Venice 2013

Venice was a lovely city, that is often described as the most beautiful city in Italy. However, I’m not really sure that I agree with that statement. On the surface, Venice is beautiful with lots of old buildings, pretty canals and picturesque bridges. But it is incredibly crowded, mostly with tourists, and on a closer level a lot of the city is in disrepair. Peeling paint, graffiti and mountains of tourist tatt are very noticeable throughout most of Venice. Coupled with abundant pickpockets, traffic-jammed gondolas and pushy restaurant owners, all of those things add up to one massive tourist trap. There may be a “genuine” Venice underneath this, and I know that many people love the city, but I think a “typical” tourist visit would be pretty much like mine.

Photos were shot with either the Fuji X100 or the Nikon D800 with either Nikon 16-35/VR or 85/1.8D. The X100 is still such a great little camera, perfect for this type of shooting. It’s small, light and discreet. My girlfriend and I were even fighting over who got to use the X100 and who had to carry the D800!

I really enjoyed using 85mm as a walk around lens. It’s definitely more challenging than something normal like 35mm where you can just aim and point, but 85mm allows you to get stronger photos. It isolates subjects very well and the compression of backgrounds show more context than a wide angle shot.

Anyway, I’ve picked the most classically attractive parts of Venice to show here.

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Nikon D800 – 18 months later

I’ve had the Nikon D800 for a while now and used it in a lot of different situations as a general hobbyist. After 25,000 actuations I thought it was worth summarising my thoughts (positive and negative) so far.

I’ll start with the good so far.

Things I love about the Nikon D800:

The raw image quality is outstanding

Detail, dynamic range and high ISO are all fantastic. The raw files can take a LOT of manipulation and still look great. As I showed in my original hands-on Nikon D800 review you can add five stops of exposure to a raw file without destroying everything. It’s pretty amazing.

Nikon D800 Long Exposure

68s exposure (10x ND filter), f4.5, ISO100. Click for full size

 

D800 ISO Performance is great up to ISO6400

I feel confident using anywhere between ISO100-3200 without even thinking about it. 6400 is fine too under most circumstances, but it’s slightly less impressive under incandescent light or street lighting. 12,800 is totally usable, but not pretty at full size. 25,600 is for emergencies only. There’s a strong purple cast at ISO25,600 which you can only get rid of by converting to black and white or seriously messing with the colours.

I’m more than happy with this level of performance. The D800 is a high resolution camera and high ISO isn’t the main selling point. For those who absolutely need the best high ISO performance, Nikon make the D3s and the D4. The D800 gets 90% of the way, and it makes more detailed pictures at lower ISOs. Shooting comfortably up to ISO6400 covers 99% of my needs as a photographer. I’ll never say no to better ISO performance, but how often do any of us honestly need ISO25,600 anyway? It really shouldn’t be a major factor in the decision of buying the camera.

Nikon D800 ISO2500

1/400s, f4.0, ISO2500

Nikon D800 ISO2500

100% crop of focus area. There is a lot of detail even at ISO2500. No noise reduction.

 

ISO 25,600 is usable, sometimes

Here’s a sample image at ISO25,600. That’s as high as the D800 goes. It’s pretty grainy up close, you could could definitely make an A5 print out of it after some processing. I don’t see the point in posting un-edited images (since we all edit all images anyway) so I’ve adding sharpening, noise reduction, removed the purple tint, adjusted the white balance and colours and tried to make it as good as I can. So this represents pretty much the best you can get from ISO25,600.

Nikon D800 ISO25,600

1/100s, f5.6, ISO25,600. Click for full size

 

The D800 has amazing resolution and detail

Any time I open a file from my X100 (or indeed any low resolution camera) I feel disappointed now. They are just lacking something in comparison. Truthfully, I don’t need all of the detail the D800 gives, but I definitely like having it. I can still feel impressed with the images, even after 18 months of ownership.

Nikon D800 Long Exposure

20s exposure (10x ND filter), f9, ISO100

100% crop D800 image

100% crop view of focus area

 

The D800 resolution makes it useful for closeup work too. This was taken with the Nikon 16-35/f4 VR (i.e. not a macro lens), but the shot is extremely detailed. You could easily crop a piece out and use it to show closeup detail.

D800 Closeup Performance

2.5s, f10, ISO100. Shot with Nikon 16-35/f4VR. Click for fullsize

 

D800 Durability, Build Quality and Weather Sealing

I’ve had no problems at all with my d800. I’ve read stories about dodgy build quality, dials falling off and the d800 10-pin connector going into the body, but I have had no issues with my d800 body at all. I’ve been out in soaking wet conditions several times now with a variety of lenses (Sigma 50/1.4 HSM, Nikon 70-200/2.8 VR I, Nikon 16-35/4 VR and even the cheapo 35/1.8 DX) and I’ve had no issues there. Of those, only the 70-200 is strictly counted as weather sealed. I’ve used the 10 pin connector with a cable release many times, and no issues. The only weak part of the camera is the battery door which I discuss below.

Nikon D800 Weather Sealing

I haven’t had any problems getting the camera wet on multiple occasions

The D800 Autofocus is fantastic for moving and still objects

The D800 autofocus is excellent, and auto AF point selection is very intelligent. Basically, I have no real complaints in this area. The autofocus isn’t perfect 100% of the time, but it works most of the time under most situations. It’s not reasonable to expect any camera to be 100% accurate all the time. It’s also important to choose the right mode for whatever you’re shooting. I have also switched the way I use autofocus and I now prefer to use AF-C constantly with the rear AF-ON button to focus and the shutter release set to release shutter only. This works well, and allows for flexibility in shooting stationery and moving targets.

Video on the D800 is fun, but not easy

I actually didn’t care about video and I didn’t even mention in it my original hands-on Nikon D800 review, but I’ve been playing around with video and it’s fantastic fun. Even just making and editing together a basic scene like making coffee or putting my shoes on is great fun and stretches my creativity. It’s also a whole new skill to learn which definitely helps my still photography too. Whereas it’s possible to “spray and pray” with photos, you absolutely can’t do that with video. You need to pick your shot, focus, depth of field, exposure, composition and everything else beforehand. For me it’s a whole new way of thinking, and it’s refreshing to slow down sometimes and think a bit more about what I want to achieve. Quality-wise, the video seems nice, though I don’t have any other video experience to compare again. The D800 video is a bit noisy once above ISO2500 and gets noisier the longer the video is on.

The main downside to mention is that video isn’t “pick up and shoot” at all. I wouldn’t recommend a D800 for casual home video use. A camcorder is still better suited for that purpose in my opinion. Handheld video is incredibly shaky apart from at the wide end of the 16-35/4 VR with VR enabled. Hand-holding 50mm is pretty shaky, and anything longer than 50mm is a total mess without stabilisation or a tripod. It’s also hard to zoom or focus on the fly. Zooming isn’t smooth at all if you do it by hand and the small, non-tilting LCD screen doesn’t facilitate easy focusing. There are no “peaking” or zebra-line focus aids built in either to help you. I’ve shot several bits of video out and about and later found them to be slightly back or front focused. To get smooth video with nice zooming and focusing, you’ll need all sorts of bits of add-on equipment. The sound quality will also suck unless you use a proper mic.

