The Arizona State Fair with the X1D, Em1 MKII and A9! Making Memories.

The Arizona State Fair with the X1D, Em1 MKII and A9!

By Steve Huff


Hope you all had a great weekend! I spent it at the State Fair with Debby as we go every single year and have for seven years now. We have a tradition, where we visit the old B&W film photo booths they have to take our pictures every year, so later in life we can look back and see each years shots, see how we aged and of course, remember the amazing times we had each year. This year they got rid of all of the film booths besides ONE. They only had one this year as they switched all the others over to digital. Even on the one machine, they had a guy overseeing it as I guess it gives them issues every day. Even so that is the one we used this year, as we wanted to keep to tradition.

Seven years of State Fair photo booth “selfies” of Debby and I. Memories made to look back on when we are in our much older years. We do these every year. 

As I say in the video below, and have said in years past, a camera is much like a time machine. At least as close as we can get to one. We take photos that capture that one slice of time, and yes, we can go back to revisit that slice of time, that moment. It’s a magical thing which is just one reason why I feel photography is so special.

X1D, 45mm – click it for larger

At the fair this year I brought the Hasselblad X1D and 45 f/3.2, which is WAY WAY overkill for a walk around snapshot fest, but hey…it’s light, small, and works well in any light so why not? I use the X1D in any scenario that I used to use my Sony A7RII…because I can! I also brought along the EM1 MKII and 25 f/1.2 lens which I LOVE to death as well, but I admit, I have not been giving it much love lately with the A9 and X1D around…though I should as it is just about as capable as any other camera for IQ and gorgeous color. The A9 was also in the bag but with the 50 Nocturnus f/0.95 (which you can see my shots with HERE).

All there below, X1D and 45 3.5. Click them for correct versions. 

This was not to be a test or comparison, just to go out and enjoy ourselves, shoot some video and take some images. We had some food, drank a beer, rode a ride and snapped some images. Then we went home. Overall it was a great night and each camera was more than good enough to shoot in the day or the night. Honestly guys, an EM1 MKII or A9…both of these cameras are just stunning. The X1D, well you know my thoughts on that as well ; )

I may soon get on a new kick with my Olympus gear though, felt great to shoot with that camera again and I own some wonderful glass for it. The 7-14 Pro, 8mm Pro, 25 1.2, 300mm f/4…amazing stuff.

Next few below with the fabulous EM1 MKII and 25 1.2. Last one with the 8mm Fisheye Pro

In the video at the top of this page I also announce the upcoming launch of the Beers and Cameras Phoenix Division, and yep, yours truly will be heading it up (with some local help as well) as we have weekly hang outs at local breweries and hot spots. Cameras, beer, like minded people…photo walks. This can only mean amazing times and fun. Stay tuned for more on this SOON. 

Sony A9 and the Nocturnus 0.95

We had a great night at the fair, and it goes to show that no matter the camera you own, just use it and have fun with it. Enjoy life, be happy and make the most of it while you still can. Shoot those photos as well and make your own memories in life, trust me…when we get older we will enjoy looking back at the good times and even the not so good times. So use that time machine you own and enjoy creating those memories.


1st Two EM1 MKII, after that all X1D


  1. Thanks for this Steve. I was falling into a desperate cycle of G.A.S. starting to believe that my EM5mii wasn’t adequate anymore. I have some great glass to go with it and just had it rebuilt (its not really designed to be climbing mountains in -40 weather, but its light enough to get there and works great).

    There’s a long way to go before the camera is truly outclassed by the photographer in most situations.

    Thanks for the realism!

    • Yes indeed! Todays cameras, and even those from the last couple of years are all pretty much fantastic. I still say all of the cameras I own are better than I am!

  2. Please do a high res shoot out between the EM1.2’s 50MP JPG/80MP RAW vs the X1D’s native 50MP!

    • Would be a silly test as with the EM1 you have to use a tripod. You can not use that mode handheld, so it is not usable for anything other than tripod mount shots. The X1D is a walk around style camera that can be used for anything with those 50 MP ; )

      • O, Steve, doing silly tests is what you do often! =) You seem to have fun with that. Yes, Oly needs to be on tripod! But it will still be interesting. X1D is a great walk around camera for sure (as you have proved), but does not mean it cannot work on a trpod! Does it not have a tripod socket? =)
        No excuses! Unless you worry the Oly will kick’s X1D’s butt and end up with buyers’ remorse! =)))

        • Yes but my point is I can not use the Em1 in the way I use the X1D, so to me, spending all of the time setting up a high res shot in the Olympus is something I never ever do, nor would I ever do. I use tripods maybe once every three years for photos. If the Olympus needs a tripos (it does) and to be set up through menus for the shot (it does) then it can not do what the X1D can do (handheld, aim and shoot, done). I do crazy comparisons from big buck cameras to cheap, like when I did the Olympus Monochrom mode vs the Leica Monochrom and there was almost no difference. But I could shoot that mono mode hand held, and anytime. For me, the high res shot mode is something I never use and never will just because it requires such set up and a tripod. It also provides some artifacts that the X1D does not, so it would not win. It would make the Oly look bad actually. Slow set up, tripod needed, menu digging, and inferior results. if I get out of the city soon I will pack up a tripod and give it a go though, but do not expect the Olympus to win either in IQ or Usability.

  3. The OM-D E-M1 MkII just performs! That 25mm f/1.2 Pro seems to draw it into another world altogether. The colors, the clarity, the sharpness, and the overall rendering are just spectacular. I have a Pen F and the 8mm Pro. I need to get that 25mm!

    Thank you (!) for your continuing enthusiasm for your web site and photography.

    • Totally agree with you Justin, in fact the E-M1 II B-ball shot really pops. Olympus and Sony win this round, hands down…not even close IMO 😉 Well done Steve!

  4. These kinds of events are terrific for photography, especially late in the day. The atmosphere is nice, as well. Sadly I have only been to one or two. Call me lazy. 😉

    My fave shot here is ‘SKY’.

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