miXed zone: Dave Kai-Piper’s workshops, X-reviews and more

AmazonDE (via third party reseller) sells the X-PRO1 for € 935 + € 20 shipping (click here)

Dave Kai-Piper’s travel equipment + Lighting For Location (workshops)

Travel Kit:

Last year Dave Kai-Piper traveled a lot with his X-PRO1. He shared his “travel-kit” on his website here. He tried to travel as light as possible, with, among the others, a 3 Legged things tripod, orbis Ring Flash, Billingham 307 and much more.

Workshops:

“Being a Portrait Photographer these workshops will be tailored to the ideas and concepts of creating wonderful images of people on location.  We will look at all the worries that can arise from shooting on location and create some amazing location based Fashion Portraits.  From Wedding photographers to Fashion to family portrait photographers, if you shoot on location or have to think quick in tricky lighting, this workshop is for you. […] We are very proud to announce two new workshops. While both look at the idea of creating light for location, we are having an introduction lighting day where we will look at the basics of mixing natural light that locations give us with key modelling lights or extra created light. The intensive session will go into more detail looking at multi-lighting set ups and dealing with a technical set ups.”

You can participate to the workshops on 27th and 28th of July. For more information and to book your place check out Dave’s website here.

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X100S

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1)While you may have plenty of gear at home, the strength of the X100s is its simplicity, mobility and silence. This camera will be always with you! You will grab it without concern about weight, security or complications. With your constant companion, you will take photos you wouldn’t otherwise take.” Check out Olaf’s X100S review and see his beautiful shots here.

image courtesy: Olaf

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2) Click here to see the “top shelf episode 007: photography” at the Verge. Jump to minute 7 where Michael Shane talks about the X100S. He likes it and says that “artistically speaking, the fixed lens, introduces certain restrictions that are really good. Having only a 35mm field of view to work with, changes the way you see scenes, it changes the way you make photos, and I think restrictions like that make you a better photographer.” There is also the Verge review here: “Making today’s pictures with yesterday’s design.”

3) FR-reader Baris: “Hello there, This is Baris from D.C, a Turkish fellow in trouble with writing his thesis :) I am a huge fan of your website. I preordered my X100s and I am expecting to receive it tomorrow. (I am checking the UPS site every 10 minutes). I found a fresh review on CultofMac site (click here).”

Outstanding image quality, great straight-out-of-camera (SOOC) JPGs, the best digital camera CultofMac ever used, some useful tips… but one big problem: “no Leica-logo on the front (kidding!)” Here an extract of his verdict:

“Should you buy it? You probably know the answer already. If you want a rangefinder-style camera, or if you just want a camera that handles as well as any film camera you ever owned, then yes. Go buy it. You’ll love it, and you’ll actually want to take more pictures because of it. If you’re worried that you might need a zoom, or wonder why on Earth you’d ever need an optical ‘finder when you have an electronic one, or you think that 1,200 bucks is way to much for a camera with only one focal length, then no. This might not be for you. And that’s cool, because if Fujifilm had tweaked the camera to appeal to a wider audience, then it would never have made the perfect camera for me.”

4) “Enclosed: one Fuji x100s review” of motobloat at dpreview. “So what are we left with? Well, the Fuji X100s produces as-good-as, or better, images than the majority of those alternatives, and to my eye it’s the best looking of the bunch. Add on top of that the most important things: good ergonomics and handling, a good sensor, and a good lens, and you’ve got a winner. For now. This is a good camera. It takes good pictures. My friends like it. It looks cool. All the cool photographers (some of whom seem to spend more time writing about gear than taking photos) are raving about it. I guess I’d better like it. But is it a DSLR-killer? Hell no. (What are you, high?)  The Fuji Xpro2 or Xpro3 might get there, someday, and until then, I’m waiting in the wings.

5) FR-reader Román linked me the X100S comprehensive TechRadar review. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

They liked: “Fuji’s combination of retro design, robust build and excellent image quality makes the X100S a very desirable camera. The hybrid viewfinder provides a superb view of the scene, and it makes a pleasant change to compose images with the camera held to the eye.” They disliked: “There’s no getting away from the fact that the Fuji X100S is large for a compact camera. In the past we might have been able to excuse it because it has an APS-C format sensor rather than a piddling 1/1.7-inch device or the like, but the APS-C format Nikon Coolpix A is much smaller, and Sony has proved that a full-frame sensor can be squeezed into a tiny camera body. That said, the Sony RX1 costs in the region of £2,600 / US$2,800 / AU$3,000 and it doesn’t have a viewfinder built-in. Given its retro design and the presence of an excellent viewfinder, we are prepared to let the Fuji X100S off for not having a vari-angle screen, but it would be nice to have a touch-sensitive screen.”

TechRadar says also that the “X100S’s JPEG results for dynamic range are less impressive than those for signal to noise ratio, with the camera sitting below the Sony RX100 and Fuji X100 at every sensitivity setting, and below the Canon G1 X until ISO 6400-12800. The Fuji X100S shows less dynamic range in its JPEG images than the Sigma DP1 at ISO 100, but picks up to produce stronger results than the Sigma at every other ISO.

Read the techradar review here.

image courtesy: Techradar (page 5)

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X20

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image courtesy: Donato Chirulli (facebook page)

– A wonderful city (Venice), a little great camera (X20) and a talented photographer (Donato Chirulli)… see the images here at Donato’s facebook page. Donato Chirulli is one of the 25 photographers chosen (out of 55,000 photographers worldwide!) by PhotoVogue for the second editon of the “A Glimpse at Photo Vogue” exhibition. See one of the shots that convinced PhotoVogue here at riflessifotografici. Congratulations from Fujirumors! And for a 55-200 sample shot, check this riflessifotografici post here.

