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Monday, December 16, 2013

Shooting Sports With The Fuji X20 - A Real World Review


I've never done a camera review and I probably won't do so again. However, I recently purchased a Fuji X20 to become my take with me all the time camera, and to see if I could use it for some indoor youth sporting events.
 
You see, I'm getting rid of some of my equipment as I've started coming down with a good case of arthritis in my left hand due, believe it or not, to the fact of doing photography over the past 40+ years. And the fact that 30 years ago I almost ran a flat blade screw driver through my left hand trying to change out the handle grips on my daughters bicycle, but that's another story.
 
Anyway, I'm keeping one DSLR and two lenses and a tripod. The rest is being sold. So, I decided that I wanted to still be able to shoot some youth indoor sporting events without using the heavy equipment; because it hurts to hold the heavier equipment over a period of time.
 
I have a Canon G11 and it is a wonderful camera, but it isn't fast enough for use in doors for sports photography. It belongs now to my wife. Enter the Fuji X20.
 
I checked up on it, read many reviews and looked at real world reviews from every day photographers. I fell in love with it even before buying it, and buy it I did.
 
I've been playing around with it; seeing what it could do. So, when I found out that one of my grand kids was playing in an indoor soccer match at the local YMCA I went to photograph him.
 
The indoor arena has adequate lighting but it isn't very bright. In addition I had to shoot through some very scratchy and somewhat dirty Plexiglas. This was not going to be easy.
 
I tried various settings from using the P, A and M (1/125 @ f/2.8) settings. I let the ISO stay at Auto. I even shot some photos in black & white. Below are some samples of what I got. For me and my family these are good enough and they would be good enough for use in a local newspaper.
 
Of course, they are not of DSLR quality but the camera is fast in focusing and with virtually no shutter lag. I did quite a bit of anticipation and some pre-focusing on where I felt the action might be, but for the most part the focusing and the non-existent shutter lag was almost at DSLR speed. I was quite impressed.
 
So, realizing that all of these are shot through some not so great Plexiglas, here are the samples of what the X20 can do in shooting low light indoor sporting events. I will say that I did adjust Levels, added a touch of Contrast and let the resizing of Photoshop Elements do a little adding of Enhanced Sharpening because of downsizing the photos for Web Viewing.
 
In addition, I included one photo of the fans, not taken through the Plexiglas, just to give an idea of what the X20 can do in this situation. For me, I have found the right Point & Shoot camera for use in this environment.
 
One more thing. I kept the LCD off and used the Optical View Finder for all of these. It felt great, natural and I enjoyed using it.
 
Please click on any photo for a better image...









 

I would love to hear from you with any comments, questions or suggestions that you might have. Thank you...