X Series’ evolution into the 4th generation…
Fujifilm introduces the iconic X-T3
A complete upgrade: including an all-new back-illuminated 26MP X-Trans CMOS 4 (*1) sensor and X-Processor 4 image processing engine. The X-T3 offers superb image quality and enhanced ability to track moving subjects – with substantial AF performance improvement and blackout-free burst shooting. The FUJIFILM X-T3 mirrorless digital camera is the world’s first *2 APS-C mirrorless camera capable of 4K/60P 10 bit recording to meet the needs of professional videographers.
FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) has announced that it will release the FUJIFILM X-T3 (hereinafter “X-T3”), the latest model in the X Series of mirrorless digital cameras, renowned for their unique colour reproduction technology to deliver outstanding image quality in both stills and video.
The X Series began with the 2011 release of X100. The X-Pro1, released in 2012, became the first model to feature the X-Trans CMOS sensor, which uses a unique colour filter array based on FUJIFILM’s extensive photographic expertise to achieve exceptional image-resolving performance and control of false colours at the same time, as well as the EXR Professor Pro image processing engine compatible with the sensor. For seven years, the X Series and its sensor – image processing engine combination have continued to evolve, with the company unveiling “X-Trans CMOS II” / “EXR Processor Pro II” in the X-T1, released in 2014, and “X-Trans CMOS III” / “X-Processor Pro” in the X-Pro2 and X-T2, released in 2016. The three generations of evolution have constantly advanced the X Series’ image quality and mobility.
The latest model, X-T3, features the new X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 image processing engine, ushering in a new, fourth generation of the X Series.
X-Trans CMOS 4: This is the back-illuminated APS-C sensor with more than 4 times the number of phase detection pixels than current models (*3), distributed across the surface. It boasts a high S/N ratio and the lowest sensitivity of ISO160 despite its 26MP resolution. The low-light autofocus limit has also been extended to -3EV, enabling accurate AF even in low light conditions, e.g. scene lit only with candlelight.
X Processor 4: This engine has 4 CPU units to achieve image processing speed about 3 times faster than that of current models (*3). Not only boosting AF accuracy and speed substantially, the engine is the world’s first (*2) to delivers 4K/60P 10bit output, meeting the needs of professional videographers, in a mirrorless camera equipped with a sensor in the APS-C size or larger. It is also capable of instantaneously handling complex image processing tasks such as FUJIFILM’s unique “Colour Chrome Effect” and “Monochrome Adjustment” function, achieving Warm Black / Cool Black tone in digital, which is adopted as one of the way of expression for monochrome print in silver halide film.
The X-T3 takes full advantage of the capability of these fourth-generation devices to enjoy significant performance improvement.
Higher image quality: Highest level of 26.1MP resolution in APS-C size sensor. Also, it achieves keeps as low level of noise as current models (*3) even increasing the number of pixels.
Dramatically improved AF performance: 1.5 times faster processing speed than current models (*3) to deliver faster and more accurate AF, and substantially enhanced performance in face / eye detection AF thanks to 2.16M phase detection pixels arrayed at entire frame.
Significant improvement in tracking performance of fast-moving subject: Delivering blackout-free continuous shooting (*4) of up to 30 fps while using smooth Live View of 60fps to check your subject.
Video performance for professionals: Supporting 4K/60P 4:2:0 10bit internal SD card recording as well as 4K/60P 4:2:2 10bit HDMI output, which can be filmed at the same time. Also, featuring the video-specialized Film Simulation mode “ETERNA,” popular with the X-H1.
*1 X-TransTM is FUJIFILM Corporation’s trademark or registered trademark. The sensor has a unique non-periodic filter array to reduce the appearance of moire patterns and false colours without the use of an optical low-pass filter.
