Testing my New Camera

 

As you already know if you’ve seen my post from yesterday or if you follow me on the usual social media (those that have their icons on top of the right sidebar – oh and if you don’t follow me there yet, maybe now is the right time to invite you to do so), I recently decided to retire my compact camera and get a bridge. I chose a Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR for various reasons, some photo-related (it was advised to me by a few people and websites) some are not photo-related (my first choice, a Panasonic that was roughly similar, was not available with a multi-language option and I’m not literate in Japanese just yet).

Now I need to learn to use it.

Indeed, beyond just “point and shoot” I have to admit that I don’t know much about photography and if one day I want to manage to take the pictures I want to take, I will need to change that one of those days.

 

First step, getting familiarized with my new camera.

With that goal in mind, last week, as I had a day off on Tuesday, and that the weather was amazing (as well as 35°C temperature – that’s about 95°F for you Americans), I went to Takamatsu Sunport with my new camera.

 And the first thing I will have to get used to is the size of the device. It is of course out of question to slide it in my pocket. It is necessary to carry it in a bag or around the neck. Not always convenient to take impromptu pictures, and it’s a good thing that I am in Japan where people are a little bit less ridiculous than in other countries when they walk around with a big camera around their neck.

In other words, I’m afraid I won’t use it much outside of “planned photo-shoots” and my compact camera is not completely retired just yet.

However, the first good news are that the colors are amazing:

 

 

And in case you wonder and as you’ll see this piece of art several times in the pictures to come, it’s called Liminal Air -core- and you can know more details about it by clicking the link.

To give you an idea, I usually tweak my pictures just a little bit, nothing big, mostly just adding contrast to them. In this post I have touched a single picture, everything you see is straight out of the camera. Now, I still need to find out if those wonderful colors are still present when the light is crappy (under a bright grey sky for example).

As we’re talking about contrast, my first surprise was this picture (which was one of the very first pictures I took with the camera). The building in the background (it’s called Clement Hotel) has pretty strange tones and contrast. Not sure why:

 

Shutter Speed: 1/160s, Focal Length: 5mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: F:2.8

 

As the wall in the foreground was in the shade, that may be the reason why the background is too white. Also, for the following pictures, I’m including some “technical data” (even if I don’t fully understand them at the moment) if connoisseurs reading this are interested.

 

Another bad surprise was this picture of Meon (the ferry that’ll bring you to Ogijima one day):

 

Shutter Speed: 1/500 s, Focal Length: 6mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: F/6.4

 

The image is not very clear, especially details like the name of the boat and such. I’m not sure where this comes from, but I never had blurry pictures with my compact camera. I guess that with this one, as one can make pictures blurry on purpose, one can make them blurry by mistake too. I’ll have to be careful in the future.

 

Next step, trying the zoom.

I have to admit that I’m very impressed even if the pictures are not completely clear (I expected them to be not as good though).

This is Ōshima, located 8 km away (and in the background Shōdoshima, 15 km away):

 

Shutter speed: 1/300s, Focal Length: 126mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: F/6.4

 

Now, let’s be crazy and try Naoshima’s Benesse Park & Beach located 11 km away:

 

Shutter Speed: 1/320s, Focal Length: 126mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: F/7.1

 

Sure, it’s not exactly a good picture, but I never thought one could see the place so “well” from Takamatsu. Expert eyes can even distinguish Yayoi Kusama’s Yellow Pumpkin! (hint you can see the pier on the beach). One interesting detail (does the zoom “flatten” distances), the Mitsubishi Materials’ chimney seems right behind the hotel when it really is three kilometers behind.

 

Last experiment with the zoom, Megichō’s port on Megijima (much closer, only 3,700 away):

 

 

Pretty impressive, don’t you think? One can see people and even distinguish a few details that are only a few dozen centimeters big (you need to know them beforehand though).

 

 

However, I find both images a bit “shaky” but it may just come from the distortion caused by the heat above the water.

 

Next I experimented a bit with various settings.

Some results were not very exciting:

Shutter Speed: 1/250s, Focal Length: 25mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: F/8

 

Shutter Speed: 1/60s, Focal Length: 26mm, ISO: 200, Aperture: F/5.6

 

Some other experiments gave more interesting results:

 

Shutter Speed: 1/125s, Focal Length: 13mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: F/8

 

Shutter Speed: 1/4000s, Focal Length: 13mm, ISO: 500, Aperture: F/4

 

Shutter Speed: 1/40s, Focal Length: 13mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: F/8

 

The last experiment was to take people from afar.

I’m always a bit reluctant to take pictures of people when they’re not aware I’m doing it (privacy concerns and such), but this time it really was to test the camera.

It gave interesting results:

 

Some others, not so much:

 

It’s really not that easy to take impromptu pictures with this camera.

 

If you want to see the other “normal” pictures that I took, may I invite you to check them out on Ogijima, my blog devoted to Japan.

 

(also a quick note about the photos on this blog; most of the photos – especially the ones about France – date from the recent years, they won’t be taken with this camera, so it’ll still be old pictures with the old camera for the most part)

 

 

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