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scharfsj

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  1. scharfsj

    Pescadero Cliffs

    Cliffs at Pescadero State Beach near Half Moon Bay, CA X-T2 and 14mm f/2.8
  2. scharfsj

    X-H1

    Hi Ragamuffin, Sorry for my delay in replying; I haven't stopped by here for a week or so. I think the key way to think about the X-H1 is based on the needs of the user, and that is in fact, how Fujfilm approached its design and engineering. With respect to the terms "significant departure", it all depends on what one means by significant departure. I would posit that, on the whole, the X-H1 is not a significant departure from the X-T2 when it comes to sensor technology, image processing, out-and-out image quality, DR, noise performance, etc. It is a significant departure with respect to lens stabilizaton, video, and most importantly for me, robustness and ruggedness of construction. How important those things are, though, really depends on the needs of the end-user. As I mentioned previously, I think the main point of this camera has been missed by many reviewers, both review sites and video "YouTube"-types. In my personal view, this camera was designed to be able to mount and (stably) use long, fast, heavy prime telephones and professional level zoom or prime cine lenses for professional photojournalism and videography/cinematography applications or use-cases. The IBIS subsystem supports those applications and use-cases by adding stabilization when using these larger, faster, and heavier lenses. I'm still of the view that the X-H1 is a Canon 1D-series of body, and most folks do not need this level of engineering specification. But those that do, the kind of guys I predominantly shoot with, do.
  3. scharfsj

    X-H1

    I thought folks would like to see some examples of the X-H1's IBIS. These are 100% crops of JPEGs. Virtually no editing, sharpening, clarity, dehaze, etc. performed on the photographs other than the crop to 100%. Images rendered at 144 ppi. Both are photographed at f/9, ISO 800, Fuji 18-55 at 55mm (83 mm 35-e) at 1/10th of a second, handheld. If you click on these they wil open in Flickr, and you can zoom all the way in by clicking again. This is my EAR 324 phono stage. http://EAR 324 Phono Stage by Stephen Scharf, on Flickr Michell Gyro SE MkiI turntable http://Turntable by Stephen Scharf, on Flickr I should point out that these photos look even sharper when viewed on my 15" Macbook Pro Retina at 220 ppi resolution.
  4. scharfsj

    X-H1

    Well, from the perspective of someone who has spent his professional career in technical product development, let's consider some points regarding product development: Any given model of camera from any manufacturer will or will not represent a value proposition (or some degree of a value proposition) to a customer depending on that user's specific needs. From this perspective, you haven't defined (e.g. in the form of requirements, which are measurable, testable or verifiable) what features and functionality you would term as "game-changing", so I can't assess from this absence of context whether or not the the X-H1 would represent a value proposition for you. It may or may not, I have no way of knowing. Regarding the IBIS functionality, in my experience one cannot use past technical development and achievements as a gauge for future technical or functionality development, because this assumes that the R&D team has the same capabilities they had in the past and have not learned anything from their prior product development with respect to being able to execute at a higher level with more sophistication in the future. Personally, I think this view of a company like Fujifilm, with its extensive focus on Voice of Customer, strong requirements management and discipline, extensive set of engineering core competencies, and an established track record of executing at a very high level, does them a disservice and is not the case. Now, for some data regarding the IBIS subsystem: I've personally consistently taken sharp photographs handheld at 1/10 and 1/15th of a second and have also seen other photographers (see the video by The Photography Team on YouTube) take sharp photos at shutter speeds as low as 1/4 of a second using the 90mm Fuji lens. Whether or not that meets your requirements, I don't know, because, once again, you have not stated what your requirements are. From what I can gather you've made assumptions in the complete absence of data that you don't think this IBIS will be "up to snuff" because the performance improvement for a completely different functional subsystem (autofocus) between an X-E1 and X-T1, products that were in development 5 years ago, was not a "game-changer". If for that reason you don't think the X-H1 will be sufficient to meet (whatever) your needs are with respect to that, then you should not buy one. Here's what I am observing: a lot of folks are looking at the X-H1 as a line extension to the X-T-series. It's not; its a completely NEW line of camera bodies intended for what I would classify as "hard-core" professionals, specifically those that will be working in tough and demanding environments, and will need to frequently use long, fast, heavy prime telephotos or cinema lenses. This is why it has the number "1" after it. Its intended for sports, motorsports, combat photojournalists, wildlife photographers, studio photographers, and professional videographers, and in some use-cases, those end-users who need stabilize those lenses. If one was in the Canon system, this set of end-users would comprise the photographers that need a Canon 1D-class body. Based on my experience, my view is that that the majority of photographers do not need a Canon 1D-series body, but some, like me, for my professional motorsports photojournalism work do: we need a tough, durable, strong and stiff camera body that can safely mount long, heavy, fast prime teles and not break. IMO, the X-H1 is the analog in the Fuji X system to a Canon 1D-series camera. What I've found that has been a big added plus are the vastly improved shutter mech, the significantly better EVF, the improved continuous high-speed AF system using parallel processing, the increased matrix metering accuracy, and improvements in operational efficiency from the addition of the sub-monitor and touchscreen LCD. For folks that are still curious if the X-H1 is a significant enough step up in quality and functionality over the X-T2 and therby represents a compelling value proposition, my suggestion would be to rent one and test both them in the real world rather than using conjecture based on spec sheets or photo forum chatter.
  5. scharfsj

