Whilst in Tasmania I took my new Panasonic Camera and did some shooting. I really like this little 3 chip HD camera. Its a good size very light and at $2000 very reasonable. It was very easy to take on the plane and shoots really great video. The time Lapse mode is really fun.
When watching the video below make sure you watch it in full 1080pHD to get its full impact
A few weeks ago I took delivery of the new Fuji XT-1. For me the camera takes what was fantastic about the XPRO-1 and makes it a lot better. Whilst traveling through Tasmania I got to test a lot of the cameras functionality. Let me tell you folks just about everything that sucked on the Xpro 1 is now fixed on this new camera.
Firstly the performance of the auto focus in low light is nothing short of fantastic. I never missed a shot. It is a giant leap forward over the XPRO 1. Its accurate its fast and its reliable.
The above picture was taken in the mole creek caves about an hour out of Sheffield Tasmania. I shot it at 25600 ISO and not only does the shot look incredibly clean I was also able to autofocus with no issues what so ever.
The other huge feature of this camera is the amazing viewfinder. For all those who are wavering because it is an EVF worry not. It is so big and so bright after a while you forget its an EVF and just enjoy shooting with it. It is outstanding..
Low light high ISO, fast accurate auto focus are just a few reason why I love this camera. Another is the way it renders details and colour. The colour is rich , detailed but very accurate . Look at the subtle tonal changes in the picture above. I think its more akin to a warm film look.
Lastly I wanted to touch on the cameras handling. I have the optional battery vertical grip. The put it simply the camera has a lovely balance to it in the hand. The only time I felt it was a bit top heavy was with the 55-200 lens attached. But when I had the 14mm 2.8 attached it was lovely in the hand. The feel of the body is of a premium nature and mostly the camera is an utter joy to shoot with.
I also have to mention I shot mostly with the 14mm 2.8 lens . What a great lens it is to. It is fast and very sharp . Its very light and is so flexible in the way you can use it.
Today I shot some pictures at Melbourne’s zoo. The occasion was to test out and learn the pro’s and cons of the Fuji 55-200 lens.
I have to say I was really impressed by its performance . Bokeh is lovely. Auto focus in my opinion is probably the best I have seen in the X system to date. I found the image stabilisation to work fantastically well. That being an important feature for myself as I have never had the steadiest hands. The lens is heavy compared to other X system lenses. But it is very light compared to full size SLR lenses.
The pictures here are edited in Lightroom using VSCO film filters for Fuji Cameras.
The lens was very well balanced in hand and I also have to say I wear a black rapid camera strap . It never felt to weighty hanging by my side.
The lens is very very sharp especially around F8. I think this is the best aperture to shoot with the lens. Since the XPRO 1 can shoot so clean in high ISO’s I feel keeping it at F8 is very workable on a shoot.
The focus ring is quite stiff as noted in other reviews but you soon get used to it. Although I am not a fan of getting rid of the aperture marks on the lens , this again is something you get used to.
The lens is fun to shoot with, you can track moving objects and focus, With practice. All in all I am very happy with it. It delivered or exceeded my expectations.
Today I took this picture in the Yarra Valley with the X pro 1 and the 18mm lens. I shot it using the 1.1 mode in camera . I am just amazed how the latitude in the pictures. The lighting was difficult so getting things balanced was difficult. I then treated the Picture with VSCO film filters to get that filmic look.
A big reminder to all those in Australia. Paul McCartney and Wings Rockshow is screening for one night only this week at selected village, hoyts and independent cinemas . It is on thursday May the 16th and most sessions at at 6.30pm. Check local listings and dont miss it one last time on the big screen. The theatrical version screens with a 13 minute introduction from Paul McCartney himself that wont be on the upcoming dvd release.
After thursday Ill post a review of the screening.
As there has been so much upheaval in the television industry in the past few months I thought I would write a piece about where things are at and where things are going.
The Australian media industry are in a major period of change. newspapers ,books ,television and even radio are all caught up in this change.
Most recently the nine network barely staved of there creditors to survive and re capitalise . Then there is the case of network ten who have been reducing news staff nationally in an effort to reduce costs and become profitable. Major network personalities left the network in one week of staff sackings.
Why is this happening?
