Apparently, I have this thing where I like to take a photo of someone working on their computer by an open window.
Back in February, I had the opportunity to be whisked away from the balmy wintery weather of Southern California to a ten day shoot on the east coast. In those ten days, a carefully assembled film crew and myself ventured to the state of Virginia, to attend a rainy track day at Virginia International Raceway (VIR for short), then to the snow covered states of Vermont and New Hampshire for some light capturing fun in the extreme cold.
There in the snow of Vermont, the film crew, which included filmmakers, Will Roegge and DC Chavez, and I captured a Toyota Rav4 as it plowed through the white powder. We then moved to the Team O’Neil Rally School in New Hampshire for a bit of rally fun. The end result of those ten days was to create content for BFGoodrich Tire’s website, BFGoodrich.com.
The Fuji X100 is a camera that looks like it only partakes in the poshest of posh events. It’s a fine wine, aged cheese, Brook Brothers wearing, Aston Martin driving sort of character. But when a camera becomes part of my day-to-day life, it instantly becomes a blue collar worker.
It’s good to know that even this nose-in-the-air sort of camera can be thrown into all sorts of weather conditions, trip, fall, pick itself up, brush off a bit of dirt (or snow in this case) and continue its light capturing.
Photo by Larry Chen
I’ll be frank, I’m not a fan of talking about camera gear. I like talking about photography. I shy away from talking about various camera bodies, lenses, flash units, filters, or whatever else can be talked about under that umbrella. I like discussing the process of photography to get to a desired result. A camera is a tool which helps with that end-result –the photograph. So it’s a rather giant leap out of my comfort zone to talk about a recently acquired camera.
But I believe that the camera is so good that it warrants a bit of a spotlight.
These days, everyone in the world now owns a digital SLR. It’s almost strange when you’re in a crowded place and you don’t see someone manning a DSLR. These giant black bricks can be seen in the local tourist attractions, churches, weddings, birthday parties, fishing trips, bar mitzvahs, shopping malls, hiking trails, and sometimes public restrooms. They’re, quite literally, everywhere.
Because everyone now owns a DSLR of some sort, everyone has become a gear head. It’s become commonplace to find a bunch of males huddled into a corner of a social gathering nerding over about this camera and that, about this lens and that and what camera settings they would use for specific situations. It has become completely boring to be a present day hobbyist photographer.
Seeing how my gigantor black brick of light captureness sees a lot of usage on a professional level, I started shopping around for a camera to replace it on a day-to-day basis. I was searching for a new daily driver. Something not as big, or as douche looking as a DSLR. I was looking for a camera which I can take with me everywhere and not feel completely embarrassed carrying it around without get random strangers coming up to me asking about what camera I had, or feeling their eyes dirtily elevator-ing my red-ringed black cylinders. I needed something that was much smaller, shot roughly the same quality as a small bodied DSLR and maybe even pocketable.
In my search, I came up with the usual suspects: the Canon S95, the Ricoh GR Digital III, the Panasonic LX-5, and the Sigma DP2. I even looked at the bigger interchangeable Micro 4/3s cameras, the Olympus E-PL2 and the Panasonic GF2. As I continued my research, I also found out that I wanted a camera to look good as it performs. What I didn’t want was a Douche McDouche looking camera like a Canon G12. So when Fuji Film announced their fixed-focal length, non-lens interchangeable, retro-throwback and rangefinder-esque camera, the X100. I knew that camera was exactly what I was looking for.
The X100 is a 12.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensored camera with a 23mm fixed focal length F/2 lens which is equivalent to a 35mm. But what makes it really special is the hybrid viewfinder. This clever viewfinder delivers both an optical viewfinder and an electronic viewfinder together. The result is something truly amazing.
But I’m not here to gloss over the technical aspects of the camera. All that information is a simple Google search away. What I will talk about is how the camera makes you feel.
A few months ago, I was lucky enough to have been able to get my hands on the illusive rangefinder-esque and retro throwback designed Fuji X100. Since then, I’ve fell in love with the camera completely. I’ve never owned a camera which I get as much enjoyment from shooting as I do with the X100. Every photographer that has been lucky enough to get their hands on this camera has been singing similar praises. But I’ll get into why I like the X100 so much in the next post.
Until then, here is a collection of images I’ve shot with the camera in the past few months.