A Filmstrip: The Car Wash

It’s been a while since I posted one of these! Around two years ago I would regularly post a “filmstrip” that was almost always shot with my Olympus E-P2 and 20mm Panasonic. You can see those old shots by looking at the “Related Posts” below. Since I almost always carry a camera with me, and that camera alternates between the E-P3 and X100 most of the time (with an M9 sneaking in every now and then), I decided to snap a few in the car wash yesterday. One thing I noticed and love with the Fuji is how it gives off a certain glow and richness to its files sometimes. Look at the reds! I adore Fuji colors and every digital Fuji I have ever shot with has been tops in this department. The S2, S3, S5…all slow DSLR’s but amazing in the color and dynamic range department. Some of my fondest personal photos were shot on a Fuji S5 years ago.

So I decided to post this just because I love the deep reds and the Fuji files that do not seem so digital when compared to other digital cameras. In fact, the three least digital “looking” digital cameras I have shot with have been the Leica M9, X1 and Fuji X100.

So here it is, my “Car Wash” filmstrip!  (still writing and working on the NEX-7 review but taking a breather)!


  1. Hand car wash facilities, where the vehicle is washed by employees.Self-service facilities, which are generally coin-operated, where the customer does the washing, including “jet washing”.In-bay automatics, which consist of an automatic machine that rolls back and forth over a stationary vehicle – often seen at filling stations and stand-alone wash sites.Tunnel washes, which use a conveyor to move the vehicle through a series of fixed cleaning mechanisms.Chemical car wash, also known as waterless car wash, uses chemicals to wash and polish car surface. Thought to have originated in Australia and claims to be an eco-friendly car wash method.

  2. Steve,

    Can you hear, Are you hearing…. LYTRO…LYTRO….LYTRO….LYTRO…..LYTRO…..LYTRO…

    Is it going to change the world, I mean the world of photography.

    I want to know if we can have the whole picture in focus at one time if needed, like in landscape.
    And can we print these pictures, if so what size.

    It’s a Small camera, more fun on your way Steve.

  3. Steve…great shots with strong colours. Are these straight out of the X100 or have you tweaked them in post production?

      • Yes, I’m wondering the same thing Steve… have you post processed the colours in this filmstrip? I love that red too. Love those photos by the way, and love the idea of a filmstrip. You’ve inspired me to try it.

        I’m yet to fall in love with my X100, even though I would dearly love to. I’ve always adored the “look” from my Zeiss film lenses (Contax G) – so I’m trying to get a similar thing from the X100. The closest I’ve got so far is bumping up all the in-camera settings and shooting jpeg. (As I don’t want to have to PP EVERYthing…)

        Thanks for the inspiring post Steve.

  4. It’s interesting that the X100’s “lowly 12mp” manage to look better than the NEX’s 24mp. When will camera companies (and consumers who determine every business’ success) ever learn that the megapixel race is so yesterday’s news.

    The new race in digital cameras is in better DR, noise performance, handling, and colour.

    What’s the point in having more megapixels when more than 99% of the population hardly ever print any larger than an 8×12 print?

    I worked part-time in my city’s most popular photo developing lab/photo store close to a year ago, and our main customer base orders 4×6 and 5x7s.

    More than 95% of our camera customers don’t know the difference between a fast apperture and shutter speed. They just want a camera that will shoot “pretty” photos which they can post online on facebook or make small 4×6 prints to give away to friends and family.

    • Sorry, this is incorrect. Assuming the same sensor technology and output size, higher megapixel cameras are not outperformed by lower megapixel cameras in noise or DR. In fact, the idea of the megapixel race being a negative is what is yesterday’s news, if you read any technical articles on the subject…or talk to the inventor of CMOS himself, Dr. Fossum.

      FWIW, Sony actually uses a more dense color filter than their competitors, which allows a little less light to the sensor. The result is better color separation with the trade off being a little more noise.

    • You are right. As our visual media switches more to digital, there wil be no need for any device producing files over 12 MP. In simplistic terms..The internet doesn’t need large files..just really good blacks in the grey scale..your monitor makes up the difference.

  5. Steve,
    Your Next assignment after reviewing Nex7 will be to compare – Nex 5n with X100, M9, D3s. Its going to be awesome.
    People will love to see these Low Light Super Stars. Let’s have more fun.

    • D3s will win of course any of those cameras cannot compete. D3s and 1D Mark X that would be interesting but remember Steve is not into big bulky DSLRs like some of us here. Reading your site makes me want to buy a X100 again and pray that it is not plagued by the same failures mine was.

      • The D3s is a crazy high ISO monster. I loved what the camera could do (see my review) but for me, its just too large and heavy. Id never use it! Im more of a fan of smaller cameras. X100, E-P3, NEX…

      • D3s is big can not compare with others in size. I want him to use D3s as a BenchMark for Low Light performance and see which one will come closest to D3s. That I feel will be the real comparison.

  6. I’m starting to lust over the X100 all over again. My EPL-1 is still a good camera, but I am a gadget freak, so I can’t help myself.

  7. Thanx, Steve. I totally agree. I’m looking forward to shooting with the new Fuji X10 next month. I hope this little thing will give me the same certain glow & richness!!!!

