Monday, May 26, 2014

So whats next?

Next on my wishlist will be a few lenses, hopefully not another camera. I hope i can skip the X-T1. So tempting and yet so not necessary. I'm in love with my X-Pro1, i'll be shooting with it exclusively. Now my X100s just sits in the bag, it is still my favourite camera but the X-Pro1 being the new toy, needs to be played more lol. I like the X-Pro1, its like the X100S but with different focal lengths. I didnt realize that i'm a fan of telephoto. Usually my type of photography just needs the 28, 35 and 50 in 35mm format. Now with the X-Pro1 with 18-55, i tend to use 55mm a lot more which is about 82mm in 35mm format. I used to be a wide angle guy. Now with the 55mm, I like the tight crop that it produced. More and more photos from my X-Pro1 are at the 55mm focal length, which of course led to GAS-ing the 60mm 2.4 lens. For a start, this lens is getting cheaper now, the prices are dropping, because there's a new kid in the block, the 56mm 1.2 which is selling like hot cakes.
Next, i would love to get the 35mm 1.4 but then according to fujirumors, there will be a new version, a version 2 of this 35mm lens. No more information about it, just rumor of a new version, it could be faster, or sharper, i dont know but i'd like to wait before buying the old 35mm. So the list goes like this, it might change in the future Ha!

1 - 60mm 2.4 lens
2 - 35mm 1.4 lens
3 - 14mm 2.8 lens or 10-24mm lens

Here are some random 55mm shots, my eyes through X-pro1...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thoughts from my X-Pro1....

Just some random snapshots.....

i'm loving my X-Pro1 and if i had a chance to press the shutter, i go for it.

Lets call it my X-Pro1 journal...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My first impressions on my Fujifilm X-pro1

So far.... So Good.... So What!... - Dave Mustaine

Fuji X-Pro1 18-55mm at 39mm 1/75s f/3.6 ISO3200

I know this is old news, right now its all about the new X-T1. The X-Pro1 is.... sort of forgotten. Everyone that i followed who used a Fuji in their professional work, they seem to all talked and upgraded to the new Fuji X-T1, no harm done, i would have but instead i chose to get the X-Pro1, for one reason only, the rangefinder looks..... and of course the great deal its on. Hahah...condemn me all you want but that's just me. i just love the looks. Maybe next time X-T1. I'll wait for your weather sealed lens bundled kit. 

I owned the X100S and i just loved the JPG files that i get from it. Great image quality, High ISO is so good, clean and the grain is just film like, so my standard IQ must equal or higher to the X100S and not lower, thats why i sold my Olympus as , to my eyes, its not on par with the X100S but maybe that is just me. 

So when i test fired my X-pro1, the files didnt look anything like my X100S. I was gutted. I thought the IQ should be the same. it must be the same. But after comparing images between the two fujis, i could see that the X100S is a stop cleaner and better. My X-Pro1 just seems to generate a lot of noise and looked washed out. Ever since i owned the Olympus i turned into a noise-pixel-peeper. Zooming in every pictures looking for noise level. Its not healthy. To my eyes, the X-pro1 files are similar to what i could get from my Olympus. and to be honest, the Olympus is a better camera feature-wise. I have a slight regret of selling my Olympus too soon. and its not helping seeing it everyday, making things worse, seeing my friend playing with its features, touch screen to take pictures and wifi abilities..... i'm screaming silently! lol.

So what is wrong with my X-Pro1? I thought i had a bad copy. It could be the old vs new X Trans sensor and the old vs new EXR II processor. I searched the internet and no one seems to mention about these two cameras. No one compared the IQ. They all said its the same IQ...... being a Fuji. But thats not what i'm seeing. I do found some words of encouragement from fellow blogger who said that the new Fujis are a tad better in terms of image quality. But still i find that hard to believe. I'm in denial. "The IQ should be the same", i said to myself. 

If i'm not making myself clear, here is a summary of my first impressions on my Fuji X-pro1.......

