Thursday, 3 April 2014

Early Frustrations

Taking Over

I can't fault the quality of the photos, but I'm starting to get this feeling that I'm not totally in control. While playing about last night I really struggled to get the flash to fire as the override control on the menu wheel was just failing to do anything. I think this is the main difference from the D70 where you have absolute control, this camera's smart and won't let you do things that it doesn't think makes sense.

The X20's Perfectly formed flash

Initially my problem was that I'd put the camera into silent mode, which also disables the flash. My brighter than average seven you old son soon pointed this out to me, but rather than pop up a reminder when you press the button it just does nothing. Not something I'd expect from what the manual calls "Super-Intelligent Flash". Later I'd set the camera set to aperture priority and it also refused to respond to the flash control. In fact it seemed to only work in Advanced SR Auto mode, but then I tried again later and it worked in Aperture priority for fill-in flash (so I wonder if it was too dark earlier)

Maybe this makes sense, but as a noobie to the camera it's annoying to restrict the actions and not tell me why.

The other thing I found was turning the face detection on is buried in the menu, which is different to most other cameras I've seen with this function. If you turn this on is does stop you from altering the focus points, but that kinda makes sense. I did find however that you can remap the function button as a quick way of turning this on and off but in the long term I might find the default of ISO is more useful. Face detection can be a real boon in point and shoot scenarios, so maybe I can set it up in one of the custom settings.

Going Manual

I played around a little bit using manual focusing, using the sub-command dial (the spinny wheel control around the menu controls) and while the auto-zoom in and focus peak highlight makes it easy in low light conditions it requires lots of turns. The manual suggests pressing the AEL/AFL button to roughly set the focus first. It's slightly tedius and not as intuitive as an SLR, but it does work well.

X20 Menu controls and sub-wheel.

OK, I'm being picky now because I haven't read the manual yet. And how refreshing it is to see that the camera industry is keeping the practice of supplying a good quality manual alive. From what I've seen the Fujifilm X20 can do some really great stuff that my SLR can't, so maybe I'll prepare some demos and we'll look at some of those next time.

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