Testing DJI Ronin with Sony FS700 slow motion (VIDEO)

This last weekend we attended the Hong Kong Amateur Athletics Association (HKAAA) event at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground to test out some slow motion filming with the Sony FS700 and the DJI Ronin steadicam rig. Here is a short video showing the look and specifically how the smooth camera moves are aided by the DJI Ronin when shooting fast moving events.

F8 Photography provides commercial videography and photography all over Asia.

Follow us on facebook at our public page: www.facebook.com/garytysonphotographer

Interview with Eric Kim on fear, books and why? (VIDEO)

Recently Eric Kim and I ran a street projects workshop in Hong Kong (my blog review of that workshop can be found here). After the workshop finished we had a few days before Eric departed for his next workshops in Australia so I took the time to get him in the studio and my aim was to produce a short but slightly more serious interview with him to help him out and let people see a bit more depth.

In this piece, Eric talks about his fears when shooting street, some highly recommended books and reminds all photographers to ask yourself why do you shoot? Something I ask everyone I teach the moment I meet them...

Gary Tyson is a former British Army Photographer/videographer now based in Asia, shooting a variety of projects ranging from commercial to sports photography, corporate, travel an event videos, as well as being an avid street shooter wherever he goes.

His company F8 Photography also runs travel and street photography workshops all over Asia, specialising in Cambodia, India and now expanding in Japan and hopefully soon in Mongolia, Burma and Vietnam also.

For more information about Gary or F8 Photography please see our links below to public facebook page and website.

Gary's public facebook page

F8 Photography main website

F8 & Eric Kim Street 'projects' workshop review - Aug 2014

Last weekend myself and Eric Kim ran a workshop here in Hong Kong.  We had a nice group of mixed abilities from all over Asia and Europe, clients from Macau, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam and even as far away as Budapest in Hungary came to Hong Kong to spend the weekend shooting with our group and sharing ideas and learning some new tips and tricks. Eric introducing himself at the start of the workshop.

Winnie Ho shot this vibrant coloured image as part of her 'Through The Window' project.

The focus of this workshop was 'working on projects', so it was slightly more advanced that some of the basic street shooting style workshops, requiring a different approach to shooting on the streets.  Some may find it easier being given a project to focus on, some find it harder to focus on 'telling a story' with a short sequence and tighter edit of images.  Whichever way you approach it, for sure it will help develop visualisation skills for all photographers looking for a slightly different approach to their work.

Mainlander shopping spree, Hong Kong

End of first night...much beer is needed to soften the blows of the critiques :-)

The first evening of the workshop was spent reviewing clients existing portfolios that they were asked to bring along for critique.  This is always a very valuable part of the workshop as it enables everyone to get to know each other, let down their barriers and showcase their current work.  It also helps us to figure out which direction we think they may like to try next and after the workshop finishes to see how they have moved their benchmark up a level or two.

Sam and Oscar comparing their toys out on the streets.

The 2nd day is spent with various presentations in the morning (after lots of coffee and snacks), sharing some examples of our own projects and talking thoroughly as a group about everything that has been showcased that morning.  After lunch we discuss potential ideas for projects with the group, share them all and let the clients pick 2 projects to work on over the rest of the weekend before their final presentations.  This method proved to work very well, and the discussions brought out some great ideas for people to try.


A nice 'selfie' taken by Annie Gallivan as part of her project 'Shadow Play'.

Then, the group departed off, either alone, in pairs or under guidance from us where requested, to explore deep into Kowloon and Hong Kong Island for the rest of Saturday and Sunday morning, exploring their ideas, sharing feedback over dinner and fine tuning their visions before meeting back at the workshop base for Sunday lunch and to start the process of selection, editing and presentation.

smokers óscar f.-3

Sam checks his negatives on the 2nd evening after a day shooting.

Geoff has his contact sheets proofed by a friend at dinner.

