New York City Street Photography with the Sony Nex-7 and the Fuji X Pro 1

New York City Street Photography with the Sony Nex-7 and the Fuji X Pro 1

I tried street photography with my Droid and I tried it with my friend’s iPhone. Not my cup of tea (…yet), my favorite two cameras for street shooting are the Sony Nex-7 and the Fuji X Pro1. Both are considered “rangefinder style” cameras. Small-ish, lightweight, unobtrusive with a pleasant, relatively silent, shutter sound. Both cameras look harmless compared to DSLR’s. more after the break

Reactions from my subjects have been neutral, sometimes even positive, especially when shooting with the X Pro1. The retro look is a definite plus. I love the files from the X Pro1, the clean high ISO in particular, a real advantage when zone focusing.
Zone focusing is where it’s at with the Fuji and the 18mm, it also works with the 35mm. Forget auto focus when shooting moving subjects with the Fuji. You will most certainly miss the shot. However, for stationary subjects or staged street portraits, auto focus and the 35mm f1.4 -wide open on portraits- produce stunning results.
The reason I kept the Sony 16mm pancake lens is for the field of view, equivalent to a traditional 24mm full format lens, pancake form factor and swift auto focus. I tried to avoid shooting wide open, most pictures here were taken at f5.6, a few with the wide angle converter attached. I wish the Nex7 would implement a zone focus indicator like the X Pro1. The other lens I used on the Nex7 is the Sigma 30mm 2.8. Auto focus speed is not quite as fast as on the 16mm, still acceptable and better then on the X Pro1. A few shots from the Panasonic GH2 made it into the mix, still a great camera for street :)

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10 thoughts on “New York City Street Photography with the Sony Nex-7 and the Fuji X Pro 1

  1. Craig

    I’ll be right behind you on that one. The RX100 is the camera we have all been waiting for (as Steve Huff says) since this whole thing started! Have fun and I look forward to your thoughts and review on it.

  2. mike.kobal Post author

    thanks Craig! yeah, I know, I was very tempted to get the V1 exactly for that reason. I think I found the perfect mini street camera now with the RX100, absolutely silent shutter, crazy fast AF, same sensor size as the time to take it out yet, soon though :)

  3. Craig

    Hi Mike, is there no type of photography you don’t excel in? Great work. I know the Nikon V1 is considered a toy by many, but coming from a guy who’s had a camera in his hands for 30 years (me), it’s a brilliant street camera. With the 10mm f/2.8 pancake lens attached (27mm equivalent) it’s brilliant, even wide open! And, the cool part, the autofocus is a NEVER miss. And I mean never! Even using multi point focus (which I’ve never, ever trusted and I’ve had AF cameras since mid 80s). I wrote a short article about the camera on SteveHuffPHoto here:
    Will it replace the two above cameras, no. But I think you’ll love it on the street. Plus it’s touch (well built), tiny and light.

    Again, and as always, great work! Thanks for the inspiration.


  4. mike.kobal Post author

    thanks John. approx 10% GH2, 40% Nex7, 50% XPro1. Overall, 25% from the hip and some low angle shots using the articulated lcd on the GH2 and the Nex7. I disabled the touch screen function on the GH2 (too many accidental changes when rubbing against the jacket). I definitely prefer zone focusing with the Xpro1 over AF on the Nex7.

  5. John

    Mike I like your street shots with the Fuji and Nex. You seem to be shooting from a lower angle in quite a few shots, were you shooting using the screen or perhaps just shooting from the hip sometimes? I only notice because I am tall and it can be a pain for me to get low. What percentage of the shots were done with each camera? Did you prefer the zone focusing technique on the xpro1 over the automatic focusing on the Nex? Also. How do you like the touch screen shooting on the GH2 in these settings, I am betting some of the low shots were from that. Great work, very enjoyable to see it. Keep up the good work!

  6. mp4podcast

    Mike the green tint to the black and white is really nice. I think this is your best street photography video you made so far a lot of great photos.

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