Monday, February 18, 2013

And it's another win to the X100

Well, after a wonderful weekend away up in the Western Ghats with friends and fellow photographers, my opinion of the X100 goes up even further. I used the 5D3 only for Macro’s (more on this later), and needless to say the ergonomics and control make it a pleasure to use for this specific purpose. However when we went out for a trek and to do some birding, it stayed in the guesthouse. What I took was the DP2M (and my RRS tripod) and the X100. In general I found myself using the DP2M/tripod for landscapes, I bracketed both for HDR and so that I would have some different exposures to play with…. India tends to have a wide DR and I have learned that nailing the DP2M exposure is important for ultimate results. The X100 was used for snaps and for macro, or – ‘semi macro’ -  principally flowers.

Water lilly with spider: X100

Acacia flower with ants: X100

 This time of year its extremely dusty and it was a positive pleasure not having to worry about sensor dust spots, even though the 5D3’s sensor shaker thingy works pretty bloody well.
The X100 is a little more ‘quirky’ than the other cameras to be sure but I find that I’m really beginning to find my way around it, although I still take the occasional picture with the lens cap on, lol…..
And when I do the camera goes into a prolonged sulk, which switching it off and on again does not solve. Probably taking the battery out would do the job, but that means taking the half case off which is a bit of a hassle. It’s a good job I have a 16 Gig card and that the battery lasts better than the DP2M. In fact I did not have to change the battery and I took a few hundred pictures. I usually have the rear screen turned off and I do not chimp, which I guess must help.
Unlike the DP2M which usually gives me around 45 pictures!
Back home and in front of my Mac and a number of things are confirmed. Firstly the X100 continues to amaze, it simply takes great pictures, I love how it handles mistiness and subtle tones and it always looks to me like it’s much more than 12 MP in terms of resolution. I still can’t put my finger fully on it but I find myself taking my best photos with this camera.
Also I’m not keen on the average result I’m getting with the DP2M with HDR and tonemapping, not sure what it is, but I’m bored with HDR these days anyway, certainly I don’t miss absence of wide exposure bracketing on the X100. However, once again my jaw drops when I look at the DP2M files in LR. The only thing I’m doing in SPP at the moment is dropping sharpness by 0.5 then exporting to LR4. Reflections, water, detailed foregrounds, and yes, the colours I’m getting are incredible and for that the DP2M seems to trump all comers but I’m more convinced than ever that the X100 gives me the photographs I prefer.

 Water Lilly: EOS 5D3, Sigma 150 mm f2.8 Macro

Water Lillies: Sigma DP2M

Coming back to Macro, I have been comparing photos of water lilies taken with my 5D3 /Sigma 150mm macro combination and the DP2M. And , enlarged the DP2M is almost as good resolution wise and better in overall rendering ( to my eyes anyway). I’m looking forward to seeing some decent user files from the DP3M.
So now I’m thinking, if the X100 is so nice, maybe I should sell all my gear and just get an M9 with a 35 mm and be done with it…..

A Western Ghats Scene: DP2M

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