Sometimes I get really fed up with these middling, intermediate, hybrid, mirrorless, neither one thing or the other cameras or DSLR's still rule, OK!







All images - Fuji X-E1 18-55mm Zoom

There is no doubt that the Fuji X-E1 takes a fine snap. Great colour, sharpness, terrific at high ISO's etc. But in common with lots of mirrorless / E.V.I.L / CSC / Lookaleicas (or indeed Leicas) it suffers from some cost cutting enthusiast / hobbyist compromises which irritate me. In the case of the Fuji the worst is the poor battery life and slowness of response. And in this case one is responsible for the other. 

In order to get as many shots as possible out of a battery and to not get caught out with no power when it dies and needs replacing (which of course is just when the great shot appears in front of your lens!) I have power save switched on. Since there is no proper battery power meter, its impossible to know how much is left. Consequently, I have a delay while the camera powers up again. On the day I shot these images, I was working in sunlight that was appearing and disappearing quite quickly through fast moving clouds. I would then miss a shot and have to wait while a large cloud passed by. This is in stark contrast to my Nikon V1, which because it has a decent sized battery and an accurate battery meter, is always ready to take the shot. And of course my Nikon DSLR's have no problems in that regard.

This is a concern I have about the Leica X Vario. A review I read indicated that its not that fast to autofocus and the battery life isn't that great. Since its the same battery as the X1 and X2, that isn't surprising. This is making me think again about buying one. I don't really want a camera that responds like the Fuji, which much as I like it, does often really irritate me. In many ways I do find that the anticipation and preparation I have to go through with the X-E1 when I'm using manually focusing lenses actually means that I'm more likely to get the shot.

This is not a problem with just the X-E1. m4/3 cameras suffer from it too. The Olympus Pens are pretty bad for battery life and until the GH3 so were the Panasonics. NEX cameras are a bit better but none of these are close to either my Nikon DSLR's or the V1's, which are all ready all the time and respond instantly, or as near as dammit.

Some of these hybrids also have these seriously limp shutters. While the almighty clunk from the D800E can wake the dead, it does say loud and clear 'GOT THE SHOT' whereas the Fuji and the m4/3 cameras I've used say 'Well maybe'. The NEX cameras are certainly better for this. I always thought whenever I took a picture with a m4/3 camera that I was using a too slow shutter speed as the sound was similar to that, I've lost count of the number of times I checked to see if that was the case. Electronic shutters are better, as they tend to be quicker responding and that is a great advantage for the V1's. However when I change it to the 'normal' shutter. its just as flaccid as the others.

The final thing about these non-DSLR's that irritate me, is because of their size and the lack of 'real estate' on the cameras, controls, dials and knobs are all smaller and crammed together more and its easier to change something by mistake. And again the V1's aren't immune from this. 

All of this contributed to a feeling that I had when I returned home after shooting the above images, that I wanted to stick with DSLR's only. I won't of course, but it is frustrating. And yes I know 'there's no such thing as a free lunch' and there is a trade-off for the small size and lightness of these non-DSLR cameras, but I can always hope!