Fuji X

1

Gear in photo:
X-T1
X-T10
10-24mm f4
35mm f1.4
56mm f1.2

Disclaimer: I am not sponsored or influenced by Fujifilm to write any bias reviews. This is done independently by me and based on my own personal opinions. I am not going into very technical details or pixel peep and will give you a review from my real life experience with the camera.

For the last 2 months, I have been thinking about a solution for a lighter camera load. This idea came about because of several reasons:
1) After a whole day of wedding coverage, my back hurts.
2) Troublesome when doing overseas assignment.
3) I like to bring only the necessary gear for an assignment.

This sparked my extensive research for a new solution which landed me on Fujifilm X series cameras. I had 4 personal prerequisites for it to work during my wedding assignments.
a) Camera handling and controls
b) Focusing capability
c) Noise control
d) Image quality

My verdicts will be based on “Good, Neutral and Bad”. All benchmarked against my Nikon setup

Camera handling and controls
Before contacting Fujifilm, I went down to the Fuji studio at Funan twice to test the controls of both the X-T1 and X-T10. I am very particular about handling because it affects the speed that I work. I don’t like accessing menu to change a setting. Both cameras were able to handle that except X-T10 which doesn’t have a dedicated ISO dial. (A small issue) Changing focus points was like my Nikon and was instantaneous on the back-selector pad. Back button focusing can be setup so everything else was just an issue of habit.
Verdict: Good

Focusing capability
During a wedding, we are thrown into an array of situations from very low light to good light. My main concern is low light focusing. I have run a small test last night on the street at night and everything is performing very fast. Fuji has evolved from their old models with the focusing performing very good. However, I am reserving my opinions about this till I do a few more test runs on the street.
Verdict: Pending

Noise control
Coming from a full frame camera to a crop sensor, this becomes an issue. Thus far, the images that I took last night ranging from ISO3200 to 6400 were quite clean. I will need a few more test runs to give a stronger verdict.
Verdict: Pending

Image quality
After one night of street photography with this camera, I am blown away by the performance of the glass and sensor. Just superb image quality! The JPEGs are usable and impressive. Having used a Nikon for years, I struggled to use the JPEG as it was just terrible. Thus any projects that require fast turn around becomes an issue. I have tried many different permutations and settings but still didn’t like the Nikon JPEG output.
Verdict: Good

I will need to use the camera extensively over the next few weeks in order to give a better opinion. I prefer using it in real life to let me understand the limitation of the camera. Over the next few weeks, I will be posting images taken from the camera to let everyone have a better feel of the camera. Huge thank you to Fujifilm Singapore for the gear!

Back Pain

For the past 2 weeks I have been looking for a solution to lighten my camera weight. My back hurts badly after a day of wedding.

So far 3 cameras I am eyeing to try out this experiment:

1) Olympus (The low light is very bad)
2) Sony (I dont like the raw file)
3) Fuji (currently the top in my mind)

I have tried Olympus once and the low light capability of this will not suffice for weddings where ISO can run easily to 6400. So I am pretty much stuck to 2 & 3.

I don’t like the raw file of Sony. So I am stuck with Fuji.

I have tried Fuji 3 times till today – XE1, XM1 and X100s and all 3 have been terrible at AF. My nikon might be a bad benchmark for comparing AF as everything is so simple on it. And my weird habit of back button focusing makes choosing a camera all the more difficult.

I have shortlisted – XE2 and XT10 to try. Lens wise will be 16mm, 35mm and 56mm. I think this 3 primes will suffice for most situations. Meanwhile, might get a 50-140 for emergency purposes.

The above planning is in the pipe and will definitely need more testing before I make the move.

Pyrotechnics

fireworks-low

It’s an annual affair with NDP. My first time at this angle for fireworks so was caught off guard during the initial burst. There was this uncle standing next to me who was curious about what I was doing and asked me why I shot this way. Guess he will know now…

Total of 8 fireworks shots with 1 base shot merged together.

I am struggling with being alone and finding people around me. I ask myself…what did I do wrongly that I am so alone right now. This is a very interesting study of myself by myself. Maybe I am too direct? Maybe I am not fun to be around? Maybe I am too rational?

Speaking of rationality, I had a very interesting conversation with a friend about this. I must admit she is right. People who are rational tend to see what is at the end ahead and know what is needed to be sacrificed. I hate it.

Speaking of which I made a rather irrational choice on a particular matter.

People enter our lives for a season, a reason, or a lifetime. Most will be seasons or reasons. Very few will become lifetimes. The problem is when we mix up those “seasonal” or “reason” people with lifetime expectations. Many bad relationships and broken marriages have been created over this, and it just never works or brings us peace because we were only intended to know them for a season or a reason. To learn something from the experience (sometimes good or bad,) and then let them move on or move on ourselves. But the lifetime people, those are the ones (and we only get 2 or 3 in our whole life,) who will remain. So the key is. Let people go. The lifetime ones will always stay or yes, perhaps even find their way back to us if that is what’s meant to be. Everyone else however, they were never intended to do anything except pass through our lives, provide us with a lesson or an experience, maybe help us through a rough patch, and be on their way. Let them go!

Missing out on everything

For the past 2 months, my life was a blur. I have been travelling out of SG for business trips every week. I traveled till I lost track of time and was not sure which country I am in – syndrome of missing home. Business trips are very tiring which a lot of people dont seem to understand till they tried it. Sometimes the flights are so crappy that you are stuck in hotel lobby typing emails, getting stuck in traffic is common and moving around for meetings are just so tiring. People think its like holiday trip where you have the whole day to yourself. Time to break the mirror and wake everyone up to reality. How are you going to answer your boss if you took the afternoon away to go sightseeing! This is a business trip, not a holiday. Usually, the day ends at 6 with a dinner and after that is the usual drinks/pub. Nothing much you can do or experience.

On the other side of business, I have been getting more queries to wedding photography due to my friends’ recommendation. I am truly grateful for such kindness and support from friends. I am still figuring out how to plunge myself into the unknown. There is so much pressure from friends for me to take that step. But I am so scared of the unknown.

I guess one has to be patient with God and believe that His timing is the best. Sometimes our human nature takes the better of us and we ignore Him. In the midst of it all, I know I need to listen and accept. It really sucks when you meet a nice person and yet cant do anything about it. It is so frustrating.

Meanwhile, lets pray that I keep in constant talk with God.

Bo Chai

Perhaps I will start off by explaining his name. The word Bo means Ball and is pronounced Ball with a higher pitch to it. Chai in canto is the equivalent to bro in English. His nickname came about because of his love for Nike basketball shoes. I met Bo Chai in my previous trip to HK for Summit 2015 conference.

Bo Chai is a very unique individual who treats his friends with generosity and love. He extended an invitation for me to visit him and even stay over at his place. I’m worried about Mr Bo as he is out of job and is trying his utmost to get back on his feet. My previous experience of being out of job came of use as I chatted with him regarding his job hunt. Somehow I feel that his unemployment streak is coming to an end very soon.

Mr Bo has developed a few weird habits due to unemployment – he wakes up every few hours in the night to do things. Some of the crazy stuff he does – eat sausages, prepare resumes and blast music. Luckily we have the same eccentric taste for music else I might have punch him for waking me up for no reason. I have always believe that the small little things that people does for you matters more and I usually observe such stuff. Mr Bo offered to pick me up at Central despite having a headache. (Gotta call him a bro) He even sorted out my local SIM card issues and my return express train ticket. #truebro

*more to come*