Switch (cheap) to the X: LAST X-DEALS DAY! + “The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die” (FR-readers switch eXperience… and songs)

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This is the last day to make your swich as cheap as possible. Thanks to Rico’s (great) first look (which will be updated several times, so check it every now and then) you know a lot more about the X-M1. This will help you to decide wheter to go for the X-E1/X-PRO1 or wait for the X-M1. Check the crazy X-superdeals here at AmazonUSBHphoto and Adorama [Adorama offers a lot of accessories, while Amazon has a 2% reward].

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The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind. –Friedrich Nietzsche (via Jensen).

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Jensen:

“have a tumblr post describing my primary reasons for switching to the Fuji X-E1 here.” Here some extracts of his experience with the X-E1:

“I have switched, swapped, paired, replaced and revisited my imaging toolkit at least twelve times. […] At long last, I have made my decision. I’ve finally settled—and let us be clear that it is indeed settling, no matter how satisfied I am—on Fujifilm X series interchangeable lens cameras […] Every camera system I have used has had issues—major issues—of one kind or another. Instead of talking about that, I’ll tell you what, in aggregate, made this the camera system for me. […]

It’s small. Small enough, anyway […] But, large enough to hold and handle comfortably.

High quality lenses are produced by the company that produces the cameras. […] The “kitlens defies that very moniker offering a brighter aperture than every other competitor in every class of interchangeable lens camera and, more importantly, an aperture range and performance level that allows me to consider it a first class lens in my set rather than just something I’d fall back on if needed.

On my X-E1, without even powering on the device, I can select shutter speed, EV compensation, and aperture values (on lenses without variable aperture). The most important settings are immediately available and visible at all times.

The JPEGs produced by this camera are top notch. They continue to best the external RAW processors for pure detail rendering from the X-Trans RAW images, and when you appropriately apply the film simulation modes, the results are stunning. I have never used a camera where I have had so much satisfaction from the JPEGs it produces. It is already beginning to change the way I go about making and processing images in some circumstances.

Unmatched (in its sensor class) low light results. There is a downside to this, which is the base ISO is a high 200. However, I would rather expect to stick an ND filter on in the rare cases where I need slower shutter speeds than give up the one stop advantage this camera holds over the other APS-C compact cameras. It’s simply a matter of taking in more light on the sensor. There is no special magic here. The sensor is the same 16mp sensor Sony sticks in several of its own cameras. But, the low pass filters eat up a lot of light. Getting rid of them entirely (rather than replacing them with a benign construct as is done on some cameras for the sake of manufacturing tolerances) frees up a large amount of light and that is why the base ISO is 200 and the performance at 6400 is on par with 3200 on the competition. This is why it really does compare to full frame cameras at higher ISO shooting. Same exposure times, similar noise levels. Just avoid 100 ISO since it’s faked in JPEG and results in the loss of some dynamic range.

Most importantly, this decision frees up my mind to simply enjoy photography again without always wondering if I’m really happy with the tools I’m using to do so. I have a little bit of a Merkin Muffley feeling going on. So, now you know how I learned to stop worrying and love the camera I picked.

Jenses

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Evan:

In early 2012 I watched a video posted by Zack Arias – he had just traveled to Mumbai and shot with the Fuji X-Pro 1. I had heard of the camera, but never paid close attention to it. For the past five years I had been using Canon gear for my wedding and portrait work – I was addicted to fast primes and large bodies that felt ‘professional.’ Zack’s video started to change my outlook and interest in the Fuji X system grew.

In early May of 2012 I came across the opportunity to trade my Canon 5D MKII for a used X Pro 1 and the 18 & 35mm lenses. I had been plagued with autofocus issues (back focus, back focus, back focus!) and no amount of fine tuning seemed to turn the tide. I jumped on the trade and parted with a good chunk of my Canon gear. My first impression? I was disappointed. I was in love with the styling of the X Pro 1 and I was in love with the files that it produced, but the autofocus capabilities of the early firmware meant that I never really used the Fuji system for wedding work. From time to time It would capture a personal photograph and I’d end up telling myself that it would make an appearance at the next wedding, except that I would always retreat into my ‘Canon comfort zone’ and shoot from behind a cloak of familiarity.

