Photofair @ Bangkok 2013 (Day 2 and 3)
Coffee... check. Comfy shoes... check. Notepad...check.
Greetings again, here again to deliver for you another couple of days of combined coverage.
Not so much of the fervour that I was greeted with on the first day but it's still got plenty of energy, I carefully guide myself through the early crowds and get straight to work.
Okay, Day 2 and 3.
I head off in the craziness of excited photographers, I have a hastily prepared lists of new equipment written on scraps of mulitcoloured paper. It is my aim to follow this list and not get sidetracked or taken away with the seemingly endless choice of cameras, lenses, tripods and models that are my "enemy of focus" in the arena.
Armed with tenacity... and the list, I begin looking for the "buzz" items. There are an abundance of new items around this show and I want to sample as many as I can. I head from stall to stall, fighting against the bay of other blood thirsty photographers to bring you this, a detail of the hot and the not so hot.
Sit back and enjoy my coverage of days 2 and 3.
I head off first to the Fujifilm section of the event. On day 1 the Fujifilm stall was very popular and I am not surprised. Fujifilm has brought out a number of new releases including the XQ1, the XE2, the X20 and the X100S. There is a constant crowd buzzing around the Fujifilm stall, and I got talking to a few people I've learned that the cameras are getting great attention here already.
And I can see why.
Picking up the entire team of Fuji cameras were a delight. The feel and the styling of them all were glorious. Having a touch of nostalgia from photography past and styling a touch of French chic.
What I like about this X series range from Fuji is that they somehow inspire you to get back to grassroots photography, you pick anything from the range up and it tells you to '"hit the streets" and get going'. With the sharp images appearing on the brilliant back LCD display, the camera is screaming at me take more pictures. And coupled with the styling and fancy pre-sets you'll be adding creativity to your photographs.
What I loved is the focus adjusting where you can view what is in focus by highlighting the sections on the rear display for you. I think this feature is ultra cool and is great for micro-adjustments.
One thing I didn't really like about this range was the tiny almost irrelevant viewfinders especially on the X20 and X100s. Another little "brain whibble" I have is the quirky on, off and stand-by on the XF1, where to power it on you have to turn the lens. But that aside, with the price, styling and results you get, Fuji is definitely on my Christmas wish list.
I have a fondness for Sony. When I was selling cameras I would often recommend Sony over other makers. I felt Sony gave an edge, something that you could play around with and learn about photography at the same time. You can take creative photographs that don't look, well... rubbish.
So of course I spent an age checking the Sony booth out. Even their main stall was quite petite compared to Canon and Nikon they had everything from 4K cameras, simple point and shoots to a fancy array of Sony and Zeiss lenses.
It's tricky to pick my favourites as there were so much to offer but the stand-outs for me are RX100ii, RX1 and the RX10.
Getting past the little tricky menu and button system these two cameras are amazing to use. Zeiss delivering the vibrant and ultra sharp images and the back display featuring an awesome live-view experience. I wish my vision had Sony live-view displays.
Both are super fun to use and like the Fuji they want to be used and experimented with. The RX1 and the RX100ii is all-round awesome with the Rx100ii's only fault is having the flaps for the side ports tricky to open and the RX10 having a naff top LCD display.
Sony are to some photographers a love or hate relationship. Step back from this thought and you'll see Sony delivering quality that is consistent and they want to try at least something new technologically. A perfect example of that is the QX10 and QX100. They are small, light and very easy to use.
The not so hot
I don't really like to point my finger at something and squeal like a adolescent at poor defensless things. Nor do I wish to just criticise something for not being great at everything or for something I'm not really looking for subjective to my taste.
But I did find a few things that didn't agree with me whatsoever.
The Ricoh GR. I was excited to try this, I'm glad I did but somehow I just didn't like the very plastic feel of it and the "fiddlyness" of it. I must have been using Sony stuff for so long that I found the GR's to be very confusing. Everything from the menu system to the point of where I was trying to zoom it was changing the ISO. Button layout was another one of my problems.
I found the GR to be wide. Unnaturally so. The back display isn't that big and there is space in the back to place two thumbs if you indeed did have two thumbs on your right hand.
I also found the camera quite slow and noisy when preparing to take a photograph. It decided to hunt quite often and didn't seem enthusiastic to "lock on". When it did lock on the resulting pictures were... actually very good. Colour was rich, vibrant and the focus was bang on.
It does seem harsh criticising the camera that gives result that are top-notch but I couldn't forget the fact that I somehow dis-like everything else about it.
See you all again soon
Well that's it for today folks. I will be back to cover the final two days of Bangkok PhotoFair 2013 very soon.
I am very interested to hear your views and comments about my coverage. There is so much to talk about here that it's difficult to sum up everything here without writing an grand magnus opus.
In the next post I'll be talking about Nikon, Olympus and Panasonic to name a few. I hope you stay tuned!