Professional Photography

Fuji X100F vs XT-2 with 23mm F2

When it comes to APS-C cameras, Fuji may have some of the best currently available. This is one of the reasons why the X100F from Fuji is so popular. Even now months after its initial release, supply still has not caught up with the demand, the X100 series continues to be very popular. 

Like many Fuji shooters, I was interested in how the lens on the X100F compares against another similar lens, the XF23 mm F2 R WR. For this comparison, my good friend Chloé was kind enough to let me borrow her Fuji XT-2. This is quite obviously an unfair comparison and not at all meant to be used as a way of deciding which camera is better. Both cameras are meant for very different purposes, however, curiosity can be fun. 

Looking at the quick comparison above you can see how soft the X100F is when shot wide open, however, when you stop down to around F5.6 the difference is huge. The image sharpens up by a significant amount. 

When compared to the 23mm on the XT-2, the first thing is the size difference. To some, the smaller lens may be an advantage, although, the ergonomics suffer greatly on the X100F. The manual focus ring is really tricky to use and the aperture ring always seems to be a little out of reach and awkward to find. In comparison, the 23mm lens is a joy to use with its much larger focus ring and an aperture ring that's always easy to find. 

Holding the XT-2 is also much more pleasant with its better grip and button placement. I keep finding myself pressing the 'Q' button on the X100F which is a little frustrating not to mention the difficulty of holding it for long periods of time due to the lack of a proper grip. 

I didn't test the focusing speeds extensively, however, in general, they didn't seem to be very different in performance. The XT-2 did seem a little snappier and nailed focus quicker and more easily. The X100F however, is no slouch and has been vastly improved when compared to the last model. 

Also, the extra card slot on the XT-2 is extremely useful. Some may say it's not a big deal but whilst filming the video below, the SD card I was using in the X100F failed and it meant I lost all of the images that were taken on the day. It's not a huge issue for a camera like this but it's an issue nonetheless.  

Comparing image quality from both lenses up close, the 23mm on the XT-2 is noticeably sharper. The X100F is known to be quite soft wide open and has an almost glowing haze over the image. This haze also means that adding sharpening in post doesn't improvge things very much. 

As you start to stop down, around F4.5 it becomes very difficult to differentiate the two lenses. I might even go as far as to say the X100F could be a little bit sharper around F5.6. All in all both lenses perform incredibly well at most apertures although the X100F suffers quite badly wide open.
Some have suggested that when shooting at distances, the haze on the X100F isn't noticeable meaning both will perform at a similar level even wide open. 

For a more detailed comparison please check out the video below. 

 

 

iPhone 7 plus vs 100mp Hasselblad

When it comes to unfair comparisons, this one probably takes the cake. The thing is, there's something quite interesting about nonsense comparisons and that's why I decided to do this one. 

Check out the video and find out if the iPhone has any chance against the £30,000 medium format camera from Hasselblad. 

Download the images using the link below. 

Is the Sony A7R II innovative?

I've had the pleasure of using the Sony A7R II for a while now and I'm very pleased with what this camera can do. So, the question, is the Sony A7R II an innovative camera? 

in short..., Yes.

Having been a Canon user for my whole photographic life, using the Sony is a big change for the better. I still use the Canon cameras and I do enjoy the familiar feel, the 5DS is more than capable when it comes to high resolution. Having said that there are quite a number of features in the Sony which I think are amazing. 

Touch-less Shutter

I still can't get over how awesome and useful this feature is. To be able to take a picture without touching the camera, or having anything dangling from the camera. This feature comes in especially handy for those long shutter speeds and bulb mode.  

Customization

I love how on this camera I can change pretty much all the buttons to do what I want them to do. I agree with a number of people who claim the Sony menu system is a little awkward and for that reason the custom buttons are so useful. If I'm not mistaken I don't think any of the buttons do their factory function any more, aside from the shutter button of course. 

Built in Remote control

Having the ability to control your camera using a smart phone/tablet opens up so many creative possibilities. I can't think of many (if any) shoots where this feature has not come in handy.  Also the ability to review images on a tablet means you're not all huddled around a small screen to see if the images are any good. 

PlayMemories Apps

I think this feature has been severely underplayed, the fact that these cameras have dedicated app stores is just phenomenal. The store is still in it's early stages and probably not where it needs to be, however it's a huge step in the right direction. We may be looking at the dawn of smart cameras. Currently there aren't many apps available, however the few that are there, I find to be very useful.

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Ultimately, Sony are beginning to develop some real potential in their software for cameras. They've started to use the WiFi feature for more than just transferring images and it's a huge leap forward. When you look at smart phones and what they can do, it's disappointing that not enough camera manufacturers are adopting better software. 

I believe once Sony bring their software to a really high standard, sort out their battery technology and implement a second card slot, the A7 series could be some of the best cameras in the world. 

Creams British Luxury Leeds

I'm always looking for an excuse to indulge a little and a new tearoom in Leeds is just too difficult to resist.

Creams British Luxury, recently opened their doors in Leeds city centre and wow is it something. Although I haven't visited their original location in Huddersfield, the new location is very impressive. Upon entering, you can immediately see the attention to detail and how much effort and investment has gone into the place.  A single chandelier costs £20,000, and the piano... well, let's just not get into that, it's safe to say the interior is pretty awesome.

Now considering the fact this is a tearoom/restaurant, let's get down to brass tacks and talk about the food. I've had the pleasure of dining there a number of times and in my humble opinion, it's very good. The presentation has been thought out properly and the cutlery feels premium. There are a number of dishes available from sandwiches to believe it or not, Fish and Chips. The food is reasonably priced and also the portions are far from pretentious. Lastly the tea and desserts are where Creams really excel. They haven't made the classic mistake of making the desserts overly sweet, instead there is a great deal of discernible flavour. My favourite has to be the strawberry scone. They have a large selection of teas available and depending on your mood, I'm confident there's something for mostly everyone. 

