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Cocktail Photography Shootout Roundup - Fujifilm GFX 50s vs Hasselblad X1D-50c

May 04, 2017

 

(John)

Hi! It’s John and Paul from Michael’s Camera!

We are doing a roundup discussion on last week’s cocktail photography shootout between the Fuji GFX 50S and the Hasselblad X1D, also 50.

So, now, at the end of last Thursday’s broadcast, which was just a little over a week ago, because we did it around lunchtime I believe, we talked a little bit about what our user experience was with these two cameras; but now we’ve got a chance to, sort of, get into fine details of the user experience; bring up some of the problems that we had on this shoot; and, of course, review the photographs.

Now, at the beginning of this broadcast you see we used on our title card; and I guess we can just cut to it right now -  we’ve got the Smokey-Eyed Ginger; one of the shots that Paul took on the side table.

We were predominantly working on the bar surface as you recall, and we had a smaller table that was kind of in front of the video production unit that was driven by David, and David’s here with us again today. Harry’s on cameras again today.

So, the first drink that we prepared - we didn’t prepare it, it was Taylor who was preparing them at Whitehart bar - was the Smokey-Eyed Ginger. It was a good-looking drink.

It was unfortunate that we were working at the time, as we would have quite, really, liked to have a drink.

(Paul)

We would have quite liked to drink them.

(John)

I’m almost thinking that we should tell them at Whitehart that the pictures were terrible, and we need to do a reshoot,  possibly on a Saturday or a Friday night.

(Paul)

Yeah, yeah.

 

(John)

But, anyway, that’s here nor there.

Pictures were, we had a lot of fun. Yeah, we probably could have shot better pictures if we weren’t doing the video, but we’re working professionals and we can, we can do it, and I think we did do.

 

(Paul)

I think we did!

 

(John)

So, let’s talk a little bit about what our technical challenges were on the day.

We were trying to mix ambient light with flash; we had a ProFoto kit.

I don’t think we ever really changed shutter speed during the day.

We had them both at 125. Yeah, I think all of our photos were at 125.

 

(Paul)

Yeah. I think we, um, might have in sometimes, just mucked with the idea of getting a bit more ambient light in there.

 

(John)

Yeah.

 

(Paul)

For that shot actually of the Smokey-Eyed Ginger, I think there was a bit, I might’ve opened it up; but according to the details there, I didn’t so.

 

(John)

So, that was early on. We were predominantly shooting at like, five/ six.

Our baseline ISO on both cameras, when we were using the flash, was 400. I rode it up to 500 on one of them; but this particular shot is, I remember, I changed the softbox direction on the front light, a little wee bit for you; because I saw you were framing this. I must admit, I was a little bit disappointed I didn’t take the shot because I think this was the true hero of the day. I really like this shot.

The, it looks like we’re working with natural light, and it had you fooled when I just brought it up!

 

(Paul)

Yeah!

 

(John)

There was a bit of a corrugated iron front at the bar, below the bar surface, sort of like the front face of it, and the rear flash was coming in at an angle, and so it was split by these little, sort of, rippled slats of the corrugated, which has given us this kind of …

 

(Paul)

Contrast has actually worked really nicely; The whole line here.

 

(John)

Yeah, and we have the lines of the drink. We’ve got the lines on the table surface. I mean it truly is a hero shot; and a very attractive cocktail, I might add. I just really think that I need to establish whether it tastes good or not.

 

(Paul)

Yeah, I think that’s the point, we need to imbibe a few of them.

 

(John)

Yes. Yes. Do you remember what was in it? Smokey-Eyed Ginger?

 

(Paul)

No. Well, I mean the ginger gives it away, but, as far as their booze itself, I really don’t know.

 

(John)

There was a lot of booze being poured. I think if you did review the video, which we will link in the comments here, you could probably find out what it was; and I highly recommend you head over to Whitehart and you taste these cocktails; part of the winter menu, the winter lift, what did they call that?

 

(Paul)

The winter of my discontent, something like that.

 

(John)

Could have been that, yeah, yeah.

So, they were spending an awful lot of time on this first drink.

But anyway, what I want to talk about with what we did with the cameras.

There was an issue I had with the Fuji when I used it, and it has to do with the placement of the play button. The play button is on the top of the rear display module, which kind of looks like an old-fashioned digital back on a regular camera, because it kind of just out a bit here; but I find that everything else about the camera is quite easy to get to, but review, my thumb wasn’t quite big enough to reach over here, and I was wondering how do we set it up for auto-review.

So, Paul has figured this out; and what is the deal? Did you find the menu?

 

(Paul)

I did indeed, but the thing was, is we were looking for display review, something like that is in the playback menu. So if you just go into playback, (and if someone has remembered to turn the camera on) and, it’s here… Oh, this is completely dead.

Ok, so back into playback, and where we were, we just find it into here, into the … you’ve got two, of course, settings. You’ve got the actual playback, and then settings for playback.

 

(John)

Ah.

 

(Paul)

Ah, yes. And, if you go into user settings, where it actually is hiding. It was a terribly convoluted way of finding the thing anyway, so.

