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Fujifilm X100T Review

Thaipusam Festival 2015 | Fujifilm X100T

Fujifilm X-Pro1 has done amazing job throughout almost 2 years of using it. It was the camera that really gives me a new experience of taking pictures. It teaches me to slow down and be discreet about what i’m about to shoot, and wait for the moment desired before actually clicking the shutter. With the variety choose of Fujinon lenses on the market, or some like to use other lenses with the use an adaptor, there is actually no reason for me to upgrade the Fujifilm X-Pro1. It is the camera that fit my requirement and I’m super satisfied with it.

I had several chances of hands-on  experience with Fujifilm X100 series on actual fields of shooting. I liked every single part of it, the vintage design & its performance. I’m considering the own it ever since but keep on reluctant as I had already one of the best camera I ever had, the Fujifilm X-Pro1.

Fish Market | Fujifilm X-Pro1

Things has changed and so to me.

I barely use my 14mm Fujinon lens. The 35mm Fujinon lens always attached to my X-pro1 body. I can travel with only 1 lens (fujinon 35mm) attached to the X-Pro1 and I’m happy with it. Then I was thinking about how pocketable the X100 are. Switching 35mm to 23mm is not a big deal for me, as I tried it before. The X100 series is what I need for travelling. Fixed lens allow me to shorten my decision which lens to use, I can enjoy the extra time to witness the beauty of the view, not wasting a single second to think which lens is the best for this kind of view and the time taken to switch the lenses if required to do so. Being small and compact yet deliver fine quality of images, I can always carry the camera in my pocket and take it out when needed. The compact & small design makes people think I was just a tourist and not to draw their attention compared to the big sized DLSR and its lenses. So people feel more relax with it, because it was just an idiot here taking photos of them. For older people, the design opens up conversation when they asking if this was an old camera, so it is a bonus tool to communicate and engaged to the them. Wifi capabilities on X100T added another good reason why I should go the for upgrade (or downgrade?) from Fujifilm X-Pro1 to Fujifilm X100T.

Focusing

The focus is not the fastest AF on the market but it was fine to me, at least it work faster than X-pro1 does. Is was good to know X100T has the face detection mode, this is useful when you asked somebody to take your photo with the higher success rate not to of out of focus which always happens to me.

Fujifilm has made focusing much more fun yet classic focusing experience, it offer split focusing which adopted from analogue camera. I love to use this focusing when a scene not requires fast focusing, it was whole new experience for me (a digital camera with split focusing).

Buttons

Most of the button is programmable. Since I used to the X-Pro1 fuction button setting, I set the same for the X100T with a little changes. Up button is for Face-Detection, Down for Select focus area, Left for ND Filter, Right for timer, another 2 function setting is for video (Default) near the EV Dial, and for Photometry option. The up button which I choose to work as face detection mode sometimes I switch to flash EV when needed.

Q Button menu also can costumizeable,

Fujifilm made the camera, you design its function button because it simply yours.

Leather Case

I was given leather case as a free give when I bought X100T. It protect the whole body of the camera. While in use, you can either just open part of it or to leave only the “jacket” case. You can access battery memory card bay while using the leather case. But using the leather case meaning you add the case of the camera, it will no longer a pocketable size camera. Furthermore, the leather case did not provide mounting for tripod.

Cam Remote Apps

I would not end the review without mentioning about the “Cam Remote” Apps (available in App Store and Play store). With the wifi capability on X100T, you can now control your camera remotely with the apps. You can select your focusing, choose your shutter speed, ISO, Aperture, EV, film simulation and more with the apps. You can transfer the file to your device like iPad or iPhone with different option of file resolution.

Backlight | Fujifilm X100T

Please note that this review only a brief review about what I like to say about this camera.