1 - I see DEAD Pixels. (Ok, so i assume this is normal, its only 3 out of millions. But how come i never came across this on my x100s and x-m1? .... maybe i wasnt pixel peeping back then)

2 - Its prone to HOT Pixels. (Yep, at higher ISOs, these white specks randomly appeared especially on shadows area, its like dandruff as i've always seen it on hairs but.... theres a but.... i've never seen this on my other Fujis)

3 - Its MORE noisier than my x100s. (I am making myself believe that this is due to the new processor on x100s which makes its files cleaner)

4 - The JPGs files have not so much "headroom". (I tend to underexposed a picture and upped the exposure one stop in post processing. This is fine with x100s but with my X-pro1 the hot pixels start to appear)

Is there a number 5? i'm not sure.... but all these problems only occur when i zoomed in at 100%. Its not nice being a pixel peeper. Where is thy joy? On standard view, the IQ is awesome, its what you would expect from a Fuji files. So how do i find the remedies that i mentioned above? .....Google is my friend.

a - All digital cameras have dead pixels, you were just not looking.... and mine have 3 dead pixels out of millions? ... it sure bugs the hell out of me but i just have to take it out of the equation. its not visible, unless i looked for it. thats why pixel peeping is bad, it takes out the joy out of photography.

b - To confirmed myself on the HOT pixels mentioned, i searched the internet for Fuji X-Pro1 and the X-E1 High ISOs pictures, since they shared the same sensor and processor and indeed the hot pixels are there too! Those white specks just appeared randomly especially at ISO3200 and onwards. I noticed that its less on RAW files. But since i'm a Jpg shooter, the HOT pixels are not so bad, its still not visible unless i zoomed in...... i can live with it. This also shows that the newer cameras, the x100s, XE2 and XT1 can handle the HOT pixels better.

c - Well noise is noise. I'm lucky that Fuji's grain are film-like. I also believe the newer technology in the X100S handles the noise better and produce better image quality. Look for lens modulation optimizer.

d - About it being not-so-much headroom, i just had to change my way of taking shots. i need to get the exposure just right... i mean thats the best way to take a shot anyway, the best/right exposure. Even if i have to upped the exposure in post processing, its only HOT pixels i have to deal with, which only a problem if you pixel peep or zoomed in at 100%. I mean, i'm not gonna print big canvas any day now... if i would i should have shot in RAW and get the exposure right!

I mean Phewww... i thought i had a bad copy. I'm just obsessed that it needs to be on par with my X100S. But then the X-Pro1 is older and used older technology. which in a way makes sense that X100S is better in every aspect. eg. IQ, faster AF

Like i said, all these problems only occur when i zoomed in 100% and in JPGs. The pizza shot above is fine to my eyes, no lighting involve except the house indoor lights .... thus the high ISO. I'm so used to seeing my x100s files, i find all other files inferior. In fact, i compared so many images of my X-pro1 to my X100S and found out that the X100S seems to used a lot of noise reduction in camera. .....How about that??...... I was too worried that my X-pro1 was inferior, in finding the weakness of my Xpro1, i exposed the weakness of my x100s, maybe not a weakness to some but it is using too much noise reduction. Sometimes i find the faces gets a little smooth and waxy. Now i'm on the lowest setting of my NR.

But thats the thing with my X-Pro1, I am more forgiving to it than i am with the Olympus. I dont know why and to be honest i think my EM10 is a better camera. Small, Fast and Grainy pictures... my X-pro1 only has grainy pictures, minus speed and size lol. 

So thats basically my first impressions, i have yet to put it through its paces, just some random shots and VSCO it to death. and i gotta say i'm liking those grainy pictures of the X-Pro1!

Oh no... I just won my self an EF X20

Yep, what the title says. I am having a serious GAS condition.
Didnt really need it but i want it. To go along with my X-pro1. Small, retro look flash.
On-camera flash, hard flash,.... there are times i love that hard on-camera flash look. Terry Richardson.
Polaroid style flash.