*2 As of September 6, 2018, according to FUJIFILM data
*3 Comparison with current models “FUJIFILM X-T2” and “FUJIFILM X-H1”
*4 Available only when using the electronic shutter
Use of the Series’ fourth-generation devices, new sensor “X-Trans CMOS 4” and new processor “X-Processor 4,” for the highest image resolving performance, colour reproducibility and fastest processing in the history of the X Series
- The X-T3 features the X Series’ fourth-generation APS-C sensor, newly developed “X-Trans CMOS 4” (26.1MP, without low-pass filter). It uses the unique colour filter array synonymous to X-Trans CMOS sensors to control moire and false colours and adopts the Series’ first back-illuminated structure to improve image resolution without compromising the S/N ratio. Furthermore, the sensitivity of ISO160, previously available only as extended ISO, is now part of the normal ISO range. It is very useful in daylight outdoor shooting or when trying to achieve bokeh with a fast large-aperture lens.
- The X-T3 uses the new “X-Processor 4” image processing engine to add the new “monochrome adjustment” function to the Film Simulation modes, which are based on FUJIFILM’s proprietary technology to deliver diverse colour expressions. Warm black and cool black, conventionally achieved with a choice of specific photographic papers and developers, have been faithfully reproduced digitally to broaden the scope of monochrome expressions. This function is available in the standard “Monochrome” mode as well as the “ACROS” mode, which provides smooth halftones, deep blacks and beautiful textures.
- The “Colour Chrome Effect,” previously only available in FUJIFILM’s medium-format mirrorless digital camera “GFX50S,” is featured in the X-T3, the first in the X Series. The effect produces deeper colours and gradation in subjects with highly saturated colours, such as vivid-coloured flowers with shadows, a notoriously difficult photo subject for gradation reproduction. The high-speed processing power of the X-Processor 4 means this effect can be applied not only in single shots but also in continuous shooting.
Use of the new devices and improved algorithm for significant improvement in AF performance in low light and when tracking a moving subject
- The X-Trans CMOS 4 has 2.16M phase detection pixels, more than 4 times compared to current models (*3), increasing the phase detection AF area to entire frame (approx. 100%). Fast and accurate phase detection AF can be used even on a subject that is positioned away from the centre of the frame. The low-light phase detection autofocus limit has also been extended by around 2 stops from -1EV to -3EV, making it possible to accurately focus in low light conditions, e.g. a scene lit only with candlelight, or night-time photography. Furthermore, the X-Processor 4’s high processing speed and improved phase detection algorithm means the camera refocuses (AF) and meters (AE) 1.5 times more frequently than current models (*3) to enable accurate autofocus even when shooting sports involving fast and erratic movements across the frame.
- The performance of face-detection AF on a moving person has been doubled over current models (*3). The eye-detection AF supports the AF-C mode, maintaining accurate focus tracking even in portrait photography that involves movements. The X-T3 focuses accurately when shooting a person front-on or side-on, even in situations where the face- or eye-detection AF previously had difficulty. The face- and eye-detection AF is available also during video recording to achieve smooth filming of persons.
Enhanced viewfinder performance improving the ability to track a moving subject
- The X-T3 features a 3.69-million-dot high resolution EVF with a high magnification ratio of 0.75x. The display time lag of just 0.005 seconds and refresh rate of approx. 100 fps ensure smooth display of motions, allowing you to precisely identify subject movements and focus positions. Unlike current models (*3), continuous shooting of 11 fps with the mechanical shutter no longer requires the optional vertical grip, enabling fast continuous shooting while keeping the camera weight low.
- The new “Sports finder mode” makes it easy to capture a moving subject. The mode shows approx. 16.6M (1.25x crop) area marking in the LCD/viewfinder, and shoots the area within the marking. This is particularly useful for sports photography and wildlife photography, as you can check the movements of a subject just outside the shooting frame and take advantage of shorter-than-usual blackout time.
- Increased read speed from the sensor and high-speed processing capability have made it possible to enjoy AF/AE-tracking, blackout-free continuous shooting(*4) of up to 30 fps in approx. 16.6M (1.25x crop) mode, while using smooth Live View of 60fps to check your subject. The rolling shutter distortion, a typical issue of electronic shutters, has been halved compared to current (*3) models.
In order to never miss a crucial shutter moment, the X-T3 has the new “Pre-Shoot” function (*4), in which the camera starts shooting as soon as the shutter button is half-pressed. You will never miss an important photo opportunity, previously caused by time lag between the moment when the shutter button is fully pressed and the moment when a photo is actually taken.
