TRIEDfir TESTED

LONG TERM TESTS

Fujifilm X100S

PHIL HALL

I ‘ve had a pretty busy month I with the X100S. First off I was a trip to Sardinia and I made the conscious decision to travel light, shooting purely with the X100S.

We were fortunate with incredible blue skies every day (something that seems to have continued since getting home) and these kind of bright conditions just don’t lend themselves to shooting with a rear display. This is primarily down to the new 2.36m-dot EVF compared to the still respectable 1.44m-dot EVF on the X100. It’s lovely and clear to shoot with and I find I rarely shoot with the optical view-finder.

I also had fun with the panoramic modes, blasting off a series of still frames in a single sweep before the image is stitched into a beautiful panorama, while the rich colours outputted from the

XIOOS’s 16MP X-Trans CMOS sensor are beautifully detailed.

Shortly after getting back I had a chance to test the XIOOS in a different environ ment at a wedding, giving me a chance assess the AF in low-light conditions later on in the day.

The XlOO’s AF could be a little bit creaky at times, but the X-Trans CMOS II sensor in the XIOOS now features built-in n phase-detect AF pixels to provide the Fujifilm XIOOS with an

Intelligent Hybrid AF system. While it’s not quite the quickest out there, it’s definitely much quicker than the system found in the X100.

It’s quite simply a joy to use.

Bowens Gemini 400Rx Kit

MICHAEL ТОРНАМ

The more I’ve used the Gemini 400Rx lighting kit, the more I’ve thought there has to be an easier way of carrying it from the boot of my car to my shooting location. When the kit first arrived at the office I remember thinking that the 18.

In an ideal world it would be great if Bowens could give their customers the choice of which carry case they’d prefer — one with rolling wheels or one without. There could potentially be a supplementary cost for the case with wheels, but if

I were buying the Gemini 400Rx kit I’d choose the kit with wheels over the kit without in an instant. That said, I have devised a method of carrying the kit for longer durations using the case carry handles. The straps are just long enough to squeeze my arms through to wear the kit like a backpack, however there’s no padded protection so they quickly dig in to the shoulder. It would be great to see Bowens redesign the case in the future with padded straps to make it more comfortable for those who’d like to carry the kit in this way and distribute the weight across both shoulders. Other than the issues of transporting the kit, the lights, stands and remote trigger continue to work perfectly without fault.

Sony RX1

PAUL NUTTALL

My previous long-term test covered the incredibly impressive Sony Cyber-shot RXIOO — a compact which features a larger than average sensor combined with high-end optics to great effect. It’s now been surpassed with the arrival of the updated RXIOO Mk II — if you haven’t already done so, turn to page 32 to see what we think.

The RXIOO gave me a taste for high-end Sony compacts, so when considering what would be a good product for my next long-term test I couldn’t help but look to the very top of the Sony compact tree, namely the Sony RX1.

When it comes to advanced compacts, the Sony RX1 is as well specified as they come.3MP means the level of detail is exceptional.

This full frame sensor is paired with a high-quality Carl Zeiss 35mm fixed focal length lens complete with a maximum aperture of f/2, meaning that the optics are more than a match for that high-resolution sensor.

This high-end pairing of technologies doesn’t come cheap — with a price-tag well over £2,000, this easily makes the RX1 the most expensive compact available today.

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