Goodbye Fujifilm

Yeah, I know, it’s a shock. The website is after all called http://www.myfujilife.com. This will be my last post here.

I’m a happy Fujifilm user, so I haven’t departed because the grass is green on the other side. I’m not going to be negative about Fujifilm gear, I still love it. I like the retro styling, I like the aesthetics, I like the quality, I like the controls. I probably would have bought the 8-16mmF2.8 and 200mmF2.

I departed because I disagree with the way some things were handled by Fujifilm Australia and the Fuji X Aus group, so it’s a matter of principles and integrity and apparently we have different ideas of what those are. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m right, I won’t go into the details as I don’t want this site to end as a bitter “he said, she said” dispute so I’ll vote with my money and make a switch to another brand. I don’t get paid to write, and I can’t write about a brand if I am not passionate about it.

I’ll leave the content here for now, there are articles that may help people and that was the original purpose, the domain is paid for so no point in shutting it down. When it expires, it will probably be outdated anyway.

I’ll still be @theoverratedphotographer but I’ll be supporting another brand with my business. I probably won’t blog about it although I will see what happens. What brand that is, is yet to be decided.

Anyways, goodbye, thanks for the ride, and thanks for all the support. Enjoy your Fujifilm gear, it’s great gear, and don’t forget to get out there and take photos.

Advertisements

Fujifilm has a strategy problem they need to fix

The latest release of the X-T3 is a good and bad problem to have for Fujifilm.

On one hand they have released a camera that is likely to restore Fujifilm’s reputation after the X-H1’s release was overshadowed by Sony’s release of the A7iii. With this release, Fujifilm did a good enough job on the X-T3 to ensure that not even the release of two prominent full frame cameras from Nikon and canon could overshadow their announcement. It’s a damn good camera with very little to complain about.

This being the case, what exactly is the problem?

The X-H1…

If you have a look at the forums, there is a consistent issue arising. With the X-T3 being so good, where exactly does the X-H1 fit it. Despite what people think, it wasn’t a video camera, it was Fujifilm’s attempt at a professional camera. The X-T3 on the other hand is a better stills AND video camera so their “high-end” camera just got overshadowed by a lower model and that is raising some heads.

The consensus from most people is simple: Fujifilm should have waited 6 months and put the new sensor in! Fujifilm knew the new sensor was coming, they wouldn’t have been developing the X-T3 blindly so I would be questioning who made the call to put that sensor in and whether there was any actual thought behind it because it could turn out to be a death nail in the X-H1 coffin.

Past decisions aside, Fujifilm have a problem to fix and they need to do it quickly. Those looking for IBIS and the new sensor won’t find it in the X-T3 and for potential switchers that may be a problem. If I was sitting on with Nikon or Canon, disappointed with the current releases, and trying to decide which way to go, Sony still has an advantage with IBIS and far better battery life and even Nikon has put IBIS in their new mirrorless. For potential switchers, this offers compelling reasons to switch and the Sony glass in the equivalent apertures (i.e. 24-70 f4 vs 16-55 f/2.8) isn’t actually much bigger than Fujifilm so the size argument is mute.

But its not only potential switchers that are confused. It’s current X-H1 owners who are scratching their heads at Fujifilm’s strategy and asking “where to now?”.

If Fujifilm continue their previous trend of releasing the X-H2 18 months after the X-T3, I won’t be a buyer of it and neither will 50% of the X-H1 buyers, so the line is essentially dead.

Fujifilm XF56mmF1.2 vs XF90mmF2 – Clash of the titans

Pre-Note

I’ve left the lens information off the description of these photos as I thought it would provide some insight into how close they are. The exif data is imbedded in the files, so I’ll let you try guess which is which.

AHXE0614

Introduction

It is guaranteed that this question is going to come up on the forums, Facebook or on my Instagram feed, on a regular basis. It is the ultimate dilemma for Fujifilm users, 56mm or 90mm? It seems to be a bigger issue with Fujifilm than I remember with DSLR land, and I am not 100% sure why. For most people then it was a choice of 85mm f/1.4 vs 85mm f/1.8 but with Fujifilm, the 90mm is so damn good that its hard to ignore. Continue reading Fujifilm XF56mmF1.2 vs XF90mmF2 – Clash of the titans

The gaps in Fujifilm’s TTL technology

Introduction

It’s been great to see TTL and wireless TTL appear more commercially with Fujifilm, particularly with the access to gear from the strobe manufacturers like Godox and Profoto. This has really opened the door to flash usage with Fujifilm, and brands like Godox have made it affordable for people to experiment with flash. Although it’s good, it has not been without it’s teething problems and it’s not perfect (yet). As a result, I decided to put my thoughts together on what Fujifilm needs to do to make their offering better. Continue reading The gaps in Fujifilm’s TTL technology

Why the X100 isn’t the best Point & Shoot

It may seem like a bad thing to say, but it’s the truth, and I think it’s time to be honest about it. The X100 series is not the best Point & Shoot (P&S) on the market. It never was.

Part of the challenge with the X100 series is the appeal. It’s built a reputation as “the” P&S camera to carry and as a result, there are a lot of people buying them that really shouldn’t be. There is this perception that the X100 will take amazing photos and obviously it will, but it won’t for everyone.

