There’s a distinguished looking ol’ fellow sitting at the bar. He has silver hair and laugh lines around his eyes. He’s well dressed. Well groomed. Well traveled. You can tell he’s seen a lot in his time. His classic Morgan is parked outside. There’s a pretty young girl on his arm listening to his stories of being a globe trotting documentary photographer. He sips his 50 year old Chivas Regal. His name is Leica. Yeah, he’s the world’s most interesting man.
In the corner we have Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony. They’re in a heated debate about Dungeons & Dragons or something. Sony is smart. He’s a brilliant guy. Ugly as hell. Clunky. Clumsy. Out of balance… but very smart. Olympus is more fashionable than his friends Sony and Panasonic but you can tell he’s just trying too hard. He’s cute, but sitting next to Sony shows he’s not that smart. Panasonic is just staring into his beer. A single tear drops into his IPA. He just released the GF5 and has realized it’s a total pain in the ass of a camera and wishes he could go back to the good ol’ days of the GF1.
“Remember when I created cult followings guys? Remember that? Remember?” Sony and Olympus share glances and mumble something about the wizard losing his potion. “Hey, at least we aren’t those two assholes over there.” as they point to Canon and Nikon. Canon and Nikon. They’re the two old men at the bar who are always arguing. You can’t tell if they’re the best of friends, brothers, or sworn enemies. Either way, there they sit… every night… arguing and arguing and arguing. One says he can drive a car faster. One says he got laid at the ’84 Olympics far more than the other. The other talks about how big his lens is. The only thing they ever agree on is they are both sick and tired of all the young kids in the bar these days taking their space. You get a feeling that if they just melded into one the world would be better for it. Please don’t get either one started about iPhone and her friend Instagr.am. There’s a sound of an old shovelhead rolling up in the parking lot. A young good looking kid walks in the door. Tattered 501′s. Grease stained tee. Three days of scruff. He walks with confidence. All the ladies take notice of him. The cougar den at the table next to Sony, Oly, and Pana all perk up and freshen their lips and shorten their skirts. His name is Fuji and everyone but Leica avoids making eye contact with him. Leica turns on his bar stool and gracefully nods his head to Fuji. Fuji, knowing he’s in good company at the bar, fires a grin and a wink at the old man. Leica sees himself as a younger man in this Fuji kid. Back before he opened his stupid boutique stores and started a line of t-shirts and baseball caps. (Leica should have never listened to his old friend Ferrari.)
Fuji orders a classic English bitter and starts talking to the two girls next to him. Phaseone pulls the perfect pint and serves it up. No one serves it up better than Mr. Phase. Phase then tells Polaroid to take the trash out. Polaroid goes out the back door and stops to share a smoke with Kodak. Kodak asks if Polaroid could spare some change. “Sorry man. Not today.” The young girl that was sitting with Leica heads out the door but not before slipping her number into Fuji’s back pocket. Fuji sips his beer and quietly tucks it deeper into his pocket so he doesn’t lose it.
And that folks… is why I say Fuji is the new Leica and the x100s is the greatest camera I’ve ever owned…..
See full review on zackarias.com
With great high ISO performance, a lens that is respectable wide open at f/2, and a camera that is sooo hand-holdable at slow shutter speeds, if you can see it you can shoot it. At ISO 3200, 1/150th at f/2, this is not anywhere close to pushing the envelope. The camera is useable at ISO 6400, and I can handhold it on a still subject easily at ¼ second. That means I could have shot this same image with six stops less light….
The Fujifilm X100s is a machine purpose-built for documentary and street shooters. When I shot for papers, many photographers I knew shot with Nikons for daily but kept a Leica M and a 35/2 for their project work that really mattered. This is the first digital camera I have ever used that totally meets that bar.
And it is dead quiet. Not Leica-quiet. Dead quiet. So much so that you might miss the sonic feedback that helps you to handhold better at slow shutter speeds. You can set a variety of artificial sounds at various volumes if you miss the feedback (one sounding almost exactly like an M6) but pretty soon you’ll let go of even that. Silent is good.
