Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fujifilm FinePix X100 USA Delivery Update

From Fujifilm North America Corporation

We would like to thank you for your kind thoughts and support as we deal with the affects of the
earthquake and tsunami that struck the northeastern region of Japan.  This has been
a difficult time for the people and manufacturers in Japan, and we will continue to work through the challenges and keep you apprised of issues that may affect your business.

We want to take this opportunity to provide you with up-to-date information about Fujifilm.  Fortunately, no employees were injured, but our six major factories sustained minimal damage.  A number of smaller factories had minor damage as well.  Also, due to the general conditions in the country, some distribution issues have been encountered.

The digital imaging business, except for the FinePix X100, remains unaffected.  Due to the safety concerns after the earthquake of Northeast Japan, the factory responsible for production of the new Fujifilm FinePix X100 digital camera was temporarily shut down, but has now resumed production.  FUJIFILM will start supplying the overseas market at the end of April.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company continues rolling black-outs and some risk from the nuclear power plant remains. Fujifilm is currently assessing if there are any other issues that could impact our manufacturing and domestic logistics in the future. Again, FUJIFILM appreciates your patience, and we will try our best to provide uninterrupted service and delivery.  

In addition, to help assist those who have been affected by this disaster, FUJIFILM Corporation announced a relief package to aid in the recovery efforts.  FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation will make a donation of approximately 300 million yen ($3.7M), and an additional 470 million yen ($5.7M) worth of relief supplies.  In North America, Fujifilm has identified AmeriCares ® and the Canadian Red Cross to receive donations for relief.  I know you join us in extending heartfelt wishes for the swift recovery and restoration of the affected communities

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Shipping Update and Images

I've been shooting the X100 and so far I am very pleased with the production model performance.  The only issue we will all be waiting on is the RAW conversion in Aperture, Photoshop and other programs.  Right now I have to work with Silkypix and the software included with the camera.  Not ideal but it works well - just not my current workflow.  So for now I'm shooting RAW+JPEG.

I just found out that the X100 will ship in the USA in about 4 weeks.  So the end of April they will hit the stores.  I know there is a great anticipation and I'm looking forward to the USA launch.  If you have any requests please sign in and post them and I'll do my best to answer them.

The below images are done at ISO 320 - 2500 & 1600 - in that order.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Un-Boxing


The X100 arrives - here are the details.

Weekly Email 3-25-11 Super Moon Over NYC

This week we all probably heard about the Super Moon.  A time when the Moon is closest to the Earth in its orbit.  I grabbed a little info from the web on it and here's the blurb -

"On March 19, 2011 the Moon will pass by Earth at a distance of 356,577 kilometers (221,567 miles) – the closest pass in 18 years . In my world, this is known as lunar perigee and a normal lunar perigee averaging a distance of 364,397 kilometers (226,425 miles) happens.   According to astrologer, Richard Nolle, this month’s closer than average pass is called an Extreme SuperMoon" Tammy Plotner http://www.universetoday.com/83960/march-19-2011-supermoon-or-superhype/

I figured this would be a good photo op if the skies were clear, and they were very clear - so I headed over to Hoboken to catch the NYC skyline.  The main issue many know when shooting the moon is that it is lit by the sun and we are entering the night sky.  Thus the exposures of the two don't match up.  So back in the day photogs would double expose the image - or in the digital age perhaps cut and paste.

These images show how the moon was shining bright and overexposed and properly exposed.

Have a great weekend.

Brandon

FinePix S200EXR
Moon over water - F/7.1 @ 13 seconds
Moon alone - F/5.6 @ 1/30
Empire alone - F/5.3 @ 1.0 second

Sharpness is an issue when shooting for long exposures (in the wind) and a 436mm focal length.



Monday, March 21, 2011

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Bulb Shooting Counter


I'm looking forward to getting my production sample tomorrow and will post more info as I unpack and get the new camera rocking!

Fujifilm FinePix X100 AF Assist in Manual Focus


The AF assist function in the X100 Manual focus mode is a good item to know about when you are in tough focusing situations or want a quick grab shot in manual focus mode.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fujifilm FinePix X100 ISO 5000

Yesterday I was shooting some images of a friend's baby and what was nice to try was the high ISO of the X100, as well as the silence of the camera.   I shot this image only a few inches from her head as you can see - no flash and virtually no shutter sound ( f/3.6 @ 1/200).  This is from a jpeg image and I haven't done any work except a touch of brightening.  I'm excited to shoot more images at high ISO.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Weekly Email 3-18-11 Night Curves

This week while walking around the piers on the west side highway I noticed a nice pattern of twilight between the overhead highway ramps.
The beauty of the new FinePix X100 camera I am using is that due to its size and ability I am able to shoot this image at 1/7th of a second at f/2.0 @ ISO 1600 handheld.  Not a normal exposure for a point 'n shoot style camera, so having a steady hand can be key for a sharp image.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Night Shots F/2.0

Last night I decided to only use the X100 at F/2.  I varied my ISO from 1000-2000 and mostly shot at 2000.
You can see in the names of the files which ISO they are shot at.  These are grab shots which I get asked about - can the camera work under that situation....