 

(John)

Full disclosure: I’m not a Fuji shooter. Love the camera, love the feel of the camera, love the results of it, but I’m not a Fuji shooter. So I’m not familiar with their menu system. I am pretty certain that the complete Fuji line uses the same terminology for everything. It’s just that like to use some different words that I just, we didn’t expect!

 

(Paul)

Anyway, it is obvious enough: it’s in screen setup.

 

(John)

Screen setup! Exactly where I’d expect it.

 

(Paul)

And it says it does in fact, say: preview, exposure, and white balance in manual mode.

And if you turn that off, and then, of course, you actually get a consistent display through the viewfinder.

 

(John)

Ah, because we were, that’s the other point; we were struggling with our preview because it was doing true exposure simulation, so the fact that we were illuminating our subject with flash, the preview in the electronic viewfinder - keep in mind there’s no optical viewfinder - in the preview the electronic viewfinder was ambient only, and that’s where…

 

(Paul)

And that’s why we were seeing a dark image.

 

(John)

And that’s where we were struggling. And then it was the playback review, was the other one, and I like a little auto-review, so I can see what I’m doing; because I find it a little hard to reach the play button on this particular camera.

But those are kind of niggly (___)  if you figure

 

(Paul)

Yeah, I can understand why it was turned off, because if you’re in the middle of shooting, you don’t want this image popping up all the time, just showing, I mean if you’re in the middle of shooting a sequence, or you’re trying to work quickly, you don’t want it continuously popping up images, that you then have to get rid of, or wait for it to go away.

So, fair enough really.

 

(John)

So that was my main issue with the Fuji. I didn’t have any problems with focus, and yourself?

 

(Paul)

No, not at all. And, I mean on the whole, those two are very small things. We pretty much, it was a very easy camera to use.

 

(John)

Yeah!

 

(Paul)

And we got good results out of it straight away.

 

(John)

I was really questioning, while I was shooting, was I getting the focus I wanted?

And I was generally trying to focus on a garnish on a drink, maybe the front surface of the glass, or just, you know, obviously on the drink; and we were working in a bit of a challenging low-light environment.

When I started looking at the photos, when I brought them into Lightroom, with the Fuji I didn’t really see anything that was a dud due to focus. The rejects that I had were just compositionally they weren’t as good as what I needed.

But I found, well we’ve got a selection of 27 here. I’ll just bring the thumbnail view up here for you. You can see our 27.

Now we’re just running them on an iPad here.

Now I do apologise: the iPad – blame Apple for this - does not sort them in any order that I can determine, but we’ll deal with that else way.

We have a reference view from the original Facebook posting, which I will cross link back to this, but it’s linked to the original broadcast.

You can see all of the pictures as edited, with descriptions of the drink, and the shot setting.

So we know what we’re looking at, so when we get back to the original hero shot that we both like, which Paul shot, I didn’t - I can’t take credit for it - was our Smokey-Eyed Ginger.

This is shot on the Hasselblad.

 

(Paul)

Stunning, isn’t it?

 

(John)

So I was still working with the Fuji at this point, albeit the Hasselblad had the flash, and Paul was on the side table, and he framed this one up. And again, like I said, kicking myself I didn’t shoot a couple more with this background - but we’ve got a hero! The tall drink, with the contrasting light and dark back, it just works so well.

So, just to…

 

(Paul)

I particularly like that the stem line.

 

(John)

Oh, let’s just zoom in! In the stem, we’re looking through at the corrugated areas. Look how sharp this!

Oh, you can see a little bit of bursting coming off the stem here as well. Just fabulous!

But no terrible lens artefacts at all, out of focus is just dreamy and beautiful.

And again, one other thing about full disclosure here - we reset the Fuji in literally one minute before we started the shoot and we didn’t check it. We talked about it in the broadcast but we didn’t confirm. We thought we were

shooting RAWS with JPEGs; all we had was JPEGs out of the Fuji!

But the shoot didn’t suffer.

Would we have been in auto white balance?

I didn’t change them too much. I might have warmed them up a little bit in post-production, but the JPEGs on the Fuji were brilliant.

The Hasselblad did shoot RAW but again, in full disclosure, we had the automatic white balance set to fluorescent on Hasselblad.

 

(Paul)

Yeah.

 

(John)

And we were commenting in the broadcast: why it was looking a little odd on the back of the Hasselblad.

But that was just the white balance. But because those were shot in RAW, it was trivial to change them later.

 

So that was all good.

 

So let’s go through and let’s take a look at a couple more of the shots of the Smokey-Eyed Ginger.

So we started off with it on the bar; which would probably be here: this would have been with the first shots.

So, um, this was - let’s bring this up here, let’s go through - it’s this one here.

So that is, okay, shot on the Fuji, that’s a 60th of a second.

Oh, interesting, it was at a 60th of a second and at f/4.

Oh, I was actually riding the shutter speed on the Fuji to bring in a bit more ambient. That’s exactly what I was doing.

But still, ISO 400, as you can see - you zoom in on this - these must be like cane sugar cubes or something.

Yeah, look at that.

 

(Paul)

It’s, what’s it, caramelise ginger or something like that.

 

(John)

Oh, yeah! Caramelised ginger, that might be what it is, smokey caramelised ginger.

Ok, so, again, so that was at a 60th of a second, at f/5, at ISO 400 on the Fuji.