Is it The Perfect Camera?
Nope, nothing is. But it’s close. Actually, for what it is, it is damn close. But there are a couple of quibbles.
For one, the shade should come with it. As the X100s ships—with a “slip-off” lens cap and no shade—it is incomplete to me. And while the lens cap is nostalgic (and true to early Leica models) it begs to be lost, leaving you with an unprotected camera.
So you want a hood, but the Fuji model is … shockingly expensive. And there are third-party options available. (I prefer a black hood anyway, so I had little choice but to go third party.) But make sure you get one that bayonets rather than screws. You’ll want to quick-swap it out when using built-in flash. (Which I warm-gelled with some Scotch tape.)
So, lose the slip-on lens cap and get a hood and a 49mm skylight filter. And not a crap filter, either, as the aspherical 23mm/2 (35mm/2 equiv.) lens deserves good glass in front. Put the lens cap in a drawer and go filter/hood full-time. That’s why we wear cotton shirts. One less thing to lose, and the camera is always ready.
Speaking of the flash, I’d like to see more control. It only goes TTL +- ⅔ stop. I am going to lobby for for a firmware upgrade to -3.0 stops TTL, with full manual control, say 1/1 to 1/32. I think people will want a wink light to set of slaved flashes in manual, and the TTL needs to go well below -⅔ stop to be useful. (Obviously, you can use manual off-camera flash with the hot shoe sync.)
And while the built-in flash is not empirically powerful, remember that you can always jack the sync speed and open the aperture for more reach. God, I love leaf shutters.
Last thing is batteries. The X100s eats them, but not as bad as the X100 did. Still, you’ll want a couple extra matchbook-sized batts for all-day shooting. Once again, you can choose OEM or less expensive after-market options. Oh, and it is still possible to easily slip the batteries in the wrong way. Sigh. Just assume you did that when your camera won’t power up until you learn to pay attention when installing.
But truly, these are small quibbles compared to the remarkable package offered by the X100s……
See on strobist.blogspot.de
We had a love-hate relationship with the X100 previously: we loved the concept but hated using it sometimes. Will the Fuji X100S – the much anticipated follow-up – be the perfect X camera?
See on www.youtube.com
This is a first for me and for this blog. A small review of the Fujinon 18-55mm f/2.8-4R OIS. I really don’t plan on making this a habit since there are tons of other sites out there that does it so much better than I would ever do. However I feel that I can contribute with something to people who, like me, has the X-Pro1 with primes but want to add the zoom lens for added photographic flexibillity. This is NOT a scientific review at all. This is just my impressions, and some insight into what it means in terms of my creativity photography wise. I will off course be posting samples as I go along.
Look and feel
There’s no doubt about it, this lens is gorgeous. Well built, solid feeling, and just the right amount of torque in the switches and focus rings. It has just the right heft to its weight, and fits the X-Pro1 build perfectly. The aperture ring is without markings, and has a nice slight click to it. There are two switches on the lens, one for the Optical Image Stabilizer and one for Aperture Priority/Shutter Priority. The included lens hood is a pedal type plastic hood. Not as great as the metal ones included with the primes, but there are nice third party ones available dead-cheap on ebay. The lens has a nice chrome ring between the manual focus ring and zoom ring, makes it look really good, and exclusive. This is sold as a kit lens with the X-E1, but in no way does it feel like a cheap kit lens. It really feels like a well crafted piece of equipment……
The Fujinon 18-55mm f/2.8-4R OIS is a great allround performer. As a kit lens, it’s one of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. As a stand alone zoom lens it’s up there among the best of the normal range zooms IMHO. It would be perfect if it had a set aperture at about f/2.8. It’s very reasonably priced, and you get a lot of lens for your savings. If you, like me, is considering the prime XF 18mm f/2.0, I would instead recommend that you buy the 18-55mm since it delivers on par image quality, it’s faster at focussing, and you get some added flexibility. This lens is really great for street photography. The good fast AF coupled with one of the best OIS’s I’ve ever used makes it joy to use. The images it produces are sharp throughout the range and delivers great “pop”.
