Through a Photographer’s Eye: 10 Photographers Share Their Advice

Over the last 10 weeks you would have seen ten interviews forming series two of Through a Photographer’s Eye. In each interview, we heard from a handful of Australian photographers and how they use Fujifilm X Series cameras to photograph the world around them.

Before Series Three of Through a Photographer’s Eye begins next week, let us take a look back at what advice was shared when each photographer was asked the question:

If you have some advice for someone starting out in photography what would it be?

 

Rhys Tattersall

Don’t get caught up on the gear side of things. I learned using film and an old analogue camera. Photography being an art in a sense means there is no wrong way of doing things, only how you perceive it and portray it. Don’t be a copycat, find your own style.

 

Jared Morgan

My advice for someone starting out in photography would be to really learn the basic stuff like composition, colour, exposure, etc. Once you have the basics really sorted, you will be able to make the creative ideas you have in your head.

 

Vision and creativity are of course important, but if you don’t understand how to make it happen, it’s not of much use. I think being good at one will often make you better at the other. Secondly, don’t try and force a particular style. Your own style will develop naturally over time. Don’t follow the latest trends just because something may be popular right now. Develop YOUR photography style.

 

Don’t think the journey ends, never stop learning. Study other photographers, try new techniques and explore your ideas. Remember you will fail, learn from your failures. Lastly, always remember you make your images not the latest gadget!

 

Tony Gardiner

Persistence, keep shooting. Shoot as often as you can and learn from every shot you take. I have been working on professional sets since I was 16 and almost every day I still learn new tricks or techniques that I can store in my bag of tricks.

 

Greg Cromie

A lot of people seem to have a fear about how to use their new gear. I see a lot of questions appear on forums from new photographers saying that they have camera X and lens Y and they want advice on the best settings to shoot something straight forward. This is so unnecessary as unlike in the film days, digital cameras give us limitless opportunity for trial and error. Your only real obstacle is how long your battery will last or how much your SD card can hold.

Be brave and take lots and lots of photos. If you are using a camera like one from the Fujifilm X Series, then set the Aperture and ISO to A (Auto) and just experiment with the Shutter Speed manually for a day or two. At the end of your shoot review your images and take note of the ones that you love and the ones you hate. What settings did you use? The next day, just use ISO on manual to see how this changes your images. Carry your camera everywhere and shoot everything. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your camera. As long as there is a hint of light, you can make an image.

 

Clèment Breuille

The great thing about photography is that you have a lot of different genres to explore. For example, someone who is an excellent portrait photographer might find a new challenge in landscape photography. That’s why I love photography. You always have news technique and things to learn, it never stops.

My first piece of advice would be to not invest too much money in your gear. The most important aspect of your gear is to understand how it works. For that, you should bring it with you daily, take it to work for instance. Shoot as many different subjects as possible, until you learn what settings are best. There’s no need to have a professional camera body to start off with. I’ve seen a lot of people investing in professional cameras without even understanding it.

My second piece of advice would be not to limit yourself and your creativity. Recently I’ve participated in a creative meetup at the Vivid festival in Sydney. The purpose of the event was to produce an image based on the particular brief. By participating in meetups like this, you will find your creativity. As a designer, I’ll never be able to produce something if I didn’t have direction from the client. The same should be said when it comes to your photography. Try and push your ideas so that they develop into photos.

My final advice would be to stay aware and connected. With the chance to live in a connected world, where it’s easy to share and learn from other people it’s a great place to learn. I have watched a lot of tutorials on YouTube and other social media platforms to understand how to achieve things in my photography journey.

Share your work and ask for feedback. Even if the feedback is negative, remember people are judging an image not you. By listening and exploring your creativity, you will only improve your work.

 

Bhagiraj Sivagnanasundaram

Learn how to be a tough critic of your images. You can book a trip for a few thousand, buy the most expensive photography gear to take to your exotic location, but at the end of the day in the hotel room; you should be brave enough to delete most of those images which you think are not the best. You shouldn’t reflect on the amount of effort you put in to get those shots.

There is a difference between ‘creating’ images and ‘taking/capturing’ images. Photography is an art; we have to be the creators of the art. Perfection needs experience, and even with the best experience, it’s highly doubtful that anyone would become just perfect in image making, but keep fighting for it. Cherish the better pictures that you make today and compare these to the ones you shot last week and keep going. Keep connecting well with fellow photographers and share knowledge. Remember, it is not about the destination, but more about the journey. Good Luck!

 

Joe Allam

The best advice I can give to anyone starting out is to always have a camera with you. Sometimes you never know when you may come across a shot, but more importantly, it’s about knowing your camera inside out, so that when you do come across the right shot, you’re prepared for it, with a camera you know how to use.

On too many occasions I see beginner photographers get frustrated in a situation because they can’t get a look or style they have in mind, or the camera is “acting weird”. Take the time to truly get to know your equipment by shooting often, and you’ll soon find that your creative side will start to improve as you try to find better ways of shooting your everyday life!

