Gear

Gear talk: An Engagement Shoot with the Fuji x100s

I love my big cameras. The 5D's are some of the greatest cameras that Canon has graced the world of photography. For the wedding industry, the Mark 3 is near perfect.  It has great autofocus, awesome build construction, and the system has an amazing set of lenses to choose from. Like every DSLR, one of the drawbacks is its weight. Although hefty, people like me in the industry are used to them. However, it doesn't really bother you much after a while. For 10-12 hour weddings, I strap them to a my leather camera holster (makes me look very 1920s) and the weight is evenly distributed across my shoulders and back. But over the past year, I stopped bringing my out my DSLR casually. Aside from its weight, it's also just big. 

Enter the Fuji! It's small, looks good, and setting it down on a dinner table does not scream tourist or overkill. At a nice restaurant, you also don't have to rearrange the salt and pepper-- which can lead you to spill things, ruin the entire night, and have an unhappy wife...

So I bought a used Fuji x100 to get those small form perks! Although the price was quite good for it, I returned it almost immediately after receiving it and upgraded to its new improved self: the Fuji x100s (it has an s!).  I loved the look and the size of the older model but it was just too slow; it was slow to focus, turn on, and even to review photos. The x100s is improved in almost every way and it is amazing.

I brought both the Canon 5D Mark 3 and the Fuji x100s to Asha and Farruh's engagement session. Every client so far, including Asha and Farruh, initially thought it was an old camera. Its retro-ness makes for a nice conversation starter.  I found myself reaching to the 5D paired with a 50mm f/1.2 for closer portraits to get that nice shallow depth of field. Instead of changing to a 35mm to get a little more in the frame, I used the x100s (it has a fixed 35mm focal length lens). I like to capture couples along with their surroundings,so I found myself using the x100s most of the time. No scientific data here - the camera feels really nice in the hand, the colors are unique, and I think it's a little sharper than the 5D (shock!).

Though the x100s operates way faster than its predecessor, its no sport shooter nor was it intended to be; it doesn't have a fast burst rate. The camera urges you to take the time to frame your subject with its nifty hybrid viewfinder. The autofocus is quick and very accurate. The 5D has a silent shutter mode, which is fantastic, but the x100s brings it to a whole new level; its silent click is only to let me know I took a shot. 

I'll be traveling a bit this year and I probably still have to bring a lot of my gear. The X series has revived a dying brand. I think Fuji is the most interesting camera company today. You can probably tell I really love the x100s; but as good as it is, it can't replace my Canon system.  Although Fuji just released the X-T1, a camera that sits at the top of their interchangeable lens products, they still have a ways to go to be there with the big boys.

When I'm not on the job though, theres no question I'll bring the Fuji.

 

The following photos were shot with x100s processed with VSCO and Totally Rad's Replichrome. 

Lots of Boxes

I've never blogged about gear on this site before so I thought I'd take a shot at it. I'm sure I'll do more in the future, but I think today is just an appropriate day.

As I was traveling overseas a few weeks ago, I dropped my camera causing my lens to break and my camera to suffer physical damage. Thankfully, both pieces of equipment were insured. After I arrived back home today, I was pleasantly surprised to find a series of boxes sitting and waiting for my opening.

First, my damaged 5D mark II came back looking all brand new! They replaced the screen, top casing, back casing, hot shoe, and even the shutter. I can't really take pictures of the camera because I don't have another camera to do so but here are some pictures that Canon took for me (for insurance purposes)

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Most of the damaged was seen in the last picture, where the casing actually cracked and was no longer weather sealed. The functions of the camera were all working properly.

A Fellow Photographer also suggested I upgrade my backup solution with some more drive redundancy, so I picked up one of these:

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It's been hard to find a good backup solution for the Retina Macbook Pro because it no longer has a firewire port, leaving only thunderbolt and USB 3.0 available. Currently, the market does not have many peripherals that actually support these kind of buses, none of which that are affordable at least. I have found that most thunderbolt products start at $600 and USB 3.0 has not really surfaced all that much yet.

This G-RAID 4TB (dual 2TB) has firewire 800 but thankfully, Apple has finally (seriously about time) released this little buddy that makes ponies and rainbows appear again.

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This is a Thunderbolt to Firewire 800 adapted. All is good again. 

I do desire to have a thunderbolt hard drive one day for all that speedy goodness but until then, the little Apple fanboy in me is satisfied.