Brilliant picture; sharp as a tack.

Now, let’s talk a little bit about the out-of-focus regions here.

Now, Paul has had some extensive travel experience in Japan and I believe you went to Japan for a launch, for the Fuji.

 

(Paul)

Yeah, that’s right, I did.

 

(John)

I’m really pleased with the look of the out-of-focus regions on the Fuji’s files. I think they’re just brilliantly dreamy.

The lens that we used was the 120 mm f/4, image stabilised macro.

This is a great combination macro product photography and portrait lens.

We did use the image stabiliser and we were not obeying the rules of thumb of minimum shutter speed. I mean theoretically, they’re saying with these medium-format cameras, you need to be twice the 35 mm focal length, so this works out to about 90 mm. The pundits are saying that means you need 180th of a second to shoot a handheld shot that’s stable.

 

(Paul)

That just didn’t bear out at all.

 

(John)

We got. I didn’t see any pictures that were struggling due to anything.

 

(Paul)

No, the stabiliser’s obviously was good enough that a 60th of a second is fine.

 

(John)

The stabiliser was working, with a 60th of a second on this thing, we did really, really well.

I didn’t see anything struggling on the Hasselblad either, even though it’s not a stabilised lens.

But on the subject of the out-of-focus highlights” so we’ve got flash, it’s in the upper corner here, upper right-hand corner, so you see a little bit of it coming through here in the upper right hand.

We’ve got, I guess there is just some other point light sources or things that are reflecting some specular highlights; and.

 

(Paul)

You can see how smooth the highlight points are though. If we cross to a picture with the Hasselblad later, we will see that really (well-defined).

 

(John)

Yeah, well let’s just grab something out of the Hasselblad.

So this is shot with the Hasselblad for the Smokey-Eyed Ginger one; not that one, it’s this one here.

This is the Hasselblad. Yeah.

Now take a look at what we’re looking at… it’s same, looking down the bar, different drink I might add; looking down the bar. Let’s find the shot details for that one.

It is, should be coming up here.

There, this is the one. Okay, yes.

So that is the Hasselblad shot.

So now got a hand it to the Hasselblad, ISO 3200 here.

 

(Paul)

Yeah.

 

(John)

Now I’ve taken these 50-megapixel files in Lightroom, and I’ve down-resed them to 4096 pixels on the long axes, and they start out at 8,000 and change, so, these are about a 50% scale down.

Back to our shooting spree - sorry to just jump topics here - but both Paul and I struggled with vertical camera holding. We were bending over this bar. Everything that we shot was skew!

 

(Paul)

Was wonky, yes.

 

(John)

But, with such a big 50-megapixel canvas to play with, you can use so much cropping and rotating of pictures, and you’re just not losing much.

But now, ok back to the drink.

Now, this was the smoking “Roos”? What was this drink called?

 

(Paul)

It’s “Smoking (Ruse) (Roos)”.

 

(John)

So yeah, we zoom in again, and we’ve got the out-of-focus region.

So now there’s a Japanese name for this out-of-focus here, what’s it’s called?

 

(Paul)

Bokeh.

 

(John)

Bokeh! Ok, so that’s what it’s called, so we’ll always say that now.

And, definitely, I would say the bokeh is somewhat busier on the Hasselblad.

 

(Paul)

Yeah. It’s interesting though isn’t it, I mean looking at highlight there. It’s quite a defined octagon, rather than the actual quite smooth circle. So, the diaphragms in each lens are really quite different. And that gives you a very different look to the definition of the edges of the out-of-focus area.

 

(John)

[Agrees]

And, so you’re seeing it in other areas below that principal highlight, more octagons here.

And, of course, that was at one 90th of a second, f/5.6, at ISO 3200.

So, hey now, this is all a matter of taste: what do you that like? I mean there are some people who might like the stop sign.

I must admit I’m leaning towards the look of that Fuji for the background, but that’s my personal opinion.

 

Let’s get back. Now, we’ve got a couple of shots of that same drink.

There we go here now. This is where it’s actually smoking.

Now this is shot on the Fuji. Let’s bring it up here.

Okay that’s it. So that’s an 80th of a second, f/5.6, at ISO 400.

So that is shot with flash. We are a little less on the foreground; it’s a little bit of a moodier shot.

There’s a rosemary sprig that’s been put into this drink, that our bartender, (Taylor) has lit up with a little bit of a kitchen butane blow torch.

And, because the way we’ve sort of backlit this, and we got that softbox in the front, it’s, we’ve got good smoke trail here. It’s quite a fun picture.

And again, just working with the bar surface and just sort of framing these things up, we’ve done quite well.

And again, look at the complete circular nature of the bokeh. Very good, very good.

 

So, how’s your recollection on the smell of that one? I don’t have a sense of smell.

 

(Paul)

It actually (Really?) reminds me of juniper.

 

(John)

Juniper? Okay.

 

(Paul)

A very similar sort of smell. Very pungent.

 

(John)

Yeah, so, unfortunately, I just don’t have a sense of smell.

I’ve been trying to train my nose to work again but I’ve had no success.

So I’ll just have to visually look at the smoke and not (___)

 

(Paul)

It smells like juniper.

 

(John)

And Juniper goes well with gin. Or, that’s what they make it out of.

