Picktorial 3 – NEW Fujifilm X Pack Film Presets!

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Photography NEWS! A Happy Day For Fuji Users…

Picktorial just released a new set of camera profiles called The Picktorial X-Pack of film simulations for Picktorial 3. It has film presets galore, and it supports Fuji RAF files. They sent me a copy of the X-Pack to test out a few days ago, and they are a lot of fun to play around with on all different kinds of photos. In my opinion, the X -Pack set of film simulations is the perfect “one-stop-shop” for photographers that want to get quick content published on social media. Checkout the official Picktorial X-Pack Release Page HERE if you want to learn more and purchase the X-Pack. Also, if you don’t own Picktorial already, they gave me a crazy discount for all of YOU that will get you 45% off of the Picktorial/X-Pack bundle. CLICK HERE to receive the discount.

A lot of people prefer a very minimalist editing workflow when it comes to getting quick content published for social media, and I think that the X-Pack film simulations are going to be fantastic for that type of workflow. All Fuji users will love that another RAW processing software now offers Fuji-specific film simulations for RAF files, especially since Picktorial seems to render Fuji RAF files just as good as ON1 and Capture ONE.

Scout’s Honor…

Now, you all know that I am an honest reviewer and don’t let companies buy my endorsement. I was not paid to use Picktorial software or to write this review about the X-Pack, but they did give me a free copy in order for me to let all of  YOU know how I like it. So, I love that Picktorial is innovating and pushing themselves to be bigger and better, and I can say with 100% honesty that the X-Pack films simulations work perfectly. How often would I use them? A lot of you know that I mainly use RAW processors for 10% of my photo and then spend an hour or so in Photoshop working on the other 90%. Here’s what I will say about me using the X-Pack: I take a lot of behind the scenes photos of me in the field, photo gear that I am reviewing, quick documentary stuff for location referencing, etc. Those are the photos I will be using the X-Pack for because I typically don’t devote a lot of time to post processing behind the scenes/blog photos. The X-Pack in my opinion is a perfect representation of the film presets from Fuji that we have all come to love, so why wouldn’t I just want to click one button inside of Picktorial to give me that look? 

Please keep in mind that I am just being honest and letting you know what I will be using the X-Pack for. YOU can use it however you like and in any situation you like. Making our own creative decisions is what makes us all unique artists in our own special way. However, let’s go ahead and get past the question that I know will come up the most…”Eric, since you said you’re only using the X-Pack for behind the scenes photos and social media stuff, does that mean you think that the film simulations aren’t good enough for professional editing or printing?” Like I said, I think the X-Pack is a perfect representation of the film simulations by Fujifilm, and if the “film look” is what you want, the X-Pack will surely deliver for print, social media, landscapes, wedding photography edits, and any other type of photography you want. You can see my super quick demo video and photo examples below…

Picktorial Standard Profile:Picktorial X-Pack Velvia/VIVID:Picktorial X-Pack ACROS:

My Thoughts On Picktorial As A Company…

If you follow my YouTube channel, you know that I am always on the lookout for good RAW processing software options. I gave Picktorial 3 quite a good review when it first launched a few months ago, and I have been watching the company ever since then to see how they were going to innovate and compete with the other giants in the market.

Well, Picktorial have been doing things right in my opinion. I get approached by a lot of companies every week asking me to try their products, but I only say “yes” to the companies that I really believe have a solid vision that will better the photography industry. I can tell you from having a direct connection inside of Picktorial that they love hearing from their customers. They realize that Picktorial isn’t just a group of software engineers or a corporate team. Picktorial is the customers and photography community that give Picktorial a purpose to exist. All I can say is that it’s rare to find that mentality these days, and those are the only kinds of companies that I agree to work with for reviews and collaborations.


 

Two Underrated Fujifilm Lenses – Download The RAW Files

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Does Fujifilm even Make A “bad” Lens?

If you’ve been in or around the photography industry, you KNOW that glass is always more important than camera bodies. When the time comes to choose what camera brand you want, researching that brand’s lens lineup is very important. I did that before I chose to shoot with Fujifilm X bodies, and I had to look over the entire internet to find a blog or forum that had negative things to say about Fuji lenses.

It’s simple, Fujifilm has a killer lens lineup, and the value for your money is wonderful. As with any camera company, there are certain pieces of gear that are underrated or not as appreciated as they should be. I’m sure everyone has a different opinion on what those underrated pieces of gear might be, but I want to specifically talk about two Fuji lenses that are often overlooked and underrated.

You can watch my video below to hear my full opinion on these lenses, but it seems that quite a few people overlook the 18-55 f/2.8-4 OIS Kit Lens and the 55-200 f/2.5-4.8 OIS telephoto. Typically, the alternative choices to those lenses are the 16-55 f/2.8 and the 50-140 f/2.8. Let’s just go ahead and get something out of the way, the 16-55 and the 50-140 are absolutely fantastic lenses, but they cost more money, take up more room in your bag, and weigh quite a bit more than the 18-55 and 55-200 lenses. The question is, are those lenses worth the extra money to YOU? It really comes down to knowing what you need out of your lenses for your genre of photography. the point I am trying to make is that going with the 18-55 and 55-200 is not a “bad” alternative. It’s simply a different alternative that might work better for your style of shooting. In the end, all four of these lenses will give you fantastic images!

Don’t Just Take My Word For It…

In order for this blog post to provide true value for you, I’m allowing you to download a few of my Fuji X-T2 RAW files from the 18-55 and 55-200 so you can check the out-of-camera quality when paired with the X-T2. Do as much testing and pixel peeping as you want! Just click the button below to get access to the RAW files.


 

Exploring The Gulf Coast With The Fujifilm X-T2

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A Day Of Landscape Photography…

While I was on holiday with my family near Rosemary Beach, Florida, my dad and I took a day to explore the coast in search of great seafood and photography. We found both!

The best tips I can give you for shooting in the mid-day sun is to look for high-contrast scenes where the natural shadows make interesting compositions, and you will also want to take a really powerful ND filter to add interest to water and clouds. You will notice in the VLOG and photos below that I used the high-contrast light AND a 9 stop ND filter for almost every photo I captured. Always take advantage of the creative tools in your camera bag, and if you don’t own filter already, feel free to watch my video where I tell you all about my favorite filters for landscape photography. Also, the filter company even gave me a discount code that allows my viewers to get 10% OFF of all of their products. All of the info is in the video.

Take Care Of Your Gear…

In closing, make sure you really think about which bag you’re using in the field when you’re around a ton of sand and salt water like I was. Sand and salt water can ruin gear so fast! I highly recommend two bags for these situations, and you can watch my video reviews of them HERE: MindShift Gear Rotation 180 Pro Backpack Review | LowePro Whistler 450 AW Backpack Review

Below, you can see the photos and VLOG from my day of landscape photography on the gulf coast...

