Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fujifilm X20 - My First Impression

Let me first state that I am writing this blog post about the Fujifilm X20 after being in possession of mine for less than 6 hours. I picked it up from the post office earlier this afternoon and haven't really messed with it that much. I bought my Fujifilm X20 from eBay for $302 USD, a great deal.

Let me also state that the Fujifilm X20 is not the newest Fujifilm camera in this category. They have since come out with the X30. However, if you are not in desperate need of the "latest and greatest" you can save money by buying last years model, used. Which is exactly what I did.

I've only just walked in the door from work...

Needless to say, this post is populated with literally, my first impression.

What is the Fujifilm X20?

The X20 is a compact digital camera, shooting 12mp on a 2/3 APS-C sensor. Fujifilm does not currently make a full-frame digital camera, opting to focus on producing high quality APS-C cameras. There are some advantages to this, which you can read about in more detail on the Fuji web site here http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/x/fujifilm_x20/features/page_02.html

But the feature that really caught my attention on this camera is the "Film Simulation". I have been shooting more and more film lately and I was curious to see if the "look" of film can be duplicated on a digital camera.

I bought this camera used but it arrived in "like new" condition in the original box and included everything in the box that would have originally come with the camera had I purchased it new. It also came with a few extras; two extra batteries, a small, new camera case (that I will never use so it will go for sale on eBay, a 2 GB memory card (will suffer the same fate as the case) and a thumb rest grip which I am still not sure if I like it or not.

The lens is a fixed 28-112mm zoom lens. Fixed, meaning it is not interchangeable. But sometimes that's what I want to carry around, just a simple, compact camera. I don't always have the need to carry around multiple lenses and other gear. For example: if I am taking the dog for a walk (I don't currently have a dog) I just want to grab a small camera without sacrificing too much quality.

I recently added a superb Sony RX100 IV to my camera inventory and this Fuji does overlap as far as my needs go. But one of the things that gives me pleasure in life is having a choice. And while the Fuji isn't even in the same league as the Sony, there are still a lot of features that make it attractive.

The very first shot with my Fujifilm X20

Color and detail is impressive!

The Fujifilm X20 offers a "super macro" mode and can focus as close as 1cm from the subject!

Black and white film simulation mode looks good.

Captures nice detail. The clouds cooperated and offered some stunning images.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

September 2015 - Photo Gallery

I've been enjoying a few days of leave by sleeping in and, when I'm able to find the motivation to get out of bed (why leave?) I have been spending time shooting some nice photos here and there. The last photo gallery I posted included pics from the Yeongheungdo Bridge. The area is so nice, I decided to pay a return visit. 

Included in this photo gallery are a few random images from other parts of South Korea that I have visited lately.

Please feel free to make a small donation and support my continued photographic endeavors. I hope you enjoy viewing my photos!

Sunset in black and white. Taken from the Sihwa Sea Wall. Siheung, South Korea.

As the crow flies. The sun begins to set on the horizon at Daebudo Island, South Korea.

I was a passenger in a car, leaving the front gate at Camp Casey when I spotted this young boy proudly displaying an American flag as he made his across the crosswalk. I found the moment to be quite inspiring and patriotic.

Moon over Yeongheungdo Bay.

Damteo Valley.

What's traffic in your neighborhood like?

I'm always looking for depth and lines. This Apartment building near Uijongbu caught my eye.

Check the text. A women stops to check her phone, while others scramble down the stairs as they make their way to the subway station exit.

The Incheon area of South Korea is infamous for the dramatic difference in sea level that comes and goes with the tides. The tidal range is an average of 29ft! When the tide goes out it reveals amazing and interesting water channels that look like a dreamy series of arteries. This image was taken from about 100 ft. altitude with my DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus drone.

Yeongheungdo Bridge as seen from 240ft altitude. I also have some nice video footage that I will be including in Episode 10 of HeyDontShoot.com.

Sunset at Ansan Lake Park

Fishing boats at anchor. Yeongheungdo, South Korea.

Seagull in flight.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

2 Days, 2 Sunsets - Seoul (Namsan) Tower and Yeongheungdo Bridge

Namsan, Seoul Tower

Seoul Tower at Mount Namsan is one of the most visited and photographed destinations in all of Korea and while the views from the top of Namsan have been photographed millions of times, it never gets old. I think I've been there a dozen times and I still enjoy the view just as much as I did on my first visit. 

I am taking a couple weeks of leave and plan to do quite a bit of photography during this time off from military service and I began with two location, Namsan, Seoul Tower and Yeongheungdo Bridge at Yeongheungdo Island.

All images shot with a Sony A6000. My lenses included a Sony Zeiss 16-70mm f/4 and Zeiss 50mm f/2 lens.

Watch the video slide show - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a57T3UIwS6k

I hope you enjoy my viewing my images. Please consider making a donation to help support my continued photographic endeavors. Thanks!

Yongsan Station

Namsan Cable Car

Another cliche image. Love locks atop Namsan at Seoul Tower.

View looking South West from Namsan

Seoul Sunset, view looking West from Namsan

Downtown Seoul

Myeongdong, view looking North from Namsan

Seoul Tower

My favorite photo from this set. View of Seoul at sunset looking West from Namsan.

A girl walks along the sea wall at Yeongheungdo Island

Yeongheungdo Island lays directly below the landing approach to Incheon International Airport.

Sunset at Yeongheungdo. View looking West from Seonjaedo Island

Fishermen return to port at sunset. Yeongheungdo Brigde.

Sunset at Yeongheungdo Bridge.

The extreme tides in and around Incheon are legendary. Above and below you can see the same fishing boat at anchor, photographed 12 hours apart.

A lone fisherman wades out at low tide to bring in the days catch.

Yeongheungdo Bridge looks equally marvelous in the day time!

Goodbye Yeongheungdo! See you again soon!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

On the Street with Sony Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 and Sony A7II

From what I've experienced so far with the Sony A7II I'm seriously considering selling off all of my A Mount glass and Sony DSLR's and completely switching over to mirrorless E Mount. The quality is off the charts, and the camera bodies are smaller and lighter, so are the lenses for that matter.

I don't out my Sony A7II often enough, normally that's because I'm shooting stuff for the army most of the time and that can be a harsh, rough environment. I tend to throw my Sony A77's in the bag for that kind of work. Don't mind getting those bodies roughed up a little. But this A7II is like a Mercedes Benz. I just want to keep a cover on it, wash and detail it every weekend.

But, cameras are for shooting, so this weekend I have a pass and am spending my liberty down near Ansan, South Korea doing street photography (and picking up a Sony RX100 IV from my dealer).

I just got back to my hotel room and wanted to share some quick snap shots from a short walk on the streets around my hotel.

This camera and lens combination is awesome and versatile. 35mm is a good focal length for street photography but I think I prefer the 50 because I can get in a little closer when it counts without disturbing the subject.

Here are a few shots from the Sony A7II mounted with the Sony Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 E Mount. These images are straight from the camera, untouched. .jpg / fine Approx 6mb file size.

Hotel lobby. ISO 6400. Wow, great in low light, just like the A6000.

The images above and below are cropped about 75%. Still maintains tremendous detail!