Leica Sony Fuji Nikon Canon | ISO performance and other matters

Sinde dansanphoto Yo Dona Leica M9

Above: Former spanish Minister of Culture at her home, for Yo Dona magazine in 2011. Shot with Leica M9 and sum micron 35 IV. ISO might be 800.


These are the cameras I have been using and testing for the last months/years:

Leica X1

Leica M9

Leica M Monochrome

Canon 700D

Nikon D800

Sony a7

Sony a7r

Sony A99

Fuji X100

Fuji X-Pro1 

In the past few years there has been a great advance in digital cameras, and sensors have improved a lot in ISO and render overall.

As a pro I have been using Canon 5D and 5D MarkII most of my digital years, missing a camera that would feel as an extension of my arm, just like it happened with my film Nikon FM2, Hasselblad 500C or Contax G2.

Then Leica M9 arrived and I worked with it as it was the only camera in the market that would have such quality in that size. Expensive, but worth the quality in its lenses.

A bit more than a year later, a new Fuji showed up in the market: X-Pro1. A bit noisy focusing, a bit slow some said, but in the end and after some firmware updates, a great camera was born. To stay. And new Fuji’s would eventually come to compete with Leica M new releases, at lower prices, together with Sony.

At the end of last year I sold my Canon and moved to Nikon D800. I was tired of Canon abusive prices (5D MarkIII). 36Mp in D800 is too much, but other than that, I am quite happy to work with this camera on assignments.

But, for reportage, street and travel photography I have been looking for something to move light in weight, with a sensor capable of a high ISO of up to 6.400 with without excuses. Leica M9 worked well up to 1250 (or 1.600).

I had a Leica X1 before buying the M9. Then bought a Fuji X100 and, after two years, I swaped it for another X1 almost new. X1 is a fine sensor and lens that it’s worth its price. A bit slow, but really good. X100 is maybe just as good but more complex. Any amateur will enjoy the X1 but may not be confortable with the X100, as it requires some knowledge in photography to get the best results.

In the past few months I have been testing a few cameras other than mine: Thanks to Sony that lend me a Sony a7r and after a A99, @fotomaf that showed me his a7, @Rafael_Garcia his X-Pro1 or Antonio Sánchez Barriga his Leica M Monochrome.

I would like to show you some photos made with all this cameras, including a Canon 700D which I bought just for home made videos (I make Pro videos with D800 or 5D MarkII o MarkIII).

Basically, what I always look for is to «wear» a camera that end up being and extension of my arm, capable of good ISO performing and just as fast as I need sometimes. Not many buttons, just the ABC as we used to do with film cameras. Period.

Of course, depending on your type of photography, sports, news, fashion, street, travel, children, etc. your needs will be different. Photokina is just around the corner and I can’t wait to find out the new releases, specially the Fuji X-Pro2. And waiting to get a chance to try the Fuji X-T1 that might leave D800 at home. ¿Or Sony a7r o a7s maybe?

I will list them as per ISO, begining from 100 to higher ISO, up to 12.800. If you want to play and guess which camera every photo was shot with, then by the end of August I will publish the list of every photo with the camera it was made with.

 If you want to write down comments here to guess the matching game, it would be interesting to find out if you can guess by the look of a photograph, the ISO results, etc.

Espero vuestros comentarios sobre los resultados que observáis en cada foto, y también si creéis que sabéis con qué cámara están hechas. Gracias.

I already have my thoughts about all this camera thing, and I will comment with you all in the final post.

Share with your colleagues, Like, +1 or RT if you like. Thanks.


PHOTOS ISO 100-800: (Click to enlarge)

PHOTOS ISO 1000-1600: (Click to enlarge)

PHOTOS ISO 2.000-12.800: (Click to enlarge)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.