Thursday, July 10, 2014

Torn between X100S or X-Pro1

I am heading to London later in the evening, and surely this long haul flight is gonna suck *$$. I love travelling but i hate the flying part. One, there's the long flight, crammed in a confined space, cant straighten your legs, and the elbow resting invasion. its either you or him, that get to rest their elbow on the elbow rest. i love the aisle but this time i got checked in the middle like sandwiches, sitting next to a stranger. I'm socially retard and i'm not good at making small talks. breaking the ice is worst. Two, there's that thing called turbulence. Man, i hate it when the plane trembles, shaking like you're in a cocktail shaker. Thats when you'll remember god. Oh please god, save me. Third, take offs and landings, especially take offs, my mind goes wild when the plane starts rising at 45 degree angle, the plane at full throttle against the wind, i hate my life for seeing that youtube video where the plane take offs and rise to an angle of 90 degree upwards (thats a straight line upwards) and goes round all the way till 180 and boom. i'm not sure if i was looking at a real plane or a big scale model that looked like the real thing. but still that thing look real as sh!t. and me being a worrier, i have a lot of negative things in my mind when flying.

Travelling to London plus Italy, is a photography opportunity, be it street, buildings, landscape and snapshot photography. and dont forget food photography! So which camera is the best? I have the x100s and the X-pro1 but bringing both is not an option. i dont want to lug 2 cameras for travelling. Just not my style. i love photography but i'm not really that 'serious' into it, what it really means is that i'm not about to bring a tripod, 2 cameras, few lenses, and do long exposure shots. Mostly i just get away with snapshots. I want to enjoy more on the travelling, exploring the city and the camera is just for recording the memories. I dont want it to be a burden. and i'm not about to sell a poster of the tower bridge or the tower of pisa. I just need one camera. The ultimate camera.

Both have their pros and cons. I've already decided to bring the X100S but i'm having second thoughts.  I prefer the JPEG images that i got out of it compare to the X-pro1. I found that there's more headroom for editing the X100S Jpegs. and its more punchy and contrasty compare to the X-pro1 but to be honest they're similar but x100s is better/cleaner. Speaking of cleaner thats also the cons of the X100S, the noise reduction is too aggressive at high ISOs. Skins would turn to plastic or wax. I love shooting low light and indoors, thats the worst light for taking pictures of humans with the X100s, ISO bumped up to 3200 - 6400 and humans turns to mannequins. I used to love Fuji skin rendering and when my eyes were 'open', it was actually the effect of aggressive noise reduction. i wish i could turn off the NR or turn off my NR 'eyes'. Maybe future firmwares but i doubt it, it seems that the NR is built into the sensor. Oh wait, they said RAW did not have this wax skin problem. I havent try it though.

The X-pro1 is much more versatile as the lens can zoom. i have the 18-55 kit lens. and its also one of the reason that i didnt want to bring it with me. its just too long. Not DSLR long, but its no compact too. I want a smaller camera, thats where the X100S shines. Its size being smaller than the X-pro1 makes it much easier to bring it anywhere. But since i acquire the Wide Converter Lens, it's always on the camera. and it adds a considerable amount of length. I love 28mm. Just nice wide angle. Really good for taking pictures of the city. More objects/subjects to fit in. But the size of the X100S is now similar to the X-pro1. Arghh. Choices, Choices.

If i remember correctly, the reason i bought the X-pro1 is for this planned trip and GAS. I have a love and hate relationship with this camera. I love it and then i hate it. I just recently used this camera for my evening coffee with friends. and i'm in love with it again. its like an old fling. Sometimes the feelings just comes back. LOL. I love how it feels good in my hands. But i also bought the WCL for my X100S for this trip. WCL is a much more recent purchase. and i love the versatility. 28mm? no problem. 35mm? perfect! But i have 3 batteries for the X-pro1, surely thats enough. I only have 2 for the x100s which i still doubt if its enough for a day. The battery life on the X100s sucks.

Looking at both cameras, i love how handsome the X-pro1 look and i kinda have a change of heart.
Sorry X100s.

You're still coming with me.

Below are photos taken from iphone4 OOC.
Almost similar in size but the X-pro1 is bigger. Sorry for that messy desk.

 X-pro1 is definitely longer and bigger

The WCL fitted to the X100S makes it similar in size to the X-pro1.
Choices, choices

I'm stopping by Dubai on the way to London, i might get myself a Ricoh GR.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

DIY Disassembling Ricoh GR for sensor cleaning!

