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Fuji X Series Cameras: Be Proud of such unique thoroughbred cameras! Fujifilm X-Pro1, X-E1, X-M1, X-A1, X100S, X100, X20, X10, X-S1, and XF1 and any others that use Fuji's X Series lenses.

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  #1  
Old January 8th, 2012, 05:48 AM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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Default More hands on - Fujifilm X10

After six weeks of use, here is a short summary on the X10.

As I am not the typical photo gear tester (I use it and test only if I feel that there is something wrong) not all situations are covered yet. There might be additions later...

Here are my impressions.

Handling:
I like the fact, that you switch on the camera by turning the zoom ring.
The manual zoom is a pleasure to use - faster and more precise than the motorized zooms usually found on compact cameras.
The controls for AF, exposure adjustment, white balance, light metering and choosing the AF field can be reached by individual switches or buttons. One button (FN) can be configured, default for this button is ISO.

The menu structure is less to my taste - some items are not self-explanatory and some search is required...

The optical viewfinder does not have parallax compensation and it covers approx. 80% of the image. It is helpful if the screen is not desired or cannot be used as in bright light. There is no information visible in the viewfinder!

Once all the acoustic signals are silenced - the first thing I do on a camera after unpacking - the camera is silent. You really have to pay attention and to be close to hear the shutter. This is very useful for locations where this is required (Theater, Church etc.).

The size is just OK for my hands and the surface makes it a pleasure to carry.

For most of the situations I did not need the menu, the dedicated controls cover most of the functions I need handy for shooting.


Performance:

Compared to the Powershot S90 I owned before, the AF seems to be faster.

The speed of up to 7 images per second at full resolution for continuous shooting is good for a compact camera.

Overall the camera has little lag and helps to capture the desired moment in most cases.


Image Quality:

The zoom lens is already good wide open (f 2.0 on the short end and f 2.8 on the long end) and permits some selective focusing thanks to the aperture and the sensor size of 2/3".

The sensor delivers an impressive image quality, especially when taking its size in account.

On low ISO, the quality is IMHO getting close to some of the entry-level DSLR or µFT cameras with the difference of larger DOF.

Examples:
OPF Thread 1
OPF Thread 2


On high ISO, the camera delivers still a lot of useable images.

ISO 1250


ISO 2000


ISO 3200


When using EXR Mode and lowering the resolution from 12Mpix to 6Mpix, this range can be expanded.

ISO 1000, DR setting at 400%
This was taken from a door leading outside a dimly lit rebuilt interior of a WWII submarine.

Bells and Whistles:

The X10 offers quite a few options for filming, this is something I have not explored yet.
There are many adjustments possible to alter the behavior of the JPEG engine. The standard settings deliver already good results, so I haven't fiddled a lot with these. Otherwise there is still RAW (which can be developed in the camera).
Besides the standard PASM modes, there is a dedicated EXR auto mode and an advanced mode and even two custom modes which can be configured by the user.

There are certainly thing I have missed, but these may be added later.


Currently there is an issue with blooming in some situations, also called the 'white disc' effect. This raised some concern. I saw the effect once or twice, but it did not disturb me (yet?).

I would have paid more to have the hybrid viewfinder, even a light version of it, included in the X10. This would have been a very useful enhancement.
The manual is sometimes cryptic (at least to me).


Overall I am pleased with the X10.


Best regards,
Michael
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  #2  
Old January 8th, 2012, 10:17 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Michael,

Your review is so helpful as you put it to service of pictures you need to take and so this is practical. How much post processing did the pictures need to reach the quality shown? also how lrge can the pictures be printed at 240 dpi?

Good job!

Asher
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  #3  
Old January 8th, 2012, 12:32 PM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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Asher,

Thanks. I am still on the way to explore the functions of the camera. Expect additions in the future.

The post-processing was minimal - almost exclusively cropping and very few minor contrast/brightness adjustments. The jpegs were used, I did not feel a need to switch to RAW.

For the print sizes:
The wasp pictures are heavily cropped, but could be printed up to 5x7 inch for the rectangular crops and 6x6 inch for the square crop.
The pictures from the hike could be printed at a size up to 10x15 inch at 240dpi.

The rest is in the order of 9x12 inch up to 10x15 inch.

The noise is not that bad - it often looks more like grain.

In low-light situations it beneficial to reduce the resolution from 12Mpix to 6Mpix to fully profit from the EXR modes of the sensor. This is rewarded with more details while these are otherwise destroyed by the denoising, which is more aggressive at the full resolution.

Best regards,
Michael
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  #4  
Old January 9th, 2012, 11:03 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Michael, I had almost got this one. But the ' orb ' put a damper to that. I have decided to wait..

maybe longer than necessary!!