Basically, don’t expect to pick up the camera and shoot awesome videos. If you want to shoot casual video and do it easily, get a camcorder. But if you take the time, choose your shots and edit your clips, the video can be very fun and rewarding and the quality is clearly good enough for use in professional broadcasting.

Things I dislike about the Nikon D800

After using the Nikon D800 for a while, my list of complaints has grown as I learn more about the camera.

The metering is unpredictable because it is linked to focus point

I find the d800 metering to be quite unpredictable. Matrix mode is linked to AF point, rather than trying to “average” the whole scene. This seems unnecessarily complicated and means that I can’t predict the correct exposures well or rely on the meter in contrasty situations. With the camera locked on a tripod, changing AF point makes the meter jump around all over the place, proving this effect. The d800 also uses scene recognition and face detect too in matrix metering mode. This is a nice touch, but it makes exposures quite unpredictable. For instance in a backlit portrait, I know that I should need to “overexpose”, but the d800 will sometimes pick up the face and expose it correctly without any exposure compensation. Any further exposure compensation then completely blows out the image. However, sometimes face recognition doesn’t work, and a light face against a dark background will be totally blown out when the d800 ignores the face and tries to make the black background brighter. I’ve found that in outdoor cloudy conditions (typical for the UK where I live), the d800 underexposes quite a lot, presumably because it gets confused by bright grey clouds. I can live with metering that isn’t 100% correct, but the problem is that it is very inconsistent, and some shots are great while others come out maybe 1 stop underexposed. My Sony a850, with a much less “advanced” metering system, never did this. The d800 with the supposedly “helpful” metering system often gets it wrong, leading to more LCD and histogram checking than necessary.

D800 metering overexposure

This was the metered exposure in matrix mode. The auto-AF focused on the faces correctly, but the metering is overexposed

D800 Corrected exposure

Thankfully the dynamic range is good, and the exposure can be rescued

I hate Nikon colours

I detest Nikon colours. Compared to my Fuji X100, or my old Sony cameras (a580 and a850), the d800 is definitely the worst I’ve used in terms of producing pleasing colours. At default settings, everything has this yellowy-green tint to it that means tweaking the “calibration” panel in lightroom to try and get rid of it. Setting the auto white balance to add more magenta does correct this to an extent, but the result is a purple tinge sometimes visible in skies and whites. Even shooting with a colorchecker passport and viewing on a calibrated IPS monitor, I can’t shake this “Nikon” appearance to some pictures, especially under incandescent light.

Live view is poorly implemented on the D800

You can’t take multiple pictures in live view without waiting for the card to stop writing. It’s very annoying when you’re seeing a great moment in front of you, mashing the shutter button, and nothing at all is happening because the camera is taking 3 seconds to write a single image to the card. There is no logical reason for this. Why doesn’t it use the same buffer capabilities as when you shoot “normally” using the viewfinder? The D800 is an incredibly responsive camera, except when in liveview mode when it turns into a total sloth.

The D800 live view quality when zoomed in leaves a lot to be desired. I guess this is a technical limitation due to the readout rate of the d800 sensor, but it’s still annoying if you want to use magnified live view to carry out accurate manual focusing. Thankfully contrast detect AF is very accurate so you don’t need to manually focus often. However, with an ND filter and/or small aperture, you will sometimes struggle to get a decent image on the LCD, even in relatively bright daylight. One solution would be to focus with liveview in the same way as through the viewfinder – with the lens opened up to focus, then stopping down to take the picture. You could then press the DOF preview button to stop the lens down to check focus and depth of field. If these modes could be switched between that would be even better.

Auto screen brightness sucks

It’s the worst of both worlds – far too dark indoors and not bright enough to see properly outdoors. I cranked the brightness to +2 and rely on the histogram to judge exposure. It’s still annoying though and it’s a silly problem that should have been fixed.

Video crop modes are too limited

Video crop only goes to 1.5x (DX crop). The 1.2x and 1.5x modes are fantastically useful for video to get closer to the action. I wish the d800 had a 2x crop, or even 4x crop mode for 1080p video. By my maths, since the D800 sensor is 7360×4912, a 1920x1080p frame needs less than 1/4 of the sensor area. So why won’t Nikon give us a higher magnification crop mode?

Odd button positions and design choices

I already talked about this in my original D800 review but these some of my gripes have turned out not to be a problem, and some of them are developed further.

ISO button placement. I hated this when I first picked up the camera, and I still hate it. There’s just no logical reason to put such an important feature (one of the big three – shutter, aperture and ISO) on the top of the camera on the left. There is no convenient way to reach the ISO button while shooting, especially with longer lenses that need the support of your left hand. I wish the ISO function could be assigned to another button such as the front fn button or the video record button (which is completely functionless unless you are in video mode with liveview on, ready to record video). The video record button just seems like Nikon marketing to say “look! this camera has video!!”. There is no need to have a dedicated video record button in such a prominent place which is useless most of the time.

Bad design choice. The video record button only works when in video mode with live view on. The rest of the time, it does nothing.

The video record button only works when in video mode with live view on. The rest of the time, it does nothing. Meanwhile, the ISO button, which is used all the time, is in an inconvenient location

 

Switching between AF modes is slow and unintuitive. The tiny button is hard to find and press with gloves and you have to rely on touch alone to find it. It also means that you have to look at the screen or in the viewfinder to check the current mode or change modes. An actual hard switch (like the metering area selector switch) would have been preferable, rather than the “press + scroll” system utilised in the D800. It can take several scrolls with both wheels to get the mode that you want, although it gets easier with familiarity. It just isn’t intuitive.

The battery door doesn’t inspire confidence. It pops on and off very easily, which I assume is deliberate so that it doesn’t break anything if you knock it while open. However I’ve found it in the bottom of my camera bag a few times which isn’t great because it could easily get lost. Aside from detaching easily, the door itself is very flimsy, clatters a bit and never actually feels that “tight” when closed. If you press on it while closed, it gives a little bit. By comparison, the door on my Sony a850 was around 2x thicker, and was tightly spring loaded with a very secure feeling when closed. It could also detach for fitting a battery grip if necessary. The d800 battery door feels extremely cheap with thin plastic and a poor quality hinge and it stands out because the rest of the camera is well made.

Battery life is strictly mediocre

Video eats the d800 battery very quickly, and so does picture reviewing on the LCD. I’ve had as low as 100 shots from my d800 on a full charge. The most I’ve ever had was around 800 from a single charge (lots of shooting, no reviewing or videoing), which isn’t that good. For a day of shooting, or where you will be reviewing pictures a lot, a second or even third battery might be a necessity. Timelapses with the D800 absolutely demolish battery too. I’ve found that around 500 shots will take the battery down to 20%. The battery meter on the D800 does seem to be accurate at least. And for reference, one of my batteries now shows its age as 1/4 – i.e. not brand new any more.

