Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Additional functions guide on Fujifilm X100S

Since I met "him" around May this year, I'm constantly learning on how to use it better for my vacations and day to day casual shoot. At first I seems to be overwhelmed by the optical view finder it has, but overtime, I have find the electronic view finder more appropriate for precise focusing and exposure judgement. The auto ISO feature I explained in the earlier review however, is still used 95% of the time. Max ISO 3200, and Min shutter speed of 1/100s. The remaining is "M" mode for me to archive something against the camera will.

A typical environment portrait shot wide open lid by windows light only.
For portrait shooting, I will shoot wide open at f/2 most of time time, while group photos would be at 4 to 5.6 depends on the crowds. Macro works handheld would be start at f/2.8 to 4 depends on lighting and landscape shot always at f/8. I seldom go beyond f/8 unless I want to lengthen the exposure extensively.

It's a feature even Iphone or any smart phone has it. It produce acceptable results most of the time and I will not hesitate to use it.
It stitch up pretty nicely
Stitch up using Microsoft ICE with 4-5 individual shot in Manual mode and manual focus.
Long Exposure:
There is one night when I'm at Cameron Highland, I wanted to shoot traffic trail night landscape. I set the camera to f/5.6, ISO to 200 but when I trying to twist the shutter dial for the "first" time, I find the largest value on it was "T" which stands for 1 second and "B" which stands for bulb. I couldn't figure out how I can manually set the shutter speed for more than 1 second! At last after rounds of googling, I managed to find that actually rotating the round dial at the back of the camera actually sets the shutter speed, while fiddling the top dial adjust the aperture by 1/3 stop increment. Maybe it was just me will face this "problem" but I hope this can help others who have similar question. One neat feature on its long exposure is that the LCD screen shows count down in seconds that the exposure is going to end so you can know when the exposure finish.

Shot with external flash, YongNuo trigger system.
Remote Flash:
TTL on camera flash works wonderfully and I hardly change the flash compensation when using it. Partly it is embedded inside the menu which I find it inconvenient to change it. It just give enough "kick" for some fill flash to subject less than 5m from the camera roughly. However the fun part comes when you can use external flash / remote flash for it. So happen that I have a YongNuo flash trigger system for my Nikons. I have tried to setup on it and it doesn't work. After some research I found out that it can support the Canon version of the YongNuo flash trigger due to the pin head variation. I get a used unit from my Canon friend, Jason and it works! So now, I can trigger the flash remotely from X100S using the YongNuo 603C - (canon version) and trigger any YongNuo 603 trigger and even the latest YongNuo 560III speedlight directly. This opened up many creative possibilities to use it with remote flash.

Post processing in Lightroom to add clarity and saturation to the image.

Sample B&W photos converted in Lightroom instead of in-camera jpeg.
At first, I was attracted by its film simulation (filters) it has in camera to process the jpeg. It gets you the photos immediately without having you to import the photos into Lightroom and convert them into jpeg. After that, I have decided to shoot ONLY RAW no matter what situation and I will always convert / slightly touch up the photo before exporting into jpeg using Lightroom. This is just my personal preference. There is nothing wrong with shooting jpeg. For me, I felt more secure for having the uncompressed data for post processing later.

Manual focus on macro subject that is not moving very quick.
I always use single point center autofocus point for 99% of the time. I practise focus and recompose method. Although it takes more time for certain cases when the camera just cant seem to able to focus on anything (low light or back light condition), I still preferred to do it this way. Sometimes you need someone else to take a photos of you. You can't expect them to focus and recompose for you! You will end up getting out-of-focus shot most of the time! So here comes the 1% where I will set it to "Auto" autofocus points (Access from "Q" Menu, AF Mode to auto), so that the camera will select a focus points whenever you half press the shutter. You will get better hit rate with that. Make sure also you set a smaller aperture (if lighting condition is good) to increase the hit rate.

For macro shot which I did quite often with this camera, I normally have to turn on the macro mode, which is always a pain in the ass. It WILL NOT FOCUS ON ANYTHING if you throw a very close up subject for it. In certain extreme condition, I will use manual focus with peaking highlight turn the focus ring to the closest distance on the distance scale(I believe is 0.1m) and moving the camera near to far from the subject. When the subject glowing with white dots like a Christmas tree, you know you have nail the focus and now you just have to press the shutter.

Street shooting:
Street photography is always so fun with this camera because of its small size and quiet shutter. It is important so that your subject is not aware of your existence so that they can be what they are, not looking into the camera with anxious / angry face. I am still very new in photography especially in street photography. I have seen video for it and one of the famous photographer mentioned, take the shot first! then smile at your subject as a sign of appreciation that they allowed you to take a photo. If they smile back, that means you have the permission granted. Otherwise, maybe you need to introduce yourself and telling what you are doing. If they do not wish their photos to be taken, delete it and respect other people privacy.

I was actually not that close to the subject, I crop the photo to make a better impact. I cheat!

Jonker street at Melaka is always a good area for street photography
So far the mileage on my X100S already reached 6,800 shots within few months. I would say I am really enjoy using this little piece of equipment to record my daily life.

You might also want to view my initial review of X100S when I first got it here or during my trip to BangkokPenang or Taiwan.

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