Handy Photo for iPad

861427_10203079387573241_267746474_o I was poking around on Derrick Story's web site, The Digital Story, yesterday and found his commentary on Handy Photo. For $1.99, I figured I'd go ahead and give it a try. It's available for iOS devices from the iTunes store. As Derrick says, it's a fun little app that does a nice job of "artifying" and otherwise manipulating a JPEG. It doesn't do layers or real HDR are anything like that, but if you're looking for quickie edits on your iPad, this is a lot of fun. And, ain't art supposed to be fun?

Fuji X-E1 First Shot

20140401-DSCF0022 Shopping at B&H is probably the next best thing to supporting a local camera shop. I ordered my new Fujifilm X-E1 on Monday at around 3:30 in the afternoon, and last night, I was sitting at my kitchen table, eating dinner and fooling around setting the camera up.

The picture is certainly no award-winner, but I was just wanting to see what real-life, crappy lighting conditions could yield. The image is a JPEG straight from the camera, including the 1:1 crop. The only thing I did in Lightroom was to add the copyright, and re-size to 1080 pixels for the blog.

The picture itself won't win any awards. But it does demonstrate how usable an image the camera can make in bad lighting at ISO 3200.

Fujifilm X-E1, ISO 25,600, 1/100, f/4, 55mm

For giggles and grins, I did take one image at the camera's maximum ISO of 25,600. The result was an image that probably wouldn't hold up to print, but would be okay for web use (the thumbnail is gorgeous, and the enlarged image looks better than my Sony at ISO 6400). In other words, I should not be afraid to really push the ISO with this camera, as I have been with all of my previous cameras. While most of my work won't call for doing that, it's nice to know I can if I need to.

Fujifilm X-E1, in-camera double-exposure

And, here's another cool thing: I can now do double-exposures in-camera! I haven't been able to do this since I stopped shooting film. Actually, the last camera I had that I could do a double-exposure with (if you don't count Hipstamatic on the iPhone) was my Canon AE-1! I don't necessarily have a lot of use for it, but I could conceivably create "Orton images" in camera, which could be fun.

X10 First Impression

20130917-080528.jpg After all the noise I've made about getting this new camera, I thought you might be interested in my first impressions. I've not taken any pictures with it to speak of -- I've just putzed around with the various settings either in the conference room at the office, or in the kitchen late last night -- so nothing worth posting yet. So these comments will be limited to the "look-and-feel" of the camera and controls. I'll do some subjective imaging impressions very soon.

Right off the bat, the X10 simply oozes quality. It is very reminiscent of classic rangefinders from the likes of Minolta, Konica and Contax. Some other folks have even compared various Fujifilm models to classic Leicas, and based on my first impression here, I can see why. Although a little smaller, the X10 has a feel that is very similar to the rangefinder models that I've used or handled.

The construction is all metal, with real leather applied. This is wholly unlike any of the competition at this price point -- similar models from Canon, for instance, are made of composite plastics. The controls feel solid, with detents that click positively into position. All of the buttons feel solid and are well placed. The only control that concerns me is the sub-command dial that surrounds the 4-way switch. It's made of an engineering plastic that I know is very strong, but the part is fairly thin and feels just slightly flimsy. I don't remember reading any user complaints about, and Fujifilm used the same part on the step-up X20, so I'm confident that it should hold up just fine.

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My X10 from Wolfe's came with the original Fujifilm "ever-ready" case thrown in (it regularly sells for about $50!), which, like the rangefinders of the past, must be removed to access the battery or "film" compartment. Fujifilm have redesigned the case since the original model to allow access to the batter and SD card compartment without having to remove the case.

I'm really looking forward to getting out and shooting the X10 this week and weekend.

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