I took that photo in 2009 with a Panaonic GF1 with 20mm f1.7 lens. This set up still almost meets the criteria I outline later in this post.
There is a challenge floating around the internet in the photographic art community right now. The challenge is one camera, one lens, for one year (OC/OL/OY)
For many folks that are not photo geeks like myself that is like challenging a craft beer drinker to pick only one brew for the whole year or a cyclist to pick only one bike for one year. Trust me. It’s a harder challenge than you think.
But….I have been pondering It as I no longer shoot with the intent for publication anywhere. I shoot solely for me. Could this be the year? What would I shoot? What would I give up?
My criteria would be simple. I will use the must have, should have and could have classification. This is my needs and not anyone else’s.
This camera must be small so I can carry it on my bike. It has to have solid construction with intuitive button placement and GUI. It must be black. This camera must have a very versatile fixed focal length. This camera must have a viewfinder or viewfinder option. this camera must have good high ISO capabilities. This camera needs to look good and feel good beyond just taking good pics or I won’t use it.
This camera should be weather sealed given my climate and what & how I shoot. This camera should have long battery life and be USB rechargeable. This camera should be a full frame sensor for the most control over image depth and my preferred IQ. This camera should be void of the EVF hump. Lastly it should have WiFi image transfer capability.
This camera could have an OVF or an EVF. This camera could be digital or film. This camera could have autofocus.
You know what? That camera doesn’t exist. Damn.
The one that most closely matches for me is a Leica digital or film M camera with a 35mm f2 lens. Aside from that, the Fuji X100 series cameras and the Panasonic GX7 that I am shooting now are close too. The things missing from both of these for me are a full frame sensor, not stellar battery performance and weather sealing. One can only hope a future iteration of one of these could include said, missing items.
My second round of choices that stray just a bit from the requirements are the Sony RX1, too many old film cameras to list as well as something a bit more modern like a Panasonic Gh4, Olympus EM1, Sony A 7 series or a Fuji XT1. All wildly capable but not quite what I want for shooting experience and appearance.
So I am still pondering but what if I had to pick right now. I think it would be a Fuji x100 series camera. Those are really great and capable cameras. I would sacrifice shooting soccer and some telephoto work but that’s ok.
So I really am considering taking this challenge on the camera front but what If I had to pick one bike……you will have to come back for that one but that bike at the top could be really close.