– FR-reader Chris sent me via twitter some black and white images he shot with the X20 of the Alaska mountains. Check them out here at facebook.

X-PRO1

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A lot of recent cameras have updated classic designs rooted in photography’s golden past for the digital age; none have done it better than the X-Pro1. A compact, interchangeable lens system and 16-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor mean there’s plenty of brawn behind the rugged beauty.” This is the reason why the X-PRO1 has reached the 8th position of the “Twenty of the most beautiful examples of industrial design born in recent years” at the T3 Design Award 2012 (click here). This years’ winner: Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime. Triple win for Fujifilm also at the 2013 red dot design awards: X-PRO1X-E1 and Instax mini 8. Read the press release “Triple win for Fujifilm at the 2013 red dot design awards” at Fuji Canada here

X-Trans and Aperture feedback (and LR5)

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image courtesy: soundimageplus

1) soundimpageplus posted part 1 of his first impressions and comparison pics on his website here. For part 2 click here. Among the others in the first part he says that:

“[…] when I looked at typical ‘problem’ areas for the Fuji files, dense areas of green foliage, it was a different story. The Aperture files, as you can see, are clearly superior and don’t have that unnatural look that the Adobe files have, even with the latest version of ACR. There is none of that ‘smudging’ of detail and the look that some kind of dodgy filter effect has been added. Great you might think, but this does come at a (slight) price. There is definitely some colour noise and moire present in the Aperture files. […]  So overall, I’m VERY impressed with the Aperture renditions and the colour problems I can deal with easily. Finally, this is commonly used raw conversion software (if you use an Apple-Mac that is!) that does justice to the Fuji files and I got some spectacularly good conversions using it.”

2) Also thedigitalstory posted his Aperture vs Lightroom comparison pics here. “In my opinion, both applications do an excellent job of handling .RAF files. And the fact that both Apple and Adobe had the RAW updates so quickly after the release of the new X-Trans cameras (X-20 & X100S), says that both are taking these cameras seriously. Well done.

3) Thomas Fitzgerald also took a closer look at Aperture, and in his second part he could not confirm the the very good impressions he had in his first look. The goodSharper in detail areas. Retains textures and fine detail well in certain circumstances. Sharpens up well with some careful edge sharpening. Good saturation. Ability to switch between Raw and Jpeg very useful.” The bad? “Unacceptable level of chroma noise. Strange mottling in the blue channel, Moire is uncontrolled and uncontrollable. Random scattering of pixels in detail areas.  Initial sharpening can be a little weak, and the raw fine tuning sharpening is not great – you need to know how to use edge sharpening to get the best results.” Check it out here.

4) Jim Gamblin compared different RAW converters: Adobe Camera RAW 7.4, SilkyPix which came with the Camera, Raw Photo Processor 64, Apple’s newest update to Aperture and the SOOC jpeg. “Given I have done nothing other then open the RAW (RAF) file in each of the RAW converters and resize them for this site, my opinion is Apeture does the nicest job.  The color and detail to me seem the best of the lot.  Opinions will vary on this, I am sure .[…]  The SOOC jpeg doesn’t look too bad either.  In fact the Apeture version and SOOC jpeg look very similar to me, so I did double check and they repersented faithfully.” See the comparison pics here.

5) A review of the new features of Lightroom 5 can be read over here at andreinicoara. His favorite feature is the new radial filter. Check this youtube video.

Tested: X20 review at dpreview

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If you have some spare time, you could use it to read the comprehensive X20 review over here at dpreview. The X20 has an overall score of 77%. For a quick overview, read the PROS and CONS here:

“The Fujifilm X20 is a true enthusiast’s compact, with solid build quality, a fast lens, unique optical viewfinder, and sharp, high resolution photos. It offers a wide selection of manual controls, easily adjustable settings (thanks to twin control dials, the Fn button, and Quick Menu), and 1080/60p video recording. Downsides include a mediocre, hard-to-access movie mode and sub-par battery life. Good for: Enthusiasts and low light shooters who want a compact camera with high-end build quality and features. Not so good for: Users who want to get a full day of shooting out of one battery. Movie enthusiasts.”

Fuji X20: Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

XF 55-200 first look by Tony Bridge

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image courtesy: Tony Bridge (Fujifilm X-E1, Fujinon 55-200mm)

It’s autumn in New Zeland, and Tony Bridge went with his pre-production 55-200 to his favorite place to take some pictures in the dawn. Read the in field test of Tony Bridge at his website here. I’ll post just a short extract:

“Fitted to either an X-Pro 1 or X-E1, it sits nicely in the hand and balances well, and the fit and finish is Fuji-superb […] The stabilisation really works, and I found myself able to handhold at 1/50 second in damp and unpleasant circumstances. […] The scene I photographed is rich in micro-detail, including power pylons, farmhouses, trees of various species and fine lines from intense agriculture. They are guaranteed to test any lens, and I wondered if the lens would deliver what I was the asking of it. It did. […] the lens is sharp right out to the corners, and contains a remarkable sense of three-dimensionality. The files required little or no sharpening, and micro-detail requires little or no extra work. If anything the lens is a little too sharp, and I found myself applying softening in places to create a greater sense of distance-reality. Colouration too seems a little on the cool side, but it is particularly responsive to reds and yellows. […] I was more interested in how the lens would cope in the field, how it would resolve detail, its flare and contrast characteristics, and above all whether it had that indefinable X factor, that sense of character and colour and light and space which marks a truly great lens. It has all of them. In spades.”

Preoder the lens at BHphoto, Adorama or DigitalRev.
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