Thanks for your take and sharing it with us. Well done.

Regards.
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  #5  
Old January 9th, 2012, 12:53 PM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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Fahim,

Thanks! I understand your hesitation.

It may sound ironic, but the experience with the K-5 has taught me not to wait.
When I bought the K-5, the sensor spot issue was not known to me, OK.
Three months later I discovered, that, when stopping down too far, I saw spots as well, bummer.
But after a while I recognized, that without this camera, there are a lot of occasions I would have missed. Just to explain: I need good high-ISO performance as I shoot often late in the evening and at night, often without tripod as the situations do not permit this.

The X10 is an excellent companion for the K-5 as the high-ISO performance is very good.
The size and look makes it way less obtrusive than a DSLR while delivering good results.
The fact that you can switch off the LCD (while losing information on the picture taken) makes it look like an old camera and I have the impression that most people don't care anymore...

Certainly, the 'orb' or 'white disc' issue is not good, but I have seen it only once or twice until now, this is why I think that it is less relevant for me.
Everybody has different requirements, for certain this is a big issue, but for others this is not relevant. The IMHO most important thing is to recognize if a certain shortcoming is really relevant for the particular requirements or not and to decide yourself if you care about it or not.

There are a lot of things I have not explored yet with the X10, I will add updates from time to time. There is one thing I can tell already: There is fun and the camera stands rarely in the way between me and the picture I intend to take. This is a very important thing for me.

Best regards,
Michael
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  #6  
Old January 14th, 2012, 06:05 AM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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I tried video briefly, the quality was good. The higher frame rates at lower resolution are a nice gimmick, but the resolution is too low for serious use.

During my brief tryout, I noticed that the AF took a little time to lock on when the distance between the different subjects was larger. I will have a closer look...

Video is not my main interest, but given the capability it is sometimes nice if you only want to carry one piece of equipment around.

More to follow...

Best regards,
Michael
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  #7  
Old January 16th, 2012, 06:14 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Nagel View Post
There is fun and the camera stands rarely in the way between me and the picture I intend to take. This is a very important thing for me.
Michael,

Fun!

This is so important. Even with the Canon 5D II and the 100 mm 2.8L Macro lens, the little black GXR with the 28-300 lens is so user-friendly and unintrusive that there's hardly ever any perturbation of the scene of people I want to photograph. What's more DOF always helps and focus is fast. It seems that the X-10 shares these qualities. I'd say, in fact, that having such a tiny camera can improve a lot of work.

I have not tried the X-10 but your report makes me very interested in the coming Fuji APS-C sized compact mirror-less camera. Small black camera are the way to go!

Keep on with your report!

Asher
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  #8  
Old January 16th, 2012, 10:23 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Michael, I am reading your report studiously.

Thank you for doing the grunt work for us.

Best regards.
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  #9  
Old January 16th, 2012, 12:24 PM
Wolfgang Plattner Wolfgang Plattner is offline
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Hi Michael,
thanks for the proper informations ...
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  #10  
Old January 16th, 2012, 01:16 PM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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Asher - yes, it fun. A small camera helps to remain unnoticed and thus taking more natural situations.

Fahim - thanks. Please take it with a grain of salt as I describe everything from my point of view and suited for my needs. Yours are probably different from mine...

Wolfgang - thanks. Please don't forget that I do not claim to be objective

Here is another observation:

This touches exposure and dynamic range. For landscape photography, I tend to favor high contrast scenes that require a high dynamic range and a good exposure control.

Here are three examples. Exposure control was not always involved. The X10 seems to handle this quite well.



And there are the colors...



One more word about exposure control - the wheel comes handy when needed, but sometimes I would like to have more than +-2 stops.

Best regards,
Michael
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  #11  
Old January 17th, 2012, 02:23 PM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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Default Macro Mode

A few words on the macro mode(s) (there are two actually) of the X10.

The first macro mode permits the use of all focal lengths, but the magnification is not that high, as the minimal focusing distance is still quite high. Still, it is the more useful one of both, as you can use all focal lengths.

The second one is called super macro mode. The only usable focal length is the shortest one. Tbhe focusing distance can be as short as 1cm to the lens.

The display stays on in both cases as the viewfinder is useless here.

The wasp photos here were taken with the standard macro mode.

the following four were taken with the super macro mode. The OOF rendering of the lens is not that bad, especially for a compact camera.




The next update might take a while - I need some time to take more photos...