Design / operability and expandability
- The X-T3 inherits X-T2’s popular design features such as the positioning of dials on the top panel, central viewfinder style for added sense of stability, and excellent grip design for comfort. The silver color is lineup as standard, which features more classical tone compared with graphite silver, limited edition for previous models. Its styling that reminds you of traditional film cameras is combined with outstanding practicality, making it photographic equipment that is a pleasure to own for many years to come.
- Enhanced operability and expandability in response to user feedback
Specific areas of operability enhancement
・EVF’s diopter adjustment is lockable achieved by pulling out and rotating a diopter knob, so as to prevent unintended adjustments while carrying the camera.
・The X-T3 uses a touchscreen panel with higher contrast, wider viewing angle and better operability than those in previous models to enable intuitive operation.
・The X-T3 inherits X-H1’s features such as large top-panel dials / rear-panel buttons and comfortable clicking touch of front and rear command dials.
・A headphone jack is provided on the camera body so that all accessories required for video recording, such as microphone and HDMI devices can be centrally connected to the body for added mobility in videography.
・Terminal cover is removable, providing easy connectivity for HDMI cables, microphones, headphones. Also it will not disturb when setting up with rig for movie shooting.
・The USB terminal supports USB Type-C (USB3.1 Gen1) specifications. An Anker (*5) battery can be connected to significantly increase the maximum number of frames per charge and the maximum duration of video recording.
Enhanced video performance
- This is the world’s first (*2) mirrorless digital camera capable of internal SD card recording 4K/60P 4:2:0 10bit. It is also the world’s first (*2) mirrorless digital camera with APS-C or larger sensor capable of 4K/60P 4:2:2 10bit HDMI output. Supported video formats include the widely-used H.264/MPEG-4 AVC as well as H.265/HEVC for greater data compression. This enables the use of high 200Mbps bitrate in recording of 4K/60P 4:2:0 10bit, as well as simultaneous HDMI output while recording. Video compression options available are ALL-Intra (*6) and Long GOP. When using ALL-Intra, video is recorded at 400Mbps (*7).
- The sensor’s read speed is about 50% faster than current models (*3), which enables fast 17msec reading of 4K/60P video. The rolling shutter distortion has been reduced for smooth replay of a fast-moving subject. The camera’s support for 10bit colour depth boosts the amount of colour information 64 times compared to 8bit. This is combined with 400% (approx. 12 stops) dynamic range for capturing materials of rich gradation, such as a sunset landscape.
- The introduction of a new noise reduction process and new “4K interframe noise reduction” function have reduced noise by the equivalent of approx. 2 stops. The new NR process has an enhanced level of noise-identifying accuracy for appropriate reduction in noise. The 4K interframe NR function (*7) uses differential data between adjacent frames to reduce noise. Furthermore, the minimum sensitivity for shooting F-Log and DR400% footage has been extended from the current models’ (*3) ISO800 to ISO640, meeting the needs of videographers.
- In addition to the abovementioned functions, the X-T3 will, after applying a firmware update to be released by the end of 2018, support video recording in the Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG), one of the formats defined in the ITU-R BT.2100 international standards. In response to user feedback, the firmware update is also due to give the X-T3 an ability to simultaneously output Film Simulation and F-Log footage.
*5 Anker is trademark or registered trademark of Anker Innovations Limited or associated companies.
*6 Available at 4K/29.97P, 25P, 24P, 23.98P, and FHD/59.94P, 50P, 29.97P, 25P, 24P, 23.98P when H.265/HEVC is selected.
Not compatible with H.264.
*7 Available at 4K/29.97P, 25P, 24P or 23.98P.
Requires an SD card with the video speed class of V60 or above to record at the bitrate of 400Mbps
- Vertical Battery Grip VG-XT3 (designed specifically for the X-T3)
This grip 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 body, to increase the maximum number of frames that can be taken per charge to approx. 1,100 (Normal mode). The camera does not need to suspend its operation to switch to a new battery, even during continuous shooting or video recording, providing a stress-free shooting experience.
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 VG-XT3 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.
