It's Official - Finally, a Digital Camera for us Old Pharts!

Much has happened since I posted TOM, THE FUJIFILM X-E1, AND A DOLLAR BILL back in September. Fujifilm updated the X-E1 to the X-E2, and they introduced the X-M1 and the X-A1. And, at around 11:30PM EDT last night, Fujifilm announced what looks to be a delightful digital camera for those of us who have long lamented the disappearance of traditional camera controls: shutter speed dials, aperture rings, etc. It's called the Fujifilm X-T1. pic_02

This is the second camera to hit the market with this level of control (the first being Nikon's full-frame Df), and the first mirrorless APS-C camera do so. The X-T1 features the traditional aesthetic of an SLR married to all the tech that only Fujifilm brings to the table with their advanced X-Trans II sensor and EXR-II image processor.


The image above clearly shows the traditional control layout. Finally, everything is where it should be on a digital "SLR" styled camera -- the shutter speed dial adjacent the viewfinder hump, aperture ring around the lens, shutter button under the forefinger, along with easily accessed ISO and exposure compensation dials. Still, the camera is compact, possibly about the same size as the old Olympus SLRs.

As exciting as the X-Pro I and the XE-2 are, this camera looks to be as close to photographic nirvana as an old phart like me could get. I'll be anxious to see the price!

Of course, you can read all about the new camera here, or check out the press release. There's also a "special site" dedicated to the X-T1. Finally, you can watch Fujifilm's official promotional video:


On The Hunt: Keyboard Amps

I'm sort of in the market for a new keyboard amp. Don't get me wrong; my current amp, a Peavey KB3, is an awesome amp. It's got plenty of power. It sounds great. It's got plenty of inputs. It's got every feature I could want in a keyboard amp, including a special monitoring input that allows me to use it as a keyboard mixer/amp and a monitor wedge at the same time. And, it was reasonably priced. What more could I possibly want, for goodness sake?!? Simple.

Controls on the face of the amp, not on the top all the way at the back, where I can't see them easily when I reach to make a quick adjustment. See, I either raise my amp off the floor behind me, so it's closer to my head, or angle it back on a floor stand, so that the speaker is facing up like a floor wedge. That way, I can hear what I'm playing, as opposed to shooting the sound past my knees.

Controls on modestly-priced (sub-$300) amps were on the front, once upon a time. My first keyboard amp (Peavey KB100) and my second keyboard amp (Peavey KB/A60) had front-facing controls. So, what's with the trend to put them at the back? Just because Roland (undoubtedly, the makers the most popular series of keyboard amps out there) has been putting them back there for years, it's not necessarily a good idea.

So, how 'bout it, friends. Any ideas on a comparable amp that has its knobbies on the front, where I can see 'em, that won't break the bank?