Sunday, 30 March 2014

Who would buy a camera that doesn't zoom?

Virtually every single time I pick up my three year old Fuji X100 people comment and ask me:

'Do you like the camera?'
'But it doesn't zoom, does it? 
'Its so small'
'Its so quiet'
Can you still get film for that camera?'

Yes its small, whisper quiet and it doesn't zoom. And it doesn't need film! It ranks as one of the ten best cameras I've ever owned and used in fifty years of photography. Its size, capacity and performance make it the 'Kylie Minogue' of cameras.

The one factor that makes onlookers screw up their noses is the fact that the Fuji X100 does not have a zoom lens. More than that, the lens is fixed to the body. You CANNOT change lenses. You CANNOT zoom. 'Oh, what a disadvantage' you say. In fact, just the opposite. The fixed 23mm (35mm equivalent) wide-angle lens is as sharp as a surgeon's scalpel and gives the red dot camera a run for its money. By having a fixed lens rather than a zoom teaches a photographer to think. Yes, think. A practice that is rapidly vanishing from the modern photographer's skill regime.

Fujifilm X100. (Now superseded by the Fujifilm X100S)

The responsibility for framing is clearly thrown back on the photographer. Image size is now controlled by your distance to the subject. You may actually get a little exercise in moving closer to your subject. You may even get to talk to your subject.

1/2200 sec @ f8. 1250 ISO. Near Dresden Germany. 8 Oct 2011. 6.42pm
The one thing the Fuji X100 will never do is intimidate the person you are photographing. In fact, just the opposite. Men and women are intrigued by the styling and are attracted to being photographed by a camera so quiet and unobtrusive.

Last week I upgraded the firmware on my three year old X100 and its now running faster than ever. And its still as quiet as a Rolls Royce.

Check out Dale Neill's photography workshops at UWA Extension by clicking HERE.

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