- Leather Case BLC-XT3 (designed specifically for the X-T3)
This is a genuine leather bottom case with luxurious 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-XT3 (designed specifically for the X-T3)
This hand grip makes it substantially more comfortable to hold the camera when it is mounted with a large-aperture lens, thereby reducing camera shake. The camera’s battery or SD cards can be replaced without having to remove the hand grip. The base can be used as a quick release shoe when using a dovetail mount on your tripod.
- Cover Kit CVR-XT3 This is a cover kit specifically for the X-T3.
1 x Sync terminal cover
1 x Hot shoe cover
1 x Vertical battery grip terminal cover (black)
1 x Vertical battery grip terminal cover (silver)
1 x Terminal cover
- Remote Release RR-100
This remote shutter release has a φ2.5mm jack. Similarly to the camera’s shutter release button, pressing the button halfway focuses on a subject, and pressing it all the way down takes a picture. In the BULB or continuous shooting mode, you can slide the shutter button to lock it. It is packaged with a right angle adapter for ease of storage and to prevent unintended cable dislodgment.
- Recommended accessories: Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD (*8) (30W Power Delivery Wall Charger included) and Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 PD (30W Power Delivery Wall Charger Bundle included) (*9)
Use “Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD” and “Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 PD”, which are both 30W Power Delivery Wall Charger bundle model, to significantly increase the maximum number of frames per charge and the maximum duration of video recording.
*8 Anker and PowerCore are trademark or registered trademark of Anker Innovations Limited or associated companies.
*9 Product may not be available on your country.
I guess we all struggle to get the work life balance right and being a full time self employed Photographer the work life balance can go right out of the window ! I have always had a big problem saying no to work and this year has been no exception. I expected after finishing working with Fujifilm UK in February things would go quiet and I could look forward to just planning my own workshops and time away for Jane and I. I soon worked out its not quite that simple. The downside to our lifestyle at the moment is Jane works for the NHS and has mostly weekends off and I work most weekends so we don’t see much of each other at times, so we get used to quite a lot of time apart.
The long term plan is now starting to fall in to place even though there is hardly any free time on this years year planner at the moment. I have now finished my Wex Photographic 2018 commitment and at last I am free to start planning 2019. I will still take on the odd days from some of the big companies like Wex and some of the other great shops like Wilkinsons, just not as many days as before.
It was mentioned a few times on Social media this week that I had moved over to work with Canon now I had left Fujifilm. I will put the record straight right here and now, I am not with Canon. This October I plan to be semi-retired so I will not be signing any contracts with anyone. I am still involved with Gnarbox as the only UK member of the Gnarbox Pro Team but my commitment to the team is minimal and also fits in very nicely with my future travel plans so will not hold me back from my work life balance goals.
If you read my blog you will know that I bought the Canon G7x because my Fujifilm Cameras got locked in the Wex Glasgow store by accident a few weeks back and I needed to get a camera from Argos early on a Sunday morning so it was an impulse purchase but has turned out to be one of the best little pocket cameras I have ever owned. The sensor is only one inch so its not as good as my Fujifilm X Series cameras but with its 24-100mm Equivalent fast Zoom its so much better than my iphone as an every day pocket camera.
I work most weeks teaching with the Fujifilm X100F and the X70 and these are just the best tools for me teaching Street Photography. When I go off on Landscape Trips or teach Landscape I take the GFX System as that is the right tool for me for Landscapes and I also have the XPro2 for Street and Landscape with a selection of lenses.
I do have a few Canon Cameras and these are all for Shooting Video and they are the C100mk2 the 200D and the 5DMK4 and and a selection of lenses. I have some future Film plans and needed a camera system that was tried and tested.
The beauty of not having a contract with any brand is that I don’t have to stick to one set of tools and can use the best tools for the job ! Fujifilm make the cameras I need for all my Stills work and Canon for my Video the little G7x is just an exception to the rule, its great for video but also just so much fun to take stills with.
This weekend I got a very rare chance to get away in my Camper with Jane for a couple of days and decided not to take any camera gear. I did however take the G7x with me as a back up to my iphone ! Its light, fits in my pocket and the battery lasts all day and even if I do need to charge it I can just plug it in my powerbank !
This weekend was a time to reflect and its great to find a campsite that has no phone reception to get away from it all for a couple of days. We love Cae Du Campsite its just one of the most quiet and peaceful sites in Wales and perfect to get away from it all. I have a long term and short term plan and at times in this job you just cant see the wood for the trees. I have now had time to reflect and put the next four years in to some order.