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8 | Polarizer And 9 Stop ND Filter

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8 | Polarizer And 9 Stop ND Filter

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8 | Polarizer And 9 Stop ND Filter

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8 | Polarizer Only

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8 | Exposure Blend


 

 

NEW ON1 Photo RAW 2017.5 Update And Better Fujifilm RAW Support

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ON1 Photo RAW 2017.5

If you want to get 20% off the new ON1 Photo RAW, use discount code: FMEON1

ON1 has been doing great things for photographers with the release of ON1 Photo, and They have quickly been adding features and fixing bugs along the way. They truly listen to their photographers and have delivered some really great features with the 2017.5 update that was launched this morning!

Details Pane

When you opened a RAW file in the “develop” module before today, you would have access to the “tone and color” pane where you would tweak your exposure, contrast, and color. With the new update, we now have default access to the new “details” and “lens correction” panes.

The new details pane offers sharpening and noise reduction options, and they both seem to work really well, especially on Fujifilm RAW files. If you’re a Fujifilm user like me, you know how hard it is to find a RAW processor that renders and sharpens Fujifilm RAW files correctly. As of today, ON1 Photo 2017.5 easily has the best sharpening for X-Trans files in my personal opinion! I did testing on many different X-T2 files, and I was very impressed with the subtle but very effective ON1 algorithm. You can watch my video below to get an idea of just how good the sharpening really is.

Lens Correction Pane

I know it’s hard to get excited about lens corrections, but this feature did not exist at all in the previous version. A lot of Lightroom users I have talked to were “on the fence” about ON1 due to the lack of lens correction, so this should put their minds at ease. It operates just like the lens correction panels you’ve always known in other software, and it works great in combination with the “transform” tool. You can see an of this feature in my video below.

Compare Mode

This new feature is very useful and will absolutely be loved by wedding and event photographers! While you’re in the “browse” module, you can mass select a sequence of photos and enter “compare mode” to easily use the process of elimination to choose the best shot from the sequence. There are some really cool and intuitive features that make “compare mode” really nice and easy to use. You can see an example in my video below.

Other Honorable Mentions

STACKING PRESETS: In the effects module, you can now stack multiple presets on top of each other and use masks to pick and choose the best of each preset. Once you apply a preset to your image, you can hold the alt/option key to view the thumbnails of other presets with a preview of how they will look once they are stacked. I will make a video example of this soon on my FME YouTube Channel.

CLONE STAMP TOOL: The clone stamp retouching tool from the “Layers” module, is now inside of the “Develop” and “Effects” modules as part of the non-destructive workflow. There isn’t much else to say about this feature since most of you are familiar with clone stamping, but it’s definitely nice that we don’t have to enter the “Layers” module anymore just to clone out distractions in our photos.

LIGHTROOM MIGRATION ASSISTANT: This is a very cool and easy feature for people coming from years of Lightroom editing and cataloging. When in Lightroom, you simply visit the “File” dropdown selection, scroll to “plugin extras”, and select the “Migrate Catalog To ON1 Photo” option. It’s more or less a two-step-process to migrate from LR to On1 Photo 2017.5. All of your folders from LR will be accessible under the “Indexed Folders” tab in ON1, and your collections from LR will be accessible under the “Albums” tab in ON1. As for the edits and metadata, ON1 will create a separate sidecar file for each image for a super smooth migration. I specifically tested this feature to see how it would work in practice, and everything came over as expected. Obviously, the more folder and photos you have, the longer the migration will take. Go watch a Lord Of The Rings movie, and everything should be migrated and indexed when you’re done. Its a win-win situation 🙂

Conclusion

Is ON1 Photo 2017.5 perfect??? Of course not! It’s a new update and there will always be a few bug fixes and extra features that need to be added, but the fantastic news is that ON1 is one of those companies that really listens to their customers. With that said, thank you so much for reading, and please let me know if you have any questions!


 

Fuji X-T2 RAW Files – Lightroom Vs On1 Photo RAW Vs Capture One Pro

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RAW Processor Showdown!

It’s no secret that the three biggest RAW processors right now are Lightroom CC, On1 Photo RAW, and Capture One Pro. As with anything, each processor has it’s pros and cons, but the big deciding point for me lately has been how these processors handle Fujifilm RAW files.

In my video below, I give you a detailed comparison on how each software interprets color, detail, contrast, and auto lens corrections from a Fujifilm X-T2 RAW file. The results are very interesting as you will see, but I can tell you now that On1 Photo RAW is really impressing me for being the “new kid on the block” of RAW processors.

I got a phone call from one of the corporate guys at On1 after they saw a few of my videos, and it was so refreshing to chat with a company that loves taking feedback directly from their customers. I made a few videos when On1 Photo RAW was first released where I discussed some issues that I was having, and within about 4 weeks, all of the issues were fixed in a free update along an email from their marketing manager who thanked me personally for the feedback in my videos. THAT is the kind of company photographers should support! 

In fact they even gave me a 20% off coupon code to give to all of my viewers that want to purchase On1 Photo RAW. Just use coupon code FMEON1, and you will get 20% off of your order at their online store. Hope that helps all of my awesome followers! 🙂

Enjoy the video!

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I’m In Panama City Beach For The Next Week!

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The Land Of Vibrant Sunsets…

My family and I always spend about 8-10 days out of every year in Panama City Beach, Florida. The gulf coast has amazing seafood, white sand, clear water, and magical sunsets! Need I even say more? We just arrived a couple of hours ago, and I’m already craving fresh seafood!

We always like to stay in a large high-rise with a corner unit, so I can photograph the sunset from the balcony without any buildings standing in between me and sunset. Yes, my wife specifically looks for corner units so I can take better photos. I’m a lucky man :-). Speaking of that, if you guys or gals ever need to book a fun-filled Disney vacation, my wife will handle everything for you for free! She is a Disney travel agent, and I can promise you that there is no one in this world that knows more about booking Disney trips than her. She has been doing this for 9 years, and You can check out her page HERE.

Anyway, it’s going to be an extremely fun week, and I can’t wait to spend time with my family, eat tons of seafood, and take some awesome photos! Of course, I have already put the X-T2 to work on tonight’s sunset, and you can see that photo below. If any of you live here,  shoot me an email and maybe we can do a photowalk one day.

Let’s just hope the “wave incident” from last year doesn’t happen again! I’ll put that video below so you can see me and my D810 dripping with water…

Fujifilm X-T2 | Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8 XF WR

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On1 Photo RAW 2017 For Fuji X-T2 RAW Files?

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Search For The Best RAW Processor…

It’s no secret that Fujifilm shooters are always on the search for one RAW processor to the rule them all. The most popular options right now seem to be Iridient Developer for Lightroom CC and Capture One Pro. I personally use a mixture of Lightroom and Capture One Pro. I tend to choose Capture One Pro when I am processing photos that have really warm or red tones in them. Capture One just seems to make the colors really pop right from the RAW file.

