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            Showing posts with label YouTube. Show all posts
            Showing posts with label YouTube. Show all posts

            Saturday, November 12, 2016

            Review: Hasselblad CFV-50c Digital Back (HK 2016)

            Digital medium format. If you're already confused with the whole 'full-frame' equivalent terminology, then this is going to confuse you even more. Let's just say that in the days of film, 35mm (24mm x 36mm) was the most common format to use. 95% of all cameras were in this format. Once we went digital, it made the most sense to reference this format as the universal standard in terms of how we refer to the focal length of a lens. The problem is, not all the sensors were the same size. Welcome to the crop factor phenomena. An 18.5mm lens in the APS-C format (24mm x 16mm) gives the approximate field of view of a 28mm on the 35mm format.

            Sunday, January 3, 2016

            Shooting with the Leica M and D-Lux in HK

            Back in October John Lehmann of the Globe and Mail met me in Hong Kong to shoot some YouTube videos. For one of the projects we decided we wanted to shoot with Leica cameras, so we both approached our contacts at Leica North America and got what we wanted. John went with the M Monochrom Typ 246, an excellent choice. It made sense for him since he already owns an M240 and a few lenses (28mm, 50mm, 90mm); but which camera would I choose? After much thought, I decided to borrow the Leica D-Lux Typ 109. Why the D-Lux? It is a perfect camera for travel because it's compact, light, feature-rich and powerful. Check out my full review with pictures on my YouTube channel here:

            Saturday, March 14, 2015

            YouTube Video Review: Fujifilm X-T1 with XF 16-55mm f/2.8 vs X-E2 with XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4

            As a street photographer I value compact size and weight as a major feature. Yes I love the Leica 50mm f/1.0 Noctilux, but I prefer the f/2.0 Summicron instead. Now those are serious extremes in terms of price, size, weight and aperture performance. What if the trade-offs and benefits were closer? I always struggled choosing between the X-T1 and the X-E2 when it came to street photography. The X-E2 is more compact and light, but the X-T1 has a dedicated ISO dial and a much nicer EVF. I wanted to revisit this debate between the X-T1 and X-E2 by coupling the review with two similar but very different lenses. The XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 has always been my benchmark lens. Whenever I test any Fuji lens, I use the standard kit zoom lens for comparison for image quality, AF speed and accuracy, as well as weight and feel. This standard zoom 'kit lens' is hard to beat. The only beef I had with the lens was that I wished it started at 16mm (or 24mm equiv) instead of 18mm. Fujifilm has now announced the new XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR. This is a pro-spec lens and a monster in size and weight. How does it compare against my benchmark lens? Check out my latest YouTube video with my special guest Gord Webster, the West Coast Fuji Guy:

            Monday, February 2, 2015

            Lens Review: Fujifilm XF56mm f/1.2 R APD

            1/1100th sec f/1.2 @ ISO 400. Classic CHrome Jpeg

            The Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R APD is a great lens. It's not because it's the sharpest, or has the best colour or an array of other sought after features. It's great because it's unique. Not unlike much of the Fujifilm X series cameras and lenses, Fujifilm stands out as different and this gives their cameras and lenses an edge over every other brand. Why? Because when you shoot with most 85mm equivalent portrait lenses, everyone seems to be aiming for the same effect in the same exact way. Not Fujifilm. They remind me of Minolta in the 80s and 90s with their Dynax-Maxxum series of cameras and lenses. They were trend setters and made unusual cameras and lenses that puzzled many (9 blade circular aperture, programmable hold buttons on the lenses, flare cutter aperture, Smooth Trans Focus technology (apodization tech!), AF 500mm mirror lens, etc.) but had a huge legion of fans that liked their unique approach. 

            In fact, this apodized lens by Fujifilm is the same technology that Minolta introduced on their 135mm STF lens in the 90's (although the Minolta could alter the secondary aperture to change the bokeh), further proving my connection between Minolta and Fujifilm. How effective is this APD technology, and is it worth paying an extra $500 to get it? Let's find out

            Friday, December 5, 2014

            Camera Video Review: Fujifilm X100T in Hong Kong

            Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island at night. 1/320th sec f/2.8 @ ISO 1600.

