Suspect Photography

words and images from david george brommer

Tag: mirrorless cameras

XPro2 First Thoughts and Review

Processed with Snapseed.

Fujifilm XPro2, 35 mm 1.4 lens, Cub Leather Strap, John Varvatos T-Shirt.

I just took delivery of the Fujifilm XPro2 and it will surely be replacing my beloved XPro1 as my primary camera. I’m quite thrilled, and since I’m old school, I like to hang onto photo gear and not get caught up in the great gear race of the latest. I mean, great photographers have been taking great photographs for over a 170 years now, how bourgeois to think that only the latest camera will make you shoot better!

Processed with Snapseed.

NYC High Line Rain. 18mm f 2.0 processed in Snapseed on iPhone.

On a rainy and cold Christmas Eve morning in NYC I took a stroll on the High Line with one of my favorite lenses, the 18mm f2.0. Before I left the warmth of my apartment, I did what I always recommend, take the manual along with cup of hot joe in one hand, and the camera in the other hand. Run page per page through the manual. There was a host of new features and a slight update on the menu system. I downloaded the Fujifilm Remote App and installed on my phone and tablet. The weather was totally miserable, and the normally very busy Highline empty. In a word, Perfect.

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Close up wide open on the Highline.

First thoughts are hallelujah I finally have a camera with a dependable wifi so I can use my iPhone and post the hyper quality image I get from a “real” camera as opposed to the super ease of iPhoneagraphy (which I love but makes me feel cheap and dirty). I was never able to have any success with Sony’s Memory App but Fujifilm delivers a pretty intuitive and easy app for controlling the camera and managing files transmitted to mobile devices. Note that when you transfer a file via wife to a mobile device, it sends a 3 mp file. On your cards are the big files. This blog post is comprised of only images downloaded to my phone, then airdropped to my MacBook for creating the blog post.

Processed with Snapseed.

Evidently New Yorkers are not ready to have Donald Trump as their next president. Wide open 18mm f2.0 and processed in Snapseed.

Down and Dirty on The Xpro2 from an Xpro1 User

 if you are here just for the pix, you might want to scroll past this part. 

I don’t want to cover what other camera bloggers have written, this camera has been out for a few months and admittedly, I’m late to the game. I’ll add that yes, the focus joystick is the absolute bomb. We all love to play with shallow depth of field, and this is an effortless way ensure that the focus point is exactly where you want it.

I noticed other things such as the now built in diopter and not the annoying Nikon style rubber eye cup. It’s hard to believe the XPro1 didn’t have a built in diopter now that I think about it. That’s a throwback to old school that I could live with out and a welcome feature on Xpro2.

I’m not sure how this is going to help, but when in OVF if you push the OVF/EVF arm towards the lens, a little magnified EVF window pops up in the lower right hand side of the viewfinder. I hit it by accident and had a devil of time figuring out how to remove the little pop up window (the lever now goes in both direcitons). I look forward to figuring out how to leverage that feature.

If you want your Xpro2 to be all it was born to be (LOTR reference) make sure you go into power setting and switch on “Performance Mode”. Thanks Big B Brandon for that tip. The factory default is a middle setting. Performance mode helps focusing by engaging phase detection. I have learned to live with the fact that the XPro platform is a battery hog and just roll with extra batteries. Seems that the XPro2 is the pig that  the XPro1 was. Well what ever we are used to that, if you have a problem keeping batteries charged and on deck, then I suggest you go look at Leica M camera.

The Exposure Compensation Dial has more tension than the XPro1 did, so a casual brush up agains your gut doesn’t result in a +2 exposure mistake you notice later. My first thought was a locking button on the dial would be great, but the tension is just right and a lock is not necessary. Somebody at Fuji was listening.

More Buttons and dials! Yup, pretty much you gain joystick, dials and buttons to customize any which way. The dials push in, turn and simply add tons of customization. I’m fortunate have video game training so my fingers can dance across the camera and do exactly what I want. Well.. almost what I want. I’d love to be able to assign the Fn button to activate the wife transfer instead of going through the menu.

The Grip (which I feel is essential if your hands are larger than Trumps) now has a hole to be able to change the battery (yea we do that a lot) and not have to go through the rigamarole of removing the grip as with the XPro1. The grip also has a machined arca-style QR built into it. #lovethat. Memory card slots (yup, now two of them) are accessed in the side of the camera as opposed to next to the battery. Two slots may entice me to shoot raw when I shoot Jpeg. Pretty cool update and modernization.

In short, if you are a XPro1 user, run, don’t walk to B&H and buy this camera now. Click here for the goodness.

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The next four years are going to be great for art, oppression has that effect. Glad I had the 18mm, to get this shot I was pressed agains the opposite wall. Wide Saves Lives.

I’m excited the focus system is now really snappy and accurate. I appreciate that, since I like to shoot wide open and have limited depth of field. I need to nail that focus! And the XPro2 delivers.

I did an unboxing video. It’s funny because Elvira (my dear mother in law) helps out. Check it and please, subscribe to my youtube channel)

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Happy Holidays and let’s toast to no matter what camera you have, make some most excellent photographs!

~David

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fujifilm X Pro 1 Predictions – No more pro Mirrorless Cameras?

Lady Liberty

It’s Fujifilm X series prediction time. I have my photo tarot cards out and here is what they say. One word first, yes I have industry connections and I respect any NDA and or personal confidential info that comes my way. However this info is just my personal prediction and is not based on any confidential intell I’m privy to. I came down to these conclusions with Moose Peterson and Gabe Biderman in conversations this week.