  8. Actually, to me it’s intersting that Canon’s new “flagship” 1DX is 18 MP and reportedly is replacing both the 1D4 and the 1Ds4….is the downgrade in pixels to maximize IQ in a variety of real world shooting circumstnaces? Is it possible that pushing the pixels past 20 limits the efficacy of noise smoothing algorithms. To me, it’s possibly why sensors with lower megapixel counts, like the x100 , K5, and GXR do quite well in a variety of lighting conditions and maximize DR to a degree,

    I am looking forward to the review. The NEX, I suspect, will be fine at low to moderate ISO, but beyond ISO’s in the 800 range, we’ll see….I have my fingers crossed for a good outcome/review….and hope that you include a section with M mount lenses….

    • Yes, finally! I feel 12-18 is PLENTY of megapixels and always always gives better IQ than when there is more. So I guess Canon will lead the way in that area. For cameras other than full on medium format digitals I feel MP’s should be kept under 20. Just my opinion!

      • I’m so with ya… 10-16mp I think is perfect for most of us honestly. I’m still amazed at what comes out of the M8 in that regard with it’s “old” 10mp sensor. Beyond 16-18mp just starts to irk me with regards to file-size, and just seems like overkill for most people (note, I said MOST – LOL)…

        Jeez, it’s not like just a few years ago we weren’t all making large prints with lowly 8 and 10mp cameras… I was doing TRUCK-SIZE prints 6 years ago with much less than 24mp…


    • The pixel size thing is a common misnomer, because comparing sensors of different pixel sizes at pixel level doesn’t make sense for photographers. In order to compare sensors of different megapixel numbers, it really only makes sense to compare them at the same output size, and, when doing so, the supposed high ISO disadvantage of a higher megapixel sensor is erased (assuming the same sensor technology.) That’s why DxO Mark has the “print” tab in their reviews. If you take the same exposure with the NEX-5n, X100 and NEX-7, and output or print the files to the same size, the NEX-7 high ISO should be quite competitive with the other two. It’s only when one does unnecessary pixel comparisons where differences are noticeable.

      The only real disadvantage** of a higher megapixel sensor (again, assuming like pixel technology) is needing more disk space and slower data throughput, which is why the 1DX is stuck at 18mp. Despite however Canon tries to spin it, they aren’t at the point where they can make a 30mp+ camera that still does 12fps with a large buffer, so they found a compromise between speed and resolution, and it’ll be interesting if pro photographers accept this compromise.

      While I’m at it, another often overlooked difference when comparing cameras is raw converters. All raw converter demoisacing engines are not created equal, and some behave better for some brands than others.

      **note: one could possibly argue that more megapixels means a little more internal flare, due to more micro lenses, but I don’t think we’re at the point where that makes a tangible different.

      • Hmmm….I’m thinking Canon has a point here and it’s not just spin. I guess we’ll see when the camera comes out. More MP doesn’t mean better IMHO.

    • Of course. Look at the D3, D700, D3s. I owned a 5dmk2 and I own a D700 now. What my D700 can do in low light and in terms of preserving detail and having lower noise is incredible. 12 mp is more than plenty. I mean framing wise there are less options due to lower opportunities to crop but it is not really useful as use of proper framing technique, and 5dmk2 is a better landscape camera but much worth reportage and wedding camera that is certain. The mark X is going to be very interesting it is intriguing what Nikon will bring to the table.

      I am surprised that Steve has completely written off the Nikon V1. I looked at the sample images at high ISO settings on DPReview and those images are really incredibly good for such a small sensor. The camera is able to compete with NEX and EP while having a much smaller sensor and probably a much faster AF/burst rate.

        • OH, and you forgot crappy lenses with a proprietary mount. What’s to like Leonard? Sorry, but the rest of the world has already written it off too. Might as well join in….it just sucks. Nikon’s offering is terrible.

    • While I was always pleased with the results from my 21mp Canon 5DMKII my current 12mp 5D MKI produces a much nicer looking image, at the present moment I wouldn’t swap my 5D MKI for a MKII.

      the 12mp of the X100 & GXR seem right on the money too, I like my X100 but the look and feel from the GXR wins for me.

      I also think that the 18mp of my M9 is hitting a little high sometimes, maybe 16mp would have been better, look at the Nikon D40, for a 6mp APS-C DSLR it produces great OOC jpegs

    • Lol….Hmmmm. Well, it’s all subjective. I can say that the X100 gives off a more classic look where the NEX seems to be a bit more “flat”. As far as coming closest to the Leica feel? The X100 would win that one.

    • I’ve been running around doing comparison shots of my X100 and 5N (with c/y Zeiss 25mm) and I’m not finding any clear X100 dominance. If pushed, I’d call it for the 5N. It seems to do better in d/r and a hair better in noise – when using RAW. The X100 files have a bit more pop OOC but the difference is easily edited away – and every camera provides a different baseline output, so unless you only do OOC, then I don’t see where this should be a positive or negative.

      The NEX feels more dependable (less quirks) but the X100 has that nice all-in-one package. X100 owners should be thrilled with their cameras, as should the NEX camp.

      How the 7 compares to the 5 is what I want to know…

      • I owned the X100. It was so slow to capture the decisive moment so I just carry my DSLR with me. It produced incredible JPEGs don’t get me wrong, but it was painfully slow to use. I tested out the EP3 in the shop and that was one fast focusing camera. My d700 feels not any snappier

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