The waiting begins. Hate this part of online shopping.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Weird but true! (Metallica style)

When i first owned a Fuji X camera, i was a bit dissapointed/upset with the purchase, especially as it was GAS driven. I bought the X-M1 for its retro looks, silver on black colour reminiscing those old film camera days, Fuji's image quality receives a lot of praises from professionals which also doesn't help with the GAS mode. Actually it add fuel to fire! I was a Canon user back then and i said to myself after watching a Canon 650d ad commercial on TV that i wanted to upgrade my old Canon 350d to that. but at the same time i was also looking for a retro camera, and i also did not want to spend a grand on a new camera. When Fuji announced the X100, X10 and X-pro1, at that time my passion for photography is practically switched off and also the price of the Fujis put me off. The thing is with me, my passions are like a flick of a switch, back then when i'm into guitars, i just do guitars, when i'm into motorcycles, all i do was read and looked for motorcycles related articles and images, and now my passion for photography is back, all i want to do is take photographs and checking out new cameras or gears. Like i said a flick of a switch and it comes with GAS too. One time when i was into music instruments back then, guitars, from Fenders to Gibsons, i'd have like 10 or more thats a serious GAS condition......

I was also an Iphone-no-grapher (iphone photographer) which i find good enough and easy to bring anywhere to take photos. I was keeping tabs on Fuji developments, its not until they announced the Fuji X-M1, that got me looking into them seriously, its really a cheap affordable camera from their X series. It got the same sensor as its bigger brothers, no EVF... which i dont really need coming from an iphone user, and it's almost small like a point n shoot compact camera but the X-M1 breath DSLR.

So i decided to purchase it while i was in Singapore and as usual GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) just went gone when you done paying. Poof! I remember the first few weeks that i owned it i felt a lil bit regret. I was kind of disappointed that i didn't bought the Canon instead. The learning curve of using Fuji was full of frustration if i remember. I dont know why but if i think about it now after owning Canon, Olympus and Fuji, the Fuji was quite straight forward! easy! lol. But of course, anything new there is a learning curve to go through.

With the X-M1 i got a little taste of what Fuji X systems is all about. I am experiencing the Fuji experience, Fuji's image quality, small and lighter than the Canon and crazy HIGH ISO performances. Upset is no longer the word nor the feeling, it turned to happy and satisfaction. it was a pleasure to use such a system. No more regrets. Suddenly if i bought Canon instead i must have regret that decision. The Fuji colors is just amazing. and the tonal range is just crazy good. its something about the color, the richness and deepness, its not about sliding vibrance and saturation or one once said its all in the white balance, no, there is just something about the colors. i cant explain it. You just have to experience Fuji. Someone commented on my post which i fully and truly agree "Once you see a Fuji, you cant unsee them"  . and i'm talking JPGs here. Imagine what you can do with RAW.

As i've got a taste of what these X cameras are about, i am on GAS once more. When you google Fujifilm, everyone is talking about the x100s. Everyone seems to love it. Almost a perfect camera they said. DSLR killer....well, almost they said. All professionals praised this little beautiful camera. Everyone owned it. David Hobby aka the strobist owned it. Zack Arias called it the Leica killer or Leica is dead. Adam Lerner posted on youtube and raved all about it. Suddenly i'm reading up a lot about the X100S. And when you're on GAS you seem to just make up excuses on the why's. Why do i need the x100s? Why is the X-M1 not a x100s? Why is x100s better? why this why that.....

When you're on GAS, everything seems to be beautiful and perfect on the new "must own" camera. The X-M1 has lost its appeal. Its no longer retro. Suddenly no EVF on X-M1 becomes a reason to own the x100s for its EVF/OVF. But to be honest i do miss having an EVF as i like to plant the camera on my face lol. Since the X-M1 breath DSLR, i just wanted to plant it to my face and peek through the EVF. It didnt feel right to not peek through the EVF. Okay okay okay, i want the EVF, lets just buy the x100s already. The more i read about the x100s, the more GAS got pumped into me haha. Its just a beautiful camera, rangefinder looks, silver on black, as you know i am more on aesthetic than functions/features. But the x100s is only one fixed focal prime lens.... gasp!! i'm so used to having a camera with zooms but as GAS help explained, coming from an iphone user, i dont normally zoom with my iphone camera, i zoom with my feet. Oh thank you GAS, thats perfect technique for X100S. in fact thats how they operate the x100s. So off i went to Manila and i must bring home the x100s or dont bother coming back.

