Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Interesting Feature ?

Many cameras have this feature but I thought I'd highlight it here so more folks can know about it.  The feature is the copy ability from internal memory to the SD card.  Why would I need this is the next question?  Once in a great while I'll run out of the apartment and then realize I forgot my SD card.  Surely most of us have had that happen with our CF or SD cards.  So the other day when I went to grab a shot of friends I popped the camera into jpeg normal and had 7 images I could capture which are better than none.  Then when I got home I just popped in the SD card and hit copy from the playback menu - rather than digging out the usb cable.  Hope it helps you one day if in a jam.

Happy and Healthy Memorial Day.  This image from the Fujifilm blimp many years ago with Provia 100 and tweaked with a NIK filter.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Random Images from the Week

These are two of my favorites from the week.
The pitcher is done with the FinePix HS-10 at about 600mm handheld. ISO800 at 1/600th.  The other images just makes me wonder what the two of them are thinking while staring at each other.

Limited Weekly Update on FinePix X100

Our new USA dealer locator isnow live on the web at:

More cameras are shipping next week to the USA dealers so stock should begin to improve a bit.
I am waiting on the accessories confirmations but that was discussed in a prior post and next week we will know the status better.

I appreciate all the comments and thoughts about how to improve the camera.  I am confident work is being done on this and look forward to that as much as the next guy.  With all the lists out there of what's what - a comprehensive one was posted by DPReview and I am confident Fujifilm (Japan) is working on the list to improve the X100 experience.

This is the post from DPReview - not my words.

The X100 is a fascinating and in many ways charming little camera, which is capable of producing truly stunning images. The biggest problem with the X100 (and right now it genuinely is a big problem) is its firmware - while a huge amount of care and attention has clearly been lavished on the design and development of that beautiful body and lens, the firmware feels like it was abandoned hurriedly long before it was truly finished.

Of course, Murphy's Law dictates that even after extended use of the camera, its numerous operational bugs and oddities tend to catch you out precisely when you're trying to capture a shot quickly, and don't have time to double-check all the settings.

To give an idea of the extent of the camera's quixotic operation, here's a (not necessarily exhaustive) list of things it does that you might not expect, many of which are undocumented in the manual. Some are minor, but others have a quite profound impact on operation. Some, like the X100's habit of dumping your current ISO and DR settings when changing exposure modes, can be show-stoppers.

This list is correct as of firmware version 1.01, and naturally, we're optimistic that Fujifilm will address some or (hopefully) all of these issues in a future firmware update.

  • ISO and DR are set independently for each exposure mode, and for the Motion Panorama drive mode
  • When the ISO is set manually it overrides the DR setting, but in Auto ISO the DR setting takes priority
  • ISO 100 (L) and 12800 (H) are unavailable (greyed out) when shooting raw
  • ISO bracketing, film simulation bracketing and dynamic range bracketing drive modes will turn off raw file recording without warning (and aren't greyed-out when shooting raw)
  • When using AEL/AFL to autofocus with the camera set to MF, no focus confirmation is displayed (and equally, there's no warning when correct focus can't be attained)
  • In Manual exposure mode, Live Histogram always implies correct exposure, regardless of settings
  • In Manual exposure mode, camera will allow shooting at incompatible shutter speed / aperture combinations (e.g. 1/4000 sec F2)
  • Program shift only works if Auto ISO is disabled and flash mode is set to Suppressed.
  • Program shift counts rear dial or thumb lever commands beyond the point where the aperture is set to its largest or smallest (F2 or F16), and requires those commands to be reversed before it will stop down or open up again
  • Drive and macro mode settings are discarded on changing exposure mode, entering playback or auto power-off
  • OVF Power Save Mode disables live histogram, but leaves the box in which it's normally displayed blank in the viewfinder
  • Drive mode, macro and flash mode buttons behave differently from the white balance button, and differently again from the AE and AF buttons
  • AF point cycles from anywhere on the top row to the bottom right position by pressing the 'up' key, and from the bottom row to the top left by pressing 'down'
  • When using the EVF or LCD, the AF point size is reset by switching to manual focus, or using the OVF
  • In manual focus mode, lens stops down uncontrollably depending on ambient light levels, making accurate focusing impossible
  • In video mode, a full-press of the shutter is required to start recording, but only a half-press to stop
  • In video mode, autofocus is continuous regardless of focus switch position (AF-S / AF-C)
  • Magnified manual focus assist is not available in video mode
  • The ND filter is not available in motion panorama or video modes
  • Depth of field scale appears to have been calculated for a 35mm actual (rather than equivalent) lens, making it distinctly conservative
  • When shooting JPEGs in 16:9 aspect ratio, the EVF and LCD displays are cropped accordingly, but the OVF displays 3:2 framelines. It's possible to enable 16:9 guidelines, but unlike the framelines they're not parallax-corrected
  • Camera can only be woken from auto power off by half-pressing and holding the shutter button
  • In playback, when magnifying a portrait format image the enlarged area is shown in a 3:2 portrait format area (even if shot at 16:9), wasting most of the screen area
  • Images can't be deleted in the Detailed Information playback mode
  • Images shot in 16:9 JPEG + RAW can only be reconverted in-camera to 3:2 JPEGs
  • Images shot in continuous drive mode use a completely different file naming convention (which causes problems with sorting)
  • Battery can be inserted the wrong way round, despite having an asymmetric shape
  • Supplied charger won't accept the battery directly, instead it requires a (supplied, but unlabelled) adapter piece to be fitted first