For quite a while, On1 has been producing some great plugins and one of my favorite applications for prepping images for print. As of late, they have joined the RAW processor universe with their newest software, On1 Photo RAW 2017. When it first came out a few months ago, I made a “battle video” where I processed an image and directly compared the results between Lightroom and On1 Photo RAW. 

I will post the video below, but I basically found a few quirks with On1 that I couldn’t live with as my main RAW processor. However, I didn’t beat them up too bad over the quirks because every new software takes a few updates before it starts really grabbing your attention away from the main contenders in the industry. On1 Photo RAW still has a beautiful interface and has the best module in the industry for resizing your files for print.

If you subscribe to the On1 newsletter, i’m you have noticed that they have been releasing tons updates and bug fixes for Photo RAW. I dowloaded all of the updates and processed another Fuji X-T2 RAW file and was very pleasantly surprised to see how far they have came in just a couple of months. I will post that video as well so you can compare my results from a few months ago to current. 

PS: Keep an eye on the RAW processor, Picktorial 3. It is also a great option and will get better and better with future updates. Picktorial is one of the few RAW processors that has almost no learning curve, and it has one of the most beautiful interfaces I have seen on a RAW processor. Check out my two On1 Photo RAW videos below…

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First Video Using On1

Second Video Using On1


 

How To Prep Your Photos For Printing – Fuji X-T2 20×30 Print

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My Prepping Workflow…

Printing my work is one of my absolute favorite ways to showcase my photographs. There is just something special about seeing my work as a physical object that I can hang in my office. I appreciate it in a different way, and I really hope this blog post inspires all of you to start printing more as well.

Before you watch my step-by-step video, please know that everyone has a slightly different workflow of prepping their photos for print, so everything I am showing you is what works really great for me. If you would like to tweak my process or remove/add a step, feel free to create your own way that works well for you.

The biggest issue that people have when sending their digital files off for print is receiving a print that looks completely different from the digital file that it was printed from. For example, the vibrant and contrasty colors on a digital sunset photo may look awesome on a computer display, but they could be completely flat and lifeless on print.

Our computer displays need to be properly color calibrated to make sure that our computers and printers are reading the same color profile. There are quite a few ways you can improve your post processing experience in order for proper color, contrast, and sharpness to give your prints that extra “pop” that will make the sell. Check out my videos below…

Step-By-Step Video For Print Prepping…

The Prepped Digital Image…

The Final Result – Fuji X-T2 20×30 Print…

Don’t Awaken The Darkness

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Weekend Trip To The Mountains…

We spent the weekend in the Blue Ridge Mountains at a beautiful cabin right at the top. The cabin had an amazing wrap around porch with a great overlook, so it wasn’t hard to find a location to continue testing out the Fuji X-T2. Here is a short video I made that gives you a quick tour of the cabin…

NEW PHOTO – “Don’t Awaken The Darkness”

We arrived at the cabin about an hour before sunset, and that is when I noticed that the porch and overlook were at the perfect position for a sunset photo. As time went by, the sky set fire to some of the most vibrant red tones I have ever seen, and the sensor of the X-T2 rendered the reds brilliantly!


 

Fujifilm X-T2 Full Review – One Camera To Rule Them All?

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The Opening…

I have been a Nikon DSLR shooter since day one, and as a landscape and nature photographer, I have always been pleased with the image quality and dynamic range of the Nikon system.

For the last three years, I have been testing almost every mirrorless camera on the market to see what all of the fuss was about. So many photographers talked about how mirrorless was completely replacing their DSLR systems, so I knew that I had to use them as my primary camera to see if I could truly live without my DSLR kit. 

After tons of testing with different mirrorless camera brands, I came to the conclusion that these new cameras were nowhere near ready to replace my Nikon DSLR system, but they were definitely fun to use. The longest I was able to use a mirrorless camera without touching my DSLR was about two weeks.

Let’s fast forward to December of 2016… I bought my First Fujifilm mirrorless camera, and my world changed instantly…

Love At First Sight…

after months of research on the Fuji “X” line of cameras, I decided to purchase the Fujifilm X-T2 in December of 2016. You’re probably asking yourself why I never tried Fujifilm cameras in the past, since I stated above that I have tried tons of mirrorless cameras over the years. Well, I wish I had a great answer for you, but the 16 megapixel APS-C sensors that Fujifilm had just never caught my attention. HA, that was stupid of me…

All I can say is that from the moment I touched the X-T2, I instantly fell in love. It could have been a 10 megapixel camera, and I would not have cared one bit. This camera simply makes me want to take more photographs. Every single time I pick it up, I just want to get out, take photos, and make art. Isn’t that what all cameras are supposed to make me feel like?? If you own one of these magical Fujifilm X cameras, you know what I mean. 

Here is the video where I unboxed this camera and held it for the first time…

THE REVIEW…

Ok, so let’s get into the good stuff that will help you decide if this is the camera for you or not. I will be covering build quality, the firmware and menus, autofocus, dynamic range, ISO, EVF, ergonomics, and I will end with the main features that I liked and disliked about the camera.

Build Quality

The X-T2 has a very rigid build, and I found that after just a few days of using it in the field, I was almost as confident in it’s physical reliability as I am with my Nikon D810. 

Flip out screens always worry me since most of them feel like they could snap off at any second. Somehow, even the flip out screen on the XT2 feels very strong and secure. I put my cameras through serious use in the elements, so the fact that this tiny mirrorless camera is still working like new should tell most people that it can take a serious beating.

Oddly enough, The only thing about the X-T2 that seemed a little “flimsy” was the exposure compensation dial. If you put even the slightest bit of pressure on the dial, it will physically move forwards and backwards like it’s about to snap off the camera body. That being said, I am sure that it’s built just as well as the rest of the camera, but that is the only physical part of the camera that just didn’t feel as rigid and strong as the rest.

Firmware And Menu System

One of the biggest reasons that Fujifilm has such a loyal fan base is because of the way they handle their firmware. Instead of releasing a new camera with simple upgrades every 6 months like other big brands, they release FREE firmware updates that fix and/or upgrade the features of their current cameras. For example, when the X-Pro2 first released, it had 273 AF points. The autofocus system in the X-Pro2 was fast enough for most situations, but when the X-T2 was released only 6 months later, it had 325 AF points that were all just a bit faster than the X-Pro2. What did Fujifilm do about this? They released a firmware update that literally upgraded the freaking AF system on the X-Pro2 so that it matched the same 325 point AF system from the X-T2! THAT, my friends, is how you run a business with a core competency of customer satisfaction…

As for the menu system, I think it’s laid out pretty well. It definitely takes some getting used to if you’re coming from a DSLR since there are so many more customization options in the mirrorless cameras. All in all, I found it pretty easy to navigate after the first few days of use, and I really enjoy that they give you a “MY” menu for storing all of your most-used menu settings in one place.