People always underestimate the importance of being a strong self-editor, something that some people struggle with, so we used some techniques that are really useful in Lightroom to help the visual process, helping the group break down their portfolios to a very tight edit by the end of the day.

Geoffrey Chen, shooting on film for his 'Lust' project.

Final presentations were made individually, allowing each client to showcase their work and get up in front of a group and practice their presentation skills.

We had group  discussions over the presentations, and gave our final thoughts to the clients.

Carolyn Kang - Up close and personal with her 'Portraits' project.

To finalise the workshop we have an excellent presentation from our good friend Jonathan Van Smit (flickr link), an acclaimed street shooter based in Hong Kong, well known amongst our community for his black and white close up street shooting in Kowloon.  Jonathan has been a guest speaker at many of our workshops and always inspires others with his dedication, drive and passion for what he is doing.  He has recently departed on a personal project in Israel, and we wish him the best of luck with that project and stay safe!!!  More of Jonathan's work can be seen here.

Alex Haslam's contrasty black and white images were part of his 'Hidden Faces' project.

All said and done, the workshop was a great success, all client feedback has been positive, and I for one have seen some large improvements in portfolios of many of the clients as I have spent a lot of time with most of them before and am quite familiar with their work.

Alex explores the issues related to exposure when shooting with lens cap on...sorry mate, couldn't resist hehe.

Laszlo Szigeti - for his 'Reflections' project.

Below I would like to share some more images from the workshop, bearing in mind the clients only had less than 24 hours to produce their sets of images, these are some of the individual images, tagged with the name of their project to give context.


Sam Lok, shooting on film for his 'Layers and Triangles' project.

Michelle Leung focussed her project around "Sham Shui Po'.

Harriet Pollard's project focussed on 'First Impressions', having just arrived from India a few weeks beforehand.

Jonathan Nguyen's project 'Old People' had a good look with his processing.


Great work everyone, looking forward to the next workshops already.

F8 Photography runs workshops all over Asia, including travel photography in Cambodia, Japan and India all coming up in late 2014, please check out our website for more details on how to sign up for those, or check our blog for loads of reviews, slideshows and feedback from clients who have attended previous F8 Photography workshops around Asia.

F8 Photography also provides commercial photography and videography services, please see our main website for that or check out Gary's public page on Facebook to stay up to date with our latest images and what we are up to.

Thanks for all the support and keep shooting.

F8 launches new brand - Hong Kong Slow Motion (VIDEO)

We have been working secretly over the last few weeks on our new brand 'hongkongslomo' with which we promise to deliver premium service slow motion booths for all types of events in Hong Kong and around Asia Pacific.

If you or any of your friends have an event that you feel this would work at, please get in touch, its perfect for weddings, private events, corporate functions or any kind of event where people are having FUN!

Here is the link to our website for this service: www.hongkongslomo.com

Here is the link to the public facebook page: www.facebook.com/hongkongslomo (please check it out and like us and share it with the hashtag #hongkongslomo

And here is the latest video that we shoot with 9dragonsfitness last weekend at their event in Tung Chung.



Fuji X-T1 'wet review' at Songkran in Hong Kong

We are now about 3 weeks into our shooting experience with the Fuji X-T1 and a new challenge arose....water! Water rains down from every angle soaking everyone.

Now we all know the Fuji X-T1 is 'weather resistant'...but what does that really mean?  Quite honestly, I have no idea, is it waterproof, shower proof, dust proof....in my experience weather sealing is temperamental at best, some cameras are almost waterproof, others fail after one drop of rain goes into the top of the shutter (yes, exactly that happened to my first M9 much to my non-amusement).

Just before I explain more, I would like any readers specifically looking for X-T1 information to be aware we have recently written a fairly comprehensive review on the Fuji X-T1 camera that we have been shooting around Asia for the past few weeks, a link to that blog post can be found at this link, that will also be repeated at the end of this post for reference

Please note: All images in this blog post are unprocessed JPEGS direct from camera, which was set on 'Velvia' mode as I remember, as many people are asking to see direct from camera images.

