More on the advantages of low noise at high ISO's - The Fuji X100s in action

In a post about the Sony A7s yesterday I was talking about the possiblity of ISO 1600 being almost a 'base' ISO for what I shoot with that camera. That may have been a bit conservative. By mistake (been making a lot of those lately, must get more sleep!!) I left my Fuji X100s on ISO 1000 while taking some shots of sunlit buildings. However 1/1000th. sec. at f/8 ISO 1000 proved to be no problem with the X-Trans sensor. Clean, sharp images with no noise. So if I can do this with a 16MP APS-C Fuji sensor, what could I do with a 12MP 35mm / 'full-frame' Sony one on the A7s?

This is one of the reasons I've stuck with Fuji X through the raw files processing saga. The ability to shoot hand held with fast shutter speeds and 'sweet' apertures. It has however taken a bit of getting used to. I usually talk about using base ISO's on all my cameras. For two main reasons. Firstly, I'm used to it, because from my film days anything over ISO 100 was useless for the kind of pictures I take. Secondly because many of the digital systems I've used, Leica M8 and M9 and m4/3 being obvious examples, are / were somewhat noisy for my taste at anything other than the lowest ISO's. So using anything other than those base settings is something that I've tended to avoid, mostly because of habit and the preconception that if I don't I'm compromising on quality. But Fuji and Sony are producing sensors that don't seem to require that. And any advantages of low ISO shooting are cancelled out by the psooibility for me to 'shoot sharper' with the aforementioned shutter speed / aperture combinations.

I am slowly getting round to doing it, but it will probably take a while yet before I do it instinctively. However I have to say that even before the A7s is released Fuji have these marvellous cameras that already give me some idea of what I could do with it. and with no problems on the lens range front either.

Yesterday I took out my newly arrived X100s, fitted with the W/A adapter mostly and my X-E2 + 60mm lens (used non-macro of course) And the X100s is definitely a real class act. Beautiful to handle outdoors when walking about. I found the W/A lens converter, which actually feels and works just like a separate lens, is really easy to unscrew and screw back on. Must say I'm somewhat impatient to try the new converter that turns the X100s lens into a 50mm 'standard lens' approximation / equivalent. 

As usual with my Fuji's it was a wonderfully 'old-school' experience and smile on face time. However as I've indicated there is nothing 'old-school' about how the cameras capture and render images. This terrific high(er) ISO performance is totally 2014 and I'm convinced that this high dynamic range, clean noise free image because of relatively low pixel counts way of designing sensors, is going to be the preferred way forward for many photographers, including myself. And for me if there is a FF advantage, this is it. Fuji, of course, have managed to do it with an APS-C sensor and kudos as ever to them for doing it so well.

It's interesting going through this slow transition from having my cameras locked on ISO 100 to using higher settings. And I have to say, liberating as well.

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