 

Some D800 Mythbusting and FAQ

I thought I’d finish by dispelling a few myths that I keep seeing repeated everywhere online.

You don’t need the best lenses. I said this in my hands-on d800 review, and I still stand by it 18 months later. The little 35/1.8 DX is great, and the inexpensive 85/1.8D is also fantastic on the d800. You don’t need the best tilt shifts and Zeiss manual focus primes to enjoy the resolution advantage of the D800 compared to a camera like the D700. The D800 with a cheap lens will give far more useable detail than the D700 with an expensive lens. That said, the D800 will make you notice things like focus errors, purple fringes or poor lens performance more easily if you view at 100%. My 16-35/f4 VR is weaker wide open at the 35mm end and it is more noticeable on the D800 when viewing full size compared to a 12mp image. However, good lenses stopped down give incredibly sharp and detailed images as you’ve seen above.

You don’t need a tripod or super fast shutter speeds to get sharp images. A tripod definitely helps you get sharper shots, and so does a super fast shutter speed. But the d800 will never be worse than any other camera for any given shutter speed. The larger resolution simply means that at 100% you will notice more motion blur. However the amount of blur itself is the same. You can see above and below a mixture of handheld shots with fast shutter speeds, slow shutter speeds, and tripod shots with many different lenses. To my eyes, they all look sharp.

Conclusion

Ok, so a lot of that was negative, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like the D800. It’s normal for excitement over a product to subside over time, and small problems can turn into larger ones when you have to live with something every day. Overall I do love my D800, but it’s not a perfect camera.

 

Some more sample pictures

Two caveats. Firstly, I had to compress the jpegs to get them less than 10mb. Full quality jpegs from D800 raw files are normally about 28mb. Secondly, when evaluating files at 100% bear in mind how massive they would be.

Nikon D800 ISO6400

1/40s, f8.0, ISO6400. Daylight. Click for full size

In daylight, with plenty of light, ISO6400 is very clean. I used it here so that I could get plenty of depth of field.

 

Nikon D800 ISO6400 Street Lighting

1/60s, f2.8, ISO6400. Street lighting. Click for full size (check out the detail on the car bumper)

In another well-exposed image, ISO6400 looks pretty clean. Plenty of detail in the focus area, and noise is not distracting

 

Nikon D800 ISO100

1/80s, f2.0, ISO100. Click for full size

The super thin depth of field is the limiting factor in this shot (with the Sigma 50mm at f2.0)

 

1/125s, f4.0, ISO6400. Incandescent light.

1/125s, f4.0, ISO6400. Incandescent light. Click for full size

Again, ISO6400 looks pretty good, even in the dark shadow areas

 

1/40s, f1.4, ISO3200. Handheld.

1/40s, f1.4, ISO3200. Handheld. Focus point is the bridge. Click for full size

In this shot, the lens is wide open, so only the very central point is sharp. However, the image is totally useable for most purposes. A tripod would have been better, but we already know my policy about traveling with tripods. The grain/noise is most noticeable in areas of plain coloured sky. Also considering that viewing at 100% is like standing 30cm from a huge print. Try viewing it from further away, or resizing the image to 12mp and it will look fine.

 

25.0s, f11, ISO100. 16mm. Click for full size

25.0s, f11, ISO100. 16mm. Click for full size

Bear in mind that this is a 25 second exposure, so there is movement in the grass. See how the sharpness in the centre of the image is high and gets worse towards the edges. That is normal for this lens.

 

1/25s, f4.0, ISO6400. Click for full size

1/25s, f4.0, ISO6400. Click for full size

This shot looks better than the Paris bridge photo because there is more light available. Focus area is on the gondolas right in the middle. Again, a tripod would have produced better quality but this handheld photo works just fine for most things.

 

I hope you enjoyed the review. Please comment below, like, share etc if you enjoyed reading it and found it useful!

 

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Garland - November 27, 2013 - 10:59 pm

Want better, more pleasing default colors from NEFs? Use Capture One rather than Lightroom. Adobe has never gotten default colors right for any camera, though with Nikon, results are particularly poor. Capture one makes short work of NEFs by simply getting the color right from the start.

Agree on the ISO placement: Totally inane! As is NOT making the lame duck video button programmable for ISO.

David (admin) - November 28, 2013 - 2:25 pm

This is a good point. I have tried Capture One, and it does get nicer colours. I just can’t stand the workflow which isn’t efficient at all!

I made my own D800 profiles under various lighting conditions with an X-rite ColorPassport and use those in Lightroom now for more neutral colours.

Pixel Vertax D12 Grip for Nikon D800 – Hands on Review

Pixel Vertax D12

The Pixel Vertax MB-12 costs £68 on eBay. The Nikon MB-D12 costs £380. Can this cheaper alternative possibly be any good?

Pixel Vertax D12 on Nikon D800 back view

View full post »

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Jack - July 17, 2012 - 8:05 pm

Thank you for this post! I’ve ordered a Pixel from Amazon…

Pixel Vertax D12 Battery Grip Review - July 18, 2012 - 5:54 am

[…] review might be longer if I haven’t seen another review of the same product. It covers a lot more details than I was planning to post here so you should […]

Noel - July 19, 2012 - 5:15 am

Great write up the the Vertax D12. I just got mine two days ago and as you stated, ‘I can’t complain’. I paid about $105 on eBay and don’t regret it at all. Your points are spot on and there is no way the MBD12 is $400 better than the vertax D12. That’s what this comes down to. Thanks for the review.

David (admin) - July 19, 2012 - 11:14 am

Thanks Noel. The Nikon grip may be better, but I doubt it’s 4-6x better!

Hong Kong Resident - July 20, 2012 - 4:23 am

Thanks.

I’m glad it’s a good alternative to the horribly overpriced Nikon grip and I’m glad I live in Hong Kong and can walk into a “photo” mall and buy one.

🙂

darren Smith - July 22, 2012 - 2:49 pm

an excellent review and matches my experience with my pixel grip, one question though, do you know what the USB socket is for on the front of the grip (under the runner pixel logo)?

David (admin) - July 22, 2012 - 4:05 pm

Hi Darren, I think the USB port is for firmware updates. It’s well hidden and isn’t mentioned in the user manual that comes with the grip. I suspect it’s there in case Nikon release some sort of d800 grip which stops 3rd party grips from working. Then Pixel can issue an update themselves and tell people about the USB port.

Jeff Morris - July 24, 2012 - 10:47 am

I would have never purchased a third party grip. Always beating the drum for OEM Nikon accessories, the price of the OEM grip made me think otherwise. I purchase a MB-D 12 grip and returned it because I could not justify the price.

I have learned to go “gripless” and I love it. For three uears my D700 had a MB-D10 attached with a 24-70. Today I travel lite with the 28mm f1.8 and 85mm f1.8 and enjoy the mobility. I do not miss the grip at all, I thought I would. But if I need a grip i will more than likely purchase a Pixel! Thanks David, I appreciated your answers to questions found on the web!