As the wedding season progressed the weight of my gear bags increased. I was carrying more primes; from the 50 1.2L and the 35 1.4L to the 135 2.0L. I purchased the new 600EX speedlights to take advantage of their wireless capabilities. By January of 2013, the Canon bodies, lenses and speedlights totalled 25KG. Silly. The X Pro 1 was starting to look tempting based on its weight and size alone. I updated the firmware on both the body and lenses and crossed my fingers. I tackled small assignments. Loved it. I slowly introduced it into weddings. Loved it. Is it as fast as my Canon 5D MK1 or MK III? No. Do I have the same selection of lenses? No. Am I having fun? Absolutely.

I used to shoot with Nikons before moving into Canon. At the time I cursed myself as everything was foreign and I wasn’t able to anticipate how the equipment would respond in certain situations. With time I learned to work with the quirks and at this point I don’t even think about them. Second nature, just like shoe laces. As a documentary wedding photographer I need to move quickly and quietly. I don’t like to stand out – I would rather watch the day unfold through my camera. In using the X Pro 1 I’ve had to adjust how I shoot to accommodate a new set of quirks, but I find that I’m less obtrusive, I make less noise, and at the end of the day my back and shoulders thank me. I can’t rely on it for everything (low light work without flash will still fall on the shoulders of my Canon gear), but it will be responsible for capturing a large portion of any given wedding day – I’m looking forward to sharing those images as the summer wears on! There are a handful of photographers online who use Fuji gear for wedding work, but I would love to see more, especially as I push the system more and more. Hopefully this post helps pique the interest of those who haven’t held an X-E1 or X Pro 1.

At this point in time I’m much happier with the autofocus capabilities. I’m still holding out for the 23mm and 56mm lenses, but those will be here soon enough. The dynamic range is incredible, tones are beautiful, and I love shooting in strong light. I’m not quite accustomed to the angle of view that the 18mm provides, but shooting with the 35mm (all of the images in this post were taken with this lens, set at f2.8 or less) is a pleasure. Its sharp, its punchy, it just feels solid.

Onwards and upwards. Cheers, Zack. And cheers to you, you little camera that could.”

And the main address of the blog is: http://evanmcmaster.tumblr.com

Evan

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Scott:

I was never really a fan of the DSLR.  It is big, clunky, nothing is tangible.  It is too automatic.  I learnt on film and liked the slowness of it.  I would never take my DSLR anywhere. Buying the fuji x-e1 has helped re-inspire, has reminded me what I liked about photography.   That being said, it is not without it’s flaws.  I own and use the d800, 5d3 and x-e1 for work and i can say this.

The X-e1 is the most enjoyable camera to use – especially when I have time to think.  However, when compared directly to the d800 or the 5d3, the image quality is lacking.

A simple comparison.

D800:  AMAZING IMAGE QUALITY, but a real pain to use.  Slow focusing, green LCD, doesn’t fit in my hand well,  processor is sluggish.  And then there is the Nikon Service center – horrific customer service for a very glitchy camera.

The 5d3 is the fastest camera with the most useful operations in an event environment, image quality is adequate but nothing exciting, but this camera is a good performer.  Programable memory banks make this camera.

Fuji X-e1Small and super fun to use.  Love the digital view finder.  It’s too slow to use in any type of fast paced environment and the image quality is lacking when compared directly to full frame options, but it is a purist camera and makes you think about your shots.

My wish would be for a full frame fuji x with image quality similar to the d800 and faster processing times. That would be my dream camera. I know full frame is unlikely, so I can at least ask for focus peaking [admin: will come in July] on the next go around, and a faster processor – but that’s pretty certain.