TheX100 is proving to be a fun camera to shoot and is an easy camera to fall for.  I am still using a beta unit, so there are a few tweaks needed and these are all unadjusted jpegs.  No (un)sharpening in any program applied.
I expect to have my final version unit next week and look forward to working with it and sharing some info.  Click for larger image if you like.













Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fujifilm Instax Mini 7s Close-Up Lens

Good news for folks who wanted a close-up lens for their Instax Mini 7s camera.  Fujifilm (USA) now has the close-up adapter in stock.  List price is $14.95 and I expect it should show up in dealers soon.  This has been a great accessory who's arrival is overdue.
Instax Mini 7S Close-Up lens Part # 15999996

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Weekly Email 3-12-11 Looking up in Vegas

My travels took me back to Vegas this week and no matter where you go in Vegas the senses are always alive with activity.

A couple of my favorite indoor and outdoor scenes are here for you to take in.  The theme was look up since I always find myself doing that there.

Shot with the FinePix X100 at  iso 800 for the Aria water and iso 1000 for the other two.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

FUJIFILM Instax Mini 50s with FinePix X100

Ever want to make friends at a party? Bring along an Instax camera and the rest is easy!

After the trade show we did some shots with the Mini 50s and the FinePix X100.

FUJIFILM FinePix X100 OVF vs EVF

In Vegas last night while crossing on a pedestrian bridge I shot the images below. What was interesting for the X100 is that I was able to switch between OVF and EVF and see through the lens to avoid the wire of the fence which lines the bridges to about 10 feet high. If I didn't have TTL viewing I would not have seen the wire until playback review. Since i could avoid it with my optical view but the lens would still be partially blocked. I may have missed it also on the LCD playback in a quick look at night.
The AF works well and fast in street shooting situations and can focus where contrast exists - like this scene. Both shots are handheld so any slight blur is my fault at the low shutter speeds.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Fujfilm FinePix X100 - Shipping

As many probably know the X100 has begun shipping overseas. Yes the USA is not shipping cameras yet but will in about 15 days is my guess. A bit of a bummer to have others get out of the gate ahead of us but we will get there.

I'm traveling and want to post more images but have found it easier to find a wifi hotspot on the beach in the Caribbean versus Las Vegas. So more images soon. Any requests? I'll try if possible to fulfill them. Waiting on my production camera and raw conversion software.

Someone asked if you can lock the viewfinder mode so if you have the camera against your body using the LCD it won't switch to OVF. Yes you can set it for either mode only or switching mode through the eye/face detection sensor when it is raised to your face.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Random Images

If there is a particular item or feature on the X100 I can address or help explain please let me know.  As always I mention a caveat on the images I post here.  I am using a pre-production camera with jpeg only processing available to me.  I can shoot raw but not process it, except to an in-camera jpeg which is a neat feature when a quick jpeg is needed.  Here are some random shots.  I'm happy with the blue sky and foggy boat image (ISO 500) since to me there appears to be no light fall off at the edge of the frame.  The taxi cab is nice since for a street grab shot I was able to read the tread markings on the tire.   The camera is near silent which is awesome.  For the horse image - I asked him to smile and said - "Hey, why the long face?".



















Saturday, March 05, 2011

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Film Simulation Mode List

People have asked about the various in-camera processing modes for film simulations.  Here is the list from the manual.  Of course those people familiar with the FinePix S5 will also like the various sharpness, tone, shadow and color tint controls.  In a future post I'll explore the internal raw process mode which has a ton of options for making "custom" jpegs in-camera.

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Close Up Flower Shot

Today while walking up Amsterdam I did the usual photog thing and shot an image of some of the flowers being sold on the street.  This image is a handheld casual shot.  I feel the sharpness is quite nice and I was surprised to see all the dirt in these roses.  I've attached a large file and a crop of the same one.  All images being posted are still jpegs from the camera since I do not have the raw converter yet.

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Random Thoughts

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Open Discussion


The X100 – What’s all the hype about?


For months thousands of photographers have been thinking about and commenting on the upcoming release of the FinePix X100. Since I’ve been lucky enough to test the camera early on I thought I’d comment on the question some ask – “why all the hype?”


I do not claim to have THE answer.  Just an opinion like anyone else.  Here are my personal thoughts on what makes the X100 such a unique camera:


The X100 fits a niche we’ve been waiting for for years.  How does it do this?  For those of us who have grown up on film cameras we love a viewfinder.  Something changes when you hold the camera up to your eye versus 18 inches out in front of you with an LCD on a point ‘n shoot camera.  If you don’t agree or get this  - that’s ok.


