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 guitars....now 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 error.....like 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!

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