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Monday, October 29, 2012

Fujifilm X10: A Personal Experience (Part II)

If there is anyone still reading this, thanks for sticking by me! If you read my last article, you would be aware that the X10 has got tremendous lowlight capabilities for a camera with such a small sensor. However, not a few days after I got the camera, I had a wedding dinner to attend last Sunday, at the Concord KL. 

I was an invited guest in this one, so I opted to leave my entire bag of toys at home, choosing to rely solely on the X10. Straight up drama, I wanted to put myself in a desperate situation whereby I would be forced to adapt to the camera, otherwise, I'd have no shots for the night.

Once again, I felt uncomfortable with M so I shot the whole evening's fanfare on the Adv. Mode - EXR Pro-Focus and Pro-Lowlight, without the in-built flash. The flash deactivates when you're set to the Adv. Mode, probably due to all that stitching. A quick recap, the Adv. Mode (which can be set by the main dial on the top of the camera) contains 3 interesting and useful functions: (1) 360 Panorama; (2) Pro-Focus; and (3) Pro-Lowlight. I used all 3 that night.

Before I start showcasing some shots, there are certain conditions in the Grand Ballroom that made shooting extremely difficult, even with a FF DSLR:

(a) There was a strong yellow overcast EVERYWHERE;
(b) The low-ceiling lights were strong, glaring, and EVEN MORE YELLOW;
(c) The walls were an orangey-yellow wood color; and
(d) General low-light everywhere.

This made my shots generally way too warm (like 2000K too warm), bad shading on the subjects faces, and of course, motion blur due to the slow shutter speed. The good news is, I'm getting used to the editing process of these Fuji files. I admit I got comfortable with the Canon RAW it's characteristics and I mistakenly thought I could carry forward the work process. Now I have an entirely different course of work for the X10. 

On to the pictures then!

Shot on EXR Pro-Lowlight Mode: You can see the dynamic range and the very, very low noise in this shot. The blurred out waiter on the right of the shot is indication of the 4 shots taken almost simultaneously and stitched together. This would later be a problem for me, since the shutter speed of this mode adjusts automatically.

Adv Panoramic Shot Mode: A true gem of a function! Needs no explanation!

EXR Pro-Focus Mode: I used this Mode extensively throughout the dinner. This Mode actually separates the subject in focus from the backgrounds, in-camera, giving the impression of really deep DOP. It does so by stitching 3 shots at once. Besides the WB which I had to correct in painstaking detail, I love the results!

EXR Pro-Focus: One of my favourite shots. However, I took many more but most of them were unusable since the EXR Pro-Focus Mode automatically shot at low shutter speeds, some faces were always blur.

EXR Pro-Focus Mode: A shot of the fortune cookie door-gift

EXR Pro-Focus Mode: I started shooting every shot in this Mode. However, it appears that this Mode only works as it should when there is a different between the subject in the front and the background.

EXR Pro-Lowlight Mode: I tried shooting this shot twice in 2 different modes. I found better dynamic range in the Pro-Low-light mode but with flatter tone. When I shot this in the Pro-Focus mode, the shot was slightly sharper, warmer tones but with more shadows on the faces.

EXR Pro-Focus Mode: This is an example of how I was struggling with the harsh overhead lighting the whole night. The lighting caused terrible highlights which even in post-processing, was impossible to correct. In fact, the more I tried, the weirder the tone got. I will have to learn how to overcome this.

M Mode - f/2.5, 1/50 ISO-800, +1.3EV: When you have strong enough, even lighting, this is when the X10 starts to shine. This shot of the evening's performers were taken effortlessly. I guess you could say I finally managed to utilize some my experience with a DSLR (I'm a Manual shooter by the way).

AUTO: This was taken on full auto, with the flash popped. I focused on the dancing couple the best I could, and almost all the shots came out decent and sharp enough.

For those of you who like statistics:
Vital Stats for October: 6 posts 179 pics
Vital Stats So Far: 165 posts 6,201 pics

Disclaimer: The views published in the above photoblog are the author's and the author's alone. If readers are not agreeable with the above views, well, you can bugger-off. All rights are reserved for the the photos and/or articles itself. This article may be reproduced with permission for the author or private or public usage, or other forms of general mayhem. Any unauthorized usage of the images and/or article contained therein is expressly prohibited and violators will be prosecuted with the full force of Malaysian law applicable. Thank you for reading this disclaimer.

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