A gear tip on how to set up and use Back Button Focus and how this benefits the photographer.
While working on certain shoots I made friends with 3 DJ’s (Sobs, Luke, and Lefty) and as we got to know each other, I found out they live in Masiphumelele and I live in Fish Hoek, so very close to one another, but totally different worlds. I had asked them if they would be interested in me doing a shoot with them in Masi, which they were keen....
Festivals can sometimes have the reputation as being debaucherous affairs frequented by folk who love to party. It would also be fair to say that most of them entail camping, music and dirty feet! SpiritFest involved all of the latter, but none of the former....
Fujifilm South Africa would like to invite you to the Product Launch of the new Fujifilm X-T2conducted at Fujifilm House in Johannesburg. Please book your space via our new website www.fujifilmexperience.com the event will be limited to only 200 attendees, please make sure you book immediately to avoid disappointment
This event will be open to the public and will be held on the 14th of July 2016 at Fujifilm House, building 18, The Woodlands Office Park, Western Service Road, Woodmead.
This will be the official launch of the X-T2 in South Africa, to all consumers. An interview styled presentation will be conducted with X Photographers Peter Delaney, Pierre vd Walt, Johann vd Walt and an Sports Photographer who tested the first pre production models.
Time : 19:40 for 20:00
Only Confirmed Bookings will be allowed entrance.
Dates for the following regions will be made available shortly - Cape Town, East London, Port Elizabeth, George, Durban.
The Fujifilm X-T2 camera features for travel photography
On my recent trip to China I was privileged to test the new Fujifilm X-T2 (pre-production model) camera. When I received the camera I was told that there will most likely be firmware updates every couple of weeks, but being away and without a PC I had to live with the firmware I received with the camera. I was brave enough to leave my X-T1 at home (but like always did take my X-E2 backup body along). I was lucky enough not to experience any serious issues with the installed firmware.
The trip was planned to be a landscape focused trip but the itinerary did include many opportunities for typical travel and street photography.
Knowing me, you most likely are expecting some statistics, so let me start there. I took a total of 8600 photos over 22 days with the X-T2. This is much more than what I normally will do but it is easily explainable; being in a landscape environment during many sunrises and sunsets, I also took several time-lapse series. In fact, if I count each time-lapse series as a single photo, the total number of photos came down to just about 6000. Of these 6000 photos about 2000 are people photography while the rest are landscapes specific. Thirteen of the 22 days was planned sunset and sunrise scenes, and as is normal in this digital age, I took multiple photos of the same scene at each sunrise and sunset. This all lead to the fact that I guess I have a ratio of about 10 to 1 unique street versus landscape scenes. This ratio will be visible in the themes of my articles of this trip.
My reviews of the camera will be focused on the features I found different / better than what I am used to on the X-T1. Each article will only look at one specific feature. These reviews will for two reasons not at all look at image quality, namely firstly the fact that the photos come from a pre-production model and I was told to put a disclaimer in any article to emphasise that the image quality may change in the final production version. Secondly, I am not an Adobe Lightroom user and I am currently unable to open the RAW files in my RAW converter (PhotoNinja). I am therefore using the jpeg photos, and in this first review I will only resize the photos without any other post processing.
After long deliberation I decided that the new tilt screen is the feature I liked the most. It can now tilt in both landscape and portrait mode. This will come in handy for very low angle landscape photos, but I also found it very useful in some street photos.
I’ve learned that waist level street photography seems to be less intrusive and I therefore get much more candid photos than when bringing the camera up to my face. It also creates an unusual point of view to a street photo which may add to the impact.
All the photos in this first article were taken using the tilt screen in landscape or portrait mode.
Stealth mode tip:
I sometimes use my camera in stealth mode and on this trip I did it twice. This is how I do it:
· Use a reasonable wide angle lens
· Use F8 or F11 for a greater depth of field
· Manual focus 2 meters in front of you
· Activate the interval timer and set it to take about 100 photos one every 15 or 30 seconds
· Activate the electronic shutter
· Now walk with the camera hanging around your neck and use the tilted screen to compose some images, never put your finger on the shutter.
· Afterwards delete most of the photos and keep only the really good ones.
FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) has announced that, on September 8, 2016, the company will release the FUJIFILM X-T2 - the ultimate mirrorless digital camera that uses advanced technologies to achieve premium image quality, outstanding operability and beautiful design reminiscent of traditional cameras.
The X-T2 combines the sensor and image processing engine developed by Fujifilm, with an ultra-sharp range of FUJINON lenses for excellent image resolution. Fujifilm’s color-reproduction technology, formulated over 80 years, delivers images of unparalleled quality and realism, recording a subject’s textures, three-dimensional feel and even the atmosphere surrounding it.
The X-T2’s compact and lightweight camera body is also dust-resistant, water-resistant and capable of operating at temperatures as low as -10°C. Its autofocus and electronic viewfinder performance have both been substantially improved, making it more adaptable than ever before at shooting a moving subject under difficult conditions, such as sports or wildlife photography, which had previously been considered difficult with mirrorless cameras.
For the first time in the X Series, the X-T2 supports 4K video recording. The Film Simulation modes, used for still images, can be applied to video to easily produce premium-quality footage.
The X-T2’s design is modeled after the “central viewfinder style” of the FUJIFILM X-T1, which has been popular since its launch in 2014. This proven stable form factor provides a camera that is perfectly sized with ergonomic dials laid out exactly where they are needed for excellent, intuitive operability. Couple the X-T2 with the optional grip to provide a superior balance, especially when mounted with a telephoto lens. Immerse yourself in photography through the large viewfinder with the magnification ratio of 0.77x. The sense of perfect alignment from the center of your body to a subject through the lens creates an illusion that you have become one with the camera for the ultimate photographic pleasure.
The full lineup of 22 FUJINON lenses covers a wide range of focal lengths from ultra wideangle to ultra telephoto. The compact and lightweight lenses are all optimally designed for APS-C sensors, and incorporate standout features including large maximum aperture and powerful image stabilization to meet photographers’ diverse demands.
The X-T2 is to become the X Series’ flagship model along with FUJIFILM X-Pro2, the world’s only rangefinder-style camera with the Hybrid Multi Viewfinder, released in March this year. The two models deliver unparallelled performance in their distinctive fields, with the X-T2 excelling in portraiture, nature and sports photography, and the X-Pro2 ideal for snapshots and discreet documentary photography.
1. Highlight features of X-T2
FUJIFILM’s excellent reproduction of colors and gradation of tones capture premium image quality in both stills and video recording
The X-T2 features the 24.3MP X-TransTM CMOS III*1, an APS-C sensor with no low-pass filter boasting the highest performance in the history of the X Series, as well as the X-Processor Pro high-speed image processing engine to deliver outstanding color reproduction and gradation of tones in both stills and videos with high ISO sensitivity and low noise. The Film Simulation modes, developed with Fujifilm’s philosophy of color reproduction nutured in over 80 years of photo film research, have further evolved to capture a subject’s textures, three-dimensional feel and even the atmosphere surrounding it.
The X-T2’s video function supports 4K video recording, which is the first in the X Series of cameras. Approx. 1.8 times the amount of information needed to produce a 4K video file (3840x2160) video is packed in to create stunning image quality.
Fast response to capture a decisive moment with any type of subject
Basic response specifications, such as startup time, shooting interval and shutter release time lag, have all been improved to the extreme in pursuit of a camera that operates exactly as the photographer demands.
The high-speed processing power and the use of improved algorithms have significantly improved the basic autofocus performance, improving the focusing performance on points of light, low-contrast objects and subjects with fine and delicate textures such as bird feathers and animal fur, which have previously been the weakness of phase detection AF.
The X-T2 also features AF-C Custom Settings for even higher accuracy in focus-tracking moving subjects. You can customize settings to optimize AF characteristics according to the type of subject movements.
The electronic viewfinder, which is used to continuously track a moving subject, is capable of displaying up to 100 frames per second, while also maintaining the magnification ratio of 0.77x and the display time lag of 0.005 seconds. The duration of the viewfinder blackout, in which the live view display blacks out temporarily while the camera reads picture data, has been reduced by more than half, enabling up to 5fps, instead of 3fps in previous models, during continuous shooting in the Live View mode, a better option to ensure tracking subject movements.
A perfectly balanced, compact, lightweight and rugged body, made possible with the APS-C sensor
The X-T2’s compact and lightweight body, weighing just 507g (including memory card and battery), is dust-resistant, water-resistant and capable of operating at temperatures as low as -10°C. The use of the APS-C sized sensor means the camera body mounts more compact and lightweight lenses, so that you only need a small camera bag to head out for all types of field photography.
Fit the optional Vertical Power Booster Grip (VPB-XT2) to shoot up to approx. 1,000 frames per charge.
Practicality-oriented design that brings back the operability of traditional cameras
Mechanical dials are provided for intuitive operation of all basic camera settings, including the shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, exposure compensation, drive modes and metering modes. The settings can be instantaneously adjusted even when the camera is turned off, so that you can be always ready for the next shot. The rear panel of the camera body features the Focus Lever. This can be moved up / down, right / left and diagonally to make quick changes to the focus area for accurate focusing. The rear LCD screen is the X Series’ first three-direction tilting display, which tilts up and down when shooting in landscape, and upward when shooting in portrait. The screen remains positioned on the optical axis of the lens even when tilted, facilitating easy high-angle and low-angle shooting. When not tilted, it fits flush to the body to maintain its streamlined design.
Supporting an appealing lineup of lenses, and perfect match for Fujinon Red Badge zooms
Of the diverse lineup of FUJINON lenses, the Red Badge zooms, namely XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR, XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR and XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR, are the perfect fit for the X-T2. Add the Vertical Power Booster Grip to the body for a more comfortable grip, while making additional features available for the entire system such as higher-speed AF and faster continuous shooting.
(1) Integrating the image sensor boasting the highest resolution in the X Series, the high-speed image processing engine “X-Processor Pro” and image design technology developed from over 80 years of photo film production to achieve ultimate image quality in both stills and videos
The X-T2 features Fujifilm’s 24.3MP X-TransTM CMOS III APS-C sensor. Its highly random pixel array effectively reduces moiré and false colors without the use of an optical low-pass filter. The elimination of the low pass filter, which is attributed to loss of image resolution, makes it possible to draw out FUJINON lenses’ true capabilities to the maximum extent. Coupled with the high-speed image processing engine “X-Processor Pro,” the X-T2 produces image quality comparable to that of cameras equipped with a larger sensor with higher pixel count, while also supporting 4K video recording.
Fujifilm’s proprietary image design technology, produced through the development of photographic films, helps to reproduce warm skin tones, bright blue skies and rich green foliage in beautiful colors, just as you remember seeing in real life.
The Film Simulation function now features the ACROS mode. Using X-Processor Pro’s advanced processing capability, the mode offers smooth gradation, deep blacks and beautiful textures to create monochrome images that far outperform the previous Monochrome mode.
The X-T2 also has the Grain Effect function for reproducing distinctive graininess seen in photographs taken with film cameras. The function is available in “Strong” and “Weak,” and can be combined with any of the Film Simulation modes. You can easily obtain the effect of film-based photos, notable especially when the image is printed out.
Despite having the pixel count 1.5 times that of the X-T1, the new device and its enhanced signal processing technology have successfully controlled digital noise even further. Improved ISO sensitivity means ISO12800, which was part of extended ISOs in X-T1, is now available as a regular ISO option. Even at ultra-high ISO settings, the camera produces low-noise images, reproducing deep blacks and smooth gradation of tones, capturing beautiful images even in low light conditions.
(2) X Series’ first support for 4K video recording
Approx. 1.8 times the amount of information needed to produce 4K video (3840x2160) or 2.4 times required for full HD video (1920x1080) is packed in to create premium image quality with low moiré or artifacts. The X-T2 supports high video bitrate recording of 100Mbps for both 4K and full HD video, enabling high-resolution footage with minimal compression artifacts.