Weekly Email 5-27-11 Foggy Morning

When the warm weather bakes the NYC area with temps in the mid-80's the air is much warmer than the ocean and this leads to fog rolling over the area.  I believe this type of fog is called advection fog.

At Shinnecock golf course the fog was thick which made tracking the ball a bit tough in the beginning until it burned off later in the day.  Normally this view would show the windmill and the National Clubhouse which I am told is a $1,000,000 membership while looking north towards the bay and the north fork of Long Island.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Photo District News Photo Annual 2011

Last night was the annual bash at Tribeca Skyline Studios.  Always a favorite event in NYC - the 500+ people had a great time and enjoyed shooting with the 75 Instax cameras and the digital studio.
The roof deck is always popular on the mild Spring night.  For all the images see the link here:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Accessories Update

I have some limited good news to report and some not so great news.  The good is that the accessories like lens hood, filter adapter and EF-20 flash will be shipping very soon.  Probably in the next week.  The bad news is that the Leather Case has been delayed.  There will be a significant delay on this and I will update the exact info once I know it.  We will have to wait a couple months is my guess.  For now I am going to see how it breaks in on my camera.
You cannot use it with the lens hood on - but yes for the filter adapter.  Update - I highly recommend that you buy a multi-coated filter.  If you buy a less expensive single-coated filter you WILL see more flare in your (nighttime with light source) images.  Other than that - filter style and brand is really your call.  I think we all see the wide price ranges from Tiffen & Kenko to Heliopan, B&W and the others.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Available Now

I don't want to claim to know stock of all dealers in the USA and I'm trying to avoid playing favorites but I just spoke to Foto Care in NYC and they have cameras in stock now.  212-741-2990.  Happy shopping if you are looking for one!  UPDATED - SOLD OUT. More shipping in a week or so I expect to USA dealers.

Washington Square Hawk Camera

I think this is pretty neat to be able to watch the baby and parents in action any time you like.
I look forward to photographing the baby when it gets ready to take flight.

Watch live streaming video from nytnestcam at

Saturday, May 21, 2011

NYC Random Thoughts and Gallery Info

There is so much talk on websites and forums about X100 it is both exciting and hard to keep up.  It is great to be a part of a new product with such enthusiastic web and real-life engagement.  Thanks for sending all the comments.  I think just about all reviews have come to the same conclusions about the camera with its superb image quality, great styling and some funky quirks which hopefully can be addressed with firmware upgrades.  I await that as much as anyone.

I've given minor updates in the past on the earthquake and here is a brief synopsis on more of the work going into helping the part of Japan that was affected.

FUJIFILM Corporation has announced the launch of the “Photo Rescue Project,” a program that provides assistance in cleaning photo prints and photo albums damaged by the recent Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
In many parts of the quake-affected regions, volunteers are searching for photo prints and albums washed away by the tsunami, and trying to restore them from the seawater and mud damage.  To help with this effort, Fujifilm has pulled together its photographic expertise accumulated over the years, and posted information to Fujifilm’s Japanese website.  The site demonstrates how to treat photo prints that have suffered water damage.  In addition, Fujifilm staff is providing both technical and material assistance.
There was a great gallery show at the International Center for Photography last night.  If you can get there to see it - check out Elliot Erwitt's show.  It made me reflect on how life in his capture days was with a 35mm or 50mm lens - mostly Leica.  There is a similarity to the X100 35mm lens choice.  His work is brilliant.