While i'm on the subject of Ricoh, while searching for Ricoh GR dust problem, i've come across the kinda "solution" to the problem, or creates more problems afterwards. Its a DIY sensor cleaning of the Ricoh GR. Surely the service center did something similar to this, otherwise how will they get into the sensor.

Found this on by forum member i83N. Hats off to him, all credit goes to him, i'm merely spreading the love.

This is for those of you who wants to do it yourself rather than sending it to service centres.

Here's a screenshot of the forum's thread:-

Just like what a lifeguard would say, "Swim at your own risk", or better yet,  "Do it at your own risk, Warranty surely voided"

Here are the steps, good luck my young jedi....

By default, remove batteries and SD card.

1) First you must unscrew 5 screws. Begin with first hidden under grip skin screw.

..........then the other 4.

2) This will release the back panel. There are small ribbon connecting buttons, it pops out easily.

3) After removing back panel, unscrew 2 screws holding the LCD screen

4) Carefully unclip black and red wires around LCD. I think it's power for the left mic.

5) Unscrew 3 screws which are holding the sensor.

6) Clean sensor with microfiber cloth and Giottos Rocket Air Blower.

7) Assemble in backwards order!

Good luck guys, i've never done this, all credits to i83N. 

FYI, he did this 3 times and he lost the left mic.

Sample photos of Ricoh GR with dust problem

Here's a collection of images i got from googling "Ricoh GR dust problem". I dont own a GR but i wanted to but after seeing this problem, hmmm, maybe yes, maybe not! lol, some GR owners are fortunately dust free, which makes me think its either a bunch of GRs are badly sealed from factory or dust will still be able to get into the sensor via the "space" on the retractable lens. i dunno. but surely GR is a great camera to own haha. Now that is GAS talking.

Some got dust on their sensor after 2 or 3 days of owning the GR, some got it after 3 months, some after 5000+ shots, some took a year, oh well.... looks like a jeans's pocket is the worst place to put the camera into, which defeats the purpose of my supposedly pocketable camera!

I know dust on sensor is all brand cameras problem but Ricoh being a single fix lens, being a non interchangeable lens, being $700, should have better seal to avoid dust getting into the sensor, the sensor is not even exposed.

Anyway lets see some pictures,

This guy got the worse case scenario of a dust sensor problem, pictures below. I mean look at that dust, it sure look like a worm! taken from

Poor guy, i hope he got it sorted out!

This is the worst dust problem, it looked like a worm or germ. haha
The others have normal dust spots, more below

Here's one from pentax forum,

a much more easy-able post processing fix but still nevertheless annoying

Here's another from Ricoh Forum

spot the dust..... dust spot.... no pun intended
check out this blog, as you can see, he has dust on his GR too.

I'm not here to bash Ricoh, just sharing some information you need to know about the Ricoh GR. 

But lets not forget the wonderful photos this camera is capable of..... here's one:-

check out the link above, really nice write up on Ricoh GR.

I know camera is just a tool but looking at the picture above, makes me want the GR badly. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Ricoh GR = Dust .... Shame..

I am looking for a pocketable camera and the Ricoh GR is on top of the list. After doing a lot of "research", i found that the Ricoh GR is prone to having dust on sensor. I mean Wha......ttt!! A non interchangeable lens camera, a fixed prime lens, by logic should not have dust on sensor since you cant swap lenses so the sensor is not exposed = no dust. but apparently not. Damn! Too bad. and the dust i've seen on the GR is worm like which is troublesome in post processing, spots and dots shud be easier but big fat worm like on sensor?!! Ouch!. ....I really love this camera already. I've already decided to make a purchase sooner but after i found this issue, it kinda turned me off. From where i came from, its not easy to send the camera for cleaning or service. The only camera agent/dealer here is Canon. I can count how many camera shops that are selling latest cameras in this country, maybe one or two, and mostly they sell latest Canon SLRs....Booo!

Making my decision much easier of not buying the GR but my GAS insisted! My 2nd camera on the list is the Sony RX100 iii, but i'm being brainwashed, 1inch sensor vs APSC, Sony vs GR, i really like the GR and the rave reviews it got. but the Sony being a 1inch sensor, it makes me feel like i'm sacrificing image quality for my own convenience, just because i want it to fit my pocket. I'm so used to getting great OOC quality images from my X100S, i'm worried that i'll be disappointed with the Sony. If only i have the patience, waiting on new products, a pocketable Full Frame, maybe in 11 years, that will be the day, instead of buying old gears. But i want it now! I want it bad!

