JacquesBalthazar

JacquesBalthazar

Lives in Belgium Belgium
Joined on Oct 29, 2004

Comments

Total: 94, showing: 41 – 60
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On Fujifilm X20 Preview preview (201 comments in total)
In reply to:

RadioGnome: I was suddenly struck by the fact that Fuji prints the 35mm equivalents of the focal length on the zoom ring. I was inclined to like the whole retro styling, but this suddenly made it all look very fake and 'willing to be something it is not'.

I was considering ordering a X20, but can't describe how stupid the camera looks to me now.

I think after a good 10 years of varying sensor sizes, every serious photographer is mentally capable of understanding the focal length / sensor size story. This makes it ever more appropriate to just print the actual physical focal length on the barrel of a zoom lens. One side is 'wide angle', other end is 'tele'.

M'y feelings exact l'y. Still "the old ways are sometimes the best"....

Direct link | Posted on Mar 10, 2013 at 06:48 UTC

Why will I buy the Coolpix A? Well because it is exactly what I was dreaming that Ricoh would bring out one day in a GRD V.

It is APS-C, very small, and light, and it is thin. Substantially smaller and thinner than the X100s or the X2, and quite a bit thinner than any NEX with the coming 20mm f2.8 pancake.

"Thin" is important, because "thin" is the main metric for "pocketable". The X100s is desirable but it is much chunkier in all dimensions. That is the downside of the intergrated EVF.

The sensor itself is cool because we already know it opens the door to "best in class" quality, including in dark bars and dark streets, at a price point that is not out of this world.

I will also buy it because it has a 28mm equiv lens rather than a 35mm equiv, as that adds flexibility and opportunities to get "that" pic. I can crop 28mm, I cannot "uncrop" 35mm.

Finally, I will buy it because it has no AA filter, and a cool "non-retro" design, and the excellent Nikon UI.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 7, 2013 at 08:51 UTC as 23rd comment | 3 replies

Very very tempting.

I was kinda waiting for a GRD V along those specs, but this is available in a couple of weeks.

So what do we have now: this Nikon; the Fuji X100s and leica X2 (35mm equiv); the NEX 5,6,7 with the coming 20mm pancake; seems samsung has something as well (not familiar with them), and then the m4/3 crowd with their own pancakes....

Great choices!

Interestingly, the Nikon seems very well priced compared to the X2, but a bit too expensive compared to the Fuji (spec vs spec). I have a NEX 7, so the coming pancake would give me a cheap (in terms of incremental spend) but very good coat pocketable camera. Still,that Nikon looks real small, and I like that, and I like the absence of AA filter, and I kinda trust Nikon more than Sony to produce nimble, reactive, efficient bodies and great lenses....

Guess this thingy kills the prospect of APS GRD V... Cannot be smaller...

Direct link | Posted on Mar 5, 2013 at 19:16 UTC as 21st comment
In reply to:

HubertChen: The price of 350 USD is very adequate for this lens in case it is really sharp! Can't wait to see a lens review :-) It is cute looking too and would make a NEX5 pocket-able. Very high sharpness would be mandatory for it to make sense to me. Then I also can use it as zoom in the sense of cropping the picture and run around with this lens only.

Even the Nex7 becomes easily pocketable with this. The focal length is easier to manage than the 16mm. Hopefully better performance as well, as less challenging to design. Really looking forward to this one in fact. The Sigma 19mm is too big for pockets.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 23, 2013 at 16:14 UTC
On Fujifilm X100S preview (218 comments in total)
In reply to:

JacquesBalthazar: These Fuji X offers, this one in particular, are so tempting for old but increasingly broke leicaphiles such as me. So familiar and re-assuring. At the same time, they annoy me by playing this much on the retro/pseudo vintage chords in terms of design cues. This is 2013. Why are we trying to pretend to be in 1956?

The feature list and tech innards are fantastic. But the design references....am I the only one to be bothered?

@tan68: exactly that! I do rather admire the Nex7 body design, including the 3 navi command & control, but I dislike the consequences on lens size (24mm Zeiss in particular) and hate the menu "logic". I really like the X100s feature list and size, but smirk at the old timer camouflage. But as @mrmart says, the looks of a camera are not that crucial. This X100s is a neat package!