David (admin) - July 24, 2012 - 5:58 pm

Thanks Jeff. I was the same, but I figured for the price vs the price of the Nikon grip, why not! The reason I bought the grip is because I found the d800 quite uncomfortable to hold, particularly with big lenses. It’s a bit blocky feeling and I feel like I’m “pinching” onto it, rather than “gripping” it. The grip gives me something a bit more substantial to hold onto.

Sean McNamara - July 26, 2012 - 4:32 pm

Nice review. Picked up this Vertax grip from Amazon (prime) and am very happy with it. Much better than the Meike offering. Vertax did a very good job matching the finish of the d800. The texture in both the molded plastic and rubber is just spot-on. The price tag on the Nikon OEM is just a huge slap in the face. Never even considered buying one at $400.

DCF - July 27, 2012 - 9:46 am

Regarding the use of mini USB port, someone in the Hong Kong forum confirmed with PIXEL, it is for firmware update. It should be more or less the same as your estimation.

Amount the 3 3rd party D12, PIXEL should be the most popular at this moment.

Tim - July 31, 2012 - 6:36 am

“Can the camera be powered by only the grip? Yes. The camera works fine if you only have batteries in the grip and not in the camera. That works with both the Nikon battery and with 8xAA batteries. No problems at all.”

Can it work if you only have batteries in the camera and not in the grip?

David (admin) - July 31, 2012 - 1:58 pm

Hi Tim, Yup it works great! Though you won’t get 6fps in DX mode without batteries in the grip, everything else is normal.

Simanta - August 13, 2012 - 7:36 am

A very well written detailed review of the Pixel Vertax D12. Its simply Nikon’s policy to charge the earth for the MB-D12 battery grip which is also almost equivalent to an entry level DSLR. I’ve heard that many of their accessories are outsourced and branded Nikon and price it according to their own free will making suckers out of us. I’ve just ordered the Pixel Vertax D12 at eBay. It cost me about $123[US] in India. Heaps of thanks to you.

Jerb - August 18, 2012 - 3:08 am

How does the rubber grip feel vs the Nikon?
Are the command dials on the grip rubber or hard plastic?

HK - August 18, 2012 - 11:55 am
David (admin) - August 24, 2012 - 12:12 pm

Sorry I don’t have the Nikon on hand to make a direct comparison. The command dials are hard plastic.

David (admin) - August 24, 2012 - 12:13 pm

I haven’t noticed this issue when using the grip.

Tim - October 11, 2012 - 1:29 am

Can you try this test with your command dials on the D12.

Hold down ISO button. Spin the command dial slowly. Each click should register.

Now spin the command dial quickly. It registered 2 clicks when I did about 5.

Almost like there’s a timer on the dial?

I had an issue batteries in the camera and not in the grip. It works, but put a flash on the D800. Set it to manual zoom but use a zoom lens. Now go shoot. Every now and then you’ll notice the camera has rebooted. Also, the zoom on the SB900 has gone backto auto zoom. There’s a 0.5s delay as the system reboots.

David (admin) - October 14, 2012 - 10:49 am

Hi Tim,

The dials on my grip work perfectly – or at least as well as the ones on the camera. I haven’t noticed them jumping or missing clicks, so it sounds like yours has a problem.

Same for the battery issue – I haven’t noticed any unusual behaviour. I don’t have a flash so I can’t replicate the exact circumstances you mentioned, sorry! It does sound like your grip has a problem – you can probably return it!

Jack (same Jack from July 17th post...) - November 5, 2012 - 2:39 pm

Thanks again David! I really like the Pixil Grip. Your review is right on! My first unit was defective (the AE/AF lock when the shutter is pressed half-way did not work but the AE/AF button did work) and the company replaced it in four days (reordered and defective unit sent back to them). This is worth the “Benjamin!”

Allan - March 3, 2013 - 9:25 pm

Great info & review.
I am also looking for a good grip but can not see going for the Nikon version.
Best detail images I seen…

al

John Richardson - May 21, 2013 - 9:17 am

So after several months of using this grip how is it taking the use?

David (admin) - May 21, 2013 - 10:14 am

Grip seems to be handling use fine. Admittedly I haven’t used it as much as I thought I would, and I mostly use the d800 without a grip at all. The only thing is that I left the grip on a desk which was in direct sunlight for half a day and the rubber has faded to a pale-ish grey. That was a mistake on my part, but I was surprised how much it faded in such a short time. All the buttons and scroll wheels still work absolutely fine.

My verdict would be that it’s fine to use. Build quality is solid enough to last for hobbyists and people who simply want a more comfortable camera. But if you’re a dedicated grip-using shooter, maybe investing in the Nikon one would be better.

Nikon D800 hands-on Review

I just switched from Sony (a850) to Nikon (the d800)! If you’re reading this, you probably already know the d800 specs – 36 megapixel sensor, incredible dynamic range, 51pt AF system, 1080p video recording etc. It sounds fantastic on paper, but what is the d800 like to use regularly?

In this review I’m going to talk about the upsides and downsides of 36.3mp of resolution, dynamic range, high ISO, build quality, viewfinder, autofocus, video, controls and some settings I’ve found useful. View full post »

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Ivan - July 28, 2012 - 11:15 pm

You can upload to mediafire for free (www.mediafire.com – you just need to register) if you want to share images, although it’s not an image sharing site per se.

I prefer smugmug to flickr for uploading original files… I don’t know what flickr does to the files, but thee D800 files I tried uploading to flickr have some kind of compression artifacts.

Thuan D Bui - August 17, 2012 - 9:19 pm

Thanks for the review. I like it.

How do you customize the settings the way the D7000 does? I miss the latter.

[…] dynamic range, great build quality and autofocus is crazy compared to my Sony cameras. Read my full review of the Nikon D800 […]

Donald Lim - December 19, 2012 - 2:22 am

Thanks for a very informative and practical review ! One of the most useful (for me) reviews that I have seen….

Jacob A. - February 9, 2013 - 10:13 am

Regarding the lack of easy access ISO adjustments, you can use the thumb wheel – see menu D7.

Bill Kirschner - March 9, 2013 - 5:33 pm

Hello David…. I read your review, and I was very impressed. It was so simple and very easy to understand. I was glad to hear you say that the D800 was easy to hand-hold and take pictures with. I currently have a D300, which is built like a tank, like the D800, and have been very happy with it. However, I want to go full frame, so I have been reading reviews on the D600 and D800 daily. I so liked your review, and would appreciate your honest opinion between the D600 and D800, because I am a serious amateur photographer. Also, I would like to know, if I decide on the D800, what is a good card I should purchase for it, and how many pictures could I get on a 64mb card? Thanks very much for your time and I would appreciate a reply. Out of curiosity, are you a professional photographer? Your pictures are absolutely amazing. My email address is: chrisbill@telus.net Thanks again.