20180712-DSCF6744 6000 x 4000

I’m not trying to be exclusive. This is not an attempt to try be part of a special club of X100 owners that you can’t be part of. Fujifilm products were never about exclusivity, if you want that, go to Leica. This is about practicality, ease of use and customer experience. It’s like a mum or dad buying a Nikon D5, leaving it in P mode and wondering why he / she is getting terrible photos. It’s about bad choices.

The problem in this case is that the X100 is not just a P&S, it’s a photographer’s P&S. There is no switch to “Auto” button with scene modes that the lesser beasts like the X70 have. You can’t switch it to sports mode and expect it to take good photos of your kids playing on the grass. Use it in auto (aperture auto, shutter auto, ISO auto) and you’ll get worse outcomes than a camera designed to do the work for you. The X100 doesn’t want to do the driving, it wants you to do the driving and it expects you to know how to drive. The X100 is a sports car without ABS and traction control being driven on wet roads. Obviously cameras don’t kill people so I’m being a little over dramatic but you get the idea.

20180712-DSCF6765 6000 x 4000

I don’t blame Fujifilm, they aren’t marketing this as a beginners camera. Blaming the stores would be incorrect, I’ve never seen stores pushing X100’s down the throat of consumers. 90% of the time, the blame falls on the consumer, fair and square. Mr Consumer walks in and insists on buying a specific model based on what a friend told them and won’t listen to common sense.

20180712-DSCF6739 6000 x 4000

So what do you do if you’re a novice and you bought one?

Take the time to learn how to use it. Take the time to do a basic photography course that teaches you about how to get out of auto mode. Learn how to shoot raw, when you do so, you’ll find it’s an incredible camera and it deserves better than to be left in P mode it’s entire life hoping it will get better.

PLEASE Fujifilm, fix your auto ISO issue

The problem

There are not a lot of things that bug me about my Fujifilm cameras, but auto ISO is one of them. How they have not fixed this is a mystery so I am going to go on a rant here.

The issue? How exposure lock, or lack there of interact with ISO and AF-C.

By default Fujifilm shows you Max ISO on your screen if you’re in a AUTO ISO mode. If you press the shutter, you see actual ISO. Great? No, great if you want to lock the exposure when you press the shutter, terrible if you do sports or anything where the exposure is likely to change from the moment you first start autofocus until the moment you take the last picture.

Let’s take a hypothetical situation. You’re following an athlete who is travelling around a track focusing on him until that moment he reaches a certain point where you want to take the photo. If you start focusing on him when he running in a light area, you photo will be underexposed, if you start focusing on him when he is running in a dark area, you’re photo will be overexposed.

That’s the purpose of exposure lock obviously, so that seems to be working as planned so why the issue?

In the above scenario you would want to turn off exposure lock and that’s where the problem comes up? Exposure lock is a lesser used scenario, you almost always want exposure to adjust continually for changing conditions. Switch off the exposure lock and you never see actual ISO. Yes, you just get to see the max ISO all the time, even when you hold down the button. If you take a photo, there is no way to see how high the ISO is going so you can keep track of it, without actually stopping, and checking what the ISO was on the last photo.

The problem with this approach is the lack of consistency as Fujifilm works different with AUTO shutter. Use a fixed ISO and auto shutter and with exposure lock off it will show you the actual shutter all the time. Move your camera around and you get a live reading. Again, why Fuji chose to show me my max ISO is a mystery. Who cares what I can go up to, I want to know what I am at now, not what I set the max to.

For now, my solution is to progressively raise the AUTO ISO from 800 to 3200 to 6400 as conditions require it, but it’s a fix to a problem that is easy to fix and simple shouldn’t be there.

How do you reproduce this problem?

Set your camera to AF-C, AUTO ISO with a fixed aperture and shutter. Focus on something light and without letting go of the shutter move to something dark (you will see the actual ISO) and take a photo. When you press down the shutter to start focusing on the first object, the exposure will lock at that point. The photo will be completely underexposed because it will have locked the exposure on the original object.

Now switch off exposure lock on the shutter and press the shutter. No matter where you focus, you never see the actual ISO, just maximum. Why should a lack of exposure lock prevent you from seeing the current ISO? I have no idea.

Now switch on auto shutter and you’ll see the shutter constantly changes when you move the camera around, before you press the shutter.

What about reporting it?

I have reported it to Fujifilm. I reported it when the X-T2 was released and nothing.

Is Eye-AF the solution to Fujifilm’s problems?

Introduction

I’ve toyed with the title of this article. Technically, this isn’t about eye-AF, it’s about a simplification of Fujifilm’s autofocus. The reason for this is I don’t think eye-AF is the complete solution to user problems, at least not entirely. It’s a great feature, and Sony’s facial preference technology (which gives preference to specific people) is the kind of technology that is helpful for some scenarios, but the real reason for the – popularity of eye-AF is the ability of the AF to decide the appropriate starting point for autofocus. In essence it’s the simplification of the AF system, and by simplification, I mean dumb it down to get better results without losing performance.

The current Fujifilm AF system is great but it requires constant customisation to get the best out of it, and most users don’t know how to do it, nor do they want to. You could argue that cameras are technical pieces of equipment, but in the land of iPads and Google, technical devices are becoming increasingly simple. For that reason, AF needs to be incredibly powerful and simple at the same time like ABS, traction control and similar technologies that are both powerful and simple.

Continue reading Is Eye-AF the solution to Fujifilm’s problems?