 

(Paul)

Yeah, that’s how it’s made, one of the components.

 

(John)

There must be gin in there! I wonder if there would be?

 

(Paul)

Maybe, I don’t know. I did, in fact, drink that afterwards.

 

(John)

Was it good?

 

(Paul)

Yeah, it was very good!

 

(John)

Oh, excellent!

Ok, now, let’s get back on. Let’s take a look at well, here. Let’s go choose.

What do you think of some more of your personal favourites.

 

(Paul)

Let’s see what we haven’t looked at. What’s this?

 

(John)

Oh, okay. Well, this is one we, uh, that’s the… what was that called? The Concrete Jungle.

 

(Paul)

Yeah, that’s right.

 

(John)

Ok, let’s find out what our shot settings were on Concrete Jungle. I think he might be…

 

Okay, that’s it, that’s it!

 

(Paul)

That’s the one.

 

(John)

Okay, so that’s an 80th, at f/6.4, shot on the Fuji at ISO 400.

Okay, so, the sharpness on these leaves… this must be like some mint or something, is it?

 

(Paul)

Yeah, it is mint.

 

(John)

Looks like we’ve got a litchi as well. Yeah.

The drink has got some light shining through it.

A good reflection off the bar service.

 

(Paul)

Yeah, that’s quite nice that.

 

(John)

I was sort of doing my best, making some props up here with, we’ve got a bit copper bowl of some sort.  It was really quite interesting.

And we had bar napkins there. There were a couple of bottles of some sort of bar hot sauces or something, but we just kept using those as props.

But that’s how it worked out quite well.

So this one we stopped down a little bit. I guess we were a little overpowered, I wanted to get the background down a bit.

Who knows what my thought process was. I’m not even sure if I took this one.

 

(Paul)

Um, I thought you did, but maybe, I don’t know.

 

(John)

Hard to say. We can always take a look at the old tape.

But anyway, yeah, so we got that.

So that one worked out quite well.

Well, on “tape” – we’re old, we’ll always refer to these things as tape.

Um, this was a fun one.

This is the one I used as our lead-in I think, or maybe I didn’t.

So, this has got our little cocktail skewer here; which they’re quite cute, I like them.

And just sharp as a tack here on the little piece of bamboo; right on the edge.

And you see how the focus sort of falls off.

We’ve got that little, it’s the Smokey-Eyed Ginger again.

We’ve got that little ginger in the top of that.

So, where are the shot settings on it?

Oh, I think we’ve got to go the other way and it will bring that up.

Unfortunately, these iPads don’t have a simple way to tell you your shot settings. There’s probably an application.

Oh, that’s it there. So what are our shot settings?

 

(Paul)

That’s it there, isn’t it? Ok, so. Oh, that’s actually natural light.

 

(John)

And, again, that’s high ISO! That’s ISO 2500.

 

(Paul)

And you’ve got no loss of detail at all! I mean, look at the little bubbles around the top of the glass there; and the granulation in the sugar on the ginger.

 

(John)

Yeah, the resolving power of these cameras is just incredible. This is a brilliant lens. We’re getting in nice and…

I could have probably got it even tighter on that, the minimum focusing distance is probably, you know, right up to the lens or something - it’s a macro!

 

(Paul)

Well, it’s, um, and well also, we’ve blown the highlights there a little bit as well.

But, yeah I mean, you could muck with that easily.

 

(John)

Oh, yeah, yeah, there’s lots to play with. Uh, just to give the customer a bit of a mix and match on these things, I delivered some as square; some were the original camera aspect ratio because I know that they’re probably going to want to use some on Instagram. You can’t really expect your customer to be re-cropping your pictures for you.

So you’ve got to kind of deliver a bit of a mix and match, and I know they’re going to want some of these for Facebook and Instagram, and that’s where they’re going to get used.

Um, oh, let’s … what else did we have here that was kind of interesting?

Oh, this is from the Hasselblad; I can tell it a mile away from the bokeh.

 

So this is highly backlit. This is ambient light. Oh, here it is right here. So this is 90th of a second, at f/5.6, oh, no, no it’s not ambient. Sorry, I stand corrected.

 

(Paul)

No, that’s the flash.

 

(John)

That’s the flash! So, we were, we wanted to see what the behaviour of these two lenses was like when we had the flash in the frame. We couldn’t get the Fuji to flare.

I never saw any flare. Nothing changed when that flash was in the picture.

The Hasselblad flares.

A little bit of flare in the back here.

Attractive flare, but it flares.

I’m a big fan of lens flare, and I know that modern lenses are designed to do everything without flaring.

I know that I really did a lot of work on Lightroom in this one; because this was almost a silhouette.

I was, I don’t know, I was like blocking the softbox with my body on this one.

We were working fast and furious on this, just to try to get it all done.

If this was not a video, and we were taking our time, we would have had one drink made, we would have concentrated on getting three or four looks per drink, and then moved to the next.

 

(Paul)

Yeah, exactly.

 

(John)

I mean, honestly, this was a camera shootout that was a little bit more about entertainment, and, but I still think we’ve delivered, you know, a set of acceptable pictures, you know.

