I bid welcome to the next generation of cameras – the CSE (Compact System Cameras) – curiously enough, based upon the original first compact cameras – the Eurpoean Leica series. I’d like to introduce, in particular, the Fuji Finepix X series – X-10, X-S1, X-100 and the X-1Pro.
At first, I was hesitant to try out this new line of camera, as it seemed more like a computer that takes pictures than the cameras with which I was familiar. But it did not take me long to recognize the superior quality of these small compact systems and the results they could produce. The fact they greatly resembled and felt like the original Leica film cameras was an added bonus.
I started with the Fuji X10, which I took out on a hike in the local trail park.
I am quickly impressed with this small camera and am excited again about the results I know customers will get and the ability to easily control the output with exemplary results. The features are so practical and diverse that it is hard to concentrate on one in a brief format such as this.
I took this camera for a walk in my favorite spot in Sydney, the Baille Ard Trail at the end of Terrace Street. I wanted to test the Dynamic Range of this camera - to see how close it could get to film. That meant trying out the “film simulation feature” that is exclusive to these cameras. Fuji manufactured three special Fujichrome films that were revered in the industry, along with Kodak’s Kodachrome. The colour slide films Velvia (Vivid colour, National Geographic style), Astia (Soft characteristics great for portraiture), and Provia (for general scenics). I had to try these out. The light in the park is always different, with still some snow, dappled light through the trees, and both glistening and dark water from the brook, this would challenge the claims. Well it excelled. With the setting on Velvia, a saturation film mode, proved it is possible to have a digital sensor that challenges the mature technology of film. Detail in highlight and shadow, blacks and snow, textures in the dog’s fur, all in the same shot! Amazed me.
With the Astia setting for skin tones, I took pictures of Anita using its four-power zoom at full & close range, in shadow, in open sunlight let’s push it. When we got home and opened the file, done in RAW, and blew up the image for skin tones, Anita proclaimed,”Holy Cow”. The balance of the skin tone was so close to the standards for Adobe skin tones, that only a very slight 10 yellow was the difference between the Cyan, Magenta & Yellow adjustments to obtain the perfect skin tone. Next was the eye, we could count the eyelashes at 8 feet from the subject with the Fujinon F2.8 Aspherical Lens on the camera.
It is clear we are back to camera manufacturers making and tasking the digital experience and maturing it in this special line of cameras. Dropping the prism, mirror box, focal plane shutter to spending more on an exemplary lens and metering system is where we are going, and I am excited. There is more, if you wish me to comment further on this and other emerging cameras, please drop me an email or drop up to the second floor of Quality Cameras & Computers, downtown Sydney.