Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Luminous Landscape's "Best and Worst of 2012"

Luminous Landscape has posted their annual "Best and Worst of ..." results for camera equipment introduced in 2012.
(Click Here) to read the full story on Luminous Landscape.
In their "Best" category, they include two new DSLR models from Nikon, the D800/E and the D600. Nikon is really on a roll with great full-frame (24x36mm) digital cameras. Personally, I'm still shooting my D700, and am completely satisfied, no, actually amazed, with it's performance. It's nice to know that Nikon's still pushing the technology even further.
Nikon D800
Image Source: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/best_and_worst_of_2012.shtml
Also under "Best," they include the new Sigma DP2 Merrill, which uses the sensor originally designed for a $7,000 SLR (see "Worst"), stuffed into a very compact pocket-sized camera. I am very interested in this camera.
Also in the compact camera market, they like the Sony RX-100. This 20MP little wonder includes a Zeiss lens. For me, however, the lack of any type of finder, relegating me to only shooting from the LCD, is a major drawback. Otherwise, I would probaly already be shooting one. My experience with Sony digital cameras in the past has been excellent, including one of my first digital cameras, many years ago.
Finally, the new Sony RX-1 is being considered as a contender for next year, since it was just released in December 2012.
What does Luminous Landscape think of Micro 4/3 developments in 2012? They put them in the middle. First, they like the technical improvements in sensors, but feel that Panasonic is pushing camera body size outside what Micro 4/3 is known for - compact, lightweight equipment - with the DMC-GH3. They are more positive about the Olympus OM-D, which is certainly a hit with users. I agree that the GH3 seems a little bulky - if I can live with larger size, Nikon wins hands-down. So, I'm looking forward to a Lumix DMC-GX2 with the same sensor, in a more compact body. Everything I hear about the Olympus OM-D is positive, and I'm tempted to give it a try.
They also place the new Fuji mirrorless cameras in the middle. I'm very impressed with Fuji's product designs and lens quality. Once they iron out any peculiarities with their unique sensors (and the software needed to best use them), I predict Fujifilm will be a powerhouse.
Finally, the "Worst." That doomed $7,000 Sigma DSLR that I mentioned above. Hard to imagine buying a Sigma body for the price of two Nikon D800s.
The remaining two cameras in this category were not even on my radar screen this year - the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, which is reported to be failing due to small company problems rather than technical capabilities, and the Hasselblad Lunar, which is a trumped-up Sony NEX7. Neither of these interests me, personally.
My only question - what about the Lytro? This new camera technology that allows multiple focus areas was supposed to be revolutionary (and maybe it is?). Personally, I have not heard much other than the initial announcements.

Anyone out there tried one? Please let me know your thoughts if you've use a Lytro.