For what it’s worth, I might just go backwards in time a little bit, I might just show you what we had from, what was kind of like the brief; because I had shot some cocktails at Whitehart earlier, and so I had these.

 

Now, again, this is a Canon 5D Mark III. I’ve got an older body, what’s that, about five or six years old by now?

It’s been a while. It’s been superseded by the 5D Mark IV.

But I was brought in to shoot the opening night at Whitehart, and I gravitated to the cocktails; because I know when I’m doing nightclub photography or bar photography, and it’s a big event, you know you want to capture the food, the atmosphere, and the product; and the product out of the bar was cocktails.

I think on this particular gallery my gut tells me two or three pictures were shot with a 16-35 mm Canon f/4 lens, which I rather like. Most of them are shot with a Canon 85 mm, and I know and I always struggle with focus, this is with the 16-35 at 35 mm, and that starburst that you’re seeing in the background - not done in post-production, done in camera.

I’ve got the flash and the end of the bar shining right into the camera, and I’ve stopped her down t,o well I don’t know f/8 or something here. And that lens flares, well it’s not so much the flare, but it bursts quite well.

 

(Paul)

Yeah, it gets the starburst, yeah.

 

(John)

I went into this shoot with Paul for the video, kind of cheating. I knew that a light shining down the bar was going to backlight us quite well, and that’s on one of the tables.

So I had a lot of fun with that, and out-of-focus is not bad, all things considered; because I’m kissing up right close to it.

But, yeah, this is sort of what our brief was.

 

(Paul)

The definition is so different, isn’t it?

 

(John)

Oh, definitely! I mean this is your standard gear that most working pros would have. A Canon or Nikon digital SLR, and a few lenses.

I’m trying to remember which lens I shot this one.

Probably the 85.

 

(Paul)

Yeah, it looks like it.

 

(John)

I used four different lenses that day. I use the Canon 50 mm, the 85 ½, which is the, it’s got a funny nickname, the “Jesus” lens or something. It’s got really good bokeh.

 

(Paul)

Well, why do they call it the “Jesus” lens?

 

(John)

Well, I think it was because it looks like things were touched by the Son of God when you took pictures with it.

 

(Paul)

[Laughs]

Yeah, ok, that sounds nice.

 

(John)

But anyway, and I used, what else did I use? I used the 16-35 that day.

Basically, as the light failed I moved to the faster lenses.

I had two cameras with me as well, so I had the 50 on one of the old 5Ds, and I had the 85 on the Mark III.

But, trust me, that 85 when it produces a good shot, you got a fight for it, because it struggles with focus.

The Fuji, with this 120 mm macro lens, focuses way better than that Canon does; but I do like the looks of the Canon, and a fast lens is quite nice.

Of course, this with at night, so…

 

(Paul)

I think that Canon lens is just generally acknowledged industry-wide as being one of the slowest focusing things you can get.

 

(John)

Yeah, if it was any slower you’d have to phone it in advance and say could you please focus.

 

(Paul)

Yes, exactly.

 

(John)

Yes, it’s hideous.

 

(Paul)

As operated by snails.

 

(John)

Yeah, it basically is! [Laughs]

But when it works its magic you get some good results.

 

(Paul)

But looking at all these images you took off the camera, in comparison to the shots taken with the Fuji and the Hasselblad, they look like they’ve been taken with a phone.

 

(John)

They do! They do! And, things are, there a lot of things happening.

Now keep in mind, we staged our shots a little bit better.

I’ve got an awful lot of distracting background elements.

 

(Paul)

No, I just mean the actual contrast and the whole tonality across the images.

 

(John)

Yeah, yeah. I wish I could tell you what the ISOs were for these things. In general, I was sitting in the 320 to 640 range if I recall. I don’t like to take that camera up too high.

If I were shooting with this in my personal kit, I would never be afraid; on either these, to go up to 30 on, or maybe even 64.

I’m very impressed. I won’t take the Canon up to anything like that.

 

(Paul)

I shot with that thing at 12800, and it still doesn’t have any apparent noise. It’s really, very, very good.

 

(John)

Oh, keep in mind, of course, we have flare here all over the place, but I like working with that flare.

 

(Paul)

Oh, yeah, that’s ok.

 

(John)

I must admit I think we want to do a shootout soon, I want to get some legacy glass on these cameras.

We will order in some adapters.

 

(Paul)

Oh, yeah, I want to see this thing with contact 645 lenses. Absolutely excellent.

 

(John)

Yeah. I want to pull some stuff out of the museum!

 

[Paul laughs]

Really old glass (___), because I like the idea of the old meets the new. I want something with some flaws.

The rumour mill is sort of telling us that a lot of the 35 mm format lenses will fill that sensor.

 

(Paul)

Oh, yeah, as long as you get a longer focal length than the 50 or so, it should still cover the format.

 

(John)

We might be able to put the Canon 85 on it!

I also want to play with the Canon tilt-shifts! I’m very excited. You know they’re going to fill it.

Those tilt-shifts will fill a full 645 frame because they’ve got a big circle, and I like using tilt-shifts in the bar.

I didn’t have too many on the cocktails but I shot some of the people with the tilt shift at opening night.

So we’ll talk about that another time.

Let’s get back to our other album here; so, back to the Fuji versus Hasselblad.