The feature that needs the biggest firmware improvement is the wireless communications setup between the X-T2 and smart devices. It’s extremely slow to connect, sometimes it’s very laggy once it does connect, and it often doesn’t want to connect at all. The biggest issue I have been having with it is that I can use my iPhone as a wireless feed and remote for the camera, but the second I want to import the photos to my phone, the app will crash or disconnect from the camera. This happens about 50% of the time. It seems that it makes you choose “remote” or “import” right from the launch of the app instead of being able to bounce back and forth between the two like it’s supposed to do.

Now that I have talked about how bad and unreliable the wireless communication features are, I will give you a big positive point to end this category with. The Fujifilm wireless remote app is really good… when it works. It’s one of the only wireless camera apps that allows you to change aperture, shutter speed, white balance, AND focus. If you do a lot of videos trying to record yourself, it’s hard to know when you’re in perfect focus. When using this app, all you have to do is tweak the focus for where you’re already standing instead of trying to pre-focus the camera to an area where you may or may not even be.

Autofocus System

I am going to get right to the point. The autofocus system in the X-T2 is the fastest and most accurate AF system I have used in any mirrorless camera. The real test for AF systems is seeing how well they acquire focus in low light. I don’t mean going out at golden hour to see how well the AF performs. I’m talking about shooting a wedding reception where all you have are some candles and DJ lights. Fortunately, I was able to test this camera in some serious low light situations, and it performed wonderfully. The best low light focusing cameras I have used to date are the D4 and D500 from Nikon, and the X-T2 is just a hair faster than both of these cameras when the best Fujinon glass is mounted to the b0dy.

As for tracking fast moving subjects with the X-T2, it’s tough to give a definitive answer. I say that because the X-T2 tracks insanely well when the AF-C custom settings have been tweaked for the specific situation. If you just flip the AF mode selector from “S” to “C” and start firing off frames, it’s not as accurate as I would prefer it to be. It’s not slow or bad by any means, but I would say that it’s pretty inconsistent if you don’t tweak the AF-C custom settings and focus zones in the menu system.

EXAMPLE: This photo was captured in AF-C mode on custom setting #2 with the center zone selected. I chose custom setting #2 because this tweaks the focus to ignore obstacles like the bushes and weeds you can see creeping into the foreground. It After tweaking, it produced tack sharp images every time! Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 55-200mm

EXAMPLE: This photo was captured in AF-C mode on custom setting #2 with the center zone selected. I chose custom setting #2 because this tweaks the focus to ignore obstacles like the bushes and weeds you can see creeping into the foreground. After tweaking, it produced tack sharp images every time! Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 55-200mm                                                

Lastly If you’re interested to see how fast the X-T2 obtains focus acquisition in low light, you can check out this video I made comparing the AF speeds between the Fuji X-T2 and Nikon D810.

X-T2 vs D810: Low Light Autofocus Test

 Dynamic Range

Dynamic Range is a big deal for me being that I am a landscape photographer. To be honest, I was still worried about the dynamic range on the X-T2 even after I placed the order to purchase one. Dynamic Range is a topic that most camera reviewers don’t test, so I did’t really know what to expect. 

Using the X-T2 exclusively for the past two months has allowed me to learn a lot about it’s dynamic range capabilities. It seems to recover highlights in a much better way than it recovers shadows. Now, this all depends on the lighting situation you’re in whether it’s Indoor tungsten, direct sun light, dusk, etc. The quality of the light directly impacts how much noise and degradation you get in the image. I have posted a couple of example photos below…

HIGHLIGHT RECOVERY: The version of this photo on the left is 2 stops over exposed right out of the camera, and as you can see with the version on the right, the RAW file held brilliantly during highlight recovery. It even brought back the nice colors that were deep within the file.

HIGHLIGHT RECOVERY: The version of this photo on the left is 2 stops over exposed straight out of the camera, and as you can see from the version on the right, the RAW file held together brilliantly during highlight recovery. It even brought back the nice colors that were deep within the file.

SHADOW RECOVERY: The version on the left is 2 stops under exposed and completely blacked out. The version on the right is after shadow recovery. As you can see, it's quite impressive how much luminance was able to be recovered from the file, but if you take a closer look, you can see significant color noise and loss of image quality.

SHADOW RECOVERY IN BAD LIGHT: The version on the left is 2 stops under exposed and completely blacked out. The version on the right is after shadow recovery in Lightroom CC. As you can see, it’s quite impressive how much luminance was able to be recovered from the file, but if you take a closer look, you can see significant color noise and loss of image quality.

This is a 100& crop of the shadow recovery photo above. I want you to be able to see the loss of detail and the noise that creeps in when trying to recover the shadows from this kind of shooting condition.

This is a 100& crop of the shadow recovered photo above. I wanted you to be able to see the loss of detail and the noise that creeps in when trying to recover the shadows from this kind of lighting condition.

SHADOW RECOVERY IN GOOD LIGHT: The version on the left is 2.5 stops under exposed. As you can see with the mid-day sun light, the shadows recovered with no issue.

SHADOW RECOVERY IN GOOD LIGHT: The version on the left is 2 stops under exposed. As you can see from the version on the right, the shadows recovered with no issue this time. This photo was taken during mid-day light instead sunset like the noisy result above. 

Here is the 100% crop of the shadow recovered version above. You can see that with good light, the shadows recover just fine. The only negative aspect of shadow recovery from the Fujifilm RAW files is that it

Here is the 100% crop of the shadow recovered version above. You can see that good light makes all the difference in the world. The only negative aspect of shadow recovery from the Fujifilm RAW files is that some of the colors start to turn a bit grey. Fortunately, it’s an easy fix with the Nik Collection Color Effects Pro software suite.

ISO Performance

Surprisingly, I have no complaints concerning high ISO performance. I am comfortable shooting at ISO 6400 since it retains about 80% of the detail you would normally see from this camera at lower ISO values. That’s assuming that the subject you’re shooting at has some kind of ambient light source around. What impresses me the most about the higher ISO values of the X-T2 is the camera’s ability to produce 99% perfect color rendition and white balance in every image.

I just wish that Fujifilm will allow us to natively shoot lower than ISO 200 in the near future. I haven’t experienced any big issues at ISO 200 for my landscape photography, but my favorite thing about my Nikon D810 is that I can shoot at a native ISO 64. The lower ISO values give me a cleaner image, more room in post production to push the dynamic range, and it really helps when trying to drag the shutter for long exposures without the use of an ND filter. 

I could keep writing about ISO, but people like seeing results. Not long after I purchased the X-T2, I did a direct ISO comparison between the X-T2 and the D810 all the way up to 12,800 ISO. I think you will be surprised at the results, and I even provided a link for you to download the RAW files from both cameras. You can read that blog post HERE or check out the video below…

HIGH ISO EXAMPLE: This photo was taken at ISO 10000. Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 55-200mm

HIGH ISO EXAMPLE: This photo was taken at ISO 10,000. Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 55-200mm

EVF And Rear LCD

To be 100% honest, I really love DSLR optical viewfinders. It’s all I have ever known. When the EVF’s first came out on these mirrorless cameras, I was sure that I could never use one for my professional work, and Unfortunately, I was correct. After using the Sony a6000, Sony A7r II, Panasonic G7, and a few others over the years, I never found an EVF that made me want to use it over an optical viewfinder. The EVF’s were just not detailed enough, a little laggy, and way too noisy in low light.

