I have not had chance to write of late, so apologies, project work has been keeping me far too busy.
A new tool has arrived in camp, the Fuji X100s camera, and what an amazing tool it is!
I have owned and enjoyed the original Fuji X100 for quite some time, it's form factor, size, functionality and file quality have always excited and delighted me, but it did have it's few shortcomings and quirks.
Much has been written about both the X100 and X100s so I am not going to provide a full review here, you can find many wonderful ones with a quick search, what I am going to do is give a first impression of why I enjoy the upgrade.
With any new tool I take my time to learn it before using it in a commercial field. I want to be sure of my results and understand all it's workings. Thus, as the X100s is still quite new, I have yet to have extensive time to use it fully.
I have had the chance to test it on two recent shoots though, a Documentary project I am working on and a commercial shoot in studio. Both times it exceeded expectations.
Apart from the obvious change in sensor from the X100 to X100s the "s" has some very useful features that I am loving. The "Q" menu makes changing settings a breeze now and much quicker and intuitive on the go. It still possesses the excellent 35mm equivalent lens that is f/2 and incorporates a leaf shutter. The manual focussing is now an absolute joy to use! I prefer the focus peaking option to the split image but either way the auto zoom when focussing is wonderful and no longer do you have to rotate the ring endlessly to attain critical focus, bravo!
Also the iso range is superb, wonderful RAW and jpeg files across the board and to my mind definately useable up to 6400 iso, brilliant.
During a break in a documentary shoot I stepped outside for a moment and captured the below image (this is straight out of camera jpeg shot at 3200 iso at f/4 with custom white balance setting, which is a breeze to attain and actually easier than my D800 rig),
It's just a snap, playing whilst taking a break as it were, but I am very impressed with the ease of use and quality of files from this little camera.
During a recent studio shoot I also tested the X100s, this time with my Elinchrom Ranger A/S Speed lights.
This shot was with one gridded soft box and at 200 iso at f/4, again a jpeg straight from camera,
Did I "need" to upgrade from the original X100? well, maybe not but the added responsiveness, easier control (over menu's especially), new sensor, better EVF and way better focussing (especially manually) has made me smile wider and has convinced me personally that the upgrade to my original X100 was well worth the effort.
Does this camera fill every requirement? of course not, tools are chosen for the job at hand and (at this present time, for me anyway) one tool does not cover every job I undertake. However, it is an amazing camera, even moreso than the original to my mind and a superbly capable tool for many many situations. It's a camera to learn, cherish and take with you everywhere that can attain professional and superb results and after all what more could we ask of a tool in our arsenal.