Monthly Archives: February 2012

Video Demonstration of Some Fujifilm X100 Accessories

Today I posted on YouTube a video with demonstrations of a few of the accessories for the Fujifilm X100 camera.  They are all discussed in Photographer’s Guide to the Fujifilm FinePix X100, but  you can often get a better feel for how things work by seeing them in action with the camera.  The items shown in this video are the SnapR 35 case and strap, the Thumbs Up thumb support, the official Fujifilm Lens Hood and Lens Adapter, and an alternative power plug arrangement for the Fujifilm battery charger, so you can dispense with the power cord.

Here is a link to the video on YouTube.

Fujifilm X10 Camera’s High-Speed Video Modes

The Fujifilm X10 camera is primarily designed for still photography, but, like most cameras in its class, it comes with some video capabilities, and it includes three high-speed video modes, which I will demonstrate here.  (The X10 also has some excellent normal-speed video modes that produce Full High-Definition (HD) or standard HD video, but I’m not discussing those here; I posted a demonstration of HD video on the X10 a while ago.)

The three HS video modes work by having the camera speed up the frame rate (number of frames taken per second) on the X10.  The standard frame rate is 30 fps.  For the first HS mode, the camera speeds up the recording to 70 fps, or more than twice normal speed.  So, when video recorded in this mode is played back, it plays back at less than half normal speed.

The second mode, HS 120 fps, records at 4 times normal speed and plays back at 1/4 speed.  Finally, the third mode, HS 200 fps, records at more than 6 times normal speed and plays back at less than 1/6 normal speed.

The first mode, 70 fps, is recorded at 640 X 480 pixels, the 120 fps mode is at 320 X 240, and the 200 fps mode is at a very small and low-quality aspect ration of 320 X 112.  There is no sound recorded with any of these video modes.

If you would like to see a demonstration of these three modes, please check out this video that I have posted at YouTube.  I added a voiceover sound track to explain the video, but, of course, that sound was added in editing software, because no sound is recorded by the camera in these mode.

I am currently working on my guide book to the operation of the X10, Photographer’s Guide to the Fujifilm X10.  I hope to have it completed and available by April.

Response to Review of Fujifilm X100 Book at Amazon.co.uk

Today for the first time I noticed that there is a single review of Photographer’s  Guide to the Fujifilm FinePix X100 on the book’s product page at Amazon.co.uk.  It’s not a terrible review, and the reviewer makes legitimate points, but I wanted to post this response to some of the statements. (I tried to post a comment at the review page, but I was not able to because I have not purchased anything from Amazon.co.uk.  I purchase many things from Amazon.com, but it doesn’t make sense for me to purchase from Amazon.co.uk, since I live in the U.S.)

The reviewer stated that the book works well as a user’s manual, but does not succeed as “an inspirational guide to creating great shots with the camera.”  My response to that point is that my Photographer’s Guide books are intended to be user’s guides.  They go beyond the manufacturers’ manuals and explain not only how controls and features work, but when to use them and how to use them, but I have never pretended to provide inspirational guidance for achieving great shots.  I leave that advice to the many other books with that sort of approach.

The reviewer also stated that many of the images in the book are too small, are “low res,” and are images of  “household items” taken indoors.  It is true that many of the images were taken indoors, though I don’t really consider the objects to be household items.  I used various models, figurines, a Ferris Wheel, and other objects of various colors and shapes to illustrate various points.  There are images that were taken outdoors on pages 47, 60, 68, 95, 137, 145, 156, 157, 166, 223, 231, 232, 233, 234, 239, and 240.

As for the resolution of the images, every image in the book was submitted to the printer at a resolution of 300 pixels per inch, which is certainly not considered “low resolution” for printing.  There are limits to how good an image can look in a trade-sized paperback book, but it would not be economically feasible for me to print these books at larger sizes or with glossy paper.

If any purchasers of the book, including the reviewer, would like to see the images at larger sizes, I invite them to contact me at contact@whiteknightpress.com, and I can arrange to get you access to the PDF, Kindle, iBook, or Nook version of the book; in those formats you can view the images at considerably larger sizes.

I also invite any potential purchasers of the book to take a look at the reviews at the Amazon.com product page for the book.

Installing the Lens Adapter on the Panasonic Lumix LX5 and Leica D-Lux 5

Several people have asked me about the process of installing the Panasonic DMW-LA6 lens adapter on the lens of the Panasonic Lumix LX5; and some people have asked similar questions about the Leica D-Lux 5, which is very similar to the LX5.  Before you can install the lens adapter, you have to remove the front lens ring from the camera, and it is not obvious how to do that. The process is described in my guide books to the LX5 and the D-Lux 5, but it may be more helpful to actually see the process. So, I decided to make a brief video clip to demonstrate how this is done; I hope this is helpful.

The video has just been posted; here is a link to the video at the White Knight Press channel on YouTube.

If anyone has comments on the video, or would like to see other topics covered in short video clips, please let me know and I’ll see if I can do more short clips to add to the other information on this site.