When I first put my eye up to the X-T2, it was like looking into my own personal HDTV. The colors were amazing, it was easy to see focus, I could see depth of field in real time, and there was room for a live histogram without taking up 60% of the screen. The EVF is so detailed that I use it almost exclusively over the live view to grab perfect manual focus for my landscape photos. I’m not sure what Fujifilm did when creating the EVF for the X-T2, but I can tell you that it’s the first EVF that I have been able to use without missing my optical viewfinder. 

After all of my positive feedback on the EVF, I wish I could give you the same for the rear LCD. However, it’s just nothing special. It’s not bad by any means, but it’s hard to use it as a primary source for image review and focus check when the camera has a 2.36 million dot EVF right above the 1.04 million dot LCD. Now, you’re probably thinking how spoiled I sound for saying those things since they both have over 1 million dots of resolution, but you will completely understand once you go back forth between the EVF and LCD. Luckily, the LCD on the X-T2 was not a “make it or break it” feature for me. I shoot through the viewfinder 95% of the time, so I am lucky that the EVF is where Fujifilm decided to work their wizardry.

The last point I will mention regarding the LCD is the fact that it can now flip out into a vertical format. At first glance, you might think that you won’t use this feature, but It proved to be pretty useful when I had to get low to the ground in vertical format.

At the end of the day, I wish that the rear LCD was fully articulating like the Canon 80D and many others. I think that adding that one feature would make the X-T2 much more attractive to vloggers and videographers.

Handling And Ergonomics

This category is one of the most important for me because if a camera isn’t comfortable enough to use on a daily basis, it wouldn’t make sense to purchase it. I personally found the X-T2 a little small for my big hands when I first picked it up. It was mainly that my pinky finger had nowhere to go on the grip. I love the size of the camera, but once I started mounting heavier lenses like the Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8, it made the camera even harder to balance in with the tiny grip. 

After the first 24 hours with the camera, I got online to see what other people with big hands were saying about the X-T2, and I saw the same advice on every forum… GET THE BATTERY GRIP! So, that is exactly what I did, and it’s the best accessory I have purchased for my X-T2 so far. It gave my pinky finger a place to grip, balanced the camera with larger lenses, gave me longer battery life, and it gave me the ability to shoot at 11fps in “boost” mode. It’s a no brainer! I highly recommend purchasing the booster grip with your X-T2.

As for overall ergonomics, the manual dials are the stars of the show in my opinion. They are simply perfect. I love having manual dials and rings at my fingertips to control shutter speed, ISO, aperture, and exposure compensation. It allows me to change my settings very quickly without having to take my eye out of the viewfinder. Other than the dials, all of the buttons on the camera have a very nice and tactile feel to them.

My two favorite features regarding ergonomics, are the new joystick and the locking/unlocking mechanism for the shutter speed and ISO dials. The joystick makes it super easy to navigate around the 325 AF points, and no matter what focus point you have selected at any given time, all you have to do is press the joystick inward to automatically get back to the center AF point. The new lock/unlock mechanism for the shutter and ISO dials are a very welcome upgrade. It simply insures that my settings won’t accidentally get changed when I’m taking the camera out of the bag, mounting it on a tripod, or slipping a rain cover over the top of the camera.

Video

I want to preface this category by making all of you aware that I am not a professional videographer. I definitely have a great interest in video and find it very fun to film and edit all of my VLOGS for my YouTube channel, but my career is in photography.

I can tell you that the video is extremely sharp compared to other 4k mirrorless cameras I have shot with. The X-T2 records in a higher resolution than 4k and somehow down samples to 4k in real time for sharper footage and less moire. Fujifilm doesn’t fully explain how the technology works, but it works well. 

What impressed me the most about shooting video with the X-T2 was it’s buttery smooth autofocus in continuous mode. With the influx of vloggers over the past few years, Having smooth autofocus transitions while shooting video seems to be one of the most important features that people look for. Until now, I have always recommended the Canon 70d or 80d for people who wanted smooth AF during video due to Canon’s dual pixel AF technology. In my opinion, the video AF on the X-T2 really holds it’s own against the 70d, and it’s just a little slower and less smooth than the 80d.

I wish I could keep going on about all of the video features for you, but it just wouldn’t be accurate or fair to give you strong opinions on the X-T2’s video capabilities without hardcore testing like I have done on all of the other categories. However, I promise that I will do more testing in the future and post the results on my YouTube channel. You can SUBSCRIBE to my channel HERE.

The Conclusion… 

What I liked The Most

  • Build quality
  • Snappy autofocus in good AND bad light
  • Autofocus tracking accuracy after tweaking the settings
  • Sharpness and image quality
  • Clean details and color accuracy at high ISO
  • manual dials
  • EVF

What Needs The Most Improvement

  • Continuous autofocus tracking in default AF-C mode
  • dynamic range shadow recovery
  • Base ISO lower than 200
  • Fujifilm app and Wifi communication reliability

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Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 16-55mm f/1.8

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 16-55mm f/1.8

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 55-200 f/3.5-4.8

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 55-200 f/3.5-4.8

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 18-55mm f/2.8-4

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 18-55mm f/2.8-4

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 55-200 f/3.5-4.8

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 55-200 f/3.5-4.8

Disney Day 6(Last Day): Reflections In Magic Kingdom And A Creepy Ending At The Haunted Mansion

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The Best Day Of  The Week…

After walking around the Disney parks for a week and trying to manage the late nights with early mornings, it was so nice to have a relaxing day with no reservations or plans of any kind. Since today was our last day, we all decided that we wanted to spend the day in Magic Kingdom taking photos of the kids, watching the parades, and just walking around slowly to enjoy all of the architectural details that Disney has to offer. 

I’m glad that I ended up packing all of my Fuji lenses for this trip because I was able to see which lenses I used the most. My two most-used lenses all week were definitely the Fuji 18-55 f/2.8-4 kit lens and the Fuji 35 f/2 prime lens. I used the Fuji 55-200 telephoto lens a fair bit as well for the parades and wildlife, but the other two lenses lived on my X-T2 most of the week. The 18-55 with it’s incredible OIS, covered most of my architecture and low light photos, while the 35mm f/2 covered the family photos and Disney character portraits. Now I know for the future that those three lenses are my must-have camera kit for travel. If you’re interested in seeing the entire Fuji kit that I took to Disney, you can watch that video HERE.

Night Time And Rain In Magic Kingdom With A Haunted Ending…

If you have been to Disney before, you know how magical everything becomes at night. Almost every square inch of the park is lit up, the weather cools off, and most the crowds start to leave park. Lucky for us, we have been staying on Disney property all week so we took advantage of the Disney “Magic Hours” from 10pm t0 12am. The “Magic Hours” allowed us to stay in the park two hours later than regular guests, and that is typically when I capture all of the long exposure Disney photos that you see in my portfolio.

