Around Here: testing the Fuji X-T20

A couple of weeks ago it occurred to me that, with a holiday looming and desires of taking lots of long timelapse photos of an evening, should I wish to take other scenes while timelapse was recording I’d be out of luck with just the one camera. And so on a whim I followed a friend’s advice and bought a second shooter, a Fuji X-T20.

It’s totally amazing – “the Little Camera that Can™” – personified. Diametrically opposite to everything I’ve become accustomed to with the Pentax K-1: custom user-modes do not encapsulate drive modes such as burst-rate, bracketing or intervalometers, just some rudimentary exposure (auto)-ISO settings and things; and the JPEGs are absolutely stunning, with targets defined within colour-space not by intended purpose (“landscape”, “portrait”) but rather by film-emulation.

It’s so good I’ve reworked my entire RAW-processing workflow such that images from both cameras now look like the Fuji’s out-of-camera JPEGs whilst emulating Fuji Provia slide film of old. Quite some drastic changes required over and above the default RawTherapee profile – most notably yellow-greens are dramatically deeper and greener and there’s a “Fuji red” going off. It’s nice to have a point of reference in colour-space, so I know what’s “normal” and where processing deviates from it.

Anyway. Some quick snaps taken one lunchtime stroll through nearby woods:

And my favourite of all, a partial 22º solar halo – the first photo of the walk:

Having just returned from the holiday that prompted the acquisition, it’s interesting just how fast it’s become my primary choice of camera if only for reasons of lighter-weight whilst travelling.

A bit of a hardware upgrade

Four and a half years ago I bought basalt,. a Lenovo Thinkpad W520 notebook.
Named for being black and geometrically regular, he was not cheap, but then the hardware was chosen for longevity. He did everything – mostly sitting on the desk being a workstation, for both photo-processing and work, with added portability. And he was fast… very fast.

He’s done sterling service, but the time has come for a bit of an upgrade. Since I haven’t done so for a few years now, I built the replacement workstation by hand.

So, after much shopping (mostly on Amazon with a couple of trips to the local Maplin’s), meet rhyolite – named because the red fan LEDs in the case remind me of the pink granite rock in Glen Etive.

basalt rhyolite
RAM  16G 64G
CPU  i7-2720QM @ 2.20GHz i7-6800K  @ 3.40GHz
HD 1TB 2.5″ 2*2T SATA, 64GB SSD, 240GB SSD
Display 15″ 1080p 24″ 4K
Time to process one Olympus Pen-F hi-res ORF file from RAW to TIFF 5min50s 1min6s
Time to rebuild Apache Spark from git source 28min15s 6min28s

It’s funny how oblivious we can be of  machines slowing down and software bloating over time, rather like the proverbial boiling lobster and then when I look up, things can be done 4-5x as fast.

It’s really funny when you copy your entire home directory across wholesale and see what used to be a full-screen maximized Firefox window now occupying barely a quarter of the new display.

How many photo thumbnails can you fit in a 4K display?

There’s only one downside: sometimes I miss having a trackpad in the middle of the keyboard area…