 

Chelsey Elliott

When I dusted off the old Canon DSLR, I took a couple of intensive online courses to brush up on the basics and just started to take shots of everything. The more I practised, the easier it was to remember what the best aperture was for a certain light, what the ISO was for, white balance, metering and all those things that slip the mind.

 

Then once I was comfortable with the basics – I picked a decent camera system (X Series) that I knew I would use ALL THE TIME. So choose a camera that you will have on you, as the best camera to buy is the one you will use. The X Series cameras fit in my jogging backpack, so I take one with me every day I go for a run. That way it’s there for a quick snap if the light looks good, or if something interesting pops around the corner.

 

I encourage everyone to get an Instagram account… even if it’s just for inspiration from the thousands of talented artists sharing their knowledge. It’s a fantastic media channel to review different styles, research your next shoot location or to build a connection with other like-minded photographers. It’s extremely satisfying when one of your favourite photographers leaves a positive comment on your photo; it encourages me to get back out there and create another beautiful image.

 

And finally I recommend taking up a daily photo challenge for a month, it will force you to take chances, put yourself out there and be creative.

 

Athol Hill

Don’t become despondent about the number of good photographs you get when you start out. Novices often have a flawed perception about photography because they’ll see the 50 perfect wedding photographs in an album, not the 400 that didn’t make the cut. They aren’t aware that a studio photographer might take 100 photographs to get that one perfect shot. There are very few perfect first shot photographs, that is reality of photography. In time, your success rates will improve and you’ll have a higher percentage of keepers, but it’s a journey fraught with learnings and failure.

It’s also important to find a medium that allows you to get constructive criticism. It’s great to post a photo on Facebook or Instagram and get 50 likes, and don’t stop that because the endorphins help keep your enthusiasm going. The challenge is 50 likes on Facebook won’t teach you how to make a good photo into a great photo, or a great photo into a spectacular photo and that’s the key to your progression. Don’t be scared of constructive criticism; we all started somewhere and making mistakes is a natural part of learning. Every mistake is an opportunity to do it better next time.

 

Thomas Brown

I grew up on the beautiful mid-north coast of New South Wales. My interest in photography evolved through my interest in cinematography and video editing. I picked up my first real digital still camera in 2011 for the purpose of creating high-resolution time-lapse sequences for a personal short film project.

 

Around 2014 things started to change, and my photography interest overtook my filmmaking interest. Since then I have been in the constant pursuit of making pictures and have really enjoyed the journey so far. Career wise, up until a year and a half ago I had worked as a camera operator and video editor in TV commercial production. I am currently undergoing a bachelor degree in Creative Arts & Graphic Design.

Now Available: Which X Series Should I Buy – 3rd Edition

FUJIFILM Australia is proud to release the third instalment of the X Series Buying Guide. In this new 140-page magazine edition, you will find real world thoughts, sample images, side by side specifications and recommendations on the full range of XF Lenses, current X Series cameras and the newly announced FUJIFILM GFX 50S Medium Format camera.

If you are interested in the FUJIFILM range but don’t know where to start due to the overwhelming amount of equipment, then this ebook is for you.

To navigate to the download page visit the link here.

Climbing China’s Yellow Mountains with the FUJIFILM X-Pro2

It’s not often you get to visit a country like China that is full of wonders, but as most of you may know when an opportunity like this comes your way it’s best to capture it in full.

Recently, my overseas trip involved trekking through the Yellow Mountains located in the Huangshan National Park, located about an hours flight from Shanghai, China. Although this majestic place was close to Shanghai, I travelled from the busy tech hub of Shenzhen (around a 5 hours flight), and the limited air conditioning outside the terminal didn’t seem to compete with the hot and sticky weather.

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Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF16mmF1.4 – ISO 500 – F5.6 – 1/1400 second

Our driver who didn’t seem to care much for his life, raced around blind corners in his F1 fighter jet or otherwise known to the people-who-want-to-live as a car. I must say, the door handles of the vehicle certainly became weakened by the end of the trip due to the constant strain from clenched grips. We survived, though and desperately scrambled into our accommodation after an hour in our driving simulator before we explored the town located a few kilometres from the base of the majestic Yellow Mountains. Upon taking a few steps outside of the car park I was reminded no matter where you are in the world, even in a small Chinese country town in the middle of nowhere you can’t escape technology!

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Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF16mmF1.4 – ISO 1250 – F1.4 – 1/7 second

The evening consisted of strolling the streets with the Fujifilm X-Pro2 to find a well-known market street which catered an array of local fresh and exotic produce. The mystery world of new dialects, interesting smells and many chance photo opportunities had me meandering through the rough cobbled streets as my attention was drawn in every direction. The X-Pro2 was discreet and simple to use. It felt natural and more importantly it didn’t obstruct my experience. Changing the ISO, aperture or shutter speed was simple, making it the perfect camera for my trip.

The hustle and bustle of the street died as the remaining colourful lanterns flickered in the moist late night air. The doors began to shut and my time among the people had come to an end.

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Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF16mm R WR – ISO 1250 – F1.4 – 1/640 second

The following day brought the same heavy humid weather. After a quick breakfast, I was driven to a cramped bus that would eventually follow the winding route to the majestic Yellow Mountains in Huangshan. The iconic mountain range was best known for its eerie pine trees atop of stunning granite landscapes that often ‘floated’ amongst the heavy mist. Sunsets at this time of year were rare, but one could only hope there would be an occasional break in the clouds to expose the panoramic beauty beneath.

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Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 – ISO 200 – F7.1 – 1/160 second

In preparation for the trip, I debated what lenses I would take to accompany the Fujifilm X-Pro2. I decided on a wide-angle, prime, an all round lens and telephoto as they seemed to be the best option to cover landscapes and any wildlife I might encounter when climbing the 1850+ metres. It was a hard choice, but considering the time of year and weather sealing on some of the lenses, I felt this was the best setup for my photography style.

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For the three days of climbing the weight of the Fujinon XF16mmF1.4, XF56mmF1.2 APD, XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 and XF50-140mmF2.8 plus two Fujifilm X-Pro2 bodies seemed a bit over the top. I quickly regretted carrying so much!

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My daily hand carry favoured the XF16mmF1.4 and X-Pro2 while the rest of the gear stayed in a small backpack, along with a few changes of clothes, extra socks, plenty of water and of course some spare batteries and a handful of large memory cards.

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Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF50-140mmF2.8 – ISO 200 – F5 – 1/800 second

The history of the Yellow Mountains was learned with each step. The large carved stone had masterfully been moulded into the side of the mountain, quietly telling its story to the ascending travellers. The pea thick mist hid most of the peak’s grandeur for the first day but presented a rare opportunity to create silhouettes from the languishing pines, stagnate in time and nature.

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Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 – ISO 800 – F5.6 – 1/2400 second

Day two tackled the steepest climb I had ever attempted. My neck arched every couple of minutes to calculate the vertical steps that disappeared into the heavens. A slow pace and solid grip on the mountain and the other on the X-Pro2 was the best means to overcome being pushed backwards down the mountain by the howling wind. The thoughts of ‘are we there yet’ constantly reverberated in my head, but I pushed on, knowing the images at the peak would be worthwhile from the extensive Google searches I had researched.

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HDR – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 – ISO 200 – F5.6 – 1/350 second

Eventually after a number of hours of climbing we reached the top. Dumping the backpack felt like a sheep losing its fleece, an abundance of energy surged as I photographed the misty lone pine dangling precariously on the edge. The cloud lingered and wouldn’t depart to showcase one of the highest points in China. It didn’t matter, though, I had the Fujifilm X-Pro2, plenty of storage space and an idea. I planned to photograph the mystic pine tree from a new perspective to what I had previously seen. Edging to the drop-off and the side of the barrier like a caterpillar I extended my torso beyond the cliff edge to begin a series of handheld vertical images that would later become a panoramic view.

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Fujifilm X-Pro2 – 8 image stitch using the XF16mmF1.4

I finished the trip a week later and upon reflection, I was happy I utilised all three lenses while in the mountains. I wouldn’t have taken any other Fujinon lenses on the trip, as each focal length complemented one another. The durable X-Pro2 was exceptional, both in weight and operability, which is why I will continue to use this camera whenever I go travelling. Being able to travel to the Yellow Mountains is something I recommend you add to your bucket list. The trip for me was truly spectacular, and something I highly recommend photographers pursue, the memories and photographs will be with you forever.

The Best Photography Kit

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Is there such a thing as the best camera or perfect lens?

Maybe for some, but for most you will find that no camera and lens will provide you with what you want. Many professional or enthusiast photographers and videographers would have experienced the question that always seems to be unanswerable when asked by a friend or family member.

The question that typically gets asked is…

What is the best camera or lens to get?

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You have to admit it is a valid question, but really it is a hard one to answer. In order to attempt at answering the ‘how long is a piece of string’ question, you have to ask a question rather than an answer. Here’s a good example:

What are you intending to take photos of and what would you like to do with the photos after you have captured them?

It is the final response that will determine what the best camera for them will be.

Technology does play a part in the solution, though, and it is one of those things that will always develop over time. A good example of this is when you look back 10 years, when the Fujifilm Finepix S5 Pro was released on September 25th, 2006. Back then 6 megapixels was amazing and a frame rate of 1.6 frames per second seemed incredible. This to many at the time was a leap in the right direction. The specifications and skin tones produced by the camera seemed very adequate for most portrait and wedding photographers, but for those who required a fast frame rate, like sports photographers it just wasn’t enough.

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Fast forward to Fujifilm’s recent X-T2 release and the image quality jumped four times to 24 megapixels while the frame rate increased to 14 frames with the electronic shutter. Now, clearly, with the increased frame rate and megapixels this should be enough to cater for the portrait, wedding and sports photographers out there.

Some will agree with this and others might not. That’s the thing when making a camera – you can never cater for every user out there. Instead, Fujifilm goes the step further to try and provide cameras based on user feedback in response to the questions above. It’s certainly not everyone but it’s the vast majority.

Part of what being a photographer and videographer is all about is learning how to use the equipment to get the best results – despite the specifications.

So, if someone were to ask you – what is the best camera or lens to get – the first reply should always be what are you intending to photograph and use it for?

Based on this information you will be able to guide them with the correct camera and lens combination that will suit their needs. This is why we recommend you visit a camera store, because unlike online where the prices may seem better – you can never put a price on the excellent knowledge and service provided by an expert.

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To help you with your decisions while you read this, a free PDF buying guide has been provided in case you have any questions about the current range of Fujifilm cameras (a lens guide is also in the making). In the guide, we take you through each available model, including the new Fujifilm X-T2 and attempt to best describe whom the camera would be good for in a real world situation.

Once you have read through the magazine styled pages, we encourage you to visit our store locator (if you are in Australia) to find the nearest Fujifilm X Stockist where you can ask questions and get a direct response from an expert. On top of this if you are unable to visit a store we encourage you to call us directly on 1800 226 355 and choose option 4, where an expert from our Fujifilm X Series digital help desk will be able to assist.

Lastly, if you own a Fujifilm X Series camera, tell us why you choose your camera and how it best suits your needs. We would love the feedback!

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Panoramas and Life: X-Thusiast Featured Photographer Ian Burrows

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We at Fujifilm Australia are excited to introduce Mr. Ian Burrows as our next X-Thusiast Featured Photographer for July 2016. When he’s not busy with his family, Mr. Burrows enjoys capturing the dark, unnoticed corners of Sydney metro and stitching together engaging, multi-photo panoramas with is Fujifilm X-T1 and X-E2.

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“Big Bend” by Ian Burrows, Fujifilm X-T1 + XF35mmF1.4 R, Auto bracket exposure, Manual, 3.2 sec, F8, ISO 200 (42 pictures)

Introductions first: Who are you and where are you from? Can you tell us about your hobbies? What inspires you from day to day?

My name is Ian Burrows and I am from Sydney, NSW. I’ve lived in the west, north and south of Sydney, but I’ve also spent brief stints on the NSW Central Coast and in the UK. Along with photography, I love riding my pushbike, shooting hoops and spending time with my kids. There are so many beautiful places in this world, but I find day-to-day life more relevant. It is what I do in my life, my life experiences, that inspires me and my photography preferences.

How did you develop an interest in photography? How did you start out? How would you describe the development of your photographic style, if you have one?

I think I have always enjoyed photography. The act of making an image stimulates the brain.

When I first started shooting, I was travelling a bit for work, mostly coastal towns in NSW. I was naturally drawn to the beaches, so I started out shooting seascapes and landscapes wanting to emulate the big names in Australian landscape photography. As life got busier and I spent less time near the ocean, I experimented more with night photography and urban shooting. It immediately appealed to me. Dark, desolate, urban scenes make me smile.The other influence on my style has been my obsession with panoramic images. Shooting wide and extreme views has driven many of my favourite images.

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“Belly of the Beast” by Ian Burrows, Fujifilm X-T1 + XF10-24mm, auto bracket exposure, Manual, 1/4 sec, F8, ISO 400 (24 pictures)

What’s your favourite location to shoot in Australia? What are your favourite subjects to shoot?

Shooting around the streets of Sydney is enough for me. I have a young family and so reality dictates that I stay local and shoot when I can, which is usually at night. I would love to head farther west, but that can wait.

What’s your favourite X Series camera? Why do you prefer that particular model?

The X-T1 has grown to be my favourite. The viewfinder and general speed are a winning combination for me.

Which Fujinon lens or lenses do you prefer?

The XF10-24mm for wide and XF56mmF1.2 R for long; wide for urban and long for portraits of my kids. The 10-24mm is so flexible and the 56mm just produces beautiful images under most circumstances.

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“Jaca Warra” by Ian Burrows, Fujifilm X-E2 + XF35mmF1.4 R, Manual exposure, 1/256 sec, F8, ISO 400 (49 pictures)

Could you describe your photographic workflow? Do you prefer any third-party camera accessories or post-production software?

My workflow is fairly set. l usually shoot multi-shot panoramas. I open the RAW files in Capture One, make adjustments to exposure and colour and then sync those across the Pano frames. I export to the individual frames for the panorama to TIFF format and stitch in auto-pano. I finish in Photoshop usually using colour and silver EFEX. I often apply a film simulation to alter the overall colour balance and feel to give a slightly unreal look something subtle but enough to register in the brain.

My favourite effect is a slight green toning similar to what you often see in movies shot at night on film.

What are some of your favourite features or aspects of the Fujifilm X-T1?

The big EVF, rotating EVF view and WiFi for on-the-go edits.

Do you have any advice to new photographers or the next potential X-Thusiast?

Start with a middle-of-the-road camera, maybe a kit zoom and one prime. Keep it simple. Do not get caught up in the gear lust. Work smart. Hang out with good shooters. Observe them, and above all—observe life.

Any final thoughts, tips or advice you’d like to share?

It’s all about the light. And, lest we forget, a good picture tells a thousand words.

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“Fairground” by Ian Burrows, Fujifilm XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS, Auto bracket exposure, Manual, 4 sec, F8, ISO 200, Compensation: +1, (3 pictures)

Interested in joining the X-Thusiast community and sharing your own story?

See the full X-Thusiast Gallery and Submission details here.

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The Number One Focus Tip When Using a Rangefinder in Low Light

Creating beautiful scenes at night can be difficult and sometimes frustrating if you don’t have the experience needed to master your camera settings.

Knowing the correct focus settings, shutter speed, aperture and ISO does take the time to master, so hopefully this article provides you some clear insight into photographing at night or in low light.

Vivid Sydney 003Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR – ISO 320 – 1/55 second at F2.8

To start with you need to understand what type of camera you are using because all cameras perform differently when capturing the same scene. For instance, is the camera a heavy digital SLR, premium compact camera or lightweight rangefinder?

Types of cameras

Based on what type of camera you are using many of the same settings apply, however, there will be variances in shooting technique due to the way the camera performs. An example of this can be found between a digital SLR and a rangefinder like the new Fujifilm X-Pro2.

Vivid Sydney 004Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – ISO 3200 – 1/210 second at F4

At the Vivid Festival in Sydney, Australia the light instalments attract large crowds and there are plenty of opportunities to photograph in low light. The problem is when there is little light falling on a subject, focusing can become a struggle. This wasn’t the case for the new X-Pro2 rangefinder though. Using one of the advanced features on the X-Pro2 it was easy to overcome the out of focus hurdles that many Digital SLR might have struggled with.

Vivid Sydney 009Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF56mmF1.2 R APD – ISO 320 – 1/250 second at F1.2

The Challenge

Photograph a low light scene from the festival with a shallow depth of field.

To achieve the shallow depth of field in low light shown in this photo above there were a few settings that needed to be set on the camera. The first was changing the camera to aperture priority and selecting F1.2 as the aperture. This would give a shallow depth of field. The second step was to select manual focus on the front of the X-Pro2.

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Now that manual focus was selected the attention turned to the rear of the camera to change the manual focus mode. To select the correct mode simply hold down the rear dial and ensure ‘Focus Peak Highlight’ is selected. If you don’t see this mode when you first hold down the rear dial, continue the process to cycle through the other modes until Focus Peak Highlight appears.

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Next, select your desired ISO setting based on the amount of light in the scene. Don’t be afraid to use high ISO likes ISO 2000 through to ISO 5000 or even higher as Fujifilm cameras are famous for their low noise at high ISO’s when photographing in low light scenes.

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At this stage make sure you are using the electronic viewfinder on the X-Pro2 as this will provide the huge advantage of being able to see in low light. If you are looking through the viewfinder found on a larger Digital SLR you won’t be able to see in the same lighting conditions because the optical viewfinder will not be able to gather enough light. This is one of the biggest advantages of low light photography on a mirrorless camera like the X-Pro2 over a Digital SLR.

The only way around this on a Digital SLR is to utilise the rear LCD screen as the ‘viewscreen’. This shooting setup almost always leads to a higher chance of capturing an out of focus image or a blurry photo due to the camera missing focus and not being as supported next to the photographer’s’ eye like a rangefinder camera would. Plus, you are bound to get a sore back from holding a heavy camera away from your body all the time!

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Finally, while looking through the electronic viewfinder adjust the smooth focus ring on the lens and you will be able to see areas within your frame ‘peaking’ (you can’t do this on a Digital SLR). What is peaking?

It means the camera will automatically add a thin white and black line around every object, and at the sharpest point-of-focus, these lines will suddenly ‘peak’. This peaking area equates to the area of sharpest focus in the frame. Therefore, if you nail the peaking on your subject, you will nail your focus every time!

As shown in the video below, you can also change the colour and contrast of the focus peaking lines to see them more clearly. The viewfinder shown in the video is from the Fujifilm X-T1.

Remember, photographing in low light can be a challenge and we encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try a new setting. Practice the new setting when there is plenty of light and then master it before you attempt a low light scene. You should know where all your settings are without having to look at your camera. Master this and you will go far.

Introducing The New Fujifilm X-T2

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Imagine a camera that takes the best features of the Fujifilm X-T1 and X-Pro2 and combines them together to create the ultimate photographers and videographers tool.

Well, today we are excited to announce the combination of these cameras in the new Fujifilm X-T2!

The Fujifilm X-T2 is one of the most anticipated cameras in Fujifilm’s history. Not only will the impressive 24.3MP APS-C X Trans CMOS III sensor capture the joy of photographers around the world, but now with the addition of 4K and 2K video formats you will be able to film the emotion too!

Adding to this is a bundle of features that includes an electronic shutter with a limit of 1/32,000 second, an Intelligent Hybrid Phase detection AF, a robust weather resistant body, an impressive 3-way tilting 3.0” LCD and a 2.36 Million dots Electronic Viewfinder and dual SD UHS-II memory card slots that will capture up to 14 frames per second with the Performance Boost Mode turned on.

All of these features sound impressive (and they are), but the list of specs doesn’t stop there. As mentioned earlier the 4K video quality this camera now records is on par with some of the other professional cameras out there. When filming video you can expect excellent sharpness and low noise when recording up to a maximum of ISO 12800.

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Another important feature unique to videographers is the ability to choose a video frame rate. Fujifilm has liaised with various professionals and industry leaders to determine what settings best suit. Within the new Fujifilm X-T2 videographers will be able to select 29.97P, 25P, 24P and 23.98P when filming in 4K and if Full HD is selected; 59.94P, 50P, 29.97P, 25P, 24P and 23.98P at a 100Mbps Video Bit rate.

There are also a lot of settings that can be changed once you press the record button. You will be able to change exposure in ⅓ stop increments, correct the colour and the angle of view. Added to this is the option to change the exposure via the external HDMI port, which is well suited for videographers using external monitors.

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When you first handle the Fujifilm X-T2 you will immediately feel the magnesium alloy chassis that has been redesigned based on photographers feedback. With weather resistant sealing to suit rugged outdoor conditions, this professional body is slightly larger than the Fujifilm X-T1 due to improved control dials that turn easily with or without gloves. The new lock buttons located on the shutter and ISO dials are easily pressed to turn on or off the action of selecting a new setting. Also the enlarged drive mode and photometry selection dials can easily be accessed due to this new ergonomic design.

As shown in the video (above) the 1.62 million-dot 3-inch LCD screen has been redesigned to suit photographers. Now with a 3-way tilting screen, the photographer can turn and rotate the screen to a visible position when holding the camera above their head in a portrait orientation. Previously on the Fujifilm X-T1 the screen was only visible in a horizontal orientation.

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The launch of the Fujifilm X-T1 saw photographers from many different genres switch over to Fujifilm due to the large range of Fujinon lenses available. Sports and wildlife photographers were among the newly acquainted, but this was not only due to the lens selection, but also the features on the Fujifilm
X-T1 like autofocus and UHS-II memory card compatibility. Learning from this the new Fujifilm X-T2 takes autofocus speed and memory card storage to the next level.

The Fujifilm X-T2 is slightly different in the way the camera focuses when compared to the Fujifilm X-T1. This is because of the new Intelligent Hybrid Phase detection autofocus. The new X-T2 will allow you to select up to 325 autofocus points allowing for precise focus. What this means is no matter whether the subject is within the frame, the camera will autofocus very quickly to pick up the subject.

Adding to the list of new features is also a dual memory card slot that is now capable of recording to two UHS-II compatible cards. What this means for photographers is they can record photos up to 14 frames per second (when Performance Boost mode and Electronic Shutter is selected), which will result in a total of 42 Jpeg frames or 28 RAW frames stored at Lossless compression. This option is only available when the VPB-XT2 grip is on the camera.

Not only does the optional VPB-XT2 (Vertical Power Booster Grip) increase frame rate, but it also will accommodate two additional batteries (NP-W126S) at the same time to boost in shooting interval, shutter release time lag and blackout time while extending 4K video recording to a maximum of 30 minutes.

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As mentioned, when you use the optional VPB-XT2 battery grip you can select different frame rates like 14 frames per second, however, if this is too fast 11 frames per second can also be selected.

When 11 frames per second is enabled 75 Jpeg frames or 30 RAW frames stored at Lossless compression can be captured. However, if you require more frames to be recorded before the cameras buffer fills, the frame rate can be dropped to 8 frames per second enabling 83 Jpeg frames or 33 RAW frames to be stored at Lossless compression. Finally, if you need to record an endless amount of Jpeg frames, 5 frames per second can also be selected.

The X-T2’s ISO range of 200 – 12800 (RAW shooting) is exactly the same as the Fujifilm X-Pro2. When recording at high ISO like 3200 or 6400 photographers will find images and video to be very clear resulting in smooth graduation and deeper blacks.