So i bought it and returned to my hotel room, played around with it and there it is again that feeling creeping up on me, a bit upset and disappointed, a slight mist of regret of purchasing the GAS driven Fuji X100S. I mean cmon, this is the camera that i wanted right? rangefinder looks, leica look, EVF/OVF, fast lens, easy bokeh. But somehow that upset feeling is ever present. Press the shutter and looked at the LCD display, "hmmmm, just normal picture, it didnt look like those gorgeous x100s pictures on google" is what i think to myself.  This is just what i would get with the X-M1, so why is it never enough? (buying cameras). i have GAS to blame and myself. And again there is a learning curve to go through. I got a bit frustrated, even though it is similar to X-M1 but yet different. There is a view mode, drive button, EVF/OVF settings, definitely more learning curve to learn. i have no time to RTFM (read the frikkin manual). i want to point and shoot. I just wanted to skip the learning curve but in the end i just had to go through with it because thats how i became comfortable and became the master of my x100s. i need to know the workings of my new camera.

When i first used it, i always misfocus/backfocus (focus the background) since i was using the OVF a lot and was closer to my subject. i didnt count for the parallax i said, i just wanna skip the learning curve. i did got WTF for a while. until i discovered the "Corrected AF frame" in the settings. Phew, that saved me from misfocus all the time. The more i use the x100s, the more i love using it, it became my go-to, bring anywhere camera. I didnt regret purchasing it at all, in fact i would regret if i did not buy it. And once again that initial feeling of frustrated and disappointed by the Fuji x100s turned into joy, pleasure, fun and satisfaction.

As usual, as much as i loved my x100s, GAS reared its ugly head, next on the list of course is the X-pro1. Another sexy black rangefinder looking camera with the ability to swap lenses. Another camera to add into my collection. I always loved the look of an all black Leica, i guess the X-pro1 is indeed a poor man's leica. I'm not ready to shell out 5 grand 7 grand for a camera, so of course Leica is out of the picture. speaking of rangefinder, I almost bought the first digital rangefinder, the epson RD1 used on ebay but based on review and cost i better off use that money to buy a new X-pro1 which has better IQ than the epson. Maybe i'll just wait for the reboot Epson RD1.  The thing with me is, when i get passionate about something i just have all these GAS to buy more gears. That happened to my guitars, motorcycles, classic cars and now cameras!. I guess i'm addicted to buying more gears, it's GAS faults.

So back to X-pro1, after browsing on Ebay, looking for great deals, i indeed purchased the X-pro1 after selling my beloved Olympus omd em10. I just had to go all Fuji. Something about its files that looked right to my eyes, not with Oly. As much as i loved the Olympus, i had to sell it to fund my new X-pro1.
And this is also the first time i bought a new camera online. i got worried if it got smashed on its way here or anything bad will happen to it. i dont like the hassle of returning it, being without a camera for a few weeks, that will just drove me mad. Fingers crossed, click buy it now and wait.

When it arrived, the unboxing begins, setting up was easy and quick as i'm used to the Fuji menus and did some test shots. and then as usual, that feeling is creeping up on me again. regrets? maybe, disappointed? yes.... i dont know why but somehow the files didnt look right to my eyes. it didnt looked like the Fuji's i'm used to. It looked more like the Olympus to be honest. Not a bad thing i guess but it did made me feel regret selling it too quickly, should have kept it first for a few weeks. I guess its a wrong decision to sell it to a fellow colleague as i see my Oly hanging round his neck everyday like a necklace. Bummer!

So back to my X-pro1, i was kinda not happy with the files that i got. I thought i had a bad copy. A factory defect maybe. The files just look too noisy. I do feel like returning it but the hassle that i have to go through put me off, i gotta give my new camera a second chance. I guess its wrong to set my bar high comparing the IQ to a Fuji X100S. x100s = cleaner images, x-pro1= not so much. Isnt it supposed to be the same image quality? But there the files do the talking, indeed something is wrong with my X-pro1 . I dont want to talk much about my X-pro1 here i'm saving it for another post. But what i'm trying to say, after getting grips with my X-pro1, i finally able to turn my disappointment to joy. again. i'm repeating myself here. do you see a pattern? lol

So yeah, after i bought my Fuji, i got disappointed, slight regret, weird but true, these goes to my X-M1, X100S and my newly acquired X-Pro1 but in the end, those feelings turned to joy, happiness and satisfaction (i sounded like a broken record here), the X100S made me want to pick up the camera and take pictures. Same goes to my new X-pro1.