Update on 6th July 2015:

This advise goes to those who still thinking of switching DSLR to a mirror less system with fixed lens. Before I switch to X100 series, I have been using X-Pro1 for nearly 2 years which I can consider a period of “transition”. With only 2 lens to use (35mm and 14mm), this is very limited range compared in lenses I can use with my DLSR. But sooner I found that I can live with only 35mm lens. And I accept about fact that the X-pro1 can’t beat all features DSLR can offer such as shutter lag and the AF. It teaches me to slow down my desire to shoot, but to really compose my frame and be discreet about the moment that I really wanted. I became comfortable with its weakness, it wasn’t a big issue for me. The good thing is it produce good image quality. When Fuji released X100T, I was about to buy a fujinon pancake lens (27mm) and I was thinking that maybe I should buy X100T instead. Smaller body, light weight, wifi capability and for the silver version, it look like an antique camera, everybody are afraid of the big black DSLR body nowadays, but the design of X100 series makes people want to know if the camera is still working, now you have the chance to know your subject and it is the chance for you to get nice looking portrait.

Child Photography – Shoot Backlight With Fujifilm X100T

X100T Classic Chrome + Snapseed on iPad

X100T Classic Chrome + after light  on iPad

X100T Classic Chrome + After Lgiht on iPad

X100T Classic Chrome + Snapseed on iPad

When we compare the workflow of a photo let say 5 years ago, things has been changed a lot. When we shoot with camera, we do have an options for our jpeg output like Black and White or Sephia etc. But the latest camera (talking about Fujifilm) nowadays have another option called Film Simulation. My first 4 months of using Fujifilm X-Pro 1, I shoot with “Astia”. I like the effect how it deepen the shadow area and pops out the colour but not too much which suits my taste. This Film Simulation effects will do nothing to your RAW file. With X100T, I think I’m in love with the Classic Chrome, it appear to be a default film simulation in my camera which I use almost all the time except when I shoot in black and white. After the shooting, you need to transfer your images to your computer, do some editing to enhance the photo and share your work in Facebook or other social media.

Then the WIFI feature introduced in most of the camera nowadays. We can now install apps to our phones or tabs and connect to our camera. When connected, we can geotag, browse and fully control a “live” remote shooting with it. The images can be shared straight away after the shooting without transferring images to a computer. It actually cut down the workflow that we used before. The are dozens of photo apps can be downloaded providing amazing photo enhancement. For me, by the time I write this post, I’m using Snapseed, Afterlight and VSCO cam, there are some limitation with these apps, but not a big issue if those images intended just to be share on social media.

Travel With Fujifilm X100S : Portrait Of Suraksha

While I was talking to her, she stopped the conversation for a while. She was enjoying the Ultra Light Flight circling the Sarangkot Hill. Even though she have seen it hundred times before this, but it never makes her bored. Getting ready to get to school, this 10 year old girl is among the kids living at Sarangkot Hill with her parents running guest house business. Meet Suraksha, speaks fluent in English, I can’t speak well in english when I was at her age. She walks about 30 minutes to reach her school, and it took about 1 hour going back to the hill.

 

Suraksha, 10

Travel With Fujifilm X100S : Portrait of Dhurba & Raj

I met these gentlemen on our road trip from Kathmandu to Pokhara. It was just near the roadside where people stop for toilet, tea or just to have some fresh air near the Trisuli River. By the time I got out from the car, I knew that I want to photograph them. But I took my time building up some confidence for both of us. He thought I was attracted with the lady who was nearby making local delicacy, the Sel Roti. Made of rice flour, deep fried to make crispy outer but puffy inside.

Sel Roti

After spending few minutes photographing the lady and the food, I made my move to communicate with him. Mr. Dhurba, 36, is a lorry driver coming all the way from Kathmandu like us, heading further beyond Pokhara. I took a look at the lorry and quite surprise to find the interior look like you were sitting in our living room. It was well decorated. Accompanying with him is his assistance, Mr Raj, 51, who came to and join our conversation. After gained enough trust between us, I ask permission if I could take their portrait. Without hesitant they agreed to my request.

