The 12 Apostles, Melbourne, Australia at Sabah, Malaysia http://tpr.to/1owp

The 12 Apostles, Melbourne, Australia at Sabah, Malaysia http://tpr.to/1owp

Aillte an Mhothair, IrelandA view of O’Brien’s Tower in the evening

Aillte an Mhothair, Ireland


A view of O’Brien’s Tower in the evening

Keep calm and pray for MH370

Keep calm and pray for MH370

Kota Kinabalu waterfront in the evening. I love watching sunset in this city. It’s beautiful.

Kota Kinabalu waterfront in the evening. I love watching sunset in this city. It’s beautiful.

Fazley & Floridah Wedding Reception

I haven’t wedding for ages but I guess when you stop doing something for a long time, it’s time to start doing it again. I was just assisting a really good friend of mine, Mr Sazali Suzin, who is an awesome photographer on his own. Thanks to Mr Sharin Said for lending me some photographic equipments which I used to shoot here.

The wedding reception was held in Tenom town, Sabah. It was cloudy that day but it didn’t hamper the celebration. Here are some black and white shots from the cheerful and lovely couple:








Bamboo leaves
🔫 with Fujifilm X-E1 + Fuji XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 LM OIS. SOOC Velvia Mode
#Fujifilm #XE1 #Fuji #FujiXE1 #FujifilmXE1 #kitlens #Malaysia #Sabah #Borneo #Tenom #Kemabong #SKKemabong #bamboo  #nature  #green #Velvia

Bamboo leaves
🔫 with Fujifilm X-E1 + Fuji XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 LM OIS. SOOC Velvia Mode
#Fujifilm #XE1 #Fuji #FujiXE1 #FujifilmXE1 #kitlens #Malaysia #Sabah #Borneo #Tenom #Kemabong #SKKemabong #bamboo #nature #green #Velvia

Bowoh Kulung 😆
🔫 with Fujifilm X100s
#Fujifilm #X100S #Fuji #FujifilmX100S #FujiX100S #23mm #BnW #BlackAndWhite #building #Tenom #Sabah #Kemabong #SKKemabong #School #people

Bowoh Kulung 😆
🔫 with Fujifilm X100s
#Fujifilm #X100S #Fuji #FujifilmX100S #FujiX100S #23mm #BnW #BlackAndWhite #building #Tenom #Sabah #Kemabong #SKKemabong #School #people

playing with colours… turned 4 today!p/s: my first blog has existed since 2003 when it was in Blogger. Then it migrated to Vox and after that, Posterous. Now it is in Tumblr. I will keep continuing posting in this blog as long as it takes :)

playing with colours… turned 4 today!

p/s: my first blog has existed since 2003 when it was in Blogger. Then it migrated to Vox and after that, Posterous. Now it is in Tumblr. I will keep continuing posting in this blog as long as it takes :)

Fujifilm X100s User Experience

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The name has a root in film but yet it produces digital cameras now. Some of that are so popular that it was incredibly hard to get in stock after its launch. One such model is the X100. It’s a generation of camera cloaked in classic design which harks back to film-era cameras. Why Fujifilm does that? I would ask differently: why not? They know they are onto something when they release the X100, predecessor to the X100s which I’m sharing with you in this article (hopefully it will be short).

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The new X100s is an update to the incredibly popular X100. It shares the same design from the outside but Fujifilm, bless them for listening to us photographers, updates the internal massively. With the very slight button arrangement and the added ‘S’ label on the outside, one might be mistaken the X100s with the first model.

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I have decided to write about this camera after almost a year using this camera. Despited all the quirky features that the original X100 had before, I sold it because I thought it might not be used enough. I was totally wrong. Dead wrong. You see, there is an invisible attraction about this camera. I was intrigued with its hybrid viewfinder. The OVF/EVF is a marvel idea but it was executed in poor taste. The EVF is horrible in low light and the colour looks washed out in some scenes. You might as well shoot by looking at the screen behind. Please bear in mind, the X100/X100s is actually a large sensor compact camera. It should not be treated as a DSLR or a mirrorless camera.

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I bought my X100s in early 2013. Fujifilm promised they have improved the camera a lot. I was skeptical. After I tested the camera for a short while in the shop, Fujifilm has definitely kept their promise. The camera initially had some weaknesses such as the Auto ISO Settings but after a few firmware updates, it is solved. Now, if you want Nikon to listen to their own customers, FORGET ABOUT IT! They probably listen to the criticisms but they will probably solve it by releasing in a new model. Do I want to buy the new model? Heck no. I want to be able to use my old camera. Sometimes the weaknesses can be solved by doing a simple firmware upgrade but they (Nikon, Canon, etc) decide to milk the cash by forcing the customers to buy the new camera in order to get the update. Fujifilm on the other hand, is different. They value their own customers. In fact, they even released a new firmware update (v2.00 if I’m not mistaken) for the discontinued original X100 with massive improvements. Those who wants to invest into Fujifilm, I suggest you buy the X100. It’s cheaper but the images is still fantastic. On the other hand, if you have the extra money and want to experience X-Trans sensor image quality, nothing stops you from buying the X100s. You can’t go wrong with either of that.