    X-H1

    Lastly, just some snaps taken around the Northern California countryside. Nothing particularly special about these, but I was impressed once again with using the EVF to visualize the scene and how accurately the camera metered the exposure. These photos were taken along Pleasants Valley Road, between Vacaville and Winters, CA. Pleasant-Valley-Rd-Ranch-Mat by Stephen Scharf, on Flickr Pleasants-Valley-Side-Road by Stephen Scharf, on Flickr Pleasants Valley-2 by Stephen Scharf, on Flickr The California state flower, the California Poppy, in bloom everywhere. Pleasants Valley-1 by Stephen Scharf, on Flickr Cull Canyon Road, Alameda County
  6. scharfsj

    X-H1

    Of course, I had to take it to the race track to try it out. It performed very well and is very responsive. In particular, the back button for autofocus is much improved over the X-T2's. The silkly shutter makes it easy to take multiple frames without the shutter breakover impacting panning or holding the lens by hand. Chevrons with Cosworth BDA 2-liter motors are always fast at this track. Fuji X-H1 and 50-140 with 1.4X extender Formula Atlantic with Cosworth twin-cam BDA are very fast at Sonoma Raceway. Big Aston Martin used as the pace car Porsches!
  7. scharfsj

    X-H1

    So, engineering requirements aside, what's the X-H1 like to use in the real world? Well, personally, I find it to be much like an X-T2, which is truly an excellent camera, but functionally better in every way. Some data regarding the size: The X-H1 is WHOPPING 5% larger than the X-T2 in 2 of 3 dimensions, and 10% thicker at its minimum depth dimension, the extra thickness necessary to incorporate the IBIS subsystem. Here is a top view photo showing my Graphite Silver next to my X-H1. So, while the size difference is "statistically significant", do I find it to be practically significant? No, with the exception that the grip is MUCH better than the X-T2's. Regarding weight: The X-T2 with a RRS L-plate mounted is actually 17 grams heavier (I did the data analysis) than X-H1. Do I ever think about how heavy the X-T2 is when I am using it in the real world with its L-plate mounted? No. Do I think, OMG, this X-H1 is SO HEAVY when I am using it in the real world? No. The leaf-spring shutter button and 5-spring suspended shutter mech is an absolute joy, the smoothest, silkiest, quietest, best damped focal plane shutter I have ever used, hands down, bar none, from any manufacterer. There is absolutely no "breakover" in actuating the shutter, and it is designed so that no vibration or shock is transferred to the body to interfere with the IBIS system. Incredible and really, really nice. REALLY nice. The 3.7 million dot EVF is amazing, fast, clear, and gorgeous to look at but more importantly, the camera has exceptionally accurate matrix metering, on par with the GFX, which is exemplary. See the photo of Putah Creek Pond below to see how accurately the X-H1 meters to render both shadow detail and capture the highlights in the sky without blowing out. This metering accuracy makes it a snap to edit images by just needing to set black/white points. That's it. By contrast, I found my first X-T2 in matrix metering mode seemed to consistently read the scene as darker than it actually was, thereby overexposing by 1/3 or 1/2 a stop. The X-H1 metering system seems to be much more accurate, and the higher resolution and clearer EVR makes it easier to gauge the exposure preview of the scene. Putah-Creek-Pond by Stephen Scharf, on Flickr A lot of folks in the internet "specs geeks" forums have been griping about the removal of the exp comp dial for the submonitor, but in actual use, this has not been a problem for me in any way whatsoever. I have my rear command dial to be able to actuate the exposure comp functionality by a simple press, and then a turn of the dial sets comp quickly and effectively. And the EVF now displays a full ± 5 stops of compensation. And, I don't find that I am inadvertantly bumping the exp comp dial as I often find happens on my X-T2 when I am running around from place to place shooting at the race track. And, having the submonitor has proven to be much more useful than I originally anticipated. It's really nice to be able to glance down at it with lenses like the 18-55 or 10-24 to see what aperture the lens is set at, as well as a panoply of other useful information. When the camera is switched off, its great to be able to see how many frames are left on the card, the available battery capacity, and the exp. comp setting. Bottom line: the more I use the camera, the more I like it. The rear touch screen is great also, and I really like being able to swipe to bring up the auto timer, the RGB histograms, or the roll/pitch gauge on the LCD. Its way cool and very useful.The fact that you can configure it to be only active on a specified part of the screen is a real boon, too, as is the increased eye relief of the new EVF, this lets you look through the viewfinder without getting grease from your nose on the LCD as well as letting you use the touch functions. The next post will show some real world use photographs, including high-speed continuous autofocus.
  8. scharfsj

