Closer than you might thnk

Discussion in 'Fuji X10, X20, X30, XF1, and X-S1' started by dixeyk, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    Closer than you might think

    Her are a coupe of shots I posted on SC not that long ago. The first is from my NEX 5n with the Sigma 30 and the second from my X10.

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    I Accept You by dixeyk, on Flickr

    8396404683_e251fb62b8_b.
    Say Wha? by dixeyk, on Flickr

    I think both are fine and to be honest I would probably have to look pretty closely to see much of a difference under normal circumstances. I suspect the NEX image would make a better print at large size. I posted these here not to declare that the X10 is as good (or better) than the NEX because it's not about which is better. On gear specific forums such as this the emphasis can sometimes turn to "this vs that" or endless debate on whether or not the new model is superior in shadow noise, dynamic range, high ISO performance or whatever the latest "it" that everyone seems to be all excited about. I've been shooting for years now and while there certainly are times that I wish a camera did something it doesn't those times are far and few between. For the most part the cameras I have produce results that are fine. Just recently I was at a friends house and he still has an image up that I shot over 15 years ago using a 2MP Nikon CP800. It's a framed 8x10 and it looks great.

    To me what matters most is if a camera gets out of my way and allows me to make the images I want with a minimum of drama. There are times when what I want is to move about with not set plan and work a bit more quickly with some freedom to be spontaneous and unnoticed. When I want to do this the X10 is the camera I grab. It has fast enough AF to suit the kinds of subjects I photograph, the flexibility of a useful zoom range (not to mention a nice fast, sharp lens) with the UI and controls that make shooting a real pleasure. The X10 is IMHO a terrific camera with enormous appeal and a fun factor that is off the charts. Then there is the little matter of IQ...it is the topic that can dominate discourse when it comes to gear forums. Whether its how camera A is "as good" as Camera B which is supposed to be better because it has the "x-sensor" made by whomever or how the shadow noise is more controlled, less controlled, not controlled because there are stronger, weaker or no AA filters at all. It's all very tiring and IMHO rather pointless. I think it's tough to find a truly bad camera these days. You really have to look for one. Now I think there are a lot of reasons that someone might prefer one camera to another that are more valid than IQ. Things like AF speed, comfort, convenience, size, and even simply the fact that you like it or do not like it are all more valid IMHO than the very tired IQ argument. It will also vary person to person. For me the X10 is a capable and fun camera to use. It gets of my way when I shoot and allows me to spend less time fiddling and more looking at the things I want to capture. I take it with me and come back with images that I am pleased with. Like any camera it has its strengths and weaknesses and the longer I use it the better I get at maximizing one and minimizing the other.

    Oh...and based on the above images the IQ aint half bad either.
     
  2. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    517
    Feb 1, 2013
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    You won't get an argument from me. That's why I feel the best compact cameras will remain relevent. And, as always, technique and skill are at least as important as the camera in the photographic process, if not more so.
     
  3. yorik

    yorik FujiXspot Regular

    31
    Feb 1, 2013
    Northern California
    Yonatan
    Also important (for some kind of photos) are being in the right place at the right time, in which case the best equipment is the equipment
    you have with you at the time. One of my all time favorite pictures I took with a crappy cell phone camera. My only regret is that I didn't
    have a x10 (or x100) type camera in my (jacket) pocket at the time. The K5 is a great camera and quite small for a DSLR, but I can't take it
    everywhere all the time (though I try, as my wife will be quick to point out). I'm really looking forward to seeing what the x20 and x100s are
    capable of. I plan to pull the trigger on something to complement my K5 kit this year.
     
  4. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    517
    Feb 1, 2013
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    I agree completely. Timing and luck are a big part of it. So is patience... and being able to recognize a photo opportunity when one sees one. I personally tend to categorize this under skill and technique. There's a famous story about film director Stanley Kubrick. He had his cast and crew standing around for hours on an outdoor set while shooting "Barry Lyndon" in the early 1970s. His people finally began to compain and asked him when he planned to begin filming. His response: "When the light is right." I don't know if that applies here but I enjoy telling that story.

    Separately, I have long-held theory that, in the end, people won't care about skill, technique or how good/crappy the camera used is if the image resonates with them in some personal way. Witness your favorite photo taken with a cellphone camera. Or go back into the family photo archives... how many of your favorite images are actually pretty bad shots taken with Kodak Instamatics?
     
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  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    I have always had a soft spot for compacts and point and shoots because of the freedom they offer when creating images. I have a Panasonic ZS3 and I love that camera. It has a big zoom, decent lens, does great macros and has a 25mm WA. What's not to love? I remember seeing some work form a gentlemen in Spain that was using one and producing work that was absolutely terrific. There is also this huge debate about whether or not he post processes and I remember thinking at the time that it didn't matter to me if he post processed or not...the images were gorgeous and to me that's all that matters.

    The X10 (to me) is such a terrific combination of flexibility and fun that it's always with me. That's half the batter right there. I also tend to post process everything to some degree because I use LR as a way of organizing my files. I shoot in color and send it through LR or Silver Efex Pro 2 for BW conversion, typically tweak the contrast and add some sort of vignette. Once in a great while I use the NR tool in LR (which is very good BTW) and viola.

    I agree. I think sometimes we get too hung up on gear and fail to realize that the image is what matters...and it's not sharpness, clarity, shadow noise or any of those other "measurable" things that matter but the emotional connection you have when you look at the image. That comes from the photographer. I think the best camera is the one that is transparent and lets the photographer get on with making images.

    8443403586_fbe4957dea_b.
    Abuela by dixeyk, on Flickr

    8393364225_0f18c91693_b.
    Spider Wet by dixeyk, on Flickr
     
  6. Penfan2010

    Penfan2010 FujiXspot Veteran

    291
    Feb 1, 2013
    Central-ish NJ
    Ed
    Absolutely agree; thanks for a very thoughtful post. Most of the famous photos seared in my memory did not have outstanding sharpness or clarity--they captured a perfect moment where emotion and timing and composition all came together. Your image above reflects that.

    Ed
     
  7. yorik

    yorik FujiXspot Regular

    31
    Feb 1, 2013
    Northern California
    Yonatan
    I completely agree. The picture I mentioned is a favorite because it captured my children, and the dynamic between them. The various imperfections
    (missed focus point, softness, etc) don't really detract from the image for me, but I do daydream sometimes of what I could have done PP if the original file had been (a) raw and (b) shot through a better lens.
     
  8. yorik

    yorik FujiXspot Regular

    31
    Feb 1, 2013
    Northern California
    Yonatan
    That (and the smallish, take-anywhere form factor) is exactly what I am looking for, and what I find so appealing (in theory, never having use them) about the x10, x100 and their new siblings.