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.
Recently my mother returned from a amazing trip shooting in Sri Lanka. There she shot with her X Pro 1 and a Variety of lenses the 18-55 2.8 the 55-200 the 14mm. I as her son and fellow photographer processed and edited her pictures in lightroom. I applied VSCO filters. I mainly utilised the Kodak Portra settings which together with mum we found the most pleasing. http://vsco.co
She found the focusing very frustrating with the camera. My point of view is its very quirky and you have to learn a whole different thought process when focusing with the camera. But when it worked boy did it work well. The lenses are sharp.
When you see the pictures there is grain present. I have put that in myself as we both like the aesthetic . I realise its not to everyones taste but I think they came up really well.
From her pictures we have completed a book project produced by Albumworks HD book. http://www.albumworks.com.au
There books are lovely unlike most book manufactures they print at a very high DPI of 2400 which producers super sharp and detailed printing. The whole process only took 4 days .
I am now 18 months back from my big adventure. I lived and worked in England for over a year and was only cut short by the industry I am in work wise and diminishing opportunities there. I miss London a lot. Yes I even miss the weather the bad food and the traffic.
What did I love about it? I loved the sense that nothing was predictable and anything was possible. I got to do things I only had dreamed about. I got to see a Beatle play a club. I got to see some of the greatest treasures of the world at the british museum .
I also loved the feeling of being close to everything the world has to offer. I fell in love with southern England namely Cornwell. Had clotted cream ate far to much fudge and was offered a cup of tea and a piece of cake by an elderly couple staying in St Ives. I celebrated my birthday with 60,000 music fans at the Hyde Park calling on a sweltering London day. I saw plays and even went to the theatre built into the side of a mountain in Cornwall. Never was I more creative photographically and in my work.
I walked the cobbled roads of Paris , dreaming in the warm glow of the sun.
I climbed a glacier in Switzerland pushing my body to its limit.
Then Splendored in the majesty and history of Florence and Venice.
I have heard native inhabitants of different countries refer to a spiritual belonging an attachment to place. I felt very at home in England. I am half english having been born to a father of british decent. I have always loved everything English the music, the history. If it was English I have felt attached to it.
I consider myself slightly eccentric and different in my beliefs and tastes. The exciting thing about living in England then traveling is you find all sorts. The typical rude brit but then you find incredibly intelligent out there friendly people. I lived with a few in my time there. I guess the point of the post is to say, for me anyway. I am at my best as a person when I am challenged . In fact in my time away from all the emotional and physical comforts I was used to, I became more diverse more spiritual and grew a deeper understand of what its like to feel like a minority. Basically home comforts make me lazy. When I was out of my comfort zone I did things I never thought I would ever attempt. The feeling that comes from this increases confidence makes one better socially and makes one well rounded. I can only wish my friends and family could get to the level of consciousness I felt its feels pretty good.
Last week I had the fortune to see the Hobbit in the new high frame rate format.
All standard movies have been filmed in 24 frames per second for over a century.
Peter Jackson has decided to film this new trilogy with this format to provide a more immersive experience, but does it work? The answer is yes and no.
There are sequences where it just looks like junk. These sequences tend to be very heavy effects laden scenes. The effects look 2 dimensional and fake. When the HFR works it works brilliantly. These sequences tend to be in natural light or sweeping New Zealand vistas . They look beautiful almost like you would walk into the screen and be there.
When the film starts the videoness of the movies look can be quite startling to people who are used to a more filmic look. It grows on you, its this for everyone no of course not ,its like 3D it would have its chosen applications. This HFR format would be fantastic for nature documentaries or anything where a feeling of realism is important to telling the story at hand.
For those who would like to geek out on further technical information about the HFR format and its use in the Hobbit, I include a few links to some of my favourite articles on the matter.
So after all this talk about the technical aspects of the film the question remains ,is the movie any good?
At 3 hours I only felt it dragged at the beginning whilst Bilbo was still in his house. Once the journey got going it was a lot of fun. My problem with the film really is the fact there is not a lot of story. This comes from a book that isnt very thick ,and is a children’s book made simpler to appeal to younger people.
I do feel making it a trilogy is a way to drag out the income from this franchise. The story isnt as rich as the Lord of the rings trilogy. There is a lot of time standing around talking about story points that seem out of place. I did enjoy it I found it moved along at a good pace and kept me interested. The HFR didn’t work all the time for me and the story felt light and less meaty than Lord Of the Rings. In years to come I do feel from a technical stand point that this film may the a water shed in technology for the future of cinema.
Already James Cameron has signed up to shoot Avatar 2 in this same format. I believe with time and development, this technology could be incredible.