Holiday Snaps – Freedom From Faff

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Holiday snaps – it’s just one of those things right? Even though you LOVE taking pictures, LOVE capturing beautiful scenes of beautiful places, sometimes you simply can’t be bothered to figure out the following:

  • Which lenses should I take?
  • What bag am I going to use to take all this stuff?
  • What ND filters should I take?
  • What about chargers, spare batteries, neck strap, lens cloth (which you have temporarily ‘misplaced’ but don’t want to admit you have lost to your Wife)
  • And what about my tripod, how will it fit in my luggage?
  • Sighs..

This Is Where The Fujifilm X70 Comes In..

If you’re like me and already have a Fujifilm X Series camera, you have become very accustomed to quality photographs and probably shudder at the thought of using anything substandard.

And this could be for many reasons – but for me, it is this simple:

“What if I see something amazing while I’m on holiday? It could be the next picture to go on my wall at home.”

Now I know that if I shot the image on a smartphone there is no way that I would want to print it due to the lower image quality, and so I would always want to have an X Series with me.

With this in mind I decided to take only the X70 on my recent holiday to Mallorca. Now I have to admit that I was a bit nervous about not taking all my camera gear with me. I think this is because it all becomes a bit of a comfort blanket, I would think to myself:

“I’ve got the 10-24mm for my wide shots, my 55-200mm for my tele…” etc.

So ‘only’ having the fixed focal length I thought this might limit me creatively a bit, but all I can say is WOW – it really doesn’t! 

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X70 – Old cobbled street in Mallorca – processed in LightroomDSCF6684-2

I was trying to put my finger on what it is that makes this camera stand out from the crowd, and I think it really comes down to these 3 reasons:

The Image Quality Is Superb

This little camera creates beautiful images. It has the same sensor as found in the X-T1 (X-Trans CMOS II) and can easily produce stunning A3 / A2 prints.

And I have even seen great images printed at 2 by 3 metres from this sensor!!

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It’s Really Easy To Use

Whether you understand shutter speed, aperture and all that jazz or not, it really doesn’t matter with the X70 because this camera will cater for your abilities.

If you’re still learning the basics of photography you don’t need to worry as the camera has a handy little AUTO switch you can use to keep things simple.

But if you are like me and LOVE playing with all the settings, adjusting your depth of field and all of that then the X70 will be a great choice for you as all of the useful features are either a switch or a dial at your fingertips.

Not only that but the camera itself will charge like a phone in that you can use a USB cable straight into the side of the camera, the battery will then charge internally. It’s a simple thing, but in reality it’s really handy, as every night I’d just plug it in and place it on the bedside table to keep the power topped up.

Another great feature I use all the time is the built-in WIFI. When on holiday or travelling, a lot of us like to share our images with friends through Facebook or similar. With the WIFI feature on the X70 you can transfer over your images from camera to smartphone, edit them in Snapseed or similar and then upload – simple.

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The Caves of Drach - Mallorca
The Caves of Drach – Mallorca – looking straight upwards for those wondering

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It Fits Into My Pocket

This is perhaps the simplest reason, and yet it is still one of the most important as to why I love this camera.

Unlike any other camera in our range the X70 actually fits into my pocket, which I find truly liberating.

It means that wherever I go, I have my camera with me without having to take a camera bag – which as I’m sure many men out there will agree – our ultimate aim is to carry everything of use within the pockets of our jeans.

My Wife beating me at pool...Again
My Wife beating me at pool…Again
Keeping things healthy at dinner time
Keeping things healthy at dinner time..

pic_04And The Super Technical BONUS Reason…

My Wife LOVES taking couple selfies, and it just so happens that this camera makes that really easy too as the screen flips up fully. 😉

To find out more about the Fujifilm X70 Click Here.

Until next time, happy snapping

Dale 🙂

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My first ever tram ride.. It was brilliant!

My perfect travel kit

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CP+, an international comprehensive camera and photo imaging show presents the latest products and technologies, all in order to help further the development of the photo industry and photographic culture from Japan — the heartland of the photo imaging industry — to the world

CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show 2015 will be taking place in Yokohama, Japan next week and I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to go along to help out.

I’ll be there for a week and I’ll be shooting for work pretty much constantly, but will hopefully also get the opportunity to shoot for myself, something that will be made especially amazing since I’ll be in great company with an amazing bunch of professional photographers:

Damien Lovegrove – portrait photographer and lighting guru from the UK
Chris Weston – wildlife photographer from Switzerland / UK
Knut Koivisto – portrait photographer from Sweden
Tomasz Lazar – reportage photographer from Poland and winner of a World Press Photo award 2012.

So now I’m left to decide what gear to take…

 

Documenting the show

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The “show bag”. Everything I’ll need to shoot and share at the show.

