First, I’d just like you all to notice for the record that this the second post in a row that hasn’t featured anything motorbike related.
But this is camera related!
The X100. I truly love this little camera.
It looks utterly fabulous and takes brilliant pictures.
I did have to upgrade the firmware to the latest version as the original settings meant it did some things that were downright annoying. (6 seconds for the camera to start, for example) To be fair, all these things had been reported in thousands of reviews,blogs, youtube clips and all over the internet, so it was really my own fault for not doing it sooner.
Once the firmware was sorted, the camera was transformed – startup is subsecond now and autofocus is greatly improved. It’s clear that Fuij really want these X cameras to be more than a fancy niche compact camera in a retro dress. They are actually listening to their customers and constantly improving their cameras.
The new X100s is even better from what I hear, with better autoficus focus (and manual focus that really works), faster operation, a better sensor and plenty of menu and button placement enhancements. Very cool.
So, what do I like about the X100?
Style – it looks awesome. Like a Leica M9. Maybe. It’s not a small camera – I’ll take a pic of it next to my little Lumix LX-5 soon to show you all – but somehow it’s actually better for that slight bulk. It’s more camera and less toy. It’s also very quiet and non threatening looking.
Image quality – beautiful rendering and subtle tones. You can change the settings to emulate some of Fuji’s famous films too – Velvia for increased saturation for landscapes and the like and Astia for softer subtle tones. Or just leave it where it is on the default Provia setting. It do monochrome too, but I think I prefer to do my conversions in Lightroom later. Did I mention that the images are really very good for a compact camera?
Viewfinder – the bright optical rangefinger-esque viewfinder is a wondrous thing to peer through. A quick flick of the lever like switch on the front and it converts to a full on electronic viewfiner, which is a bit harsh and laggy, but packed with useful information. If you use macro mode, you can only use the EVF or screen on the back of the camera.
Noise. Its really very good upto ISO 3200, so no need to use harsh flash, just select f2 and auto ISO and shoot away safe in the knowledge that the shots will be clean and useable.
Lens. Fast f2 aperture, proper aperture ring around the lens too. Sharp (well, at f2.8 and up anyway).
What don’t I like.
Macro mode is the only way to get any depth of field in shots. Actually, its the only way you can get closer than about a meter from your subject. That kinda sucks. Macro shots are very nice though and my recommended way to get good portraits. Shame you have to use the EVF.
Auto white balance. It’s not brilliant. Daylight shots at the weekend came out very cool (as in colour temperature) looking and needed a fair bit of massage in Lightroom to bring back to reality. This is something I need to investigate as I use the camera more. Switching to RAW will make it easier to correct later, but it’s not something I want to do straight off as the JPEGS are so good.
Manual focus. rubbish. But then the autofocus is pretty good really so theres not much need to use it.
So, there you have it.
Fuji X100. A cracking retro APS-C sensor (same size as a crop sensor DSLR) camera. It’s not for everyone, but if you can’t afford a Leica and you like the idea of rangefinder style fixed focal length big sensor compact(ish) camera – this is your baby.
And enough waffle. Lets get to the pics!
Firstly – its meeeeeee! (taken by Eleanor)
Eleanor (taken by me) Both of these shots were taken using macro mode.
Went for a little walk along the sand spit in Safety Bay where all the kitesurfers hang out in the summer. It was such a lovely afternoon. 22C and wall to wall sunshine. You wouldn’t believe it was mid-winter for us. July and August are usually colder and wetter than June, so I’m not expecting this to continue for long, but it felt good to make the most of it.
So many birds on the lagoon – and a good few pelicans too. Odd birds though – freaky eyes!
Pelicans taking off.
Pelicans gliding in bomber formaiton
Interesting patterns in the sand.
Next up: I dunno – I was thinking a good old fashioned rant might be in order. Or maybe another ‘Top 10’