Category: Fuji

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The Duck Walk

A time not so long ago, Fuji’s single-lens compact camera series delighted photographers who wanted something smaller and capable—with creative extras, like the hybrid digital-optical viewfinder or fun film simulations.

Then TikTokers and Instagramers went, ah, quackers for retro-styling and the image—not that’s produced by the device but how they look carrying it. Suddenly, the X100V was in hot demand and available nowhere. Fuji’s answer to that problem was development of the X100VI, which started shipping two months ago.

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You Can Be Too Popular

If buzz is the measure of success, Fujifilm X100VI is camera of the year. Reviewers swoon, sales soar, and an order backlog means some people will wait until summer to get one—if not longer. The fixed-lens compact’s predecessor has been hard to come by for ages, in part because of adoption and hype by social media influencers.

The same crowd is gaga for the sixth shooter in the series. For the record, I wouldn’t buy one—and content creator crazies rank as my top reason. I love this series of cameras and owned several of them, starting with the original, X100, back in the ancient year of 2011. I also acquired later variants X100T and X100F. But something about the thing being a fad—and Fuji catering to the clamoring mob—kills the allure.

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Uglydoll to the Stars

For no particular reason, we spend another day looking back on San Diego Comic-Con 2015, where Star Trek-themed Uglydolls went where no plushie has gone before—sold out, if I rightly recall, before the convention ended.

In the Featured Image, Power Ice-Bat rises above a sea of OX. The companion capture presents Ice-Bat as Scotty—and the Red Shirt who defied the odds episode after episode during the three seasons. Red Shirt has become a euphemism for a pulp-media character who is killed soon after his or her introduction. On Star Trek the Original Series, they dressed in a specific color.

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When Comic-Con was Fun

San Diego Comic-Con is still six months away (July 25-28). Late last year, I missed the first chance for a 2024 pass and skipped the second opportunity. My attendance days long ago ended when the convention chose not to renew my press credentials (and when I was still a working journalist). Subsequently, I wasn’t (supposedly) randomly chosen to purchase a pass.

On this fine Thursday evening, for no particular reason, let’s peek at what was SDCC before the culturally woke put to sleep my interests in participating. The Con is gone, or at least as I remember it.

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Don’t Be Angry

San Diego Comic-Con commences with Preview Night, on July 19, 2023. Early buzz isn’t so much about what attendees will see but what they won’t. The Writer’s Guild of America is on strike and could be joined by SAG-AFTRA, which represents 160,000 actors, as early as tomorrow.

In the midst of the mayhem, Hollywood studios suddenly are pulling presence from this year’s Con. The infamous Hall H, where some of the best panels and previews take place, is suddenly an unpopular presentation venue. Pick any number of reasons, among them: Nobody to be on stage for fans to gawk at; picketers parading placards outside the convention center.

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Another Radio Rig

I most likely shot the Featured Image when offering the radio for sale 10 years ago. To my surprise, Craigslist no longer lists my full history of posts, which is a shocking discovery. I see three total—two for 2022 and one for 2020. Where are the rest?

Fortunately, my email exchanges are diligently archived, which confirms the date. I used Fujifilm X-E1 to shoot the Grundig Satellit 750 on Dec. 22, 2013. Someone bought the world band receiver on Jan. 5, 2014. I do miss the radio, but it was large for my office space at the time.

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My Cat Wants to Know: What’s Your Problem with DPReview, Amazon?

Amazon’s decision to shutter (absolutely no pun intended) photography site DPReview demonstrates why I recommend that creators own their content whenever possible. Speaking from personal experience, I bleed for the hardworking editors, reviewers, and writers (among other staffers) whose body of work may soon be whisked away.

Seven years ago, I discovered that during a publishing system upgrade, CNET expunged my byline from my thousands of stories written for the site. In a separate incident, the analyst firm I had worked for merged with another and all my online musings vanished. What I consider to be the most valuable, posted to the Apple Watch and Microsoft Watch blogs between 2006-09, disappeared from the web in 2010. You wouldn’t know I had written anything professionally online for the 10 years 1999-2009. All was deleted when publishers decided to scrub the sites (or in the case of CNET modernize).

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Keeping things simple tonight, and a bit more cheerful, I share something sweet and silly. Neko hides in one of two blankets that Annie and I received following our blessed marriage ceremony in Korea on Jan. 12, 1989. I can’t find the original file; this comes from a Google Photos backup.

I used Fujifilm X-E1 to capture the Featured Image, on Nov. 24, 2013. Vitals: f/4, ISO 3200, 1/28 sec, 55mm; 4:32 p.m. PST. This camera, like its successors, is greatly underrated. Detail here is sharp, even at higher ISO.

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The Last Resort

A dozen years later, I still marvel at the retro-styled camera that launched Fujifilm into the digital mirrorless era. The X100 became an instant classic, with its fixed lens, leaf shutter, large sensor (for the time), dual digital and optical viewfinders, manual controls, and rangefinder-likeness (with respect to design). Four iterations to date—and removal of FinePix branding after the first generation—no other shooter in the series quite matches the magic and novelty of the original. Using the X100 was like that first love; none other is quite as exciting, or as intoxicating.

The photos hold up, too, as I’d like to think that the Featured Image indicates. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 200, 1/640 sec, 23mm (35mm film equivalent); 4:02 p.m. PDT, May 29, 2011.

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Warty Witch Remembers

Seven years ago today, I posted a lengthy, revised review of the Nexus 9 tablet. In 2022, I use an 11-inch iPad Pro M1. That’s the state of my current computing life, which is matched by iPhone 13 Pro and 16.2-inch MacBook Pro. Not long ago, I was all-in with Google devices—as recently as 2019. But I eventually bit into the bitter fruit that is Apple, partially because Big G introduced excellent gear that later would be abandoned. Also, I saw increasing need not to be bound to constant Internet access.

That said, I had some satisfying digital lifestyle days using Chromebook Pixel and LS successor, among other Google devices. Pixel C remains one of my all-time favorite tablets, in part for the crisp display and Android utility. I still have one in the closet, languishing; four or five Android versions ago, support stopped. I also still own Pixel 2 XL, which similarly can’t be updated.

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No Vision

New Vision Christian Fellowship closed its University Heights building in May 2019, long after selling the property to a developer for as much as $34 million (I couldn’t confirm the amount). If my observation of apparent sparse attendance—except for free food days—indicates anything, the church hadn’t thrived for some time in the location. Proceeds from the sale created opportunity for relocation (Orange Avenue in City Heights) and funds to expand evangelical work.

But the departure nevertheless left a hole in the heart of the San Diego neighborhood, which would be filled with a towering edifice currently under construction. A modest religious institution will be replaced by a towering cathedral for materialistic worshippers.