Frankly, I have no idea!
FujiFilm GFX 100S? 102 megapixel BSI sensor in a (slightly smaller than) GFX 50S/Xg style body, in body stabilisation (IBIS), for ‘just’ £6000, potentially the best digital camera on the market at any price? Highly likely to crush sales and drive down the ridiculously bloated prices of cameras like the EOS R5, Panasonic S1R (does anyone actually buy these?!), Sony A7R IV and the Nikon Z 7 II. Just imagine, in a couple of years time you will be able to buy a used GFX 100S for under 3 grand…….surely this is the REAL game changer in digital photography?
FujiFilm GFX 50S? Without a doubt the FujiFilm GFX 50 cameras are capable of producing sublime images with a ridiculous amount of detail, but for most landscapes, only when using the tedious focus bracketing/stacking method. An easy to use intervalometer and a 60 minute maximum (minimum depending on your view!) shutter speed mean there is no need for any external clutter. Maybe the GFX 50S needs revisiting at some stage in the future, the regular firmware updates are more than enough for most manufacturers to introduce a ‘Mk II’ camera…..take note Nikon! Likely to be some great GFX 50 deals available once the GFX 100S arrives.
FujiFilm GFX 100? Huge, ugly, no proper dials, no proper grip so a nightmare to hand hold. However, it produces the best images you will see from any currently available camera with the possible exception of the 150 megapixel Phase Ones, it is worth noting though that you could buy 3 GFX 100 bodies for the price of a Phase One 150MP back. Refurbished and used prices are now under £7000 so to some people it is becoming affordable, prices likely to drop like a stone now though with the announcement of the GFX 100S.
FujiFilm X-Pro 3 or X-T4? Other than the built-in intervalometer and 15 minute shutter speed I see no reason to buy either of these cameras. Too many small pixels squeezed onto a tiny APS-C sensor and 15 frames per second, maybe great for ‘spray and pray’ snappers but of no use for any kind of ‘real’ photography. The X-Pro 3 even has a hidden rear LCD so you can pretend you are shooting film or with a Leica M-D or M10-D. Should you wish to review your X-Pro 3 images on the rear screen it hinges out like the huge air brake on a McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle jet fighter, almost doubling the height of the camera…genius! The prices have crept up as well, both of these cameras are in the same price range as 24 megapixel full frame bodies and in many cases the lenses are more expensive, I really have no idea why anyone would purchase a FujiFilm X-T4 instead of a Sony A7 III. I’ve long held the opinion that even the cheapest Fujinon lenses are close to maximising the potential of the antiquated Sony based X-Trans sensors, so there is no point at all wasting your hard earned cash on anything other than my 2 recommended FujiFilm options;
Either the X-Pro 2 or X-T2 cameras plus the Fujinon XC 15-45mm F3.5-5.6 OIS PZ and XC 50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS II lenses or the X-Pro 1 paired with the Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R or XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS lenses (the XC 15-45 lens does not work properly with the X-Pro 1).
Bought sensibly as good used items from somewhere like London Camera Exchange you will have change in your pocket from £1000 with the first option or a total spend of only around £500 for the X-Pro 1 choice. When you have got bored with the small sensor simply sell the gear to MPB who will give you almost as much as you paid from LCE in the first place!
Canon EOS R5? ‘The Game Changer’ according to Canon? Possibly, if you have only ever used Canon SLRs, but not for me, the shutter speeds still only go as far as 30 seconds, so completely useless for long exposures and tracked astro photography. This means having to use a cable release and timer or something like a CamRanger and iPad combo….ie. cumbersome and hopeless in the dark. 20 frames per second, ie. Russian Roulette with a camera, shoot and hope for the best. 8k RAW video (don’t burn your fingers!), (up to) 8 stop image stabiliser (with a certain lens, in certain conditions, on the 29th February etc.), 5940 autofocus positions, who cares they are just numbers on a spec sheet, some would go as far as to say gimmicks. Stupidly expensive as well (as are most of the RF lenses), both FujiFilm GFX 50 models and the Sony A7R IV cameras are cheaper, plus their lenses are much better. I haven’t managed to try an R5 yet (had hoped to at the postponed Photography Show way back in March 2020) but what about the most important thing, the images? So far, the ones I’ve seen, even from some trusted eminent photographers, look ordinary, flat and indistinguishable from say an EOS 5D Mark IV or EOS R photograph. That means there is nothing at all wrong with them but NOT game changing (ie. no better than what is already available), compare them to a GFX 50 image and you will see what I mean. Even the Nikon Z 7 and Sony A7R III and IV have a bit of that “I was there” 3D look to the images, but I haven’t seen anything like that so far from the R5. David Noton mentioned that the R5 is enjoyable to use though and that for me is one of the most important things about any photographic item, if it is a chore to use then you are never going to realise your creative potential. Photographers who have loyally stayed with D(inosaur)SLRs, with a small fortune tied up in lenses, will of course find the ability to view real time depth of field and review the images in the viewfinder (as well as all the other advantages of a modern mirrorless camera) to be a revelation and therefore enjoyable. It also appears that Canon have finally realised that mirrorless cameras do actually require specifically designed lenses to fulfil their potential rather than simply building adaptors into their existing lens range and calling it an RF lens. So even if you are diehard Canon user the EOS R5 does not have to be your only choice as you will have to buy a whole new range of lenses as well to go with your new mirrorless camera. Did I mention that Sony’s best lenses are in a different league to anything currently made by Canon or Nikon?! The game has changed and some of the big players are facing relegation.
