WiFi is becoming an increasingly common feature on cameras. It has the ability to open up lots of handy functions that would otherwise require wires, more equipment and often more time. Fujifilm has taken this function and made it possible to do a whole variety of functions without having to use any wires, stuff that you can do quickly and in any location.
First and foremost, the WiFi function allows you to connect your camera with your phone or tablet and via the Fujifilm Camera Remote app you can download photos. This is really helpful if you enjoy using social media and want to upload photos while in the moment. A standout example of this is Paul Schlemmer, an X-Photographer who is constantly on the move, and often camping, but the lack of standard internet doesn’t stop him uploading photos to his brilliant Instagram account. This friendly digital nomad (and awesome beard wearer) is now uploading photos from his X100T to his phone and then to Instagram. This shows that the Fujifilm X-Series has the ability to keep your camera equipment size and weight down, it also has the ability to reduce your computer requirements to share your journey with others. As long as you’re happy with the JPEG presets available (you can’t download RAW files at the moment) then this is a lightweight travel solution. The bonus of only having the JPEGs available, is apart from the fact that the presets are wonderful, it prevents you from spending too long editing your photos, so you have more time to get out shooting.
But what if you want to share the moment with someone in person? Giving them a hard copy of an image. Well Fujifilm have created the Instax SP-1, a printer that turns your mobile device and/or camera into a modern, adapted version of a classic “polaroid camera”. You can send photos wirelessly via your camera (check compatibility) or mobile device to the printer that will then produce a print in a matter of seconds. The great Kevin Mullins used this at a wedding he was photographing and the couple burst into tears when Kevin handed them a print as he was leaving. Check out his review of the SP-1 here.
Zack Arias uses the SP-1 on his travels and it is amazing how one little camera and a printer open so many doors and start conversations. Check out his very interesting view of this helpful accessory here.
The Fujifilm Camera Remote app isn’t just about sending files to your mobile device. As the title suggests you can control your camera and effectively use your device as the camera’s viewfinder. To the more vain amongst us, this is brilliant for selfies.. Possibly the ultimate selfies?! I use this function a lot when testing out lighting for a portrait session before the subject turns up, cutting down the length of the shoot and the amount of their time I take up. It has also really helped me improve my understanding of lighting as I can experiment as much as I like without bothering the subject, as I’m the subject! I simply set the camera up on a tripod and use my phone to position myself correctly, as well as seeing the result and changing my lighting set up accordingly. The problem with this is you can often get carried away and pretend that you can pull off a good selfie!
At the other end of the vanity scale, I’ve used the wireless preview to photograph timid wildlife. By setting up the camera on a tripod in a location I know they will visit, I was able to retreat a bit to be less of a deterrent for the subject. In the adjacent picture I’m using the app with an X-T1 on a monopod to get closer to a puffin on a cliff edge (Photo courtesy of Duncan Jackson).
Zack Arias often takes advantage of the live preview on his phone for street photography. Check out this brilliant video of Zack exploring Marrakech and showing how he takes advantage of the app.
Finally, you can use the GPS tracking in your phone to automatically tag images with your geo-location. Great for helping you keep a record of where you’ve been. You simply connect the devices using the previously mentioned apps, syncronise the GPS location and then it will automatically update periodically as you move around.
Fujifilm has fully embraced WiFi technology to make wireless features and products that can really benefit a photographer, amateur and professional alike. With Fujifilm you can always expect improvements through firmware updates as well. The up and coming X-T1 upgrade has got some headline improvements already made public (check out my last blog on this). Who knows what Fujifilm will offer next to take advantage of mobile capabilities? What would you like to see?