.....One of the most difficult challenges every photographer faces is shooting in low light – often referred to as ‘difficult lighting’. In the last few years camera manufacturers have shifted their focus from increasing the amount of megapixel output to maximising performance in low light by improving noise reduction at high ISOs using improved sensor technology and better in-camera image processing. A lot of my work happens to be in such difficult lighting situations and my tool of choice is of course ‘still’ the Leica SL.......
Leica Camera has just unveiled it’s latest camera in their prosumer TL-System line - the new Leica TL2. For those of you who have read my Leica T review, you’ll remember that it was launched at a time where mirrorless cameras were showing signs of becoming the mainstream ‘go-to’ camera for many amateurs due to the performance to size ratio. Following the T came the world’s first professional mirrorless camera in the SL, which set new standards for the mirrorless system by offering all the benefits of a mirrorless camera with the performance of a full-frame professional SLR. Leica then made some major firmware improvements to the T, and also released the upgrade in the Leica TL. Fast forward to the present, and we now have the Leica TL2.
The Smartphone market is heating up, and it’s fuelled by the top competitors vying for the crown of ‘best camera’. Following the P9, we saw what happened to the popular Note series, and that Apple also entered the dual-camera domain with their addition of another camera in the iPhone 7 PLUS. Google launched the Pixel which has been met with some good reviews for it’s native UI and good camera, but it’s ‘bokeh filter’ didn’t seem to thrill the market as they probably had hoped. It seems there was no better time than to follow up with Huawei’s next top fighter.
Social Media has taken online communications to the next level, giving photography enthusiasts a way to connect and share their work and inspire like-minded enthusiasts, be it of amatuer or professional status. Personally, I set very high standards for my own work, and the same set of standards for those photographers I admire. Every now and then you come across a new photographer you haven't heard of and I had that moment recently while viewing my Facebook timeline.
While doing my usual run down my news feed filled with the usual selfies, complaints about daily life, and crazy posts about Trump, I came across a picture by a picture posted by a guy named Muhammad Imam Hassan......
This is the part I’m most excited to talk about – Monochrome mode! Before I go into detail I do want to address one thing. I’ve had a few people ask why there is no RAW recording option when shooting in Monochrome mode, and I can only assume this is because Leica are probably wanting to save that especially for their M Monochrom customers, who pay very high prices for the luxury of having a Monochrome only sensor, along with RAW recording capabilities. Other than that, the JPEG files that come from shooting in Monochrome on the P9 are amazing, so while DNG files would be a nice addition, it’s not something I really longed for when shooting.
I don’t know about you, but I use my phone’s camera more than any other camera for personal, on-the-go use. The convenience of it being part of your phone and fitting in your pocket is just too hard to ignore, and considering the competitive push by brands like Apple, Samsung, LG, HTC and now Huawei, there’s no doubt that social media is also a major factor for this technology shift.
Having said that, I am proud to say I have been working closely with Huawei on the new P9, which happens to be co-engineered by Leica Camera AG. I created a P9 promotional video on my experience with the P9, and I also shot images for the Australian brochure and advertising material. So I guess you could say I have collated a lot of experience and imagery from the P9, and I’ll be sharing it with you throughout this review.
It brings me great pleasure to show you guys my latest video on the new Huawei Mobile P9, co-engineered by Leica Camera, in collaboration with Huawei Mobile Australia. I've been using the phone as some of you know for the last couple of months. Not only is it an awesome smartphone, but it is truly capable of producing some amazing results with new technology never seen before on smartphones. Special thanks to Pong Boonsoong who captured my interest in the product.
The lusting after bags is as addictive to photographers as the lusting after new gear – GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) is a disease without treatment! A photographer can never have enough cameras, lenses, lighting, and of course, bags. Finding the perfect bag is part of the photographic experience, not unlike the quest for the perfect photograph.
Enter the Oberwerth Freiburg. Possibly the most expensive bag in it’s class and upon first impressions, it would be normal to question why such a simplistic looking bag could (rightfully) command such a high price. I decided to give this bad a very good run through for the last 3 months to really see if it could take the top spot as the no.1 camera bag in this market segment. You may have read my review on the Wotancraft Ryker , which I absolutely love, but it did fall a little short of perfection due to it’s weight, so it I was keen to see if the lighter Oberwerth Freiburg could (literally) give it a run for it’s money.
So by now some of you may have been fortunate enough to secure you very own Leica SL since the November 16 retail release, and I bet there are some excited people out there wondering how well this camera performs – more so over time, and not in an 'extensive' five-minute test. The initial reaction from the market was both positive and maybe a little overwhelming, with many expecting a more compact amateur-based camera. The specs indicate otherwise - a professional mirrorless camera, and that is exactly what the SL is. In fact it is the world’s very first professional mirrorless camera/system. It’s unlike anything we have previously seen, filling the gap left from the R-series, and it’s taken the market by surprise.