Not long after nightfall, it started raining pretty hard, but we were ok with that since we knew it would clear the park of even more people. Pro tip: When it rains in Disney, 90% of the people think they’re going to melt if they get wet, so that means you get the park to yourself. While it was raining, we walked around in all of the cool shops on Main Street in Magic Kingdom, and I got to capture a really cool photo of a professional glass blower who was working on a new piece for the store’s collection. I really like the way his photo turned out! I have always believed that everything happens for reason, and had it not rained that night, we would have never gone inside that little shop, and I would have never captured that photo. Pretty cool 🙂

After we shopped around in the stores and purchased some good ole Disney merchandise, we noticed that the hard rain had turned into a light sprinkle, and there were no humans to be seen in any direction! It can be a little weird walking down Main Street in the busiest theme park in the world with no people in sight, but that is exactly how I like it. Most people just don’t take the time to wait out the crowds…

It was a very enjoyable night being able to ride all of our favorite rides with no wait times or people… Well, until my friend Joseph and I asked the wives if we could ride The Haunted Mansion on our way out of the park…big mistake  😯 . We were making our way to the front of the park so we could head back to the hotel, and as we were walking by the rides and stores, the lights were blacking out one-by one. It was a little creepy since we were the only ones left in the park, but we just assumed that they were closing things up since it was a little after midnight at that point. We also figured that The Haunted Mansion would probably be closed since everything else was closing as we walked by.

Well, as we approached The Haunted Mansion, we saw one single cast member standing outside the line waiting for people to come in. Of course, Joseph and I walked up to ask her if it was still open, and the lady didn’t say one word. She just starred at us with a straight face and pointed towards the ride. We were already a little creeped out at that point, but we assumed that her pointing meant that we could go through the line. If you have never ridden The Haunted Mansion before, you won’t know what I am talking about, but before you actually get on the ride, they take you into a pretty big room where they act out a short little skit that is supposed to be playful and scary at the same time. It’s fun to watch people get a little freaked out before getting on the ride, but I have the entire skit memorized because I have been riding The Haunted Mansion since I was a little kid. I also know that every time I have ever ridden  The Haunted Mansion during magic hours, they skip the little skit and let you get right on the ride. Naturally, I assumed they would do the same in this situation since it was literally just me and Joseph. I was wrong… One of the cast members took us into the big room, a shorter version of the skit played throughout the speakers, all of the doors around us shut, and then BOOM…the lights went out. Before the light went out, we were the only two people in that big room. BOOM! The lights came back on, and there were two girls dressed as creepy maids that randomly appeared about 6 inches away from our faces. We literally felt their breath…

After that insanely creepy moment, those two girls opened the door that lead to the ride, and we finally got on. Even more creepy things happened while we were on the ride, but that is a story for a different day. It’s really late and I still have to pack up my stuff and get some sleep since we’re leaving to go home in about 7 hours(yikes). Thank you all for following the blog all week and going on this Disney adventure with me and my family! Just promise me you’ll think twice before rinding The Haunted Mansion after hours.

Enjoy viewing all of my best photos from our last day…

Fuji X-T2 | 35mm f/2 WR | This is one of Disney’s awesome cast members in the “circus” section of Magic Kingdom. This guy’s face had such a unique look, so I had to ask him for a photo. Luck for me, he said yes!

Fuji X-T2 | 35mm f/2 WR | This is my beautiful baby girl, Scarlett. My wife and I envisioned this photo before we ever went on this trip, and we made it come to life. This little green patch of AstroTurf is great for photos of the kids with the castle in the background! 

Fuji X-T2 | 35mm f/2 WR | This is the glass blower that I got to photograph when we ran into the shops to escape the rain after sunset. I just love this image!

Fuji X-T2 | 18-55 f/2.8-4 Kit Lens | This is a photo of Magic Kingdom’s classic steamboat. Looking at this scene made me think of the old steamboat Mickey cartoon.

Fuji X-T2 | 35mm f/2 WR | This was the very last photo I took. We were on the way out of the park, it had just started raining again, and I saw those refections just singing my name. Obviously, I had to stop and grab a set of photos even though I got soaked. It was so beautiful!


 

Disney Day 5: Epcot At Golden Hour And German Sausage

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Golden Light, Another Great Sunset, And Snacks…

We all went back to Epcot tonight because…well, Epcot is a whole different world of magic and culture when golden hour hits. The countries all start to turn on lanterns and beautiful lights, the weather gets cooler, and all of the golden light starts reflecting off of the huge man-made lake in the middle of the Epcot World Showcase.

Our wives were looking at all of the souvenirs while Joseph and I were taking photos and drooling over the light hitting the architecture all around us. After walking around a bit and enjoying some family time and photography, the wives wanted to get some snacks. They were talking about ice cream, some kind of French fruit parfait, etc etc. This is where Joseph and I offered to take the kids, part ways from the ladies for a little while, and find some “man snacks” in another country. 

After getting distracted by taking photos of the kids around the park, we finally arrived in Germany at Biergarten to get some homemade sausage and authentic German beer. Typically, I’m not a beer drinker, but when I travel, I love experiencing new things. 

After we all enjoyed our snacks, we met back up with the wives and continued to have a fantastic evening! Family, friends, food, and great photos. Couldn’t ask for a better night! Below, you can see a few of my photos from tonight. Time to get in bed and gear up for tomorrow!

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 18-55 f/2.8-4 | This photo was captured about 45 min before sunset. Everyone else was watching the Chinese dancers preform under this beautiful structure, but I was focused on capturing the golden light and interesting clouds.

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 18-55 f/2.8-4 | The sunset was so good that I had to take a photo even though there wasn’t a great foreground at the time. However, I thought it was a pretty interesting image since I captured two countries and a hotel in one single photograph. Across the lake, you’ll see Morocco on the left, The Swan & Dolphin Resort in the middle, and France on the right.


 

Disney Day 4: Magic Kingdom And Magic Sunset

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Golden Hour Got Funky Fresh…

We spent most of today in Magic Kingdom taking some family photos with the kids and visiting all of the iconic rides. It’s been a fantastic day, but I was a little bummed that the weather was supposed to be gross and cloudy this evening. I knew that it was probably going to ruin my photo opportunities that I had been planning since the beginning of this week.

Well, I am not quite sure how it happened, but the clouds opened up and revealed the most beautiful golden hour I’ve ever seen in Magic Kingdom. I was lucky enough to be facing the perfect direction of sunset when the sky decided to open up, but I had one dilemma…tonight was the one and only night that I didn’t bring my tripod because I thought the weather was going to suck all day and night. I’m an idiot…

Thank God For Fuji OIS Lenses…

My shutter speed at the widest aperture and a moderate ISO was giving me 1/25. That is pretty slow to hand-hold on a windy night with tons of people walking by and running into me. Nonetheless, I was confident enough in the X-T2 and 18-55mm lens to handle high ISO and camera shake for me. I cranked the ISO to 2500, dialed in my shutter speed at 1/60, held my breathe, and started firing off exposures. 

