During last year’s holiday season, I went to High 5 with some friends. It’s a combination bar/entertainment complex, a genre that seems to be getting popular around Austin. High 5 isn’t gigantic, but it has several bowling lanes, arcade and skill games, and of course, a bar.
I took a camera with me, the Fujifilm XQ1, which I had purchased inexpensively from my friend Mike. It’s a 2013 vintage compact camera with a slightly larger 2/3″ sensor. Nothing like testing a camera at a real event to see what it can do.
The highlight of High 5 is probably the ax throwing, which is certainly unexpected in Austin. I tried two rounds and managed to stick the ax into the wood about 30% of the time. I was never close to a bullseye. It was a lot harder than I anticipated.
Mid-week was a slow time, and no one was bowling. I liked the decor, which looked modern and stylish. Certainly an upgrade from the dingy Brunswick bowling alleys I remember from my youth.
I played arcade games more than anything else when I wasn’t taking pictures. The arcade games are fun and something I rarely do these days. And as entertaining as it is, I much prefer photography and testing old compact cameras. I’m so boring and predictable.
The Fujifilm XQ1 is a decent but not outstanding camera. The small size is nice. The unique to Fuji super-intelligent flash is worthwhile, which effectively blends with the ambient light. However, what makes this a keeper for me is its direct printing to the Fuji Instax printers. Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, most modern Fuji cameras can send images directly, via WiFi, to the portable Fuji printers. I get to make instant prints and give them away.
Unlike the cheaper and less capable Fuji Instax cameras, which produce mixed results, I like using a real digital camera and printing the images. I make better images and can print more than one identical copy. The tiny XQ1 and printer combo is take-anywhere small. Useful when I don’t want to bring my larger Fujis.
The majority of my pictures that night were of my friends. Snapshots that I made printed and gave out as keepsakes. People got a kick out of seeing the images develop over a few minutes, like old-school Polaroids. They also marveled at my compact setup. That’s the true value of the Fuji XQ1 and the fun of sharing photographs.
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