the other way around? That "emulates" films ... rather than has distinction of its own look and feel in the images it makes.

    I don't know. It all seems too contradictory, and too much at odds with the realities of technology. I'm certain the X1 will never live up to this fantasy wish list; I don't know any camera that could.
    Is it too much to ask a $2,000 camera to make good pictures?

    Perhaps that is a fantasy that even Leica can not deliver.

    I will slide back into my primordial ooze now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    Is it too much to ask a $2,000 camera to make good pictures?
    Perhaps that is a fantasy that even Leica can not deliver.
    I will slide back into my primordial ooze now.
    LOL ... well, I'm sure it will make excellent photos. But whether they stand up to an abitrary requirement of "vivid and rich" with no adjustments whatever is very doubtful. ;-)

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Somewhere I read an analogy once that I liked: this is how it goes: in the days of film photography, there were two extremes (for amateurs); the first was the serious black and white photographer; different types of film, perhaps the zone system, different developers, agitation methods, and then the printing - test strips, grades of paper, and complicated/sophisticated dodging and burning strategies developed for each print. not to mention alternative processes. A lot of time, energy, and developed skill involved in the process. The other extreme was the photographer who took slides: set exposure, focus, and framing; press the shutter. send the film to the lab. select the keepers, throw the rest out. done. The emphasis is on the moment of capture, and a better camera/better lenses would produce a better picture/slide, if your technique was up to it. The digital realm of Photoshop and layers and gradients and curves, not to mention Raw developers, plainly is a similar paradigm to the B&W film extreme. What is a former slide photographer to do in the digital realm, when the consensus is that one much shoot Raw to achieve the best quality?

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    The philosophy of the X1 is great,any photo taken with this camera will be of interest,I dont think there will be that many photos of flowers or cats from people who buy this and to be honest if price puts them off then leica could charge a little more just to push them somewhere else.If you think the price is too high just wait a month after release when all the "early adopters" will be selling them off.
    This is an attempt by leica to give all the balding old cronies like me a little hope in this digital world and that thought is very gratefully recieved even if in practice the X1 proves to be a dilution of what it promises.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    Target market for the X1,Id say it was probably me........not that Im egotistical at all.... however,leica didnt you notice that I nearly always use a 50mm summicron!!..I dont use flash and object to carrying one around.I thought the leica axiom had some connection with truth and fidelity;...well flash blasts that to hell and back,,.....take it off and make it a viewfinder and Ill buy one,even if its a 35mm lens.
    you have to admit, though, that flash is mighty cute! and i like that they made it manual (i.e., pop up with the finger) because i turn off the flash on all my cams that have one. in the one instance where i may be forced to, gasp, use it, i can never find the darn thing as it's buried so deep in the menu structure.

    and i don't think taking it out would have given them enough room for a VF -- at least not a decent one, so i'm not really bothered by it. on my GRD and Sigma, i enjoyed using external VF's even as i often chose to compose on the screen. for a small camera, i actually like the option to shoot either way (i have an ancient VIDOM VF i plan to take with me when i try out the X1 next week -- talk about making the camera look retro!) when i'm using it in the street.

    as i said in the other thread, i have an issue with the speed of the lens -- rather than the focal length. i know you're kind of wedded to your 50mm, but the 35mm might not be as bad as you think... i've found myself drawn to different focal lengths depending on the size of the camera.i love love love 28 FOV on the Ricoh, but really don't care for it much on the larger M8. i honestly think choosing to make this 35mm is the sweet spot for this size camera.

    ************************************************** ****

    on the other subject that wblynch has brought up, i could personally care less. that is the last thing i care about or want them to spend their time on. but that's me, personally, though i do understand were he's coming from.

    i've said it a million times before and i'll say it again here. the original Ricoh GRD is the only camera i was ever happy with the JPEGs -- and then, it was only when i tweaked their b/w settings. part of it, probably, was that RAW took so dang long to process that i actually took the time to figure this out.

    i also found the Epson R-D1 pretty luscious (again b/w as that is my preference) and the Sigma DP1, miserable camera that it is to operate, had the capability of gorgeous JPEGs as well. the only reason i know any of this is because i prefer to shoot RAW (to work on) but also include a tweaked b/w JPEG in case i chose to chimp (which is rare) -- knowing that this will be closer to the finished product. i honestly can't judge a photo i see on the screen in colour

    cameras that can do JPEGs well are out there. i don't think i would hold my breath, thinking that Leica will be the ONE because the price point is so much higher. that isn't what you're paying for, IMO. and that definitely isn't what i want to be paying for.

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by Arjuna View Post
    What is a former slide photographer to do in the digital realm, when the consensus is that one much shoot Raw to achieve the best quality?
    I think I'm prejudiced against slides. I know, a bit ignorant. Maybe it was the hours I spent trying to stay awake in my living room as a kid while my uncle Lloyd ran through slide tray after slide tray of travel snapshots. Or maybe it was the excruciating pain of sending a hard won shot made on kodachrome to the lab for a color print and after waiting patiently for a week, getting back a fuzzy, magenta blow-out that completely deflated my high hopes. Or my experience running an E-6 line in a pro lab and discovering that dip-and-dunk processing was anything but perfect.