In terms of shooting primarily for events, I cannot switch my main camera to the fuji X yet because it’s just too slow for focus [admin: also faster focus will come in July ;)] etc – but as a second camera to be used in moments when you can think, it is a real pleasure to use and doesn’t weight much.

Lenses:   XF 35 1.4 – Leica 50mm f2 – Leica 90mm f2 – TAIR 11A 135mm

www.scottruddphotography.com
www.scottruddevents.com
www.scottruddmusic.com

you can listen at Scott’s songs here

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Scott

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First Look: X-M1 with New Kit Zoom and Pancake Lens

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by Rico Pfirstinger

Talk to Rico (open forum for questions & feedback)Rico’s Flickr sets – X-M1 sample images – Mastering the Fujifilm X-Pro1 reading samples (65 free pages)

Click here to read Andy Westlake’s excellent preview of the X-M1 on DPR – Click here to jump directly to my set of sample images taken with my pre-production camera and lenses

Edit [16/9/13]: Added additional findings to the “pro” section of this article.

Edit [1/8/13]: Added plenty of new samples, both JPEG and RAW (Lightroom & Silkypix) to the Flickr set. Updated Pro/Con comparison with X-E1.

Edit [30/6/13]: Added several SOOC JPEG portrait samples taken with the X-M1 and the two new lenses to the Flickr set.

Edit [29/6/13]: Added my experiences using an USB adapter to get RR-80 remote controls to work with the X-M1

Fujifilm’s new X-M1 mid-range system camera is targeting users and fans of premium compact cameras (like the Sony RX100 or Fujifilm X10, X20 and XF1) as well as users of entry-level DSLR cameras who do not want to compromise on image quality, but prefer a small, lightweight and still affordable package. It’s important to recognize that the X-M1 was at least as much inspired by the Fujifilm X20 and XF1 as was by its older and more expensive system camera sibling, the X-E1.

In other words: This is as much a smaller X-E1 as it is an APS-C sensor sized system camera version of the XF1 or X20. Believe it or not, but the X10/X20 is actually a little bit larger than the body of the X-M1.

A Little Bit of Everything

This turns the X-M1 into kind of a hybrid system: It features the mode dial, scene modes, additional AF modes (including face recognition and pattern tracking), an additional OIS mode and the “art filters” of Fuji’s premium compact and bridge cameras. At the same time, it records images with the same 16 MP APS-C X-Trans sensor found in the larger and more expensive X-Pro1 or X-E1.

In terms of image processing, the tiny X-M1 even surpasses its bigger siblings with the faster EXR Processor II engine already known from the X100S and X20, with conventional 12 Bit RAW image recording. This turns the X-M1 into a pretty responsive camera (at least in Fuji terms). A 95 MB/s SD card (such as a SanDisk Extreme Pro) certainly pays-off when used in concert with this camera. It takes the X-M1 just about 2 seconds to copy 3 FINE+RAW images from its internal buffer to the card. With its modest burst rate of 5.6 frames per second, this means that the camera can shoot 13 frames in a row at full speed, even though the buffer is just large enough to hold 10 FINE+RAW images at any given time.

Welcome to Plasticland!

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Switch to the X: last 3 days of the crazy-X-superdeals! + Rico’s X-M1 (27 and 16-50) samples!

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DEALS

These are the last 3 days where you can stack the X-E1/X-PRO1 offer with the following XF lenses,14mm, 35mm, 18mm, 18-55mm, 60mm, and save a lot of money. If you are one of those out there who was waiting to see how the X-M1 would be and decided that a smaller and cheaper body with WiFi, bigger, better and tiltable LCD and EXR-II processor is not enough to justify the missing viewfinder, then this could be the right moment to make the switch to the X.

Check the crazy-X-superkit deals at AmazonUS, BHphoto and Adorama [Adorama offers a lot of accessories]

If you decide to switch and buy the X-E1/X-PRO1 with lenses, then you should definitely purchase Rico’s book too. It will make your switch a lot easier! Mastering the FUJIFILM X-Pro1” (Kindle Edition) (Apple iBook Store) (German version)

Do you find more interesting deals? Share them at dealsrunner!