My new workshops are online here and I will be putting a few more online over the next few months, these will be workshops I have designed to help people who already know how to use a camera, to discover more about the art of taking pictures.
I also have a new business plan that will come in to action next March at my end of year, so all going well I should have lots more time to do what I want to do and that is travel and explore with Jane. This will at last redress my work life balance ! I hope.
I will leave you with a few images taken over the weekend with the little Canon G7X in and around Beddgellert.
Its been a very busy few years and I have not had a decent relaxing break for quite a while. I have just taken a week off and was only 60 miles from my front door in the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales. Jane said to me half way through the week “you have hardly been on your phone this week” I guess I am learning! It’s no good going away to Scotland and driving 600miles and not unloading the clutter in my mind by being on Social Media all the time or answering all the emails. So staying close to home saved me a lot of driving and allowed me to really relax.
Working in the Photography industry is a bit full on at times, if you are not marketing you are planning or on Social Media and this can take over your life.
Whilst away I decided on my 5 year plan and am now going to stick to it for a change. I have about 14 more workshops to do for Wex Photographic and then a few other jobs to complete before October 2018. I will then semi retire. I plan to fully retire in 2022 not that Photographers ever retire we just have more time to be creative.
I will cut my workload in half from October 2018 and start to take photos for me and begin to explore the five elements that make a great image( Light, Composition, Moment, Amazing Subject & Emotional Impact). I want to focus on image making as this is so important to me.
I have put together a new series of workshops just to keep me going until 2022. I don’t think I can sit around for the next four years, so I might as well get out there and teach what I love. These workshops will explore the five elements but have nothing to do with gear and technology. I also plan to put more time in to my YouTube channel to let you know about the creative process, this will also focus on my image making thought process.
Its amazing how taking a really good break from reality can focus the mind. I walked over 58 miles last week and only took my Fujifilm X100F with me. This transported me back to the day I bought my very first X100 ! Its the reason I moved over to Fujifilm from Nikon and the reason I fell in love with the X Series ! The X70 and the X100F are two of the best in the Fujifilm range by far. The GFX50 is the King but it’ not exactly portable but is the best tool in the toolbox !
Spending a week with the X100F made me relax and enjoy my photography again so much so that I was thinking about selling most of my Fujifilm gear and just keeping that one camera. I still have some work to do with my GFX and three projects to finish and its far too amazing a camera to sell, so the GFX will be staying and so will my X70 and my Xpro2 as that’s one of my Personalised Camera Bodies that Fujifilm gave to me in recognition of my hard work. I think the rest of the lenses and bodies might have to go, not that I have much left as I had a good clear out to buy the GFX last year.
I think I will end up with the GFX50s,X100F,X70,Xpro2 but will probably only use the X100F / X70 most of the time.
One thing I did think about a lot when I was away on holiday was the obsession with gear amongst photographers and this is why I wrote This . It drives me mad watching people buying tons and tons of gear thinking it will make them a better Photographer ! If I make a YouTube video on ‘Gear’ I get 60,000+ hits, if I make one about the creative process I get a few hundred. It’s the same with Workshops, if I do a workshop for one of the brands everyone wants to book on it, but if its about creativity no one is interested and think they can learn it all from YouTube ! I wish it was that simple. You can learn from YouTube but it’s only when you go on a real physical workshop and sit and talk to other people does the real learning start. The more time you spend with a camera in your hand around like minded people the better your work will become. I have seen hundreds of people tell me how they learn from youtube. Most of these people have tons of gear and their image making process is just a bad template of the person they have been watching and they are stuck in the YouTube cycle of looking but not learning.
I was tempted to go down the YouTube route to teach as well for myself and Fujiholics but have decided it would not be the fair or right thing to do.
There are hundreds of people jumping on workshops as teachers but most are doing it for the wrong reasons. If they don’t have passion and it’s all about the money it really does show, so choose wisely !
Photography is a life long learning curve and we all go through diferent stages as we progress, there are no short cuts. I am lucky as I started at 8 years old and have had a lifetimes experience so can now look forward to really exploring whats out there for me and passing on my knowledge !