    Admittedly, back in those days, if you were shooting for a magazine or other offset media, transparency was king. But now? I think if you like slides that much, you should shoot slides. Because really, why would you want anything else? The experience hasn't changed a bit.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by zonevt View Post
    If getting a perfect image (jpg) right out of the camera was the norm what would be the artistic challenge in photography?
    . . . erm . . . taking interesting/communicative/aesthetically pleasing photographs?

    Like most people here I shoot exclusively RAW (because I like to keep my options open and because I have an unfortunate geek side to my personality). But I keep repeating to myself:

    If it's interesting, nobody cares how good it is technically, and if it's not interesting . . . nobody cares at all



    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    Is it too much to ask a $2,000 camera to make good pictures?

    Perhaps that is a fantasy that even Leica can not deliver.

    I will slide back into my primordial ooze now.
    Wblynch - please don't slide back into any ooze. I think there's a place for both approaches to photography, but I know in my heart of hearts that my good pictures are simply good, and only remain so with further processing, whereas my bad pictures are just bad. Posts like yours serve to remind us what photography is for.


    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    cameras that can do JPEGs well are out there. i don't think i would hold my breath, thinking that Leica will be the ONE because the price point is so much higher. that isn't what you're paying for, IMO. and that definitely isn't what i want to be paying for.
    FWIW, Leica have tried very hard with the jpg engine in the M9, it produces excellent jpgs that are often hard to match with RAW. They clearly think that shooting jpg is a valid art form

    I'm quite certain that they'll be doing the same with the X1, so there's hope for you yet!
    Last edited by jonoslack; 8th October 2009 at 05:13.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    The philosophy of the X1 is great,any photo taken with this camera will be of interest,I dont think there will be that many photos of flowers or cats from people who buy this
    Pray, what's wrong with flowers and cats o hairy one?

    oops I shouldn't have said that, we mustn't hijack this thread as well must we
    Last edited by jonoslack; 8th October 2009 at 05:15. Reason: putting in a warning

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    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    ... cameras that can do JPEGs well are out there. ...
    Perhaps I'll take on a special project to learn the in-camera JPEG engine of my cameras (E-1, L1, G1) and work exclusively in JPEG capture for two weeks... My understanding is that the E-1 has one of the best JPEG in-camera engines ever; I've never touched it.

    (Of course, I'll cheat and set it to RAW+JPEG ... Wouldn't want to lose any good photographs.)

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Perhaps I'll take on a special project to learn the in-camera JPEG engine of my cameras (E-1, L1, G1) and work exclusively in JPEG capture for two weeks... My understanding is that the E-1 has one of the best JPEG in-camera engines ever; I've never touched it.

    (Of course, I'll cheat and set it to RAW+JPEG ... Wouldn't want to lose any good photographs.)
    I keep doing it with the M9 (i.e. shooting both) . . . then when it's time to do the processing I think "What the hell", bin the jpgs and use the raws . . . . I'm not proud of myself though

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    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    Is it too much to ask a $2,000 camera to make good pictures?

    Perhaps that is a fantasy that even Leica can not deliver.

    I will slide back into my primordial ooze now.
    Good cameras don't make good pictures. Good photographers make good pictures. Both capture and process. Cameras capture. Yes, they start the processing if you are talking about jpgs, , but you are looking for something that cannot exist because my notion of a good picture will differ from yours and no camera processing algorithm be everything to everyone. Just one starting point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Perhaps I'll take on a special project to learn the in-camera JPEG engine of my cameras (E-1, L1, G1) and work exclusively in JPEG capture for two weeks... My understanding is that the E-1 has one of the best JPEG in-camera engines ever; I've never touched it.

    (Of course, I'll cheat and set it to RAW+JPEG ... Wouldn't want to lose any good photographs.)
    you should! and tell us what you find. (i've heard great things about the E-1 JPEGs as well, and keep on thinking of getting one as my "rain" camera.)

    after losing a few DNGs on my M8, i will now always shoot both, even though it's a slower option. i feel safer knowing i'm covered.... i never could get used to seeing colour on the screen, so i've switched it back to b/w -- fingers crossed that i won't have to resort to using them.

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    At the Cambrian Photography Leica day today, the Leica Rep had a pre-production X1, working, but with beta firmware.

    Apparently the 35mm add-on viewfinder, which will be sold separately, will feature contacts in its base which will interface with those in the hot shoe so as to provide focus confirmation via an LED indicator.

    Also, Leica is apparently 'reviewing' the steel grey finish on the X1 and M9 with the object of eliminating the 'fingerprint magnet' syndrome.
    Last edited by jlancasterd; 8th October 2009 at 08:55.
    John L Dobson
    Editor, Ffestiniog Railway Magazine

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    Re: The X1 Chat Box

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    you should! and tell us what you find. (i've heard great things about the E-1 JPEGs as well, and keep on thinking of getting one as my "rain" camera.)

    after losing a few DNGs on my M8, i will now always shoot both, even though it's a slower option. i feel safer knowing i'm covered.... i never could get used to seeing colour on the screen, so i've switched it back to b/w -- fingers crossed that i won't have to resort to using them.
    I meandered about during this morning's coffee with friends and had the G1 set to a modified Dynamic B&W setting.

    I have the opposite problem: I'm so used to seeing B&W images in the color world that looking through the viewfinder and seeing a B&W image is very very disconcerting! I feel like I can't see the subject well this way as I can't see what I'm going to be basing my processing on... too much information is being lost.

    Weird.

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