As a Fujifilm X shooter, Fujifilm product launch events are something I do not miss. I’m not sure about you, but as a Malaysian, there are only a few things that will make us go for an event.
- Free food.
- Free gifts.
- Funny speakers.
In my opinion, Fujifilm does them all. The location this time was Dataran Underground which was not as great as the last one (and please let us know in advance that parking is a flat rate for event attendees coz I almost had a heart attack finding out the rates was more expensive than KLCC parking rates!).
The free gift are just great. Everyone got an 8GB SD Card to keep photos they shot on demo units. Also included are the usual notepads and a cool “I love Fujifilm T-shirt” which my wife said was totally geeky. Oh yes, also a faux Fujifilm leather strap which is useful as a spare.
The New Toys
On display were the new X-T10 cameras, the XF16mm f1.4 lens, the new XF90mm f2.0 lens and a few other older lenses. Being an X-T1 and X-M1 user, I found the X-T10 brethren like a strange hybrid of both. I tried to play around with the new focusing but alas, there was no models to shoot this time round and the lighting was really bad.
So, the interesting thing is that there were a couple of X-T1s on demo, and lo-and-behold, there were upgraded to Firmware 4.0! I eagerly tried to use the new Zone focus, and found that to set it up it is in the main menu, under Auto Focus. It would be better to create a new shortcut on your camera for this. But again, due to the lack of subject to shoot, I couldn’t conclusively confirm how good the Zone tracking is. I guess I’ll have to wait till I get it on my camera.
I did try the new XF 16 and XF 90 lenses, and I was surprised at how much I liked the 16mm f1.4. OK, I’m more of a wide angle person, but it was the close-focusing feature of the lens that got to me. It focuses, really, really close! Check these out:
Next I tried XF 90mm f2.0 but because the place was poorly lit and without OIS, f2.0 was rather hard to take sharp photos. However, I did take the following wide open and it was sharp all the way.
I also had a chance to try the XF 16-50mm f2.8 lens, and found the zoom ring really buttery smooth compared to my XF 10-24mm f4 which was a tad tight.
We had a few speakers lined up that day, starting with the obligatory speech from Fujifilm Malaysia Head of Sales and Marketing.
It was then followed by the regional marketing guy, Keitaro So, which again gave the most lively and funny presentation. There were a number of interesting figures about how mirrorless and Fujifilm is doing well, compared to DSLR sales. I know for a fact that Malaysian camera shops are highly effected by the newly implemented 6% Goods and Services Tax (GST), and Fujifilm is not exempted from the repercussions. I had a friend who told me he had sources in the industry saying how bad things are and that there is a dooms-day prophecy that mirrorless cameras will die soon. He’s a die-hard DSLR fan, so I think his view is also biased against mirrorless cameras.
Anyway, the following are some photos of statistics Keitaro showed us on how well Fujifilm is doing in the region and in Malaysia. Don’t ask me why I used my phone instead of my camera to take these photos. Oh, do take a look at the last slide. That came from Fujirumors.com, on why people buy Fujifilm. Patrick, they read your website everyday too! 😉
He did give us some updates on firmware releases to come. For the X-E2, he is quoted to say that it will be ready around Oct to Nov 2015 time frame and asked the users to be patient as they are short of resources to develop the firmware. As for the X-T1 firmware 4.0 upgrade, he says it will be released on the 22nd of June 2015. He did not want to answer a question on medium format camera rumour though.
The next speaker was a Malaysian journalist-photographer SC Shekar speaking about his passion in street photography. I am unfortunately, not a street photographer was not able to appreciate his presentation as much as I did with the next speaker, Elia Locardi.
Fujifilm out did themselves this time for me. Elia Locardi (http://blamethemonkey.com) resonated with me like no other photographer has ever did. I have never heard of him before, but I am now a fan. Why?
- He loves travel photography. So do I.
- He lives a most unique lifestyle just travelling and photography, literally selling off his home and making the world his home together with his wife. Wow. That is how I want to retire!
- He takes the most beautiful mix of landscape and cityscape, not just natural landscapes with no buildings, or buildings with no natural landscapes.
- He uses simple Lightroom and Photoshop techniques, and generously taught us some really useful tricks that day
- He’s humble, nice and even accepted my Facebook friend request.
- His travel photography have no people in it. Yes, it’s the polar opposite of the street photographer. While I do take events and portraits, my favourite subjects of all are actually travel photography with no people in them. I never knew another person (what more a pro) who thinks like me but now I found one. 🙂
Finally, after his very inspiring presentation, we were all given the opportunity to have a short photo-walk in the city, taking advantage of the blue hour which Elia loves.
Here is one example of how his lesson improved my travel photography.
Elia, if you are reading this, I would like say thank you for inspiring me! I hope to be like you one day, a full time travel photographer with a passion for showing how beautiful the world really is!
It was one of the most satisfying day for me and I have to thank Fujifilm Malaysia for running this event. I just love being a Fujifilm X user.