Wednesday, June 06, 2012

A walk in the park

Swedish national holiday, the government decided that Sweden should be more like other places and celebrate a national holiday. The Swedes are reluctant to say the least. It's fine to celebrate midsummer or Valborg (last of April), but you don't celebrate Sweden as a nation. However, you get a day off, so I went out with my new and Shiny™X100 for a stroll.

Not quite clear what it is supposed to be, but drawn by one or other of the kids in the neighbourhood with street-crayon. These kind of stylised, rectilinear things are perfectly corrected using "Enable Profile Corrections" in Lightroom 4. The slight barrel-distortion and vignetting disappears at the click of a button.

Poppy in front of lawn-chair. The macro capabilities of the X100 seem excellent. A thing that bothers me is the slow focus-update in macro mode. Another thing is that it seems quite difficult to achieve critical focus just where you want it. It may take a bit more practice is all.

Tagged utility-box. Critical focus is easy if the subject is flat, contrasty and in good light.

More macro, flower work.

Black and white is also fine.

River Fyris, more like a creek of mud. Still, it is pretty in black and white.

I found the X100 easy to work with. The finder is excellent, and the ability to switch to EVF for critical framing is brilliant. I still get lost in the variety of display and finder-options, but with any luck that will improve with experience. Most controls were easy to find, and usable even without moving your eye from the finder. It is annoying that the menu-system sucks so badly. Switching between manual and automatic ISO should be simpler. All options that you regularly use when shooting should be in the same place. Those would be ISO and auto-ISO, flash-compensation, external flash, ND-filter, Self-timer, and Dynamic range. The separate macro function should be done away with. As it is you have to use the macro mode from portrait range, and then you loose your window-finder and get an EVF that isn't fast enough for portrait work. You should be able to frame using the optical viewfinder even in the macro-range, no matter how inaccurate, it is still faster for capturing expressions.

Physically it is of a good size to walk around with. Certainly lighter and smaller than a Leica. Now I am using it with the filter adapter and lens-shade, half-case and strap. The lens-shade does make it too large for a jacket pocket, and the strap is too wide and too long, but apart from that I find it well made. The half-case fits perfectly, and provides just enough of an edge to grip it well with one hand. All told, I found it quick and easy to work with and quite intuitive, and the files are awesome.

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