Professional wedding photography with the Fuji X-E1 and X-Pro 1 |
Jonathan Ryan

Big weddings, small cameras. Here are the pro tips you need to survive.

…. as always, I learned more in a day’s live shooting than you ever can in hours of studying forums, reading manuals or even in safe practise shoots. At one point you just have to make a leap of faith and deal with anything that turns up. None of this is really news but here are my main pieces of advice from the day:

  1. Forget multi shots – I typically leave a Nikon in “continuous low” mode and shoot either single shots or “double taps”. In marginal light the second frame is usually sharper. Forget that. On an X-Pro 1 or X-E1 (can I just call them X-CSCs and we’ll agree it means this?) the burst mode can lock your camera for a considerable time. Stick to single shots – first shot is the best, right?
  2. You’ll need spare batteries. More than you think. An X-CSC goes from “everything is great” to “I don’t have enough battery to turn on the low battery warning” in about 2 shots. Change early, change often. In 8 hours’ shooting I made it all the way to the 5th battery I had with me. The 16GB cards I had in each camera weren’t full.
  3.  The Q button is your friend. I have a number of shooting profiles set up under the quick menu which are identical on both cameras and can swap to my preferred black and white or macro settings at the push of about 4 buttons.
  4.  Auto ISO is not your friend. This has been pointed out all over the web and hopefully Fuji will fix it in a firmware upgrade. The floor setting for shutter speed in auto ISO are way too low. If you shoot auto ISO you will get blurry pictures. I can handhold an X-CSC at slower speeds than a DSLR but still I got blurred pictures if I nudged it to auto ISO.
  5. Strong backlighting can confuse autofocus. When a subject has their back to a bright window I’ll often dial in +2 EV of compensation or more on a Nikon. On the Fujis +2 is your max and there seems to be a risk that the autofocus will be wildly out.
  6. I took the EF-20 flashgun. This isn’t really versatile enough for me. I shoot a lot of available light (or off camera lit pictures) but when I need flash I need more. I’ll look at some other options – there seem to be plenty.
  7. Speaking of flash, the X-E1 hotshoe seems to have a little play in it. I was using a remote trigger to run my Strobeam lights. This has worked perfectly on a number of cameras but if it gets the tiniest knock in the X-E1 then it won’t make contact and the lights won’t fire. If you’re shooting on flash then consider leaving image review set to “on 1.5s” so you can double check. I usually leave it off to avoid confusing myself.
  8. I would have changed to using the X-Pro 1 with flash but for some reason I couldn’t get it to fire at all – I know that’s my fault. It will be a menu setting.
  9. It’s too slow (for me) to change AF point on the fly in a live fire environment. Focus and recompose. Be careful with that at f/1.4….
  10. Fuji need to make a decent portrait lens stat. Sadly it’s not yet on their roadmap. If the 18-55 is anything to go by then the 55-200 could be quite nice but at f/4.8 it will be a little “slow” for me. I had the Nikon 105 DC and adapter handy but didn’t feel confident nailing focus with it on the day.

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1 comment(s)

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