Monday 26 June 2023

R7 at 2000


R7, RF-S 18-150mm f3.5-6.3 IS STM, frame 2002 from the R7, cropped vertically to m43-ish.

Today is my 14th day of ownership of the R7, and yesterday I exceeded 2000 shots on it. That's something of a record for me, I've not gone all-out shooting with a new camera this way since I briefly had my E-M1.2 a couple years ago. 

I'm not entirely sure why either. The OM-1 was objectively a better camera than the R7 (as it should be given the cost difference between the two), I got along with it reasonably well and I had great glass for it, but it didn't make me want to shoot it. The R7 I just want to pick up and shoot and I've been looking for reasons to get out with it. It's just a fun camera and I can't even tell you why that is. I do think one part of it is the EM-1/OM-1's do require thinking to operate, they are such complex beasts with so many direct controls and multi-use options that they don't get out of my way as well as the somewhat simpler but still very capable R7 does. 

Mostly I've been shooting with the 18-150. It's a killer little lens for a kit lens. Good range, even if I do wish it was just a bit wider (15-150 would have been perfect). Good close focus, fast AF (it will track BiF) and I can really crop down to get m43-level reach out of it since the R7 has the same pixel density as the OM-1. The optics are quite decent too. Nothing to write home about, but also quite acceptable with good resolution and colour and decent contrast. Not as good as my OM Pro lenses, but as good or better than the non-Pro Oly zooms I've had in this range (14-42 and 40-150 R)

Honestly, despite it being slower and softer than the 40-150/4 Pro, I actually like it better for everyday use because of the much better close focus. I do miss the 12-40 Pro though. The shot above I could not have got with the 40-150 Pro, it just didn't focus close enough. The 12-40 did, but didn't have the working distance needed for this sort of shot. The combo of 150mm, 0.45m close focus (at 150mm) and m43-level pixel density makes the R7/18-150 a great bugging combo. 

In terms of the number of shots, it's a measure that's sort of irrelevant and sort of not. I've been trying for a few years to quit chasing the dragon and never quite succeeded. Right now it seems I've generally had cameras I got along with last for 8-9 months and around 3000 or so shots. That's where I had the OM-1 when I sold it, the A7RIV, the last E-M5II, even the Z5 was there on shot count if not on time. The last camera I had that broke that was the X-T2 (which got up around 4500 frames). So I'm trying to break that trend, more in terms of time than shots, but shots too (hence my 10,000 frames on one body goal for this year). I don't see myself completely breaking the cycle, but if I can stick to a single system I'd be pretty happy. So let's see where I am next March (which would be 9 months on the R7). I'm expecting I'll have added at least one body to the mix (likely the R10 or R50 as a B-cam) but I want the R7 to remain a key part of my setup for a good long while, so I can focus instead on rounding out my lens collection. 

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