            When I'm gone on vacation, my wife has been very patient with me over the years. She's use to me bringing 3 or 4 different cameras and testing out equipment and film (during my Kodak days). Recently she's allowed me to bring along review cameras and spend time testing them, and write articles. This year I've added the extra burden (for her) of shooting YouTube video reviews, with my wife as my 'Camera Girl'. 

            My 3 week vacation in Hong Kong has been very difficult for me to review for both Fujifilm and Leica, write articles and shoot videos. I've decided to review the cameras and shoot and post the videos, but I'll wait until I get back home to write a full review and share pictures. For now, enjoy my YouTube videos. My latest is my video review of the Fujifilm X100T. 

            This camera is great for travel and street style photography. What it gives up in focal length versatility (fixed 35mm equivalent focal length) it makes up with practical tools to help the photographer take better pictures. Is it way better than the X100S? Is it worth the upgrade? Is the new hybrid optical viewfinder with mini electronic viewfinder mode just a gimmick? Check out my review to find out what I thought of the X100T and wait for my full written review in a couple of weeks. You can still post questions here or on YouTube and I'll try and answer as quickly as possible. 

            Tuesday, December 2, 2014

            Bigheadtaco Goes To Hong Kong with the Fujifilm X100T, the Leica T and the Ricoh GR

            Ricoh GR. Wai King Street, Kowloon, Hong Kong. 1/1000 sec f.5.6 @ ISO 100. Converted to b&w in Photoscape.

            I'm finally here in Hong Kong. Actually, I've been here for 2 weeks already, but I'm here with my wife (aka Camera Girl) visiting family and taking our annual vacation. I always take this opportunity to review cameras and take pictures, but it's a matter of work-life balance, even for a street photographer. Every second that I'm free, I run off and take a few pictures, but then I have to remember this is my wife's vacation time. I haven't been able to take as many pictures as I want, but that's ok. I never feel as if I've taken 'enough' pictures. Hong Kong is an amazing city and I could probably spend a year here and feel I haven't seen everything. 

            Both Leica and Fujifilm loaned me some pretty cool cameras to review while I'm here, and I have a couple of my own cameras to shoot with as well. Fujifilm Canada has loaned me the X100T, Leica Canada has loaned me the Leica T, and I have my own Ricoh GR and my iPhone. I won't be compairing sensor size, megapixels, or AF speeds. To me, these things are inconsequential to taking a great image. If you depend on technology to take your images, you will always be a slave to technology. If you depend on your eyes, your hands, your instinct, and some level of competence and skill as a photographer, you will get great images no matter what camera you're shooting with.

            I was able to shoot a few videos and here's my first introduction video to Hong Kong. I'll post a few more before I leave, and hopefully post the rest when I get back to Canada. Thanks again for all your support. To keep up to my day-to-day photography, follow me on my Instagram account. For now, enjoy my latest video:

            Wednesday, October 22, 2014

            Fujifilm X-30 YouTube Video Review: Is the 2/3" Sensor Too Small?

            Fujifilm X-30 @ 50mm equiv. 1/500th sec f/5.6 @ ISO 200. Provia film simulation JPEG

            I thought I would quickly release my YouTube video review of the Fujifilm X-30 before my full written review. Not everyone wants to read through an entire article. I understand. As mentioned on my previous preview video, I really like the X-30. It handled really well and the control features are very 'Fuji intuitive'. It's everything the X-100S should have been in terms of ergonomics and functionality. In fact, I would argue the shooting experience on the new X-30 is better than the X-100S (except for the optical viewfinder option on the X-100) in a more compact, lightweight package. The only minus is the sensor size. Is it too small? Look forward to my full review for my full answer. Until then, enjoy my full review video. 

            Monday, September 22, 2014

            Camera Preview: Fujifilm X-30. Is it worth it?

