Category: photographs

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Fujifilm at the CP+ Camera Show – Yokohama, Japan

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The Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) is holding the CP+2014 Camera & Photo Imaging Show from Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th Feb in Yokohama, Japan. CP+ is a comprehensive camera and photo imaging show covering a wide range of aspects of the photographic industry.

Like most years, Fujifilm is in attendance and has a great stand demonstrating our wide range of products including X series cameras, Instax instant cameras and prints.

Unlike most years, Fujifilm decided to invite some active professional photographers from Europe to come out to the show to talk to visitors about their photographic experiences and in particular explain why they shoot with X series cameras.

This is also the first major show that is open to the public where the brand new X-T1  will be on display for users to try out and talk to our staff about.

X-T1 buzz

The show opened for VIPs and Press at 10:00 Japan-time today – the general public has to wait until high noon for their stand-off.

Despite the fact that the show wasn’t officially open, it was pretty clear from the start what product was catching most attention.

Many customers got their hands on the X-T1
Many customers got their hands on the X-T1

We had a wander around the show and checked out many other great products. From portable stabilisation systems, high quality cases and straps to small and relatively-inexpensive helicopter-like drones to allow you to shoot from the air, there was a lot to see.

But besides a small queue of people on the Sigma stand who wanted to check out their recently announced DP2 Quattro, the only camera with any sort of demand to see was the Fujifilm X-T1.

It’s hardly surprising. The anticipation for this camera has been high since it’s announcement (and even before that!) but it was still flattering for us to see that camera is very interesting to so many people.

The average wait time to try out the X-T1 was 50 minutes
The approx wait time to try out the X-T1 was up to 50 minutes at some points

To learn more about the X-T1, please visit our website. People in the UK will be able to get their hands on the X-T1 at The Photography Show at the NEC next month.

X-Photographers

Fujifilm would be nothing without the photographers using their products. This was reflected with a great gallery of images from photographers all over the world plus a stage where in total there will be 20 talks from X-Photographers over the course of the 4 days. Additionally there are some interviews with the R&D team and the Design team. We will publish all of these as videos soon (the interviews are in Japanese but with English subtitles)

X-Photographers Gallery
X-Photographers Gallery

Day 1 saw British Photographer Jim Marks and Italian photographer Gianluca Colli take to the stage to share their experiences with the audience.

Jim Marks

Jim’s talk started with an introduction to him as a photographer. His needs and requirements, his shooting style, and how important it is to be in the right place with the right kit if you ever want to record that “killer” photo.

Jim Marks talking about the X-T1's weather resistance
Jim Marks talking about the X-T1’s weather resistance

He showed some example shots he has taken using the X-Pro1 on various assignments including a great set of images with Rowan Atkinson as Mr Bean that simply wasn’t possible to shoot on a standard D-SLR camera because it was drawing too much attention from passers-by.

Lots of people were very interested in what Jim had to say
Lots of people were very interested in what Jim had to say

He then went on to talk about how he believes that Fujifilm’s kaizen (改善) philosophy of continuous improvement is the main reason why he has stayed using Fujifilm products from the original X100, right up to the brand new X-T1 before then sharing his own views on the X-T1 camera he has been using for the last few weeks and why he thinks it will completely supersede the X-Pro1 he has been using for his professional work over the last 2 years.
During the Q&A sessions at the end, someone asked him what his favourite Fujifilm camera was and why. He replied with
“The X-T1 and for three reasons:
1. The viewfinder is almost comparable to an OVF but with the added benefit of allowing additional information such as Digital Split Image MF assist
2. The ISO dial. The X-Pro1 controls are instinctive and easy to use, and the X-T1 takes that base and adds even more
3. The vertical grip. It gives you double battery life and makes it is perfectly easy to hold and control in either orientation.”

Gianluca Colla

Gianluca similarly kicked off by talking about his style of photography and how he believes that his equipment should by compact and easy to control so he can forget all about the tool he is using, and focus entirely on creating images.

Gianluca explains how this shot was taken
Gianluca explains how this shot was taken

He started his relationship with Fujifilm with the X100, using it alongside his normal D-SLR. In many situations his clients were unable to notice any difference between shots taken on his D-SLR and those taken on the X100 and following the launch of the X-Pro1, plus continued development of the XF lens range, he has slowly become less and less reliant on D-SLR up to the point where he virtually never uses it anymore unless he is shooting something that has a specific requirement for it.

He stated his dislike for EVFs on digital cameras and says he only ever uses his X100 or X-Pro1 in OVF mode. He was never interested in trying an X-E1 or X-E2 for this very reason, however he says that the Real Time Viewfinder on the X-T1 is an altogether difference beast.

He finished with these wise words:
“We will not be remembered for our gear but by pictures we take. / But Fujifilm gear allows you to take great pictures”

Once the videos are ready, we will post them online so you can listen to everything they had to say.

Guest post: Infrared photography in Yellowstone National Park

By Simon Weir

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I started 2014 leading a workshop in Yellowstone National Park for Chris Weston‘s safari company “Magic Is” – I am now working regularly with them as a group leader and instructor.