Kids get ready for battle at the Songkran Festival.

The only people I saw that afternoon that managed to keep dry!

So, I was invited after a few beers by some friends to accompany them to the Thai New Year festival in Kowloon City Hong Kong, to see the 'Songkran' festival, or water festival as some may know it.  A detailed wikidpedia description of this event can be seen at this link.

I hadn't been before to this event, neither in Thailand nor Hong Kong and had no idea what to expect....I thought it would be a low key event with a bit of water being thrown and I didn't actually consider that it may be a camera destroying trip.....was it?...You'lll have to read on to find out....haha.

Preparing myself for the event

I had a hangover, so my preparations were quite simple....drink a fresh coconut on arrival.  Check, thats my prep done.  I was quickly adorned with some flower necklace and some talc splattered on my face and a few bottles of waters shoved down my back....right...i was quickly sober, and ready for action!

Me doing my pre-shoot preparation - 1 x coconut.

Weather proofing the camera....

Also, my technical preparation for this event was somewhat lacking, i opted for the Mark 1 plastic bag approach, zip lock food bag, with a small hole torn in the front to poke the lens through, the bag was just resting over the lens.  I figured the camera was going to get trashed so there wasn't much I could do with what I had to hand...it was a bit of a gamble with the lenses as they are definately not weather sealed and I was planning on using at least 3 of them (14mm, 23mm and 56mm), all of which are expensive lenses....I'm quite sure my hangover was forcing me to make a careless decision not to waterproof cover the lenses better, but I was more interested in getting in amongst the action and getting some shots to be honest, that's usually the way with me.

My elaborate waterproofing system...hmmm

I could already see some water fights going on close-by to where I was, with no idea of the mass of people that was around the corner all ready to soak me....I could see little troops of people with water guns marching towards a gathering point...it kinda reminded me of deploying with a camera in the Army (there were far less coconuts or wet-tshirt wearing women in Basra though), this was definitely going to be much more fun.

A lot of Thai women were around the area, covering everyone in talc.

The troops go marching on....

Never seen so many smiling faces in Hong Kong...

Theres a reason they call Thailand 'Land of Smiles...' Thai's love to be happy.

It wasn't long before I was drenched in water from passers by and locals preparing for the event, somebody threw some flowers round my neck, covered my face in talc and already the camera was covered in water.  I was starting to wonder if this was a good idea...lol.

Some local Thai ladies enjoyed soaking me...and my camera!

Covered in talc and water, having a great day!

"If your photographs aren't good enough, you're not close enough" - Quote by Robert Capa (acclaimed war photographer)

So I saw a rather large problem with photographing this event in my usual style....basically I knew to get the type of images I wanted, I would have to work at very wide angles (typically 21mm, 28mm range for full frame camera), I know for a fact to get the most dynamic images I need to be in close.  The problem with that is for this event there was no shortage of people (literally thousands of them) with water guns, hosepipes, buckets full of ice water or any other water distributing device that had no mission other than to soak you as you came close....so I was a little concerned about the new Fuji X-T1 and more specifically the lenses (that are NOT weather sealed).

Anyway, here's a selection of images taken right in the middle of the action at the main parade event at the start of the festival in Kowloon City, these are all taken on either 14mm, 23mm or 56mm lenses from Fuji, are direct from camera JPEGs and i was just using my tshirt (what was left of it) to try and wipe off water blobs on the front of the lens, so any out of focus blobs are caused by the front elements being covered in water.

Let the party begin...

I'm loving the Fuji colour....

Its Party time...


The crowd was much bigger than I had anticipated.

Little kids snuck up to pour water into the camera....yeah thanks for that...lol!

Everyone was having lots of fun.

Shoot wide, shoot close, immerse yourself...

The crowd was getting crazy.

