On Fujifilm’s new X100S…

X100S
Image Courtesy of Fujifilm

David: News of Fujifilm’s new X100S, a seminal update to the venerable game changer (IMHO) hit the web a few hours earlier than the NDA scheduled due to a uhmmm… accidental leak on Fuji’s UK website (riiiigghhht), but rumors of it have been floating around the net a few days before, so it wasn’t a complete shocker to me.

But what a camera…. what an update. Rather than go through all the specs laboriously one by one (other sites do it better, e.g. Fuji’s own X-series website), as a X100 fan and active user, I want to highlight the key features of this update which may have eluded those of you unfamiliar with the X100. This is NOT a news update, but think of it as my ode to one of the most enjoyable cameras I’ve ever used. So, here goes…..

Continue reading On Fujifilm’s new X100S…

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The Panasonic GH3 Compared in Size

Panasonic Micro Four Thirds Cameras: GH3, GH2, G5, G3, GX1, GF5
Panasonic Micro Four Thirds Cameras: GH3, GH2, G5, G3, GX1, GF5

As some of you might know, I’m rather looking forward to the Panasonic GH3, and am buzzed that there’s a Micro Four Thirds camera that attempts to approach a pro-level DSLR in operation and handling.

Of course, this has a downside. Part of that means the camera is going to be bigger. Some say it’s too big; approaching that of a mid-level DSLR. To better illustrate the increase in size, here is an image with the various recent Micro Four Thirds cameras by Panasonic set to scale. Personally, I think the size is still fine when taken as a system camera, as the main weight in a system has always come from the lenses.

(Image Credit: Panasonic Press Images)

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How to Move Your Instagram Photos to Flickr

By now you’ve probably knew about the controversy surrounding Instagram’s latest changes to their terms of service. It was largely interpreted as “Instagram now has the right to sell your photos to advertisers without your permission and you’ll not be paid” by many of its users who also expressed their outrage at the various social media outlets.

Although co-founder Kevin Systrom later sort-of clarified the change, attributing the misunderstanding to the way it’s written and how legal documents are “easy to misinterpret”, many users are still keeping a “wait and see” attitude, with some, like National Geographic, suspending their account.

If you too, would like to leave Instagram and also move your precious filtered photos to a better service like Flickr, a new service called freethephotos will let you do it very easily. All you need to do is to visit their website, login with Instagram, login and authorise with Flickr and click the “Free Your Photos” button. The process runs in the background and you can choose to be notified by email when it’s done. After it finishes, all your Instagram photos will be posted to a new set in your Flickr account called “Instagram”. You can then decide whether to keep or delete your Instagram account.

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Three Guys’ Camera Picks of 2012

As Christmas, the New Year and possibly the end of the world nears us, we bring to you our picks of various kinds of digital cameras.

Compact
Small and light, compact cameras lets you bring them around with you everywhere you go, never missing a shot. They are also a great complement to your DSLR gear. We bring you our picks for the more advanced compact cameras.

Sony RX100

Sony Cyber-shot RX100

Sony’s latest addition to the high-end compact market. Featuring a 20-megapixel 1” sensor (same size as the one on the Nikon 1 series), a large aperture of f/1.8-4.9 and a 3.6x zoom (28-100mm equivalent), it’s quickly becoming the favourite of photographers looking for a high-end compact camera to complement their SLR setup.

Continue reading Three Guys’ Camera Picks of 2012

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A Better Bulb

A Chinese Clone of the Nikon MC-36 Remote Timer and Intervalometer
JYC’s “version” of the Nikon MC-36

It is 2012. What is with the Bulb setting?

Last week, while I was working on a series of long exposure photographs, a thought occurred to me. It is the year 2012, why are we still fiddling with external remotes and timers, and a setting called “Bulb”?

The “Bulb” term comes from the act of squeezing an air bulb to mechanically activate and open the camera’s shutter. Guess how old is that method. No cheating people. Was it 40 years ago, during the heyday of the mechanically operated 35mm film SLRs? Was it 60 years ago, during the rangefinder’s last hurrah? Or was it 90 years ago, when 4×5 press cameras were the norm?

Actually, try almost 120 years ago, back to the late 19th century. That’s how old it is.

With modern digital cameras possessing a large colour LCD screen, a set of navigation controls in the form of a directional pad or a joystick, and advanced electronics with modern CPUs, why are we still fiddling around with such anachronistic tools and names when we want to make long exposures? Why is it not all built into the camera, and given a new name as well?

Implementation of such feature is not terribly hard – once the user activates the “Long Exposure” setting, in the same way as Bulb was previously accessed, a configuration screen can be brought up when pressing the Menu key (pressing it again will go to the standard menu). From the configuration screen, the user can set the parameters for the exposure, like the length of the exposure, whether the mirror should flip up first, and so on. If the user wants to emulate the old bulb mode for some reason, like photographing fireworks, the camera will honour that as long as a remote is used to trigger the camera instead of the on-camera shutter release button.

I am sure there is some tweaking needed for the above concept, but it is certainly doable. Nikon already implements an intervalometer into their higher-tier DSLRs, rendering expensive accessories such as the Nikon MC-36 mostly useless anyway. The first company that does this will get plenty of goodwill and mindshare among photographers, as well as future customers. So who is going to be adventurous enough to try this?

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Dear Think Tank Photo

Think Tank City Walker 30
Think Tank City Walker 30

Dear Think Tank Photo

You make some really high quality items. Case in point: Your new City Walker series looks like it will carry on the tradition of using materials that are tough with good tactile feedback, the ability to swallow most professional-level lenses with their lens hoods on, and the usual attention to the little details.

Despite all that, I still feel like I’m left out of this party. Can we change a few things?

  1. Notebook slot only in the largest bag. Again. The world according to camera bag manufacturers seems to be that photographers all use 15.6″ Macbook Pros. I use a Thinkpad X61 (12.1″), CK uses a 13″ Macbook Air, and David uses a 13″ Macbook Pro. I know Americans are supposed to be larger in size, but what about the rest of us?
  2. No provision for pro-style SLRs. I like the portrait grip and the added battery life. For all the flak that Crumpler gets, at least they got this right – their mid-sized shoulder bags can fit a pro-style DSLR easily.
  3. While we are here, can we stop having backpacks that open from the front? That is a retarded design, especially when out in the field after the rain. Body, meet muddy backpack straps and back. I had enough of being covered in mud since I left the army, thank you very much.

In conclusion, I look forward to your next round of bags. Maybe they’ll finally have something for me.

Regards,
YS

PS. While you’re at it, can you hire some new designers? The blue version of the City Walker… is not particularly attractive. I’m sure you can do better!

(Image Credit: Think Tank Photo Website)

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