Mr. Dhurba, 36

Mr Raj, 51

I was using Fujifilm X100S belong to a friend of mine during this trip. The classic appearance of the body makes other feel this was old camera and nothing serious about it, people feel more comfortable compared to the big black DSLR with its bulky lenses. Nowadays, people thinks that you make big money when you took photo with DSLR. I have been using Fujifim system more than 1 year and never thinking of turning back to other DSLR, this is there camera system that suits me well especially for travel.

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Travel With Fujifilm X100S : Manakamana Hill Side Academy, Gorkha, Nepal

The gondola lift transportation has always steal the eyes of its viewer who pass-by Cheres, Chitwan after about 104km journey from Kathmandu – Pokhara route. The Austria imported cable car system connecting between the Base Station (Cheres, Chitwant) to the Top Station (Manakamana, Gorkha). Here is the fees for the cable car.

Screen Shot from Wiki

Screen Shot from Wiki

At the top station, about 1302 above sea level lies the Mañanakamana Temple, a Hindu temple which pilgrimage bring goat to be sacrificed in a pavilion behind the temple. The name Manakamana originates from two words, “mana” meaning heart and “kamana” meaning wish.

As we walk around the village near the temple, we came across an elementary school slightly below the hill. There we found the Manakamana Hill Side Academy

Manakamana Hill Side Academy

Manakamana Hill Side Academy

Manakamana Hill Side Academy | Mr. Ghupta, 24, Teacher

Manakamana Hill Side Academy

All image are taken with Fujifilm X100S (Silver).

Somewhere In Kota Belud

Actually this images already in my flickr account for quite some time. I personally like these images but I don’t have any idea what to talk about it due to lack of other supporting images.

 

 

 

 

 

Travel Photography With Fujifilm X100 | Destination: Nepal | Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur is one of our destination during our recent trip to Nepal with my fellow friends. In 2012, I have spent much time with wide angle lens. Since established shot was not my aim for this trip, I decided to use only 1 lens looking for any chances for portrait.

On our way from Sarangkot down to Bhaktapur, a friend of me, Leanna Chong asking me if I dare exchange our camera. So she will be using my Fujifilm X-Pro1, and I will use Fujifilm X100. I have no hesitate to take that as a challenge.

I struggled for half an hour to understand how X100 works. A lot of guessing within the menus and finally I get the some basic understanding how does it working.Basic means to know simple setting like aperture, exposure, shooting modes, shutter speeds and ISO. I believe X100 provides a lot of features, but I don’t want to spent so much time and perhaps missed any potential shots along the way.

Entrance Ticket

 

Group Photo at Bhaktapur | Fujifilm X-Pro1

Travel Photography With Fujifilm X-Pro1 | Destination: Nepal | Boudhanath Stupa

If you happened in Kathmandu and you have nothing in your plan for that day, I will suggest a visit to Boudhanath Stupa. The largest stupa in Nepal, ranked no. 3 interesting places to visit in Kathmandu written in Lonely Planet Travel Guide Book.

Located about 7km of east of the downtown Kathmandu, if you from Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist spot, it cost you about Rs350 (in 2012) per way with a small, cramped sized taxi. It took about 15-20 minutes to reach here. Entrance fees applied at the gate with the cost of Rs150 per person.

Boudhanath Stupa Entrance Ticket

Boudhanath is both an eye of calm within capital’s dusty pandemonium and a sancutary of Tibetan Buddhist culture amid a nation dominated by Nepal Hindus. Throughout its narrow streets, you can see posters of smiling Dalai Lama, Tibetan folk-medicine stores, traditional artisans’ workshops, and restaurants. It has been announced as World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1979. Buddhists walk around the sacred monuments clockwise, the same direction a prayer wheel spins. The monasteries near the stupa have become a global centre of Tibetan Buddhism.