X-Pert Corner TOMORROWX-M1 with 27mm and XC 16-50!

At Rico’s X-Pert Corner tomorrow you will get an insight to the X-M1 and the new lenses. He already posted some samples at his Flickr here. Maybe it would be wise to wait his article tomorrow, before deciding whether you go for the X-E1/X-PRO1 superdeals or preorder the new X-M1. I’m sure we will read a lot of interesting stuff never read anywhere else! So, stay tuned for tomorrow!

Rico’s Flickr
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X-M1 BODY ONLY – USA: AmazonUS (silverblack) / BHphoto (silverblack) / Adorama (silverblack) / DigitalRev / Pictureline (silverblackbrown) EUROPE: DigitalRev / WexUK (silverblack) / PCHstore (silverblack)

X-M1 + XC 16-50mm – USA: AmazonUS (silverblack) / BHphoto (silverblack) / Adorama (silverblack) / DigitalRev / Pictureline (silverblackbrown) EUROPE: AmazonUK (silverblack) / DigitalRev / WexUK (silverblack) / PCHstore (silverblack)

XF 27mm – USA: AmazonUS / BHphoto (silverblack) / Adorama (silverblack) / DigitalRev / Pictureline EUROPE: DigitalRev / WexUK / PCHstoreXC 16-50: WexUK

 

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Iridient Developer (2.1.1): New native X-Trans support + Iridient (2.1) vs ACR (thevisualexperience)

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I’ve already told you that Iridient Developer (MAC only) now supports X-Trans RAW files here. The latest 2.1.1 version is now available with all “new, native demosaic processing for the Fuji X-Trans models!” Check it here and download the free trial here!  “Fuji: X-Pro1, X-E1, X20 and X100S now natively supported by new demosaic process in addition to existing support using Apple RAW libraries“.

Iridient Developer vs ACR

thevisualexperience made a comparison between ACR and Iridient (2.1). The question here: “is it worth in a Lightroom based workflow, to add this other piece of software or not?

Here are some of his findings: “White balances are different. Many differences in color rendering btw the two RAW processors […] The IRIDIENT output, in the same conditions as ACR, give a darker and more contrasty image. […] There is some “vignetting” in the IRIDIENT output. […] The details extracted from the RAW by IRIDIENT  blow out ACR

Now, it’s worth to add Iridient in your workflow? You can find the answer in part1 and part2 of his review (includes also a nice video comparison).

enjoy your day
Patrick

image courtesy: thevisualexperience (part 2)

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quick peek at 27mm: Samples and Crops at brandonremler

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X-M1 BODY ONLY – USA: AmazonUS (silverblack) / BHphoto (silverblack) / Adorama (silverblack) / DigitalRev / Pictureline (silverblackbrown) EUROPE: DigitalRev / WexUK (silverblack) / PCHstore (silverblack)

X-M1 + XC 16-50mm – USA: AmazonUS (silverblack) / BHphoto (silverblack) / Adorama (silverblack) / DigitalRev / Pictureline (silverblackbrown) EUROPE: AmazonUK (silverblack) / DigitalRev / WexUK (silverblack) / PCHstore (silverblack)

XF 27mm – USA: AmazonUS / BHphoto (silverblack) / Adorama (silverblack) / DigitalRev / Pictureline EUROPE: DigitalRev / WexUK / PCHstoreXC 16-50: WexUK / PCHstore

 

And as you can see at the FR dealsrunner sidebar, a user just found the X-M1 available for preorder at fotomundus (Germany)! Share your own findings with dealsrunner… they will automagically appear at the FR-sidebar and visible for all FR-readers immediately. It’s the best way to help us to save money ;). Let’s share deals!

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Brandon Remler is testing the 27mm lens on the streets of New York city. These are the first shots (with some 100% crops) he did with new 27mm pancake lens. Click here to see more samples and crops.

image courtesy: brandonremler

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crop

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