This is a great addition to my X-series system.
See full article on jonasraskphotography.com
Now that Adobe have (for the most part) sorted out their issues with the Raw conversion of images using Fuji’s X-Trans sensors, I decided to bite the bullet and step back into the fuji ring. Since selling my X-Pro1, I’ve missed the wonderful colours that Fuji cameras produce. While I do get them with the X100, the fixed focal length limits the type of shots you can take. Anyway, my local camera store had a great deal on the XE-1 so I decided to give the X-Trans one more shot. I’ll have a full review in a little while, but I wanted to share some of the shots I got on my first trip out with it.
Some quick first impressions…
Colour is the key thing with fuji’s cameras. That’s what makes them so special in my opinion. The colour these cameras produce has a unique character to it that’s really beautiful. Operations wise, the camera feels very similar to the X100, more so than the X-Pro1. It’s very light too. In fact, I think it might be too light. I was getting a lot of motion blur from camera shake, even at high shutter speeds. I don’t have particularly unsteady hands, and it hasn’t been a issue with any other camera I’ve ever used, so I’m guessing it’s a balance issue. The lens feels heavier than the camera body, soI’m guessing this is throwing things off when I press the shutter. I’m going to get a half case and hopefully that little extra bit of weight might address this issue a bit. For the moment I was shooting on burst mode, so that the actions of pressing the shutter could be offset by taking multiple shots I’m not overly impressed with the sharpness either, which I know is surprising considering the Fuji’s reputation. I have the 35m 1.4, and it’s sharp for fairly close objects, but taking cityscapes, and anything with a lot of repetitive detail, the results are not nearly as sharp as the results I get from my Sony Nex-7 (and yes, I know that has more pixels – but per pixel sharpness is not as high). It could be a back focus issue with the lens, but the results look similar to those I had shot before with the 35mm when I had the X-Pro1. Anyway, It could be just that it’s new and I’m being very picky. Close up detail looks fine. It’s weird. I’ll reserve judgement on that for a while. Over all the camera is much snappier than the X-Pro1 was, but I did only have it with the original firmware. It didn’t lock up on me once despite a whole morning of shooting (where as the X-Pro1 would frequently freeze for a few seconds while it figured out what it was doing) Autofocus is still pretty slow with the 35mm but I never found t so slow as to be a deal breaker. The zoom lens is much faster at focussing, but it’s not as sharp.
Anyway, I’ll have a more in-depth review at a later day. For now, let the pictures do the talking ….
See on blog.thomasfitzgeraldphotography.com
Après avoir brossé un tour “technique” du Fuji X-Pro 1 dans mes 2 précédents articles, qu’en est-il de son utilisation au quotidien? Plus généralement, presqu’un an après son lancement commercial, faut-il toujours craquer pour le X-Pro 1 ou bien choisir son petit frère, le X-E1?
Sur le terrain
Rarement je n’ai pris autant plaisir à photographier qu’avec le X-Pro 1. Cette phrase doit évidemment être mise en contexte avec mon style de photographie. Comme tout hybride, le X-Pro 1 ne se prête pas à la photo d’action / sportive (focales trop courtes, réactivité insuffisante de la détection de contraste). Mais pour le photographie urbaine ou de voyage, le X-Pro 1 est une révélation, un retour aux sources par sa simplicité….
