After a somewhat hot and sweltering week, it’s suddenly cooled down here in Sydney with plenty of rain and lovely cool breezes. It’s strange to think that by the end of this week, it will be Autumn here. Thank goodness I can start wearing layers again…
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my Fujifilm x100s, so I’ve decided to share my thoughts on the camera as part of my new series.
Let me say first up that I am no guru when it comes to this camera. I’ve only had it for just over a month, and I’m still learning new things about it every day.
In short, it is not a perfect camera, but it is an incredible camera.
More importantly, it is the perfect camera for me right now.
Many of you will know that for the longest time, I took most of my photos on my iPhone 4S. Occasionally, I would pull out our Canon EOS 40D for some nice close-up portraits of the family. I was totally okay with this arrangement, until one day, I woke up and realised that I was completely uninspired by the photos I was taking on the 40D. Sure, the photos were nice, and I’m really thankful that I have all these portraits of the boys documented and ready to go into photo books, but I never felt inspired to pick up the 40D to take more – dare I say – ‘artistic’ photos. In contrast, I was able to capture light and shade the way I liked on my iPhone. It worked for me, so I kept using it.
It got to the point, however, when I realised that I needed to push myself a bit further than relying on my iPhone to take all my photos. I needed something ‘new’ but I had no idea what that ‘new’ thing would be. Naturally, I considered the possibility of investing in a Canon 5D Mark II. I even raised it with Rick one evening. The price, however, was our biggest stumbling block. We didn’t exactly have three thousand dollars or so to spare.
Then one day, a week into the new year, a couple of my uni friends paid us a visit at home. They were back from New York for a couple of weeks, and they were keen to catch up with us and the boys. Soon after we poured out drinks for everybody, Patricia pulled out these two gorgeous looking cameras: the Fujifilm FinePix X100S and X-E1. I had never heard of either of the cameras but boy were they nice to look at! I was immediately won over by their gorgeous retro good looks, especially all the manual dials for aperture and shutter speed. I was intrigued to say the least, especially when I found out that Patricia was now using these Fuji mirrorless cameras exclusively for her professional photography work.
Still, I didn’t really give it much thought until a couple of days later when we met up again for dinner and I saw the photos that Patricia had taken of the boys during their visit. They were absolutely stunning. (And I hadn’t even noticed her taking the photos!)
Obviously I knew that Patricia’s skills played a large part in how good the photos looked, but suddenly, I saw that there was an alternative to a traditional DSLR.
After getting home that evening, I spent the entire night (and then some) researching the Fujifilm cameras. I read every possible review that I could get my hands on, and spent the next week pouring through all the information. I won’t list all the articles I read but there were three posts in particular that convinced me the X100S was an awesome camera from a technical perspective: this one by Zack Arias, this one by David Hobby, and this one by Ken Rockwell. In fact, if you actually read up on all three posts, you’ll notice that they all pretty much claim that the X100S is the nearest thing to the best digital camera out there. Now, this is a huge call, and I’m not going to say whether or not it is as I’m not qualified to, but for me, it was enough to know that these reputable photographers thought so highly of the camera. In fact, Zack’s whole post is about life without DSLRs – definitely worth a read if you want something to think about.
So on paper, the X100S’ technical abilities were looking great. I also liked the fact that the 23mm prime lines were equivalent to a 35mm lens. And at $1299, the price tag was much more affordable for us than a Canon 5D. Plus, the camera looked amazing and it was compact.
By this point, I was pretty much sold (especially as the shutter dial on our Canon unexpectedly died around this time) but I wanted to know one more thing: could the camera take the type of ‘artistic’ images that I aspired to take? I did some more Googling and landed on Danny Bligh’s blog. Wow. Every frame told a beautiful story of light and shade. Exactly the sort of images that I love. (Unfortunately his site is currently closed, but trust me when I say that his photography is stunning.) I asked him on Twitter if all those photos were taken on the X100S, and he confirmed that they were.
Two days later, Rick had called up a camera store and put a Fujifilm X100S on hold for me, and the four boys and I made the hike out to buy it.
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