After the main event in the square the crowd started to move en-masse around the streets of Kowloon City, getting continuoulsy soaked by all manner of methods from every possible direction.  I took a time out for 2 minutes to check the camera, I realised at this point that when I had been wiping down the camera rigorously with my t-shirt I had inadvertently somehow switched off RAW, and was only shooting JPEGS....I figured this wouldn't matter too much and actually made this blog post easier, as I just took the files directly from lightroom to here without processing them at all.  I found as the afternoon went on, and with backlit situations around some of the streets, the RAW files would have been more useful as there would have been more opportunity to pull back highlights in some situations, but these JPEGS are more than acceptable in my view.  Here's some more shots as the parade moved around the streets.

Party people continue to soak each other.

Backlight...great for water shots.

More backlit situations, camera metered well.

we were sprayed from apartments above also.

water, water, everywhere.

So, as the parade was drawing to a close, I checked out the camera again, it was looking  worse than it was, as the X-T1 was covered in lumps of talc, lots of water and the bag I had put over the lens was ripped to shreds.....however, it appeared to be still working normally.  I was worried about the lenses, I had been changing lenses throughout the 2 hours I had been there, so there was a fear that water had got inside (although I was very careful when changing lenses, ensuring I was well protected from any flying water), but nevertheless...fingers crossed, everything seemed fine so far.  The last street I just took a few more images of a little girl that was fast becoming a star attraction as she was standing on her Dad's shoulders dressed in a mini-firemans outfit, throwing buckets of water at the police that were trying to disperse the crowds....highly entertaining :-)

Even the police got a good soaking.

The little star of the show.

Here are a few closeup shots I took of the camera just so you can see it was quite covered in talc, water and condensation had built up inside the viewfinder....I have lost one or two cameras to water damage before, so was slightly concerned, but nevertheless The Fuji X-T1 stood well up to the challenge of this event, and event without any weather sealed lens, it did a great job, close up, soaking wet, in some harsh light, really I couldn't have asked a camera to do any more than it did.

Weather sealed...

Condensation or water inside the viewfinder...oops.

Sealed from talcum powder? Seems to be...


My conclusion is simple, the Fuji X-T1 yet again has impressed me with its ability to shoot in a fast paced, harsh condition event.  I definately couldn't shoot my Leica cameras here due to weather sealing not being up to par, and basically they are much slower, more methodical cameras for me.

I took the camera home afterwards, gave everything a good wipe down with a damp cloth then dried it off.  Everything is working perfectly (Now 4 days later...and still fine), not gritiness when turning dials, no problems with lenses or condensation, its as good as new, so for sure its passed it weather sealing test for me!

I could have easily used my 5D Mark III I'm sure, but I like to keep that big boy wrapped up at the office for commercial projects only, I don't use any of my Canon gear for my personal shooting or photography workshops abroad, thats just for commercial use, big cameras impress clients for some reason, so we keep the big stuff for that ;-)

Again, as per my original blog post which is linked here as full review of the Fuji X-T1, I can only really say good things about it, if you are looking to buy in to the Fuji system, now is the time, this is easily their best yet, well done Fuji, finally its hit the nail on the head for this format.

Keep in Touch with us

I have a public facebook page if you would like to stay in touch and see regular updates of my images, that can be seen here.  Please 'Like' the page to get regular updates.

If you wish to find out more about my photography business 'F8 Photography' please check out our website, we regularly run photography workshop in Hong Kong, Cambodia and India currently and have been doing this for several years and those events can be seen under the 'workshops' tab at our website.

There is also a link at the top left of this blog post to subscribe to our blog updates if you wish.

We also do commercial photography and videography all over Asia, please keep in touch and we hope to see you around Hong Kong or somewhere else on our adventures.

After spending 18 years in the British Army, Gary left the Army in 2007 after serving with the Combat Camera Teams all over the world and moved to Asia to set up F8 Photography from which he now conducts all his photography endeavours.  You will NEVER see Gary anywhere without a camera....

Thanks for reading.

