Dear Santa… Here’s my list

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It’s December, it’s Christmas season, parties and dinners all around town with lots of eating and drinking, lots of gifts and lucky draws, lots of noise, lots of everything except celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and the spiritual atmosphere that should come along with.

Call me old school, but I grew up in a traditional family and we did celebrate Christmas in accordance to our cultural background. Unfortunately, most people I know seem to have lost the good manners from days past, preferring to behave erratically instead. What would our ancestors think?..

Christmas in Macau feels like Carnival now – and it’s absolutely not supposed to.

To the point

Apologies for going off track. Measuring Light is a photography blog so let’s get back to business. This post is meant to be my letter to Santa Claus:

“Dear Santa, I’ve been a good boy this year so I’d like to get the following gifts for Christmas. If you can’t make it for 25th December due to global warming and ice melting on the North Pole, no worries. Greta is saving the world anyway so just make sure the gifts below are delivered sometime in the near future.

Faithfully yours, ML.”

1. More lenses for Fuji’s GFX system

Fuji is slowly building up their GFX medium format system, but it feels too slow to me! We need more lenses and, most importantly, we need more information on the upcoming lenses. The current lens roadmap dates back from 2018 – we need an update!

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In my wish list, I’d like to see more GF 50mm f/3.5 type of lenses: relatively small, light and with a moderate aperture.

A GF 35mm f/3.5 would be great. If you look at the current roadmap, there is a gap between 23mm and 45mm. So Fuji, please fill in this gap and make it a small and portable lens!

Likewise, a wide angle zoom would be handy as well, one covering the classic 16-35mm full frame range. In other words, a GF 12-28mm f/4. That would be cool.

2. Fuji GFX 100R

The first GFX system camera, the GFX 50S, was launched back in 2017. It was 2 years ago already. Last year (2018) we had the GFX 50R, which is basically the same camera with a different body style. This year (2019) we had the GFX 100 with that monster 100 MP sensor.

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So… Perhaps it’s time to refresh the older models, no? How about upgrading both GFX 50S and GFX 50R with the new 100 MP sensor?

I’d love to see a rangefinder style GFX 100R – that would be so cool. Just need to put the new 100 MP sensor in the GFX 50R and that’s it, no need to change anything. Please do it, Fuji. And you can make it fairly cheap, right?

3. Fuji X40

Back in 2012 Fuji launched the X10, a very well-built advanced point & shoot with interesting design details, namely a usable rangefinder style optical viewfinder and a mechanical zoom ring that also worked as an on-off switch.

Over the following years Fuji updated the range with the X20 and then the X30, in 2014. But then, unfortunately, there was no successor to the X30.

The X30 was a solid camera, sporting a smaller version of the 12 MP X-Trans sensor. Instead of the optical viewfinder, it came with a user friendly EVF. That signature on-off switch mechanical zoom ring remained, still keeping its classy touch.

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Currently the zoom, point & shoot niche seems to be dominated by the 1 inch sensor Sony RX100 range. I understand the RX100 is a very capable camera, but frankly it doesn’t look as cool as the Fuji X10, X20 and X30.

So Fuji: please launch a successor to the X30. An updated X-Trans sensor, same type of mechanical ring zoom lens and let’s put an aperture ring as well. To top up, how about a hybrid OVF / EVF √† la X100? Trust me, an X40 with these specs would be a killer.

4. A proper Leica D-Lux 7 / Lumix LX100 II

Leica and Panasonic: can you guys work on a proper spiritual successor to the 2004 classic Leica Digilux 2 / Lumix LC-1 that I reviewed here?

I know you have the Leica D-Lux 7 / Lumix LX100 II now, which is supposed to be that camera. Only that it is not. Because the lens, while being technically good, is not a manual zoom. And it absolutely ruins the experience.

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Everything else in the LX100 works fine, including the Micro Four Thirds sensor. But that zoom lever just kills the experience and turns what could be a perfect classic camera into an average point & shoot in terms of feel.

Please do it. A real spiritual successor of the Leica Digilux 2 / Lumix LC-1. The camera can be slightly larger and heavier for the premium feel. Then just put on a manual zoom lens. That’s it. Believe me, that’s guaranteed success and it will sell like hotcakes.

5. Olympus Pen-F Mk. II

I don’t want to see Micro Four Thirds outdated, after all it’s the technology that kick started the mirrorless revolution. Micro Four Thirds still offers an interesting compromise between portability and image quality.

But it feels with the current full-frame-high-megapixel race, Micro Four Thirds was left behind. Olympus, are you slowing down and giving up? I was much disappointed to see the beautiful Olympus Pen-F discontinued without a successor.

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It feels Olympus is more committed to the DSLR-style line of cameras, with the recently released the OM-D E-M5 III and, before that, the professional oriented OM-D E-M1X which was announced with bells and whistles.

Yes, there is the Pen E-PL10 as well, but frankly that camera looks boring and it’s hardly exciting. We all know Olympus can do a lot better than this. So I wish Olympus puts back some effort with the release of a Pen-F Mk. II.

6. Leica M-E edition of the M10

I’m the proud owner of the M9 based Leica M-E that I bought in 2013. I still enjoy using the camera, but let’s admit while being a very capable and unique camera with its CCD sensor, it has limitations under the current technology.

I was never excited with the M Typ 240 and its thicker body and video capabilities which are kinda overkill for an M camera. The M10, on the other hand, is pretty much the perfect digital M for me.

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I’d love to get one, especially the M10-P, but that’s too much for my pocket. I’ve already spent enough to buy a car with my Leica M-E, the 35mm Summicron and the 50mm Summilux, plus the extra I spent earlier this year replacing the corroded CCD sensor of the M-E.

Therefore… I hope to see a cheaper M-E version of the Leica M10 sometime in the future. I know it won’t happen soon, since only in June this year Leica had announced the M-E based on the Typ 240. But when it happens – an M-E based on the M10 – I will get one in no time.

7. Sony RX1R III

I have the Sony RX1R II that I reviewed here and I’m quite passionate about this camera. It’s a small hand grenade, a pocket rocket.

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I’d love to see an update of this perfect camera to make it even more powerful, which for me seems straight forward: just put the A7R IV’s latest 61 MP sensor on it and voil√†, you will get the perfect Sony RX1R III. Easy.

8. Zeiss ZX1

Remember this one? Zeiss announced this full-frame 35mm fixed lens camera with integrated Adobe Lightroom CC and 512 GB internal memory with much fanfarre in Photokina 2018, but ever since its announcement and a teasing video that followed, nothing else happened.Screenshot (26)

This camera was supposed to introduce a new workflow allowing all in camera on the go shooting, editing and sharing, but what happened? Is it coming out or not?

Perhaps Zeiss scrapped the whole thing, they now realize the concept was no good and they did not future-proof it enough with its intended 37.4 MP sensor which by current standards is already a bit on the low side? Hope I’m wrong, because we all welcome innovation even if oddball and this was a nicely designed camera anyways.

9. Epson R-D2

Ok, I know this is a stretch and it’s NEVER going to happen. But we can always dream, can’t we? The Epson R-D1X is my precious gem and I’m keeping this beauty forever. This camera is pure photography and a lesson in simplicity.

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So in my wildest dreams Epson decides to get the R-D1X out of the ashes to give it a new life by installing an new CMOS sensor and an updated back screen. The Epson R-D2 is born. Yeah, I know… Dream on…

10. Canon and Nikon

Not much to say here: their cameras look so mundane and uninspiring that I rather watch paint dry. I just wish both Canon and Nikon hire proper designers and produce something more exciting.

 

 

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