When I captured this a few hours ago, I had no clue that the colors and light were going to show up like this in the RAW file. I am extremely happy with these two photos, and they were both taken with the 18-55mm kit lens. Best kit lens I have ever used!

One single exposure processed with Photoshop and Nik Collection. Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 18-55 f/2.8-4

One single exposure processed with Photoshop and Nik Collection. Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 18-55 f/2.8-4

Who says I can't paint? I converted this photo to a digital oil painting in Photoshop. I am a huge fan of Thomas Kinkade's Disney work. Everyone called him

Who says I can’t paint? I converted this photo to a digital oil painting in Photoshop. I am a huge fan of Thomas Kinkade’s Disney work. Everyone called him “the painter of light.” I thought this photo needed an extra bit of creativity so I came up with this. There are no such thing as rules in the art world 🙂 Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 18-55 f/2.8-4


 

Disney Day #3: Animal Kingdom And Swahili Soul

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Swahili Saxophone Player And A Huge Gorilla…

If you follow my YouTube channel, you have heard me say millions times that the best time to take photos in Disney World is at night. Well, Animal Kingdom is an exception to that statement. Why? Most of Animal kingdom is covered with trees due to all of the animals, and that ends up providing lots of dappled light in the best way possible.

You have to really look for those “magic light” moments, or they will be gone just as fast as they came. If you’re new to photography, you may be asking yourself right now what the heck “magic light” is. It all has to do with the way the light interacts with shadow and creates an interesting contrast between the two. 

Here’s a couple photos from today, and if you want to check out the rest of my Disney portfolio, CLICK HERE. 

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 55-200mm | Swahili Sax Player jamming some soulful tunes. The second I pointed the camera at this guy, he started really animating stage presence. It was awesome! 

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 55-200mm | Swahili Sax Player jamming some soulful tunes. The second I pointed the camera at this guy, he started really animating stage presence. It was awesome!

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 55-200mm | Gorilla dreaming of freedom... FYI, this shot was taken at 10,000 ISO. It's amazing how the detail held up.

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 55-200mm | Gorilla dreaming of freedom… FYI, this shot was taken at 10,000 ISO. It’s amazing how the detail held up.


 

Disney Day #2: Epcot And Dinner At Tokyo Dining

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Good Food, Good Light, And Great Friends…

 

Today we spent the first half of the day in Epcot while our friends and their son traveled from Georgia to spend the week with us. 

It’s always nice taking photos and being in Disney during the most uncrowded times of the year. THAT is where it’s awesome having a wife that is a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations. She always hooks us up with the best shows, fast passes, and dinner reservations. 

Once our friends arrived, we met them back at the hotel and got ready for dinner at Tokyo Dining in Epcot’s World Showcase. If you haven’t eaten there before and you like Japanese cuisine, you are really missing out! They have some of the best sushi I have ever had in the states. Disney definitely prides themselves on making all of the countries insanely authentic with the people, architecture, food, and the whole cultural experience. 

There was a fantastic golden hour today with tons of beautiful/warm light kissing the sides of the epic Disney Architecture. I was able to take one photo of the light hitting a clocktower in Italy that stands next to another awesome restaurant called Via Napoli. Great pizza!

All in all, it was an awesome first day with our friends, and we’re all looking forward to a great night of sleep to prep us for another day in the magical world of Disney. I should probably stop blogging now since I’m the last one awake. Look below for a few photos I took today with the Fuji X-T2.

Nighty night, internet friends 🙂

PS: If you’re interested in any of the camera gear I took with me to Disney World, you can watch my “Packing Cameras For Disney” video HERE.

Dia De Los Muertos(Day Of The Dead) - Fuji X-T2 | Fuji 18-55 f/2.8-4

Dia De Los Muertos(Day Of The Dead) – Fuji X-T2 | Fuji 18-55 f/2.8-4

 

Clocktower in Italy overlooking Via Napoli restaurant. Fuji X-T2 | Fuji 18-55 f/2.8-4

Clocktower in Italy overlooking Via Napoli restaurant. Fuji X-T2 | Fuji 18-55 f/2.8-4


 

Disney Day #1: Animal Kingdom And Tornado Warnings

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Gale Force Winds…

I am very thankful that we left for Disney on Saturday instead of Sunday since the storms were crazy all over Florida today! There were 40 to 50mph wind gusts, and the clouds were pretty crazy looking.

Since it was our first day waking up here in Disney, we decided to head to Animal Kingdom since we knew our 10 month old daughter would love looking at all the different animals! The park wasn’t very crowded at all, but the security bag-check-line to get in the park was honestly ridiculous. They have changed their bag-check procedures apparently.

I rarely get ticked off, but I was not happy about how they were treating me different JUST because I had photography equipment. They acted like my camera equipment was homemade explosives. When I asked why they were checking MY bag differently than everyone else’s, they said, “I’m sorry sir, it’s procedure.” Well, that makes about as much sense as the Canon 5d Mark IV…

Anyway, I don’t want to go into too much detail, but they basically let my wife and tons of other people walk right into the park with their backpacks full of stuff after simply taking a quick “peek” into their bags. Not me…They unzipped every tiny little zipper on my camera bag, went through my memory card pouch, took both lens caps off of every lens, etc. It was just dumb. You can watch my VLOG about it HERE.

 

Happiness From Here On…

Once security finally made up their mind that I wasn’t a terrorist,(sarcasm)we had a blast! Our daughter, Scarlett, loved seeing all of the animals run around! It was a great “dad moment” watching her enjoy Disney for the first time, and it might have even brought a single tear to my eye…

After my emotional “dad moment” was over, I noticed that it was going to be tough to find a photo with the mid-day light and crazy winds. However, I made up my mind that I was going to work the ominous clouds and crazy wind into my art, so that is exactly what I did 🙂

I used a fun technique where I purposely let the shutter drag down to around 1/10th to 1/30th of a second to get some cool motion blur effects. I ended up getting two decent photos out of the day that you can check out below.

Thanks for reading, and check back to see what fun and/or craziness we get ourselves into on Day #2! 

Camera: Fuji X-T2 | Lens: Fuji XF 55-200 f/3.5-4.8

Camera: Fuji X-T2 | Lens: Fuji XF 55-200 f/3.5-4.8

Camera: Fuji X-T2 | Lens: Fuji XF 18-55 f/2.8-4

Camera: Fuji X-T2 | Lens: Fuji XF 18-55 f/2.8-4


 

Family Vacation: Desolation Of Disney & Packing My Fuji XT2 Kit

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Rain, Rain, Rain…Oh, And Severe Thunderstorms…

Ok, so it’s the morning of our trip to Disney World with our good friends, and the weather is not behaving for us at all. It’s about a 7.5 hour drive to Disney from our house, but it’s looking like it might be a VERY long trip based on the weather.

