Tag: mirrorless cameras

The Advantage of Mirrorless

Since mirrorless digital cameras entered the photography scene in the late 2000s, the question has been whether they could be a better option than DSLRs (Digital Single Lens Reflex). Since that time, the mirrorless system has grown in popularity, so it is clear photographers are increasingly making it their preference.

 

What’s a DSLR?

DSLR cameras (or digital single-lens reflex) use the design of old-school 35mm bodies, with light taking a path from the lens to the prism and then to the viewfinder, where you can see the preview of your image. As you hit the shutter button, the mirror flips up, a shutter opens and light reaches the image sensor, which retains the picture.

 

What’s a mirrorless camera?

The big difference with the mirrorless camera is that it has no mirror that flips when you open the shutter. Instead, light moves directly from the lens to the image sensor and the shot displays on your screen.

 

 

Which style is lighter?

Because mirrorless cameras do not need to store a mirror and a prism, they do not need to be as heavy or as large. If you like to travel with your camera or just enjoy a lightweight rig, then you may prefer the mirrorless system.

 

Which body has better focus?

Many years ago, DSLRs had the reputation of being the better – or at least faster – model for autofocus shooting. This is because DSLRs used phase detection, a quicker method that relies more on the camera’s electronic sensor, rather than contrast detection, the slower but more accurate system utilised in most mirrorless bodies. However, mirrorless cameras have since improved in this area. Now, many mirrorless bodies, including Fujifilm’s newer models, employ a contrast-phase hybrid autofocus system.

 

Which style is suited for continuous shooting?

If you want to capture fast-moving action, you may want a camera with the capacity for continuous shooting. Mirrorless cameras, with their simplified path for obtaining images, excel here. For instance, the Fujifilm X-T2, when photographing from its continuous shooting boost mode, shoots about 11 frames per second, well ahead of most other cameras on the market.

FUJIFILM X-T2

 

Which one shows an accurate shot in its viewfinder?

Mirrorless cameras also have viewfinders that display truer to what your photograph will become. Their electronic viewfinders allow you to see, in real time, adjustments to aperture and ISO, whereas the optical viewfinder found in DSLRs displays those changes only after you shoot the image. The mirrorless style has a big advantage here, as it saves you time from going back and forth between shooting and adjusting.

 

As with many debates over photography equipment, the choice comes down to your personal preference. If you find a camera that you handle comfortably and shoot naturally, then proudly make it yours and enjoy creating great shots with it!

 

For more Fujifilm camera options, download our 2017 Buying Guide.

The X-T2 gets a test drive with X-Photographer Damien Lovegrove

damien-lovegrove-profile-200x200Damien Lovegrove is considered by many to be one of the worlds most influential contemporary photographers. He is best known for creating portraits that make women look fabulous. He is a confident director and great fun to shoot with too. Damien’s lighting style is distinctive and his picture composition unique.

Damien is an official Fujifilm UK ambassador and a renowned Fuji X-Photographer.


It was in May 2012 that I ditched my SLRs for a Fuji X-Pro1 and the three prime lenses it launched with. From day one I utilised the mirrorless advantage to leap ahead of my competition. I had been using a Fuji X100 fixed lens camera for a year integrating it into my workflow alongside my SLRs and I loved the pictures I captured with it so the leap to mirrorless was a gentle one for me.

X-T2_BrochureImage_TopThe Fujifilm X-T2 is the camera I’ve been waiting for. It’s no surprise it’s here but what I love most is that the consultation period with X-Photographers has delivered a camera that is spot on mechanically. Everything that could have been improved on the X-T1 from the dial locks to the tilting screen has been perfected on the X-T2.

The Fuji X-Pro1 gave me mirrorless shooting and it rekindled my passion for photography. The X-T1 gave me the extra usability I craved, The X-Pro2 took the image file to the next level and brought the technical specification of the X system bang up to date. Now the the Fujifilm X-T2 has brought it all together and raised the bar again. The sum of all the tweaks and changes in this new camera make a huge difference and leave me not wanting more.

 

The Fuji X-T2 features that I love the most:

•    The locking buttons on the ISO and Shutter speed dials combined with the higher profile work perfectly. Being able to lock the dials in any position is genius.

•    The bi-directional tilting screen is wonderful. It’s a must for a portrait photographer.

•    The camera size and weight are spot on. The ultra reliable and compact W126 battery has been retained. The weight of the camera in the hand is really important to me. I never want my photography to feel like a chore again.

