It’s winter in Australia at this time of the year. No, I am not talking about the temperature, I meant that it gets dark fairly early. At about 5.30pm, it would appear like 8pm in Singapore. In the weekdays, my training ended at 4pm, to get my daily dose of street photography (making the most of my one week stay), I had little choice but to shoot in the evening or night. Even though most shops closes early in Australia, there are still plenty of activities in the night, especially friday night. Lots of good moments waiting to be captured. Bad news was that I didn’t bring along a flash unit with me. Good news, Fuji X-Pro1 is still capable of producing good images, even at night.
Every friday night, at south bank parkland of Brisbane, there is a night market. The shops will commence selling only at 5.30pm. That was the place I wanted to go to shop as any tourist would, and to try out the X-Pro1 for night shots. But on that particular night, it was more than just the night market, there was also a special performance in conjunction with 2012 Walk Together for Refugees Week. It was PERFECT for me.
I adjusted my X-Pro1 to iso1600 and get it to work. As mentioned in Part 1, when X-Pro1 gets it right, its just perfect, and that applies for low light situation as well. However it gets a little more tricky in a low light situation, cos the AF in X-Pro1 don’t get it right as easily. I had a lot more missed shots than I would like to. I will be frank, it did frustrate me a little. Some would say, its my fault, should have gotten myself a flash unit but a flash unit wouldn’t work as well in street photography (I know some does uses flash), not as discreet in my opinion. Not my style of street photography anyway. I think people generally get a lot more defensive when a flash went off as compared to a click from the camera.
It was especially difficult when there is movement. There was a point during the performances where people (and children) were dancing to the tunes and I couldn’t get a proper shot off. I was a little disappointed. It was a beautiful moment. But I didn’t allow my disappointment to get the best of me, I was in a place where there were great performances and people were just enjoying themselves. So I just kept walking around, looking out for next best shot. The noise on the images was clearly visible when I was doing post-processing. I am not one who is bothered by noise, sometimes I would add noise to make my pictures more film-like. Another way to work around the noise issue is to convert the picture into black and white. Black and white images somehow make noise more bearable.
All said, I am still very impressed with X-Pro1 even in low light situation. Yes, you may get some missed shots, part and parcel of street photography. AF can’t get a “lock-on” etc. etc. If that is too unbearable to you, go ahead and buy a flash unit. As for me, I am very happy with it, even without a flash. All the pictures you see here are taken with iso1600. Hey, some DSLR (no names given) can’t perform this well. So Fuji X-Pro1 is expensive. I know. But the performance you get in return far outweigh the cash you pay for it. If DSLR is your thing and you don’t mind the weight, go get a full-frame, I am sure it will perform just as well, perhaps even better. Otherwise, Fuji X-Pro1 will likely be the best travel companion you ever get. It is my best travel companion.
Thank you Brisbane, beautiful city, beautiful people.