So, why X-pro1 and not X-T1 you say?
X-T1 is next!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Unboxing my Fuji X-Pro1

I'm lost for words. Pictures will do. Speaks a thousand words.

 Got a free plug adapter

 Manuals yada yada yada

 Oh my...


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hello Fuji Goodbye Olympus!


You say yes,
i say no,
you say stop,
i say go go go, Oh no!


I just sold my Olympus Em10. It is now with the new owner who is also my friend. I guess i can become a salesman as i was able to convinced him to buy it from me. He was having second thought, almost decided not to buy it but i used my persuasive skills. it was easy actually, i just put the camera on his desk and showed him the capabilty/features of the EM10...... touch to shoot, image quality, wireless features, wifi remote etc etc etc..... i injected GAS mode into his blood system lol. He is a Canon user, and i show what this little olympus camera can do better than his DSLR. He was impressed with the features! and sold!

sling around the new owner
"As you can see, its a nice camera"

As he was playing with the wifi features of the camera, a thought came to me, did i make the right choice? suddenly i felt a lil bit regret of selling it as i found that the features and performances of the camera is pretty handy and superb. i mean with touch screen shoot, it was quick and accurate almost all the time. it was quick, tap tap tap and all accurate focus and sharp pictures. Not with a Fuji, at least not with the x100s. The wifi remote mode is also handy for selfies or taking a group shot. Just use any iphone or android phone and tap to focus and shoot. Cant do that on a x100s. Damn it! its so good....... and sad to let it go. But just a small difference in IQ compared with Fuji systems made up my mind. "Once i've seen a Fuji image quality, i cant unsee a Fuji" .... one once said.

Uh oh guess whats in the mail today..... ? *cough* *pro* ***

Maybe next time Olympus, when you turned Full Frame.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Uh Oh... Did i just bought the X-Pro1?

Yep! I finally did it....
My object of desire, object of lust, the Fuji X-Pro1, in the end i just have to own it. Purely aesthetical but great photos at the same time. It's a poor man's leica one said but better in terms of IQ, ISO performances bla bla bla... Its GAS. Everything is better.


Its probably in packaging process for shipment right now since i bought it over the weekend. Fingers crossed hopefully it arrived safe and sound here, in one piece and in great working condition.  i just dont like to return items as i find it a hassle process here. i just want to receive it and play with it straight out of the box. I'll wear this x-pro1 as my fashion accessories lol.
I bought it with the zoom kit lens the 18-55mm. i was having a hard time whether to get the 18mm prime or the zoom lens. After a lot of reading reviews online, many pros and enthusiasts seems to liken the zoom very much. its sharp, a bit faster than your normal zoom kit lens, its at f2.8-4, very well made and maybe it focuses better. I chose the zoom also due to it having OIS. i love image stabilizer. i can shoot pretty slow shutter hand held, just for fun, but its better to not get lower than 1/10 or 1/20 although the lens is capable but ya know, sometimes it might not be as sharp as you wanted. i said in my previous post i can take sharp pictures at 1 sec hand held, well... not really... i did shot it hand-held but i put my arms on the desk to keep hold steady, and sitting down at the same time. that was just a fun test shoot. realistically, if i cant find a place to put my arms down on something, its not gonna be sharp, heck, its even gonna ruin the picture lol.
Anyway, back to my GAS. I also chose the zoom for its versatility, one lens to do all. wide, mid and tele. Guys, like Laroque and Lovegrove pretty much sold me this zoom lens. Now that i think of it, i just want the 18mm prime for its square hood look. Maybe i'll just get the 35mm. that lens is in my wishlist. no. wanted list. and the 14mm.
When i bought my X-M1, i thought to myself, i dont need a viewfinder. i just compose with my LCD as i did with my iphone. It was true for the first week but then i just miss the feeling of having a camera planted to my face lol. although as much as i love my X-M1, i am missing the viewfinder and Fuji did not make an external viewfinder for it. They have the X-E1. And at the same time i was really impressed with the image quality, this is when i decided to get the X100S, for its retro look, viewfinder and prime lens (i always shoot with one focal length). Pretty ironic now that i chose the zoom. But with an X-Pro1, i can change lens. i look at it this way, its a X100S with interchangeable lens.
Why get X-pro1 not X-T1 you say? Well, that rangefinder looks, just do it for me. Its a 2 years old camera but by no means its a bad camera, it might be discontinued or obsolete but it still takes beautiful pictures. Its like a 2 or 10 years old guitar, if its in good shape, it still plays music/notes... i mean its still a guitar. same goes to the X-pro1. it will still take pictures until it breaks that is. But then, the X-T1 is still in my wanted list so there. haha.

