2013 Photo Wish List


It begun to get really chilly and Santa is probably getting his reindeer ready, so if you haven’t written your wish list, this is certainly the time to do it. I thought about mine, but I couldn’t really make up my mind what to ask for and so the list is rather long and with many options.

645DFplus-with-IQ260-back.ashxIf Santa would not have any financial limitations, certainly I hope this is the case, then I would go pro all the way. Number one on my list is the Phase One IQ260 with a 645DF+ body and some of those beautiful Schneider leaf shutter lenses. Why the IQ260 and not the IQ280 you ask? The IQ260 is a breakthrough product. Although the resolution is a touch lower it sports the best long exposure on the market, at 60 minutes noise free photographs with 16-bit brilliant color and 13f stops of dynamic range. With this product Phase One beat itself, as the previous winner for long exposures was the P45+.

Leaf-shutter-lenses-new-familyThe IQ260 back is so good, that, even if you are a true photo geek, you can easily forget about upgrading for at least a few years. Usually the life cycle of Phase One backs is even longer. Photographers often shoot with one for a decade and are happy with the results. Although resolution of sensors keeps on getting higher, at this quality level it does not matter that much for the majority. The better high ISO performance might often be a stronger temptation for an upgrade to the new 260, as it opens up new creative possibilities for low light shooting. You can read more about the IQ260 here (article by Doug Peterson on Luminous Landscape).

nikon-d800eEnough said, my second choice lays among DSLR realm. It is a combo of the Nikon D800E paired together with the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4. If Santa pays in checks, this will have one digit less, which should make him happy as I might have broken the bank with my first request.

Zeiss Otus 1.4 55mm ZESince its launch the D800E has proved itself as a trustworthy performer. Maybe the new Sony a7R, which sports the same sensor, yet with a very different design, does have slightly better image characteristics. Tests seem to prove this to be true. Even though there is a small difference in image quality, it seems marginal, when we compare the differences of the whole systems. Nikon has established itself in the 35mm realm with countless cameras, film and digital, and there is an amazing amount of accessories and lenses for the system. Availability of a wide range of high quality lenses is a decisive point for me. This is also where the Zeiss Otus comes in. The “king of primes”, if it may be called this way, is a new quality among DSLR lenses. With it Zeiss brings the optical quality of the lens to the level of modern sensors. You may read more about the Otus here.

sigma merill dp3In case I wasn’t good enough this year, let’s make some backup requests. There are so many great cameras out there now, not to mention lenses and accessories. The Sigma Merrill line is a great idea, Santa if you’re short on cash than one of these please: Sigma DP2 or DP3 Merrill. Both of them have the same Foveon x3 sensor, which made the boys at Luminous Landscape so amazed  with the large stunning prints from the files from this tiny camera. It might not be an all rounder like the Sony RX100 II, or the Fujifilm X100S, but it gives amazing quality at very low weight and size. It comes at a cost though, the RAWs from this baby are not fully (or at all) supported by standard RAW developers, so you have to use Sigma’s software, which is not the best solution.

blackmagicpocketcinemacameraangleAs we all know, sometimes Santa makes mistakes, or he just likes to surprise us, push in a new direction. Santa, if you are up to something like that this year,  then instead of a new pair of socks or a snow shovel I would have a different suggestion! The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera please. Again small and light, yet capable of CinemaDNG RAW at full HD. Yes, definately prefer this to the shovel. Please.

Wishing you all a big grin when unpacking your goodies in a few weeks!
Tomasz

 

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