I have not been out photographing much this year but now that I have the Fuji X20, I had to take it out to really try it. Because that is the thing: it takes time to get comfortable with a new camera and to learn the controls. Take that time and go out shooting for a day – not just a few minutes but really a longer stretch of time.
That is what I did on Friday. I took the day off work and decided to first visit the Zoo in Frankfurt that had the grand opening of their new bear enclosure on the weekend (which is really great) and still has the little tiger cub that is cute beyond words. For the afternoon I decided on doing something different. In Atlanta I fell in love with the Oakland Cemetery and I knew that the main cemetery in Frankfurt is almost as old. So I decided to have a look around there too see what I might find.
For the whole day I only took my X20 with me, restricting my options on purpose. No fancy DSLR, just a small camera with a small zoom. In the zoo I would have liked more zoom capabilities but since you have 14 MP at your disposal so you can crop in later due to the sharpness of the lens. Otherwise it performed great. I was especially impressed with the auto focus in the aquarium. The aquarium in Frankfurt is very old (I think built in the 50s or 60s) and has super thick glass that clearly distorts your vision (even your eyes will have some problems from certain angles). My Canon’s all so far worked ok in some of the lighter tanks but had trouble in others so I had to use the manual zoom. The Fuji actually did the job and got me very sharp results even at an angle. I don’t know how it did it, but I am impressed.
One thing that took me a while though was figuring out the display. With the X20, as well as its bigger brothers, you have an eye sensor so when you use the optical viewfinder the display gets turned off. I was unable to get that to work at first (I wanted to switch the display off completely to preserve battery life) but then found the answer in a forum: the X20 has a “super macro”-mode you can turn on and it will not show that icon on the display anymore and it will stay on even after restarting. Turns out, as long as the mode is on, you cannot switch to the optical viewfinder. When you turn it off, you can switch between the three modes again.
On the cemetery I was fighting the lighting meter a bit and ended up shooting most of the images at -1 exposure. When I got home all the images turned out too dark (well, d’oh). I think it had to do with the fact that I had turned on the “sun” modus for the display so you can see it better when you are in daylight. That might have caused the images to appear too bright on the display – I did not take that into account while shooting but now know about it.
Overall the camera was a lot of fun to learn and play with for the day. I will have to spend some more time with it to really get comfortable (the focus modes and I are not friends yet) but I can really see myself leaving my DSLR at home some of the time from now on. Which is a huge deal for me.
But of course, now you want to see some images, right? I have added a Gallery section to the website where I will be sharing whole albums again (something I had years ago, too) and there you can find an album for the zoo and one for the cemetery already. Enjoy and feel free to leave some comments