Direct link | Posted on Jan 8, 2013 at 19:11 UTC
On Fujifilm X100S preview (218 comments in total)
In reply to:

JacquesBalthazar: These Fuji X offers, this one in particular, are so tempting for old but increasingly broke leicaphiles such as me. So familiar and re-assuring. At the same time, they annoy me by playing this much on the retro/pseudo vintage chords in terms of design cues. This is 2013. Why are we trying to pretend to be in 1956?

The feature list and tech innards are fantastic. But the design references....am I the only one to be bothered?

@jesperMP. Not specifically slaying dials or whatever UI options per se. I grew with those dials, and I have an easier life with those than with Sony's ridiculous menu trees for example.

I am harping more about the lines, the proportions, the pseudo-chrome and pseudo-vulcanite, llittle carvings, slopes and "art deco" cues, the old style logo on top cover, the millings on lens barrel, etc, etc. All made to look "as if" we were "back then".

Do not get me wrong: the darn thing is pretty, and I am seduced. I'd just like us, collectively, to move on and stop "recreating" the "good old times". Canon's latest square Powershot N is creative design. Nex is creative. Neither is elegant however. They will not become icons. I want creative and elegant design (on top of efficient), and I ain't seeing much of that. I want us to challenge ourselves to produce objects and tools that will be seen in 30 years as 2013 icons.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 8, 2013 at 12:32 UTC
On Fujifilm X100S preview (218 comments in total)
In reply to:

JacquesBalthazar: These Fuji X offers, this one in particular, are so tempting for old but increasingly broke leicaphiles such as me. So familiar and re-assuring. At the same time, they annoy me by playing this much on the retro/pseudo vintage chords in terms of design cues. This is 2013. Why are we trying to pretend to be in 1956?

The feature list and tech innards are fantastic. But the design references....am I the only one to be bothered?

Strange answers. Seems we are hooked to 1956. Strictly from a superficial design point of view (the "enveloppe"), this sends a backward looking message.

if you look at this from a "form follows function" point of view, there is a lot of effort on the X100(s) design to "make pretend" we are still facing the production conditions Leica or Contax were facing in the first half of the 20th century.

I own and use old Leicas, so I do love the look & feel and form factor.

But, just like with music, cars, houses, clothes, bicycles and other human productions, I wish we were more forward looking and more creative. The hunger for nostalgia bugs me. In cameras, the Nex design is interesting (not beautiful). I also liked the V1. The XF1 is more subtle in its retro cues. Anyway, the X100s seems fabulous in terms of combining quality, performance, size, features, and I will certainly give it a try when available.... Never mind if it makes me look like a Cartier-Besson wannabe....

Direct link | Posted on Jan 8, 2013 at 09:21 UTC
On Fujifilm X100S preview (218 comments in total)

These Fuji X offers, this one in particular, are so tempting for old but increasingly broke leicaphiles such as me. So familiar and re-assuring. At the same time, they annoy me by playing this much on the retro/pseudo vintage chords in terms of design cues. This is 2013. Why are we trying to pretend to be in 1956?

The feature list and tech innards are fantastic. But the design references....am I the only one to be bothered?

Direct link | Posted on Jan 8, 2013 at 05:39 UTC as 75th comment | 17 replies
In reply to:

(unknown member): I am glad that Olympus had to cough up huge money to this crime exposing CEO.

Most financial crime is borderline stuff. Someone takes a risk that turns into an error causing financial loss and potential loss of personal and brand equity. What happens then is that those guys, who are by definition excessively self-assured egomaniacs, think they can "fix" it before it gets visible, and design complex delay and cover-up schemes. Since they are good at doing that,and nobody sees the manipulation or speaks up against it, they convince themselves that the schemes are the fix, and lose sight oft the illegality or immorality of what they are doing. Then comes another error, a fluke control or a whistleblower, and, suddenly the "king is naked". I agree with you that most of these white collar crimes go un identified and unpunished. Many top flying execs out there have ugly corpses rotting in their cupboard somewhere, without necessarily realising themselves that something smells and they did wrong.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 29, 2012 at 05:09 UTC
On DPReview Recommends: Top 5 Compact Cameras article (559 comments in total)
In reply to:

The Jacal: I have to laugh at all the fanboys crying over their keyboards because they didn't read the intro and their cameras are not mentioned. Come to think of it the Yashica Electro 35 GT isn't on the list, come on Dpreview, what are you thinking???!!!

