Almost 2014 and Fujifilm is ready for Prime Time!!! The new XTrans II image sensor has dramatically increased AF performance and now the cameras are just „quirky“ and not a basic pain in the arse anymore. SO here are some of my thoughts on embracing what I believe is going to be a new paradigm in photography. The X-system is on the fast track to create the „digital Leica“ not even Leica is making! (I said XPRO 2 review just to freak out the people who get freaked out by that sort of thing… LOL!) ….
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I’ve considered selling Xpro-1 camera so many times.. Originally selling my Leica M8 to get the Fujifilm camera and being so happy with it now for over a year and a half! Sure I miss the Leica quality, magic and the glass – not really. This camera has everything going for it including the magic of high ISO, light weight, fantastic glass and all the updates that Fuji has made available making the camera a fine tuned machine. This camera has near perfect jpeg conversion from RAW built in! At the time I only had the Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4 and to this day it is my favorite lens combo! I’ve only recently purchased the Fujifilm XF 18mm f/2 …..
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Another day, another camera system… Remember: all my reviews are user experience based. I don’t shoot test charts or do measurements. I take photos and make prints. My goal is to have my work hanging in peoples homes and businesses – not to be a „professional“ reviewer or photographer. In this blog post I’m going to stop short of a full review of a specific camera or lens – I am instead reviewing the system itself and explaining why I think it’s worth a look and why I shoot it. What Happened to Micro Four Thirds, John? Nothing happened to it – I just don’t shoot it any more. It’s still out there, it’s still excellent and it’s still a great choice. It gets better all the time and it’s still, in my opinion, the best choice for „hybrid photography“ combining motion and stills. I’ve made another choice and I’ll explain why as I go through this review. First, lets talk a little about Fujifilm’s new „X“ cameras in case you don’t know much about them. Skim down if you don’t need my take on Fujifilm…..
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Over the past year, I’ve been making an effort (that has been long intended) to improve my general knowledge of the history of photography. I’ve been researching some of the greats from the last century – Robert Frank, Elliott Erwitt, Henri Cartier Bresson, Garry Winogrand to name a few. One interesting fact I learned early on was that there was a lot of dodging and burning going on back in the days of film…it’s not just a Photoshop thing. Last night while turning the pages of my heavy Henri Cartier Bresson book, I came upon one of his most famous images – Muslim women on the slopes of Hari Parbal Hill in Srinagar, Kashmir, India. I’ve always thought this image looked a bit „photoshopped.“ CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PHOTO. Out of curiosity I did a google image search with the keywords: „Henri Cartier Bresson photo dodged“ and viola, the first image that appeared was of the muslim women in Srinagar……
A year ago I purchased the X-Pro 1 just as the Japanese market dumped it to half price. Its first outing was a snowshoeing trek in a very wet February. It has clung to me in the Rockies, on boats, in the largest city in the world, and for walks with my wife. It is always in my photophile bag. It has never been attached to an XF prime lens. Instead, it rolls with M and LTM lenses, like the amazing Canon 35/2 LTM, the Nikkor 10,5/2,5 LTM, and the above Leica lens. Though it is the same size as an SLR camera, the lenses are smaller, and thanks to helicoid adapters, close focus rivals SLR distances. I both love and hate this camera. It is slow, it is made less well than every single film camera I have, and its EVF is atrociously slow and prone to stutter. But everyday I spend with the Sony a7r, I realise much more how special the X-Pro 1 is. I will be posting a year-on review in a couple of months. Today, I just wanted to land a short tribute to what has become the object of both my deepest love and bitterest hate…..
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Despite the fact that I’m probably best known for my Aperture work, I actually use Lightroom a lot. In fact, It’s pretty much my main tool now that Aperture has only seen minor revisions for nearly three years. I really like Lightroom but there are lots of little areas where eI think it could do with some improvement. I’ve been keeping a list of things I’d like to see as an ongoing note in Evernote, and it’s getting quite large, so I thought I’d share my thoughts. Just so there’s no misunderstanding, I’m not criticising the software. I’m also not really talking about big features, or major changes, but just some little things that I think would help with the workflow significantly. Well, in my opinion anyway. I’m sure everyone has their own views as to what improvements Lightroom should have, and I’m sure there could be lots of heated discussions, but for now here’s my thoughts…..
It’s now coming up to 1 month since my Fuji X-E2 arrived and I’ve had a very productive few weeks with it. So I thought it was time to share some photos and first thoughts. I’m a long time Fuji X-E1 user (long time mirrorless terms – which means approx six months), and love that camera. Like most people who now have adopted the Fuji X system, I loved the X-E1’s image quality, colors, lens options and so on… However, despite the vastly improved firmware updates, I wished that the camera’s AF was better, as well as a number of other things. The X-E1 was great, but not perfect…..
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It’s been two years since I fell down the Fuji rabbit hole. It’s been a wonderful (and public) experience, and I probably get asked more questions about Fuji than anything else. So today we’re taking a small side trip from lighting and heading into mirrorless. Apologies to the uninterested. I’l be back soon. But for those considering a foray into Fuji, I hope you’ll find this helpful. Long story short, they have changed nearly everything about my photography. I travel much lighter, am more likely to have a camera on me and end up shooting lots more photos as a result. I just edited out my 2013 faves, and was not surprised to find that 18 out of 22 of them were shot with an X-Series camera. I have no hesitation taking them on paying jobs, and have never been disappointed by them in that respect. My Nikons have fallen to a state of only occasional use. Like my friend Zack Arias, I am far more likely to bounce between the Fujis and the Phase. (With the former getting far more use than the latter.) One of my favorite things about them (other than the leaf shutter on the 100’s) is the consistency of the chip across the platform of different cameras. What chip a Fuji sports is a function of when it was made, not how much it costs……
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…. anyway long story short I put the question out across social media the other day asking what camera folks would suggest as a take anywhere alternative and lots of great responses came in and as a result I’m now looking at the Fuji XE2. I’ve put the order in so it should be with me in a day or 2 and I’m really looking forward to taking it anywhere and everywhere. As for replacing my Canon, I certainly don’t intend that to happen but hey never say never right? If it performs well, produces great quality, sharp images that suit what I want then who knows. Anyway I’ll keep you posted with how I get on with it and also how it gets on shooting in the studio and on location in future posts. I’m kind of excited to see how it goes. So what about you? Do you have a Fuji XE2 or anything similar? Do you use it as a second or leisure only camera? I’d be really interested too, to hear if there any of you folks that tend to find your DSLR is taking a back seat as you’re using your Fuji or whatever else you have more often so feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop a comment below……
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So there I was, making the leap to mirrorless after years of lugging various Canons everywhere.
It was a surreal moment when I first held the box containing my new Fuji X-E1. Obviously, I knew the camera would be vastly smaller than my beloved Canon 5D Mark II, but I was still taken aback by the sheer tininess of the thing. And the weight — wow. Things were going to be different. The second indication that I was living in a different world was, upon connecting my Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 lens to the X-E1, I was prompted by the camera to download and install new lens firmware. Not the sort of thing I’m used to, but I’m not complaining. One of the reasons I took the plunge was the chorus of „Fuji is leading the way in post-purchase support“ I’d heard over and over. For example: recently — literally years after releasing the X100 — Fuji posted new firmware for the camera that makes major improvements, even though the X100 is long-replaced by the X100s (which may itself be supplanted next year, if the „X200″ rumors are correct)……
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