Happy 2018

Stephan F. Austin Mural - Austin, Texas

Stephan F. Austin Mural – Austin, Texas

Happy New Year!

When I was down at the Blanton Museum last week, I took a walk around the University of Texas and documented the quiet, middle of winter break, campus. There’s a famous mural off Guadalupe Street which has a nice visual pop. Tourists where taking snaps and I conveniently jumped into the action.

How did 2017 go and what’s up for 2018?

I was reading over my predictions and hopes of 2017, and they were mostly spot on. I made no dramatic equipment changes, still using Micro 4/3 as my core system. As I reported a couple of days ago, I bought a number of cameras in 2017, mostly very inexpensive. I’m going out on a limb to say that I’ll be buying a lot less in 2018. Why? At this point, I have almost every category of camera, especially since I just filled my 1 inch sensor needs, with the Canon G7X Mark II.

What’s missing? Medium format digital and large format film, neither of which I plan to get into, anytime soon. There are super zooms with 1 inch sensors, like the Sony RX10, which also don’t interest me. Remarkably, I still don’t have a 4K video capable camera. It’s a nice to have but not essential since video is not a priority.

My biggest gear change in 2017? My software switch from Apple’s Aperture 3 to Capture One. The transition has gone smoothly, and I know I owe you a writeup on the new software. The more sophisticated RAW processing has enabled more fancy post processing on my part. I’m happy with what the new software enables. The library management, however, still falls behind Aperture 3, but it’s acceptable.

My biggest photographic change in 2017? Black and white portraits. I’ve created a number portraits from the street and at Drink and Clicks which started in earnest last year. The number of black and whites in general have also grown, driven by the monochrome mode on the Olympus PEN-F and the increased post-processing capability of Capture One.

What do I have planned for 2018?

No major gear changes. I expect the Olympus micro 4/3 will remain my primary system. It does almost everything I need it to do. And while I may buy less cameras, I’m tempted by the Pro Olympus lenses. They’ve been shipping awfully nice glass lately. If Olympus releases an OM-D E-M5 Mark III, I’m sure that will interest me, but I’ll try hard not to succumb.

Every couple of years, I go on a quest for the perfect pants pocketable camera. My latest attempt is the Canon G7X Mark II, but there’ve been others in the past. I’m certainly going to shoot with this new Canon for while, analyzing its place in the toolset. Inevitably, I’ll be posting many photos. I see it as a replacement for the Ricoh GR. Carrying it when I just want one small camera, or as part of a multi-camera package along with my Olympus setup.

So how did 2017 go for you? What are your plans for the coming year?

May you have a happy, healthy and creative 2018.

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6 thoughts on “Happy 2018

  1. Me, less is becoming for me and I’m seriously considering going to a single digital camera (plus iPhone). I just need to convince you that you need my X-T2 in your arsenal. 😉 Happy New Year.

    1. The problem with getting something like an X-T2 is that you’re buying into a system, which means, inevitably, needing more lenses.

      I have the Olympus micro 4/3 system, the Canon EOS and Pentax Q system too. I don’t need to buy into yet another system, unless it does something remarkably better than anything I have currently, which I doubt.

  2. Greetings –
    For me in 2018 there will be a new smart phone to replace the aging S-5 which gives me photos like my old Kodak instamatic. Who knew that smart phones would take over the world. I think the Samsung Note 8 might move my phone photography ahead – I can use the Stylus for work items, like the removable mico-SD card and actual ear phone jack, and it gets me a lot closer to current standards. I think the Iphone might be better, but this is close enough. Price is way too high right now so I’ll wait a bit.

    No other camera purchases planned for 2018 unless some crazy deals come up. If I could come up with a theme for the next big thing – professional quality in a simple package with good controls and great pictures.

    1 – Waiting for a Pan. GM-5-like small camera with int. lenses, image stab, and just of few of those Fuji-like controls. Keep it simple, give us easy to get to settings, and good image quality. Too bad Ricoh fell asleep after the 1st GR. That concept with a few updates would be great. You have your Canon, others have their Sony RX-100-5, and I hope some other brands discover this too.

    2 – Olympus micro 4/3rds is my prefered every day shooter (EM-1). I think we will continue to see some evolution here – better focusing and low light perf. seems to be comming. No pro lenses for me now but about 8 of those wonderful little primes, and cheap but decent zooms. I could see that Pan 8-18 and Oly 12-100 (large size and all) down the road. The Oly has even been seen on the refurb. site so prices might break a bit over the next year. 100 yr aniversary coming up too – surprise us! An updated Pen F would be great too.

    3- Nikon: Some progress as of late, and those mirror-less cameras might have some potential if they don’t give us 2106 technology at a big price. I’m finishing my own disertation, but someone should write a book on how Nikon and Canon gave their future away to anyone who would take it. Throw out those 100 year corporate plans everyone was braggin about in the 1970’s and get moving ahead. I have several Nikon lenses waiting for a D-500S/850 or whatever gets cooked up for the future. I will own a Nikon again but I hope its a good one – I can see D-7200’s going for $500 on the refurb. site over the next year. That’s a lot of camera for the price.

    1. Hi Chris, great to hear from you.

      Your goals and approach makes a lot of sense. Is the Panasonic LX100 too big for you? The prices have started to go down. Certainly for the same price as my Canon G7X Mark II, the LX100 is a better camera. Just somewhat larger and not pants pocketable.

      I think I got all of the smaller Olympus lens, except of the 12mm f2. That’s why I’ve started to look at the Pro lenses. But I’m cautious. The Pro lenses are larger and I don’t want to lose one of the big advantages of the compact micro 4/3 system.

      I’ve increasingly seen more sales on Nikon gear, even newer models. I wonder how their DSLRs are selling? I also wonder if Nikon is willing or able to invest in a new mirrorless system, after their unsuccessful Nikon 1 system.

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