Thursday, June 7, 2012

What I Learned about the X Pro-1 Today

When I set out on my photo walk in Manhattan today I promised myself I'd not shoot from the hip, that all my shots would be made by looking through the viewfinder. It almost worked. There were a couple of shots that I simply had no time to prepare for, but it was a great exercise in discipline for me.

Now for what I learned: 1) I can't wear my polaroid sun glasses when I shoot because the polarization blocks out all the info in the viewfinder (this may not seem like a big deal, but my eyes are super sensitive to bright light so on a sunny day like today I was quite uncomfortable without sun glasses). 2) I got sharper and better framed pics by using the viewfinder (duhhhh! I'm so accustomed to shooting from the hip with my D700 that I find it's a difficult 'bad' habit to break). 3) That annoying tendency for the XP1 to go into 'sleep' mode when the shutter isn't pushed for some time makes a very slight vibration in the camera. When the camera goes to sleep, waking it can take several seconds during which time a critical shot can evaporate. Up to now I've countered this by regularly pressing the shutter button half way as I walk along, but it drains the battery mercilessly. If I just wait for that little buzzy vibration and then depress the shutter half way, I can keep the camera awake with less battery drain.

The abundant sunlight was glorious today, but it made for harsh shadows. I usually try to walk on the shady side of the street to avoid the extreme contrast, but sometimes the sun and people just won't cooperate. What's a streettog to do?


  1. nice shot never looked if there was a way to keep the xp1 from going to sleep. I have the same problem w/ my sunglasses and light sensitive eyes if I find a workaround I'll let you know

  2. Hi Gene, can't you counter the camera going to sleep by setting the 'Auto Power Off' to 'Off'? I'd be interested in hearing about your experiences shooting from the hip. I try that from time to time, with a combo of zone focussing (still practicing, lots of duds) and just guesstimating the AF (half pressing in the general direction of the subject and waiting for the lens whirring to die down, indicating that it has focussed on something) before firing the shutter (40% success rate).

    Any tips will be much appreciated!

    Meanwhile, here are some of the results from my recent X-Pro1 adventures in street photography.


    1. Thanks for the comment and the link to your site. The problem with setting the Auto power off to OFF is that if the camera accidentally gets switched on (and this happens often), it will just stay on all the time and my battery will die quickly.

      Firing from the hip takes mucho practice. I'm still learning how to aim the camera. Zone focusing is OK, but relying on DOF requires that you use a high aperture setting. And even then you don't get sharp images, you just get shots that are relatively LESS out of focus.

  3. regularly pressing the shutter button half way as I walk along

    very funny!
    Actually absolutely not same way with the D700 you are right

  4. Hi Gene. This image is great. I normally don't care for the high key effect but this one really grabbed my attention. Especially the "finger in eye pose." Nice job.

  5. The same Anomymous,

    Nice shoot by the way. I like the young, her way of standing, straight and being relaxed.
    The other can take a wrong way because of the Lights and Shadows.

  6. Nice bit. I had to laugh about the sunglasses bit, as I had that problem as well. I could not figure out why my new camera wasn't working and became very frustrated, as well as concerned. I happened to take off my sun glasses and figured out that the camera was working all along. Ha! Genius, I was. Sometimes you have to laugh at yourself.


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