Earlier this week I made my second trip of the summer down to London – this time a flying visit of less than 24 hours. I had two reasons for going down. Firstly to attend the British Wildlife Photography Awards, having been delighted to find I had a photograph shortlisted and printed in the book. Secondly to visit Charlie Waite’s wonderful exhibition of both old and recent work at the National Theatre – I have long been a big fan of Charlie’s work and was so pleased the exhibition was extended by a few weeks, allowing me the opportunity to get down to see it.
In this post I’ll address what I see as the major differences between Fuji’s X-E1 and their newly released body update, the X-E2. The refreshing thing about how Fuji is operating these days is all their recent X-Series cameras (aside from the X-A1) share the same APS-C “X-Trans CMOS” sensor so picture quality is nearly identical across all the bodies with the possible exception of the X-E2 and its Lens Modulation Optimizer (more on that later). Removing picture quality from the equation makes doing a head to head comparison much easier. But there are still some notable differences. Let’s take a look……..
For several years I love taking photographs of all kinds of animals at Zoo’s nearby. Before I more or less entirely moved to Fujifilm I have used Canon camera equipment like the Canon 1DMkII, 5D and 600D paired with the lovely EF100-400mm, the 100mm L macro and many other Canon L and third party lenses. One of my main concerns entirely moving to Fujifilm was a missing telephoto zoom (>300mm) to replace my “old” 400mm Canon gear. Unfortunately the highly awaited Fujinon telephoto lens was shifted to the end of 2015. At the moment I have the choice to still use my 100-400mm together with the 1DMkII (8MPx) or the somehow focal length limited but very sharp XF55-200mm zoom lens paired with a Fujifilm X camera. I have to admit at all last three Zoo visits I have only used the much lighter Fujifilm equipment of course only to treat my back with respect …..
I was out shooting some street photography earlier today with my trusty little Fuji X-E1 and I noticed that I had taken a lot of portrait orientation shots. As I was sorting through the shots I noticed that all the vertical images paired up nicely, so I thought I’d do a set of paired images, just for the fun of it. All of these were taken around the streets of Dublin city, using a Fujifilm X-E1 with a combination of the Fuji 35mm and the 18–55XF lenses. It was a lovely fresh Autumn morning and I was there early so the city was coming to life with the fresh energy of a new day, and for some reason I just had a really good time shooting. While these aren’t award winning images by any stretch, I did catch a few quirky sights around the city. I’ll post some more shots from this shoot over on my Photoblog. Processing was done in Lightroom, using various presets as the starting point. There’s a combination of VSCO Film 01, 02 and 04 in there. The VSCO presets work really well with the Fuji sensor, especially if you want to create an authentic film look. I’ve started using VSCO 2 a bit more lately, and I’m really liking the look of the Fuji Superia film presets. I don’t think that I’ve ever shot with that in actual film……
This year I had the great pleasure of spending 3 weeks in China. Not sticking to one place, but travelling through this vast and beautiful country. As I wanted to travel light I opted for the Fuji X-E1 with the 18-55mm, backed-up by the Fuji X100s. Anyhow, I took a lot of pictures of the locals and here is a brief B&W selection. Some of them are shy, others are happy, some are young and some are old. Others are painfully poor…but does it mean it should not be recorded……
May the 4th be with you, this year on star wars day I had the great pleasure of being asked by a good friend of mine to cover an event he was putting on in Manchester. The event was a kind of Comic-Con-esque and the 4th ‘Geek Night’ put on by ‘Niche Nights’ saw a fantastic mix of Cosplayers, gamers and fans of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, it also provide fantastic subject matter for photography and as such I greatly enjoyed photographing this event. I stuck with a light bag of gear for this event and all the shots are on either a Fuji X100 or X-E1 with either the 35mm or 8mm Samyang on, all the flash lit shots are form an on board Yongnuo 560ii most of the time tilted up for bounce flash and manually controlled. Shooting events like this is a great opportunity to face a new challenge as well as try out some kit, I and not previously had the chance to try the Samyang 8mm out at events and can safely say it performed really well, the crazy wide view being incredibly useful in tight conditions, shots from above had the flash facing backwards to bounce of the ceiling and overall I’m very happy form the results…….
I have wrote many times on this blog how I’m not going to upgrade to a new camera. I am anti G.A.S. But I recently ran into a deal where a X-T1 was $400 off. I could not pass that up so I decided to get it. When you shoot a lot, you know when you need to upgrade. I was getting to that point with my X-E1. I was shooting about 5000 photos a month. The X-E1 felt sluggish. I knew I had to upgrade, but the prices felt too high for me. I remember upgrading from an X100 to an X100s. That was a mistake. It was not a huge upgrade so I felt like I wasted my money. Then how is the X-T1 compared to a X-E1? It’s a huge difference. It seems like a worthy upgrade to me. I could not believe how fast it was. Everything felt lighting quick. When I first turned on my X-T1, my mouth dropped when I experienced how fast the AF was. Then I realized I didn’t even have High Performance mode on. I didn’t even get the latest lens firmware to take advantage of the Phase Detection pixels! Once I did that, the AF became even faster……
My friend Paulo Pinto from Colorless Impressions has become a great Fuji X system enthusiast; so much that he decided to sell all his Canon gear and really invest in the new system. We’ve had long conversations about the pros and cons of different systems and why he made the change. His reasoning is very clear: he now always carries his gear with him since size and weight are not a problem, image quality is great, and the Fuji cameras are just fun to use. I have always been reluctant about mirrorless systems until now. Size didn’t seem like enough of a reason to consider it; and image quality, quite frankly, wasn’t there. But, that seems to have changed. Paulo invited me to try his Fuji X-E1 with the Fuji XF 18-55 F2.8-4 R OIS lens for a few hours. Here’s what happened……
Since May of 2013, I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Fujifilm X-Series Cameras and XF lenses, and during that time I’ve managed to shoot with them in more than 20 different countries, spanning nearly every possible photography condition. In the process, I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting many Fujifilm shooters from around the world and what I’ve discovered is that people love their Fujifilm cameras and, like me, they’re excited to talk about them. There have been quite a few times, where I was completely immersed in a sea of tripods, riddled with shooters toting every type of camera brand known to man. People with Canons, Nikons, Pentax, and Hasselblads, all sizing each other’s gear up—in typical photographer fashion—while never exchanging a word. Fujifilm shooters on the other hand, just seem to smile at each other, as if they have a shared secret that no one else knows. It’s the strangest thing, but even during photo walks, Fujifilm shooters seem to congregate; proud to be carrying their cameras and excited to talk about their favorite lenses and what is to come. There’s a sense of community and shared love for these cameras that I find absolutely delightful…….
It was a typical Wednesday morning until I received that call. About 10:43am my phone rang. It was my mother calling to notify me that that my father had to stay at the hospital and have a neurosurgery consult. I was instantly shocked with disbelief as my father is as healthy as a horse. He’s 69 years old but he’s the kind of man that hasn’t really slowed down despite having been retired since the age of 65. It turns out my father (a retired physician) had been having some slight headaches on the right side of his head for the last few months and he really didn’t think much of them. As a family, we were all going through a trying time as my uncle, my father’s younger brother, had been battling cancer for about a year already and he simply attributed the headaches to stress. But my mother, always one to be top of things had requested a doctor’s appointment so that my father would go and get an MRI. To the surprise of everyone, the radiologist that interpreted the MRI said my father couldn’t go home and that he must go get a neurosurgery consult immediately. Its turns out my father had been diagnosed with a “subdural hematoma”……..