Visit Vicents part1:
and part 2:
See more pictures on www.digitlife.fr
Eccoci qui… questa volta ancora prima della commercializzazione di un prodotto. Ma lo sapete. A noi non piacciono le cose fatte in fretta. Quindi sono solo prime impressioni. Prime impressioni che non ci hanno impedito di riscontrare le prime certezze rispetto ai modelli precedenti. X20 e X100s non possono essere liquidate con poche foto e qualche riga come fanno in molti. Sono prodotti che, contrariamente ad un’estetica quasi immutata, riscrivono profondamente l’interpretazione di Fujifilm di questi due modelli e dei rispettivi segmenti di mercato. Ma in molti aspettano di conoscere maggiormente questi strumenti fotografici e di conseguenza, non potevamo più aspettare. Aspettare che significava anche prestare il fianco ai primi flame sul web che come sempre accompagnano l’uscita di un nuovo modello. Flame e leggende metropolitane che trovano alimento per colpa delle raffazzonate “recensioni definitive” basate su qualche decina di scatti su strumenti di Pre-Serie. L’ultima leggenda metropolitana racconta che le nuove Fujifilm hanno subito un ritardo nella distribuzione per colpa di chi sa quale fantomatico problema. La realtà è ben differente. La realtà è che questa volta Fujifilm vuole fornire un prodotto maturo ai propri clienti. E si prende tutto il tempo che aveva programmato. Purtroppo sono alcuni venditori della rete che, per accaparrarsi qualche pre-ordine in più, anticipano la data ufficiale. Le X20 e le X100s erano programmate in uscita per metà- fine marzo… e per metà-fine marzo saranno messe in vendita. Se qualche modello è sfuggito a questa logica un firmware basterà ad aggiornare in tutte le funzionalità i nuovi modelli. Firmware con il quale sono equipaggiate le due macchine con le quali abbiamo iniziato a scattare e a scrivere le prime impressioni…….
See full article on www.riflessifotografici.com
What happened was, this month includes trips to Tokyo and the Big Island. And lately I’ve been reading about cameras full of shiny new ideas. So I decided to indulge myself; here are way too many words about the state of cameras in general and in particular the one I bought. SLRs are fat-bodied because you need a big glass prism to bend the light from the lens to the viewfinder. If you lose the prism, you free camera designers from a bunch of constraints. Most obviously, you can have smaller thinner bodies that are friendlier to hand and handbag…..
Nice Things About the X-E1
The viewfinder is just brilliant. If I have my glasses on I can compose on the back of the camera. If I don’t, I put the viewfinder to my eye; it’s got a proximity sensor and lights up automatically. The visual readout in the viewfinder is very good, and it’s got a diopter adjustment for less-than-perfect eyes. The ergonomics are nifty; there’s no mode dial! The aperture and shutter speed are visible at a glance and on manual dials, looking down at the camera top. If both are on “A”, you’re in full-auto mode. If you set the shutter speed you’re in shutter-priority, if you set the F-stop, you’re in Aperture priority, if you set both, you’re in manual. Which makes the mode dials on most SLRs feel kind of superfluous and stupid. The menus aren’t that great but you’ll never need to use them. There’s a button marked “Q” that brings up a grid of the most commonly-used settings. It’s stupidly quick and easy to twiddle what you need to. It’s a bit lighter than my K-5, and both the prime & zoom are a lot lighter than their counterparts. In particular, the X-E1/35mm combo is really a treat to hold in your hand, or to sling over your shoulder for hours at a time.