David (admin) - March 10, 2013 - 11:25 am

Hi Bill, thanks for your comment. I haven’t used the D600 before, so I can’t really compare the two directly. I’m still impressed with my D800 and it hasn’t let me down so far, so I don’t really think you can go wrong with it. The d600 looks great but my biggest worry would be the older AF system and the cheaper construction. Thanks for your compliments but I’m not a professional – just a keen amateur like you who does occasional paid work. In the UK, the price of d600 and d800 is relatively close. Close enough for me to just get the d800 without worrying too much about it. My best advice would be to go and try both cameras – see which feels more comfortable in your hands and more intuitive to use. That’s something you can’t tell from reading reviews.

On a 64Gb card you will expect to get somewhere around 800 raw files. Personally I don’t like cards that big because if you lose or break it, you lose everything. I use 8gb cards (100 photos) for anything important and 32Gb for casual shooting. Sandisk cards are always good, but I also have cheaper Transcend CF cards that work perfectly. The only card I’ve had not work (which is fine it other cameras) is a Duracell 16Gb CF card.

[…] The raw files can take a LOT of manipulation and still look great. As I showed in my original hands-on Nikon D800 review you can add five stops of exposure to a raw file without destroying everything. It’s pretty […]

Vin - October 19, 2013 - 12:28 pm

Hi

Great review!
I am considering a d800e for landscape work with some older ai primes Has the ability to use liveview for manual focus improved with updates? How accurate is the rangefinder focus function for non CPU lenses?

Thanks
-Vin

David (admin) - October 19, 2013 - 2:57 pm

Hi Vin,

Have a look at my new review of the D800 after 18 months of ownership. It has a bit more information about manual focusing and liveview:

http://www.frescoglobe.com/2013/10/10/d800-review-over-one-year-on/

The “rangefinder” (I assume you mean the green dot in the viewfinder) is not very good really. It would probably be fine for landscape, but it isn’t sensitive enough to use when shooting wide open.

Liveview didn’t really improve with the firmware update, apart from the ability to switch between “real” and “simulated” exposure (i.e. the screen shows an ideal exposure OR the actual exposure you will get with current settings). Again, check out my new review because it goes into detail about liveview on the D800.

Don’t get me wrong – for landscape work the D800e would be great, and liveview is perfectly capable of getting sharp focus. But the implementation COULD and SHOULD be a lot better than it is.

[…] Vertax D12 is a 3rd party vertical battery grip for the Nikon D800. Pixel are a Hong Kong based company who manufacture lots of third-party items like flash triggers, […]

Traveling with Tripods

About Traveling with Tripods

I know this will upset some people, but I almost never travel with a tripod and I pretty much hate using them. I find them annoying, clumsy and usually pointless.

The main reason I wrote this article is because I see a lot of rubbish written online, such as “always use a tripod” and “always keep your shutter speed more than 1/focal length”.  This is perfectly fine advice if have lots of time to take your pictures and if you need the absolutely best image quality, but that advice comes at the expense of convenience, cost and  portability – which is a definite negative when it comes to travel photography. Usually you want to be lightweight, quick to act and always looking for different shots.

I have taken a tripod abroad with me several times before, and every single time I began to regret bringing it almost instantly. Now, I just don’t bother traveling with a tripod for many reasons:

 

Hong Kong long exposure www.frescoglobe.com

This shot of  Nathan Road, Hong Kong was a 1.3s exposure. No tripod. View full post »

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Steezus - June 10, 2012 - 2:02 am

Interesting take. I personally prefer to take a tripod no matter where I go. I have a carbon fiber Benro that was pretty cheap and very light. I keep an L-bracket on my camera at all times. The best shots I have ever taken were only possible on a tripod, but I really value sharpness. I figure why spend thousands on nice gear only to come away with fuzzy shots.

The last point I dislike about lack of tripods is that I do not like the way polarizing filters look on wide angle lenses at all. The sky has all these crazy blue variations in it that are a dead give away. I like to stack my photos to merge them later when shooting landscape wide angles. Now, you can usually get away with handheld in the daylight, but the golden hour in the morning and evenings require a bit more exposure time.

In the end, whatever works for each person! For me, a tripod is one of the most useful tools I own.

David (admin) - June 10, 2012 - 11:41 am

I think it depends on your style. Personally I really like the wide angle polariser look to create some drama in the sky. But I know some people hate it! :p

Same with a tripod. I’d rather just get the shot at ISO3200, than spend time faffing with the tripod. Of course a tripod is better for image quality, but I was talking about travel here so convenience has to be a factor. Also the other things like “looking like a photographer” and not being allowed tripods in some places is also a factor depending on where you travel and what you like to shoot.

Kevin - June 20, 2012 - 2:59 pm

Just bought a tripod, a lightweight a small one which perfectly fits on my new bought lowpro backpack. Using it while traveling for night shots, shots with very low shutter speed, to capture movement at day and night, for my 50mm prime which has no IS and for my 70-300mm with IS but for longer shutter speed and night and zoomed stuff.

Brian - June 20, 2012 - 6:06 pm

randomly found you, this is a great website, thank you for sharing!

Arvind - September 9, 2013 - 5:39 am

I have a Vista tripod that I use with my Canon T3i. I have taken the tripod with me on two different occasions when I was traveling and regretted having taken it both times. I’m nowhere near being a professional photographer (I’m quite the amateur) but it seems to me that tripods for most non-professionals who are traveling are more hassle than its worth. It sort of makes traveling seem like a chore too when you’re lugging around and setting up gear searching for that perfectly sharp, etc…shot.

The points made in the blog post above make a lot of sense for the vast majority of people who take travel photos. Unless you’re trying to submit a photo to National Geographic or some other magazine then I can’t see how the benefits of taking a tripod along outweigh the costs.

Olivia Morgan-Gaines - January 23, 2014 - 9:24 am

Found your site while searching for the right kind of tripod to buy to take with me to see the Northern Lights – extremely useful information. Any help you could give an amateur photographer with a Canon 350D SLR camera wanting to take some memorable pictures on my trip?

David (admin) - January 24, 2014 - 4:49 am

Hi Olivia,

Ok – shooting the Northern Lights is one of the occasions when you DO want a tripod. I generally prefer to not carry one, but for the Northern Lights I definitely would take one.

A 350D is a fairly light camera, so I think you can take a lightweight travel tripod. Sorry I haven’t got any specific recommendations, but I don’t think you need a huge and expensive gitzo.

You probably also want a wide angle lens. If you are shooting with the kit lens that only goes to 18mm and f3.5, you might want to look into renting something like the Tokina 11-16mm/f2.8. That means you can use a lower ISO and 11mm will let you capture a really wide view of the sky.

Aside from that, you’ll probably want to shoot in manual mode. Check out Flickr for good Northern Light photos and see what sort of settings they are using. I’d guess at ISO3200, 30 seconds and f2.8 to get a good bright exposure of the Northern Lights.

Hope that helps!

Rama - March 4, 2015 - 5:45 pm

I think this also depends on your goal. If you are travelling with the goal of doing serious landscape photography or architectural photography and that is the primary purpose of the trip then the tripod is a must. If you are on vacation and hoping to take some nice pictures along the way then the tripod is not necessary.