The Film Simulation modes, popular for still images, can also be applied to video recording. For example, you can use “Classic Chrome” to add a documentary touch with subdued colors and rich tonality, or “ACROS” to produce stunning monochrome footage with smooth gradation of tones and deep blacks. Nine different modes are available for versatile photographic expressions.
Footage in a Film Simulation mode can be further fine-tuned with “Highlight Tone,” “Shadow Tone,” “Color” and “Sharpness” adjustments.
In response to videographers’ demand, the X-T2 supports Clean HDMI output for 4K video recording, and also offers the “F-Log” log-gamma option, which takes advantage of the sensor’s wide dynamic range to record video in wide color gamut, facilitating video production workflow.
(3) Fast response to capture a decisive moment with any type of subject
Basic response specifications have been enhanced to the extreme in the X-T2. A startup time of 0.3 seconds, shooting interval of 0.17 seconds*2 and shutter release time lag of 0.045 seconds*2, ensure the camera operates exactly as the photographer intends.
1. Improvement in basic AF performance
The number of focusing points has been dramatically expanded from 49 in previous models to 91 (up to 325 points). Approx. 40% of the imaging area (center area containing 49 focusing points) is covered with phase detection AF pixels to form a fast and precise phase detection AF area that can be used in a variety of scenes.
The high-speed processing power and the use of improved algorithm have allowed the camera to refocus more frequently in the Live View mode, enabling predictive AF of advanced accuracy.
The X-T2 has an enhanced ability to autofocus on points of light, low-contrast objects and subjects with fine and delicate textures such as bird feathers and animal fur, which have been the weakness of phase detection AF.
The performance of contrast detection AF, enabled for approx. 85% of the imaging area, has also been improved. The data read speed has been doubled compared to previous models to achieve AF performance of higher speed and precision. Accurate focusing is obtained even at the low light condition of -3EV.
2. AF-C Custom Settings
AF-C algorithm has been significantly improved for even higher accuracy when focus-tracking moving subjects in the AF-C mode. According to the type of movement, you can choose individual settings for “Tracking Sensitivity,” “Speed Tracking Sensitivity” and “Zone Area Switching,” or select one of five presets that combine specific settings for these three elements.
3. Electronic viewfinder that has evolved to continue tracking moving subjects
The X-T2’s 2.36-million-dot high-resolution organic EL electronic viewfinder has the magnification ratio of 0.77x and maintains the display time lag of just 0.005 seconds. With the maximum brightness doubled from previous models, the viewfinder features the Automatic Brightness Adjustment function so that it is easy to see even in intense backlighting. It has improved resolution in the Live View mode, and eliminates moiré or false colors to enable focusing with greater accuracy.
The EVF refreshes at a rate of 60fps, or as high as 100fps in the Boost mode to deliver smooth display of movements. It can continue displaying a moving subject without interruption. The fast rate of refresh is maintained even in low light for easy framing during night shooting.
The X-T2’s blackout time is less than half of that of the X-T1 due to the parallel processing of Live View display and fast shutter charging. This has enabled continuous shooting of 5fps in Live View, giving users the ability to easily continue tracking a moving subject.
(4) Compact, lightweight and rugged body in optimum balance
The X-T2’s body is fully made of magnesium alloy making it not only compact and lightweight, but also solid and highly durable. The body is weather-sealed at 63 points to achieve a high level of resistance to dust and moisture and, coupled with its ability to operate in temperatures down to -10°C, is ready for full-fledged field photography. Similar weather-sealing is applied to the dust-resistant and water-resistant lenses as well as Vertical Power Booster Grip to provide weather resistance across the entire system.
(5) Enhancement of basic performance with the use of the Vertical Power Booster Grip (VPB-XT2)
The Vertical Power Booster Grip (VPB-XT2) is released at the same time as an optional accessory. It is dust-resistant, water-resistant and capable of operating at temperatures as low as -10°C. It fits two batteries, bringing the total number of batteries to three, including the one on the camera, to increase the maximum number of frames that can be taken per charge to approx. 1,000 (Normal mode). In the Boost mode, multiple batteries can operate at the same time to give a boost to camera performance in continuous shooting, shooting interval, shutter release time lag and blackout time, while also extending the duration of 4K video recording to approx. 30 minutes. It is an accessory that can maximize the performance of the X-T2.