Prayers at Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath Stupa With Golden Layer At The Edge Of The Horizon

If you planned to make a visit, I suggest to go here arround 3-5pm. If you come earlier, the you will have all the time for visit all the shops inside, of have a cup of coffee or two at one of the roof top cafe surrounding the big stupa. I’m suggesting to visit at that time so that we are can target for the sunset and the blue hour. Well I don’t really mean that sunset but to have Boudhanath with nice golden layer at the edge of the horizon. During blue hour, when they started to lid the prayer candles and put it around the stupa is something not to be missed too. I didn’t manage to wait until all prayer candles fully completed arranged around the stupa, but for now, that will be in my “must-have” list on my next visit.

Boudhanath Stupa

A Lady Preparing Prayer Candles And Boudhanath Stupa

View From One Of Monastery Around Boudhanath

Prayer Candles getting lined up arround Boudhanath Stupa

Faces Of Nepal

It’s been almost 3 weeks after returning from our travel photography trip at Kathmandu. Back at home, I’d spent most of my time with my beloved family rather than looking or examining all photos taken during the trip. Just taking my time for a quick editing & upload to my flickr account so they will be ready when I’m about to write something in my blog. I’m using lightroom through my entire workflow until the selected photos uploaded in my flickr account with its provided publish service. Maybe I will share some tips about publishing photos to flickr via lightroom in another post.

In November 2012, when I first travel to Nepal, I have already taken what I call “established” photo. With those “established” photo already in hand, I’m now put more effort to get portraits. A portrait with permission, not just a candid. This is where our communication skill get tested, it really pumped up my adrenaline most of the time simply because of just asking a stranger whether it’s okay to take photo of them. For most of you, maybe this is just an easy task but you got to believe me that it really hard on me. Maybe it really hurts me when I get rejected, feeling of upset and stressful moment when you really found someone with the characteristic features you wanted but refused to be photographed. I’m using Fujifilm X-Pro1 with 35mm lens, it means I will shoot just about 3-4 feet away from them just to get their portrait, I know they will feel awkward but this is where “trust” plays its role. When we get trusted, there is a good possibility that they will accept your request.

Below are portrait series of Nepal (Kathmandu – Nagarkot – Bhaktapur – Pokhara)

© 2014 Mohd Shukur Jahar | Faces Of Nepal | Sarangkot – Pokhara | Fujifilm X-Pro1

Portrait of lady above was taken when we about to leave from Sarangkot after spending 3-4 hours for the sunrise viewing. We were the last group leaving Sarangkot that morning. While waiting for our friends at our meeting point, I see this lady inside her shop. So i made some contact with her, investing few rupee for a bottle of Coke. I can’t deny the lighting that moment, and I said to myself, the worst thing I could get is just a rejection. Suddenly I speak before my mind even made decision yet, can I photograph you? She nodded.

© 2014 Mohd Shukur Jahar | Faces Of Nepal | Bhaktapur | Fujifilm X100

The Smoking man is Mr. Bhubanashur, 60 years old and a Newari Hindu. We met at Bhaktapur while I’m waiting for my phone sim to get activated, I don’t expect the activation of new number will cost such amount of time. This guy, his is selling CDs of Nepal Traditional Music. He looks approachable to me, so I made my move to start a conversation. We talked about 5 minutes and he started to light up his cigarette and you know whats next.

© 2014 Mohd Shukur Jahar | Faces Of Nepal | Bhaktapur | Fujifilm X-Pro1

A guy with nice blue fleece. The are about 3 mens were talking when we passed by, then one of the member asking where we come from, knowing that we all come from Malaysia, he spoke Malay with us and sharing some of his work experiences in Malaysia not long ago. My eyes actually fixed to his friend with blue fleece. I told him how good looking he was with that fleece and made a request for taking his portrait.