Budapest – 2012

In April I took a short city break to Budapest, Hungary. Budapest is a beautiful city with a rich history and it is becoming a popular destination now that many low-cost European airlines are flying there. I would highly recommend Budapest as a place to visit for a few days. It is cheap to visit, easy to travel around the city and has a great mixture of things to do and see. Unfortunately the weather was very grey and cloudy while I was in Budapest, but that didn’t take away from the attractiveness of the city. This trip was photographed on a Fuji X100 (click here for my hands-on review of the Fuji X100) an Nikon d90 with 85/1.8D

Budapest has an incredibly conflicting, varied and rich history. It has been settled, fought-over and occupied by many different countries, empires and kingdoms over the course of 2,000 years including the Celts, Romans, Huns, Mongols, Ottomans, Habsburgs and the Soviet Union. Hungary, and Budapest particularly, has been pivotal in many global events such as the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the start of World War I and the collapse of the Soviet Union. To put it into context, modern day Hungary occupies only around 30% of its previous territory with only 40% of its previous population compared to before WW1.

 

The first picture is of the incredible Hungarian Parliament Building (Országház)  at night, viewed from the River Danube.

Hungarian Országház Parliament at Night from the River DanubeView full post »

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Harvey - June 9, 2012 - 6:33 pm

I love your photos!
The status of the soldier with sword is called “Hajdú szobor” = “The statue of the Hajduk” that is not a name but refers to the type of infantry soldier.

David (admin) - June 9, 2012 - 9:00 pm

Brilliant, thank you very much!

Zoltan - June 9, 2012 - 9:14 pm

Hi!
This blog is an honour to me and my home city!!! Much appreciated! One thing though: that white bridge you refer to is the Elizabeth Bridge (Erzsébet híd). The Liberty Bridge (Szabadság híd) is the green one next to it to the south. The rest is true! Loved your blog, thanks so much!!!
Cheers
Zoltan

David (admin) - June 9, 2012 - 9:26 pm

Wow, thank you for the fantastic compliment! And thank you for the correction – I’ll amend it now! 🙂

[…] (lots of pics) Photos of places Peru Paris Scotland Dubai part 1 part 2 Taiwan Morocco Budapest China Egypt The UK Australia about contact […]

Fuji X100 Hands-On Review

The Fuji X100 has been out for a while now, and I have owned mine for around 3 months. There are reviews everywhere on the Internet, so rather than post a full review with a spec-list, I’m going to give my impressions of the camera. I will talk about the real life benefits and drawbacks of the X100, and give you my tips/tricks to get the most out of the camera.

And of course, I will have full-size downloads available for you to check the image quality at a variety of settings.

Introducing the Fuji X100

Fuji X100 Hands-on Review at www.frescoglobe.comView full post »

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David Clark - May 14, 2012 - 4:55 pm

Just a comment about the rear dial on the Fujifilm X100. There is the OK button, the circular spinning dial, and then the plastic outer ring with the nomenclature silkscreened on it for macro, WB, flash, and Drive. That plastic piece bothers me a lot and indicates that Fuji made last minute adjustments to it.

Notice that the preproduction photographs at dpreview and a few other web sites show the plastic piece in the correct orientation. This is how it was originally intended to be. Now, for the shipping models, the piece has a weird concave shape in order to allow the finger to better feel the spinning dial. To me, the reversed plastic piece looks wrong and suggests a last minute production Band-Aid to fix a poor design. You will not see a concave shape like that on any other camera.

admin - May 14, 2012 - 5:13 pm

Thanks for your comment David. Well spotted – I hadn’t actually compared my X100 to any of the early pre-production models. But it such a shame that they put cheap plasticy dials on a £1000 camera which is otherwise excellently built!

I also heard that the battery charger is from another camera, and rather than make another charger for the X100, Fuji just stuck in the little plastic piece. Very cheap of them!

Ken Schwerin - May 15, 2012 - 1:17 pm

The most interesting and comprehensive review of the X100 that I have read! I will certainly bookmark your site, thank you.

All the best,

Ken Schwerin.

admin - May 15, 2012 - 1:50 pm

Thank you Ken. Much appreciated!

aiyo - May 17, 2012 - 6:40 am

Just got mine yesterday. Going through the learning curve now. Your review helps. Thanks.

David (admin) - May 17, 2012 - 12:26 pm

Thanks aiyo – you’re welcome. If you have any questions about anything in the review, just ask 🙂

-S - May 19, 2012 - 8:10 pm

Good review. I’ve had mine for a year now. I like it a lot… but it’s not getting much love anymore now that I have the X-Pro1 and its 35mm lens. You think the IQ was good with the X100, but that new sensor in the X-Pro1 is phenomenal. Usability is much much improved too. Still slow to focus, but a beautiful camera by Fuji again.

David (admin) - May 20, 2012 - 2:08 pm

The Xpro-1 looks great, but damn it’s expensive! I just couldn’t justify it. Plus, what I said earlier about the “buying into a system” thing. I’m not sure I want to spend £2000 on a system with only three lenses right now.

-S - May 20, 2012 - 9:18 pm

Understandable. I treated myself with the XPro-1, birthday present. Lots of mounts coming up though(I’ve seen about 12 types online already), people using it with Voigtlander lenses and Canon lenses online, the M-mount is coming soon, etc. I’m looking forward a fast, 35mm equiv lens for the XPro-1. And on that note I’m going to spend the rest of the afternoon on the street with the X100, thanks for reminding me it’s such a nice (but quirky) camera.

-S - May 21, 2012 - 1:18 am

Update: I had not used my X100 in a while, and definitely not using the focus trick that was discovered on the XPro-1 a few weeks ago and works on the X100 too (don’t half-press & wait for focus confirmation, just press the shutter all the way in one step). With a fast 95MB/s SD card, shooting in JPEG mode (like I do on the X-Pro1), it is noticeably faster to focus (and so much quieter). There is still that annoying lag that makes moving subjects hard to track, but it’s faster nonetheless.

David (admin) - May 21, 2012 - 10:03 pm

That is a neat trick, and so unintuitive for anybody who is used to focus then shoot from a dSLR! The X100 definitely feels like it focuses quicker using that method, but I’m not sure. It might just be the reduced shutter lag between achieving focus and shutter activation. The thing I miss the most with the X100 is the ability to take multiple shots after getting focus without having to re-focus like you can with a dSLR.

juliehollandphotography - May 22, 2012 - 11:57 am

thanks for the review, Ive had mine for a few months, just wondering if it will be the best camera for my trip to UK in a few months time. Not keen on taking 5DII and lenses although maybe take a small DSLR with a 100 macro lens and use the X100 for anything else

David (admin) - May 24, 2012 - 7:40 pm

Hi Julie,
That sounds like a good idea. If you’ve seen the Scotland and Budapest travel photos, they were done mostly with the X100. I really can’t complain about any aspect of the image quality. The “macro” function of the X100 isn’t true 1:1 macro, but it does focus surprisingly close and provide reasonable magnification. I’ve also seen an add-on macro converter to improve the magnification. I’m sure it won’t be as good as a dSLR and dedicated macro lens, but it might work for travel and “hobby” macro!