Heres the link again for reference to my original posting on the review of the Fuji X-T1 camera.  Please share both of these links and spread the word.

Hometime for the partygoers.

Fuji X-T1 review in Hong Kong, Korea & Cambodia

Update (17th April 2014): we have now written a second review on the Fuji X-T1, specifically related to weather sealing when shooting the Thai New Year water festival...you can see that here at this link. I don’t write many camera reviews, so I apologise in advance if I miss out key features or concerns people have with this camera.  My aim here is to given my honest opinions about the things I have discovered about this system in the last 3 weeks using it, this is definitely not a technical review.

I travel a great deal with my photography business around Asia and I feel this qualifies me to have an opinion that may be useful to others who are considering this system as a travel rig.  I feel camera is worthy of mention for many reasons, hence I’m writing this first thoughts style ‘review’.

For those that can't be bothered to read my blurb and just want to cut to a quick conclusion, I'll say this straight out: The camera is fantastic in almost every sense, great image quality, very user friendly experience, best EVF by far, autofocus can still be a little laggy in low light, but apart from that, there ain't much wrong with it.  Now first here's my first few images shot with this camera, followed by my review:

One of the first images I shot on the X-T1 with the 56mm.


X-T1 on day 1 of my trial with it.


Not full frame...but certainly no problem going wide with the 14mm.


I love the look of the camera, its the perfect size for a travel camera for me, un-obtrusive, light, weather sealed (unfortunately none of the current lenses are as at April 2014 as far as I know), but at least I can shoot it in the rain and not worry too much...

The finish of the camera is great, feels like knurled leather, so its 'grippy' when holding it, something I didnt like about the Sony A7, which felt almost 'slippy' in my hand due to its glossy finish.  This feels better to me, similar to the Ricoh GR in the sense that it won't slip out of your hand.  It also has a good built in grip (this can be improved with the addition of either the battery grip or standard grip, both optional accessories from Fuji.

The only thing I don't like so far about the body is the SD card door, it seems to open itself quite often, loose fitting design, and is very flimsy in quality, feels like that will be soon snapped off the way i use my cameras....so thats a bit of a failing in my view...they've worked so hard to get most things very very right, then put on a flimsy SD card door that you open and close every time you shoot to get to the card, not a dealbreaker, just a little annoying, so much effort into other areas, why not make this stronger and more durable...


Its already well documented that the lenses from the Fuji X-Series are all pretty damn good, I would go as far as to say most of them that I have used are SPECTACULAR.  The lenses I am using on this system are 14mm, 18mm, 23mm, 35mm and 56mm equivalent to roughly 21mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm.  That covers everything I would ever need.  My favourites so far are the 14mm for close up street photography, the 18mm for 'normal' street, the 23mm for environmental portraits, the 35mm for general photography and the 56mm for portraiture and isolating subjects in the street....As you can tell from that statment which started as 'my favourites so far'....ALL of them are my favourites, I have enjoyed using each and every one of them for my own reasons and I will post some images here below sampling each lens which should help clarify how they fit into my compositional eye differently each time.

14mm.  With this 21mm view, perfect for street shooting.

18mm.  Also great for close up shooting.

23mm. Great environmental portrait lens.

35mm.  50mm equivalent, great general purpose lens.

56mm.  Fuji's latest epic portrait lens.


If you just want to keep it very simple, I would say the 35mm 1.4 (equivalent to 50mm) is a great start off lens for general purpose usage if you don't usually get very close to your subjects (by close i mean touching close..lol)....the 18mm is also great and very small (these 2 are also the cheapest of the lot, so not a bad starting point for a portrait lens and a wider street use lens), that said, the 56mm is sublime, probably the best lens I have ever used for portraiture, especially on a 'non full frame rig', amazing quality in every sense, the 14mm is unmissable if you are wide angle street shooter (with its clutch allowing you to quickly manual focus also)...and the 23mm (35mm equivalent, is great, although larger and heavier, probably that would be my choice if someone said you could only have 1 lens.

