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X100S and a nice Kolsch at Mother Road Brewing

So I went and got that camera

After a long couple of months of thinking on it, I was ready for a new camera, but surfing dpreview only made it harder to decide. The mirrorless options were looking good — like the upcoming release in the Olympus line, the E-P5. On a whim, I emailed a Phoenix camera shop one Saturday morning to see if they had the hard-to-find camera I thought I might enjoy.

“One in stock” they told me. Oh. “We can hold it for you until the end of the day.” Oh.

It was the perfect combination of coincidence, opportunity and well-informed impulse buy. So I took a quick road trip down the hill to the 106° F heat and picked up a shiny new Fuji X100S for myself. (Related: How nice it was to go into an actual camera shop and have a chat with guys who love what they do instead of trying to ask a bro at Best Buy whose last sale was a dryer. It was great. I miss having a local shop.)

And a week later, man am I having a good time. I’m learning the ropes of a very different kind of camera for me, and enjoying all of it.

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The X100S is lots less unobtrusive than the big DSLR, making it easier to shoot candid street-style photos. The smoker at the brewpup is a shot I wouldn’t have made with the big old Pentax (manual focus, too, thanks to the focal distance indicator in the EVF). And the focal length of the Fuji is just a little wider than my favorite FA 35mm Pentax lens, so it’s a familiar field of vision – which is making the rangefinder-style optical viewfinder a little easier to get accustomed to. The hybrid/electronic viewfinder is great: Fast, with display of a lot of information in the overlay.

Out-of camera JPGs are good, and the camera includes several film simulation filters to “develop” raw images in-camera. Since the raw files are a big 32mb, which pushes my old lappy 386 quite a bit, I have been trying to practice developing raw in camera or simply shooting in JPG. This is a change for me because I have shot raw a rule on the old camera; but exposure, noise and detail are so good on the X100S that it’s much more feasible to fiddle with a few JPG settings and leave it at that. There’s a simplicity to that, too, though I’m a long way from giving up on using LR to post-process altogether.

There are a bunch of useful X100S resources I have learned from as I experiment and play:

(By the way)

The photos in this post are served up via a really slick gallery and portfolio application called Koken. It’s self-hosted and has a beautiful interface that supports embedding as well as its very own writing engine for blogs or portfolios. I uploaded the photos through its Lightroom publish service plugin. Good stuff, worth checking out.