Simon - May 25, 2012 - 5:55 pm

Great review, thanks David. I bought my X100 yesterday and am enjoying it very much after a full day of playing with it. My wife and I will be touring Austria and Czech in September, do you think I could risk just taking the X100 and leaving the 7D and L lenses at home?

David (admin) - May 25, 2012 - 10:48 pm

Congrats on your new X100! 😀 For travel it really depends what you want to shoot. For cities, street shooting, people, insides of museums, landscapes etc the X100 is brilliant. If you are really into macro, birds or you need the burst rate and continuous autofocus of the 7D, the X100 probably won’t satisfy you.

I shot my travels to Scotland and Budapest mostly on the X100 and didn’t miss a dSLR at all for the type of shooting I like. It really comes down to whether you are happy shooting everything at 24mm! I know that Austria has a lot of beautiful scenery and architecture similar to Budapest, so maybe those pics can help you make up your mind!

ben - May 29, 2012 - 7:25 pm

Fantastic Review! I’ve been on the fence about getting one of these, and now I am sold. Just need to wait a bit to gather up the funds… 🙂

David (admin) - May 29, 2012 - 9:00 pm

Haha, great to hear that Ben. I have to admit that my love affair with the Fuji X100 is still going strong. The main thing that impresses me is the colour and white balance. As you can see from my gear list, I’ve had expensive full frame cameras and Zeiss glass, but I’ve never had a camera before which can produce colours which are as natural and lifelike as the X100. The X100 price dropped recently too – they were £1000, and now they are £699 new! 😀

Ben - May 30, 2012 - 2:23 pm

I wish they dropped here in the US – They are still sitting at $1200 USD here. I am thinking about a used one. I still love my 5D and prime lenses, but my “take everywhere” camera is an older Panasonic LX-3 point and shoot, and the files are just nowwhere near what I’ve seen from the X100. I *think* if I sell a couple of lenses, the wife won’t be too mad. 🙂

[…] take away from the attractiveness of the city. This trip was photographed on a Fuji X100 (click here for my hands-on review of the Fuji X100) an Nikon d90 with […]

Chris Ridley - June 12, 2012 - 11:30 am

Great review, thanks for taking the time to write it. Have read the creative review from Zach, and not the tech from you. Perfect.

Thanks!

Abelardo - June 13, 2012 - 11:22 pm

I use MF and AFL button achieve focus, like a dsrl, it’s accurate and faster. The shutter keeps separated so I can recompose.

David (admin) - June 14, 2012 - 12:52 am

Nice idea – I’ll check it out as an alternative was of focusing 🙂

Chris Ridley - June 14, 2012 - 4:10 pm

David – bought it yesterday, can’t believe how good the tone and colour is. I take the jpgs into lightroom and find I do NOTHING to them at all.

Also, I tried the MF and AFL focusing – that’s pretty good in the right situation too.

Wonderful camera, it really is!

David (admin) - June 15, 2012 - 4:25 pm

Nice one! I find that I hardly need to re-touch any files at all, as long as I got the exposure right! Enjoy! 😀 😀

SAT - June 20, 2012 - 4:40 am

Hello 無意間看到你拍的照片,裡面照片都拍的很有質感~~~很漂亮~~
我是用x10,也很愛fuji的發色,真的很美~~~

另外可否請教一下,照片中有一隻咬著網球的狗,請問您知道那是什麼品種的狗嗎?

因為看了照片後覺得超可愛的~~~

Kevin - June 20, 2012 - 2:48 pm

Great post! So much detailed information about your experiences with the X1000. I’m thinking of buying this camera to use it for streetphotography, due to its small and silent appearance.
This would be a great addition to my gear. Using a Canon 1000D, 50mm prime f/1.8, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 at the moment, which is kinda heavy and big.

Hope to share my photos made with the X100 very soon!
Keep it up.

Jay Abrams - June 21, 2012 - 1:30 am

I am curious as to what settings you use on your x100. I’ve had one since November 2011 and had only mixed success. Your pictures are great and thanks for the review.

David (admin) - June 21, 2012 - 9:56 am

Hi Jay,
I pretty much run a standard setup:
Jpeg mode (since RAW is super slow to write, and I love the Fuji jpegs anyway)
Sharpening – medium hard
Everything else on MID or STD
Auto-ISO on. 1/100s minimum allowed shutter speed. ISO200 as the baseline
I set the Fn button to be film modes, so I can change between provia, astia and velvia
I set the RAW button to ND filter toggle for when I want to shoot at f2 in daylight

I’ve left dynamic range on DR100. I haven’t played with this as much as I should do, but the X100 does such a good job, I haven’t really felt the need to fiddle with it.

And I shoot about 50:50 with the OVF or EVF, with all the information on (histogram, grid lines etc – accessed by pressing “view mode” while looking through the viewfinder)

I also turned all beeps, fake shutter sounds etc OFF. I want the camera to be as discreet as possible.

I hope that helps, but let me know if you find any interesting tweaks or quirks – I’m sure the X100 is full of them!

Dee - June 21, 2012 - 2:08 pm

Such a detail review about the x100… This camera remain one of my dream camera. Since DSLR is my working camera I’m currently using Olympus E-PL2 with Panasonic 14mm and 20mm lens as my walk around and weekend camera. I wanted to invest in more µ4/3 system such as tele lens and EVF but have to agree with you about the x100 philosophy.. This is a camera that you have everything in it… I’m ok with the 35mm focal length but some of your bad point really make me thinking maybe I should wait for x100 replacement

David (admin) - June 21, 2012 - 2:30 pm

It’s a fantastic camera, and the downsides are absolutely fine as long as you are aware of the limitations. For most shooting, and particularly travel (which is the focus of this blog), the X100 is great. But if you want a tele lens, continuous AF or shooting moving subjects, you should look elsewhere!

David (admin) - June 21, 2012 - 5:11 pm

謝謝你的回應!

照片中的小狗是拉薩犬,拍照的時候他只有三四個月大。很可愛也很活潑!

******
Comment:
Hello, I came across your pictures and I think they look very nice.
I have a x10, and I do love the Fuji colour. It’s really beautiful!
By the way, the dog with a volleyball was super cute. Do you know what breed it is?

Reply:
Thanks for your comments. She’s a Lhasa Apso puppy! The picture was taken when she’s about three or four months old.

Cath - July 1, 2012 - 3:51 am

Great to read this! I got mine yesterday and it’s been driving me crazy that I can’t work out how to change the focal point from the centre focal point. I can focus anything manually, but if I expect others to take a shot of me in a far off location I need to know that I can set the focus point and ask them to ‘put the green cross on my face’ and it will work out. Am I missing something here?

David (admin) - July 3, 2012 - 11:21 pm

Hi Cath,
Well, there’s two ways. You can move the AF point by pressing and holding the “AF” button on the left, then moving the point with the circular wheel.

