On Saturday we went to The Photography Show at The NEC in Birmingham, to check out what was out there and to have a touchy feely look at a couple of Fuji products that we were interested in adding to our kit. A bit like a kid at Christmas, I was bursting with excitement but to prolong the thrill, I insisted that before we even went near the Fuji stand we had a wander around the show to see what was what. We were armed with our Fuji X-E1 matched to the 35mm 1.4 Fuji lens and on our travels saw a few photo opportunities to test the indoor high iso capabilities of our kit. Naturally it did not disappoint and Lady Peanut quickly grabbed a shot of me as I stood before a poster of a rather sexy lady. I can look not too shabby after a shed load of post processing, so I can live with her cheeky shot!
Next up we spotted a couple of colourful models on the Hasselblad stand and the Fuji X-E1 duly performed to get a couple of vivacious shots of said models.
Our wanderings took us around some of the smaller stands and a lot of stands that were producing photo books and prints and acrylic works of art for the wall etc. The thing that grabbed our attention was a few metallic/ aluminium wall hangings from ThePrintFoundry.co.uk, which they refer to as aluminescent prints. These are described on their website as follows, “A Stunning product with real WOW factor! The aluminium acts as the white point within the image and shines through the print creating a glowing effect. Images are produced on a special clear photographic film and bonded directly to a high-grade 2mm aluminium sheet, creating the stunning metallic effect with a high gloss finish.” I agree with every word, they looked amazing and would look fantastic in any contemporary styled room. Think New York Loft and you have it.
Next we found a pretty model standing with a rather handsome MG motor car, and she kindly smiled for us as we grabbed a few shots.
After this Lady Peanut spotted a glorious flower display near the Nikon stand and grabbed a lovely shot of it. Meanwhile I was gaping at a chap talking about Nikon’s latest retro baby. To be honest, I am not sure what it was, all I could think was how massive it was in his hands, and how that was just the polar opposite of what attracted me to Fuji – the compactness and lightness of the kit!
Finally though, after a few circuits of the show and watching a tempting lecture or two from the Perfect Suite guys, we could hold back no longer and went to the Fuji stand. I talked to one of the Fuji guys, asking about the X-M1, which was the baby that was interesting us and he quickly highlighted the show offer – an X-M1 body with 18-50 kit lens and the 50 -230mm zoom, plus a battery and a spare battery and a half leather case all for the bundle price of £419. I was James Bond shaken and stirred and we investigated the camera some more.
First touch then as it is in my hands and I check out the swivel back display. We were attracted to this camera as a second camera to work alongside our X-E1 because the swivel back display would help us with hip shooting for street photography and also allow us to get the camera in those low positions that we often seek but our tired old legs no longer allow us to bend down and find! Also, the wi-fi capability would be great for connecting to our iPad and allowing us to blog and upload in the field.
A first test shot and by now there was no going back. This was a gorgeous bit of kit. Ok no lovely EVF, but the image quality was the same and while the controls are very main stream and perhaps aimed at the amateur photographer, or the point and shoot consumer, nonetheless, you can take full control of this camera, albeit that access to certain things is not quite as instant as on the X-E1. I put the 50-230mm lens on the body and grabbed a few shots with that. We both noticed how smaller and lighter it was compared to our Canon 400D with a Sigma 70-300 lens on it, and while the aperture levels are not quite what we wanted, the OIS and high ISO capability softened the blow of this and we were satisfied that this lens would give us the shots we wanted out in the field. So there you have it, we were pole-axed, with no retreat, the wallet was stripped bare and we are now pleased to say we have added the Fuji X-M1 and the XC50-230mm zoom lens to our kit bag.
Yep it was a fun day for us at the Photography show.