My YouTube Channel

Faithful readers,

Fear not, I am still alive! A few months ago I started a YouTube channel, youtube.com/wflbc. I’m 19 videos into the world of filmmaking and I am hopelessly addicted.

It’s a lot of the same things you’re used to seeing here.

Camera stuff

Food stuff (trust me, there’s food in this one)

Charity stuff

Travel stuff

Everything WFLBC has always been about, now with 100% more Scott’s face! I mean, who isn’t on board with that?!

I would love it if you’d subscribe to my channel and/or give some of my videos a like. It helps the channel grow and pushes my videos up the search results. I will be posting here as well. Brief overviews of my weekly video with an imbedded link so you can watch them here if YouTube isn’t your jam.

Stay tuned for more content, I post 1 video per week. This week I went underwear shopping. Not the most glamourous video but it was fun to make.

Scott.

3 weeks with the Fujifilm X-E2s

January saw 3 new cameras and a new lens added to the Fujifilm X series lineup. All of them were given extensive coverage and praise by many outlets, all except one. The X-E2s is an updated version of the X-E2 where as everything else was essentially brand new. Sure, the X-Pro1 and X-Pro2 look very similar but they’re so far apart in terms of performance it’s hard to see the 2 as a simple upgrade.

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Fujifilm X-E2s/Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8

I owned the original X-E1 but decided to pick up an X-T10 instead of the X-E2 due to a few performance differences. The X-E2s gives you everything the X-T10 has in a sexy rangefinder style body. The grip, top plate, and buttons have been slightly restyled from the X-E2 and they are noticeable but not life changing upgrades. With the firmware 4.0 upgrade current X-E2 owners get all the internal upgrades (electronic shutter, better AF etc.) for free.

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If you’re a Fujiflim X series shooter you’ll feel right at home with the X-E2s. The image quality is on par with the rest of the lineup and its firmware brings usability up to the same level as well. The only thing I missed when switching between the X-T10 and the X-E2s is the front control dial/button. It’s useful when shooting in manual mode and when doing long exposure work when using lenses without a manual aperture ring. Is it a deal breaker? Not really. The X-E2s is slightly smaller than the X-T10 and that is important in some situations.

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Price wise the X-E2s sits in the middle of the pack (excluding the X-Pro2) at $899 body only. That’s the same as the X-T10, $100 more than the X-E2 which is on sale until March 31st and still readily available, and $450 less than the weather sealed X-T1. The entry level X-M1 ($549 body only) and X-A2 ($549 with the 16-55mm OIS II lens) occupy the bottom end of the lineup but are crazy bargains given the image quality they produce.

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All images shown here were shot with the X-E2s and various X Series lenses except the product shot, that was an LG G4. Out of camera jpegs are outstanding and the latest film simulations are all there minus X-Pro2 exclusive Acros black and white. These aren’t filters, they are simulations of classic film stock right down to the grain and they’re fantastic to shoot with.

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Should you buy an X-E2s over an X-T10 or an X-E2? That’s a difficult question to answer. The X-T10 offers slightly more functionality with its extra buttons and tilting screen. The X-E2 offers a lower price with identical specs. The X-E2s does improve the feel of the rear controls over the X-E2 and the grip is more comfortable. I would guess the X-E2 won’t be available for much longer so keep an eye out for price drops and clearance sales. If you like the rangefinder style body and can live with fewer buttons get the X-E2s. If you like the SLR-ish look of the X-T10 you won’t regret buying it either. It really is a question of style, not substance.

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Thanks to Fujifilm Canada for letting me test this camera and share my thoughts. I’ll be reviewing the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-1 instant photo printer in an upcoming post. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to see what I’m up to and what gear I’m using. You can subscribe to this blog or share it via the buttons below. Click some, you know you want to.

Scott.

Review – Fujinon XF 60mm f/2.4 Macro Lens

A few weeks ago Fujifilm Canada sent me a brand new X-E2s to review. As a current X Series owner I have a few lenses already but Fujifilm asked what lens I wanted to test with the new body. My first choice was the XF 35mm f/2 WR but all the test units were being used so they sent me my second choice, the XF 60mm f/2.4 Macro.

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Photo – Fujifilm Canada

 

Macro photography is something I know very little about but I love the results. A friend of mine does amazing work with insects, check out his work at macromundo.org. I did a bit of macro shooting along with some street photography and short telephoto shots. The f/2.4 aperture is fast, produces decent bokeh and the 90mm full frame equivalent works well for portraits. It’s a bit too long of a lens for everyday shooting though.

