Tag Archives: fujifilm

For Beginners: What Camera Do You Need? What Lenses Do You Need?

As a beginner, you get caught up in figuring out what gear to get. People usually say to get the best glass available. That is true. So one common thing I see in forums is beginners getting caught up in which set of lenses to get. They end up getting a couple of primes or a few zooms. That’s a lot of lenses just to get pictures of their kids, cats, and flowers.

What do they really need? Just one lens. Just pick one. I would recommend a something in between a 23mm and 50mm and stick with that for a year or so.

As for the body, it doesn’t matter. Anything that is at least a micro 4/3 or higher will do fine. 90% of the people won’t be able to tell the difference if it’s shot with a m43, APSC, or Full Frame sensor. Seriously, they can’t, unless you’re planning to print huge prints and paste them on your wall.

For camera bodies, it more about how it fits, the usability, and the style points. As long as it’s a modern camera, the IQ won’t matter much. They will all look similar.

Once you shoot in one focal length for about a year, you begin to realize what you need. I shot my X100 and X100s (the same camera basically) for a whole year. I realized I’m more into portraiture. So I wanted a longer lens. So I got the X-E1 and got the 35mm lens. Now I’m 90% content.

When the 56mm f/1.2 lens came out, I pre-ordered it. But I’m wondering if I really needed that  lens. I’m so happy with the 35mm, I wonder if I made the mistake getting the 56mm. Sure, it’s probably good for closeup face shots, but I do that anyway with the 35mm since the distortion doesn’t seem bad.  I’ll probably get it and see if it’s something I would want to keep. If not, I’ll just sell it.

Now, my X100s is my snapshot, food, travel, and do everything camera. My X-E1 is my portraiture camera. That’s all I shoot these days so I don’t need anything else.

Will I be able to shoot sports or wildlife? No, but it’s nothing something I need to do or interested in. So I have my gear set.

Here are some stuff I did with my year with the X100s:

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So as you can see, you can do a lot of stuff with just one body and lens.

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My Obligatory Fuji X-T1 Thoughts

Being a Fuji fanboy, I feel I need to give some thoughts on the official Fuji X-T1 release. There is a lot of info on Fuji Rumors. And Rico did a good review on it. 

I mentioned before, I won’t buy this camera. But there are certain things I am excited about. 

The EVF!

Wow, when I heard about the EVF, I got excited. Realistically, unless there is a major breakthrough, there is nothing more we can do with the sensors. The only way to improve the camera is improving the other stuff.

The EVF sounds like a dream come true. A second window to check focus? That sounds awesome. Bigger, better, clearer, and better than ever? That sounds great as well. Pretty soon, EVFs will have a major advantage over OVFs.

I hope they have a even better EVF for the X-Pro 2 and X-E3. If they do, I’m definitely upgrading just for the improved EVF. It won’t let me take better pictures, but it will make my life easier when taking pictures.

So that’s it. I only care about the awesome EVF that it supposedly has. Everything else is gravy.

Of course, real tethering support will be great too.

 

 

 

Capture One First Impressions

I was impressed by Capture One’s rendering of Fuji’s RAW files in my previous post. Since I had 60 days to try it out, I decided to put it through the paces with my recent shoot.

Obviously, since this is my first time with Capture One, there will be a lot of growing pains. There will be some getting used to with UI and its quirks. Maybe after my 60 day trial runs out, I’ll do my final thoughts on Capture One and see if I want to buy it.

Session vs Catalogue

Capture One has both sessions and catalogues. Lightroom only has a catalogue. If I’m understanding them correctly,  sessions are contained in its own box. So you can move sessions around from computer to computer if you wish. So each shoot can be a session where you can edit in different computers if you wish. Catalogue will just keep your entire photos in one place. I do like the session concept.

Workflow

As expected, my workflow was slower in Capture One. My Lightroom workflow was so fast. And that’s just me being unfamiliar with Capture One.

