It’s a Kind of Magic

"There are fields, Neo, endless fields where plants are no longer born ..."

“There are fields, Neo, endless fields where plants are no longer born …”

A photographer I know and trust recommended mirrorlesss system cameras and criticized Nikon and Canon harshly for not being on top of their game. The two DSLR giants are lacking attractive offers in this market segment dominated by Sony, Olympus, Fujifilm and Panasonic. Even Leica and Hasselblad have interesting, though expensive EVIL cameras (electronic viewfinder, interchangeable lens) on offer!
On the other hand, there is an opinion that says these kind of cameras have been pushed to market in recent years because they are cheaper to produce than DSLRs with their mirror box. If you compare camera bodies with similar feature sets, the EVILs are cheaper than the DSLRs, but probably not enough to negate that higher profit margin.
How far have the new kids on the block come? Well, quite a ways!

Frank Gehry houses, Medienhafen, Düsseldorf

Frank Gehry houses, Medienhafen, Düsseldorf

The pictures in this post were made with a Fujifilm X-H1 and a XF 16-55 mm f/2.8 lens. That’s the odd camera out among EVILs and nonetheless the one I chose above the Sonys.

That's enough detail for me. Click to embiggen!

That’s enough detail for me. Click to embiggen!

When you get a digital camera, you get an endless supply of the same “film” that you will be using for the lifetime of that body. The Fujifilm X-H1 sports a 24 MPixel X-Trans sensor without an antialias filter in front of it. The sensor is hung inside the camera with 5-axis IBIS (in-body image stabilization). For the in-camera JPEGs, Fujifilm offers attractive presets from her own and other manufacturer’s analog past. I like all of these features and appreciated all but one (the IBIS) in my Fujifilm X 100F.

Chimping.

Chimping.

Skin tones are good with this sensor, though if you want to flatter your subject, you’d better put in some post processing time in Photoshop to hide skin imperfections. There’s a lot of microcontrast and detail!

Rhine reflections.

Rhine reflections.

Dynamic range is astonishing for an APS-C sized sensor. Low-ISO files from the X-H1 are so robust in post processing that you can easily reach HDR-like images just with the controls in Lightroom. See above …

And you know what else I like about that camera? It is not so small as it’s brand brethren and the Sonys, let alone the Olympus line. I have big hands and it fits them comfortably. Gives off an impression of robustness, too. We’ll see how it withstands motorcycle jaunts, though.

What I haven’t yet tried at all with it is doing movies, one of it’s fortés. So, I’ll add this and other experiences to this article. Check back!

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