Fuji x100

photo session with the Fuji X100 – camera review

First of all, for those who haven’t heard of the Fuji X100 (vendor) yet, it is a beautiful retro-looking rangefinder-mimicking 12 megapixel digital point & shoot camera (with a fixed 35mm equivalent f2.0 lens), that gives remarkable image quality. That about sums it up.

For all those reasons, quite a buzz developed around this camera. Quite unlike anything since … oh, the Leica X1. Or the Olympus Pen EP-2. Or the Sony NEX-5. There was greater excitement building up around the Fuji X100 though than other cameras, specifically for its looks initially. And then when news hit about the incredible image quality, the excitement and interest became more substantial. It’s a hot item right now, and for good reason.

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review: using a Fuji X100 for wedding photography

Being impressed so far with the image quality from the Fuji X100 (vendor), based on my initial impression of the camera, I was tempted to put the camera to a real test. A test where we remove the luxury of using the camera just as a walk-about fun camera. Instead, I wanted to shoot an event where there are real expectations from the images. With that idea in mind, I asked around if any of my wedding photographer friends would consider using me as a freebie 2nd shooter, where I would use only the Fuji X100 as my camera.

My good friend, John Arcara, was kind enough to allow me to be Uncle Bob at a wedding he photographed this weekend. The couple, Megan and Joel, were quite cool with the idea as well.

It was surreal walking up to the wedding reception venue on Saturday with only this tiny camera in my hand. I normally shoot weddings with two Nikon D3 bodies (each with a zoom lens and a flash) slung over my shoulders. I usually look like the Photo Terminator as I determinately stagger forward with all that gear. But not this day. Just the Fuji X100 in hand.

I had the opportunity earlier this week to buy the brand-new Fuji EF-42 flashgun (vendor), but I decided against it. My intention with this camera is that I have a light-weight high-quality machine to take photos wherever I find myself. Adding a flashgun to this would make it that little bit less portable, and then I might as well go all the way and take a Nikon D3 as my carry-around camera … which I’ve been doing until now.

So this is how I found myself second-shooting a wedding with only the Fuji X100. Not even a flash. Just a spare battery.

And the verdict? I’m still very much in love with this camera, but frustrated by some short-comings.

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photography exposure metering – expose for your subject

In preparation for a review of the Fuji X-100 camera, I met up with Anelisa to see how this little camera performed during an actual photo shoot. The image above was one of the photographs we ended up with. Now, there is something specific about it that I wanted to explain in a separate article, instead of it being glossed over deeper inside a camera review.

The composition is simple – I do like my compositions fairly central, it seems. Similarly, the lighting is simplicity itself – all available light. There were two main sources of light – the light inside the shopping mall entrance; and some very strong back-lighting flooding the place.

While the technique here hinged on specific exposure for the available light, there are a few crucial ideas here that I’d like to underline:

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initial impression: Fuji X100 – not quite the review yet

The Fuji X100 (vendor) must be one of the most eagerly awaited cameras in recent times. The camera just looks beautiful. Retro-cool. With initial reports being mostly very favorable, I was quite keen to get my hands on one of these. My X100 arrived last week, just before I was to leave for the After Dark Photography Education workshops in Cincinnati, OH. What better time to geek out over a camera with gorgeous models around and so much opportunity to play with photo gear and lightning techniques.

The photograph above of Alyssa, (one of our models), was lit by LED video light. Now, when using video lights for photography, you’re dealing with wide apertures and high ISOs. An immediate challenge for a camera. And the Fuji X100 excelled. The image above was from the in-camera JPG, with the color balance tweaked slighting in Photoshop. The image was also slightly straightened.

camera settings: 1/60 @ f2 @ 1000 ISO … manual exposure mode

Now before I show the 100% crop of the shadow areas in that image, here is the camera itself:

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