Best regards,
Michael
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  #12  
Old January 22nd, 2012, 02:42 AM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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Default Reportage, well - sort of

Yesterday I hat the occasion to see one of the dances the Barrel Makers perform every seven years in Munich. Here is some information about the dance:
http://www.bavaria.us/barrel-makers-...z-2012-bavaria
http://www.munichfound.com/article/schaefflertanz/

Focusing speed and shutter lag are important for this kind of situation. In most cases this worked well and made it possible to capture some interesting moments. As the weather was not that good (light rain) I used the screen rather than the viewfinder for composing. Unfortunately the screen cannot be tilted, for this kind of situations this would be useful, otherwise the fixed screen does not disturb me.

Here are some results:




I also took some videos, but I have to sort out where to host these without losing quality...

Best regards,
Michael
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Old June 22nd, 2013, 01:22 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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I keep returning to this image, so impressed by the quality at high ISO, (1250) and the design of the sculpture. I am embarrassed that I cannot name the sculpture, although at first I thought of the Israeli-Indian artist, Anish Kapoor, but then his recent work has become less simple and involves other materials and rectilinear elements.

So who is the artist! I'm stumped!

Asher
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Old June 22nd, 2013, 02:22 PM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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Asher,

Even with better cameras available, the high-ISO performance of the X10 remains impressive.

The sculpture can be seen at the inner court of the headquarters of this company.
It was created by Christopher Klein, a German sculptor living in Berlin.
The manufacturing was done by this company situated close to Munich. The explanation is in German but the pictures give a good impression of the production process (just click on the thumbnails on the left side from top to bottom).

Best regards,
Michael
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Old June 22nd, 2013, 05:11 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Nagel View Post
Asher,

Even with better cameras available, the high-ISO performance of the X10 remains impressive.

The sculpture, can be seen at the inner court of the headquarters of this company.
It was created by Christopher Klein, a German sculptor living in Berlin.
The manufacturing was done by this company situated close to Munich. The explanation is in German but the pictures give a good impression of the production process (just click on the thumbnails on the left side from top to bottom).
Michael,

Yes, this camera, especially in silent mode is a great tool and so valuable for travel photography. I'm so appreciative you have taken pains to describe your user experience and overwhelmed by the new avenue for experience in sharing information on this sculpture.

I appreciate so much learning more about the work and identifying the artist, Christopher Klein. I was very surprised that this company managed to achieve such brilliance in executing that artist's vision. After all, their own design are so dull, limited and mundane, especially their canopies. I guess they have the precision and skills needed for such work. I wonder whether they had done similar work with highly polished steel sheeting, shaped specifically to a design. I would love to know the process by which he chose this solid but seemingly "square" 1950's company.




This particular sculpture represents a whole new esthetic by this artist. Previous work was made up of rod like forms and some sculpted variations or arched forms. Nowhere would I have imagined to see such a beautiful piece as this one you have shown us! It's like he changed. I think the explanation is that having both the money and the fabricator allowed him the freedom to create as never before.

Interesting that their website doesn't even mention his name in the text going along all the pictures of the so impressive curvaceous mirror finish globular sculpture!!

"The sculpture

The art object represents a gas molecule,
Linde AG has designed for an artist.
Linde AG has moved to Munich in 2008
to its new headquarters in Angerhof, the
Carl von Linde House"


Have you figured out who paid for this. I'd imagine it cost some $500,000 to finish the work!

Asher
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 03:39 PM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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Asher,

It is a guess, but I think that Linde paid for the sculpture as they hold the rights for photography (private, non-commercial use was OK last time a friend checked). I have no idea about he price, but as it is non-standard in several ways plus the expensive transport and installation I imagine it was pretty high.

Why choosing a seemingly such a, let's say, simple company for the execution? I think they have a reputation for craftmanship and there is some creativity involved in making sculptures like this one solid enough for transport and not too heavy (it is hollow) without spending too much time on it - this is creativity in engineering which is mostly not seen.
Not mentioning the artist on their page was probably part of an agreement.

Best regards,
Michael
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If you need many words to describe what your picture means, it doesn't speak enough for itself.
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 09:44 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Nagel View Post

Why choosing a seemingly such a, let's say, simple company for the execution? I think they have a reputation for craftmanship and there is some creativity involved in making sculptures like this one solid enough for transport and not too heavy (it is hollow) without spending too much time on it - this is creativity in engineering which is mostly not seen.
Michael,

From their website it really appears that the company had a store of unused expertise that simply exploded to life for this work of art. I have gone through their entire list of merchandise and didn't find anything that required the great level of customization and perfection in finish shown here. I imagine that someone there has a strong reputation and a personal contact convinced the artist to have the construction done there.

I'd love to know the real story! Perhaps Linde has insights from previous private commissions.

Asher
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