Comparing Out of Camera Images from the Fuji GFX 50S vs the Leica SL, Leica M10, and Leica Q

I was visiting one of my "regular" stores in Shanghai a couple of days ago when their first shipment of the new medium-format Fuji cameras arrived on their doorstep. Oddly enough I had actually been at the store trying out Leica's medium-format model, the S. The store owner persuaded me to try the Fuji instead, assuring me that she'd take it back if I didn't want it...

Unfortunately the weather here has been awful these past two days, and I was also inundated with work, so I haven't had the opportunity to try the Fuji outdoors.

However, last night I decided to do a simple comparison between it and my current Leica workhorses, with an indoor shot at home.

The following are three sets of photos from the four cameras.  All were taken using each camera's aperture-priority automatic exposure settings, at ISO 100, auto white balance, and at f/8, approximately at 28mm focal length (Summilux-M 28mm on the M10, the respective kit zoom lenses on the SL and GFX). No adustments whatsoever were made.

  1. Compressed to 2mb JPEGs (done simply with OSX's built-in Preview application)
  2. Enlarged samples of each of the above JPEGs (screenshots from Preview zooms)
  3. Compressed to 2.5mb JPEGs from RAWs converted in Adobe Lightroom (NEW)
  4. Enlarged samples of each of the above JPEGs from RAWs (NEW)
  5. Out of camera JPEGs (as downloadable files - will upload this weekend)

1. Out of Camera JPEGs Equally Compressed to 2MB JPEGs

The original JPEG files were all different in sizes (probably due to the different types of in-camera processing being done).

Leica Q

Leica M10

Leica SL

Fuji GFX 50S

2. Enlarged samples of each of the above JPEGs

Leica Q

Leica M10

Leica SL

Fuji GFX 50S

3. Compressed to 2.5mb JPEGs from RAWs converted in Adobe Lightroom (NEW)

Leica Q

Leica M10

Leica SL

Fuji GFX 50S

4. Enlarged samples of each of the above JPEGs from RAWs Converted in Lightroom (NEW)

Leica Q

Leica M10

Leica SL

Fuji GFX 50S

Comments

So I used the GFX over the past weekend, and have now decided to return it, along with the zoom lens and 50mm equivalent lens I got at the same time. It's certainly a great camera from a technical standpoint - great resolution and dynamic range, but very very difficult for me to use for my style of street/documentary photography.

Why you ask. The following is why:

  1. It is just too heavy, even with the 50mm-equivalent prime lens.
  2. The autofocus is too slow for quick shots on the street.
  3. Very difficult to zone-focus - there is no distance markings on the lens (I typically set my M lenses to a certain distance and adjust by feel depending on where the lens tab is at the bottom).
  4. The flip-out screen is great for indoor/studio/tripod use, but on the street if you have it pulled out the camera gets even bigger, and starts to look like a BFG from Quake.
  5. It is just too big - specifically, to get close to my subjects with it.

I was thinking about keeping it for special purposes, but somehow I think it would become a white elephant. At least for me.

Here's to hoping Leica come out with an improved SL or S camera later this year!

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Rainy Weekend Visit to Tai O Fishing Village

Last Saturday we decided to make the best of a wet (and very cold) day by visiting a place that we'd never been before - Tai O Fishing Village on Lantau Island. From the Ferry Terminal in Central (Pier 6) it takes about 20 minutes to get to Mui Wo on the island (via the "Fast" Ferry), and then it's another 30 minutes or so to Tai O, by bus.

While not large (you can probably walk from one end of the village to the other, as the crow flies, in about 15 minutes), one could spend an entire day here, as it is laid out as a small maze of interconnected streets and what look like temporary lanes, filled with many small retail shops and an even larger number of street food stores, which seem to be what most of the local visitors to Tai O come for. Be prepared therefore for long queues for the "best" waffle shop in the village, or the "best" donut shop, or the "best" omelette shop, etc.

To be brutally honest, we found most of the above food items mediocre at best, but I suppose if you wait 15 minutes for anything it tastes pretty good by default!

The one thing we did enjoy (or at least I did) was the barbecued dried seafood items, especially the drilled (dried) puffer fish.

In line with this theme of dried seafood items, there are many, many stores here that sell the countless varieties of this - dried oysters, dried scallops, dried fish bladders, dried fish skin, etc, etc ad nauseam.  Prices are frankly not much cheaper (if at all) than at the stores in Wanchai, but there is certainly a much larger range of items.

I think what we found most interesting was the opportunity to observe the local residents going about their regular activities - one of the most common of which were the mahjong games that one can observe through many of the open doorways.

All in all we thought it was an interesting outing, and we'll probably visit again sometime soon, perhaps when the weather gets better!

Happy Valentines Day!

I wanted to use a recent photo to mark today's celebration of love, but somehow this one from last year kept coming into my mind. This couple was hugging each other so passionately that they were oblivious to everything around them. I will never know if they were about to be separated or if they had just come back to each other... Of course I hope it was the latter. Happy Valentine's Day everyone

"Valentine's Day on the Train". ”地铁上的情人节”。"День Святого Валентина в поезде." © Jon She 2016.

"Valentine's Day on the Train". ”地铁上的情人节”。"День Святого Валентина в поезде." © Jon She 2016.