When I do my casual shooting I’m using a decent point ‘n shoot.  From the days of the classic Ricoh GR-1, Contax T2, T4 or G2, Nikon Ti, and many other similar cameras – the joy of a compact was mastered in these type of film cameras.   Digital came on the scene and many lens shutter cameras morphed into pure consumer pieces.  There were a few standouts and I used the FinePix line-up from F700, F10, F30, etc.  During the past 10 years I tried many others including the Canon G series (arguably the best selling advanced digital in the world) and others by Sony (I have the NEX3), Nikon P series, and Olympus.  The problem always was that feeling of it’s almost the one I love – but not quite.  Didn’t you feel like the cameras were always a step away from great?   Too many mega-pixels crammed in or too small a viewfinder or no RAW file etc.  If you don’t agree – that’s ok.


So a few years ago I decided to pretty much give up on the point ‘n shoots and carry my 5D with a 28 1.8 – which is now a 5D II with the 28 1.8.  Why not a 35 1.4 or 2.0 – that’s just my choice since I do a lot of party/street shots and thus I’m usually 3-6 feet from the action.  And with the 5D II we all know cropping down isn’t an issue.  It’s a great camera and I would say something similar would be the D700 in the same configuration.  If you think it’s overkill – that’s ok.


The issue I faced was on a Friday night when I wanted to hit the town.  I was dealing with extra weight and the look of the guy with a DSLR all the time.  It’s not a compact thing to carry around a 5DII to every event, bar, date or walk to the post office.  I wasn’t ready to jump on the Leica M8 or M9 bandwagon since we all know that’s another category of financial commitment.  If you bought an M9 and love it – that’s ok.


In the past couple years we saw with excitement many great compact DSLR’s from Panasonic, Olympus, Samsung and Sony.  Canon and Nikon make a few smaller DSLR’s but we know they are gearing down their DSLR’s rather than the new breed of mirrorless cameras.  The GF1 was the first camera to make me excited for what I needed to fill the gap.  I just didn’t want to start over with more lenses and such when I’m so deep into Canon.  I did that once and it’s not fun we all know.  In the midst of the excitement of the Olympus and Panasonic cameras word of the X100 began to leak in late 2010 and I knew if the camera and (my) company get it right – this is the perfect model for my style of shooting.  Compact size with uncompromised performance.  No it is not a DSLR in performance.  For the folks who have asked me about low light AF – no it won’t focus as well or fast as a 5DII in low light.  You just can’t compete (yet) with the type of AF on an X100 (mirrorless off the chip) versus a full DSLR.  I am sure like all tech things AF speed will catch up.  It does slow down a bit when in the Macro mode since the lens has more focus range to choose from.  But getting down to a 4” close up is a nice feature – so I can live with loss of speed since my close ups are usually not moving subjects.  I don’t always need the higher level of DSLR performance.  This is my compromise for a compact pro camera which delivers in so many other areas. If you don’t agree with the loss of a bit of AF performance in exchange for so many other benefits offered almost nowhere else – that’s ok.


So why the hype?  I think it is because the camera gets it all right.  Best I can tell Fujifilm (USA) has never run an ad on it in the USA. I’m not sure what goes on beyond our shores.  Fujifilm (USA) hasn’t done much to promote the camera at all.  To me the hype some folks seem to resent is from the market and I think it is all part of a healthy discussion and love for a camera any of the manufacturers could have delivered, but to date only one or two have even come close.  You probably have looked at some of the cameras I mentioned and even the Sigma DP2 and Leica X1 are excellent units but lack a viewfinder as a standard option.  Price for the red dot is another story most can’t swallow.  A GF2, an NX100, EPL2, LX5, S95, and many other excellent units all lack a viewfinder.  This is what changes your photography.  If you don’t agree – that’s ok.


The X100 is photography in the form we grew up on.  You are in the moment and time stands still around you as you concentrate with your eye on the subject feeling the camera do as you like.  The near silent shutter is a huge bonus as well.  For all the hype, I'm thrilled to see a camera like this finally hit the shelves and by the end of the month the boxes will be in the hands of many others and the debate will rage on.  I hope you are all as excited as I am about the possibilities the X100 brings to our art and industry.  If you don't agree - that's ok.


email - brandon1@aol.com

Friday, March 04, 2011

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Black & White ISO 1000-1600

Here are some quick grab shots from an event last night.  I am really enjoying the X100 as a candid camera since it is silent and fast.  The lighting was terrible since the paintings had spots on them which blows out the highlights behind each subject.  But having a camera like the X100 is a great tool and conversation piece.  Everyone asks - wow what's that an old L@$&# ?  ;-)