•    The media door has a newly designed latch that is really secure.

•    The joystick to move the focus position makes the shooting process faster.

•    The 1/250th second flash sync is welcome and is the new setting for all my studio flash working.

I team the Fuji X-T2 with the fast primes because I love a shallow depth of field combined with absolute resolution. A prime lens is lighter on the camera than the equivalent zoom and this suits my way of shooting well. I have the XF16mm f/1.4, XF23mm f/1.4, XF35mm f/1.4, XF56mm f/1.2, and the XF90mm f/2 lenses. There are times when a telephoto zoom is the perfect lens for a shoot and I use the XF50-140mm or the XF100-400mm lenses depending upon the assignment. The zooms offer optical image stabilisation and this really comes into its own at longer focal lengths.


And the results?

I had planned this first sequence of shots about a year ahead of the shoot. I bought the dresses from an Asian manufacturer via the internet and I transported them to the USA in my luggage. The location is in the high deserts of Arizona, USA. I used the XF100-400mm and XF50-140mm lenses to compress the perspective. These frames were all lit with natural sunlight.

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I spent 12 days touring the USA and in that time I shot about 5000 frames on the Fuji X-T2.

Arielle down on a farm in Utah. There were snakes keeping us company as we shot a wonderful sequence of images. XF50-140mm f/2.8 at f/4
Arielle down on a farm in Utah. There were snakes keeping us company as we shot a wonderful sequence of images. XF50-140mm f/2.8 at f/4
Arielle sits by a cattle coral in Arizona. The dust on the wind has turned the sky a shade of pink. This figure in the landscape style is one I want to further develop in the coming months and the extra resolution of the Fuji X-T2 really comes in handy when making big exhibition prints. XF50-140mm f/2.8 at f/5.6
Arielle sits by a cattle coral in Arizona. The dust on the wind has turned the sky a shade of pink. This figure in the landscape style is one I want to further develop in the coming months and the extra resolution of the Fuji X-T2 really comes in handy when making big exhibition prints. XF50-140mm f/2.8 at f/5.6

Since then I’ve added another 4000 frames in Europe to my camera testing routine. The camera feels just right in the hand and there is nothing I would change about the mechanics of the build.

 

Discover creative resources for photographers written by Damien Lovegrove at Prophotonut and Lovegrove Photography

 

 

Is the Fujifilm X system ready for motorsport?

Recently we were lucky enough to spend some time with four professional motorsport photographers at the 6 Hours of Fuji event at the Fuji Speedway in Japan. All four of these guys have been shooting with Fujifilm X series cameras and lenses as their main systems for a varying number of years so we asked them about their experiences.

If you are thinking about making the switch and are not sure if the system is ready yet, check out these videos below!


John Rourke from the UK


Dirk Bogaerts from Belgium


Andrew Hall from Australia


Jeff Carter from the UK

Iceland, a most curious island – Part 1

By Danny Fernandez

I could not help observing with interest the mineralogical curiosities which lay about me as in a vast museum, and I constructed for myself a complete geological account of Iceland, [a] most curious island.
— Jules Verne, A Journey to the Center of the Earth


Iceland; a place which I had never considered visiting before, became the destination of my most recent, and most beautiful venture.

Why Iceland?

The reason I had never considered visiting Iceland was due to a lack of knowledge of this magnificent country. The name ‘Iceland’ conjured images of Björk, vikings and ash clouds. However, around 1 year before the trip, my girlfriend (who had been to Iceland 6 years ago) suggested that we visit. As I began looking at google images of Iceland, I soon realised that there would definitely be much more to see than Björk, vikings, and volcanoes (I acknowledged that the likelihood of seeing the first two were slim.) I reacted to the image search by quietly saying colourful profanities under my breath. It was at that point that my mind was made up, and soon after our flights had been booked.

Our ideas for exploring the island changed throughout the year leading up to our departure. Limited to time (15 days) and budget, we quickly decided that we wanted to explore at our own pace and freedom, so any type of tour was out of the question. Our original plan was to cycle and camp around the island (thank god we changed our minds. It would have been an incredible, but incredibly challenging experience.) We then decided that a car+tent combination would be better, but after hearing stories of gale-force, tent-destroying winds, plus the expectation of a lot of rain, we finally decided to rent a camper van. For our needs, the camper van (from KuKu Campers) was perfect; giving us our own freedom and shelter, and being able to wake up and travel at a moments notice. Our camper was modest (more like a builders van with a mattress in the back) but it did the job perfectly!