Yes. The Electro 35.....my first real camera! Funnily enough, that exact same design and exact same simple set of features, with a FF, or even APS, sensor in place of film, would be a mega-hit still today. And would be top of loads of Black Friday and Xmas lists. Hell, it would beat RX1 in my book. A simplified X100, with RF focus, no AF, no EVF, no complex menus, raw only. Do not even really want a LCD on the back, just the 2 little flashing LEDs on top. Your Electro 35 mention got me dreaming this morning,.. ;-) thanks!

Direct link | Posted on Nov 24, 2012 at 07:16 UTC
On Just Posted: Sony Alpha SLT-A99 samples gallery article (159 comments in total)
In reply to:

Peiasdf: Is this a SONY event? The blond model is the same one from here: http://www.thephoblographer.com/2012/10/10/first-impressions-using-the-sony-a99-and-hvl-f60m-flash-for-studio-photography/

Perfectly true! But this Sony launch is starting to feel a little too rich: we had all the organised pseudo-leaks and grouped announcements (+ "sneaky previews") on the way up to Photokina. Then a rehash at Photokina (with more "previews" of the same products). Then, two weeks later, the current outpouring from the SF joly (yet more "previews" of same products), that will build up to a wave of full reviews. This is really a big campaign, and will go on till Xmas as that is when RX1 will hit the shelves and needs to make a first splash. The products all look great though, but I am kind of saturating.... ;-)

Direct link | Posted on Oct 11, 2012 at 11:39 UTC
On Just Posted: Sony Alpha SLT-A99 samples gallery article (159 comments in total)
In reply to:

Peiasdf: Is this a SONY event? The blond model is the same one from here: http://www.thephoblographer.com/2012/10/10/first-impressions-using-the-sony-a99-and-hvl-f60m-flash-for-studio-photography/

Yep, obviously Sony still has big marketing and PR bucks to be able to fly, wine and dine all the photo hacks of the world. I did not think such budgets existed any more. ... The consequence of course is that you get images of the same f...g subjects/models from the same gear at the same time on all outlets, with each writer doing his/her own best to be seen as having access to some form of exclusivity. The only thing all these "previews" really show is that there has been a big Sony joly in SF earlier in the week.... Hope all you guys had fun!

Direct link | Posted on Oct 11, 2012 at 06:41 UTC

Agree with nopilopez below. "Like" button is more than enough. There is so much bickering and interpersonal issues in our community that the option to "downgrade" others will be overused and feed into some hurtful behaviours.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 28, 2012 at 04:48 UTC as 253rd comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

photobeans: Nikon 1 system will be extinct in a few years. It was a mistake and they know it. Now that I've seen what Nikon has to offer in their mirrorless segment, I'm selling off my Nikon DSLR and lenses soon and leaving the Nikon system. I'm not interested in your stuff anymore, Nikon.

As a"lost soul" I do indeed believe what I wrote.

I have the V1 and its 3 lenses and like it a lot. It does serve a purpose, and the 30-110 in particular is unique on the market in how it combines reach, quality and very small size (+ VR).
The V1 is far from perfect. In particular in terms of low light PDAF, native lens line-up and control layout.

Now, while there are indeed a lot of critics out there, there is a general consensus in the industry to recognise that the system sold in very large numbers. I am not surprised Jaspers's claims in that respect.

Some explain that success by the global advertising campaign in Q4 2011 and Q1 2012. Anyway it did very well, and is now ready for a rebound, especially at the high end (V1).

The 18.5mm is a step forward. They do need a V2 and super wide angle option. For longer focal lengths the 30-110 does pretty well and the FT1 + Nikkors adds great capability. I also hope for a Nikon compact "à la" RX100, which is a great offer from Sony.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 26, 2012 at 15:16 UTC
In reply to:

photobeans: Nikon 1 system will be extinct in a few years. It was a mistake and they know it. Now that I've seen what Nikon has to offer in their mirrorless segment, I'm selling off my Nikon DSLR and lenses soon and leaving the Nikon system. I'm not interested in your stuff anymore, Nikon.