 

Now, tell me a little bit of what you felt your shooting experience was with the Hasselblad, Paul.

 

(Paul)

Well, it probably was only complicated by the fact that we, uh, had the white balance on, which put me off a bit, when looking through the finder.

But, it’s the focusing system which made it a bit difficult. I mean, I suppose you can’t really compare a straight 90 mm lens on this to the 120, which is a (Macron) lens. It’s obviously going to give you a few problems focusing.

 

(John)

Yeah, that’s true. Focusing distance, I could never get close enough to the subject for what I was trying to shoot.

But we don’t have a macro lens for it, so we had to use what we had.

So yeah, I struggled with that as well.

 

(Paul)

The funny thing is though when you look at it, and with the shot, we were the most happy with, is taken with this.

 

(John)

True.

 

(Paul)

And the subtlety, and the gradation, and the look of the whole image, obviously shows you what decent lenses, and how they are actually processing the images off the sensor; gives you really nice results.

 

(John)

Mm-hmm. I did all the post-production in Lightroom. I didn’t push anything really hard, other than this particular image, which is with the Hasselblad. I added a lot of shadows. I painted in a little wee bit on the cocktail glass. I used the Das.

This was the one that really got massaged a lot because it really should have been a throwaway, but I just kind of liked it.

I mean, again, it’s in the eye of the beholder, but I thought it was kind of interesting.

 

(Paul)

Oh, I’m sure the client will be happy with it.

 

(John)

Yeah, yeah. What about focusing repeatability and the ability just to get focus; how did you find the Hasselblad?

 

(Paul)

Oh, it’s a little slow, there’s no doubt about it at all. And the Fuji is far faster to work with.

 

(John)

Yeah. I think anyone, going from a top-tier digital SLR and any of the major brands, will be right at home with this.

 

(Paul)

Yeah, very easy to master quickly, I think.

 

(John)

Yeah. The camera doesn’t get in the way of you taking pictures, and unfortunately, the Hasselblad got in the way of me taking pictures.

 

(Paul)

A little bit, in this circumstance. I mean, maybe this isn’t suited to this sort of subject matter.

 

(John)

Could very well be.

 

(Paul)

I’m sure using it for other things, and you can see the image quality is exceedingly good, so if you use it for other types of subject matter, it’ll be fine.

 

(John)

My gut tells me a firmware update, or maybe another revision, maybe the CPU just doesn’t have the same performance as what’s in here. [points to Fuji]

They’ve got to move around the same amount of data, there’s no disputing that. We know that both have the same basic sensor from Sony. I was using the Hasselblad to take some shots of you, taking some shots with the Fuji, so I was running it without the flash - you made the flash, you were at the bar - and I wanted to get three or four shots off in quick succession; it was when (Taylor) was getting the Smoking Ruse ready, and he had the flamethrower out, and I wanted to get a couple of shots, and I missed them all!

 

It just wasn’t able to grab the focus, and then once I took two shots the camera was kind of locked up and I was waiting for it to recover.

So, it wasn’t suited for rapid shooting for me. So that’s where I felt like it let me down.

 

(Paul)

That entirely sounds just like firmware to me. I mean, sure they can have a few upgrades of that and we’ll be having a nice working camera.

 

(John)

[Agrees]

But on a plus side, I love the feel of it in my hand.

 

(Paul)

Oh, absolutely! And really, the interface is very good. The touch screen, the actual button layout - it is very simple.

 

(John)

There’s no doubt about it when you dive into the user interface of this, it’s just feature, after feature, after feature, all over the place. I like the Fuji in straight manual mode and just forget about any of the settings.

As long as it’s setup, and of course, we are responsible because we reset it and we didn’t turn RAW on.

That was our own fault.

But on the Fuji, you’ve got, right on the aperture barrel, you’ve got your aperture settings.  You just dial in, you’ve got ISO over here on a physical knob, and you’ve got shutter speed on a physical knob.

So if you want to just shoot in manual mode, you’re ready to roll.

The only thing we didn’t have, what was it called? The exposure preview? Whatever that was, the exposure simulation, whatever they call it, we were dark in the viewfinder.

So that, you know, we struggled a bit.

 

(Paul)

That’s our own fault. Due to lack of understanding.

 

(John)

Yeah, exactly, because we just pulled it at higher, and we hadn’t used it. As a matter of fact it was misbehaving so we reset it. We don’t know who monkeyed with it the last time.

 

(Paul)

[Laughs]

I don’t think it was misbehaving, I think we weren’t comprehending it properly.

 

(John)

Yeah, exactly, that could very well have been it. [Laughs]

Oh, I liked a couple of these shots with the Applehart was this drink. I stood up on the chair I remember for this.

Yes, this was a fun drink.

 

(Paul)

Yes, in a terribly safe fashion, too.

 

(John)

Yeah, oh yeah, exactly. I think I had three people holding me, and I had a rope. Exactly.

Yeah, that worked out quite well.

 

(Paul)

And a parachute.

 

(John)

And we were not drinking, so we were well within the guidelines.

This was an apple based drink, so I threw the apple in beside it, and I like the, it had the Whitehart “W” logo, so he had a little plastic template that he was using, that he threw in.

What were our settings for this one?