One of my main gripes was the Photoshop workflow. Lightroom and Photoshop were best buddies, since Adobe created both. But It’s not in Capture One.

I had export my files as PSD (or TIFF) and then open them up in Photoshop. After I make my edits in Photoshop, the PSDs don’t show up in Capture One! Is it suppose to? So it’s not part of my session. I had to create a batch action in Photoshop to get my photos processed to JPEG to publish. I need to figure this out.

My Favorite Feature Not on Lightroom

It’s the keystone feature. Man this is the best feature ever. Lightroom should add this in instead of trying to do it automatically. This makes straightening images better.

Other Quirks I noticed

I can’t pull up the darkest shadows in the curves function. That is weird. I had to use levels to do it. Maybe that’s the intended use.

I also miss my black slider and the white slider in Lightroom.

I’m not sure what the brightness slider does. I guess it’s decoupled with Exposure somehow.

I wish I can read tutorials about Capture One instead of watching videos. I know watching someone do it can be more helpful, but sometimes I don’t want to watch a video to learn how to do something.

 

So Far…

It’s weird. But it’s only because I’m not used to it. I think after 60 days, I should have a better idea and can make an informed decision.

Fuji X-T1 Image Leaks

Fujirumors just posted leaked pictures of the X-T1 and its probable price. Wow, what a sexy looking camera. I am a fan of the rangefinder design, but I must admit, the camera looks sweet. I love the ISO dial on the right, which I suggested in my previous blog post. I’m sure Fujifilms listened to me. 😉 Now, if the shutter dial is in 1/3 stops, this camera will be the best camera with traditional manual controls.

Of course, I won’t get the camera. There’s nothing wrong with it. It even has some of the features I would love to have in my X-E1: better EVF, better AF, better LCD, faster responsiveness, WiFi, and so on (I don’t care about the weather sealing). But it still won’t let me take better pictures.

The only reason I would need to buy a new camera is if my current camera breaks, or when I want a new vanity item. Besides, the $1800 price is pretty hefty.  But man, my G.A.S. is raging from looking at the photos.

Fuji’s Rumored Weather sealed X body

According to fujirumors, Fuji is coming out with a SLR-inspired mirrorless camera based on the Fujica ST design. 

First of all, I have no idea why mirrorless camera makers are making cameras that look like SLRs. The point of the hump is to put the pentaprism in it. Mirrorless cameras don’t need the ugly hump, unless the EVF requires a lot of space. 

Many Fuji users agree Fuji should stick with the rangefinder design. I agree. If Fuji wants to do a Fujica ST design, then they should make it with a mirror. They should do what Nikon DF tried to do, but do it right.

Here are the rumored features of the new body:

  • bigger and better EVF
  • APS-C X-Trans II
  • double SD-card slot
  • weather sealed body
  • launch in January (CES)
  • price range between X-E and X-PRO line

All those are fine and dandy, but I don’t care of about any of those except for the better EVF. The EVF can never be too good. But you know what else they should have? An ISO dial. I hate diving into the menus to get to it.

The original Fujica ST has a dial on each side of the camera. The left one should be ISO. The right one should be shutter speed. And where the film advance lever was, put the exposure compensation dial. There you go, nice and minimal and closely matches the design of the Fujica ST. Also, the shutter speed and ISO dial should go 1/3 stops instead of full stops.

Also, they need to have tethering support. Then it can be seen as a real-deal pro camera for fashion and commercial photographers. Sure, the newer X-cameras have WiFi, but it only works with Fuji’s apps. It should be able to tether to Lightroom, Capture One, and other software. 

Honestly, when I saw the glimpses of the Nikon DF, I was ready to dump all my Fuji gear and move to Nikon. I would’ve bought the Nikon DF with the Nikon 58 f/1.4 and be done with it.