So it’s time for me to de clutter my mind and my camera cupboard and start to explore the next stages of my Photography journey ! I am starting a series of workshops that will be available on my Eventbrite page very soon. These workshops are designed to give Photographers that have mastered their cameras the information they need to take the the next step up the ladder ! I am sure most people new to photography or even Photographers that have been at it for years get stuck in the gear cycle and keep buying more and more gear to hopefully inspire them to take better photos but always end up disappointed and chopping and changing brands etc to get that amazing image. Its almost like being in a constant loop of disappointment. YouTube does not always help as you end up watching a YouTube video and then have a list of new clutter to buy ! This just puts you back in the sales funnel but does not help you !
There are some great YouTube channels and the one I like at the moment is Sean Tucker
I hope to use my Photography experience gained over the last 40+ years, to pass on some great advice. This will be through a series of workshops that will take place over the next four years exploring what to look for and how to create some great images. This should then give you all the tools you need to get out and create your own work without the need for more and more gear. I will then bring the regular workshops to a close.
I will then retire in 2022 but will update my YouTube channel about once a month and do a couple of talks or workshops a year just to hopefully inspire people to take the next steps in the journey and get of the gear loop !
So if you want to de clutter and want to get off the gear loop I will see you on a future workshop.
Today I made the decision to hand back my X and become an X X Photographer !
This was not an easy decision but the timing was about right for me and my business moving forward.
So what camera system will I be moving to you might all ask ! Well the truth is I am not going to be moving to any other system, I love the Fujifilm X System and the GFX and this will remain my brand of choice.
I never ever got paid by Fujifilm to say that the X System was great and always said I only said it was great because that was the way I felt about it. But there are plenty of people that did not believe me. I can honestly say now that Fujifilm have never paid me to say the X system is great and from now on I will still be using what I feel is the right system for my workflow. I loved the X100 the day it was released and I have loved all the X Series cameras that I have used. Going back to basics when I moved over from Nikon and got the first X100 and XPro1 made me slow down and think and the sensors have always blown me away. The XPro1 was and still is as much a game changer back then as the GFX is the game changer today. The fact that the exposure triangle is where you need it and the cameras just feel right in your hands will never change and the work I have produced with the X Series cameras speaks for itself. I can’t wait to see what Fujifilm bring us in the future.
Watching all the griping and moaning about the new XH1 from all the Nikon and Canon users on social media has made me laugh over the last couple of weeks. Fujifilm have come up with a camera that you all asked for ! So why all the moaning that its too big or the grip is not right or this and that ! It’s hard to read and pathetic at times. Photography is about the image and creating amazing images with the 6 inches behind the camera not the tech that goes in to it. Video is a whole new ballgame and Fujifilm are now improving in that field as well and in time I am sure will bring us an amazing camera for Video. I really do wish people would get on with creating great content with stills or video and be proud of the work they produce and get off social media moaning and running people and companies down.
I only own one camera that is not a Fujifilm camera and its a Canon 200D and this is my Vlogging camera and will remain my Vlogging camera until Fujifilm make a camera with an articulated screen that I can use to Vlog with. I would use my X-T20 all the time for Video and Vlogging but its just takes me to long to set up, even though I prefer the images out of the X-T20 I love the ease of use of the 200D. I did use my X-70 for a while but the Rode Mic would get in the way of the flip up screen. I have used the X-T20 and the 200D side by side on some workshops and can say that the X-T20 images are always better, but the 200D is just a breeze to work with when filming yourself. Fingers crossed in the future Fujifilm with bring us a decent articulated screen and all my dreams will come true.
I have been so busy over the last few years I have hardly had any time to stop and think and even worse I have not been able to give the time I need to develop Fujiholics. I sat down at the end of 2017 and decided I needed to make changes to my business plan to give more time to Fujiholics in 2018 / 2019 and also to concentrate on my own business and get back to making images I like and not images that people expect me to make.
I have three projects on the go this year and also need the time to concentrate on my own personal work. The fear has always been that I would start to hate photography because I would spend more time in the office and less time out taking photos and last year was very much 90% hard graft marketing and I hardly shot a thing. So it’s time for change. I still love the photowalks and getting out and meeting people and I really do love all the Fujiholics what a great bunch of people and the community I believe is one of the best in the industry.
I have absolutely loved all my time with the Fujifilm UK team and the Fujifilm team around the world it’s honestly been some of the best moments of my Photography career. I have never met such a passionate bunch of people in all my life, the team really do believe in the X Series as much as we the users do and that makes them very special team.
I have lots and lots of plans for Fujiholics in the future and with the help of Richard Waine and my new Business Partner who will be revealed very soon I hope to bring all the Fujiholics some great new content and a few surprises.
So thank you to all the guys at Fujifilm you all know who you are and here is to an even more exciting future.
I guess I have fallen in love with this camera, it blows me away every time I use it and to think I left it so long before I invested ! I have always secretly wanted to get a medium format camera but I never really had the need for it or a business case to buy it, as I said in my previous post about the GFX I just decided to buy it as an early retirement present to myself, not that photographers ever really retire.
I have three projects to shoot with the GFX this year as well as getting back in to Landscape photography and this is the perfect tool for the job.
Three of the projects I am involved with will include really large prints and even though the other X Series cameras are capable of large prints they cant hold the detail as well as a bloody great images sensor in a medium format camera.
One amazing thing about the GFX is the ability to switch it to C Mode once the Lens is set to C and the ISO dial is set to C and the shutter speed dial is set to T the camera is in Command mode and the back and front Command dials act as a DSLRs command diles do and control the Speed and Aperture. Also if you push the front command dial you can then alter the ISO so this puts the Exposure Triangle at your fingertips.
The command mode gives you the control you need to dial in the exposure you require for LE Photography ( Long Exposure ).
The old way was to take and exposure and then calculate the filter factor with the current exposure time to give you the time it would take to make the exposure. Well that all just changed the GFX50s can’t do a timed exposure up to 60 minutes on its own.
Let me explain, you set up the shot focus the lens then set the lens to M to prevent it from re focusing when you press the shutter. Then you simply place the filter you require like the Lee 15 Stop in the holder and adjust the Aperture do the desired depth of field. Then you move the shutter speed all the way until the camera meters for the sceen through the filter. Once you set you then just set the self timer in the Q Menu to 2 seconds to prevent camera shake and make your exposure. You don’t even need a cable release so that’s one thing less to blow around in the wind.
This function alone as made my whole life so much easier and considering the GFX is about the same size as a D800 and my Landscape kit now consists of one camera and three lenses I am really happy. I use the GF23mm GF32-64mm and the GF110mm and this little lot is quite a light lighter than the Nikon D3s and pro lenses I used to carry and the images from the GFX are outstanding as it the dynamic range.
Right I best get back to wales and see what else this thing can do.
What a year ! Its now December and my Year of Colour project is nearly over and I am glad. Its been a very busy year for me and the project has been dragging along behind me instead of inspiring me to get out and shoot ! I always thought it would be hard but it was a lot harder than I expected. I have never been a fan of colour so I already set myself up for failure before I started.
Colour for me growing up in a black and white world with black and white TVs in the house and all my film cameras loaded with black and white film 99% of the time was never going to be easy. I think after learning to see in black and white colour just does not do it for me. I very nearly gave up on several occasions but I am glad I stuck with it. I think black and white is my escape from the real world, the fantasy land of TV as a child.
The project does not really finish until the 31st of December but I have had some back problems and whilst trying to get that under control I really am not inspired or motivated to get out and create anything remotely interesting.
I wanted to force myself to shoot Colour for a year to see if I could fall in love with it and get some form of continuity in my work and develop a colour style. I soon found out Colour does not work like that, to have continuity you need continuity in lighting every day and that is the hardest part. Its easy to set up in a studio and have the same lights and white balance but out in the real world the light is diferent every day so the only way to get a consistency would be to light the subject the same no matter what the weather conditions or time of day. In bright light the colours pop and we are cooking on gas. When there is no light or poor light we have dull washed out colours and these images require a lot more work. In a very short space of time at the start of the year I got fed up with the issue of continuity.