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What are the difference between the X100 and the X100s? The biggest difference is the sensor. The original X100 uses Bayer CMOS sensor but the new X100s uses X-Trans CMOS sensor without anti-aliasing (AA) filter. The old X100 probably has AA filter but I think it’s really thin because the file is extremely sharp. Zoom 100%, you will see all the details but then, the X100 has only 12 megapixels. That’s not a lot for cropping.  The new X100s has X-Trans CMOS sensor which is designed to have film-like colour grid array. Those are fancy terms and Fujifilm likes to be different (Remember EXR sensor? It’s still awesome and incomparable even today). What you get is even sharper images and better ISO performance. The image rendition is different to. At best I can say is, the picture coming out of the old X100 is ‘smooth’ in tonal range, something like creamy peanut butter. On the contrary, the new X100s picture is all about details, details and details. Think chunky peanut butter. There are some smooth tonal range but there are a load of details in the picture. It’s not as ‘smooth’ as X100 but it’s distinctively Fujifilm images. 16MP is, in my opinion, is just the right amount of pixels.

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Fujifilm has gotten its colours right in my eyes. The Film Emulation modes are not a gimmick; they actually work. For those who likes to shoot in JPEG, this is godsend. The image processing in the camera is amazing because it produces high quality JPEG. In fact, you can extract quite a lot of details from the JPEG pictures alone. I normally shoot RAW+JPEG because sometimes I want the colour rendition of the specific Film Emulation mode. I normally would shoot in Astia for general shooting and switch to Velvia for landscape or nature shots. I implore Adobe to make the Film Emulation modes available in its RAW converter and Lightroom. They are extremely useful.

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"What would you bring if you will only allow one camera?" I would choose the X100s without a doubt. This is a camera that begs you to go out and shoot. This is a camera that you would want to take anywhere. I mean it because that’s what I’ve done.  Since last year, this camera has gone thousands of miles with me. It had been to the United Kingdom and also traveled across Australia. Just a testimony of sheer quality, this camera has also dropped onto concrete floor in Istanbul Airport due to my carelessness. Imagine the horror when the camera slipped from my grip and dropped lens first onto the floor. Thankfully I had the lens hood attached. The lens hood had a slight ding and the body picked up a few light scratches due to the fall. At first I thought the camera might not survived but after ten thousand shots later, I still didn’t see anything affect the camera or the pictures. The X100s is built like a tank, trust me.

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DxO Mark has not release anything regarding X-Trans sensors, probably because they can’t get it to work with their own test rigs. Too bad but I can tell you, the ISO performance is outstanding. From my experience, the X100s is about one stop better than the old X100 (the X100 is no slouch either). Just shoot at up to ISO 6400 and you will be amazed of how little noise the image has. At high ISO, the colour does not wash out too. The crazy part is when you shoot in JPEG, the camera removes the noise with no effort. Zoom the JPEG 100% and you will be amazed to see all the details are still there! Seriously I can’t think of any other cameras who does that in RAW and in JPEG too.

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The X100s excels in being discreet. The two-tone silver and black old design is not intrusive. People don’t find this camera intimidating at all. I personally want the X100s Black Edition, which is just released. This would be the ultimate camera for street photography. For me, I would set the ISO to Auto, let it run wild up to ISO6400, set the aperture to f/8 and prefocus at a distance, probably around 3-5m. I would just go around the street and snap anything. The camera is so quiet with its leaf shutter, you barely hear it clicking. In fact you won’t hear it at all in a distance. It’s that quiet. Another bonus of using leaf shutter is you can use high shutter speed for flash. This is freaking’ useful if you shoot flash under bright light. I believe the full frame Sony RX-1/RX-1R has leaf shutter too but it’s way more expensive, with no built-in OVF/EVF too.

