Ricoh GW2 brief thoughts

2009, Photography

Zoo by Wouter Brandsma

Last weekend I have been testing the 21mm GW-2 wide lens converter in combination with the GV-1 optical viewfinder. And I was surprised what a great job it did. The quality of the glass is really good.

Morning glory by Wouter Brandsma

The one thing I did noticed is that when I used the GW-2 lens and set the camera to infinity focus with an aperture of f/5.0 that the images had actually very soft background. It was sharp between 1 and 8 meters, but beyond that started to loose sharpness. So probably it is better to use the autofocus for some landscape work.

Morning glory by Wouter Brandsma

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

Contrast

2009, Photography

I am pretty much finishing my last photographs from the visit to the NDSM Wharf in Amsterdam where I had to the change to try several cameras (again Björn, many thanks). These last photographs were all taken with the Panasonic GH1 which I now consider a pretty impressive camera. And this camera could be really nice with the new Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens.

The most important reason why I wanted to finish this, is because the Ricoh GRDIII test sample has arrived. No photographs yet, but my first impressions are very positive. The finish is superb and the camera feels great in the hand, also as a result of the magnesium body (just like my Ricoh GR1). And this camera is quiet. What an incredible performance when I compare it with my Ricoh GX200. The finish, the lens, the customizing, I do understand why there is a huge demand for this camera in Japan.

NDSM Wharf Amsterdam by Wouter Brandsma

NDSM Wharf Amsterdam by Wouter Brandsma

NDSM Wharf Amsterdam by Wouter Brandsma

NDSM Wharf Amsterdam by Wouter Brandsma

NDSM Wharf Amsterdam by Wouter Brandsma

NDSM Wharf Amsterdam by Wouter Brandsma

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

2009, Image editing

Well this new camera from Panasonic was being expected by many. A camera that has the look of its smaller cousin the LX3, but comes with interchangeable lenses. It will compete with the Olympus E-P1 and will likely benefit from some of the advantages of the Panasonic system like the faster autofocus. And the camera, the Panasonic DMC-GF1, will come with an additional electronic viewfinder unlike the small Oly. For a full round up of all the news you might want to check the extensive preview at dpreview or follow all the buzz at 1001noisycameras.

It all sounds like a very interesting camera to me, more so when you consider the new 20mm f/1.7 lens that is also revealed. Now I wonder what Leica is going to do. Leica will have an announcement on September 9 and there will be a live webcast on that day. Yesterday they came up with a video on several websites mentioning the live webcast. Rumors says it that Leica will announce a full frame M9, but some do also hope that they will come up with a real Leica version (and not just a rebadged Panasonic) of the new Panasonic GF1.

Last Saturday I photographed with the Panasonic DMC-GH1 in combination with the 7-14mm lens. Although the electronic viewfinder gave me a somewhat indirect feeling it was still so much better than using the LCD screen. I was stunned by the performance of the lens and I am curious how the 20mm lens will perform.

Red white and blue by Wouter Brandsma

Red white and blue by Wouter Brandsma

Red white and blue by Wouter Brandsma

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

Sketches

2009, Photography

Sketches by Wouter Brandsma
Even though I liked photographing with a larger sensor camera, and eventually hope to have one of those cameras too, for me small sensor cameras do have a strong purpose. For me they are able to create sketchy pictures. Last Saturday I had the opportunity to try the Panasonic LX3. The LX3 is a strong competitor for the Ricoh GX200 I use. The focal lengths are similar and the targeted photographers are the same group too.
Sketches by Wouter Brandsma
Of course every camera has their pros and cons. I for instance like the user interface of the GX200 and the former GX100. Björn Utpott with who I photographed last Saturday had the GX100 for a year, but couldn’t get used to the Ricoh user interface and prefers the jog dial functionality of the LX3. I liked the image quality of the LX3. I think the dynamic B&W film setting is fabulous, but I constantly had to think about the direction I had to move the jog dial.
Sketches by Wouter Brandsma
The camera has a solid feel and is slightly heavier than the GX200. The higher ISO photographs are definitely better than the GX200, but at base ISO it is a very close call. I liked the camera, but I did miss the step zoom option and a possibility to register your prefered settings.
Sketches by Wouter Brandsma

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma