13th November 2014 – International Food Photography Day

To celebrate International Food Photography Day, we are offering you the chance to win a personalised Fujifilm X-E2 body with XF18-55mm lens!

In association with Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year, we will be celebrating International Food Photography Day on Thursday 13th November, and offering you the chance to win a personalised Fujifilm X-E2 camera and an amazing XF18-55mm lens (worth a snap-tastic £1078)

Image by John Armstrong-Millar Highly Commended - Food for Sale Category - Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2014
Image by John Armstrong-Millar
Highly Commended – Food for Sale Category – Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2014

The competition 

The theme is Snap the Rainbow. It’s really simple, all you have to do is capture the beautiful colours of food with your camera (doesn’t have to be a Fujifilm camera) and share them on Thursday 13th November 2014.

Enter by Twitter:

Upload your image to Twitter and include the twitter accounts @foodphotoaward and @Fujifilm_UK and the hashtag #allfoodsbrightandcolourful

Enter by Facebook:

Alternatively, post them onto the International Food Photography Day 2014 Facebook Event here.

The prize

The Fujifilm X-E2 is a multi-award winning CSC (compact system camera), packed full to the brim with technology and delivers outstanding image quality. The X-E2 comes with a XF18-55mm lens. The 18-55mm versatile short zoom lens which covers a variety of frequently used focal lengths from 18mm  wide angle to 55mm telephoto. A perfect range for nearly all photographic subjects.

The personal touch

Not only will you win this stunning camera and lens, but it will also be customised with one of the Fujifilm Signature colours and textures. Choose from any of the colours in the slideshow below:

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Good luck!

One winner will be selected from all entries received and notified by Twitter or Facebook on Wednesday 20th November 2014

To allow participants to contribute around the world, all entries must be tweeted or posted on Facebook between midday GMT on the 12th November and midday GMT on the 14th November 2014.

For further information please contact, Sue Richmond at Kenyon Communications by emailing sue@kenyon-communications.com

Full Terms and Conditions can be found at http://www.internationalfoodphotographyday.com

Related links:

Trade in your DSLR and get £200 off a Fujifilm X-T1 or X-E2 CSC

If you are on the cusp of deciding to ditch your bulky DSLR and go fully mirrorless, here’s a little something that might just tip you over the edge and help make your decision.

£100 trade-in bonus…

For a limited time only, trade-in an eligible DSLR with one of our selected UK retailer partners and get an additional £100 bonus on top of your trade-in value when you buy a brand new Fujifilm X-T1 or X-E2 Digital Compact System Camera.

…plus £100 cashback…

What’s more, you can also claim £100 cashback when you purchase a Fujifilm X-T1 or X-E2 before the 11th January 2015.

… and don’t forget the lenses.

Further cashback is available across our Fujinon XF lens range. Click here to see a full list of all Fujifilm products that are eligible for cashback before the 11th January 2015.

So what are you waiting for?

Click here to find a retailer near you.

Saying ‘I do’ to the X-E2

I start to get nervous about two weeks before I shoot a wedding. It’s around this time that I start taking an unhealthy interest in the weather forecast, start worrying about whether I’m going to get enough time to shoot everything and start limiting the use of my camera because I’ve convinced myself it only has a few more shots left in it before the shutter combusts. This all happens because I don’t shoot weddings very often, I’m what fellow photographers would call a ‘Weekend Warrior’ and what pros lovingly refer to as ‘a pain in the arse’. I shoot weddings for friends and acquaintances and don’t charge much; I see it more as part job, part wedding present. You may be the same.

18-55mm @55mm, 1/60sec at f/4, ISO 800
18-55mm @55mm, 1/60sec at f/4, ISO 800

My most recent part job/part wedding present represented two firsts for me. It was the first same-sex marriage I’d photographed (congratulations Gemma and Fiona!) and it was also the first time I’d added an X-E2 to my camera line-up. I’ll be honest from the outset and admit that the X-E2 wasn’t my primary shooter. Although I’m well versed in its capabilities, having previously blogged about using the same camera on a trip to Rome, I still don’t feel I know it well enough to use it as Camera 1. Instead, I’d earmarked it – along with the 18-55mm, 60mm and 55-200mm XF lenses – for specific tasks throughout the day, plus it would also double as a more than capable backup option should Camera 1, as prophesied, burst into flames during the nuptials.

Of all the things to have sleepless nights about before a wedding, camera gear shouldn’t be one of them. My search continues for methods of controlling the weather and bending time, but I prepared the night before safe in the knowledge that my camera gear was ready; firmwares updated, batteries charged, lenses polished, straps attached.

The X-E2 was the first camera out of the bag the following morning when I arrived early at the reception venue to shoot details on the tables. It quickly established itself to be a reliable focuser and exposer, while the image previews looked sharp and full of colour. As planned, it then came out on a number of other occasions throughout the day. Its near-silent operation and more discreet appearance enabled me to wander around and capture a whole host of shots that, had I attempted to shoot with Camera 1, would inevitably have resulted in wedding guests standing bolt upright while affecting cheesy grins. Not so the X-E2 which, with the 55-200mm attached, is the perfect combination for candids.

Its hushed credentials also proved their worth during the speeches at the reception. After selecting the Silent mode I was able to capture a wide variety of images, without causing the assembled guests to turn around every time I pressed the shutter. In short, the X-E2 and I got on famously during the day, even though it did show a larger than expected appetite for battery power.

18-55mm @55mm, 1/60sec at f/3.5, ISO 250
18-55mm @55mm, 1/60sec at f/3.5, ISO 250

The bigger news was to come in post-production. I’d shot nearly 1500 images, so editing in Lightroom was a lengthy affair, especially when you consider everything was captured in Raw. But while general tidying up of images is to be expected, I found myself spending far less time on the X-E2’s files. They were supremely sharp straight out of camera, wonderfully vibrant and showed impressive quality at high ISOs. The speeches, for example, were shots at ISO 3200 and 6400 because of the low light levels at the reception, yet noise was well under control – far better, in fact, than Camera 1.

55-200mm @156mm, 1/90sec at f/4.5, ISO 3200
55-200mm @156mm, 1/90sec at f/4.5, ISO 3200

So what did I learn? Well, I’d certainly pack the X-E2 if I was shooting a wedding again – it’s agile, easy to use and cuts down post-production time, all of which are huge positives. Its retro charms didn’t go unnoticed by guests at the wedding, either. As I mingled at the reception, a DSLR-toting attendee came over and asked about the X-E2. ‘Is it a Leica?,’ he asked. I explained what it was, showed him some shots I’d taken and invited him to have a try. He took a couple of shots and handed it back, gave it the one over and said, quite simply: ‘Lovely’.

I’d have to agree.

New firmware for the X-E2 to bring it more in-line with the X-T1

Kaizen (改善), Japanese for “improvement” or “change for the best”, refers to philosophy or practices that focus upon continuous improvement. – Wikipedia

Way back in February 2014, our Senior Sales and Marketing Manager Toshi Iida mentioned during an interview with DPReview that the X-E2 would be due some loving from the R&D team in the near future.

“We will release new firmware for the X-E2 soon which will improve the refresh rate of the EVF bringing it to the same level as the X-T1 and also add an interval shooting function.”

EVF Refresh Rate

x-e2-evf2The new firmware version 2.00 has been released today and it includes the improved refresh rate on the EVF that Toshi mentioned. I’ve tested it quickly here and it is a noticeable improvement, but to be honest I didn’t find the previous refresh rate much of an issue to start with.

Selecting different colours when using Focus Peak Highlighting

It looks like the Interval Shooting feature didn’t quite make it into this one (lets hope for v 2.10), but instead we’ve got the ability to select different colours for the Focus Peak Highlighting – a feature that I really like on the X-T1.

In certain shooting situations (like ones that already contain lots of white), it can be difficult to see the white focus peak highlighting.

I personally tend to shoot on manual focus, using the AF-L button to Autofocus and then the focus ring to make minor adjustments. One thing I’ve been doing lately that makes it even easier to focus is to set the camera to B+W and then use the Red highlight peaking as it stands out hugely from the rest of the shot.

Here’s a couple of shots to demonstrate how easy it is to see the focal plane in this way. These shots are actually of an X-T1 screen so they’re for reference only. Also, please remember that these are shots of the LCD screen. When using the EVF the image is far more detailed.

I still shoot JPG+RAW so the final images don’t need to be in B+W. The reason I shoot JPG as well is so you can quickly use the playback mode to see a 100% crop to check you really did hit the focus bang on – handy when shooting at f/1.2!

Face Detection on Fn button

Fujifilm X-E2 function buttonThis is something I can see myself using, especially with the fast lenses shooting my kids when they are playing. I find the Face Detection AF very good at picking out their eyes, so to be able to switch it on and off at the single touch of a button when I’m changing between shooting them and shooting things without a face will be nice.

Conclusion

All in all I think this is a really nice upgrade for the X-E2. Perhaps some X-E2 users that were thinking about switching to the X-T1 might think twice now, but that’s OK – it’s all part of our philosophy of Kaizen to continually improve our products and hope that our users get plenty of joy out of their product before they feel they need to upgrade.

Any questions, Tweet me @Fujifilm_UK or leave a comment below.

Marc

Related links:

New firmware for X-E2 enhances performance, functions and the Real Time Viewfinder – Fujifilm UK
CP+ 2014: Fujifilm interview – ‘the only way is to keep innovating’ – DPReview.com