Reflections & Resolutions & a New Year

Going forward into 2021 I’ve decided that making grand new years resolutions is a waste of time, for me at least. If 2020 has taught me anything its that the best laid plans can be screwed up at a moments notice. I’d wager that there wasn’t a single person going into 2020 that thought that the year would change so dramatically and drastically, or that we would spend weeks & months enduring lock downs.

It certainly wasnt on my radar.

My forward planning consisted of collecting some good images and looking at replacing my current camera gear with something a little more updated, preferably well in advance of my impending retirement.

Unfortunately I had to settle for a good used Canon 700D setup, and while there was absolutley nothing wrong with the 700D I never really got along with it. It did help my decide that I prefer the all in one solution that the top end bridge cameras provide, and while there are compromises with this type of camera, they arent sufficiently large enough to really be as big a drawback as one may think.

In regards to 2021 and “Akiwiretrospective”, I have for some time been considering whether to continue the blog and if so in what form. For now at least it will continue as it has been. I want to watch where the camera manufacturers go with new technologies and upcoming releases.

I have watched the trend to full frame mirrorless systems from most of the major industry players as well as the demise of Olympus, with no small amount of alarm. While the Full Frame trend may be music to the ears of some within the Pro Photography world and the upmarket enthusiast ranks, given the pricing structure being employed, for most of us on a average budget these cameras are well outside the expenditure level of the average hobbyist.

Take for example the new Canon RP plus the 24-240 mm lens, being sold as a kit. At $3795.00 NZD a pricey bit of kit, or the EOS R body only at $3480.00. The pricing is even worse when it comes to the R5 & R6. Nikons Z5 & Z6 while somewhat better placed pricewise still set the owner back a serious amount of funds. Not as hefty as their Canon counter parts to be sure but just how many of the enthusiast/hobby owners actually need a full frame camera?

Panasonic’s S series full frame mirrorless cameras are in the same price echelon and also need a substansial investment.

At present the major camera makers are still producting lower tier cameras, with the likes of Canons rebel series DSLR’s and the 90D range. Its getting to the point where these differing crop sensors cameras are likely to morph into one main offering and a low specced budget line as an entry level point.

Fujifilm is not immune to the high priced market either with their XT3 & XT4 range of cameras being stratopherically priced and in some instances (depending upon the kit offered ) match or exceed the cost of some Full Frame camera offerings.

In Fuji’s favour they actually have a range of lower tiered products to encompass just about any need, From the XA line, the X-T 100/200, the XE line or the XT 20/30 as well as Xpro theres something for just about everyone. In the new camera sector Fuji still has one of the best quality camera lineups out there. Staying with the crop sensor system has been (IMHO) a very smart move. Given the huge print size available from the likes of the XT4 for pro level use, if you need anything bigger then the GFX medium format range is the next step. A huge step in price too but for a good many Pro Photographers I have no doubt 50 or 100 megapixel medium format cameras are a big attraction, especially if huge print sizes are needed.

I see little to suggest that Olympus will continue in its current product lineup for much longer now that the company has been sold, and Pentax still seem on the verge of oblivion, which I personally would hate to see as I’m a long time fan & user of the Pentax brand.

We are going to see the traditional camera market continue to shrink as the smartphone becomes even more adept at photographic work, as well as producing excellent video quality, providing you dont need a large zoom range. However the telephoto aspect of some of the top tier smartphones is becoming increasingly better as technology is developed to improve this function while allowing for improved image quality. It would no longer be smart to ignore the smartphone world as a good many users are finding that they are getting excellent results without having to tote around a bag of heavy camera gear.

For my wife and myself going forward we will be looking at purchasing a gimbal for our smartphones for both photographic & video work, and I’m almost certain that the Sony RX10 IV will be my next camera for general purpose photography. It brings in one package 95% of all the things I need from a camera. As for the powerzoom rather than manual zoom lens – I will no doubt learn to adapt and adjust my shooting technique. We will just have to see what the new year brings. Until then,

Happy Snappin’

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