Or you can focus, then recompose the image. Neither method is particularly easy for a non-photographer to deal with unfortunately!

Erik - July 4, 2012 - 12:25 pm

Well, to be honest; I am impressed by this review. It is very clear that the review is better than the X100 itself. For the money you pay for a camera with this much enoying shortcommings it is hard to believe that anyone would still consider buying one . . like I (still) do. Maybe I should wait for an update in about a year or so. When the camera not only looks great, but feels and works as great too. Thanx for an excellent overview.

Sincerely,

Erik

moos - July 25, 2012 - 5:54 am

Excellent review – thanks. Was hopelessly waiting for a miracle along the lines of David Riesenberg’s concept but was disappointed with the new Canon EOS-M. X100 is the closest affordable thing to what I’m looking for but the shortcomings are a deal-breaker. I’ll wait for the purported X200, or even X110!

Manuele - September 15, 2012 - 9:34 am

I have just bought a used Fuji X100 camera from Ebay. I should receive it next week. I read a lot of reviews about this camera before making the choice of actually buying one. Reading your review was extremely useful for me. Having read about all the drawbacks in many other reviews I realised I made a good choice reading again about all the positive aspects of this camera which you summarized so well in such a professional way also thanks to the well selected sample images.
Thanks a lot for taking the time of writing this review. I am looking forward to getting my camera and start using it.

Patrik - September 20, 2012 - 11:13 am

Just want to say thank you for an excellent review. Thorough, helpful, informative, with great samples. One of the best reviews of any camera I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a lot).

Cheers,
Patrik

Dean - September 27, 2012 - 2:30 pm

Excellent review! I read from other source saying that x100 can only sync up to 1/500 if you shoot wide open. Is it true? Is high flash sync only allow at smaller aperture?

king - October 26, 2012 - 7:57 pm

Hello

1st of all This is by far the best review of the x100 that i have ever read your review is very precise. im a person who’s kind of travel and climb mountains often and i carry my heavy dslr. i’m planning to get the x100 very soon cause i have already given up on the weight of a dslr 🙁 i’m just kind of skeptical about it regarding the issue that some certain batch or specific serial no. have the issue of sab is that true? how can i avoid that

thank you so much…

David (admin) - October 27, 2012 - 3:20 pm

Hi king, I haven’t had the sticky aperture blades problem so I can’t comment I’m afraid. If you buy the camera new, it should be covered under warranty. At least, it would be in the UK!

Lee - May 28, 2013 - 5:27 am

Nice review and great shots. Did you try to shoot flowers or plants in macro mode. I am disappointed with the macro ability in this camera. I get images with a lot of noise. I have tried macro in f4 and f8, iso 250 and all the way up to 1600. All my shots were indoor with fluorescent lighting.

Thanks again,

Lee

Klick Hier - July 24, 2013 - 1:53 am

Thanks for the info! I’m in a dilemma… a x100 is 700 euro the x100s is 1300 euro! Which to pick?

Tony - October 27, 2013 - 12:53 am

I just purchased my Fuji X100 summer 2013. Being out for a long time I was aware of all the issues, pros and cons, and what serial numbers to avoid with that whole sticky aperture issue. So I wasn’t around for the early firmware.

1.3 was out when I made my purchase. So here’s the big question, how does everyone feel about the X100 now that firmware 2.0 was release? Focus peaking has been added, the manual focus ring makes things happen much faster, and you can focus more closely before going into macro mode. There are other changes, those are just some. I think I got a killer deal on my used X100, and I think with firmware 2.0, it makes a used X100 even more of a deal.

Still not the perfect camera, but a fantastic bargain today. I skipped the X100s because I’m not a fan of the X trans, or the smaller pixels in the 16MP sensor. Can’t wait to see an X200.

David (admin) - October 27, 2013 - 2:16 am

Hi Tony,

I literally just installed the 2.0 firmware update. Initial impression is that the camera starts up much quicker and image review seems quicker too. Focus is maybe a bit faster, but I’ll need to test it in daylight.

The most impressive thing in my opinion is that Fuji released a firmware update for a 3yr old camera – even after it has had a newer model released. That’s a huge show of good faith from Fuji, and it makes me so much more likely to buy from them again.

I still love my X100 – I’m writing a new review now with my impressions after owning it for almost two years.

Scott - November 23, 2013 - 3:28 pm

Great review. I just bought a used x100 after the 2.0 update. The exposure compensation dial does get knocked easily. I went to Home Depot and got a rubber o-ring that I put around it. A little more friction on the dial now, problem solved.

Franjo - March 2, 2014 - 12:19 pm

Just a quick queston please.
All my images taken with X100 look as if they are slightly out of focus.
I have an Oly P2 and a PANA GF1 – the images from those cameras look way sharper in jpeg.
Where I am wrong still a mistery for me…..

Franjo Glavina - Zagreb HR - March 6, 2014 - 1:47 am

Hello!

I am not a pro but the my Fuji x 100 disappointed me! Always I got soft images. Even with your recipe and new firmware. Really disappointed. Any suggestions?
Thanks you all!

Franjo

David (admin) - March 8, 2014 - 3:37 am

Hi Franjo,

Have you tried talking to Fuji? Images from the X100 should be nice and sharp, and they should definitely be focused if you are getting the green confirmation box.

Lek - April 13, 2016 - 4:58 pm

I like the review. Thank you.

Egypt 1999

Here are photos from two visits to Egypt – one in 1996 and one in 1999. In one trip, we did a cruise of the River Nile from Cairo in the North to Aswan in the South. In the second trip, we cruised Lake Nasser which is to the South of Aswan and the Aswan Dam. These photos were shot on film and scanned in, then tweaked in Adobe Lightroom.

 

First, the infamous Abu Simbel on the bank of Lake Nasser. I think the cruise ship docked next to Abu Simbel and the people standing in front of the temple shows the scale of it quite well – it is absolutely massive. Even more impressively, they were made 1300 years BC. And even more amazing than that, this is not the original location of the temple. The entire temple was moved in 1968 to avoid flooding from the Aswan Dam. The actual temple location would be beneath the water in the photo below. The is also an interesting solar phenomenon with Abu Simbel where on two days of the year (Feb 21st and Oct 21st) the sun can shine in through the entrance to the temple and illuminate statues in the back of the temple. These two dates lie exactly 61 days before and 61 days after the Winter Solstice and all statues are lit by the sun apart from Ptah, the god of the underworld.

Abu Simbel view from the River Nile EgyptView full post »

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dugly - January 10, 2013 - 5:47 pm

Ok and u did it perfectly plus pictures is a perfect touch

Uluru from the Air

Uluru Ayers Rock from the air

Uluru, Australia shot on Fuji Velvia film :D

Taken from a very bumpy 4-seater plane ride over Ayers Rock in between bouts of vomiting. The rising heat currents from the ground below shake the plane in a very scary way! I think the picture was worth it though – you can even see The Olgas in the distance.

click for more pics www.frescoglobe.com

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