            Fujifilm X-30 @ 35mm equiv. 1/140th sec f/4 @ ISO 400. Classic Chrome JPEG

            I have always had a love-hate relationship with the Fujifilm X-10 and X-20. I loved the concept, build quality and principle behind the design and features of the compact camera series. Manual on/off and zoom ring, optical viewfinder, larger than normal 2/3" sensor (the competition all had 1/1.7" sensors), retro styling. It all made sense. However, when I looked at the image quality, it was only slightly better than my Ricoh GR-D IV at low ISO. The X-20 added the X-Trans technology, but I still wasn't blown away. I classified the X-10/20 as an EDC (every day carry) camera, and I wasn't convinced of its place in the market place (although the camera did reasonably well and beloved by many fans). I believe that Fujifilm was targeting the Canon G series cameras, but it's a shrinking market, even for Canon. The Sony RX-100 was the game changer, and Canon had more success with their smaller S100 series cameras, which had the same sensor as the G series, but in a much smaller form factor. The industry is moving towards a 'bigger sensor in a smaller body is better' philosophy, which isn't horribly wrong. But it also needs to shoot well and have the right functions and ergonomics to make it a success. The Panasonic LX and Canon S series proves this philosophy correct, as they both have smallish 1/1.7" sensors.

            However, when I heard there was a new X-30 coming out, I was convinced Fuji was going to upgrade the sensor to at least a 1" (although this means they would have to design an all new X-Trans sensor, and not just buy it from Sony). It makes business sense to keep the 2/3" sensor, I understand. Why gamble producing an all new sensor if they weren't positive that it was a growth market for them? My guess was that they were either going to shoe-horn an APS-C X-trans sensor into a compact body (similar to the Ricoh GR), or shrink the size of the camera. Fuji did neither. Instead, they added tons of new features, updated the software, and improved the ergonomics and functions while making the camera slightly bigger. Is this enough to keep up with the current and upcoming competition? Let's see...

            Thursday, August 7, 2014

            New Video Chit-Chat: Fujifilm X-T1, X-Pro 1, EF-X20 flash and a Green Canoe

            Here's my latest YouTube video and my first video with a guest, even though he's not a photographer by trade. Kurt Dahle is a drummer for a pretty cool indie band (he's very shy about his band so I won't mention it here for his sake), but he's also a huge camera nerd like me. I bumped into him while I was reviewing some cameras a few months back (Leica T and Fujifilm X-E2), and we got along really well. I decided to invite him on my latest video since he picked up the pretty sweet EF-X20 flash unit for his Fujifilm X-Pro 1. I also complain about Fuji burying the flash compensation feature in the menus, which would be a quick firmware fix (please fix this Fuji!). The video is mostly just me and Kurt chit-chatting about nothing, as it was hard keeping this video on track. Even still, I'll have Kurt (and maybe his bandmates) back for more videos since we had such fun shooting it. Camera girl was all smiles while shooting this video, which is a good sign. She usually looks confused when it's just me nerding out on camera details. Enjoy the video and happy shooting!

            Monday, July 28, 2014

            New Video: Fujifilm X-T1 vs X-E2. Also water pour test on X-T1 and XF 18-135 WR!

            Hello everyone, 

            I've been so busy working on my different projects that I haven't had much time to focus on my YouTube videos and my articles. I'll be back in full force in the next week or so. I currently have on review the following: Fujifilm X-T1, X-E2, XF 18-55mm, XF 35mm, XF 18-135 WR, SHARE SP-1 wireless INSTAX printer. I also have some Leica cameras on the way: Leica M Monochrom and M240 and some lenses. I will be a guest speaker at the upcoming Leica Akademie being held in Vancouver so I have to make sure I know what I'm talking about before the workshop! 

            So here's my latest YouTube video. I'm comparing the X-T1 and the X-E2 and help people decide which one to get, and I also do a water resistant test with the X-T1 and the XF 18-135 WR. Enjoy and happy shooting.

