Today Leica Camera announced Leica Australia's first camera, the LEICA Q (TYP 116) AUSTRALIA EDITION, which I am unofficially nicknaming "The 'Marlow'", after renowned Australian Street and Documentary Photographers and In-Public member Jesse Marlow, who is the product ambassador for the Leica Q Camera.
For those of you that read my article called ‘Clash of the Titans’ which was featured on Steve Huff’s website, you know that the Noctilux and fast lenses in general spark a lot of interest from all kinds of photographers; not only for their abilities to provide faster shooting speeds in low light conditions, but more so for their unique rendering and signatures of the way they capture light and draw out of focus areas.
The Noctilux-M is quite possibly Leica’s biggest celebrated lens, and is the star-child of the company’s lens design history. Historically, it has always been a 50mm lens, starting with the 50mm f/1.2 in 1966, then the different variants made with an f/1 aperture in 1976, and then the current model pushed to an incredible f/0.95 in 2008. Fast forward almost 10 years and we are blessed with Leica’s latest marvel, in a 75mm focal length, and technically their slowest speed Noctilux to date.
Do you prefer prime lenses to zoom lenses? Have you been told by influencers and photo enthusiasts that prime/fixed lenses are the better way to go? Well I’m writing this article to help dispel the notion that prime lenses are better than zooms.
When I first started photography some 25 years ago, I was told that prime lenses were far superior to zooms lenses. The reasons for this were primarily based on performance and application, which came down to the limits of technology at the time, as well as prime lenses having significant advantages in low light due to their fast maximum apertures, allowing for faster shutter speeds when using film at ISO 800 and below.
After my first go at the TL2, I was interested in testing it further to see if it could work as a professional backup to my SL, and that is what I looked to test in this brief field test. The SL is an amazing performer and as Leica’s first attempt at the professional 35mm market, they really delivered beyond my expectations, and it has continued to be my 'go-to camera' for all my professional work for the last 2 years......
.....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.