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X-E2s, 1/4000 sec, f/2.4, ISO 200

Handheld results are decent considering this lens doesn’t have image stabilization. Shooting in aperture priority yields the best results.

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X-E2s, 1/1000 sec, f/2.4, ISO 200

This lens gives very shallow depth of field for macro shots which is typical. Manual focusing using focus peaking works very well, auto-focus is a different story. This is one of the original XF lenses and it’s showing its age a bit. Auto-focus is slow in most situations, especially during macro shooting. In decent light it’s fast enough and in low light it does well if there’s some contrast to work with. If you need to shoot moving subjects you’ll want to shop around a bit.

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X-E2s, 1/100/sec, f/2.4. ISO 200

It’s  tack sharp, only falling off a bit at the edges between f/4 and f/2.8, and produces great colour in combination with Fujifilm’s unique X-trans sensor.

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X-E2s, 1/2500 sec, f/2.4, ISO 200

On the street this lens is great for picking out interesting details and lighting in architecture. Every shot in this post is a jpeg straight from the camera with no editing. The results are consistently good, something Fujifilm X Series shooters have come to expect from the entire range.

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X-E2s, 1/400 sec, f/10, ISO 400

As a telephoto lens the 90mm full frame equivalent focal length is a bit awkward. It never seems right, either a little too close or not close enough. It’s very sharp stopped down a bit and again the colours are great.

I’ll be sending this lens back to Fujifilm soon and I’ll definitely miss it. Macro shooting is a whole new world to me. I can see this lens making it into my lineup at some point. Thanks to Fujifilm Canada for sending it my way.

Scott.

LG G4 Review

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Photo – GSMArena

My month long test of the LG G4 Smartphone officially came to an end this morning as I packed up my demo phone and shipped it back to LG Canada. As a current LG G3 owner I was more than a little currious to see what was improved from a phone that was quite good to begin with. I won’t bore you with specs, you can find them on LG Canada’s website. What I will say is the Android 5.1 powered G4 is fast, powerful, has an amazing 4k screen, the battery lasts all day, and the cameras (both front and back) are outstanding.

Photo - Forbes.com
Photo – Forbes.com

The camera is a very important feature of any new smartphone and the G4 has a shooter with some interesting features for the hobbyist photographer. The rear sensor is 16mp and you get 8mp out front. The rear facing camera also has an f1.8 lens which means it’s good in low light. There’s a full manual mode along with 2 auto modes. The front camera has the same resolution as an iPhone’s rear camera so if you’re into selfies you’re going to be a happy camper. It has gesture control and different modes to light up your face and smooth your skin. A narcissist’s dream come true.

The biggest issue I have with the G3’s camera is the cheap plastic that covers the rear camera lens. It gets scratches on it that ruin low light shots with even the greatest of care and bulkiest of cases. Thankfully the G4 has replaced the plastic lens flare generator with hardened glass that showed no signs of scratching after a month in my pocket with no case.

I’m going to miss the G4, it’s quite a phone. Maybe LG Canada is looking for a product rep? I wouldn’t say no… Here are some sample images from my G4 test unit.

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Thanks to LG Canada for the opportunity to test this phone!

Scott.

Samsung goes after the only business Blackberry has left.

Remember Samsung’s “Next big thing” ads? You know, the ones showing hoards of Apple fans waiting in line for the latest and greatest iDevice while the guy with the Galaxy S3 was just there to hold a spot in line for his parents? Well Samsung is at it again but this time they’re going after Research In Motion an it’s beleaguered Blackberry devices in the Enterprise end of the market. The one saving grace that has kept Blackberry devices barely relevant is that they’re generally safer than other devices as far as encryption goes. This means you can share sensitive information on them with less fear of it falling into the wrong hands.

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Well Blackberry, say hello to Samsung’s new “SAFE Protocols”. As reported on MobileSyrup.com (my favourite Canadian mobile industry site) “SAFE is Samsung’s play for the Enterprise, bringing high-level encryption, Microsoft ActiveSync support, enhanced VPN capabilities and multiple vendor profiles so your Galaxy device is compatible with most MDM deployments”. What that means is you can now handle all of you sensitive business on a device that you can actually admit to your friends is yours. No more “This is just my work phone” lies, you get to use a real phone!!! The Galaxy S3 and Note 2 will be SAFE compatible.

Check out the awesome “Unicorn Apocalypse” ad Samsung made to announce their new SAFE Protocols.

Heston and Rochele, I wrote this for you 🙂

Scott.