23mm. Great for environmental portraits...


23. Also great for wider street shots, the best all purpose lens perhaps...


I am not a massive fan of shooting JPEGS, I like RAW. I was able to get hold of a pre-release version of Adobe Lightroom 5.4 which supports the Fuji RAW files including allowing you to use the camera profiles (Astia, Provia, Velvia, Pro Neg, etc, etc) directly onto your RAW files.  This was a very very cool addition to the RAW workflow.  Rumour has it that LR 5.4 also has a different way of dealing with the Fuji RAW files in the sense that they are better quality than previously available in Lightroom.  I think this is true, before I found Fuji files to look 'smudgy', I don't see that with these files, they are very very very good, and I haven't once looked at anything below ISO3200 and thought 'its nowhere near as good as my Leica', its all good, so anyone looking at this camera worried about whether the IQ is good enough, my advice is: Yes, it most certainly is good enough...For example, I made 15 A3+ prints the other day, 8 from the Fuji XT1, the other 5 from my Leica M240, i showed 4 different professional photographers the images, they all guessed wrong as to which cameras produced which files, testament to the Fuji, once a file is shot on a good lens and processed, its not so easy to tell them apart from higher end cameras, in fact, I would say extremely difficult...apart from the fact that the Fuji colour is better than any other camera on the market....which brings us onto the next point...

Image quality in low light is excellent.  The 56mm lens excels every time.

direct from RAW, mixed light, ISO2500, 56mm, meter had no issues.



direct from camera RAW (Velvia).


direct from camera RAW (Standard Fuji B&W)


Spectacular, I have shot this camera in Hong Kong in artificial light, same in Korea, then in Cambodia in harsh light and amazing sunsets, and I can honestly say, I can't remember having even once touched the custom white balance tool in Lightroom to fix white balance, its delivered literally perfect white balance in every situation...something I have become quite unfamiliar with using Leica cameras in recent years, the Fuji is simply astounding at getting white balance and colour bang on, straight out of the box.  That paired with the ability to use the Fuji colour profiles for Velvia, Astia, Pro Neg, etc is really a very, very cool thing in my view, post processing has never been so easy for the colour files.

Metering and colour under articial light mixed with daylight.  NO problems.

Again, Fuji colours direct from RAW under mixed artificial light...no issues whatsoever, never need to adjust.


accurate colour in low light - easy work for the Fuji X-T1.

direct from camera RAW with Velvia mode.56mm. Direct from camera RAW with Velvia mode for strong vibrant colours throughout.


metering is easy for the X-T1, accurate under all sorts of light.

23mm. Direct from RAW with Astia for a softer colour look.23mm. Direct from RAW with Astia for a softer more natural colour look.

56mm.  Direct from RAW with Pro Neg Std profile, good for portraits.

23mm. Direct from RAW with Fuji BW preset.

even in very mixed light (daylight,car headlights,street lights), it balanced it well.

Colours were accurate to the scene in very mixed artificial light.


I've been very happy with my black and white results from this camera, I'm not a big fan of the custom profiles in this regard (B&W red filter, Green filter and Yellow filter), simply because I prefer to process my files much more harshly in this regard, more grit and grain, the RAW files are basically too clean (as is normal for all cameras), so i still prefer to pull them over to Silver Efex Pro 2 to get the look I want.

14mm.  Black and white conversion through Silver Efex Pro 2.

56mm.  SEP2 conversion.

14mm.  SEP2 conversion, ISO6400.

I have made a video tutorial on how I do my black and white with the X-T1 and any other camera for that matter, which includes flattening the image even more before going across the SEP2, the video link for that workflow is here:



The camera has quite a few 'toy' modes, I won't go on about them, i don't use them, things like 'remove all colour except red', fake tilt shift, fake HDR, etc.  I just tried it a few times, for fun with your friends, maybe...for serious photographers, doesn't need to be there...

