On Instruction Manuals
- a review of "Photographer's Guide to the Fujifilm X100S" By
from White Knight Press
I love Instruction Manuals - doesn't matter what kind, I love understanding how things work and how I can make them work for me..I'm not talking about the type of manual that's full of warnings about radiation, or 'don't use while operating heavy machinery' type of guide. But, rather, something that instructs and teaches.
And so it was when I was considering buying a Fujifilm X100S;
before I even ordered the camera, I downloaded the manual in order to get some idea what this camera was capable of doing - a much better assessment that an advertising brochure.
After the camera was ordered (there where back orders in those early days) - I took the downloaded manual and had it properly printed and spiral-bound - I figured I was going to be using it a lot.
I read this guide a couple of times, even before the camera arrived - and, once again, even after it was delivered. I often refer to this manual.
I should add, that I really love this camera - not 'quite like' or ’enjoy’, it's more than that...This camera has reawakened everything that I love about photography - it's my companion wherever I go, it's recording my life and my world. And it’s important that I know how to fully maximize it’s use.
And this is where the official Fuji manual fails; sure it covers all the basics, in touches (sometimes a mere one-liner) on some of the more advanced stuff - and it ignores a whole lot more...and that's not so good.
This is where Alexander S. White’s Guide starts to becoming really good.
The book is big - around 400 hundred pages, well illustrated (mainly, it seems, using ornaments from around his living room) and a wee bit quirky.
This is not great literature, it’s sometimes even written a bit sloppy - but it should be considered (and this is how I imagine it) - as a teacher, teaching his class of students.
A bit of jumping around, a bit of “hold that question till later” but, essentially, we are listening to a very erudite professor.
If there is one (slightly) annoying flaw, is that White is not exactly sure who his students are: are we a classroom of advanced photographic students, or are we 101 Photography?
On page 67 he writes
“the camera’s sensor is controlled by the combination of aperture (how wide open the lens is) and shutter speed (how long the shutter remains open to let in the light)”
- and that’s a wee bit frustrating for the advanced students.
On the other hand, the book is packed with information not found in the official manual;
How to take multi self-timed photos
What are all the different colours for the exposure values in the EVF.
Really a lot of great stuff in this book.
Who should buy this guide?
- not people ’considering’ buying the X100S
- not people who has just bought the camera; the basic operating use makes the camera sound too difficult.
But everybody else should buy this book!
We've spent over $1000 on a fantastic camera, we’ve spent some time learning the basics - now’s the time to real maximize our knowledge and really master the X100S
Highly recommended, ignore the quirky bits.