I Think I’m In Love: Fujifilm Finepix X10

Photo Courtesy of FUJIFILM North America

Wow. This is a seriously cool camera. I made a promise to myself to post as little about gear (and more about pictures) as possible since my redesign but I just couldn’t help it. I have always loved the look and feel of rangefinders but have never been satisfied with the “enthusiast compact” digital cameras available. I think that feeling might change. Behold what appears to be the best combination of retro style and modern digital technology I have seen to date. I want one.

Here’s a quick rundown of the most important specs:

  • 2/3″ 12 megapixel EXR CMOS sensor
  • An f2.0 to f2.8 lens consisting of 11 glass elements in 9 groups, including 3 aspherical
  • An all-metal lens barrel and smooth manual (YES PLEASE!) zoom ring
  • Film Simulation Modes including Velvia, PROVIA, and ASTIA (Excited yet?! Wait, what’s film again?)
  • 460K dot high contrast LCD screen
  • A glass optical viewfinder with a wide 20° viewing angle (That’s right, OPTICAL)
  • 0.8 seconds start up time using the on/off power switch built into the lens ring
  • P, A, S and M shooting modes accessed through an external dial
  • Quick shutter-release lag time of approximately 0.01 seconds

A few more press pictures after the jump.

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Redrock Micro: Running Man Nano DSLR Rig Review

© Matthew Jonas 2010

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Redrock Micro about my previous post on the Microfinder Accessory. We exchanged several emails and they informed me that an updated version of the Microfinder Loupe Accessory was available. Long story short, I have a review unit of the new finder accessory and of the Running Man Rig. Today we are going to look at the Nano rig. Later this week we will look at the updated loupe accessory.

The one problem that I had with many of the HDSLR rigs that were available was that they were very impractical for the type of work that I do. Most of the systems were built around a rod system with a matte box and shoulder support which are heavy, cumbersome in size and don’t allow me to switch back to shooting stills easily. Redrock Micro must of been listening to their customers when they debuted the Nano rigs at NAB. You get many of the benefits of stabilization without the extra weight and extra cost.

The setup above is what I have been using for the last couple of days to shoot stills and video. It’s made up of a Canon EOS 7D, EF 16-35mm f2.8L wide angle lens, a Sennheiser MKE-400 mic with windscreen, a Rycote hot shoe extension, an audio recorder (soon to be replaced with a Samson Zoom H1 recorder, if it ever arrives) and Sennheiser wireless lav mics.

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Affordable LED Lighting for HDSLRs

© Matthew Jonas 2010

Finding affordable LED lighting solutions for HDSLRS seems to be impossible. There are lots of cheap options but very few affordable choices for full featured LED lighting…or so I thought. A couple of weeks ago I began a quest for an upcoming shoot that would possibly require a little bit of on-camera lighting. Actually if I was going to see anything at all it would be necessary. I will be shooting video inside a mine. So I turned to the internet and started shopping.

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dpreview.com posts 33 page review of EOS 1D Mark IV

Digital Photography Review has posted a 33 page review of the the Canon EOS 1D Mark IV. It is one of the first reviews using the new system. Interesting read. Pretty much covers everything you would ever want to know. Check it out. On a side note, I really should have requested a loaner from CPS to try out during state wrestling this weekend. Probably could have skipped the fill flash. Maybe next year.

Lens Baby Composer For Canon EF Mount Fun

Lens Baby has updated their entire line up of special effects lenses recently. I have been using lens babies since the first simple version came out several years ago. The concept remains the same: a simple, low cost, selective focus lens for film and digital SLRs. These things are fun. They are however a bit to gimmicky for most editorial work. I upgraded my 2.0 to one of the new Composer lenses with the interchangeable optics.

Its a step up from the original “bend and focus” style lenses. It allows you to fine tune the movements. Each part of the lens can be locked down so you can more easily repeat the effect. There is also a new focusing ring near the front. I haven’t really figured out how to easily use this new version yet but I did manage to shoot the portrait above with it.

Its a pretty straight forward portrait. No lights, just natural sunset and a park location. If used sparingly, it can be a nice change and can add a little variety to your standard portrait.

Canon 300mm F4 IS: A working photojournalists review and backstory

300mm lens 0299
UPDATED SEE BELOW: I finally decided that I need to purchase a 300mm lens. I used to say that I could do about 90% of my daily assignments with 2 lenses: a 70-200mm f2.8 and a 16-35mm f2.8. And for a couple of years when I wasn’t covering a lot of sports or when I was working for a paper that had great pool equipment*, that was all I needed.

When I took my job at the Canyon Courier I brought with me all of the gear I had amassed as a freelancer on the east coast. Remember boys and girls Freelance is a nice way of saying unemployed. No job=no pool equipment or a freelancers trunk is the pool closet. I had the basic gear to complete any assignment from biz profile portraits to editorial work that the local papers or clients needed. A 300mm f2.8 was a luxury that I couldn’t afford and truly at the time I didn’t need.

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