First Impression: X-Pro2

Disclaimer: This is not a review, in fact, it probably shouldn’t even be called First Impression granted that I’ve only had it for approx 20 mins of solid use. So if you’re expecting fancy charts and mathematical equations please stop reading.

Background

Fujifilm Camera Australia and DigiDIRECT held a workshop that showcased the highly anticipated X-Pro2 and X70. The people at Fujifilm Camera Australia were also kind enough to share the full range of XF lenses to try from the 10-24mm through to the 100-400mm. Unfortunately as there was only 1 unit of the X-Pro2 we had to share it around so most of us only had a good 20 mins or less of solid use, so this is purely my impression of the camera after 20 mins.

First Impressions

While holding the unit my first thoughts were its size, it felt big in my hands compared to the more familiar X-T1. Unfortunately without having used the X-Pro1 I cannot compare their sizes, it feels bulky and solid like a  miniature tank. Personally, I prefer the DSLR-like style and design (hence the X-T1 is my preferred camera) just a personal preference.

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X-Pro2 – Shot with 56mm f1.2

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How I Have My Fuji X-T1 Set Up.

I’ve been asked a few times what my camera settings are so I thought I’ll just share them with you here. Just remember that these are settings that work for me and my style of shooting and may not appeal to you. I’ll also try and explain where I can what some of the settings actually do so here we go…

SHOOTING MENU 1

Bracket Settings: As I shoot JPEG about 90% of the time, I’ve set my bracketing mode set to Film Simulation. The three Film Sim brackets I have set are Std, Classic Chrome and B&W+R.

Auto-Focus Settings

  • Focus Area: The focus frame has 5 sizes with 1 being the smallest and 5 being the largest, I have mine set to size 3 and positioned to the center of the screen. The size of the focus frame has an impact on the AF speed. Example if you’re shooting a portrait and fill the frame with the subject’s face, you’ll set the size to its smallest point and focus on the eyes. The camera will easily focus on that point, however if you’re about 10 meters away the subject their eye’s become more difficult to focus on, therefore if you have it set to its smallest size and try to focus on the eyes the lens will often at times hunt back and forth on the focus frame. You’ll also run the risk of blurry images as the camera may focus on the nose or cheeks over the eyes. Therefore setting the size to a slightly bigger focus frame will increase the speed AF and reduce the chance of blurry images.
  • Release/Focus Priority: I have both AF-S and AF-C set to focus priority. If you’re all about capturing the moment and not worried whether the shot is in focus then set it to Release priority.
  • Instant AF Setting: This settings allows those shooting in manual focus mode to still use the auto-focus functionality by simply pressing the AF-L button. I have mine set to AF-S.
  • AF Mode: I’ve got mine set to Single Point but switch to Zone when shooting street photography especially when shooting from the hip.
  • Face Detection: On only when shooting portraits otherwise I have it switched off to save battery. This works well in conjunction with Eye Detection AF.
  • Eye Detection AF: This allows you to set the priority between right eye and left eye. I have it set to Auto
  • Pre-AF: All this does when switched on is constantly focus at the focus point regardless if the shutter-release button is pressed. This is heavy on the battery, I recommend disabling this feature.
  • AF Illuminator: OFF unless you’re in a pitch black room 🙂 If you’re taking candid photos I recommend turning this off, you don’t want to draw attention to yourself.

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First Impressions: Lightroom for Android

After hearing the announcement that Adobe has made their Lightroom app on Android free, I decided to give it a go. Mind you I have other apps which I use to edit my photos such as Snapseed, VSCO and Pixlr each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

Interface

The Lightroom app has a nice clean interface, those who are new to lightroom will appreciate this. One thing to note however is that it doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles that the desktop version does (such as healing or cloning tools). However it’s easy enough to pick up and work out the settings and editing tools, unlike Snapseed, which is probably the least used editing app my phone right now purely due to the complex menus and settings. In Lightroom the tools are broken into 3 main menus:

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10 Quick Tips To Improve Your Photography

Here are 10 quick tips to help improve your shots (in no particular order).

1. Move your feet

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Photo by Ken Tripp

Instead of just snapping away where you stand, get in close or take a step back, you’ll be surprised at how it can change the look and feel of an image. Try and imagine how the shot will look up close or a little further back, if the background is too noisy/busy then isolate the subject by stepping in closer. If you want more in the frame, take a step back.

2. Try different angles

This works best when combined with point 1, don’t just take shots at eye level, try different angles. Depending on your subject or the type of feel you’re trying to invoke onto the viewer, certain angles work better than others. For example photographing toddlers or young children you should get down low to their level, same applies for pets. For portraits it is almost a sin to shoot from bottom up, instead, shoot top down as this produces a more flattering look for the subject, after all, it hides the double chin :))

Andrew_Tiff_Portrait (21 of 77)

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Why I switched from DSLR to Mirrorless (5D3 to X-T1)

Right, I’m going to get straight into it. Part of the reason why I switched from my Canon 5D3 over to the Fujifilm X-T1 was because my preferences changed, mainly my shooting style among others. As a street photographer, my thought process and decision making is different to say a wedding photographer. Our needs are different, our styles are different and ultimately we have different views when looking to capture that perfect moment. So here are my reasons why I switched.

Weight & Size

One of the main factors that made me switch was the weight difference. When I was traveling around Europe I had a heavy backpack full of camera gear (including tripod). It was frustrating going through customs and other security checkpoints, it was taxing on the body – going up and down stairs, waiting in queues at an attraction under the summer heat etc. It was causing so much discomfort that in the end I was not enjoying the trip.

Canon 5D Mark III + Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 = 1,685kg
Fuji X-T1 + XF 16-55mm f2.8 = 1,095kg.

The size was the other deciding factor, I found that raising a DSLR to eye level was more noticeable than a smaller compact camera. The size of DSLR and lens also means you had to carry a large size bag to fit it all, whereas the X-T1 has a more compact size and as a result looking less conspicuous. This is extremely important for street photography as it allows you to blend in with the crowd and ultimately capture unspoiled, candid moments. 6a00df351e888f883401bb08847054970d-800wi.jpg

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