Below from left to right: Canon S100, X-E1 (with the 35mm F1.4), and K-5 (with that Sigma). The Pentax and Fuji are about the same width, but the Fuji (and its lens) are smaller along every other dimension. The camera makes outstanding JPGs, creamy-smooth and with great white-balance guessing. I shoot raw anyhow because I like fiddling with pictures in Lightroom (had to install the 4.4 beta), but you probably don’t really need to, and in some low-light shots the camera might do a better job at noise reduction than Lightroom ……
Of course, you still need to see what you’re shooting. One approach is the traditional optical rangefinder, as in the Leica M; a little window through the camera that looks out beside, not through, the main lens. Or you can take what the sensor is seeing and route it electronically to a screen on the back of the camera, or to a viewfinder you hold up to your eye, or both. Generally speaking, serious cameras which have managed to lose the prism are now called “compact format”. For a while, it looked like we’d say “EVIL”, for Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens, but that didn’t quite catch on; a pity.SLRs are fat-bodied because you need a big glass prism to bend the light from the lens to the viewfinder. If you lose the prism, you free camera designers from a bunch of constraints. Most obviously, you can have smaller thinner bodies that are friendlier to hand and handbag. Of course, you still need to see what you’re shooting. One approach is the traditional optical rangefinder, as in the Leica M; a little window through the camera that looks out beside, not through, the main lens. Or you can take what the sensor is seeing and route it electronically to a screen on the back of the camera, or to a viewfinder you hold up to your eye, or both. Generally speaking, serious cameras which have managed to lose the prism are now called “compact format”. For a while, it looked like we’d say “EVIL”, for Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens, but that didn’t quite catch on; a pity. I suppose this is partly a review of the X-E1, but if you want to know the most important thing (what kind of pictures it takes) just follow the blog for the next week or two. I’ll do a pictures-from-Tokyo series that covers a lot of different photographic styles. What Once We Called EVIL · For a while there, everything was either a point-&-shoot (meh) or an SLR (good); SLRs compete in a nice linear way around megapixels and sensitivity and ergonomics and lenses. I suppose this is partly a review of the X-E1, but if you want to know the most important thing (what kind of pictures it takes) just follow the blog for the next week or two. I’ll do a pictures-from-Tokyo series that covers a lot of different photographic styles. What Once We Called EVIL · For a while there, everything was either a point-&-shoot (meh) or an SLR (good); SLRs compete in a nice linear way around megapixels and sensitivity and ergonomics and lenses…..
See on www.tbray.org
In preparation for a wedding I will be shooting 100% of with the new X100S in less than a week, and knowing I would be pushing the camera in low light situations, I wanted to get more familiar with the files at high ISOs on the X100S. All these photos were shot on the Fuji X100S at ISO 25,600 and are all (except for the last merged image) SOOC jpeg files. As an aside, I have to say that I am quite impressed with the usability of these files. Many folks are debating whether to go with/or stay with their original X100 or go up to the X100S. I will say that if you tend to shoot in low light, this may be reason alone to make the jump up. Anyone who is experienced with the X100 will tell you that if shooting at an even lesser ISO of 12,800 or even sometimes 6400, the images would be pretty grainy and worst of all, suffer from pretty bad banding. There is vast improvement in these files.
Now that is all beside the main point of this post. The main point is to talk about the internal noise reduction (NR) settings within the X100S. As I pointed out in my Pros and Cons of the X100S post, I noticed that while shooting around Denver with the X100S the standard NR (O) at ISO 3200 and 6400 ( I had yet to really look at 12,800 or 25,600 yet) looked a little too heavy-handed for my tastes. There seemed to be more smearing or masking of the fine details than my eye prefers (others may feel differently). So that’s what this is about– a look at different levels of NR on these ISO 25,600 images. I’ve posted a +2 NR, 0 NR, and -2 NR as the main images. I then posted a copy of the -2 NR file, which I took into Lightroom and did my own additional sharpening and noise reduction– the file in which I’m most pleased with, in fact. With that file, I wanted to see what I could end up with if I took the file with the most detail (yet noisiest) and see how well I could sharpen it up more and keep it clean enough for my liking and so that is the 4th image down. And then I posted those final two images at 100% crops and merged together to see side-by-side.
It may be a little hard to tell right away, but if you look carefully, you should be able to see less detail in the upper photos, particularly less fine detail in the scratches in the water bottle, and the “Canon” text on the camera on the left, as well as less detail in the body of the X100 on the right– as well as just an overall plasticy look that I’m not a big fan of. I am no longer a pixel peeper (woohoo!) and I find you can really get a better sense of the image from a more standard view– thus me showing the images in this way. But, I wanted to show the difference I was able to make with my own sharpening/noise reduction and I think it’s helpful to see that at a 100% view.