    X-H1

    Nope. I buy my own equipment to meet my professional motorsports photojournalism requirements. More context about my post above: Fujifilm from 2017, who said when they were asked if they were going to develop a 200 mm f/2.0 or f/2.8, replied, "A 200 mm f/2.0 would require an entirely new camera body". The engineering work documented in the white paper from Fujifilm on the development of the frame fully supports that statement. From the Fujifilm X-H1 development white paper: "Let's examine the X-H1. The product planner requested the developers to make the body more robust so that new devices could be installed and the expected camera performance could be realized. In order to make the body more robust, the frame, which is made of magnesium alloys, needed to be strengthened by adding extra thickness. The frame is 125% thicker for X-H1, meaning that the frame has almost doubled in volume (1.25 x 1.25 x 1.25 = 1.95). The strength of the frame is almost twice as strong. Portability and lightweight are the charm of the X Series. This should always be taken into account even when considering an exterior design that is more robust. The designer examined the frame closely and learned where the stress is most/least applied and where the extra strength is most/least needed. With the study, the following structure with pillars jointing the exterior part has been realized, which helped minimize the effect on body size. The development continued. There are certain parts of camera body that needed extra consideration. For example, front body important in terms of ergonomics and operability, but the impact on weight is huge if the entire front body were simply 125% thicker. Another extra consideration was given to the mount. In near future there will be lenses that weigh more than 2kg. (that's 4.4 pounds, guys, that a big-assed, heavy lens) Considerable load would be applied to the mount. The mount needs to withstand the weight of the lens. Photographers move around when they are at work, so additional stress would be applied on top of the lens weight. To withstand the stress, the mount part is reinforced ribs as shown below. The mount itself is thickened (note: per my photograph above) and the ribs gives additional support."
  9. scharfsj

    X-H1

    Well, I see this gang's overall sensibilities are the same as as ever; lots of negative comments from folks that have not even handled, or more importantly, actually used the camera for real-world applications. I bought an X-H1 for my motorsports racing photography, for which I already find it very well suited. Now: lets get down to reasons why Fuji built this camera: One of the things I've been posting about on various photo-fora is how much more robust the body on the X-H1 has been engineered to accomodate long, heavy, prime telephotos and the new MK-X Cine lenses. Fujifilm did considerable engineering to strengthen and, most importantly, stiffen the frame and lens mount to be able to mount long, heavy, prime telephotos and the new Cine MK zooms. These "devices", as Fuji refers to them, put a considerable tension load on the lens mount, and thus the lens mount needs to be designly sufficiently robustly to support these loads.Here's an example: note how much thicker and "beefier" the "support/stiffening ring" around the lens mount is on the X-H1 compared to the X-T2.The other thing I noted today is that Fuji moved the button for releasing the lens from the lens mount to further away to make it easier to disconnect larger (and wider in diameter) lenses. This little change is a big win for me, as it was difficult at times to actuate the lens release button on the 50-140 and 100-400.This diagram from the Fujifilm development white paper depicts the reinforcement of the camera frame. The bright white lines are steel (not magnesium) reinforcement ribs and pins to provide the requisite stiffness for supporting these tension loads while still maintaining the optical tolerances (which are at the micron level). These are not insignificant engineering challenges and accomplishments.
  10. scharfsj

    Interesting Observation...

    Agree, Art. "The original Fuji X Series Forum" url is www.Fujix-forum.com and the Fuji Rumors one is: www.fuji-x-forum.com. Admittedly quite confusing... Good points, Art. OTOH, we could provide leadership and set examples here; just something for consideration.
  11. scharfsj

    Interesting Observation...