I did however start to look at and play around with film simulation modes on the Fujifilm cameras and even though you could not quite get the continuity you could get a consistent body of work that looked the same. I also looked in to colour grading as they do when they make films but this started to get very complicated. I am in the process of learning to edit film and thought it would all come in handy and it did. I shoot my video in colour so I guess my year has not been wasted as I am putting some of the things I have learnt about colour to good use in camera for my blogs.
I started out hating colour and to be honest for still images I am still a Black and White lover, in all honesty I prefer black and white films as well. I guess colour is so very distracting that it confuses me. My black and white has a consistency and style that works for me. Black and White is a story telling media and colour sometimes can distract you from the story if you get it wrong or are super critical of the way colour works in a scene. I dont hate colour as much as I did and I have a newfound respect for anyone who can keep their outdoor work consistent in every lighting condition without elaborate lighting set ups. I want to do more exhibitions in the future and this is where I need continuity.
Iso also has a big to play in this situation the higher the ISO the darker the image and the more noise is introduced, this looks fine in black and white and even better when printed but really does darken your colour images down. The other issue with colour is my mood ! In black and white you can see my mood changes in my work and this is shown as you would expect in dark moody images with lots of black. In colour they just look more dull and boring ! Primary colours can also be so very distracting in colour images form the story or from the main subject so this to can be very frustrating.
I used quite a few Fujifilm cameras during my project and have to say that helped me to decide on what cameras to keep and what to sell. With black and white there is always a small difference in how you process between sensor upgrades but with colour this is huge. I soon discovered that as long as you keep to the same sensor across the board when editing then the files are the same across the editing range, but as soon as you work on say and X-T1 file and an X-T2 file they are worlds apart. As you all know I am not a bit fan of editing so I need a simple workflow that does not take up much of my time.
When I did my year of black and white I did change cameras because of the project and the same has happend this time. I sold all my older X Series cameras and updated to the newer versions to keep sensor continuity across the range. So now I have X100F, XPro2, X-T20 as my main X series work horses. I did however buy a second had X70 to stick in my pocket and take everywhere. I also splashed out on the GFX but that’s more for some projects I have in 2018/2019. I also sold quite a few lenses to lighten my load but that was more due to lack of use. I always do regular lightroom searches to see how much use a lens is getting and if its not getting used it’s not earning its keep so needs to go.
Projects help me to make these camera and lens decisions as well as other work I do, because I might use a diferent lens for a project than I do for my street or client work.
The year of colour was not a complete waste of time I did learn a lot and I did have a good play around with film simulation because I did quite a few edits on my ipad and not on my macbook so I found taking a Jpeg in to SnapSeed or Lightroom Mobile was a lot more simple if I had already applied a preset and got it to as close as I would like in camera first. Most of the time it just needed a slight crop or straighten before posting the image. I am not a fan of editing on Tablets and that I think is just down to my eyesight. I prefer 27″ monitors so that I know there is no dust on the sensor or other issues.
I set my X70 on Jpeg and RAW on classic chrome and in 2018 I will change this to Acros and green filter. I use my X70 as an extension of my iphone for blogging etc I know the XE3 is now out and far better but I prefer the screen on the X70 as it’s so much more versatile. Hopefully one day Fujifilm will make an X80.
I think we all see colour in a slightly diferent way and I know I have a few friends who are colourblind. I also think we all like to view other peoples work not just for the subject matter but for the colour style they have. I think in time I could find a colour style that would suit me but I really do just prefer black and white. It’s been an interesting experiment. Its not been as interesting for me as my year of black and white way back in 2013 but I have decided to go back to 90% black and white for 2018 and have a play around with colour when the mood takes me.
I have some new projects in place for 2018 / 2019 and these are all secret projects. One I am doing with a few friends and two by myself but they all work quite well together. Hopefully all the projects will come together as a book and also at least two exhibitions. I normally do a book at the end of every project but this year I don’t feel the images from my year of colour are strong enough for a book so will skip 2017.
I am going to take some time off over December and January to give my back a chance to sort itself out. I have had two quite serious accidents in the past one that broke my back and it appears this is all coming back to haunt me. Taking time off to heal and to put some thought into my projects.
I hope you all have a great Christmas see you all in 2018.