Fuji X-Pro1

A lot depends on batteries now

Our vacation is closing in. We are leaving Wednesday afternoon. I am still waiting extra batteries for my Leica Digilux 2, Nikon 1 V1, and Ricoh GR. For the GR I have ordered also the battery charger.

I have spare battery only for my Fuji X-Pro1 at the moment. This battery matter may be a decisive thing now. I would like to have an extra battery for the camera(s) I am taking with me. I have noticed that the battery life of the GR is quite mediocre so the whole day shooting with just one battery could be somehow risky.

Yesterday I already “decided” to take only the GR with me but as you have already guessed of I am not sure anymore. Maybe a two-prime two-camera (28mm and 50mm) option? 🙂

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Friend’s advice

My good friend was visiting my son’s birthday party and we had time for short camera discussion (we usually do). He has been lately twice in vacation (in Spain and Turkey) with his family and I asked him which kind of camera gear he had with him. I also wanted to know if there were some camera features he was really missing during the vacations.

First of all he had Sony RX100 and Nikon D300s (with 18-55mm zoom) cameras with him at both vacations. The following things he pointed out:

– He said that he took most of the photos with the RX100 because of its small size. So, that is one big point here. You do not want to lug big equipment with you.

– He stated that a zoom lens is a must.

– He was missing a viewfinder a lot when using the RX100. The heavy sunshine made the LCD useless in many occasions.

– In-camera ND filter would have been great many times. He was not able to use wide apertures that much in outdoor shooting because of extreme light.

 

And here are my thoughts on those comments based on the cameras I have:

– My cameras in size order (from the smallest to the biggest): Ricoh GR, Nikon 1 V1, Fuji X-Pro1 and Leica Digilux 2 (these last two are actually equal in size). So, one point for Ricoh GR.

– I have only one zoom lens. It is the 10-30mm/3.5-5.6 for Nikon 1 V1. And of course Leica Digilux 2 has a fixed 28-90mm zoom. One point for Nikon and Leica.

– All my cameras except Ricoh GR have viewfinders. One point for X-Pro1, V1, and Digilux 2.

– Only my Ricoh GR has an in-camera ND filter. Nikon 1 V1 has, however, shutter speed option of 1/16000s which should be fast enough in strong light. So, I will give one point to Ricoh GR and Nikon 1 V1.

 

Now, let’s count the points. Fuji X-Pro1 = 1 point. Leica Digilux 2 = 2 points. Ricoh GR = 2 points. Nikon 1 V1 = 3 points.

So, Nikon 1 V1 seems to be a winner here per my friend’s advice.

Good news for X-photographers

Fujifilm has announced X-E2 X-Trans sensor camera and it seems to have quite many great improvements. For me the increased AF speed (by adding in-sensor phase detection and a faster processor) is of course one of the biggest things. Another big one is the possibility to choose minimum shutter speed when using the auto-ISO feature. This makes auto-ISO usable. There are many other additions and improvements and I would advice you to read Patrick LaRoque’s first impressions from his great blog.

What I am really waiting for is the X-Pro2. I would like to have an optical viewfinder in addition to electronic one. And I hope Fujifilm would provide now at least a FW to add the possibility to choose minimum shutter speed in auto-ISO for us X-Pro1 users. We have been waiting and waiting for that feature.

All in all, I am very pleased to see how nicely X-serie cameras evolve. Big thumbs up, Fujifilm!

Fuji X-Pro1 it is!

I have gone through lots and lots of shots taken with my cameras and after that process it seems quite clear to me that I am going to take my Fuji X-Pro1 with me to our vacation. Why so?

You really can’t beat the IQ of X-Pro1 and XF 35mm/1.4 combo with my other cameras. You can get nice thin DoF and so pleasing bokeh with that combo. I have always been little bit towards longer focal lengths so the 50 mm equivalent is a good general purpose lens for me. And I would like to see how versatile I could be just with one lens. It would be possible to take my Ricoh GR in addition to X-Pro1 but I have noticed that if I have got two cameras with me I almost never use them both. A zoom lens would of course be a wise solution but I actually hate zooming and love high-quality prime lenses. And I do not have a zoom for my X-Pro1 (I am not into getting one at the moment). I already have two batteries for my X-Pro1 which is great at vacation. What I should do is to buy an extra SD card though. I have now one 16 Gb and one 8 Gb cards but I should get another 16 Gb one. After that I will be all set up.

One more thing. My wife is a very keen photographer and she will have her Olympus XZ-2 zoom compact with her in our vacation. So I do not have to take photos of every happening and still those family moments will be captured.

I have been practicing the back-button focusing with my X-Pro1 and AF really seems to be considerably faster that way.

