After recently commenting on Monte’s post, Monte asked me to show him my frog. I’ve given him a corny name, but most folks who read my blog will get it.
I found Frog at a shop in Bryson City, NC this past fall. I had previously photographed one of his cousins in Columbiana, OH. It is his cousin’s photo that I’ve been using as my avatar, but I may need to change it now that I have my own.
Frog lives on our front porch. He has a solar panel on the back of his head that will make his eyes light up at night. I haven’t turned it on yet. I’m waiting for someone to move into the house across the street. 🙂
The road to our neighborhood leads past a shopping center before ending at a traffic circle. The entrance to our neighborhood as well as a fitness center feeds from the traffic circle.
About once a month, an inattentive truck driver misses the entrance to the Wal-Mart, doesn’t notice the “No Trucks” sign and ends up in the traffic circle. The traffic circle was not meant to accommodate semi trucks, but that doesn’t seem to deter the drivers. What they should do at that point is back up the 100 or so yards and turn into the Wal-Mart entrance, and sometimes they do. But more often than not overconfidence prevails and they try to swing their rig around the circle. When that happens, they invariably snag one of the boulders that was placed around the circle specifically to deter such activity. The rocks usually end up right at the curb, but sometimes they get drug out into the road.
This most recent time, someone helpfully placed construction tape around the rock as a warning to drivers. Then someone came along and added some Christmas bows. The rock is too heavy to move, so it will sit there until someone hires a contractor to move it back. In the mean time, we have a Gift Rock!
The first trash day after Christmas is always interesting, sometimes to see who got what, and sometimes to see who got how much! It looks like someone had a good haul this year.
I hope no one pays much attention to our recycling bin, as it is usually full of empty wine bottles. You can always tell when ours goes into the truck by all the crashing glass! 😉
I woke up this morning, looked out the window and said “oooh, fog!” and not just in my head! 😉
While many of my neighbors (at least those who were awake) were planted in front of the tube with the Weather Channel telling them about the awful weather somewhere they aren’t, I went out and made photos. I’m finding that it is quite interesting what you come across when you have a camera with you. And I’m working on having a camera with me more often.
I hardly ever see film anywhere any more. So I was a bit surprised to see this at a gift shop at Wall Drug. I didn’t check the expiration date. I wonder if they also sell Kodak mailers for processing? 😉
Is this another case of alien abduction, or is there a hiker somewhere in the NC mountains missing a boot? 😉
I wanted to wrap up my thoughts on this camera for anyone who might be interested. Nothing earth-shaking here. Bottom line: I didn’t buy one and won’t be buying one. Below are a few pros and cons, some of which may repeat my earlier post, and all of them are my opinion only:
Excellent image quality – RAW files processed efficiently in Lightroom using the Adobe camera profiles. The “Auto” function in the Develop Module worked amazingly well. I could be comfortable with the results and seldom feel like I am compromising quality if this were my only camera.
Lightweight and Compact – The camera was very well-constructed and has a certain “heft” to it that speaks of quality, but is very light. I use a thin strap on my Fuji cameras, and it would easily accommodate the Leica. Although the Leica probably deserves a fancy custom leather job…. 😉
Good battery life – this is not fully tested since I made a point of recharging it daily. I only had one battery with the rental so I didn’t want to chance running out.
Size – I don’t have large hands, but it is a small camera and seemed to be a little small for me. I never felt like I was going to drop it, but some of the controls were a little touchy.
Manual zoom & focus – The primary zoom mechanism is a toggle switch that surrounds the shutter button. Many camera have that but I just never feel like it is very precise. In addition, there is a lens ring that can be set up to function as a zoom control. I actually prefer that, except that the zoom ring is right next to the aperture ring and I kept inadvertently changing the aperture!
Menus – people complain about menus on all cameras. This one was fine – I was able to figure out just about anything I needed easily. I think I went to the manual a few times but it was mostly out of curiosity.
The “Only Camera” Question – I could see myself having a camera like this as my travel camera. The photos are good enough that I don’t think I would worry about having the “wrong” camera with me if I left the Fuji at home. The zoom range is a little limiting for me, mostly on the long end as I like to get close to my subjects and frame tightly. That isn’t a big deal and there are plenty of pixels for a little cropping if necessary.
Lens Choice – I’ve gotten used to the ability to put together a kit of lenses for a particular trip. Going out the door with a Fuji body and a single prime lens is a great way for me to simplify and narrow my seeing. Traveling with a lens or two or the whole bag gives me endless choices. That can work both ways, but I’ve gotten comfortable with the idea of making a choice and living with it.
What’s Next? – I have a rental Fuji XT3 coming today for an upcoming trip. I can’t wait to try it out and compare it to my aging XT1. I’m not in the market for a new camera, but with a price point very similar to the Leica, it feels to me like the better option when and if the time comes to upgrade.
More words and photos to follow – stay tuned!
I’ve been to this place figuratively more times than I can count but never realized it was an actual place.
And I didn’t have a paddle. 🙂
Kathy & I are visiting friends in Eastern NC this week, and I am trying out this Leica D-Lux 7 that I rented. The more time I spend with the camera the more used to it I get, and it is overall pretty comfortable to use. A few observations so far:
– Just because it is a non-interchangeable lens does not make it impervious to sensor dust. Dust is quite evident in solid skies at f-stops smaller than f11.
– I’ve been very happy with the files, and pleasantly surprised to find that Lightroom handles the processing of RAW files very well. In fact, this is the first time that I have consistently imported a bunch of files, added the Adobe Camera Natural Profile, hit the Auto Exposure button and didn’t need to touch them further, other than straightening horizons or cropping slightly.
– While the camera is very light to tote around, it is well built and feels like a “serious” camera in my hands.
– I like having all of the manual controls this camera has – exposure compensation, aperture, shutter speed and auto/manual focus are all mechanical.
– The menus are no worse than any other unfamiliar digital camera, and seem like something that would be easy to navigate with a bit more time.
I’ve got a few more days to mess around with this camera before I box it up and send it back. I’ve come to no conclusions or purchase decisions yet. Frankly I’m seriously considering renting the latest Fuji body, which coincidentally is about the same price as this Leica, to see if upgrading my body that uses all of my existing lenses would make a better choice. We’ll see!