Monday, 9 February 2015

New Toy

Finally decided on a new camera and took delivery of a Fujifilm X-S1 superzoom bridge camera late last week :

I'd been pondering over which camera to purchase for months, initially wanting the Canon SX-50 which has proved very popular among folks I know. But as my main interest is taking pictures of dragonflies, closer scrutiny revealed the macro isn't as good as I hoped it would be, so I ended up searching the specs and reviews of about 50 different bridge cameras.
I wanted a superzoom with a better than average macro and after a lot of studious eliminations (though almost tripped up on another Panasonic 'til I realised it didn't have a viewfinder, not much use for photographing outside in the sunshine) and eventually settled for the X-S1 which ticked just about every box; 26x Zoom, Macro and SuperMacro function, viewfinder, Manual zoom, a better than average focus sensor and both auto and manual settings (for when I learn a bit more about it). Only downer seemed to be the bulk and weight, but now I have it that's no big deal.

Couldn't wait to get started but having been victim of a severe lurgy for three days I could only manage a few shots of the back garden over the weekend, testing out the superzoom potential.
And considering the overcast conditions, distance and being taken through double-glazing they didn't turn out too bad.

Blackbird at 26x on the side hedge (about 25 feet away) 

Carrion Crow at 26x about 50 yards away

Blue tit at 26x at bottom of garden 30ft away
Had the day been a bit brighter I'm sure they would have turned out better, but I was pleased with the sharpness in the conditions considering they were hand-held..
Feeling better today and nice and bright conditions I managed an hour or so at Far Pasture to give it its first field test, but as I bumped in to Roly who I hadn't seen since last October I spent more time chatting than snapping. Plenty of birds around though so I did get a few opportunities.

Black-headed gulls at far end of pond

Moorhen caught on the move

Coal tit eyeing up lunch

Treecreeper, not bad for the only shot of him I managed to get

Willow Tit
Dunnock in Close-up
These were all taken at full zoom hand-held so not too much camera shake considering, the light was very good and the colours are really natural, so well pleased with the potential. Obviously a monopod or some kind of support would be an advantage, but early signs are good, and I didn't really notice the bulk or weight of the camera.

Last test back at home when I decided to test the supermacro on some damselfly exuviae I collected last year :

Can't remember which species these were, one of the blues I'm sure, but must say I'm more than happy with these test results all taken on auto, so a bit of fine tuning and I'll be like David Bailey :-)

Roll on summer, but this time I'll make sure the camera stays around my neck at all times while I'm around water, don't want another Stargategate :-O 


  1. ....and say bye bye to Krappy Kodak. You'll need to master the settings especially for your macro as they are best focused manually and depth of field will need exploring. Happy snapping !

    1. Cheers John, I can tell by first results its a better class of camera than I'm used to, now I just have to upgrade the settings on the photographer :-)