Fujifilm x100s – a potential wedding camera?
Last week I finally got my hands on the fujifilm x100s which a lot of known photographers are currently talking about. It is mainly used for their street photography, smaller commercial assignments or family photos. I decided to try this camera at a wedding!
Some points, before I give my review, I was not the main photographer at this wedding so please don’t look at the photos as a true reflection of my wedding photography. This was the first time I was a second photographer and I quickly realised that it is a totally different assignment from being the main photographer. Also, for the portraits I did not place them or pose them so I don’t want to take any credit there – this was done by the main photographer (another fellow swede who is very talented: Stefan Hellberg. Just to state the obvious, the photos were shot around the area of where Stefan took his photos but they doesn’t reflect his style either). Now, as I got that out of the way, I can give you my view of this camera as a wedding camera.
One caveat before I start: I received the camera one day before the wedding. So I spent a few hours learning the camera by reading the manual and watching videos online. One which was really great was the review by David Hobby from stobist.com (see video: here).
For the wedding ceremony (which was when I started) I arrived only with the fujifilm x100s camera and it was a very strange feeling because I felt naked. Usually when I am the main photographer I got two Nikon bodies with big prime lenses and a bag. Now I had one little camera and I felt like an ‘uncle bob’.
The positives from his camera:
- It is dead silence. In this little church I could operate without anyone knowing when I took a photo – it was a big contrast to when the shutter of a DSLR goes off. Especially in a big church. But then the question is if anyone cares? I must say that people do – I have seen priests that care, parents that care and guests. But never where the couple found it disturbing. Anyway, that is another discussion.
- I stopped thinking of settings of the camera – I set a minimum shutter I would allow, a maximum ISO I could live with and then set it to aperture f2. The only thing I did change was the exposure compensation sometimes.
- Composition became a lot more in focus (due to the point above). So I really had to slow down and think it through.
- Looking at the photos – the quality is great! Love the colors and the sharpness of the photos. This is something I am hugely impressed by. I also took some photos of my son the following day and I love everything about it (I think I understand the ‘ hype’ of this camera).
- My mindset of taking photos changed a lot – usually I shoot in manual or aperture priority mode with the Nikon and till this wedding I didn’t realise how much I change settings without thinking about it. With this camera changing things took me longer than on a Nikon but then this comes down to knowing your camera which I clearly didn’t. However, using the camera for the first time at a wedding is really starting at the deep end because I had to learn the camera quickly. There were so many different situations which required me to know the camera.
- The batteries are short lived. I used the camera for 2-3 hours and then it was dead. Again, it was based on my 2nd charge so perhaps it becomes better when it had a couple of more charges. Anyway, get a 2nd or 3rd battery. Due to the fact that the battery died I could only cover the ceremony and part of the portraits. Therefore I didn’t have a chance to try it on the dance floor which might have lead to some more points in this review.
- The autofocus cannot be compared to a DSLR in my opinion and this is where the major downfall lies. At least for me. In weddings things happen in an instance and it is easy to miss them if you cannot focus quickly. Even though the camera itself gives you the control to separate focusing from releasing the shutter it is still very hard (having this setting allows you to snap a shot even though it is not fully in focus). However, I have shoot over 60 weddings so I have learnt to predict when and where moments happen but even so it can happen just behind you and when you turn you want to be able to focus and capture it, in focus.
- I usually shoot with a 35mm and 85mm (sometimes 24 and 50mm as well) and I did miss the variety of an 85mm lens with a wide aperture.
- I imported the RAW photos into lightroom but it wasn’t directly supported. I did not try to fix it either so there might be a quick fix but it wasn’t plug ‘n’ play in my case. I ended up using photo junction instead.
I will not stop taking photos with my DSLR cameras quite yet – but I will definitely bring this camera along for certain parts of the wedding. Creatively I felt a bit limited with this camera but for certain emotional moments and “safety” shots this camera does a great job. In terms of picture quality this is amazing. I think I get a better photo straight out of camera from the Fujifilm x100s then I get from my Nikon. d700. I guess there is a reason why many known photographers use this camera for their street or simpler portrait/family work – this is where it excels.
Here are some photos from the wedding day ….
The B&W photo of the car is straight out of camera – I changed the setting to BW within the camera itself:
The swedish Ninja – the main photographer – Stefan Hellberg:
Here are some photos of my son I took the following day. Look at the colors and sharpness of the photo – this is straight of the camera!