Fujifilm X10 Firmware Upgrade Version 1.03 Has Been Released

Today, Fujifilm released the much-anticipated upgrade to the firmware of its X10 compact digital camera to version 1.03, from the existing version 1.02.  Many users of this camera have been waiting for the upgrade, which is intended in part to address the problem of “orbs,” or unusually large white highlights that appear in images under certain conditions.  But the upgrade also adds or enhances other features, notably giving you the ability to assign a function of your choice to the RAW button on the back of the camera.  For the complete list of new features added by the upgrade, here is a link to the X10 firmware upgrade page at the Fujifilm site.  You also can get access to the link to the actual firmware download at that address.

I am continuing to work on Photographer’s Guide to the Fujifilm X10, which I hope will be published in April.

Photographer’s Guide to the Canon PowerShot S100 is Now In Stock at Amazon.co.uk

Photographer’s Guide to the Canon PowerShot S100 has been listed for sale at Amazon.co.uk for a few weeks now, but it was not until today that it was listed as being in stock and ready for shipment.  In the meantime, I and one other seller were selling the book as third-party sellers, and Amazon was saying it would ship the book when it became available.  Now, you can order it direct from Amazon and they presumably will ship it fairly soon; the site  says it will ship within 1 to 3 weeks.  If you are interested in ordering the book there, here is a link to the listing of S100 book at Amazon in the UK.

Video Samples from the Fujifilm X10 – U.S. Army Chorus Concert

Today I had the opportunity to attend a terrific local concert by the U.S. Army Chorus,  a group made up of amazingly talented singers. This was a chance to hear some beautiful music and also to test out the capabilities of the Fujifilm X10 camera to record video and audio.

I’ll be writing about the video features of the X10 in some detail in Photographer’s Guide to the Fujifilm X10, my next camera guide book, which should be coming out in April, if all goes well.  For now, I’m just going to give some early impressions and provide a link to a short excerpt from the video I took at the concert.

Today I used only the highest-quality High Definition video setting, Full HD, or 1920 x 1080 pixels. With this and the other HD formats on this camera (as on many others), you are limited to recording just under 30 minutes of video in any one scene. In this case, because the concert lasted about 90 minutes, I stopped the recording after most songs, and then almost immediately started a new recording.  In this way, I was able to record every song in the concert.  The battery, which started out with a full charge, was just running down as the concert ended.

I used an SDXC (extended-capacity) memory card with a capacity of 64 GB.  It worked well, and captured all of the footage with no hiccups or problems.

With the X10 camera, there is not a lot you can do to the camera’s settings for video purposes.  For HD video, the camera sets the exposure and focus automatically.  You can zoom the lens in and out, which is quite simple because, of course, the zoom function is mechanical rather than electronic.

Please note that my camera work here was not wonderful; I was seated in the audience and was trying to see over or around the heads of those who were seated between me and the singers; sometimes I fidgeted a bit too much and let the camera drift away from the scene.

Anyway, I am providing below a link to a very short excerpt from the U.S. Army Chorus’s performance earlier today of “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” written by Julia Ward Howe during the U.S. Civil War in 1862.  The link is to a short excerpt whose file size  is still quite large — about 70 MB in size — because of the high quality of the video format.

Please click on the following link to view the video: Battle Hymn of the Republic – Short Excerpt You may have to right-click on the link and choose Save As, then save the file and play it in QuickTime Player or some other video player; if you try to play it directly from the link, it may be very choppy.

If you would like to see a longer excerpt from this song, I have uploaded it to YouTube; here is a link to that version.

I have also edited one other excerpt from the concert — a performance of “God Bless America,” led by a soloist and ending with an audience sing-along.  The latter part of the video, when I panned the camera around the audience, gives some idea of how well the X10 keeps up with autofocus and autoexposure during video recording. (As with the other footage, my camera work was not the greatest, because I was back in the audience with no tripod, and did not always hold the camera as steady as I would have liked.) That song is fairly lengthy, so I have uploaded it at full quality to YouTube; here is a link to the performance by the U.S. Army Chorus of God Bless America.

 

 

 

 

 

Fujifilm X10 Color Setting Examples

I recently started working on my next camera guide book, Photographer’s Guide to the Fujifilm X10. It’s a terrific camera, and I’m enjoying the process of exploring its features. In the book, which I hope will be ready by early April, I’ll be including sample images taken with various settings. Some of these examples show up in print better than others. My books are trade-sized paperbacks, and they are printed in full color with good quality, but some of the more subtle differences between images can be a bit hard to see on the printed page. So, I’m going to start experimenting with putting some of the sample images here on the web site, with the idea that the differences between photos taken at various different settings may be easier to see here, where they can be larger than on the printed page.

This time, I’m going to post images taken at the different settings for the Color item on the Shooting menu. The X10 has lots of settings, and there are several of them on this menu that let you tweak the appearance of your images: Color, Sharpness, Highlight Tone, Shadow Tone, and Noise Reduction.  For now, I’m going to choose just one of these — Color.

The images below were all taken with the X10 at f/6.4 and 1/20 second, with the ISO set to 200.  The only variation among the shots was the Color setting.  The first shot at the top of the series was shot with Color set to Low; the next was Medium Low, and so on, through Mid, Medium High, and, finally, High.

To my eye, the effects of this setting are not all that dramatic, though I can see some progression of intensity of the colors from the top image to the bottom one.

If I find time, I may go ahead with similar series of images for Sharpening and at least some of the other settings.

Of course, if you combine these settings in various ways, you can achieve a wide range of different effects or looks for your images.