x100 Goes to the Beach

New cameras are a lot of fun, especially when it’s a Fuji x100. Jas and I are coming up to our 5-year anniversary, and I/we thought it would be a great idea to get a little party camera. We haven’t had a party camera since we were away travelling, and carrying the SLRs everywhere can get a bit heavy/intrusive. I’ve had my eye on the x100 for a while now and we finally decided to add one to our kit. I did consider some of the other smaller systems with interchangeable lenses, but to be frank, I really didn’t want to invest wholly in another system – if I want the hassle of changing lenses, I’ll take my SLR that currently outperforms those other options.

The x100 is a gorgeous little camera both aesthetically, and functionally. As you can imagine, we have fallen in love with it and it has gone everywhere with us. Most recently, we Have taken it for walks along the beach and to a few house parties.

While walking out on the beach, I checked the lens performance with flare and overexposure. It performed exceptionally well.

I found the camera easy to use. It is equipped with both an optical viewfinder and an electronic viewfinder – both of which have their strengths and weaknesses. The optical viewfinder is fast and very responsive. It shows you an image-overlay, kind of like a HUD that you would see in airplane/helicopter movies, and shows you some basic settings prior to taking the photo. The optical viewfinder, prevents the camera from focusing too closely and will not enter macro mode. It is essentially a fast mode for walking around and shooting from the hip. The electronic viewfinder is a real treat. Although it is a lot slower than the optical viewfinder, the electronic viewfinder gives you an accurate image of what your photo will look like before you take it and updates the image as you change settings in real time. It would be a great tool for beginners to learn with, in my opinion.

This next photo doesn’t look like much – it’s really just a man walking on the beach… in nothing but a thing, black g-string. YOLO.

These images have been barely touched – but checkout how much dynamic range and flare control this little camera has. It’s going to be a lot of fun to play with!

The best part about walking down at the Spit has to be the puppies. Jas and I went down last Sunday and it was puppy-chaos! It was a lot more fun cruising the beach with about 100-less puppies running in and out of the water and shaking themselves dry. I tried the autofocus on some puppies. Lets just say, this camera is not for sports, puppies or fast little kids.

Some more facts about the camera – it’s a real photographers point-and-shoot. It has a fixed lens, which means it doesn’t zoom, but the field of view, equivalent to approximately 35mm full-frame, is perfect as a walk-around camera. The lens is super sharp from 2.8 down and it handles flare quite well too. The sensor is roughly the size of a smaller crop-SLR sensor – so it performs exceptionally well, even in low light.

Being a photo-nerd, I have had a play around with adding a flash to the top of the Fuji.  The camera has a hot-shoe, so I threw an old Nikon SB80dx flash on top – the flash is about 25 years old, so it kinda matches the retro look of the camera too!  As expected, the flash fired perfectly – it’s only operates in manual mode, but I think that adds to the nostalgia and fun that is the x100.  You can see a photo I grabbed of Jas in the kitchen with some subtle bounce flash just adding a kiss of light and balancing the sunlight streaming in behind her. Additionally, because the shutter is in the lens and is a leaf shutter, the camera can sync well over 1/1000 of a second.  That’s daytime-into-night kinda power.  I took a boring photo of a pot-plant on our outdoor table late one afternoon while I was playing around – the photo is all flash at 1/4000 of a second and about f2.8.  Just look at that gorgeous mid-afternoon sunset that has been wrangled down in the background.  Having such a fast sync means that I will be able to play with this camera outside and use relatively low powered lights to make some interesting shots. This camera will be a lot of fun!

Finally, one thing that is nice to have is the little macro mode that you can enable in camera. By pressing a few buttons, you can tell the lens it’s okay to try and focus quite close – this means you can get some solid macros of things around the house, and can turn it off when you don’t want the lens to hunt in low light. Photographers have already noticed how beautiful the out-of-focus areas are rendered… creamy bokeh!

I look forward to posting more shots from this camera in the near future – let me know what you think!

2 Comment

  1. Sean says: Reply

    What a superb addition to your photog arsenal! There are some excellent shots there, and I didn’t realise it had a hot shoe. Nice post mate!

    1. You should get one too – quick, while they are still cool 🙂

      P.S. Thanks for the comment mate. I hope you are well!

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