Capturing the 2013 Austin Fan Fest with the Fuji XF1

Foreigner Concert, Austin Fan Fest, Austin, Texas

Foreigner Concert, Austin Fan Fest, Austin, Texas

Austin hosted its second annual Formula 1 race this past weekend. I didn’t attend the race itself, but I went downtown to capture scenes from the Austin Fan Festival. Like last year, a section of downtown was blocked off for exhibits, concerts, food and anything else that would vaguely fit into the racing theme. It was a fun time, and for me, another chance to do some street photography which I probably find more interesting than shooting cars going around a track. Plus it was free. Better than spending hundreds of bucks on racing tickets. That’s a good thing since I can save my money and, what else, buy more gear.

Speaking of gear, I mentioned last week that I’m testing two new cameras. I’m still playing with the pre production camera that is on loan to me, but in the mean time, I wanted to talk about the new camera that I just bought, the Fuji XF1. Heck, even its name is perfect for F1 weekend.

I went to Fan Fest last year where I shot with my Olympus E-P3. I went even smaller and lighter this year with Fuji’s smallest X branded point and shoot. I’ll do a full review of the XF1 and tell you what makes this guy unique in a future post. For now, lets just say that I’m very happy with the images I got with this point and shoot, even at night. Take a look at the photos and tell me what you think.

Infiniti Women, 2013 Austin Fan Fest - Austin, Texas

I was already downtown on Friday for a party and decided to check out Fan Fest. I snapped an image of a couple of women at the Red Bull – Infiniti display. This simple snapshot actually showcases one of my favorite features of this XF1. It’s something that reviewers rarely talk about. Just as a teaser, I’ll say that it blows away what my other “high end” point and shoot, the Canon G15, can do.

Foreigner Concert, Austin Fan Fest, Austin, Texas
Foreigner Concert, Austin Fan Fest, Austin, Texas

The highlight of the evening was the free concert by Foreigner. The lead singer was still going strong from this 80’s era British-American Rock Band. The photo at the very top was from the concert as well as these two images. The black and white was done in camera and tweaked in post. In fact, I shot all photographs in JPEG and I did minor tweaks with Aperture 3 afterwards.

The next day, I returned in the late afternoon. I wanted to capture Fan Fest both during good light and into the night. As you know, I like the evening and night shots the most. It also let me test what this point and shoot can do in less ideal conditions.
Video Simulation, Austin Fan Fest, Austin, Texas
Mini Race Track, Austin Fan Fest, Austin, Texas

Fan Fest did an admirable job by including everyone, especially kids. There were simulators and video games and slot car races. This is the closest I got to any kind of race track that weekend.

Ferrari Showcase, Austin Fan Fest, Austin, Texas
Ferrari Wheel, Austin Fan Fest, Austin, Texas

As expected, there were many fast cars on display.

David Coulthard, Austin Fan Fest, Austin, Texas

Talks by actual F1 drivers. Here’s David Coulthard at the AT&T pavilion.

Three Topo Chicos, Austin Fan Fest, Austin, Texas

Certainly, there were numerous products being promoted with attractive spokes people.

Fusion Promotion, Austin Fan Fest, Austin, Texas

Infiniti and Ford had displays. I like the style of the current Ford Fusion with its Aston Martin-esque grill. The red model looked nice under the colorful lights.

More Construction Austin Fan Fest, Austin, Texas

Austin seems to be in the midst of another building boom. I’m seeing a lot of cranes again.

Chicken on a Stick, Austin Fan Fest, Austin, Texas

There were loads of food and alcohol for sale with “slightly” inflated prices. I enjoyed the Chicken on a Stick grilling performance.

Red Bull DJ, Austin Fan Fest, Austin, Texas

This is Austin after all so we had plenty of music. Red Bull had an upbeat club mix going all night, undoubtedly to make our European visitors feel welcome.

Street Performance, Austin Fan Fest, Austin, Texas

We also had street musicians with a more local Tejano feel.

Live Concert, Austin Fan Fest, Austin, Texas

Finally, there were several stages with live concerts. These guys were not as popular as Foreigner but they were great and I could get up close to the stage.

I had a fun night of photography and Fan Fest gave me something different to shoot. The Fujifilm XF1, for the most part, did an admirable job. I’ll talk more about it in upcoming posts.

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15 thoughts on “Capturing the 2013 Austin Fan Fest with the Fuji XF1

  1. Nice post! Owning just a canon rebel and a couple of old cameras (and I guess my cell phone), I could really use a good quality P&S that does not break the bank (mmm, those preschool bills…)…….This one might fit the bill.

    I have a special request for you (to include or not in your review). Do you think the barrel that can be rotated for zooming is sturdy enough? Is it in plastic? A perfect P&S for me would have to be adaptable for digiscoping, and the weight of the camera would have to be supported by that barrel.

    1. Laurent, the lens barrel seems sturdy enough. It looks like its made of some kind of thin metal, probably aluminum. Unlike regular point and shoots, the lens barrel is manually turned, kind of like a DSLR. There is no automatic zooming motor.

      Another unique feature is that the camera turns on when the lens barrel is turned from standby to the 25mm position.

      If you decide to buy the camera, do me a favor and use the ” available at Amazon for an amazing $199.” link at the top of the post. The price will be the same for you but I get a small commission from Amazon 🙂 Thanks.

  2. Thanks for the tip. I will definitely go through your links if I ever buy some photography equipment in the future!

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