Yellowstone in winter turned out to be an IR photographers paradise and my IR modified X-E1 with the 14mm did great service as the images below show. This camera blows me away every time I use it and there was a great deal of interest from the 12 photographers in the group – so much so that I ended up doing a full presentation on Infrared photography one evening while we were there.  My X-Pro1 and the XF55-200 also did good service as shown in the two bison shots at the bottom of this post.

Also pleased to report that both Fuji cameras worked faultlessly down to temperatures as low as -30C – even the batteries held out really well.

Here’s a selection of shots from the IR modified X-E1 using the XF14mm lens:

Yellowstone_SW_XEIR1046-48_Panorama-EditYellowstone_SW_XEIR1082-EditYellowstone_SW_XEIR1088-EditYellowstone_SW_XEIR1102-EditYellowstone_SW_XEIR1120-EditYellowstone_SW_XEIR1127-Edit-Edit-EditYellowstone_SW_XEIR1153-EditYellowstone_SW_XEIR1192-Edit
Yellowstone_SW_XEIR1269-EditYellowstone_SW_XEIR1282-Edit

The following 2 shots were taken on the standard X-Pro1 and converted to B&W in Silver Effex Pro2:

Taken on the standard X-Pro1 and converted to B&W in Silver Effex Pro2

Taken on the standard X-Pro1 and converted to B&W in Silver Effex Pro2

About Simon

Simon Weir specialises in photographing live performance (particularly classical music), contextual portraiture and nature. To see more of his work, check out his website http://www.simonweir.com/

Hands on with the Fujifilm X-T1

Fujifilm X-T1 hands on blog

Sometimes I love my job…

Fujifilm X-T1 BoxAbout two weeks ago a special package arrived from head office in Japan. The special package contained a bunch of pre-production X-T1 cameras and was duly raided by the team. Being part of the initial raiding party, I managed to bag one to play with – I mean, thoroughly test – for a few days. This post will take you through my first thoughts as I got to grips with this lovely new camera.

As it’s a pre-production camera, it’s hard to judge the image quality itself so that’s not really covered here. What is covered is how it feels to use it, and my opinion on the new features that are unique to the X-T1 compared to the other cameras in the X series range.

First impressions – look and feel

I’d seen plenty of pictures of the camera before this point, and even a mock-up “real” camera a few months ago, but I was still surprised with how small it was. Even so, my hands fit the grip very well and I felt that all of the controls were laid out in easy to reach places from my fingers with minimal hand readjustment. The grip makes it very comfortable to hold with one hand and being a “lefty” with my eye, having the EVF in the middle rather than on the left makes it feel a bit more comfortable to shoot.

Personally I could live without the ISO dial because I change it fairly infrequently anyway, but no harm in it being there, however moving the “Drive” menu onto a dial at the top is pretty cool and useful for switching between normal and continuous shooting.

I think it’ll take a few more hours of shooting to unlearn my muscle memory that using an X100S for the last few months has given me but obviously the crucial things are still in the right place.

The EVF

Prepare to be amazed. This thing is seriously good. It was sunny when we got them so I took the camera out into the natural light and was seriously impressed. Yes you can tell it’s an EVF as you move around fast but only because you’re trying to tell. The response is something else and it really is seriously close to an OVF. When you turn the camera vertically, the GUI automatically changes to always display your settings the right way up and the fonts and vectors that make up the display are really clear and legible while not disturbing the view of your subject. And the level of detail is amazing. Definitely get yourself into a camera store and have a go at this thing if you don’t believe me.

The tilting screen

Fujifilm X-T1 tilting screen
Note: This image is of a pre-production model. The SD slot cover on the final version has the same finish as the rest of the body
Word up, pops
“Word up, pops”

I’ve used the X-M1 a few times and although the lack of viewfinder makes certain things difficult, I always seemed to find a use for the tilting screen. Whether I’m shooting kittens skittering around my kitchen floor and don’t fancy laying down there with them (see image to the right), or trying to shoot over the top of a bunch of people’s heads, the tilting LCD is a nice feature and I’m pretty sure it’ll get a lot of use.

Auto Focus

Fujifilm X-T1 Focus Switch

It’s fast. I have an X100S and I’m used to how it focuses. I also have a pair of jet black kittens that don’t exactly sit still and wait for me to shoot them. The X-T1 locks onto the kittens very fast, even in fairly low light and definitely felt better than my X100S, despite on paper being pretty much the same. Could’ve just been my wishful thinking so I’ll keep an eye out to see how other people find the focusing.

Manual Focus – Focus peaking + dual screen mode

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Being able to change the colour of the focus peak highlight is a nice option. Hopefully we’ll see it added to previous models via a firmware update. There’s also a nice feature that lets you use dual screen to frame your shot while also accurately focusing. The focus peaking feature still works but obviously it’s not as clear to see as if you were using the full screen with the “focus assist” button pressed. Although my images above are of the screen, the EVF does the same and is more effective.