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Studio and wedding photographers will enjoy using the Fujifilm X-T2 as the camera can now act as a commander when firing off multiple flash units when using the newly announced Fujifilm EF-EX500 flash. Found within the camera’s menu is the ability to select ‘COMMANDER’ mode, which enables full manual control of up to three supported Fujifilm flash units. Each supported flash can be manual adjusted to ensure you get the best possible picture.

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It is Fujifilm’s hope to design a camera that will suit a photographer’s requirements and it is refreshing to see that the X-T2 does this. Something many were not predicting though was the ability to film in 4K. Having mentioned this, it is worth thinking about to expand upon your skills to embrace this chance. Not all photographers will embrace this addition and that is okay, but to those who wish to expand on their skills the feature is there for you to explore and the same can be said to videographers when it comes to taking photos.

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This article hasn’t covered all of the specifications nor the implementations of the Fujifilm X-T2, so we would encourage you to follow this global Fujifilm blog which is now supported by Fujifilm Australia, Fujifilm UK, Fujifilm USA and Fujifilm Canada. We also ask you subscribe to the global Fujiguys YouTube channel to learn more about the Fujifilm X-T2 from contributions around the world. Together we are one and together we are here to listen to you the photographer – and now the videographer too.

Interview: The Most Comprehensive Guide on the X-Pro2

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Tony Phillips is an author, photographer, pilot, teacher, and lecturer, and has a long-standing passion for photography. To date he has 8 published books on photography. Four on Fujifilm X cameras and lighting. All are available on the following website.

He is recommended by MirrorLessons as one of 6 Authors of Mirrorless Camera Manuals Whose Books You’ll Actually Enjoy Reading. He conducts photographic seminars on the fundamentals of digital photography through to advanced lighting.

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I reached out to Tony with some questions to learn more about his latest book – “The Complete Guide to Fujifilm’s X-Pro2“, in which he examines the highly anticipated camera to form a detailed 545-page guide.

Can you tell us about yourself and how long you have you been using Fujifilm X-Series cameras for?

Over the years I’ve been a teacher, businessman and entrepreneur. I started shooting film in high-school, using an SLR as a school photographer. This ongoing passion has led me to writing books to help people understand photography and their equipment – so they shoot the kinds of pictures they are interested in.

I dipped my toe in the water with the Fujifilm X-E1. The first Fujifilm X camera I really fell in love with was the X100S. It’s difficult for people who have never shot Real High Speed sync with a leaf-shutter lens to understand why X100 cameras are so magical.

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A preview of what’s covered in the X-Pro2 Guide

When you write a detailed guide that covers a camera what are the steps you like to take to ensure all content is accurate?

Accuracy is essential in a book like this, and is a significant part of the undertaking. I handle a camera quite a bit over many months during the writing process. So it’s safe to say I become quite familiar with it. I read available Fujifilm information – including the manual and test everything I say. I sometimes ask questions of Fujifilm to seek clarification of technical details, and I have proof-readers who are Fujifilm (X-Pro2) photographers. In this book, for instance, I requested information from Fujifilm to cross-check my explanation of the new Depth-Of-Field Scale setting.

When the entire work is completed, I read, edit and test everything – every setting, suggestion and idea – to ensure nothing is missed and my explanation is complete and clear. I usually write the opening introductory chapters last.

What is the biggest stand out feature (or your favorite feature) of the Fujifilm X-Pro2 that you have been able to uncover?

I’ve shot with many cameras, so this is actually a tough question.

What people mostly ask me is what “hidden” features I discovered. And after handling the camera so much, I usually feel it is all pretty straight forward. Handle it for a while, and the X-Pro2 is an easy camera to use.

Since I am a photographer, I value image quality, then camera handling. The notable features for me are IQ, speed, and the hybrid viewfinder. I also like the new menu structure and customisations which help streamline shooting workflow.

Technically I’m impressed the bump to 24MP comes without added noise. It might not be obvious to people, but that is quite a feat!

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A preview of what is covered in the X-Pro2 Guide

In what formats can people view the X-Pro2 guide and is the guide interactive?

The X-Pro2 book is available in PDF, .MOBI, and .EPUB electronic formats and print on demand B&W and Colour printed books. Whichever format a customer buys entitles them to the electronic formats if they send their receipt (as proof of purchase) to the publisher. Instructions are in the book.

The electronic formats are all internally hyperlinked, and the PDF has an extended index and hyperlinked table of contents.

Based on your own experience, is there a particular piece of content that Fujifilm instruction manuals may lack?

The manual does a reasonable job outlining camera settings. It’s tough to cover everything in detail without writing a huge book.

Can you make any suggestions about how Fujifilm could improve their instruction manuals for X Series cameras?

I’ll be cheeky here, and say give everyone my book

But seriously, the manual has a logical structure. Hyperlinked PDF versions are always welcome.

