19 Jul If It No Gonna Go, You Gotta Get Out An’ Push, Man…
Not every car starts first time, every time – nor does it always travel smoothly on every road. The same with cameras – even the newest of the new.
Oh, I’m not suggesting that the new Fujifilm X-T100 did not turn on – it popped to life as soon as I put in a W-126 battery and a small SD card. It even let me bypass the date, time, and place to get to the regular operation fairly quickly. You can probably get into the copyright and EXIF minutae somewhere in the back of the menu cupboard but that is not what you want when you are doing a review. In, bang, and out, please.
Had I just taken it for a spin in the garden or out at the park under natural light I would have had no trouble – the Auto ISO and Auto WB would have rendered everything perfectly and I could have snapped to my heart’s content. There’s a continual – focus setting in the SR+ that seems to anticipate what I am looking at when I glance through the viewfinder and settle the AF points on that – and I have nothing but praise for the way the touch screen and the AF selection work.
But I work in a studio fitted with Elinchrom monolights that do all the natural lighting I want unnaturally – at 5600º K for preference. The X-T100 readily accepted my colour temperature instructions and even has the sophistication to be able to crank in a four-axis tint correction – something my old eyeballs would never perceive. All to the good.
The usual triggering of the studio lights is via an Elinchrom Skyport transmitter. It looks a bit flimsy but has proved surprisingly robust – and it is even easy on batteries. It’s got a simple single-post contact in the centre of a hot shoe and should fire off anything – it certainly lets go with the X-Pro1, X-E2, X-100 series, X-T10 and even the old X10.
But not with the X-T100. No matter what flash settings are in the menu, this camera will not pop the transmitter. I’ll fire its own integral flash, and a Fujifilm EF-X500 flash just fine, and do all the TTL wizardry. But it won’t command a studio flash.
Never daunted, however, I experimented with the dear old crude and rude method of synch – fire off whatever it will shoot and use the light blast to trigger the Elinchroms. I tried this out with both the X-T10 and the X-T100 and it works – but you must remember that it will only work if the lighting setup you are going to use can overpower the trigger pulse.
I dialled them both down to -2 on the flash compensation and shot away. It worked. But if I had been trying to get barely lit mood lighting for a portrait I probably would have had too much light in the wrong place. Moral: do not use this tourist camera for tasks to which it was not dedicated.
All that said, the popups on these cameras are really excellent. So much so, that when I combine them with the extended ISO settings, I can sometimes leave the EF-X500 flash at home and just depend on the pop for a show. Won’t overpower WA sun, but will cope with close-ups.
Note that this trigger deficiency has been seen in other small tourist cameras from other makers. We can’t have everything…