There are a few reasons. Advertising money is leaving traditional media forms. The global financial crisis has created an atmosphere where spending and downsizing has become common place. Traditional media is struggling to stay profitable . Demographics have also changed ,young people no longer read newspapers or watch tv they have long since departed to the digital realm.
Where is that audience. By the time the 6pm news rolls around the news is generally old by a few hours. The modern media consumer now has smart phones and tablets . They now have the ability to have that news instantly. Secondly who in 2012 is home at 6pm at night? . With this new technology one can consume the news when they want and how they want.
The next question is how do these organisations make money from this medium. The answer is it is not easy. One can get the latest news the latest films and dramas for free if you want to. The media outlets have to give a reason to want to subscribe or pay. This might come through added services or content. Advertising over news or video is something a lot of consumers wont tolerate as they find it intrusive to the viewing experience.
Newspapers are on there last legs . Both of the big players in Australia are suffering falling sales and advertising revenue. The survival of both companies will be in both of them diversifying into the modern media space. Both have quite a lot of applications for mobile . These deliver video ,news and various other content to iPads iphones and the like. But they have not solved the overwhelming problem with most of the content being free where is the future revenue going to come from.
My other question is how long can fairfax and news hold onto publishing a daily print product. News delivers a very good newspaper product onto tablets with its digital pass. For a minimal fee per week you get the paper on your tablet and the physical paper. Fairfax currently delivers there news for free. Why would I pay for something that I can get free elsewhere. This is the fundamental problem facing all media forms in Australia.
I had a chance today to go shoot some stuff out in Fitzroy.
It is a meca for street art and alternative life styles here in Melbourne.
With the new firmware the camera was very fast. It started very quickly and auto focus didn’t miss a beat.
Everything below was shot with the 35mm 1.4.
The work is extremely cool and artistic . As you can see I also operated the camera in panorama mode.
I also noticed this mode to work a lot faster. It did not freeze or stutter as it did with the original firmware.
I found it a lot easier to use. As well as the faster focusing this mode is now very usable and fun to boot.
Yesterday I took the X Pro 1 out and did some shooting at the queen victoria market.
The light was lousey it was busy and a lot of fun. The thing that is so great about the camera is I can have it around my neck always at the ready. Because it is so small no one takes any notice of it.
The camera’s high ISO performance is nothing short of amazing. No longer do I have to be concerned about dull light or non existent light. Set the camera at say 3200 ISO and you can shoot in situations unimagnable before,
Also of interest I was shooting with the 18mm f2 lens which has some interesting quirks. Its best sharpness in my non scientific test was around f5.6 and above . As noted elsewhere it can be a bit soft in the corners wide open. I definitely believe also the auto focus is at its weakest with this lens. The strongest auto focusing is to be had with the 35 1.4 which is very snappy.
Lastly I just wanted to mention that my camera body and lenses are all working with the latest firmware.
I have now had my new camera for a few weeks and have been doing some shooting.
The X pro 1 is a very quirky camera but hey for me that is one of its selling points.
What has blown me away is the level of detail captured by its APSC sensor
The picture above has no post processing no sharpening nothing. The lens is sharp even wide open. A lot has been written about the poor performance of the auto focus. In my experience after the cameras firmware was updated recently the autofocus works well.
I came from a 5D mark 2 and in my opinion the autofocus is on a similar par with the 5D which served me well for many years.
My other observation is the colour. The colours are just wonderful some of the most accurate colour rendition I have seen on a digital camera. They remind me very much of old Fuji transparency film.
The camera is about to get a whole lot more exciting. Coming soon are 7 lenses a couple of zooms and fast primes. For my work I am thinking about the 10-22mm for my landscape work or even possibly the 14mm . If these lenses perform anything like the 3 that are already out this system can only get stronger.
Now for my disappointments . The battery life is awful. To preserve battery life I turn the screen off completely and carry a spare battery. The strap that came with the camera is awl full to for a camera that costs over $2000 in Australia I expected better. The lens caps for the lens shades fall off and are plastic and cheap again I have replaced them.
I got this camera to lighten my load from my 5D big tick there
Low light performance big tick again
Lens and image quality even bigger tick
I am a very happy shooter so far over time I will add further impressions