© 2014 Mohd Shukur Jahar | Faces Of Nepal | Tibetan Refugee Camp – Pokhara | Fujifilm X-Pro1

61 years old Tibetan Lady at Tashi Palkhiel. She is one of the villager selling tibetan handicraft near the Tibetan Refugee Camp. I bought few pieces of “friendship bracelet” and ask for a quick portrait shoot before leaving. 

© 2014 Mohd Shukur Jahar | Faces Of Nepal | Nagarkot | Fujifilm X-Pro1

This beautiful girl above is Ms. Barsha, a 17 years old Tamang living at Nagarkot. She study in a boarding school somewhere in Kathmandu. That day, is a special day for Tamang which Lhosar Festival was celebrated. Actually, this shooting location is not in our list of destination that day, but as we passed by the village, I asked our driver to stop after seeing so many village gathering like having some kind of celebration. I have never regret of stopping by this village.

© 2014 Mohd Shukur Jahar | Faces Of Nepal | Swayambhunath – Kathmandu

© 2014 Mohd Shukur Jahar | Faces Of Nepal | Swayambhunath – Kathmandu | Fujifim X-Pro1

I took these two ladies photo at Swayambhunath Stupa or also known as The Monkey Temple. There were about 5-6 ladies in the same spot, when I was following my friend Wazari Wazir. I’m grateful he made his move communicating with them, a short warming up session and I took this opportunity to photograph some of them.

As he wrote in his blog:

“I simply could not resist photographing them, the light was so wonderful. I’m sure, I  will be haunted by this moment if I didn’t get the shot, well, at least I should try to ask them. Photographing strangers, isn’t easy, nobody ever said it was” – Wazari Wazir (read more here)

He did mention too about his experience being rejected after asking permission to take someone’s portrait, getting “NO” is not the real big thing but thats what keeping us to explore more and take it as challenge to make a portrait of a stranger. Follow your heart, your instinct are telling you something. You need to trust yourself first to be trusted.

“A photograph is both a pseudo-presence and a token of absence. Like a wood fire in a room, photographs – especially those of people, of distant landscapes and faraway cities, of the vanished past – are incitements to reverie.” – Susan Sontag

Fujifilm X-Pro1 : Thaipusam Festival At Kota Kinabalu

Thaipusam is a key Hindu ceremony that is held each year during the full moon in the tenth month of the Hindu calendar – Thai – falling from mid-January to mid-February in the Gregorian calendar. It is mainly observed in countries where there is a significant presence of Tamil community including Malaysia. . It mark as public holiday in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Kedah, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak,  Penang & Selangor.

I’ve been living in Kota Kinabalu for so many years but never heard of this festival being held around here. All this years, I only know this iconic festival attracts over one million devotees and tens of thousands of tourists at Batu Caves. I was looking for some photographic opportunity during Deepavali last year, when I see the note about Thaipusam at Sri Subramaniam Temple (KM22, Penampang-Papar Road in Lok Kawi). My curiosity about it lead me to ask one of the visitor at the temple, I am lucky enough to know that the person I talked to is one of the temple management team. He said it was actually held every year. Yes, every year here in Kota Kinabalu and I have never seen a picture of this festival that was taken from here.

With the information given, I managed to find the location where it being held. It was at Meruntum waterfront near Sabindo Traffic Light. I can’t wait a friend of mine, Rade to arrive when I saw the ceremony is already started. During the ceremony, I’m still curious will be there any piercing like what we used to see at Batu Caves. I decided to stay when the group of devotees carrying a pot of milk walks to Sri Subramaniam Temple. Then I just realise that the piercing ceremony will be held.

Since this was my first time covering Thaipusam Festival, I have no idea how and what to expect. These are some images I took this morning with Fujifilm X-Pro1 + Fujinon XF 35mm F1.4.

Pot of Milk

I can’t stay until the end of ceremony (I wish I could), I have another priority for family & to perform Friday Prayer. I learn a lot about this festival, next year I’ll aim for the eve Thaipusam. It much more interesting in Batu Caves, but I prefer to highlight the festival at Kota Kinabalu.

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