Here’s a video published by FujifilmGlobal that demonstrates the dual screen:

Continuous shooting

According to the specs, this thing will shoot 47 shots in FINE jpeg mode while in High Speed Shooting mode. According to my rough and ready “see-how-many-times-you-can-count-to-ten-and-start-again” method of trying to count the frames, I think this is pretty darn accurate. Also, in RAW mode it seems to take about 36 shots before it slows down. Impressive stuff.

Setting the multiple function buttons

This is a lovely little UI feature to go with an amazingly good usability feature. The X-T1 has SIX (not one, not two, yes six) function buttons and they can all be customised to do whatever you want (within reason). This lovely little menu system lets you easily see which button you are changing to help you set up exactly how you want. I imagine once you’ve been using this camera a while you won’t need a visual key to show you which button is which, but certainly a nice little touch to help you get to grips with it at first.

Remote shooting

I tried a dev version of the app but this feature is something special. Install an App on your SmartPhone (I was using an Android), link the devices together and you then get a live view of what the camera is looking at on your phone. All of the dials on the camera and then ignored and you change change shutter speed, aperture, sensitivity, white balance and film simulation. Just like on the screen/EVF of the camera when shooting normally, the brightest of the live view image updates to reflect what the exposure is likely to be like based on your settings. You can also touch anywhere on the live view and the camera will use that as the focus point for autofocus – nifty! I can imagine a lot of people will love this feature.

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Time lapse photography

You can set the length of interval, number of shots, and how long until it starts to shoot. You then set it on its way and the camera does the rest. The camera powers down after each shot to conserve the battery. It’ll wake up if you press any buttons and display how many frames it has captured and how long until the next frame.

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Thanks for reading. If there’s any specific features of the camera that I’ve not covered here and you would like to know more about, please feel free to post a comment or send me a Tweet and I can update the post in the future. Check out the Fujifilm UK website for further product information and specifications.

Guest post: Fujifilm X Series with flash Part 3 – Multiple flashes with radio triggers

By Derek Clark

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In this third and final part of The Fuji X Series With Flash I’ll be looking at using multiple flash guns and radio triggers with the X Series cameras. You can use any make of flash for this as the radio triggers are only telling the flash to fire. There’s no information about exposure or anything else, it simply triggers the flash.

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There are many different radio triggers available, but by far the most popular are the Pocket Wizards. I came from a Nikon flash setup and worked with the SU800 Commander unit, and because of this I never owned any radio triggers. But after buying into the Fuji X System I realised that my trusty SU800 would not be usable. The Pocket Wizard Plus III’s had just came out, but were expensive for a multiple flash setup. Pocket Wizard’s also don’t have hotshoes for mounting the guns directly on to them. Instead the work with cables. My older SB800’s have sync ports, but my newer SB700’s don’t (I replaced my SB900’s with SB700’s due to the overheating problem and so glad I did). In the end I decided to go for the Flashwave III system because they were reasonably priced, had both sync and Pocket Wizard size ports and most importantly the receivers have hotshoes. They come with a great verity of cables and adaptors that so far have coped with everything. The receivers have a tripod mount on the bottom, but also come with adaptors to change them into hotshoe mountable. So the flash mounts on top of the receiver and the receiver to the shoe on the light stand.

The transmitter’s are tiny and even look small on the X-M1. They include a test fire button and have a choice of 16 channels via small dip switches on both transmitters and receivers. An X-E1 or X-E2 can also be fired remotely by attaching a Flashwave III receiver to the microphone input on the side of the camera and triggering it using the test button on the transmitter. I’ve used this setup when doing long exposures instead of a cable release.

Lighting doesn’t come any more basic than a radio trigger setup. Lights are all set to manual and you adjust power settings on each one individually. I use anything from one light to six lights, but I only have four receivers. If I need more than four lights I set the extra guns to slave mode. The radio triggers fire one set and the extra guns are triggered by the flashes.

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I wanted to shoot some fresh portraits for this post and I’ve been meaning to do some up to date shots of my kids. So excuse the self indulgence, but if you’re from a modeling agency…they are available:o). I shot these using Nikon Flashguns and Flashwave III radio Triggers. As you can see from the photo above, I used a Lastolite Hilite background. The Hilite works well with two flash guns inside, tilting upward and back to blow the background to pure white. I also use the Lastolite Superwhite Vinyl Train and a piece of thick toughened glass for a reflection. For this shoot I used a Lastolite Hotrod Strip Softbox which is a fantastic modifier for the money. Some of these shots were with one light, some are with three. I used the X-Pro1 and the X-E1 with the 35mm f1.4 and the 60mm f2.4.

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Thank you for reading this series and I really hope you found it useful. Flash with the X cameras seems to be a mystery to a lot of people that are moving over from DSLR’s, so I thought this series of posts would help to clear up a few of the common questions.

About Derek

Derek Clark is an award winning Documentary Photographer and a member of The Kage Collective, an international group of documentary photographers that are committed to telling stories with a camera. To see more of his work you can follow him on Facebook or Twitter or you can  follow his blog.
This blog post was taken, with permission, from Derek’s blog. You can see the original post here.