See high iso pictures on www.briankraft.com
- Unique camera design makes you want to take pictures
- Excellent JPEGs, little need to shoot raw most of the time
- Reliable metering and AWB systems, good color (with choice of ‘film modes’)
- Dials for exposure controls allow for easy check of settings by glancing at the top deck, particularly with prime lenses
- Impressive image quality at all ISO settings – good resolution and low noise
- Built-in flash is handy for fill lighting in a pinch
- Film-simulations offer quick access to different color modes and black and white filters
- Use of electronic viewfinder simplifies interface while maintaining most important features
- Quick menu gives fast access to most digital controls not covered by dials or buttons
- Built-in level helps when capturing landscapes
- Various bracketing modes are easy to set via the Drive button
- Relatively quiet shutter
- Excellent available prime lenses
- Built-in level isn’t always as accurate as we’d like
- Relatively slow AF makes photographing children more difficult
- Framerates in continuous shooting mode aren’t completely consistent
- Camera disables RAW shooting without warning in some bracketing modes
- Relatively low-resolution rear LCD compared to some peers
- Panorama mode can result in visible banding in plain tonesAuto ISO often chooses too slow a shutter speed (specifically problematic with the longer primes)
- Minimal control available in video mode
- Continuous drive mode saves files with a different name, sorting them to the bottom
- Large and chunky build won’t suit everyone
There’s a lot to be said for form as well as function and there’s no question the Fujifilm X-series cameras elicit a certain response from those of us who enjoy both photography and well-built gadgets. What’s great about the X-series cameras and lenses is they don’t just look like old photographic tools, they integrate digital and analog controls very successfully. Also, the old-style analog dials are really excellent ways of helping conceptualize things like shutter speed and aperture, the two main elements of photography one has to understand to use cameras effectively. Those who already understand the concepts generally have no trouble understanding numbers on an LCD, but those who are learning can benefit from seeing the numbers laid out in a linear fashion; and the truth is I still find it helpful to turn a dial to adjust aperture, as I can do with the X-E1. For beginners, having that dial wrapped around the lens completely differentiates it from the body-bound shutter speed dial. When using one of the XF prime lenses, the main photographic interface elements are right up front and visible, in the form of physical dials. Photography students would do well to secure a prime lens for this reason (as well as others). Kit lens users will have to pay attention to the numbers on the LCD. But that’s not all Fujifilm did right with the X-series cameras. Their simple button arrangements also make accessing common functions convenient. Important functions like Drive mode, Exposure, and Autofocus are dedicated to three buttons left of the LCD – a good position to adjust each setting. At first having a button for Drive mode seemed unnatural compared to a dial, but Fujifilm’s inclusion of fast access to bracketing modes made those even more useful. The Quick Menu allows access to almost all the other important adjustments the average still photographer will want to make, including things like ISO, resolution, and aspect ratio. Only one analog control needs fixing: the somewhat loose Exposure Compensation dial, which can be rotated accidentally, both in the hand and when being carried around or put in and taken out of a camera bag. Of course, the elephant in the room is video. Although the X-E1′s design philosophy is based around giving you all the direct manual control you could ever need, this does not apply to video, which overall seems as much of an afterthought as it is in the X-Pro 1 and X100. For now, the X-series is simply not competitive with its peers in terms of video functionality. As impressive as the Hybrid Viewfinder is on the other cameras in the X-series, the X-E1′s electronic viewfinder is excellent. Compared to the X-Pro 1′s finder in electronic mode, the X-E1 offers a better and higher-resolution image, but of course it can’t pull of the X-Pro 1′s impressive trick of switching to an optical view for those times when you want a literal ‘window’ on the world in front of your lens. The X-E1′s EVF cannot replace the X-Pro 1′s OVF but if you don’t really need or want an optical finder, the X-E1 is clearly a better choice than the X-Pro 1, thanks to its superior EVF and lower overall cost.
See full review on www.dpreview.com