Mixed bag of reads this week…but all good :)
I wasn’t in the market for a new camera. Honest. The Canon DSLR I had was mostly unused but picking up the drone had relit the passion. Coincidently I was doing some work with the photography team at work and got to see a Fuji X-T1 in action. Shak then borrowed one for a couple of days and the images out of the camera were superb. Deal done – I wanted one which is quite bizarre. I’ve looked at mirrorless camera’s for a while as I liked the size and flexibility and the results they produced, especially the new Sony camera’s but they were so expensive. I’d ruled out the Fuji as it wasn’t a brand I really knew and the X-T1 was launched in April 2014 so felt that a new one was probably due.
However I decided quickly on the black X-T1 leaving the tricky decision of what lens (or lenses) to buy. I wanted a wide lens for landscapes but also wanted a zoom lens to cover a variety of situations. Looking at the various reviews of Fuji lenses quality is almost guaranteed so it was a difficult decision. A last minute push from Shak (who also picked up an X-T1 but in silver) led me to picking up the XF16mmF1.4 R WR and the XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR.
The camera and lenses arrived and I was immediately impressed with the packaging and the fit and finish of the Fuji products. They all felt really high end. Lenses felt solid and the image quality from a few test images was top notch. Instead of doing a full review of the camera, here’s some points of interest from my first 4 weeks with the X-T1.
- The controls are quite different from a Canon/Nikon DSLRs so take a little getting use to.
- With built in wifi it’s easy to fire up an iOS app to take remote photos.
- I’ve settled on taking RAW+JPG images. The out of the camera JPG’s are pretty amazing and save a lot on editing time.
- The two lenses and the fact I went for the X-T1 means it’s a fully weather resistant system – great for Scottish winters (and summers).
- Battery life is a bit short so you will need extra batteries if you are out for the day.
- I love the speed and sharpness of the 16mm lens…the flexibility of it and the images it produces are fantastic.
- The electronic viewfinder is a revelation.
- High ISO image quality is surprisingly good
- Firmware updates have added considerably to camera functionality since launch
- Video is average – I think the iPhone may be better!
- Lot’s of buttons – almost too many at first
So what about some sample images?
If you can’t tell already, I love the X-T1. I picked up a Thinktank Retrospective 5 which is a great little camera bag which holds everything I need without being a rucksack and it doesn’t get in the way. I’d love a lighter tripod but my current one will do for now and I’m already thinking about another lens but the two I’ve got just now are fantastic and more than meet my needs.
Could I have done all this with the Canon 550d and a better lens? Probably. But the size and quality of the Fuji equipment has lit a fire again which was in danger of going out with the Canon. I just love using the X-T1.
Scotland just lost in the RWN quarter final to Australia. Bastards. Anyway, on with this weeks reads.
- On Apple’s Insurmountable Platform Advantage
- The Inside Story of Apple’s New iMacs – some nice updates but I think it will be this time next year before I upgrade to a retina iMac.
- So here’s the thing – As much as the last article praises Apple for sweating the details, they just can’t get the mouse right. I’m not a fan of the mighty ,ouse but to have the lightning port underneath the mouse, meaning it’s unusable even if it is just for minute is just wrong. Thank goodness for Logitech.
- IBM cuts down IT support staff w/ Mac deployment, says 5% of Mac users call help desk vs 40% for PCs
- Rethinking iTunes – Some nice idea’s for how to rebuild iTunes.
- The Elephant in the Room – Macdrama! This was a pretty ugly week for the Mac community. Samantha Bielefeld has been a recent addition within the Mac blogging community and has written some great posts over the last few weeks. This post was in response to Overcast 2 from Marco Arment and was pointing out the unique position that Arment has built for himself. However the post went to far trying to calculate his income. Cue a vicious response from Marco supporters including hate mail, rape and death threats and general abuse towards Bielefeld. Horrible sexist abuse which unfortunately Arment did little to defuse. For more follow up read Samantha and The Great Big Lie and Big Money is Coming which is a follow up from Bielefeld herself. So sad.
- Europe’s love affair with diesel cars has been a disaster
- How Tesla is ushering in the age of the learning car
- Getting Over Taxis – Uber launched in Glasgow this weekend. Haven’t made my mind up about them yet. A necessary disrupter or evil. Both?
- The Drone Papers – A whistleblower reveals the truth behind America’s drone success. Great read.
- “Arabian Street Artists” Bomb Homeland: Why We Hacked An Award-Winning Series</li>
- Nudes Are Old News at Playboy
- Ronda Rousey’s Next Fight: Body Image in Hollywood – “I swear to God,” she said, shaking her head, “if anyone calls me fat one more time in my life, I’m going to kill them.”
- 55 Internet Things for Back to the Future Day
- Force Awakens Official Poster
- 50 Weird & Unknown STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE Facts
- Computer Show – Glorious!
- How to Get Some Rest When Stress Is Keeping You Up at Night
- Break – Great writing from Matt Gemmell. If you only read one thing this week, make it this.
- What’s Lost When Most People Work From Home
- Five Years of Building Instagram
- Why Twitter’s Dying (And What You Can Learn From It)
- Why I Unfollowed You on Instagram – I’d love an Activity app that first thing in the morning and mid-evening I could open and it would give me the best from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram plus e-mails, videos, reads all in one place without the duplication and noise that each separate network delivers now. Surely it’s coming?
- Here’s What “M,” Facebook Messenger’s Virtual Assistant, Looks Like – Also coming soon, the virtual assistant.
- The prime minister is pig headed – Well done Nicola Sturgeon
Bumper listing this week to make up for last week miss. Some great reads here so hope you enjoy it.
I’m into the first month of Apple Music as a paid product and it’s starting to annoy me. Mostly it works fine and I can stream any music at any time as advertised. However there are definite issues with new releases and their catalogue isn’t as great as I thought.
Clubbed to Death was launched on Friday and looked to be a fairly good compilation album but like most from the 90’s and 00’s I probably had most of the tracks already. I fired up Apple Music and it was there but I could only stream around half the tracks. Disappointing especially as many of the unplayable tracks I had in my library. I’ve since checked and they aren’t special editions, so it looks like Apple doesn’t have the licence to stream the tracks…but couldn’t it see I owned some of them already and made them playable? I don’t think thats much of an ask.
Not For You?
What’s more disappointing is the For You recommendation section in Apple Music. I listen to a fairly wide range of music, probably more Electronic than anything else but some of the recommendations I get from Apple are a bit, well, weird. They are predominantly rock and they have an obsession with The Rolling Stones.
Every couple of days I’ll get a new Rolling Stones recommendation in For You and thats despite saying “I Don’t Like This Suggestion”. The same suggestions get made and they just seem to roll around again after a few weeks. I kept hoping it was teething trouble during the trial but it still persists today.
Equally annoying is the ‘Intro to…’ recommendations. The three above are available in my For You section and are for Radiohead, Chemical Brothers and Chvrches. Not only are they three of my favourite artists but I have bought all their albums so why do I get a recommendation introducing them to me? Surely those playlists should introduce me to artists that I’d potentially like that aren’t in my library based on my listening habits?
If this doesn’t improve over the coming weeks then I’ll probably cancel Apple Music as it’s not helping much with discovery right now after initial good impressions.