Fuji X-T1 image with toy mode that removes all colour except red.

The panoramic feature is something quite cool thats been there since the XPro1 though, if you need a quick stitched JPEG that is very easy to do, this one i shot on a moving boat with the 56mm in almost darkness and it came out just like this, can't complain with that feature.

Panoramic JPEG direct from XT1 first attempt.


As far as shooting the camera goes, I love it.  I find the autofocus to be absolutely fine in good light, more than fast enough (not as fast as some full frame cameras or the OMD EM-1, but definately more than fast enough for most things (except sport - in fact if you want this camera for sports photography, stop reading now, and go and buy an OMD EM-1 or a D4s, its useless at tracking very fast moving subjects - I tried and failed badly shooting a basketball match and a soccer match, useless continuous AF for that....for someone walking or cycling down the street that you want to shoot however, its more than adequate.

56mm. Continuous AF had no problem tracking a cyclist.

Subjects not moving too fast were easy enough to catch.

The AF is fast enough to capture a quick kiss...

The light meter dealt well with tricky scenes.

fast AF in good light allows capture of natural reactions easily.

Metering is also very good with the Fuji, i shot in many situation where the light was difficult or backlit, and the meter generally coped well, and the exposure compensation dial is right there at your fingertips should you need it (and its stiffer than on previous Fujis so not easy to accidentally knock), as is the AEL button easily to hand to lock exposure.  I have had absolutely no issues with getting the right exposures with this camera.


I would say I have no issues shooting anything up to ISO6400 with this camera.  Above that its not great, certainly useable, but I have also had no need to go above 6400 and i do shoot quite a lot in low light so for me its no problem for this camera at all.  The only thing that suffers in low light is the autofocus becomes a little laggy (a continuing Fuji curse), nevertheless I do believe its still quite a lot better than all the other existing Fuji cameras out there as at April 2014.

ISO6400 direct from camera, perfectly useable.


A fair few people I know from the Leica crowd have been asking me how the camera performs with Leica or M mount lenses.  I have only tried a few lenses on there, the Leica 50mm 1.4 Summilux ASPH, the Voigtlander 50mm 1.5 ASPH, the old Canon 85mm 1.9 LTM and a Leica 35mm Summicron 7 elements.  All of the lenses I have tried have worked perfectly well.  The various modes for manual focus are EXCELLENT, you have focus peaking in a variety of different colours and strengths (red low/high for example), you have split prism focussing ability (my personal favourite with manual glass), you can zoom in for focus assist at the tap of a bottom should you require a zoomed image to focus if you have vision like a mole (do not underestimate the EVF in this camera, its like watching your first 42" plasma screen TV if you have come from EVFs that were developed a year or so ago...it really is a positive experience using this EVF (and as I've mentioned before, i used to HATE EVFs...this has changed everything.  There is even another mode where you can have 2 images showing at once, your main view and a magnified smaller view of your focus point, all very cool, and you can't help but think whoever developed these features is really thinking about the photographer and what they want.  Here's just a few samples from M Mount lenses with the Fuji...basically it just works with these lenses, it works well!


Portrait of me taken by good friend Dean on the Leica 50 lux ASPH.


Good friends Patrick & Ruth shot with the old Canon 85mm 1.9 LTM.


This is nothing short of spectacular experience on my iphone and ipad, i can connect instantly to the camera with one push of the wifi button, the app is very fast and responsive, for either downloading JPEGS to the phone/ipad (you must be shooting in RAW+JPEG to do this, it won't work with just RAW), so i can quickly send files to people I've just photographed or upload/email, etc.

The remote shooting part of the app functions perfectly, you can just connect by one press of the wifi button and then you have live view on the phone/ipad and can just use that to touch the screen and focus, change settings, looks, aperture etc, shoot stills/video, whatever you want, all without touching your camera, just works, and its the first wifi app that I've personally used that does work as it should.