Luckily for Fuji, Nikon screwed up. Like I said earlier, Fuji should do what the Nikon DF tried to do. Fuji should just slap a mirror in their new camera and create a big, bright, optical, viewfinder (along with an awesome EVF). But they should make it the same size as the original Fujica ST. Is that possible? 

So would I get this new body? I don’t know, maybe if they did everything I wrote here. Even then, I’m not sure. 

Currently, I’m 95% happy with my X-E1. It’s sluggish though. It feels “old.” But the image quality is nice. The X-Trans II isn’t going to improve my images much. So what’s the point ? I learned to keep my GAS in check after I got buyer’s remorse when I upgraded my X100 to X100s.  

Upgrading to Fuji X100s if You Already Have the Fuji X100

I don’t think it’s worth it.  

I don’t want to give a detailed review of the Fuji X100s. I’m late to that party already. You can probably find a ton of reviews of the Fuji X100s on a ton of sites.

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At first, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to upgrade to the Fuji X100s. The improvements did look tempting: faster AF, better MF, updated X-trans sensor, etc. 

After rave reviews by a lot of people I respect who use the Fuji X100, it seemed like upgrading was the right choice.

Whether you respect me or not, my opinion is: don’t believe the hype. 

Autofocus

The Autofocus isn’t that fast compared to Fuji X100. In broad daylight, I did notice some improvement. If you don’t recompose, you get instantaneous AF lock. Also, if you keep the AF box at the largest size, it seems faster. But I like to keep the AF box the smallest size to be more precise with my focusing. At the smallest size, the AF speed didn’t seem improved.

In low light, I couldn’t tell a difference. The X100s still uses contrast-detect AF in low light and felt no faster than my Fuji X100. Also, the AF wasn’t more accurate since it still failed to lock on in certain conditions. 

So the AF hype? Overrated. Don’t believe it. It’s about the same as the Fuji X100 in its latest firmware except in certain situations. 

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Image Quality

Honestly, unless you pixel-peep, I couldn’t really tell. They look like the same quality pictures to me. And to 99% of the people, the quality will look simliar to Fuji X100. 

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Manual Focus

Now, this is where it gets good. The manual focus has improved a lot. I love it. You can go from infinity to 1 feet in like half a turn of the MF ring. Also, the focus peaking is a lifesaver. 

So when the X100s can’t lock focus, you can now use MF with confidence. 

Other Improvements

Fuji made other small improvements in the UI, the menu, the EVF, and others. They do feel more convenient but not life changing.

Overall Impression

You can say that the improved MF is worth the upgrade. Is it? I’m not sure. I do love the MF improvement. But I’m not sure if that’s enough to shell out the cash for a new Fuji X100s if you already have the Fuji X100.

If you don’t own a Fuji X100, get the Fuji X100s. It is an awesome camera. 

For people that own the Fuji X100 series, I think the main thing is to follow the iPhone upgrade scheme—upgrade after every other iteration. So if you have the Fuji X100, I would wait until the Fuji X200. For me, since I have the X100s, I would probably wait until the Fuji X200s. 

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My Obligatory Fuji X200 Speculation

Everyone has one, and these would be mine on what more Fuji can do to improve the X100 series. As it stands now, I have no idea what Fuji can do. Maybe they can actually make the AF noticeably fast.

Also, they can make MF better by making the split focusing feature better and giving more colors for focus peaking. Right now, the only color available is white. They should add red, blue, and others. 

I’m not sure how much the X-Trans sensor can push the APSC-sized sensor. So for X200, maybe they can move up to the full frame or APS-H sensor. 

They can attach a faster lens—maybe 23mm/1.4 or 1.8. Or they can keep the same 23mm/2.0 but make it sharper at all apertures

Even though I love prime lenses, maybe they can attach a zoom lens. Perhaps a 28mm-50mm/2.0 equivalent zoom. If they can attach a fast zoom lens with the same IQ, that would be incredible. That would remove the need of the WCL-X100.

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