Friday, June 6, 2014

Goin' old skool ... sort of

In earlier posts, you might have seen that I love the Panasonic Lumix LX7 a lot for its great low light performance, the stepped zoom (simulating various primes) and the low noise shutter. Although the LX7 is one of my all time favorite cameras, in terms of handling, it lets me down in street photography.

In other posts, you might have read about me praising the Olympus micro-4/3 system for having this super-fast AF and the cool street photos that could be shot at 9mm and 15mm focal length, using the body cap lenses. However, the shutter, although relatively quiet, compared to an SLR camera's shutter, is rather noisy, in particular when compared to the LX7.

Having hesitated for quite a while, I finally bought a Fuji X100S. And I love it!

Why hesitating in the first place? Well, for what it provides, the X100S seem well overpriced, not to call it expensive. One gets an APSC sized sensor, hooked up with a 23mm lens. That's it! No zoom, no bells, no whistles.
Well, really?! Concerning the picture taking part, that might be true... However, concerning the handling part of the camera, we are looking at a gem!

The X100S offers a hybrid view finder, i.e. an optical view finder which is enriched by an overlay of data and can be toggled to an electronic view finder by the twitch of a finger.
In my shooting, I regularly switch between the 2 modes of the view finder. Once you learned where the frame is, the optical VF will serve perfectly in street photography, since it does show a wider view than the frame captured on the sensor, giving the photographer a lot more time when persons are predictably moving into the frame.

The advantages of the sophisticated view finder set apart, the X100S offers one more invaluable feature which is often neglected: silence!
Just like the LX7, the X100S is nearly inaudible, thanks to the leaf-shutter built into the lens.
I was taking pics at an art's fair in my town and nobody noticed it.
Rijswijk art fair
Personally, I think that the above photo does belong to the group of weaker photos I took over the years. The interesting part about this shot is, the artists did not notice me when I was sticking my X100S (35mm full frame equivalent) right into his face.

The Fuji X100S gave me something back, which I was missing in my recent photography: the memories of my youth!
When I was young, my father shot with an Agfa Optima 500 sensor (42mm lens). At some stage, I was using this camera too. In the optical view finder, Agfa displayed "frame lines" to reflect the frame to be found on the film in the optical view finder of the camera.
Besides having those frame indications, the Agfa was next to inaudible, concerning shutter noise, just like the LX7 or the X100S.

And here is what I love about the pricey X100S, the optical view finder with the mirrored in frame lines and shooting information.
Thank you Fuji for bringing back the memories of my youth with a contemporary camera that performs beyond any doubts!

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