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They say Fujifilm wants to emulate Leica. It’s probably true but they take it one step further by making a new category itself. Now everyone wants to follow Fujifilm. Ricoh releases GR with APS-C sized sensor and Nikon releases Nikon Coolpix A with almost the same sensor as Ricoh. Leica has its X2, which is incredibly expensive. Both Ricoh GR and Nikon Coolpix A has 28mm f2.8 equivalent lens while Leica X2 has 36mm f2.8 equivalent lens. The Fujifilm X100s has 35mm equivalent f2 lens, which is brighter than other lenses. If you want to go wider, consider buying the compact WCL-X100 wide angle converter which makes the lens wider to 28mm. In case you think that’s normal, consider this: the WCL-X100 also maintain the f2 aperture. Suddenly the X100s becomes 28mm equivalent f2 lens! The wide angle converter is actually very sharp too. In fact, I cannot discern any noticeably differences between using the wide angle converter and not using it. That’s high quality stuff for you. This enables me to go anywhere with my X100s in my front pouch. If I want 28mm for my landscape shots, I just attach the WCL-X100. If I just want a compact camera, I would detach the WCL-X100 adapter and be done with it. I had so much confidence with my X100s that I would shoot most of my sister’s wedding in the UK with it. In fact, my D800E didn’t do much because I hate its bulkiness and weight. For my trip to Australia, I brought my X-E1 with a few lenses too. I used them alternately, frequently by bringing the X100s when I didn’t feel like changing lenses or when it was at night. I knew I could count on the camera to produce images that I like.

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Focusing speed is much improved on the X100s. I think this is due to its on-chip phase detect sensor. In bright light, the X100s is a bit faster than the old X100 but in low light, the X100s is a lot faster. I wouldn’t say it’s really fast like DSLRs. No, it’s not. It’s not as fast as OM-D EM1 too (that’s really fast). The thing about X100s is even though the focusing speed is not fast, its focusing accuracy is amazing. This camera has the tendency to make you think that it’s not going to focus on the point you want. It’s something like it needs to compute something by not snapping into focus immediately but once it focus on something, it’s dead on accurate. A lot of other camera are not like this. Some in fact even worse such as the camera comfirms the picture is in focus but it’s not when the picture is snapped. When you look at the image again, it will be a mess of blurriness. You will regret using that kind of camera, but not the X100s. I know I can trust it will focus unless you are forcing it to focus on something that has low contrast or too close. The camera might be confuse but it’s the same as other cameras.

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The OVF/EVF hybrid is very useful. When it’s bright, I would sometimes use the EVF. OVF with the overlay information is extremely useful when I’m shooting in the dark. You can see whatever you want in the dark but the subtle overlay information is not intrusive and will not irritate your eyes in the dark. This is why Fujifilm has such massive following. I just wish that the EVF is as good as EM1 or the Sony A7/A7r. Fujifilm will probably save it for the next model :)

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What I want Fujifilm to improve for the next model (X200 perhaps?). If you do this Fujifilm, I’m gonna be your die hard fan :D

  1. Hybrid OVF/EVF with higher refresh rate
  2. A dedicated ISO dial on the top plate just like the new X-T1
  3. 28mm lens perhaps?
  4. Full frame X-Trans CMOS sensor perhaps. I wouldn’t mind the extra bulk if the image quality is awesome :D
  5. Focusing distance marking on the lens with snap-off manual focusing instead of relying at the left-side of the body. Is it too much to ask?
  6. Better LCD screen please, at least 1 million dots :D
  7. Make the exposure dial stiffer or maybe ‘buried’ it in the body?
  8. The jog dial at the back is a joke. Please make it a scroll dial. It feels unnatural.
  9. Better formed hand grip. I think the current one is not that enough and it can get slippery too if my palm is sweating (the main reason I dropped my camera in Istanbul, for that matter)
  10. Make the body weather sealed or at least dust proof.
  11. Thicker circular scroll dial at the back. The current one is anemic, not good for people who has thick thumb.


Until then, I will keep this camera as long as it takes. I have an extended 3 years warranty for this camera but I doubt the camera needs that. My X100s has shown its age. The magnesium top plate has faded and has some scratches as well as its bottom. Those things are not important to me because it shows that I use my camera. Those little things gives the X100s characters. It means it has traveled so far with me. It’s my little companion. I know it would never fail to produce great pictures. I would bring a few spare batteries and the WCL-X100 adapter, then we can go on a long journey :)

p/s: All of these pictures are straight out of camera except pictures number 14, 15, 16, 20, 26, 28. Pictures 1 until 10 are shot with Fujifilm X-E1.

The moon tonight
🔫 with Fujifilm X-E1 + AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm VR via Kipon adapter
#Fujifilm #XE1 #28300mm #nikkor #Kipon #moon #blackandwhite #fujifilmxe1 #fujixe1

The moon tonight
🔫 with Fujifilm X-E1 + AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm VR via Kipon adapter
#Fujifilm #XE1 #28300mm #nikkor #Kipon #moon #blackandwhite #fujifilmxe1 #fujixe1