Wlad Simitch is an author-photographer for almost ten years. He is based in Paris. After studying law and cinema, he worked in film production before returning to his first loves: painting, sculpture, that is for him a direct contact with the real world. He discovered photography later, discovering the space, the light, the instinct and the human relationships…a sort of balance between the eye and the heart. He deals with photography as a tool for a sensorial and sociological exploration. He has worked since 2010 on documentaries regarding various subjects around the perception and the place of man in our period. At the same time, he has carried out some institutional works, reports and portraits in France for important companies.
The X-S10 and I
I had the opportunity to photograph a couple of hip-hop and break dancers using the X-S10. This little gem was an important asset in this adventure!
Let’s start with image quality. Fujifilm offers a comprehensive range of JPEG settings. As a photographer, you can choose several Film Simulations to adjust the final rendition, but you can also set detail levels, color saturation, sharpness, grain, highlights and shadows tones, and many more. The EVF allows you to preview the photo rendition. JPEG quality is amazing: you can easily do without post-production, which I really enjoyed! I used a 16:9 aspect ratio, the Classic Neg Film Simulation, a slightly lower saturation and an increased sharpness, I trusted the auto white balance, and I was perfectly happy with the results!
The vari-angle LCD allows, for example, to take low-angle shots without lying down on the ground or shooting blind. Combining this screen with face detection, burst shooting, and continuous auto-focus makes a very powerful association, both for discreet street photography and to shoot my hip-hop dancers without losing any of the action. Burst mode can capture 30 frames per second, it’s incredible! There is a shortcut so, with a simple press of a button, I can directly access this mode, as well as a range of other functions such as the many bracketings (ISO sensitivity, Film Simulation, white balance…), the HDR mode, etc. Another advantage compared to a DSLR: the electronic shutter is completely silent, even when shooting bursts. It’s almost incredible when you’re used to the mechanical shutter sound from a DSLR.
Another strong suit… I’ve been taking pictures for 8 years, with very clumsy DSLRs, and I suffer from those! But, over that period, I also took habits: using my gear has become some kind of a second nature. This new camera comes just at the right time: not only can I get rid of that unbearable bulk, but I don’t have to break the habits I took over those long years. Indeed, the main dial of the X-S10 gives me access to the very same modes: in one click, I can access Speed or Aperture priority AE, Programmed AE or manual exposure, and I also have four personalized modes! It’s very convenient and I was immediately ready to work. Sometimes, I do photo reporting and follow main political leaders, so I have to react quickly. I save at least two or three personalized set-ups. Not only is it possible with the X-S10, but its interface offers a wide range of personalizations!
I felt an amazing sense of freedom, photographing dancers Juliette and Kamil with this camera. The X-S10 is light as a feather, yet really comfortable in the field. I’ve decided to stop hurting my back by carrying 10 kilograms of gear: from now on, I’ll travel with lighter cameras and lenses, without compromising optical quality or gear performance. The X-S10, the wide range of Fujifilm X Mount lenses and the EF-60 flash unit allow me to get comfortable. That’s as light and good as photographic gear can get!
The ergonomics are really well-designed. The grip is nice to handle, the small pad for the right thumb offers a good stability. Hands naturally find their place and the fingers can easily touch all shortcut buttons – I used those a lot during the shooting. There are also four dials that you can configure to meet your needs. Design is simple, with Fujifilm-style lines. The USB-C port allows to download pictures on your computer and to recharge the battery, and there are HDMI, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. All this is very convenient and offers several ways to use the camera.
I would recommend the X-S10 to photographers who come from a DSLR system and wish to switch to mirrorless. They can remain faithful to the general layout of their DSLR, settings, modes and interface. So they can basically keep their working habits, yet profit from a light, compact, well-built and less expensive gear!