There a few things I think could be improved, for instance the physical menu, it feels and looks tacky and not at all like the brand. The food selection also feels a little scattered and lacking identity, some of what's offered seems out of place. Also the location they have in Leeds is almost hidden away and took us a bit of time to find it the first time. Lastly being the photography nerd that I am I think the images they currently have could be improved. As you may be able to tell, I am nitpicking and the negatives I have pointed out, are insignificant when considering the overall experience. 

Even the view compliments the interior. 

My favourite thing about Creams is the fact that the staff are so amazing. I've visited both as a customer and a photographer and on every occasion they've gone above and beyond. I have allot of admiration for the team at Creams and I think with them managing the tearoom, it's in safe hands. 

Overall I definitely recommend Creams, I think they've done a fantastic job. There aren't allot of places like this and it's a very welcomed addition. I understand they're expanding quite rapidly and new locations will be coming soon all across the country and in Dubai too. 

In the meantime click here to check out some of the other images we've taken for Creams. 

Why Canon is failing

In 2013 you may have heard that Nokia sold their mobile division to Microsoft at a price considerably lower than what it was once worth. One of the main reasons behind this is because they failed to keep up with the market and customer demands. Canon seems to be facing similar issues and has recently had to cut it's profit forecast for 2015. 
Now admittedly the profit cut was due to several issues and not just a Canon problem, however there are a number of underlining problems at Canon.

A good number of our sources agree that Canon is facing some internal problems and it's preventing them from operating effectively. There are internal conflicts and due to this they seem to be reacting extremely slowly to the market and customer demands. Canon seem to be more interested in maintaining their faltering position as opposed to innovating, or executing their innovations. Customers are very quick to notice when companies drip feed features and it's frustrating and alienating. Their latest DSLR the Canon 5DS and 5DS R has a 50mp sensor which at a glance seems amazing, however when you dig deeper you find 2010 technology repackaged with a premium price.  Compare this to the Sony A7R II and you'll see why this is not innovating. 

The main reason why Canon is failing to innovate is because of how they manage their two divisions. Essentially their Cinema and their DSLR divisions are constantly looking to ensure they don't step on each others toes. Basically they don't want to make any cameras that could affect the sales of another camera. Now if this was done by two separate market leading companies then it could work, similar to price fixing (which is illegal of course). However when this is done internally, it's illogical and benefits no one but your competition. The most frustrating aspect about this is that Canon is aware of this huge problem, but has failed to come up with a solution. 

Companies like Nikon and Sony have been making significantly better cameras for a good number of years capitalizing on Canons unwillingness to keep up. A quick look at sensor technology on DXOmark shows how Canon has remained behind for quite some time now. They also seem to believe 4k is still some elusive feature that can only be added to the most expensive high end cameras, even though it's been available for 12 years now. 

Lastly their latest camera The ME20F-SH boasts 4 million ISO and can pretty much see in the dark. Again this sounds pretty cool but then when you break it down, it's a 2mp camera with a 30k price tag, simply ridiculous in my view. 

Ultimately Canon are facing some tough issues moving forward and it doesn't seem like they're doing enough to fix things. Internally their departments are not working together effectively and it's creating a negative loop. Should this continue which I'm guessing it will, there could be some really difficult times ahead for Canon as their market share inevitably shrinks. 

I'm a fan of Canon and would love to see them continue as the market leader. I hope Fujio Mitarai has a plan for the future which does not involve doing the same thing and hoping for a different result. 

Professional Photography is Critical for Virtually Every Industry

My interaction with professional photography has made me agree that it’s a very significant part of every industry today. The job of a professional photographer is to be able to capture some of the best aspects of every industry.

You might be asking why interior and architectural photography. Well it’s mostly because of the fact that architecture as a visual art lets buildings talk for themselves.  With professional photography equipment and a creative attitude goes a step further and interprets it in a number of ways.

Whether it is photographing the interior or exterior or capturing the unique and magnificent images through various techniques, the professional photographer is helped by an observant eye capable of realizing different capture points and points of view. This is the kind of photography I love and provides both clients and artists, amazing images.

However, professional photography is real, diverse and very vital today. Every industry today deserves great, quality and perfectly captured images and moments. While everyone can take a selfie and some images it takes a professional photographer to bring out the details, points of view, angles and all kinds of aspects out of a simple item. Food related photographers are one of the key reason we make orders for groceries, pizzas, meats, ice creams, hamburgers, French fries and all kinds of delicacies because of the way they capture them. I love taking a peek at these photographs and marvel at the way they literary compel you to eat fruits, green leafy vegetables, salads, make an order or simply eat at a certain exotic hotel.

It is also the same with wedding photographs. They are so vital that while you can take another image of a delicacy a fortnight later, you cannot do so in the case of a wedding. Everything has to be perfect from the beginning and the expectations are way too high. Just any photographer is not sufficient. A professional is demanded, sought and given the job.

Any professional interior and architectural photographer will tell you why clients demand professional photographers. Even high school senior year photographers must be professionals and schools are very meticulous. This is the reason any yearbook looks awesome and perfect 30 years later. At the same time, professional baby photography is big business and a superb job is expected.

A real estate firm dealing with properties also demand professional photography. I love a well taken image of a building for sale, both the interior and exterior. A shoddy photography will not draw any buyers and this is counterproductive for any seller.

In a nutshell, professional photography is extremely important in virtually every industry today. I’m aware this post is very biased self-serving, however it’s difficult to refute the argument. I work within an industry that is over saturated for a reason and I absolutely love it.