But i really want the GR.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Random 35

My favourite coffee of all time hands down the best latte i had. This kicks Starbucks ass and CoffeeBean's ass. I love it hot, i love it cold. The best, the best, the best!!!!!!! and that burger looks pretty awesome too! Yum!

Another Day, Another GAS.

As much as i love my Fujis, i'm still looking for a compact pocketable camera. My day to day clothing does not involve jackets so i cant bring the X100S in my jacket pocket, i'm wearing Teeshirt and quite slim jeans, not skinny jeans as my legs aren't skinny, well, not anymore. I wish i had a camera that has a APSC sensor that i can fit to my jeans. At the moment my best camera is my iphone. Because its just everywhere with me. but too bad, the IQ isnt all that great being an iphone4, hopefully iphone6 will be much better!

I'm looking for compact cameras with great IQ, that i can fit into my jeans's pocket. Because i'm just lazy to bring a bag with me. I want to take out the camera out of my pocket and shoot. That easy. Cant do that with my Fujis. but i can do that with my iphone but i want a real camera. I'm not a serious photographer who lugs around their DSLRs or Fujis or Olympus where ever they've gone to, i'm just the casual photographer, snapshots rather than perfectly compose shots. I want a small camera that i can bring anywhere without the hassle, ya know, bring a bag, take it out of the bag, snap snap snap, put it in the bag, even bringing a bag is a hassle to me. i like to travel light. Just my Tshirts and jeans and boots. Thats all. i hate carrying a bag. As much as light the Fuji is, i still find it heavy. I'm looking for the ultimate travel camera, something small, compact and light. but with great IQ.

At the moment, i like the Ricoh GR and the Sony RX100 iii. Both similarly priced. Both seems pocketable. or at least smaller than the Fuji X100S. I love retractable lens. its compact! Sony will be much versatile, zoom, wifi, selfies, but with a 1inch sensor. Ricoh has my fav length, 28mm and it also can do 35mm cropped, bigger sensor APSC, great low light but only at f/2.8. So less bokeh. Both are great point and shoot camera. Snapshots camera.

I have a trip to London + Italy coming, so i'm bringing my X100S and see if i can live with it or without it.

But lets not forget, that rangefinder looks of the X100S makes me want to pick it up and take photographs, or at least just press the shutter for nothing.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Just discovered this, i know its an old story, but i just got myself to play around with the video mode. While its really nice to record videos with nice bokeh, just about 40seconds of footage, 1080p at 30fps, the file size is already at a whopping 200+Mb..... you really need a lot of SD cards, if you are seriously considering shooting videos with this camera. While not the best tool but it is capable. I'm no videographer so for me the X100S shoots video just fine but on the internet, everyone said that Fuji cant shoot videos. Oh well.

While i was googling looking for more information regarding X100S video mode, i came across some forum members posted their videos with a digital zoom capabilities of their X100. Hey, i thought to myself, X100, X100s, its the same camera right? the S is just an updated version or the better version, lets try that zoom mode. Switched on my camera, put to video mode,  pressed the zoom button (+),......... to my surprise, NADA. Nothing happen. I mean wait a minute, how come? did i do something wrong? I was on BHPHOTO website, and there it said "3x zoom"

taken from bhphotovideo, the X100S overview description.

Further googling, i found out that this feature was actually taken away on the X100S. Bummer!. Not that i really want it or ever use it but sure its kind of a handy feature to have. I mean naturally this feature should be available on the X100S, since it is the updated version but instead it was taken away. Its like buying a new Macbook Pro, the older Macbook got a CD/DVD player but the new one took it out, not really important feature but its there....arghh, not really a good analogy but i hope you get what i mean.

Apparently some forum members claimed that Fuji copy and pasted the X100 overview to the X100S when they market the x100s but forgot to delete the 3x zoom feature BUT... BUT they already fixed the error on their side but left other companies still with the old overview description as can be seen on bhphotovideo website above. 

and on Amazon too! i just checked one minute ago!

Not really a big deal, i knew what i signed for, the X100s is a fixed single lens, it will never zoom. I mean its only digital zoom/cropped sensor, what's so good about it? But it would be really nice to just have that feature. I dont use it but i like to have it kinda thing. SINCE ITS BASICALLY THE SAME CAMERA! ....  no no no fuji never said its the same

Its either me and every other X100s owner has a broken X100S zoom function or its just a world wide marketing fail........