There was a question about whether to convert X100 files to DNG.  I am not going to claim to be an expert in the DNG arena - but my opinion is that I see little value in spending the time to convert to DNG if you are using one of the popular software programs such as Aperture or Lightroom.  They will always read the RAW files (once released) and RAW is my preferred working file which I then convert to jpeg for printing or sharing.   Also I am making the assumption that storage space is not an issue, so I see no reason to shrink files to DNG.  I am sure others have opinions on this which may differ - and that's okay - salt to taste.
UPDATE - Thanks for all the constructive comments.  I think we hashed that out and agree to each his own on formats, programs and storage.  I just happen to be an Aperture and RAW fan with lots of storage space (I agree DNG is great for some as Michael lays out in the comments).  I am sure if I was on Lightroom and needed to crunch down some files I would set up auto conversion to DNG and save some space now and then.  Especially with extra 5DII 21M files which I don't need taking up all the gigs.  I could use Silkypix to convert the X100 RAW but have decided on my own path. 
I hope to have an update on cameras and accessories this week.   Until then I'm waiting on the info as well.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Weekly Email 5-20-11 Going Up?

I love the way this image changes in my brain the more I look at it.  Sometimes I can look in, sometimes look down, and sometimes look up.  Perhaps you see a bit of the same as well.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Accessories Update

We have shipped an extremely limited amount of lens hoods to the USA market.  Cases are delayed now and I hope to have an update soon.  More hoods should hit the streets before the end of May as well as another X100 camera shipment.  Thanks for your patience.
Updates - I share your thoughts on the need for another firmware upgrade, and in time that will happen.  Until then the camera is a lot of fun to use and the quality of the files are awesome.  
Today Apple released their Aperture RAW compatibility for the X100 and I'm thrilled.  I can do so much more with my images and turn off the jpeg function in camera.  The image below was hand held.  Just took a breath and squeezed off the silent frame around 11pm one night.
X100 ISO 400 - 1/25 @ F/4.0

Monday, May 16, 2011

Automatic Sweep Stitching in Camera

One of the neat features in many new cameras is the sweep panorama function.  The images can be fun at times and useless in others - but I think it is always fun to give it a whirl and see what ends up in the file.  Usually they are tough to print since there are slight glitches along the way - but when you consider what you are doing to make the image it is impressive.
Here are two images I recently shot with the X100 and NEX3.  They are 3000 pixels across if you click to enlarge the view.  A little tweak can help make them more dramatic.  Printing them is easier than ever and I'm usually printing them about 4" x 15" to 10" x 36".

Friday, May 13, 2011

Spring Progress

Walking around town I noticed this flower in its many stages to a magnificent bloom.

Weekly Email Spring Bloom

This was one of those weeks where the City came alive with the arrival of
Spring.  Tons of events and a general happy feel with the good weather arriving
and longer days to enjoy outdoors.
A mix of shots with the X100 and Sony A33.

Friday, May 06, 2011

So Many Cameras, So Little Time

People frequently ask me for suggestions on what kind of camera they should buy.  The question is incredibly simple or complex - I think it depends on my mood, their internal bias, marketing, budget, style, and several other factors. 

The reality usually is that for a basic point and shoot camera you go with the sex appeal nowadays.  Buy what looks and feels right when you pick it up and shoot it.  Of course if shopping online that is harder to do - but you get the idea.  Today's (under $350) cameras are very good in most cases.  Of course there are performance differences in a few categories, some more noticeable than others. 

Today I am sharing a few shots made in almost identical fashion to show how different an image can be captured.  Software and other factors play into the final look of the image.  These are basically straight from the camera to you.  After capture of course all bets are off and things can be tweaked to taste.
I know it's a lot to absorb and perhaps just a bunch of pink things (except for the B&W infrared)- but look into the saturation, contrast, hue and you will begin to see some differences which make up the characteristics of each camera.  In some cases high saturation is great, in others it may not be as desirable.
I didn't get super technical - so this is a just a quick look at an image shot with many cameras in an almost identical fashion.  It was all hand held and done to take a look at how each chip and software renders the scene. Tthe phone shot in is way over saturated - but the HDR looks more natural.

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Accessories

I know there is some frustration about the lack of accessories being shipped - but I assure you we are working on them and they should be available very soon.  I will keep you up to date when I know more.  Should know by Tuesday.

A Quick Look at the 1972 Hasselblad 500C/M

Just a few snaps of the awesome and durable 500C/M.