Canon EOS R6? Why would you when there are cameras like the Sony A7 III and A7C available with much better lenses? If you do decide to buy one make sure you invest in some decent oven gloves as well…….
Nikon Z 7 II? Not likely! Having made the mistake of buying the Z 7 there is no chance of being bitten twice. Both the Z 7 II and the Z 6 II are produced in Thailand now that Nikon’s esteemed Sendai factory in Japan has ended camera production. I really don’t understand the ‘wows’ about this camera from people, who should know better, that handed over nearly £3000 less than 2 years ago to buy the original Z 7 for the dubious ‘privilege’ of being test pilots, they now seem more than happy forking out another 3 grand for the same thing with just a few small improvements, things that should have been on the camera in the first place. This is a camera that Nikon really ought to be offering a Z 7 scrappage deal on. Neither the Z 7 II nor the Canon EOS R5 make images any better than the Sony A7R III, let alone the newer A7R IV, the ‘elderly’ A7 III still focuses better than any of the aforementioned cameras, Sony’s lenses are better too!
Sony A7S III? Unlikely at the £3799 launch price, but if this 12 and a bit megapixel light devouring monster is as capable at high ISO as its predecessors it is probably the gold standard for astro and night sky photography, especially when paired with either the stunning FE 24mm f/1.4 GM or FE 20mm f/1.8 G lenses, the new FE 35mm f/1.4 GM looks to be a stunning optic as well. Sony’s GM and the more recent G lenses really are superb and have taken optical quality to new levels, they are not cheap but the best never is. The A7S III is really a video camera that also takes stills, it also features my pet hate – a shutter speed of only 30 seconds…when will they learn?!
Leica M10R? It would appear that only a handful of Leica’s most mega-expensive lenses are actually suitable for these cameras to deliver their full potential! Yet another manufacturer who is only just beginning to realise that lenses designed for film cameras in the last century don’t work that well with digital. At least the shutter speeds go up to 16 minutes though and commendably this is one of the very few cameras available now that only shoots still images, ie. designed to be used to take photographs. Lets hope the CMOSIS sensor doesn’t corrode like the Kodak CCD in the M9.
Hasselblad X1D? One of the best looking cameras ever made but still in ‘Guinea Pig’ mode, be nice if they ever get round to finishing it. The X1D II came out far too soon after the original and still hasn’t cured some irritations like a far too long blackout when taking a photograph. I doubt if many of the owners of these cameras ever noticed as I would imagine most X1Ds are tucked away in glass cabinets.
Hasselblad 907X 50C? Love the concept of the modular system but I’d struggle to choose it over the FujiFilm GFX 50S (that uses more or less the same sensor) for any reason other than ‘being different’.
Phase One XT? 151 megapixels, integrated camera movements, automated frame averaging, surely this is the ultimate landscape camera system? The downside is the price, to buy one of these cameras, IQ4 digital back and the 5 currently available lenses is more than the total cost all of the cars I’ve ever owned in 40 years of driving……….my recent £25 Premium Bonds win was most welcome but will barely even buy a lens cap for one of the Rodenstock lenses.
Paul Reiffer explains this stunning system in great detail here.
Film? Possibly, fellow Skye resident Marcus McAdam’s excellent Photography Online series has certainly rekindled my interest in shooting film, especially medium or even large format cameras and lenses.