The weakest link of the camera.  I carry 4 batteries around with me, if you use the camera a lot, you will need a minimum of 2 batteries for a days shooting (that would be a bare minimum in my view, but I do shoot a lot), if you want to use the wifi app, be prepared for mega consumption of battery....I would recommend to any travel photographers to carry at least 3 fully charged batteries with you to ensure you don't miss any shots, it seems to show the full battery bar, then 1 bar less then all red, once red, you have about 10-15 shots and its gone....so for me the battery life is crap, don't quote me on this, but I think (not 100% sure) its the same battery as the X-Pro1 and XE-1, etc, with far more processing power and much better EVF, its normal that its going to suck up way more power, so i hope they either release some higher capacity battery or do something in the firmware that at least gives you a better warning...I also tried a third party battery, that was twice as bad as the Fuji ones, so at least try to stick with Fuji batteries if you can.


-Best EVF I've ever used (in fact the only one I like). - Fast shooting rate (8fps or so, more than fast enough) - Love all the options for manual focus (assist zoom, peaking, split prism) - Weight - the camera is light, as are the lenses (less 23mm and 56mm) so its great for travel, small, light and unobtrusive. - Styling, the dials on top look good, they feel good, Fuji are much better at styling their cameras than Nikon or Sony.


- SD card door flimsy quality and easily knocked open, very prone to breaking I think. - Battery life is pretty crap (need at least 2 batteries for a long days shooting). - rear dial buttons are a little small and inset, so people with sausage fingers might find that annoying, no problem, just a minor glitch.


So, I think that just about sums it up for me, I'm a very happy teddy bear when I use this camera, I can honestly say its 'fun' to use, fast, responsive, feels good in the hand and apart from the minor gripes that I have outlined above, its easily my favourite mirrorless autofocus camera to date.  Some people will be confused as to why I preferred this over the Sony A7, thats a no-brainer to me, its not just about image quality - I agree the Sony is better IQ for sure, however, the ergonomics of the Sony are junk, the sound of the shutter on the A7 is useless for close up street shooters who want to be quiet, discreet and unobtrusive, the menu systems in the Sony are confusing (I'm easily confused by the way...), and the complete lack of available lenses (the 2 that are available are good of course), makes the decision between these two cameras an easy one for me, the Fuji is simply a complete system option, much like the 4/3 systems that are on offer, although I believe the APS-C sensor is the way forward for these size cameras, everything is in proportion, lenses, body, etc, etc, and not enough lack of quality from full frame for it to be an issue.


If you want to stay in touch, join one of our photography workshops in Hong Kong, Cambodia, India or elsewhere, keep track of our images, or even just to say 'hi' please check us out at the following link on our public facebook page:


or at my commercial website:


Thanks for taking the time to read my opinion.

Gary Tyson

Update (17th April 2014): we have now written a second review on the Fuji X-T1, specifically related to weather sealing when shooting the Thai New Year water festival...you can see that here at this link.

VIDEO: How we process black and white with the Fuji X-T1

A few people have been asking me how i process my black and white RAW files from the new Fuji X-T1 camera. I use Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro 2 to do this, and I have made a short video that goes into detail of how I process my files to get my own look.

Please see the video below, I hope its useful for people seeking out some ways to get a constant look with their black and white process, just tweak to your liking and save your presets and you can have your images edited in seconds in 1 or 2 clicks.


Behind the Scenes - F8 Photography Jodhpur India Workshop

We recently returned from Jodhpur, deep in the heart of Rajasthan in India where we ran a 5 day photography workshop. We would like to share some of our 'behind the scenes' images that show how much fun everyone was having in India, as well as producing some fantastic images throughout the week the group was having lots of FUN which is what makes it all worthwhile, as we have said many times to all photographers, if you are not having fun and loving what you are doing, then why do it?!

Crank up the volume, sit back and share in the joy that was had on F8 Photography's latest workshop in India.

For more information on upcoming workshops, visit our site at www.f8photography.com.hk