Monday, April 25, 2011

Leica D-Lux 4: Dog Pictures and Sensor Size Rant

Yeah, I know. Everyone who reads this website is seeing more pictures of my damn dog. LOL! Well, I'm still taking one picture per day for a project and there will be extra shots. I use the Leica D-Lux 4 once in a while. I vary the cameras. I figure once the weather is better, I can go back out with the leica and take pictures of something other than the dog. Frankly, I'm becoming one dimensional. Yes, the project is important, but I love photographing so many other things and my obsession with the daily dog photo is becoming evident. With that said, the light has been terrible due torrential, rainy weather. Still, I used the little Leica at high ISOs indoors because I hate flash, so I know there will be noise. Some of the photos were taken outside, and I was able to use lower ISOs. 

Seriously, I'm going stir-crazy with this manic weather. Ahh, New England! If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes! Isn't that how the saying goes? At any rate, having used my Sony NEX 5 and Nikon D90, I'm well aware of the image quality differences. The little sensor in the Leica holds up to a point, but it's starting to show its age. Camera technology is now into APS-C and above sensors. If they can put a APS-C sensor in the little Sony, perhaps they can do that one day in a compact camera? The bigger Leica X-1 would be an obvious choice if it wasn't a fixed lens and still slow with the AF even after the much waited firmware update. Still, the bigger sensor is so much nicer. I'm not a pro, though I have camera tastes like one. LOL!

One thing that holds me to the little Leica D-Lux series is the compactness, though not as compact as the Canon S95, it still is compact enough. I briefly owned a Canon S95, and I loved the compactness but hated the cheap feel of the camera. One of my favorite Canon cameras was the little SD800 IS camera. It had an optical viewfinder, something you don't see anymore on these camera. What a shame. Yeah, it didn't shoot RAW, but it was a blast to shoot.

Still, I enjoy the size of the Leica camera itself. I also enjoy the square format. My Sony and Nikon don't do that. Sure I can crop, but what's the point? One thing the D-Lux has that the other cameras don't is the fun factor. The Sony is fun, but not as much fun as the Leica. That's due to its square format. Still the Sony can shoot Panorama and lovely video. 

When all is said and done, this little Leica is a blast to use though. It's the only Leica that I still currently own right now until I move, but I still think this is a fun camera compared to anything else. (Well, except the little SD800!) I love the dynamic black and white mode! This would be the camera I would take for quick trips out of the house. (Besides the obvious choice of the iPhone!)

What keeps me hanging onto this little camera is its size and the files it produces. Even at high ISO I like the files better than what was coming out of the Canon S95 and other cameras. Plus, I am getting lazier as I get older and if I am to carry a camera all day, I want it to be very small. I wish a camera manufacturer would come out with a simple compact camera with a larger sensor. Oh, while I'm wishing, add a GPS tagging and WiFi ability to it. That would be cool.

You can keep track of my Ozzy project HERE on Flickr or HERE on ZENDOG Blog. I alos have the first 365 days of this project on 365Project Website.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Leica Time Strap Broke

Leica Time Strap Broke, originally uploaded by Lainey1.
I bought it last May and it broke today. I used this on my Leica D-Lux 4. I loved Luigi's Leica Time cases and straps, but was kind of disappointed that this didn't even hold up for one year. I don't use the camera all that much so I would imagine if I used it daily, it would have broken a lot sooner. I emailed Luigi's english speaking assistant to see if they will fix or replace the strap. We shall see. (I was offered a replacement of the strap from Luigi if I BOUGHTany new or small item, and remind him of what happened to my strap, that he'd give me a new one. In a second email Luigi offers a free wrist strap in a possible new deal. I emailed to ask what exactly this meant because it either means I buy something an get a strap replaced free with another purchase or I just ask for a replacement, and get it for free? I'm not sure.) I also got a nastygram from Luigi or his minions barking at me that I shouldn't have this post online.

Luigi stated that the piece of leather that became unglued was a "superfluous" piece, that I shouldn't consider it "broken". (Then why is it even incorporated as part of the strap in the first place? That piece is for tightening the strap to the wrist.) They said "I should glue it back together myself", or not glue it, and use the strap without it. (Is this guy serious?) The fact is, the little piece helps keep the strap snug on my wrist. Without it, not so snug, and I prefer to have it snug. I like that they incorporated it, and find it to be an important feature of the strap. Luigi's is not pleased about my writing this blog post, but the strap didn't last even a year with mild use before the little piece became unglued. Luigi stated that none of his straps ever broke, and I'm sure it hasn't at the point of connection where the strap meets the camera. My strap became unglued and no longer tightens around my wrist. Unglued. Broken. Semantics. If the strap no longer tightens around my wrist because a piece became unglued, what does one call that? I call it broken. Instead of Luigi arguing with me in broken, confused English, or offering to replace the strap if I buy something else from him, he should have better customer service and replaced the strap without the nasty emails or ridiculous replacement requirements.

He offered to fix or replace the strap, which was nice, but I'm not sure of the exact offer he made due to his broken english. He offered to replace it if I bought a small item along with it. I'm sure it's just a matter of miscommunication and the issue will be resolved. Luigi also feels that my writing about this is in someway disrespecting him. I'm sorry he feels this way,and find his over reaction to be part of the problem and not the solution. His anger only makes my experience worse. I'm just a person writing a blog about my experiences, and from what I experienced, Luigi's products may be nice, but my strap broke, and it was a very expensive strap! Even my cheapest nylon strap that came with my Canon S95 never broke.

Would I still buy from Luigi? Probably not, due to how expensive the product is, and the customer service is lacking.  I love his leather goods, but hey are quite expensive, and that's why I was perplexed with the piece becoming unglued, but it happened. I still love their leather products, and am actually considering buying a nice leather Rollei strap from them for my Rolleiflex. Price-wise, it's just too ridiculously expensive, and that's without adding shipping and handling!

Update 04-27-11: I'm still waiting for a reply to my email about the deal that Luigi offered. Apparently I have to buy something and then get my replacement strap for free? I can't just get a replacement strap for free. Makes no sense. It could be the broken english, but I asked for an explanation. I haven't received an answer yet. If I do have to buy something else, that isn't resolving my broken strap issue. Why not just send another strap? No answer to emails. I guess that is an answer.

05-20-11: I never heard again from Leica Time Luigi straps. I've written another reply and the only solution given to me was to buy something else, and then get a free strap. Well, that's what the broken english email said, but having asked if that was the intention from Luigi, I never received a reply from him. I only got an email stating how mean I am for writing this. Thanks, Luigi. That's great customer service? What happened to "the customer is always right"? No answer. Nothing.  Live and learn. Next time, I will buy American.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Leica D-Lux 4 Fun

Morning Light
Blue Sky
Grocery Store Parking Lot Sky
Just playing around with the Leica D-Lux 4. Such a joy to use. I love it more and more these days. 

You can keep track of my Ozzy project HERE on Flickr or HERE on ZENDOG Blog. I alos have the first 365 days of this project on 365Project Website.