Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The New Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 Hybrid Instant Camera


The Fujifilm Instax film cameras and film has been the shinning star of the film world for the past decade. As Polaroid declined in popularity and profitability, Fujifilm transformed their instant film business from passport and ID pictures to family and friends. The cameras were simple to use, cute to look at, and fun to share. One weakness of these cameras was that it was easy to mess up a picture, a costly mistake (about $1 USD per image at least). The compromise was the Instax printer. It could print directly from a Fujifilm camera, or using an app, directly from your smartphone. Another complaint was that the cute and fun Instax Mini prints were too small, and wouldn't print the square Instagram images properly without cropping the sides of the image. How would Fuji solve this problem? A new film format and a new hybrid camera system would be necessary.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Believe in Film: The Leica M-A with 35mm Summilux in Hong Kong

Cinestill 800T
Film photography. Is it dead? Not dead. Dormant? No, it's actually growing. Will it ever be what it was? Probably not. Digital photography is here to stay, but so is film photography. There will always be a niche market for any sub-section of any hobby, but film photography wasn't a hobby. It was the primary way we captured images for over 100 years, so film isn't disappearing any time soon. One reason is because of the hardware. How many film cameras exist today? In the hundreds of millions for sure. Lenses, the same. Since the 1930s, film cameras and lenses were produced for the mass market, as well as for the technical and professional markets. Many of these cameras were built like tanks, meant to last for generations. Yes, film photography and film cameras are here to stay... for a while still. It will never be a mainstream product, but it's more mainstream than people think. Many think of iconic European manufacturers of high quality film cameras who have either disappeared or moved on to making digital products exclusively. There is one major exception. Yes, Leica Camera AG of Wetzler Germany.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Bling Bling: The Fujifilm X-Pro2 Graphite Edition


If you look at the modern history of professional cameras, the concept has always been pretty simple: build it sturdy and keep it stealth. Thinking back to all the flagship pro cameras of the past few decades, the 'all black' flagship is the standard across almost all Japanese camera manufacturers (with some exceptions of course). The Nikon F series (even the titanium versions were painted black), Canon F1 and EOS 1 series, Minolta 9xxx series (and Sony 9x series). Minolta did have that one horrible Maxxum/Dynax 9 in a gold titanium series, but I've never seen them in the hands of working pros. I shot pro sports for years, and all the cameras along the side lines, always black. Black means pro to many in the industry, and I tend to agree. Working photojournalists, sports photographers, conflict zone photographers, wedding photographers, they want a camera that work. The fact it's gold, silver or pink really isn't a priority and often a distraction (or the wrong type of attraction). This is why I understand the original X-Pro1 only came in black, and when the X-Pro2 was released last year, I knew that the engineers and designers would insist to only release it in black.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Why I Still Love Shooting with my Ricoh GR


When I went to Hong Kong in the summer, I announced on my YouTube channel that I wasn't going to take my personal Ricoh GR. It was a tough decision, but I had my reasons (I explain it in this video). People thought I was giving up on my Ricoh GR, that I was a total Fujifilm and Leica convert. This couldn't have been further from the truth. I don't own any Fujifilm or Leica gear, I just review them. Yes most of my videos are about these two brands, but that's because I review cameras, that's my job. My Hong Kong trip was for work and there was no personal time to take my own pictures for myself. That's why the GR stayed at home. A month later I took off to Osaka with my wife to visit my little brother and his family. Guess what? I took my Ricoh GR in conjunction with the Fujifilm X-T2 and XF 23mm f/2 WR. Did I have fun with the GR and was it still a significant photographic tool? Yes and yes!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Fujifilm X100F, X-T20, XF 50mm f/2 WR, X-Pro2 Graphite Edition

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 Graphite Edition, X100F, X-Pro2, X-T2 with booster grip, X-T20, XF 50mm f/2 WR
Fujifilm has started 2017 with a splash. Look at all these new goodies in store for all you Fujifilm fans. Which ones were you anticipating the most? The X100F? The XF 50mm f/2 WR? Sorry, I'm on the list to test the GFX but I still don't have my review copy yet. Fujifilm could have decided to release all these new items at CES 2017... but they didn't. It seems like for the past few years they've ignored CES and saved the best for their own press release. Let's look at what's new, what's old, and what's up.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Keeping it Simple from BHT

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF35mm f/2 WR. ACRO + Ye
Dear blog followers,

I apologize for my lack of posts for the past.... few years. As you know, I've shifted my focus to my YouTube channel and Instagram account, and for that I feel badly. My blog started it all. My blog helped me through some pretty tough times. I use to post to my blog similar to how I post to Instagram, snapshots with short and sweet stories. This is no longer true. The past few months have been insane. I took on a project in Hong Kong that was bigger than I could handle. In 3 weeks I shot almost 40 videos, shot with 5 different cameras, much of which I still have not edited. I've started about 4 articles on my blog, but they're all in draft mode. Each article is long with lots of pictures, and I guess that's been my format for a while. Maybe I should change back to the old format? Perhaps I should start slowly again with smaller, shorter articles with a single point or thought? How about a single picture (or two) with absolutely no thought? Yes, that's what I'll do.