The Grip features the shutter release button, focus lever, AE-L button, AF-L button, command dials, Q button and Fn button to provide the same level of excellent operability in vertical shooting as you get in horizontal operation.
The Grip also features a headphone jack to enable audio monitoring during video recording. The Grip itself has battery-charging functionality. Using the AC adapter supplied (AC-9VS), you can fully charge two batteries at the same time in approx. 2 hours.
(6) Practicality-oriented design that brings back the operability of traditional cameras
Mechanical dials are provided for key operation, including the shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, exposure compensation, drive modes and metering modes. The settings can be adjusted even when the camera is turned off, so that you can be always ready for the next shot. For the prevention of operation errors, the dials for shutter speed and ISO sensitivity are equipped with a Lock & Release button, and are designed with extra height for operability improvement from X-T1.
The rear panel of the camera body features the Focus Lever. This can be moved up / down, right / left and diagonally to make quick changes to the focus area for accurate focusing.
In response to requests from professional photographers, the X-T2 comes with dual SD card slots, both supporting UHS-2 for faster write speed. The two slots can be set up for “Sequential,” “Backup,” “RAW / JPG” for recording RAW data in Slot 1 and JPEG data in Slot 2, as well as “Video Destination.”
The rear LCD screen is the X Series’ first three-direction tilting display, which tilts up and down when shooting in landscape, and upward when shooting in portrait. The screen remains positioned on the optical axis of the lens even when tilted, facilitating easy high-angle and low-angle shooting. When not tilted, it fits flush to the body to maintain its streamlined design.
(7) Supporting an appealing lineup of lenses, and perfect match for FUJINON Red Badge zooms
The FUJINON Red Badge zooms - XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR, XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR and XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR - are the perfect fit for the X-T2. Add the Vertical Power Booster Grip to the body to hold the camera more comfortably.
(8) Supporting tethering*3
Install the Tether Shooting Plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® / Tether Shooting Plug-in Pro for Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® to tether the X-T2 to a Mac or Windows computer for remote shooting. You can automatically transfer and save images on the computer, and shoot while checking Live View images (Pro version only) to accommodate the workflow of professional photographers.
*3 Remote shooting with USB and Wi-Fi connectivity will be supported in a future firmware update.
(9) ”Wireless Communication” function for remotely shooting images from smartphones and tablet devices*4
Download the “FUJIFILM Camera Remote” app (free) onto your smartphone or tablet device and use the Wireless Communication function to transfer photos and videos to the device with easy one-touch operation, or browse photos and videos in the camera from the device to select and download specific images, without having to enter ID or password. The app also allows X-T2 to download location information from your device and attach it to images.
The app’s “Remote Control” function enables wireless operation of X-T2’s shutter, exposure, etc. from your smartphone or tablet device. The Remote Control function allows you to not only handle basic operations such as Touch AF and Shutter Speed selection, but also adjust a diverse range of shooting settings or even record video remotely. It makes it easy to compose and take a photo from a remote location when shooting a group photo, self portrait or even wildlife in their natural environment.
Wi-Fi® communication*5 is supported for easy backup of in-camera data on your computer*6.
*4 AndroidTM smartphones / tablets as well as iPhones and iPads
*5 Wi-Fi® is a registered trademark of Wi-Fi Alliance®.
*6 To use this feature, the free software “FUJIFILM PC AutoSave” must be installed on your computer in advance.
Leather Case “BLC-XT2”
This is a genuine leather bottom case with premium textures. The camera can stay in the case while the battery is replaced. The case comes with a cloth to wrap the camera in when placing it in your bag.
Hand Grip “MHG-XT2”
This hand grip makes it substantially more comfortable to hold the camera when it is mounted with large-aperture lenses, thereby reducing camera shake. When using a tripod, having this hand grip on the camera provides additional clearance to prevent large-aperture lenses from interfering with a tripod head. The camera’s battery or SD cards can be replaced without having to remove the hand grip. The hand grip’s Arca Swiss plate can be used for quick release with compatible tripods.