Are our choices getting more polarised? - D7000 pictures.

Canon 7D Panasonic GH1

Is this the future? Are DSLR's just going to get bigger and are CSC's going to decrease in size even further?

What happened to cameras like these?

Lumix GF1 and Olympus OM4Ti with Zuikos

The Olympus OM4 Ti was a 35mm film camera, and as you can see was only marginally bigger than a Panasonic GF1. It took great pictures and was a pleasure to use.

My personal favourites were the Pentax MZ series.

I went with this system after having a Nikon F4 outfit stolen, and I loved the small size, the wonderful handling and the great image quality, particularly when using the 31mm, 43mm and 77mm limited lenses. Style and substance.

I don't see a digital equivalent. Yes you can get great image quality from CSC, mirrorless and E.V.I.L cameras, but with compromises in terms of performance and build quality.

This is my second post in recent days about this and its starting to become something of an obsession! Despite my wish to "dump the DSLR's" I'm constantly drawn back to using my D7000, simply because for many things, it just does the job better.

I wrote a piece recently - /soundimageplus/2011/09/m43-is-still-most-useful-format-for.html with the title - m4/3 is still the most useful format for what I do. And indeed it is. But am I being greedy by asking why isn't it all I would ever need? Why isn't there a version with more robust construction? And why isn't there a version thats as fast and easy to use in difficult situations as a DSLR? Is it really impossible to design and manufacture a CSC that could handle what the OM4 Ti and MZ series could handle?

Because I buy and use a lot of different cameras, people assume I have some version of Gear Aquisition Syndrome. However, in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. I would love to work with just 2 or 3 cameras, one of which would be a identical backup. Its what I did with the MZ's, before that Nikons and before that Contax. For example I used a Contax 139 Quartz and a Pentax 645 for years. Just the two cameras, and two prime lenses for each. I travelled Europe with those two cameras, up Scottish mountains, the Alps, the Pyrenees and all over France, shooting images for my British and French picture libraries. They did the job, never broke down and did everything I asked of them. 

Since starting with digital, I've had so many cameras, I've lost count. Yes the sensors keep improving, but not that fast, and I often feel that camera development is getting away from me. There are too many of the damn things and they keep on coming, and coming, and coming.......

Is the NEX-7 the answer? God, I hope so. Even if its only close, I may decide to stick with it for a while. 

Is it too much to ask for:-

Good image quality
Fast responsive AF and shutter release
Enough pixels to cover A3 with some moderate cropping
Reasonably sturdy build quality
Decent lens choice (Native or via adapters)
The ability to change settings quickly and easily
A good viewfinder (optical or EVF)
All of the above in a body less than 500g

If my D7000 was half (OK I'd settle for 2/3rds) the weight and there were some lighter zooms, I'd be home and dry. I could live with that. I'd have two of those and keep the Leica M9 as my own personal camera. Notice no m4/3 in there, despite the piece above. 

That is because I have no confidence that m4/3 is going in the direction I want. There's talk of a "pro" GF camera, but I'll believe it when I see it and I bet Panasonic will find some way to make it really small. Olympus seem convinced that 12MP is all anybody "needs" and though makers of the worlds most stylish cameras, don't seem to put as much energy into making them easy to use. Samsung seem to be copying the existing Sony NEX, ever smaller bodies with huge great zoom lenses and so I'm left with a limited choice.

I have a lot riding on the NEX-7. The spec. is spot on as far as I'm concerned and I'm just hoping that it will handle well and be responsive. Despite my earlier reservations, the NEX-C3 actually ticks more boxes than I thought it would. If it had a viewfinder, or the ability to have one bolted on then I'd actually be very happy with it. m4/3 fans will probably be up in arms at this, but it (and the kit lens) actually feel much more robust to me than my m4/3 gear. Whether in the long run, this is actually the reality, I can't say, but it does have a solidity to it. The GF1 certainly had that, but none of the m4/3 lenses has ever given me the confidence to treat them with anything other than great care. 

So we'll see.

In the meantime a gallery of images from the D7000, which despite the weight and bulk of both itself and the lenses it uses, is still the camera that works best for me at the moment.

Nikon D7000 24mm f/2.8D

Nikon D7000 16-85mm zoom lens

Nikon D7000 16-85mm zoom lens

Nikon D7000 16-85mm zoom lens

Nikon D7000 16-85mm zoom lens

Nikon D7000 16-85mm zoom lens