What camera is best for street photography?

Started Sep 20, 2012 | Discussions thread
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joshxiv Forum Member • Posts: 64
Re: What camera is best for street photography?

I currently use my DSLR - a Pentax K7, paired with the DA 15mm f/4 Limited.

But since I've pretty much been shooting street exclusively for the past year, I'm currently evaluating all my gear and will make some changes soon.

I've handled all the following, with the exception of the Fuji XE-1 of course.

I had considered an Olympus OMD EM-5, and I thought about pairing it with the tiny Panasonic 14mm f/2.5, but the EM-5 doesn't display a DOF scale on the EVF (unlike the X100), which is almost a deal breaker for me, since I don't like relying on AF and prefer zone focusing when street shooting. The Olympus 12mm does have a DOF scale on the barrel (I think), but I would much prefer a prime in the 28-35mm range. Maybe the new 17mm f/1.8 would make m43rds more attractive to me.

The X100 might fit the bill - great IQ, great VF, and you get a distance scale on the OVF. I just don't know if I can live with the quirks though, LOL. But it is a strong candidate as a replacement for my DSLR.

The Ricoh GRD IV is also another one I'm looking at. In fact, I'm most likely to get this, regardless of whether I keep my DSLR system or replace it with an X100. It's tiny, it's got a fantastic (!) snap focus option, and the lens is just perfect for street - a 28mm-equivalent f/1.9. The only kicker is, external VF's (which is a non-negotiable requirement for me) go for upwards of $200.

The upcoming Fuji XE-1 might be an option, we'll have to wait and see. Paired with the Fuji 18mm f/2, it just might be the perfect street shooter. But right now, I'm considering cost vs the X100 - since the X100 has a few things going for it - leaf shutter, and a much better VF. For some people this might not be a close contest, but since I really only plan on shooting the XE-1 with only the 18mm, the fact that it's an interchangeable lens system doesn't really factor much in my decision.

If there's one thing I've learned in the past year of shooting street, I personally find that a DSLR is simply not the best system for shooting street. If I were forced to use a DSLR, the only system I'd consider is Pentax, because of lenses like the DA15 and DA21 - (Small, with DOF scales) and because I have the option of buying a cheap weather sealed lens like the weather sealed Pentax 18-55 kit lens.

But right now, I'm leaning towards a Ricoh GRD IV + Fuji X100 set-up.

Cheers, keep shooting!

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