Motorized R8 v. EOS-1v HS -- an Evaluation

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Motorized R8 v. EOS-1v HS

1. Vertical release better placed than that on the EOS-1v HS. I do not have to raise my arm as high to get the camera to eye level.

2. Shutter Speed wheel and Mode dial much easier to use than the buttons n' dials method on the EOS-1v, which is maddening. (Plus they go all the way around; no need to backtrack.)

3. PC socket perfectly placed, as opposed to the poor placement on the 1v, which made the PC socket seem like an afterthought, and which places a strain on the plug when the camera is used vertically.

4. Second Curtain Synch for studio flash.

5. Built-in flash metering.

6. A well-thought-out Exposure Lock. I have owned five 35mm auto-everything cameras in the past seven years (N 6006, N 8008S, EOS-3, EOS-1v, Elan 7) and this is the first one that has an Exposure Lock that I can actually use.

7. Metering Mode Select and Exposure Compensation +/- switches very well-placed and with effective locks. Iíll say it again: the buttons n' dials method on the EOS-1v is maddening!

8. Leader In/Leader Out selection brilliantly executed. No need to resort to a Custom Function.

9. A Battery Check that actually works. The Battery Check on the EOS cameras are basically useless: by the time they register low battery the motor is already slowing down--even assuming that you check the damn thing in the first place.

10. No need to carry the instruction manual and/or quick reference card with me, as I had to do with the 1v. 11. Depth-of-Field Preview easier to find with the fingers.

12. Motor can be easily disengaged and the camera can be wound manually. Rewind can also be done manually.

13. Rotation Safety for preventing the camera from rotating on the tripod head, especially useful when shooting vertically.

14. Locking Diopter Adjustment.

15. No need to resort to a Custom Function to lock up mirror.

16. Auto-bracket much easier to engage.

17. Weight: Motorized R8: 920 gms; EOS-1v HS: 1380 gms. Thus, the R8 is 460 gms. lighter. Of course, the NiMH pack on the R8 is heavier than 8 lithium AAís but (Iím guessing) probably comparable in weight to Canonís equivalent pack for the PB-E2. 18. The R8 has a Leica nameplate, which, to those in the know, signifies elegance, luxury and uncompromising quality. It says, ďHere is a person who is not merely a professional but who seeks out the very best, regardless of cost.Ē

- I am here evaluating the R8 for use primarily as a fashion and portrait camera. Obviously, for certain purposes the autofocus and faster motor speed of the 1v will be a deciding factor in its favor.

- The R8 will allow me to take 37 or even 38 pictures. Frankly, I wish it would limit me to 36, which is the number of frames a negative filing page will hold. (OTOH, the 38th frame just might be the keeper!)

- The R8 viewfinder image is rather green. I donít know why this is but it seems to be peculiar to the entire Leica R line.

- I rarely, if ever, use on-camera flash so the E-TTL feature of the 1v is unimportant to me. And as for the EOS Link software, well, what can I say but that this is a complete waste of time and energy.

-- Peter Hughes (ravenart@pacbell.net), December 07, 2001

Answers

Peter, most of what you said about the EOS 1V I found also with my Nikon F5 except that can be manually rewound. The F5/F100 and EOS 1V/EOS 3 have some really amazing technology built into them...however by the time you consult the manual or cheat-sheet, set the control, then remember to re-set it afterward, few shots are still there waiting, at least that's what I found. The most annoying feature of the R8 to me is the fact that in A mode using flash the shutter is set to a fixed 1/250. With my Nikons I have full flexibility to arrange fill flash/ambient exposure at my will in all modes. With the R8 I either have to use T mode and spin the shutter dial to get the aperture I want, or else use m mode.

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), December 07, 2001.

Peter:

Interesting comparisons! I had a Canon EOS-1N RS before switching to Leica M6 TTL and R8 cameras (and some older Leicas too). I do miss the massive solidity of the RS! But the R8 with a lens attached is much easier to carry around the neck for long periods of time. The Leica lenses are much better, but Canon L lenses were not too bad! :-) Now that B&H is selling new EOS-1N RS cameras for $1200 I am very tempted to get one before they are discontinued. Using the RS was a similar experience to using a rangefinder camera. There was no viewfinder blackout in the RS at the moment of exposure because of the pellicle mirror.

-- Muhammad Chishty (applemac97@aol.com), December 07, 2001.


Thank you for the review/comparison. I thought you were a Hasselblad user? I use Hasselblad with 80 and 180 lenses. The results are technically spectacular so why would a Hasselblad user start doing portraits with a 35 mm SLR, what was your reason? You don't like the square format?

-- Peter Olsson (peter.olsson@lulebo.se), December 13, 2001.

I use both a Hassy and a Leica R. I find that they compliment each other beautifully: the Leica is quicker and more flexible than the Hassy and allows a level of spontaneity that the Hassy (which I use primarily as a tripod camera) doesn't allow.

-- Peter Hughes (ravenart@pacbell.net), December 13, 2001.

The 1V HS and R8 comparison is laughable. It depends what you want or need: a slower more compact camera with marginally better optics or an AF God with AF tracking that Nikon can't match. Then ddd intutive controls and precise flash control (both wireless and on camera). Just look at the sport shooters and the pulitzer winners and war journalists--they have Canons. James Nacthwey, Carol Guzy, most of the SI staff, Rob Finch NPPA photographer of the year the list of the best goes on and on.

I love my M6s and they definitely excel were my louder and imposing Canon gear fail and SLRs in general fail. They are more hand holdable and have THE best optics. Canon 1V's shutter lag IS the FASTEST of ANY SLR including Leica Rs. Not a M6 but very close to it.

Those who have Nikons like them for their own personal reasons like I like my Canons. I will say when a Nikon lover tries a high end Canon then are shocked at how well the AF performs shot after shot. And they switch it they can if they shoot any movin

-- Peter Snyder (psnyder399@aol.com), January 13, 2002.



The Leica optics are not marginally better; they are a quantum leap from Canon. With Japanese optics I capture sharp details; with German optics I capture life.

-- Peter Hughes (ravenart@pacbell.net), January 13, 2002.

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