            Wednesday, July 2, 2014

            Street Photography 101: Zone Focusing

            Tokyo-X-Vario project: Leica X-Vario @ 18mm, 1/1000th sec f/7.1 @ ISO 1600. Zone focused to 3.5 M

            There's been much talk about scale or zone focusing and I've had a lot of people asking me what the difference is between the two and the advantages of shooting this way. I've mentioned it many times in my camera review articles, so I thought I would post a quick video to explain the basics. Scale focus just means that you focus by using a scale, instead of using a focusing aid, such as rangefinder focus or split image focusing. Many older cameras used scale focusing as the only focus aid, and with a depth of field scale, most could estimate the distance pretty good.

            Zone focus is more purposeful in that you choose a comfortable focus distance based on the focal length of your lens and the subject you're shooting, choose a suitable aperture that will give you enough depth of field within the 'zone' you are focusing on, and then leave your settings there. Once you get use to zone focusing, especially for street photography, it becomes a faster way to shoot versus relying on autofocus. Watch my YouTube video for more details. 

            Hopefully this video wasn't too complicated. If so, or if you still have questions, don't hesitate to comment below and I'll do my best to explain further. Zone focusing is good training for your eyes, to be able to estimate distances instead of relying on a focusing aid to tell you. I hope you enjoyed the video. Don't forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel, and please check out my Instagram account and my Twitter as well for updates and extra pictures.

            Happy shooting!



            Monday, June 23, 2014

            Video Review: Fujifilm TCL-X100 Teleconverter for the X-100 Series

            Here is my quick video review of the TCL-X100 teleconverter for the Fujifilm X-100 and X-100S. My full written review will be up soon with sample images. For now, let`s just say that if you own an X-100 or X-100S and you`ve been wanting a little bit more pull-power, this is the perfect solution. It`s an easy, screw-on adaptor, and no optical compromises (except for funny lens flare). It`s a lot of glass, and it`s heavy, but it balances well on the X-100S. At $349 USD, it`s not cheap, but if the X-100 is your primary camera, this lens is a must have. Check out my preview here, and watch my video below. Happy shooting.

            New Video: Ricoh GR Limited Edition

            The Ricoh GR is my favourite compact camera of all time, both film and digital. The film GR-1 camera kept up with my full size SLR`s and lenses when it came to my wedding shoots back in the day; and the digital GR-D IV was compact yet powerful so it came with me where ever I went. The latest GR has an upgraded APS-C size sensor, equalling most DSLRs when it comes to sensor size. Check out my quick overview of the GR series, as well as some quick reasons why I love my latest GR, the GR Limited Edition. 

            Wednesday, June 18, 2014

            Shooting YouTube Vids with Lunakiwi: Ricoh GR Family Preview

            Taken with Ricoh GR. 1/320th sec f/2.8 @ ISO 250 with built in flash. My wife Lunakiwi with Fuji X-100S.

            I've started recording YouTube videos around town where I shoot most of my street photo images, in Gastown, DTES, Strathcona. I've done some camera reviews already, and I'll try my best to post once a week. I'll also start doing more produced how-to series on street photography about once a month with a proper video crew. Think DigitalRev meets Mijonju meets The Camera Store. For now, my wife (aka @Lunakiwi) will be my camera-girl, and other times I'll just hold the video camera myself while I shoot (I know, video selfies look weird). So here's my latest video, a preview to my upcoming Ricoh GR review. Enjoy and happy shooting

            Monday, June 16, 2014

            Video Review: Polaroid Automatic 250 Land Camera and Polapan 664 Film

            Taken with iPhone 5S. Railtown District, Vancouver.

            Old cameras. Old Polaroid cameras. Rangefinder cameras. If you love all 3 of these things, you need to buy a Polaroid Land Camera. Not the goofy ones that came later with integral film, but the older ones that take the peel-apart 3.25 x 4.25 films (667, 669, 664, etc.). My dream is to own the more specialized models that have manual exposure control (model 180, 185, 190, 195); but the 250 is still a great camera and fun to use.