Here is one X-Pro1 shot for you to enjoy. 🙂

Bored to my photography

47mm

I really love the 47mm crop mode which Ricoh GR acquired in the latest firmware. The GR now has the native 28mm field of view and two crop modes, 35mm and 47mm. This really elevates this camera in the new level. The difference between 28mm and 35mm is not huge (in my mind) but 47mm is of course in a different league. What I noticed, though, was that I was using almost exclusively the 47mm crop after its introduction. That could be because of the excitement about this new feature or it could be because of my preference to longer than 28mm focal lengths. This made me think about this whole situation (again). If I am towards longer than 28mm focal lengths should I use (or take to our vacation) my Fuji X-Pro1 with the fantastic Fujinon 35/1.4 lens (50mm equiv.) instead of the GR? Better IQ because of no cropping made. Well, it seems that life is never easy when pondering about the gear… 🙂

Here are just few shots taken with the 47mm crop mode (Ricoh GR).

Nuts At the playground Autumn colors

Four latest shots with four different cameras

I have four cameras at the moment. It seems to be too much as I do not have time to use each of them as much as I would like. And it is fall time again. We are turning into the dark side.

Darth Pirate

This “Darth Pirate” shot was taken with my Leica Digilux 2. It is like a dinosaur of the cameras. Like a huge slow sauropod. I have quite mixed feelings about it. Some day I love it some other day I hate it. Today I will say that it is an interesting relic.

A lamp

An IKEA lamp. Oh my, I really am out of ideas. Shot with my Ricoh GR. This is in-camera JPEG with bleach bypass effect. It actually turned out quite nice. GR is a very capable camera limited only with its 28mm field of view. So small and easy to take with you but I am every time wondering if it will fulfill my photographic needs. You should read this that if I am able to utilize the 28mm properly. I’m never sure.

Speed

Fast AF. And that’s about it. V1. I am irritated already at ISO 400. Too much noise. I actually like the freedom the 10-30mm zoom offers but you have to go into the menu to change many basic things. That’s why Nikon 1 V1 really feels like ver. 1.0.

I'm number one!

What a fantastic IQ. And that’s about it. The AF still hunts and hunts and hunts. It was pure luck that I nailed the above expression. Usually it is frustration what I will get. But sometimes I am rewarded lavishly by the IQ. That’s the Fuji X-Pro1.

What a peculiar camera collection I have.

What kind of travel combo to take with?

In coming November our family is going to have a vacation in Puerto Rico, Canary Islands. I am already now thinking about which camera equipment to take with me for that trip. Most of the shots will be definitely taken outdoors and some of course in the hotel environment. There are some landscapes to shoot and certainly lots of pics about my family and their activities. I don’t want to take very extensive camera stuff with me. I have three cameras at the moment but I am not sure how well they would serve me in a trip like that. I am usually photographing quite near our home (or summer cottages) and I am able to go back to those sites quite quickly with different camera stuff if needed. In this forthcoming trip it will be different story in this respect.

I have following camera stuff:

– Leica Digilux 2; 28-90 mm (equiv.) fast lens; on-board flash; old, slow camera; only JPEGs

– Ricoh GR; 28mm (equiv.) lens; very small; on-board flash great IQ

– Fuji X-Pro1; 53 mm (equiv.) lens, two manual-only focus lenses (83 mm, 203 mm equiv.), reasonably small; no flash; great IQ

I have been thinking about to get XF 18-55 mm (27-83 mm equiv.) zoom as a travel lens for my X-Pro1 even if I like primes more. In that way I could take only X-Pro1 with me (it has great high-ISO capabilities so no flash is needed). That lens has image stabilization which could prove to be a nice feature.

I would be very interested in hearing your opinions on this? What would you do?

Testing, testing…

Yep, more testing to come. This time it will be JPEGs, JPEGs, JPEGs. Sounds horrible, doesn’t it?!

Three times JPEGs. Leica Digilux 2 (already shooting only JPEGs), Fuji X-Pro1, Ricoh GR. I’ll put all in JPEG mode.

I actually have many fantastic JPEGs from all of these cameras. And I have the experience that also JPEGs allow quite much tweaking in LR if needed. And if there are some blown out areas – who cares?! Let’s call it an artistic impression then. 🙂

I’ll test this triple-JPEG approach for some time from now on. I can’t really specify the duration because I am so impulsive person. But if I am pleased to this test those cameras may well stay in JPEG mode. Or not. Let’s see.

With the GR and X-Pro1 I have very nice in-camera filters/effects to play with. B&W, high-contrast B&W, bleach bypass, positive film, Astia, Provia, Velvia, Pro Neg. Just to mention some of them. I really want to test those famous in-camera Fuji colors more.

Let’s be part of Joint Photographic Expert Group!