With Photo Plus East just around the corner, we’re going to see lots of announcements in the upcoming days of October. I’m only interested in what Fujifilm has up thier sleeves, since I believe they are the currently the most interesting and principal driver of new and cool photo gear. Yup, I just said that. Sorry Big C (the good kind) and the camera company who used to “take the worlds greatest pictures”. It’s all about the Fujifilm X system. Here we go…

We won’t see a XPro 2. I don’t think ever. But we will see a XE2. I think that the hybrid finder on the Xpro1 is going to be the last Mirrorless camera made that has it. It’s what set the Xpro1 apart from pretty much the whole rest of the Mirrorless world but it’s going to be a feature of photo goodness past.  Here is a question to all the current users, do you still use the OVF as much as the days when you first had the Xpro? Or do you find yourself using the EVF more? Lets face it, the EVF is not accurate, I’d say it has about a 10% minus factor on what you see as to what you get. Also, two words, Focus Peaking. Yea, I’m using the OVF less these days. And it hurt to just say that. Seems like analog is just slipping further and further away from me. Next I’ll just be like Neo in the Matrix.

The future is fuzzy… and this is just what I feel in my bones and read in the cards so take it with a grain of salt and look forward to more weather proofing and enhanced EVF functions (manual exposure wysiwig and clearer view).

The Above photography is Lady Liberty shot on the Moose Cruise II with Fujifilm Xpro1 w/ 35 1.4 @ 1/64 F 2.0 ISO 200 and processed in Camera Raw (pretty heavily I may add).

~David

Fuji X-Pro 1, or “The Camera I have been waiting for my whole life”

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Last week, I got my new Fujifilm X Pro 1 camera with the 18 mm f 2.0 lens. This was a big move for me, I haven’t bought a new camera for many years, as a matter of fact, I think my last cameras that I bought were an Olympus Pen F vintage camera, and before that, the Deardorff 8×10. I would like to note, that various camera companies have been sending me cameras for years to test and learn so that I may spread the word about how to work them. I have put through the ringer Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, and Leica cameras. Also I have used extensively all the Pro Fujifilm Dslr’s with the exception of the Finepix S5 (I love to shoot with the S1, S2, and S3 watching the evolution from behind the finder). So I plunked down hard earned green backs on this not so little jammer. I wanted to own the camera, because I felt strong about it. The design and quality that is something that has been long in the waiting. If I were to compare it, the best comparison would be to Leica M 8.2 but that would be unfair, and to compare it to the Sony NEX system or Panasonic G3 is also a stretch. The feel of the camera mostly reminds me of Hasselblad X-Pan with out the weight. Actually I can feel the DNA of the X-Pan in the X-Pro 1, after all, Fujifilm manufactured the Hassy X-Pan and it’s lenses. You could even find the camera under the Fuji name of TX (The Xpan got an update to a Mark II in 2003 being called the Xpan 2 and the Fuji’s model the TX 2).

Hasselblad Xpan and Fuji X Pro 1 side by side

If Fuji making the vaunted Hassy X-Pan sends shivers down your spine and you didn’t know that Fuji is actually serious about pro cameras then now you know. Fujifilm is way more than just film and a lab company. They are committed to professional image makers, always have been, and always will. The X-Pro 1 is proof of that.

So exactly why am I so pumped about this camera exactly? Remember, I dropped over $2200 for it. Form and performance seem to go hand in hand with the X Pro 1. The camera borrows much from the X100 which was released a little over a year ago. Indeed, its a interchangeable and beefed up version of the X100 with lots of enhancements. The one thing it does better and were all happy about, it does focus faster than the X100. While I never had much of an issue with X100 it is faster and faster and more responsive it better.

What really sets this X Pro 1 apart from all the other mirrorless cams, is the hybrid viewfinder. If you’re not familiar with the way you see your image as you compose, there are two ways. The OVF or optical view finder and the EVF or Electronic View Finder. OVF is analog, your looking through glass and the EVF is akin to looking at a magnified tiny tv scene of your image. The finder can either work as gorgeous optical finder with projected parallax corrected framing lines, allowing for a host of info to be shown or not shown (everything from WB to battery charge, to meter mode, film sim mode, exp. comp, frames remaining, grids, levels, focus points and more) or as a EVF. Leica users will delight in the way to change the view from OVF to EVF, a lever on the front of the camera reminiscent of the Leica lever for changing framing lines to focal lengths toggles back to enable either view mode. Its a pleasure to look through a true optical view finder, you can see outside the frame of your scene (SLRs have trouble with this, they are view finder wysiwyg) anticipating when something is about to move into the composition. The EVF however is a bit contrasty yet clear, when the camera is in macro mode, the EVF automatically turns on and you have to use it. A clever way to circumnavigate the tenant that rangefinders are poor at macro. The Sony NEX does have a better EVF system, but the bright OVF trumps them all and is one of the pleasures of using the X Pro 1.

Its not a small camera, it has a modern look and lines, its sleek and all black. It is light, but tough since the chassis is magnesium and the body is wrapped in vulcanized leather with a rubber bumper grip. The X Pro 1 feels really good in the hands and around the neck. I switched to a Domke gripper strap, the supplied strap slips off the shoulder easy. There is also a grip available which I am waiting for the shipment. The 18 mm f 2.0 lens ships with a lens cap and a special wide hood and rubber cap. I lost the hood lens cap at a  Yankee’s game last week, so now I’m running it with a B&W 52mm UV filter, the hood and good to go. I’ll be posting more sample images here on Suspect Photography as I bond and become one with this camera.

David

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