We were supposed to leave for the trip on Monday, but my wife and I moved it up a couple of days because of even worse severe weather coming in. Apparently, there is no escaping it…

Packing My Fuji X-T2 Kit For Disney World

Enough of the depressing details! We’re going to Disney World! I am super excited to try out all of my new Fujfilm X Mirrorless gear, and this will be the first time in my entire photographic career that I have not taken a DSLR on the road with me. I already have my fair share of Fuji gear that I am bringing, so there is no need to add a heavy DSLR to the kit. Plus, I really trust the Fuji system, and I just know it will take care of me and the memories of my daughter’s first Disney trip.

Well, I am just sitting here with my daughter while my wife is dropping our dogs off at my in-laws house, so I am going to start packing the car in this rainy mess. 

You can watch the video below if you’re interested in the camera gear and bags that I am taking. I will also be blogging more about my experience using the Fuji X-T2 system in Disney World as the week goes on.

You can also check out my ENTIRE DISNEY PORTFOLIO HERE. Have a great weekend!


 

Why Are Fujifilm X Cameras So Special? Fuji XT2 Mini Review

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Ohhh, so THAT Is What Fuji Fanboys Are Talking About…

I am going on three weeks of being a “Fuji Shooter” with my X-T2, and I can say with complete confidence that it has exceeded my expectations. 

I am primarily a landscape/nature photographer and have always used my big Nikon DSLRs. I have been very pleased with my D810 for the past two years, but there are four distinct features that I think sets Fujifilm X cameras apart from the other camera brands I have used.

#1 Light Rendition:

I have no technical explanation for this one. I have used tons of cameras, but the way the Fuji X-trans sensors record light is just magical. There is such a defined and attractive separation between highlight and shadow. I’m Pretty sure that Fuji performs some kind of wizardry on these sensors after Sony sends them over.

This image was taken during golden hour, and I still can’t explain how the sensor magically portrays the separation between the cold blue shadows and the golden highlights kissing the rocks.


#2 High ISO Detail:

This is a big one for me because I do a lot of printing. There many times where I see “the shot” and just have to crank the ISO much higher than normal to capture the moment before it disappears. Usually when this happens while I am shooting with my D810, it’s kind of a general rule that loss of detail and color starts happening around 3200 ISO. For sharing online or any kind of web use, 3200 and up is easily useable on the D810, but printing is entirely different. To my complete surprise, the XT2 files are still useable at 6400 ISO and up for printing. I ordered a 16×24 print from an XT2 TIFF file that was shot at ISO 8000, and it looked freaking phenomenal due to the amount of detail that held together at the higher ISO values on the Fuji XT2. If you would like to see a Fuji vs Nikon ISO comparison I did, you can read that blog post HERE.

This image was taken handheld at 5000 ISO with no noticeable loss of detail at all.

This image was taken handheld at 5000 ISO with no noticeable loss of detail at all.


#3 The Mechanical Dials:

The image quality isn’t the only reason that the XT2 has been an absolute pleasure to shoot with. The handling and ergonomics of this camera simply make it fun to use. My favorite feature about the ergonomics of course are the mechanical dials on top for controlling ISO, shutter speed, metering, and exposure compensation. Not only does it make for a super fast workflow when shooting, but it also adds that beautiful bit of nostalgia as if I’m shooting on an old film camera.


#4 Color Rendition:

Last but not least, the color rendition on that Fuji cranks out of their files are stunning. It really has a look of it’s own that I have not seen before when using any other camera or software plugin. If you make the jump and purchase one of these Fuji X cameras, you will know exactly what I am talking about. Ever since the first few Fujifilm mirrorless cameras started to hit the market a few years ago, I have heard nothing but good things about their natural rendition of “colory” buttery goodness. Now I know why people won’t shut up about it ;-).

This image only had some micro contrast and sharpening applied to it. The colors and perfect exposure are straight out of the camera. It impressed the heck out of me!

This image only had some micro contrast and sharpening applied to it. The colors and exposure are straight out of the camera. It impressed the heck out of me!


Conclusion And Video Going Over These Four Topics…

If you can’t tell, I am really loving this camera so far, but I have obviously found some quirks and cons that I will mention in my full review(coming soon). I will go ahead and put your mind at ease by saying that I haven’t found anything yet that bothered me enough to sell it or return it. I am going on almost a month of not touching my Nikon D810. It might sound weird, but when I get creative and feel like going on a photo adventure, I just naturally pick up my Fuji kit without thinking. It just feels right…

As Always, please let me know in the comments if you have ANY questions at all.

-Eric


 

Fuji X-T2 vs Nikon D810: Low Light ISO Showdown

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The ISO Showdown…

I have been using my Nikon D810 now just about every day for 2 years. I have put it through hell with crazy weather conditions, quicksand, salt water, UNDER water, etc…but…I have never truly tested the high ISO noise performance of this camera. Now that I think of it, no one has ever asked me to test the ISO performance either. The second that I purchased the X-T2, it’s like everyone in the world wanted to see how the ISO of the full frame D810 would stack up against the new kid on the block.(Fuji X-T2)

After a ton of FB messages, emails, and YouTube comments all requesting me to do this comparison, here it is, FME fans! You can watch the video below where you will see me setup the ISO test, and you can also download the RAW files from both cameras completely FREE. That way you can all make your own opinions 🙂

Keep the requests coming! Obviously, I make this free content for you, so I want to know what all of YOU want to watch. Take care!


 

Fuji X-T2 Landscape Photography VLOG

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Testing The Fuji X-T2

This was my first time bringing the Fuji camera for a day of landscape photography while leaving my Nikon D810 at home, and the X-T2 honestly impressed me way more than I thought it would

I have been shooting on 35mm full frame Nikon cameras for as long as I can remember, and after an entire day of shooting waterfalls, creeks, architecture, and very harsh lighting situations, I honestly forgot everything about what camera I was shooting with. I was just focused on capturing the photos.

There were many great aspects of shooting landscapes with the X-T2, but the best part was the size and weight. I was able to fit my entire day-kit in a messenger bag…that was AWESOME! I did not miss my full frame camera all day, and I am very happy with the images I came away with.

No matter what camera you are shooting with, never let your gear get in the way of taking the photo itself. You can see the VLOG and photos from the trip below:

Fuji X-T2 | 42

Fuji X-T2 | 42″ | f/11 | ISO 200

Fuji X-T2 | 1/2000 | f/5.6 | ISO 200

Fuji X-T2 | 1/2000 | f/5.6 | ISO 200

Fuji X-T2 | 1/400 | f/4 | ISO 200

Fuji X-T2 | 1/400 | f/4 | ISO 200

Fuji X-T2 | 1/3000 | f/16 | ISO 200

Fuji X-T2 | 1/3000 | f/16 | ISO 200

Fuji X-T2 | 27

Fuji X-T2 | 27″ | f/8 | ISO 200