Freitag, 20. Januar 2017

I ordered my X100F

Yesterday I told my Fuji dealer (a real shop! support them!) that they should put me on the list for a black model. I own a X100S and I don't regret the long wait. I started with the X100 back in the days and this camera was just too sluggish and painfully slow. I had the great opportunity to trade it for a X100S that is slightly better with the brilliant Trans-X-sensor. As the X100T came out I was not convinced to buy this camera because the only major things that have changed were the OVF (pip) and the in camera WiFi. Too less for a change.

The implementation of CDAF and PDAF (auto focus methods) in the X100S and X100T was poor, even in bright light they are inaccurate and slow. So I decided to wait for a model that at least keeps up with the XT1. And now the gap is closed and the new X100F supports the same auto focus system like the XPRO2 what is great because I love to use the OVF on my XPRO2 and it works great. The new button placement and the ISO dial are a good evolution of the the product range. I am happy that I skipped the X100T and waited for it's successor to come. It was very obvious that the new one will incorporate the newest features. And Fuji's decision to use the bigger NP-W126 battery in the new model was such a relief. Now everything fits together in a streamlined product line without too much clutter when you go traveling etc.

What are your opinions? Is the new model a step forward? Are you buying it even if you own a X100T? Just let me know in the comments...



PS: If you want to know why I love to shot through the OVF than read this little article.

Dienstag, 17. Januar 2017

We are remixing stuff

What is creativity? Can we do something out of nothing? No. We can only create things based on other things that inspired us. In a modern sense you would say that you remix things. Remember the science fiction stories you read in a book. Fictional stuff about different planets and different species. But if you think a bit deeper you will realize that most of the things are not new. They are just remixed from things we already know. Even electricity and light (flashes) were always there. We just found a way to generate, store and use them in a different way.

With photography it is the same thing. We are just remixing the things we see. We can be inspired by music, literature, nature, paintings and many of the other million influences, but at the end it was already there. You just apply a new angle of view, your personal taste to the whole picture. Sometimes it is good to think about this philosophical side of creativity and realize how important inspiration is for us. It is not important to shot as much photos as you can. It is important make experiences in many different ways to get new ideas that maybe inspire other people to do new things. And at this point you realize that you're new walk alone (a very Buddhist view). It is a collective thing on a giant play field sponsored by nature.

Start sharing things and remix on!



Mittwoch, 21. Dezember 2016

What I expect from a X100F

The "F" stands for "Future" ;-)

As always I want to drop a little list here to share my thoughts about the upcoming new model.

Let us start with the problems I have with my X100s:
  • it is sluggish - a slow camera with a bad auto focus even in bright light
  • no updates - Fuji has done a great job in ignoring the whole X100 line in the last two years

What I expect from the X100F:
  • a fast auto focus like the X70 or XPRO2 that meets the industry standards
  • faster interface and startup time
  • a wheel to change ISO on the fly!
  • maybe a better lens performance at wide open aperture
That´s it. I skipped the X100T to wait for a camera that will meet up with competition in terms of auto focus. When you use this camera with the OVF you need a reliable auto focus in all situations or this thing becomes a bit of a roulette thing. And there is also room for a small front wheel you can put ISO on to change it on the fly. I don't want to dig into menus. This spoils the whole experience with this camera. It would also be nice if there is a way to maximize the battery life of this camera.

I hope that Fuji puts the focus on these improvements. The rest is marketing and personal taste. But a modern camera should have a decent auto focus performance without any compromises.



Donnerstag, 17. November 2016

Street Photography without people in the shot?

Sure, there are even cats and dogs to be photographed (just kidding). But think a bit out of the box. Sometimes things can be seen in a different way. You don't need to take shots of people walking on the street make to call it a "street shot".

In the shot above I just photographed the shadow of a man walking down the steps. So there is no real person in the shot, but the shadow tells a story that looks even more interesting. This is just one example of how you can play with your with a scene.

The same thing here. Lines, strong contrast and a cyclist riding upwards. The real scene was not that dramatic.

And sometime a backyard can help us seeing mankind from a philosophical standpoint ;-)

Try to think a bit out of the box...or just forget what your have learned!

It is hard to unlearn things but after a while your photographic style (composition, exposure, lens etc.) will become daily routine. And then you might eventually miss a great shot or loose interest because it is becoming boring. To avoid that I suggest to do some exercises to unlearn things and break out of the daily routine. I know that many photographers say that your should always word with the same focal length etc. to stay focused and consistent. I personally love to switch things and try something new from time to time to avoid boredom and try to make a glimpse out of the traditional box. And it could be also a question of your type of personality.

Maybe you need a little break from your routine and the perfect time to start with it is today!



Donnerstag, 10. November 2016

Do I need the new Fuji XT-2?

A good question that can't be answered in one sentence.

Is this your first Fuji camera?

Then buy it if you have the money. If you don't need the updated auto-focus system and the extra pixels your can also go with the XT-1 or XT-10.

You are coming from the XT-1

There is only the auto-focus and the extra pixels. The higher frame rate and better video can be a game-changer for some people. But the display of the older models is good enough, trust me!

You are looking for a mirror-less for shooting moving subjects (sports etc.)

The new XT-2 is great for you. With the optional battery grip it has more juice for higher frame rates. If you can trust the most reviews out there the performance is good enough for most occasions. If you're a professional sports photographer you still should go with a DSLR. No mirror-less camera can beat this system today.

Do I need the latest camera body from Fuji?

Not really. But this is not the strategy. Photography is about taking great photos and learn about composition and light. You can still create outstanding photos with a forty years old camera and a roll of film. But there is some thing I recommend to spend more money on: lenses. The best camera body in the world is useless without a good piece of glass in front of it. Most of the time it is more useful to invest your money on better lenses and Fuji and Zeiss have some great products in the product portfolio. If you're a landscape photographer you also might spend some money on high class filters or a professional tripod. Don't think that a newer camera body will solve your problems.



Mittwoch, 26. Oktober 2016

Do we need lightroom for all our images?

Lightroom can do a lot for you and it is a professional tool to develop and manage images. Today's cameras have the ability to transfer photos wireless to your smartphone via an app. With my Fuji cameras I use this feature a lot when I am on the go. After the download I use apps like snapseed (you can do a lot of things with this free tool) to tweak the contrast and some other aspects of the image. The colors come from the color profile I attached as I developed the raw file in-camera.

The results are outstanding when it comes to sharpness and color. Most of the time I only had to tweak the contrast or add some warmth to the image. I know that you have more precise options at your calibrated workplace at home...but man, the results are so good, I often prefer to upload them to instagram than the versions from lightroom. This is not a rule of thumbs for all photos. When I do landscape, stills, architecture or portrait photography I prefer to have more possibilities with professional software. But when I do street and travel photography a lot of photos just wander through my smartphone into the web.

I love this way of editing your photos very much. I suggest you to own an android phone with the ability to tweak all display settings (I own a Galaxy Note 3 with a custom rom). That allows you to calibrate the display to match the big screen at home. If your camera doesn't have wifi - like my X100s - then buy a cheap card reader and connect it with your phone (android wins here again) and download the processed photos to the phone.

Trust me. You will be blown away by the good results. The camera manufacturers know how to develop JPGs right and Fuji is an expert when it comes to an outstanding OOC experience. Look out for a nice café and enjoy your pocket size editing studio at the size of your palm.