I want to travel light during the day, and at the show I will be looking to capture images that will reflect what is going on. I’ll be writing some blog posts and I’ll want some images that will help convey the general atmosphere and feeling of the show. For this I can’t think of a better option than my trusty X100S. (Actually an X100T is a better option for the wireless transfer but my Eye-Fi card lets me work around this). If I can get hold of one before next week, I’ll also be packing the WCL-X100 as it’s tiny yet that slightly wider angle of view can make a big difference when I don’t have any more space behind me to step into. Finally, I’ll also be using my trusty Gordy’s camera strap to hold my camera secure and close to my hand at all times.

Shooting for me

My wife has challenged me to help her decorate the living room. This basically means she wants some nice landscape shots (that I took so there’s a personal attachment) to print and frame. I’m not entirely convinced how plausible this might be looking at my schedule, but assuming I’ll get at least some free time in either Tokyo or Yokohama, I’ll need to make sure I’m prepared.

 

Camera + lenses

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Fujinon XF35mmF1.4 and the X-T1 with XF14mmF2.8

 

For this I’m going to pack an X-T1 and XF14mmF2.8. I know the XF10-24mmF4 is also a great choice, firstly for the flexible focal lengths, and secondly for the pretty amazing OIS for handheld shooting in low light, however the smaller size and the focus scales on the outside of the lens, as well as the ability to shoot wider than f/4 if I really need it, mean the XF14mm is going to be my wide lens of choice.

I think I’ll also take an XF35mmF1.4, mostly as a backup. If I find in the evenings that I could really use the wider apertures, you can’t go far wrong with any of the “trio” (soon to be “quadro”) of fast primes. As much as I love the XF56mmF1.2 for portraits, I find it fairly inflexible for general use, and since I’ve already got the equivalent focal length to the XF23mmF1.4 in the X100S, process of elimination leads me to the super all-round XF35mm.

 

Remote Shutter

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The Fujifilm RR-90 will come along for the trip to avoid any camera shake for any long exposures. Which brings me onto…

 

ND Filters

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LEE Filter Seven5 Deluxe kit plus rings to attach to X100S and also the XF14mm lens

 

I will certainly afford a bit of space in my luggage to hold my LEE Filter Seven5 deluxe kit. It’s small and gives everything I need for my level of photography. It comes with the holder, a polarising filter, a 0.6 ND Soft Grad, 0.6 ND Hard Grad and a 0.9 ND Hard Grad, and finally the 10-stop Big Stopper. Whether I’m fighting off the glaring sun to balance the exposure across my images better, or just trying to slow everything down to capture a more peaceful scene, I should hopefully have whatever I need.

 

Tripod

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My 3LeggedThing “Brian” will be coming along. He’s small and light and still stable enough for what I’ll be shooting. I’ve also got the smaller AirHed 0 ballhead that not only compliments the size of the X100S and X-T1, but also carries our own “X” branding! (almost)

 

Bag

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The “show bag”. You can also see the little felt camera bag that keeps the X100S extra safe inside the soft bag

 

I’ll actually take two bags. I have a lovely little bag called “Daniel” made is a collaboration between my faithful emploters and Millican that will serve as my “show bag” for when I know I’m only working. It’ll hold my X100S, WCL, wallet, iPad and other sundries like spare memory cards, spare batteries and charger very comfortably. It doesn’t add much in the way of protection – I learnt this the hard way when I discovered a broken filter that had been in the bag for one afternoon – but for what I’m carrying perfectly suitable, not to mention very light and (if I may say so myself) rather stylish.

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The “full kit bag”. This’ll basically be what I’m carrying when I’m out specifically shooting.

I’ll also be taking a ThinkTank Retrospective® 7. Although it’s a lot bigger than the Millican bag, this is a seriously good bag that pretty much lives on my hip if I go anywhere I know I might want to shoot. It’ll more than comfortably hold everything I’m taking, including the contents of the Millican bag, so if I do get the change to go out specifically to shoot, I’ll have everything with me at all times.

 

Other bits

I’ll take the EF-X8 (the one that comes with the X-T1) and EF-X20 flashes “just in case”, although I tend to just try to shoot with natural light. Also 2x spare batteries for each camera, chargers and pin adaptors.

Full list:

Fujifilm X100S camera
WCL-X100 Wide Conversion Lens for X100 series
Fujifilm X-T1 camera body
XF14mmF2.8 R wide-angle prime lens
XF35mmF1.4 R standard fast prime lens
Fujifilm RR-90 Remote Release cable
LEE Filter Seven5 Deluxe kit
3LeggedThing “Brian” tripod
Fujifilm X Millican “Daniel” camera bag
ThinkTank Retrospective® 7 camera bag
Fujifilm EF-X20 TTL flash (plus spare AAAs)
Apple iPad for uploading images in real time to Instagram
2x spare NP-95s for the X100S, 2x spare NP-W126s for the X-T1

So what about you?

I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below. In fact, if you post it soon enough I might even have a chance to change my mind if anything is recommended that I hadn’t thought about. What would you take if you were planning a similar trip?

Notes

The use of third party products here is as result of my own choice, not that of Fujifilm’s. This blog post is not an official endorsement of any of these products from Fujifilm. It is simply my own opinions on which camera gear I will take on a trip, and why.

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See you soon!