            I won't go into too much detail since I have my YouTube video to explain many of the features of this camera. Basically its a great introduction to Polaroid's peel-apart film cameras without spending too much money. The 250 model typically sells for around $150-200, although it's getting harder and harder to find it with the original case, flash, and portrait lens. The more expensive models are easily in the $500 range, some go for even more (check out Mijonju's video on his 185 Classic Edwin Land). The model 250 is reasonably priced and performs well, and every camera collection should have one of these, not on the shelf, but in the camera bag!

            iPhone 5S picture. Quick photoshoot with my wife. Railtown District, Vancouver

            Tuesday, June 10, 2014

            My First Offical Video on YouTube: Fail?

            A couple of months ago I was introduced to David and Henry who run a video production company called Second Spark Productions. After showing them my blog and Instagram account, they were eager to help me start shooting YouTube videos. They asked me to start writing script ideas and scout for locations and we would meet in 2 weeks to begin shooting our videos. You can guess what happens next. When I was free, they were busy and when they were free, I was busy. 2 weeks became 3, then 4, then it's 2 months later. That's life. Sometimes collaborations are tough to organize and coordinate. 

            However, David gave me really good advise. He said not to worry about video quality at first. Some of the most viewed and liked YouTube videos are horrible in shooting quality, but heavy on content. He told me to develop my video persona and work hard to have my real personality show through on screen. I immediately started test shooting. I began taking goofy vids in my home-office, and then I finally wandered out and started shooting outside in the evenings. The video I chose to post first was just me walking back to my car after test shooting videos all evening. I was tired and wanted to go home and sleep. However, after reviewing everything I shot, this was the one I liked, minus the out-of-focus parts (the GR has no face-detection so its hard to maintain focus on me). My wife doesn't like it when I spin, but I think it's pretty cool (I know, I just learned about the 180 rule).

            There isn't a lot of content, just me talking out loud about what I want to do with my future videos. It's funny how I bumped into Eric Kim over the week-end and he posted his interview of me before I was able to post my own introduction video first! So here it is, Bigheadtaco's first real video introduction. I'll try my best to post a video every 2 weeks. If you have any tips, tricks, or advise for me, please let me know. If anyone wants to help me shoot my videos sometimes, contact me. 

            Thanks for viewing and happy shooting!


            Monday, June 9, 2014

            Being Interviewed by Eric Kim Photography

            Eric Kim posing for Tarry of Revolver Coffee. Stranger in the line of fire. Taken with Ricoh GR.

            It was a busy few days. Thursday night I had a meeting at Matchstick Coffee with my good friend from The Lab and a major photo industry sales rep (I won't ruin the surprise, but something cool is coming to Vancouver). Friday morning I was introducing my local Leica rep with a local coffee shop owner, Tarry of Revolver Coffee. As we were finishing up our productive meeting, Tarry told me that Eric Kim was in town and that we should try and contact him. Sounds like a great idea, but how do we track this man down? My plan? Shoot near where he was doing his workshop until I accidentally bump into him.  As I was developing my ingenious strategy in my mind, George (Tarry's son) spotted someone who looked like Eric Kim sitting on the other side of the coffee shop working on his laptop. An Asian dude working in a coffee shop with his Mac laptop? That's such a rare sight in Vancouver!! Me and Tarry decided it was Eric and so we paparazzi'd him by attacking him with two cameras each... and yes, it was The Eric Kim!!

            Sunday, June 8, 2014

            Eric Kim & John Goldsmith: Interview Video

            Ricoh GR. 1/800th sec f/3.2 @ ISO 1600. Shot in Gastown.
            I was shooting my first video with world famous street photographer Eric Kim in Gastown when an unexpected guest walked into the interview... John Goldsmith!! What are the chances? He said he was walking around (taking pictures I assume) when he saw two Asian dudes shooting a video. Here's a accidental small clip at the end of a much longer full interview...thanks for the happy accident Cindy!! Ha ha. 

            Both Eric and myself will co-release this interview video on Youtube soon. Stay tuned for details...