Was it the Fuji I shot this one with?

 

(Paul)

Not quite sure. That “W” is very “Transformers” isn’t it?

 

(John)

[Agrees]

Yes. Let me get over here, it’s going to go backwards.

Okay, that’s that one.

Oh, here it is. So it’s 100th of a second, oh it’s f/8. Oh that’s with the ambient light.

I cannot tell whether these were flash or ambient. Both of these cameras are ISO independent for all intents and purposes.

I would not worry about just shooting in automatic ISO. All of a sudden, one degree of freedom you don’t need to worry about.

That is truly a game changer for a working photographer, to not have to worry about the ISO, oh, the image is going to have too much noise.

I’ll never take my 35 mm Canon 5D Mark III, beyond 800.

 

(Paul)

That’s a good point. I mean look at that high ISO, but the colour fidelity is fine. There’s no issue with it, and no issue with the colour degradation at all. I mean, look at that!

 

(John)

Yeah. I’m focused right on the lip of that. I mean there’s just so much there! It’s just incredible!

I just love it!

That’s going to be a good drink too,

 

(Paul)

We really should find out.

 

(John)

Yeah, I think we should.

You got anything else that you liked in this (___)

 

(Paul)

Ah, let’s have a look-see. Um…

 

(John)

I liked how our ice cubes were looking with the backlight.

I mean, we didn’t approach this shoot with classic drinks product photography; blocking out the light with black masks and all this stuff. This was kind of a running gun shoot, adding a little bit of light, really.

We were, what our ambient was probably what, two stops down from the flash?

 

(Paul)

Oh, at least.

 

(John)

At least, two or three stops. We were just riding ISO as we saw fit, and just working with a simple, you know, light on the back that was hard, and a little soft light on the front; a really ultra-simple go-to.

We could have run hard light on the front, it wouldn’t have mattered, you know.

The more little reflections you get off the ice cubes and the glassware, sometimes the batter.

We also didn’t play with colour temperature in the flashes.

When I did the original shoot at Whitehart, I was using hot shoe flashes just on the light stands.

We were using full-on Profoto – the big guns - for this shoot.

I like my backlight.

No, no, what was I using? I was using my front light (___).

I was running one that was that was at white, and the other was colour temperature orange.

So I was mixing the colour balance between the two, and I find that an attractive look.

So, yeah, this is a lot of fun.

Look at these ice cubes.

 

(Paul)

Look at these ice cubes! And they’re so neutral as well.

 

(John)

Yeah, yeah. We didn’t put a colour chart in these pictures. I basically just warmed everything up. I can’t remember what -  I’ll have to take a look at the white balance settings I had - but basically every shot that had flash in it; I just set them to a colour temperature, and in Lightroom we just did the same; but, I mean it’s a, because it was the winter menu, I wanted things to be just a little bit warmer.

And again, because we had the auto white balance on the Fuji set to fluorescent, when I brought them into Lightroom, oh my god, what’s up? I actually, I immediately ran downstairs and turned the camera on to see what it was set at; and oh, it was at fluorescent. But because had RAW it wasn’t a big deal.

I’d be willing to bet even if I only had JPEGs out of the Fuji, there’s enough room in these files - they’re so juicy - that you can muck around with them a fair bit.

Possibly shooting in daylight on tungsten, that would have been truly bad, but with the RAW file you’re always good to go.

The auto white balance on the JPEGs that we got out of the Fuji was very, very, good.

They were just ready to roll.

 

(Paul)

Well, they’re really quite famous for about how accomplished their JPEGs are. Very impressive.

 

(John)

Okay, so I think we kind of talked about the cameras.

If you had to pick a winner, it was the Fuji won on usability.

Both Paul and I picked Paul’s shot as the real highlight of the day. And that was shot on the Hasselblad.

The two cameras had slightly different bokeh.

So, that’s kind of in the eye of the beholder as to which one you bokeh more.

 

(Paul)

I don’t think I can say bokeh anymore because I’m getting a sore throat.



(John)

Oh, are you? Ok. Exactly.

 

Oh, Harry says it’s “bokeh”.

 

(Paul)

No, I don’t agree.

 

(John)

But all the pictures were spectacularly good; they’re easy on the eyes.

It was a really fun event doing a camera shootout live on Facebook.

Of course, you can then see the high-def versions on YouTube.

We’ve got quite a few views, I think we’re in the 700s on both the intro video, the actual shootout, and let’s just see how our follow-up goes.

We love Facebook for live broadcasting.

We’re getting a great engagement with Michael’s followers, and we are using a suite of Black Magic design tools for these live broadcasts.

I did a live broadcast just an hour or two earlier; from the same room as a matter of fact; all on streaming on Facebook and how we do it at Michaels.

So we certainly recommend you watch that.

I’ll have that video up on the Michael’s YouTube channel as well.

We have grand ambitions for more camera shoot-outs.

We do love these two cameras, so we’ll probably try to come up with another - maybe portraiture or something.

 

(Paul)

Well, that’s a good point because in only about a month or so there are two more lenses coming out for this camera. [I think for the Hasselblad, but I cannot see which one Paul is talking about]

 

(John)

Oh, well, oh, that actually brings up another point: when you and I did the unboxing for the Hasselblad, we were missing a certain lens.