I'd bet quite the opposite. The CX format has very many advantages, both in terms of high end "compact" cameras and in terms of small and light interchangeable lens systems, for beginners and for accomplished photographers alike. Not mentioning the N1's unique ability to cater for high quality supertele performance at a very reasonable cost.

On the back of the recent 18.5mm launch, all they/we really need now is a native ultra-wide option and perhaps a very compact native macro/portrait option.

The Nikon world is moving on 2 fronts: towards FX as "standard" DSLR system and towards CX as beginner/backup/long reach system.

When the Nikon 1 lens line-up is completed and we have a V2 or V3 with good low light PDAF, I see no room at all for DX DSLR. Question is "when".

They should also launch a mid-range FF AFS/VR tele lens asap (135 f2 or 180 f2.8), as that would turn that V2 into an absolute killer long reach machine. On top of completing the FF line-up.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 26, 2012 at 06:20 UTC

Not the most fascinating interview. Obviously those guys have to promote what is in the shops now. They also have to reassure readers that they have a roadmap for the future while avoiding to say anything that might lead anyone to postpone a purchase. Basically those guys are not allowed to say anything meaningful at all. They have to follow to the letter the Q&A document prepared by their marketing and comms teams. Why waste time on such interviews?

Direct link | Posted on Sep 26, 2012 at 04:41 UTC as 30th comment | 2 replies
On Photokina 2012: Interview - Stephan Schulz of Leica article (195 comments in total)

The S line is truly Leica at its best: innovative and obsessed with quality. I find this infintely more impressive than the nostalgia-tainted M. The S is clearly the best DSLR available out there, for very many applications. Not for all of course, but wherever ultimate quality is paramount, it is the top.

Based on output examination, the quality of the lenses and the formidable tonal gradation refinment of the pictures set it apart from 35mm DSLRs, D800(E) included.

The sheer functionality and useability set it apart from MF competitors. And, in that world, the price looks much less exotic.

Of course it is basically unaffordable for people who are not paid for top quality images, and it is not a system that normal human beings can carry all day on their shoulder (though body and one lens is not impossible).

I am delighted by the D800, and feel privileged to have been able to afford it, but am happy to have the Leica S as an aspiration for the day those Lotto numbers come out.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 21, 2012 at 12:08 UTC as 69th comment | 1 reply
On Hasselblad responds to Lunar criticisms article (613 comments in total)

Poor Luca. The outcry was not on the principle. Sony is a great provider of innovative technology in the photography space, and the NEX7 is an excellent platform. It is/would be great news to know that Hasselblad is tinkering with that platform to improve it, through ergonomic changes to the body and the software, and to make its manipulation more "luxurious" (more responsive buttons and dials, better layout of commands, software user interface, etc). Hell, creativity in terms of shape and colours and material is more than welcome as well!

The outcry is about the outcome of that project: the design choices are awful. Just awful. They are a paramount of bad taste. They are the contrary of the declared aspiration. The design choices point clearly to the worst of Eighties/Nineties bling, and there was a clientele for that. So, perhaps, they know who they are designing this for. That is not a market segment I feel any affinity with. And has nothing to do with photography. Very sad.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 20, 2012 at 09:15 UTC as 162nd comment

There is something to explore in this interview: the idea of non-obsolescence. The idea that you buy a M, and whatever happens, in 3, 5 or 10 years time, when they cannot repair it anymore due to unavailability of spares, they offer you the new model of the time as replacement, either for free (if yours is still under guarantee, and very long term guarantee should be an option), or, at most, for the difference between what you paid new and what current model costs. This would be so sensible, as the accountability for not being able to repair the product clearly lies with the supplier rather than with the customer.

To make this explicit and official would go a long way in justifying the price, which, I agree, is unjustifiable in this digital age, where electronic components have very short lifespans, independently of other camera manufacturing conditions. That promise would only hold for the original buyer of course.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 19, 2012 at 13:01 UTC as 19th comment | 2 replies
On Photokina 2012: Leica Stand Report article (15 comments in total)

I am probably the only one to really really like the Paul Smith X2. For the rest, the S is the most interesting part of Leica's 'kina show. Not in my budget, but probably the ultimate DSLR of the year, and next. The M is a disappointment for me in terms of design and features, but the price is less crazy than expected.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 18, 2012 at 16:35 UTC as 10th comment
Total: 94, showing: 41 – 60
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