In preparation for this trip, I had decided to prioritise our own travel experiences above those of photography. This wasn’t, after all, a dedicated photography tour of Iceland, but instead (probably) a once-in-a-lifetime trip. I like to remember special moments as myself being in the moment, and not just being a witness to the moment through a viewfinder. Also, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a landscape photographer, and there is no way I could compete with the thousands of awe inspiring images of Iceland, so once I had taken the pressure off myself of trying to get the best images of Iceland, I was left to enjoy the journey for what is was; an exceptionally breathtaking one.

That being said, I did try to plan as much as I could, and some resources which I found invaluable were: The lonely planet (my ‘go to’ for guide books), an ebook called ‘Photo guide to Iceland’ by Hawk and Finn (http://www.icelandontheweb.com/articles-on-iceland/travel-info/photo-guide-to-iceland) and The Photographers Ephemeris (a website and app which allows you to view the sunrise/sunset time and direction from any point in the world. I bought the app so that I could use it on my iPad without internet connection.)

The gear

Iceland Fuji blog Danny Fernandez Photography (36)

I spent a long time (as always) deliberating what camera equipment to bring. Having a van meant that I didn’t have too worry (as much as normal) about travelling lightly. I wanted to have as much versatility as possible. I decided to bring:

X-T1 + grip.
XF14 prime.
XF10-24.
XF16-55.
XF55-140. (the zooms were generously on loan from the friendly guys at Fuji Spain).
X100S (I kind of saw the X100s as my ‘personal documentary’ camera while the X-T1 was the workhorse. It would also serve as a backup if I dropped the X-T1 in a volcano).
Haida 10 stop ND filter (plus step up rings so I could use it on all lenses).
Manfrotto BeFree tripod.
A remote timer (for exposures longer than 30 seconds).
A bunch of batteries (along with car charger).
And my MacBook Pro/Hard drive (so I could add photos to Lightroom/Backup on the road).
All of this was packed inside a Billingham Hadley Pro bag (which holds all the essentials plus fits on as cabin baggage on the plane).

Other important items included a Moka pot with damn good coffee, a notepad, and a miniature dancing hula girl. All the essentials.

The experiences

I’m a road trip newbie (Iceland being my second; my first was in New Zealand several years ago), but picking up our van instantly reminded me of the huge sense of freedom that comes with road tripping. The van was to become our carriage, our kitchen, our restaurant, and our penthouse for the next 11 days.
Iceland Fuji blog Danny Fernandez Photography (35 of 35)
Iceland Fuji blog Danny Fernandez Photography (21 of 35)
Iceland Fuji blog Danny Fernandez Photography (34 of 35)

With a fully loaded iPad and tank of petrol, we hit the road with an electrical level of excitement. The industrial area surrounding the car pickup location quickly opened up into a wide expanse of green mountains. I couldn’t stop smiling at the landscapes and was amazed at how ‘big, open and beautiful’ everything was. My girlfriend looked at me, and with a soft laugh said “This is just the tip of the iceberg”. And she was certainly right, as what we saw during those first 30 minutes (although incredible) paled in comparison to what we would see during the following weeks.

Doing a road trip in Iceland is very easy, as there is one ‘ring road’ that goes around the circumference of the island. The recommended time to do the ring road was about 7 – 10 days. We had 11 to do the ring road so were sweet. This also gave us time to deviate from the ring road and explore as much as we could. Our first decision was in which direction to drive. We decided to drive anti-clockwise as by the time we were on driving the northern stretch, there would be a higher chance of seeing the northern lights (a lifelong wish of ours). On average, I would say we spent between 3 – 6 hours a day driving/stopping to take photos.

If you’re thinking of doing a trip around Iceland, I would strongly recommend a camper van (if on a budget), or renting a 4×4 and staying in accommodation (if you don’t mind splashing out). Having a 4×4 would have been a big advantage for taking photographs as you are able access many places which you are unable to in a van. But saying that, the ring road (accessible by all vehicles) leads you to an uncountable number of stunning places.

This was our route:

Roadtrip-route

Reflecting on the trip, it is very difficult to put the experience into words. I hope that my photos can somewhat evoke the sense of natural beauty and magnificence in you (the reader) that Iceland did on me. I will do my best to share some experiences.


TO BE CONTINUED..

Check out part two where Danny takes you right into the heart of Iceland and shows what it really has to offer..

Iceland Fuji blog Danny Fernandez Photography (14 of 35)