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22.08.2018 Nilay Islek

Small, Smart, Sympathetic: XF10

Nilay Islek

Nilay Islek was born in Izmir, Turkey. In 1999, she entered Dokuz Eylül University Fine Art Faculty and graduated with the thesis “Sensual Projections” in 2003. She completed her Master Degree in the same faculty with her thesis “Visual Culture and Social Memory in the Context of Digital Photography Aesthetics” in 2009.

Islek, started to Advertising Photography in 1995 during her education. While she moved up in the career ladder, she became a sought after instructor and gave lectures in several schools and associations such as Izmir Fen High School and Izmir Association of Photography Art (IFOD). Universiade 2005 Izmir Summer Plays was her first important international event as a member of editorial board. After that, she has participated to several international events and projects. Her newest project is Izmir- Bremen Photography Artist Residance Program “Elsewhere” between 2017-2018. In the mean time, Nilay Islek started her own atelier,  Artlens Visual Culture and Photography , which is a continuous education center in the field of photography for eight years now. In 2016, Nilay Islek is chosen for the international title of Fujifilm “X-Photographer” as the first woman photographer from Turkey. She’s been given Basic Photography Courses Fujifilm Education Centre in Izmir as the official instructor of Fujifilm. She worked as a lecturer in Izmir Economy University between 2015-2018. On the other hand, her academic career is going on at Ege University Faculty of Communication, Radio, Television and Cinema PhD program. She lives and continues her life of art in London.

We might think that Fujifilm gives more effort for Professional photographers, because of the incredible advance of the upper camera segment in last year. But XF10 is the proof, that Fujifilm still cares about the compact cameras and the photographers, who prefer the cutting-edge technology in a small body.
As a street photographer, I used to take all the control on the camera in manual mode. So, when I received XF10, I instantly switched to manual exposure mode and enjoyed the two wheels – one for shutter and one for aperture – taking place on the right top of the body very ergonomically. Mechanical + Electronic Shutter speed value is between 30” and 1/16000 and of course Bulb mode is available.

While shooting people, who are always rushing somewhere, in a crowded city centre or in a festival, focus speed is one of the most important features, that affects the photographer’s success directly. I was ready for a disappointment with focus speed on this new camera since I’m used to an ultra-speed as an X70 user. Even if XF10 designed as an entry-level camera, she didn’t let me down. XF10’s focus speed is pretty fast and the new focus mode “ALL” is a facilitator to choose AF area. Another smart touch about AF usage is adding Focus Lever for quick selection of focus areas. This makes XF10 the second lens-integrated X Series camera that features the Focus Lever after X100F. Using that sympathetic joystick enhances the user experience to a high level.

XF10 is very user-friendly on the streets. It’s light, smart and doing its job when it’s needed. After spending a few days with XF10, I’ve decided to give the control to the camera. One of the prominent features of this camera is SR+ Exposure Mode. On this mode, you decide the frame and leave the rest to the camera. What I’m amazed was the perception speed of the software, whether the composition is a macro shooting or a landscape. You can take both photographs in series in seconds without any effort. Just aim and shoot… I think, this mode makes XF10 a preferable camera for customers, who want to take attractive photos and don’t interest with the technical process of photography. Also as a professional photographer, I’d like to shoot in SR+ mode during the days that I want to concentrate just on the frame.

London, the city where I live, is the perfect city for street photography with pros and cons. Vivid street-life, the colourful structure of the city, socializing people and classical symbols of London are composing a movie scene every day all day. On the other hand, unsteady light conditions, over-crowded places, and moving subjects force the photographer to use a light and practical equipment for a fulfilling photo-shoot day, which is X-Pro2 to me. Besides my main camera, I prefer to carry a secondary one for daily use. In this case, Fujifilm offers two options, XF10 or X100F, the main difference between these two is viewfinder. Personally, I left using viewfinder together with DSLR cameras. While shooting people via LCD screen, I feel more comfortable and more invisible. Additionally, developing LCD screen technology with mirrorless technology provides us with realistic results before pressing the shutter button.
FUJIFILM X Series users are very familiar with advanced filters such as Toy Camera, Miniature, Pop Color, High-key, Low-key, Dynamic Tone, Soft Focus, Partial Color. XF10 is offering brand new experiences to the users with its newly introduced advanced filters; HDR Art, Fish-eye, Fog remove, Cross screen and Rich&Fine. As a matter of fact, XF10 contains many features like fisheye filter, macro shooting via SR+ mode, which compensates for the need of different lenses.

XF10 has no ascendance and it’s also not comparable with other series. She is a compact camera suitable for daily use, which contains the whole experiences of Fujifilm gathered during years.