    Hi Art, Just for the sake of clarity, that was not the professional I was referring to. Have to respectfully disagree on the personal attacks or criticisms here. I'm fine with healthy strident debate, but back in 2014, that was not my (or other's) experiences. Just for the sake of accuracy, I did name the other forum: "The "original" Fuji X-Forum. It is the one you link to above. And, I fully agree, I find that forum much more alive and interesting than this one. That's the one I've been spending most of my time on.
  12. scharfsj

    Interesting Observation...

    Thanks for your reply, Christopher. From a "kaizen" perspective, a philosophy I am sure you understand and support, there is always room for continuous improvement. I think it's appropriate to have a more dedicated sections on different genres, but that's up to you to decide. I agree that Fuji X Series was one of the first Fuji forums back in the 2012 time-frame, which is why I joined, but to be honest, in addition to a community that doesn't seem to me to be particularly "engaged" in dialog with fellow members, a lot of the reason I "left" for the better part of 4 years is I got tired of the continual aggressive sniping/snarky/confrontational replies by small but very consistent set of members here. For example, back in 2012, an extremely talented professional photographer that use to post here told me they felt they were literally "driven away" from here, and which actually extended to hostile behavior outside of this forum. This was someone who was vastly more talented, capable, experienced and knowledgeable than the vast majority of people here. After hanging out here a bit longer, I basically left as well and for the same reasons, essentially. I find "the Original Fuji X Forum" to be considerably friendlier, to be honest with you. A community is both what people make of it, and what people let others make of it. Best regards, Stephen
  13. scharfsj

    Interesting Observation...

    Hi Marco, Thank you for your reply. As a "guy", I fully understand the need and inclination to talk "parts". No issues around that at all. My observation was more around a couple of things 1) only a single "catch all" forum for posting images, project, "work", for the lack of a better term" when most of the other Fuji X forums have dedicated areas for the different genres of photography. 2) Engagement: There simply does not seem to be much engagement by this community participating in and providing input, insights, dialog, constructive criticism, etc. around photography. A lot about "parts", not much about photography. That is why we're doing this after all. Regarding trolling/aggressiveness, I have to respectfully disagree...at least when I used to frequent this place more often in 2013 and 2014. For example, I posted some X-Pro 1 NHRA professional drag racing images back in 2014 showing that the camera could do "peak action sports" photography, and I basically got reamed by a bunch of guys, some of them saying pro drag racing wasn't "peak action", the cars weren't going fast, blah, blah. It was total BS. One of the reasons I don't hang out here much is I found there was a lot (IMHO) sniping/snarky/trolling/aggresive behavior we see on many different male-dominated internet forums, whether it be digital photography, high-end, sport motorcycles, whatever. I do want to thank you, though, for your thoughtful and measured reply. Based on my past experiences here, I thought I was going to get flamed for this post. Regards, Stephen Hi Art, I didn't post my X-T2 real world, peak action racing images in the Gallery, I posted them in the X-T2 forum because it was literally only days after the camera was released for sale, and I thought folks like to see how it could perform in a tough real-world environment in challenging camera performance scenarios. Over 100 views and zero comments until I made a comment observing that fact. By contrast, on "the original Fuji X forum" there were over 50 comments (some of which were mine adding more content or reply to comments) to effectively the same post. That's what I'm referring as to what I see as not much engagement here. Regards, Stephen
  14. The Fuji X Series site is the first one I found when I bought my first X-cam, a little X10 back in 2012. I don't hang out here much though, and after four years, I think I have figured out why....there are 12-13 dedicated forums for *gear*, and one for...photography, images, projects...you know, photographs. And that forum has far fewer comments and interaction than any of the "gear" forums. All of the other Fuji forum sites have dedicated forums for different genres of photography: landscape, sports, portraiture, urbex, architecture, wildlife, street, etc, etc. The vast majority of posts in the creatively named "Photo Gallery" have, on average, 0-2 comments. I posted some professional motorsports photojournalism photography work on Sept 25 using the just-released X-T2 for real, peak action racing photography thinking folks would be interested in how the new camera would perform in a tough, real-world environment, and not one person commented until I made a comment about that it had over 100 views and not one comment. After that, one person actually replied, and said, yes, the majority of comments here are about gear, not photographs. Sad....
  15. I agree, Dan! I think this is the "magic" that people refer to as to why Fuji files look wonderful, but in a way that is hard to put your finger on...
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