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A preview of what is covered in the X-Pro2 Guide

When you talk to other Fujifilm users who have purchased your guides, what has been the best feedback you have received?

I receive lots of great feedback ranging from suggestions, questions, and occasionally a typo. What I mostly get is people telling me how much the book has helped improve their understanding and use of the camera in the pursuit of their photography. People often comment on the accessible style – which is something I aim for.

Here’s just a few from X-Pro2 owners since the launch:

“The book is really (can’t put it down) really great … such a relief to find a friendly conversational style of writing. I have used the X-Pro2 professionally and for recreation… I’m still fine-tuning how I use it, and I find it most informative to cross check how I use the Camera with the recommendations in the book.” – Roland Herrera

“Just want to let you know that I’m finding your new X-Pro2 ebook extremely helpful, and this after using my X-Pro2 camera for 3 1/2 weeks in Europe. Finding all kinds of helpful info on settings, etc. Thanks for writing it.” – Chris Morrow

“Thanks for the dedicated book. It’s really enjoyable and helpful.” – Hidenori Yamada

“This is a very well put together guide book, and I’ve read a ton of them in my time! Excellent!” – Steve MacDonald

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A preview of what is covered in the X-Pro2 Guide

 

Typically, how long does it take you to create a detailed guide, and did you face any challenges when creating the X-Pro2 guide?

This varies. This is my fourth Fujifilm-specific book. The first took 7 months. This last one came in at just over four.

The typical challenge is the long developmental lead time, and of course it’s a solo effort. That’s a long time to spend without an income.

If you are interested in obtaining Tony’s X-Pro2 guide then you can pick up your own copy for $26.45 USD. Over the coming weeks it will also be listed on Amazon, iTunes and other eBook outlets so stay tuned.

Understanding the Advanced Multi-Hybrid Viewfinder on the X-Pro2

When photographing different events under extreme lighting conditions it is good practice to understand how your camera works before the start date. The Fujifilm X-Pro2 is new on the market and therefore learning the advantages of the Advanced Multi-Hybrid Viewfinder is essential to great imaging success. Many new photographers starting out would bypass the viewfinder altogether and stick with the clear bright LCD, but there are many advantages to the different screen modes the camera offers.

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For starters, take this example at Sydney’s light festival – VIVID (below). When trying to photograph bright bursts of flames at 1/8000 second using the XF100-400mm at full extension – handheld, looking on the back of the LCD screen becomes almost impossible. This is because holding the camera away from your face will present some unwanted movement causing blur plus achieving focus in the pitch black becomes almost impossible, as the fireballs only appear for less than a second in different positions.

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To overcome this situation the X-Pro2 has a handy trick. Positioning your eye up to the viewfinder presents a welcome opportunity to either select the Optical Viewfinder (OVF) or the Electronic Viewfinder (EVF). Both modes have advantages, but there are a few default settings that are worth changing to obtain the best results.

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The image above was captured while looking through the OVF with an electronic overlay over the optical image. What this means is when you look through the viewfinder you can see the focus point, but the rangefinder view (framing) doesn’t change – it stays at the widest point. The advantage of this is you can see what’s happening outside of the frame you will end up recording. The disadvantage is you won’t be able to see all of the frame due to the long XF100-400mm lens protruding into your optical view.

Using the X-Pro2’s amazing single point autofocus in this mode you can easily half-press the shutter button to obtain correct focus, all while seeing the subject in low light conditions. Of course with all things digital there are many ways to operate the camera to obtain the same result. The second way of going about taking the same photo is the far better option, however as mentioned previously, you will have to change a few default settings in the menu.

When you put your eye up to the viewfinder and turn the viewfinder selector clockwise (located on the front of the X-Pro2) you will notice that the screen changes from OVF to EVF. Now you can see what the final image will be. This is a fantastic mode to photograph in if you are in excellent lighting conditions.

The default setting for this mode is to show you exactly what the end result will be. If you are photographing a bright blue sky at 1/250 second then you won’t have any troubles, but if you are photographing at a high shutter speed like 1/8000 of a second the image you will see through the viewfinder will become dark, making it impossible to see anything and obtain focus on whatever you might be looking at.

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The camera will still work automatically of course and pick up focus (but the obvious thing is you can’t see anything). To obtain the same image you will need to change the default setting in the ‘SET UP’ menu.

Navigate to the following and turn each setting to ‘OFF’

SET UP > SCREEN SET-UP > PREVIEW PIC. EFFECT
SET UP > SCREEN SET-UP > PREVIEW EXP./WB IN MANUAL MODE

Turning off these settings will now reward you with the ability to see at a high shutter speed while using the EVF.

From what we hear, this seems to be one of the main frustrations many photographers face when trying to photograph using the EVF on the X-Pro2. Now that you know what to do to overcome the frustration, we encourage you to share this with your friends.