 

(Paul)

Oh, we were, weren’t we? That will be this one just here, the 30 mm wide angle.

 

(John)

We’ve got it now. Now, that in conventional terms is what 20?

 

(Paul)

Oh, I don’t know, about 18 or 20, or something like that. Maybe?

 

(John)

Oh, 18, yeah, something like that. Oh, it’s multiplied by 0.79.

Could someone do that? Multiply by 0.79? [Addresses people off camera]

 

(Paul)

Sounds more like about 20 to me.

 

(John)

Yeah, yeah. Now, and that’s one advantage right now for the Hasselblad, over the Fuji, because they don’t have a wide yet, but it’s coming.

 

(Paul)

But they will, they will. There’s a 23 mm, I think it’s f/2.8 or f4.4.

 

(John)

Yeah, 23, they were going to have, that’s right, so they’re going to be beating Hasselblad on the wide.

Now, keep in mind, both of these cameras can be used with a mount adapter to run those H, or HC Series, Hasselblad lenses, which Fuji made anyway.

So we haven’t got our hands on that adapter but we saw it. (Warrick) from Fuji brought it in that one day.

 

(Paul)

Oh, I played, I’ve had one in Japan as well.

 

(John)

Oh, you played with one in Japan?

Yeah, so we need to get our hands on some other types of lenses.

So we’ve got a lot of things.

I want to pull an old Sony, or not Sony, sorry, a Canon Rangefinder lens out of the museum. I want to put the 50 mm f/0.95 on here.

That’s called the “Dream Lens” apparently because the bokeh is very dreamy.

 

(Paul)

Mmm.

 

(John)

So I want to pull that one out.

And when the Hasselblad H/HC Series lens is used, the Fuji gains (leaf) shutter.

 

(Paul)

That loses all her focus.

 

(John)

But loses all her focus. Keep in mind this camera does have a leaf shutter on it, so we can do higher speed (sync).

The sync speed on the Fuji is 1/25th and this is indeterminate, I guess, it goes right up to the maximum.

We didn’t really play with that in the field, but that might be something we can talk about.

 

(Paul)

That’s another day.

 

(John)

But I want to do a portraiture shootout with these two cameras. So I think that’ll be slower paced…

 

(Paul)

Well, one you; there’s 110 with f/2 coming out for this camera.

 

(John)

Was it f/2 or f/2.8?

 

(Paul)

No, it’s 2.

 

(John)

Oh, f/2, that’s going to be great!

 

(Paul)

Yeah, so that should be coming soon.

 

(John)

Is that going to come in the next batch?

 

(Paul)

Yeah, that’s in June.

 

(John)

So, very soon! So once we get those, and get their hands on them, we’ll come up with something.

We’re going to get all of the Black Magic video streaming stuff in a - we call it The Mobile Production Unit - the MPU.

So that’s our next plan so that we can take the stuff all on the road, without the huge table of gear that David’s working at.

If you can just, can you pan over and show what David’s dealing with right here?

 

[Camera pans over to the switching desk]

So this is what we’ve got right now, and you saw it in the other live broadcast.

So, David’s all set up behind a monitor, with a bunch of tools; and a laptop.

So we’re going to get this all road cased up, and we’ll be able to maybe even run it with battery power; where you can just take the whole Road Show out in the field. [David waves]

 

Yeah, another one of the things I want to do: not too sure which lenses, I’m thinking maybe a Sigma shootout versus the big brand names with concert photography?

I’d love to do that as a live thing.

So we just need to find a venue and a live band that want to be our guinea pigs, and we’ll go head-to-head with the Sigma Art Series.

So Harry’s all excited about that; he wants to play.

[Harry responds about getting a band for them]

Oh, Harry’s going to get us a band.

Oh, ok… well, who knows about that…

[Laughter]

Hey listen, put your comments into our Facebook feed; into our YouTube videos.

What do you want to see us test?

We’re open to any and all suggestions.

 

(Paul)

Careful.

 

(John)

Well, within reason!

So, yeah, I’ve got some ideas I want. I mean, I love panoramic photography, so I want to do a little live broadcast on the panoramas.

We did a live broadcast the other day on drones, for my independent channel; but I’m going to “Michaelsify” that one a little wee bit, make it less about panoramas and more about intro to drones; and we’ll probably do, we might even do that one tomorrow.

So, that’s exciting.

If you want to get a little bit of a starter primer on how to get a drone out of the box and in the air; I’m thinking about doing it tomorrow! So keep abreast of our Facebook page for that.

So, we’ve got a lot of ideas that are coming.

We love Facebook live. We like getting these videos repurposed onto YouTube afterwards; where they continue to give the love; and of course, we love photography and videography!

So that’s what we’re all about at Michael’s.

We want you to come into the store.

We want you to buy online from us.

We want you to follow us on Facebook; check out our YouTube videos, and keep those comments and ideas flowing.

And we’ll see you next time!

Thanks a lot for joining us on our roundup of cocktail photography; and I guess that’s it!

 

(Paul)

That’s it!

 

(John)

Hit those like buttons; share away, and we’ll see you next time!

Thanks so much for joining us!

 

(Paul)

Bokeh!

 

(John)

Bokeh!