On 23 October 2019 the Fujifilm X-Pro 3 was announced and in good Fujifilm tradition, there are several reasons why this new iteration of the X-Pro series surprises us!
And the Winner is…
I was invited to present a lecture on Street Photography at Hein & Christine Waschefort’s Visual Skills School in Pretoria North. Going past Johannesburg, I arranged with Fujifilm SA to get the long awaited 16-80mm lens for a couple of days to test its Street- and Travel Photography capabilities.
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.
My normal way of travel is to have a camera backpack (filled to the brim) as my carry-on luggage. Apart from all the camera gear, I also keep all the necessary extra things such as my battery chargers, my tablet and its docking station, a pair of socks and spare underpants in the backpack. So why on this trip I decided – at the last moment – to move my pack with all the chargers, wires, etcetera to my normal bag is beyond me!
Tswaing is an impact meteorite crater in South Africa situated just over 35 kilometres north-west of Pretoria. It is estimated that it was fromed when a meteorite slammed into the earth’s crust about 220 000 years ago. It was a stony type meteorite between 30 and 50 meters in diameter. The impact formed a huge crater, 1.4 km in diameter and 200 m deep. This crater is one of the best-preserved meteorite impact craters in the world.