Well, looks like i'm going Fuji all the way. Sorry Oly. Hopefully there is a Fujimpus. Fuji's image quality plus superb performance of Olympus. Fujimpus.

Cant wait to get my hands on my new old X-pro1.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

3-axis IBIS and XC OIS (revised)

I was playing around with the 3-axis IBIS of the OMD EM10 and it was pretty to cool to actually get a pretty sharp picture at 1sec hand held. Of course i had to push the camera up in my face while my eye on the EVF of course to hold it steady. Like really push it to my face. and then i have this idea to compare it with my Fuji X-M1 which dont have IBIS and see if this 3-axis camera is really useful/working or its just a placebo effect. So i try shooting my Fuji at 1sec hand held and to my surprise, it was pretty sharp too.... i was discontent! and here i thought a camera with IBIS and a camera without one is gonna win by a mile and no that is not the case. so i tried shooting both at different speeds and both was able to get sharp pictures (some after a few tries), so i was like "what the hell IBIS?" . i was cursing, swearing , bull this bull that until i realised that the XC16-50 lens on my X-M1 has OIS! ... what a noob.

In the end, i have enough shots for comparing IBIS and OIS.

ISO 200, 16mm f3.5 0.8sec


ISO 200 14mm f4 0.8sec


i used 0.8 second here because of its high rate of not having motion blur after only the first try. i can get sharp pictures at 1sec (hand-held but my arms were on the desk to keep steady) but thats after 4 to 5 tries. During that time i can feel my heartbeats lol. I've tried my x100s at 1sec and none of the pictures are sharp maybe just one but its just not realistic to shoot 1sec with it hand held. So i guess these image stabilizers do really work. IBIS or OIS which one is better, i dont know. Based on my non-scientific test above both are similar. i heard the EM5 with 5-axis is much better than 3-axis but not much. After these test i frikkin love image stabilizer. sometimes i just play around with slow shutter to test the image stabilizer just for fun.

If only the primes has image stabilizer. This is where the Oly shines because IBIS is not lens dependent!

18mm prime or 18mm - 55mm zoom?

i hate choices.
and i hate decisions.
i was already leaning towards the Fuji 18mm prime fast lens at f2, small and i love the square tin-look-alike hood. but after reading more and more reviews i came across the 18mm-55mm zoom. heard a lot of good things. someone or most of them even said it perform better than the 18mm prime, if u pixel peep that is. the zoom is also quite fast only a one-stop slow than the prime at f2.8. The name "kit" lens is misleading one said. Even the typical focal length 18-55 sounds cheap and plasticky like those Canon zooms but it was not. Almost all pros are liking it, using it in their professional work. Now that intrigues me. Do i get the prime or the zoom? i really hate it when im in this kind of situation. and what pissed me off more is that i'm always in this situation. silver or black? primes or zoom? x-pro1 or x-t1?
i always get into those decisions making situation. and i hate every bit of it. How i wish my em10 is silver but i got the black. i know its only aesthetic but i wear these cameras like it was my accessories. haha.
Anyway, back to the lens. If i take the zoom, i'll get a better performing lens (based on reviews), faster AF, i also get OIS which is really making the decision more harder, because i just love image stabilizer. and its versatile due to zoom. but i sacrifice the size of the smaller prime, maybe weight too, and the good looks hood. To be honest, i dont usually use too much zoom, i'd probably stay 18mm all the time but passing up on sharper image and faster af and OIS makes me in a difficult decision making situation. but making my camera longer in size also takes into consideration. but this but that. i have a trip to London coming and i need to decide which lens that i need. i dont really like big and long camera + lens combo. i love my x100s even with its hood on, i can put it in my bag seamlessly. which makes me leaning toward the prime. but its just a hard deal to pass this zoom lens. What are your thoughts?