Monday, February 16, 2015

Full Review: Fujifilm X100T in Hong Kong

1/350th sec f/4.0 @ ISO 400. Classic Chrome jpeg. To Kwa Wan, Kowloon, Hong Kong

I've had the Fujifilm X100T for almost 4 months and I've really come to appreciate this unique little camera. It's small in stature but very large in capability. Many new X100 series owners have abandoned their DSLRs and ILCs for this camera. Why? It costs more than many DSLR and mirrorless ILC kits, even though this fixed lens, APS-C sensored point and shoot (ok, that's a bit of an over-simplification) has less features, less megapixels and slower autofocus. For example, the Sony A6000 is less than half the price of the X100T ($598 vs $1299 as of Feb 2015), same size sensor, better specs, faster AF, interchangeable lenses,  and will destroy the Fuji when it comes to video recording. I know others that have very expensive and powerful DSLRs (Canon 5D mark III) and insane lenses, and yet will still choose to shoot with their X100T instead. Does this make any sense? Yes.

I argue that there are some features that many photographers value above specifications or a price-performance quotient, such as the unique and powerful hybrid viewfinder. Size, weight and shape is hard to quantify as a spec, but how a camera feels in the hands and how it suits your shooting style is also a buying consideration for many photographers. For others it's about how a camera makes them feel based on the aesthetics of the camera shape and design (many brands hire firms like Pininfarina and Porsche to help design their products, such as the classic Nikon F3 designed by Pininfarina). So what type of photographer are you? What values do you put above all else when it comes to buying and using a camera? Why should you consider buying the Fujfilm X100T? Let's find out...

Friday, February 6, 2015

Interview with the Fuji Guys Canada: Ryuichi Matoba and Greg Poole

It's not every day you can corner an interview with the president and vice-president of Fujifilm Canada without it being at a big photo industry tradeshow or event. Even then, there would be a line-up of bloggers and more established channels of media who want a piece of these Fuji Guys. Lucky for me that the new Fujifilm president Ryuichi (Richie) Matoba and vice-president Greg Poole (Fuji Guy) were in town to do a photowalk and I was invited as a special guest, as well as the other local X-Photographers. It was hosted at Revolver Coffee in historic Gastown (we did our last Leica Akademie there in the summer) and this was the opportunity I was waiting for. I had about 20 minutes before the event to ask questions concerning the photo industry in general, as well as specific questions concerning Fujifilm's X Series of cameras. He's a quick rundown of the conversation...

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lens Review: Fujifilm XF56mm f/1.2 R APD

1/1100th sec f/1.2 @ ISO 400. Classic CHrome Jpeg

The Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R APD is a great lens. It's not because it's the sharpest, or has the best colour or an array of other sought after features. It's great because it's unique. Not unlike much of the Fujifilm X series cameras and lenses, Fujifilm stands out as different and this gives their cameras and lenses an edge over every other brand. Why? Because when you shoot with most 85mm equivalent portrait lenses, everyone seems to be aiming for the same effect in the same exact way. Not Fujifilm. They remind me of Minolta in the 80s and 90s with their Dynax-Maxxum series of cameras and lenses. They were trend setters and made unusual cameras and lenses that puzzled many (9 blade circular aperture, programmable hold buttons on the lenses, flare cutter aperture, Smooth Trans Focus technology (apodization tech!), AF 500mm mirror lens, etc.) but had a huge legion of fans that liked their unique approach. 

In fact, this apodized lens by Fujifilm is the same technology that Minolta introduced on their 135mm STF lens in the 90's (although the Minolta could alter the secondary aperture to change the bokeh), further proving my connection between Minolta and Fujifilm. How effective is this APD technology, and is it worth paying an extra $500 to get it? Let's find out