I’ve been using the Mavic 2 Pro for a couple of months now and it’s a big improvement over the original Mavic Pro, so here’s a brief review and a look at the settings I’ve found which can really get the most out of the sensor.
How many lenses do you really need for landscape photography? I really believe that two lenses is enough for the vast majority of landscape photography, and that that, the less gear we haul up a mountain with us, the lighter we travel, the clearer our mind is to make images when we get to our destination.
I borrowed the Fujifilm X-H1 last month and spent a week shooting with it in Tuscany comparing it with the X-T2, my usual landscape camera. This isn’t an in-depth review of all the cameras specifications and features, rather I focused on the practical differences I noticed between the two cameras while using them in the field.
Earlier last month I took the Fujifilm X-E3 with me on my trip to northern Norway’s Lofoten Islands to put it through it’s paces shooting landscapes. The X-E3 is a really similar camera to the X-T20 and recently I’ve been getting a few questions about which to get and what the differences are, so after Fujifilm kindly offered to lend me one I took the X-E3 with me on the trip in place of my usual X-T20.
My first Fuji camera back in 2015 was the X-T10 which I bought at the time with the intention of using as a back up camera to my Nikon D800E. I was immediately impressed with what a pleasure it was to use and how good the image quality was. It also struck me that it was laudable of Fuji to give exactly the same sensor and image quality from their flagship cameras to a lower end model.
The Fujifilm GFX 50S really is a game changer for Fuji. A medium format mirrorless camera, it combines the company’s heritage of classic medium format film cameras like the G690, GS645 and G617 with their retro mirrorless digitalX Series. It’s a fascinating combination and makes sense for a company like Fuji to fuse their decades of experience of medium format film systems with their brilliant mirrorless digital cameras to create a large mirrorless medium camera system that targets users of professional full frame systems like the Nikon D810, the Canon 5DR and the Sony A7R2.
I've been playing around with the Mavic Pro for about 3 months now, getting more confident with flying it and trying to get the best out of the drone. I've experimented with both the camera and gimbal settings to try to get the footage looking as smooth as possible, and last week headed out to the forests of Sintra at sunrise to make a short video about what I've found works best.
The camera is sensitive to sharpening. Reduce it too much and the Mavics noise reduction turns shadows into mush, removing detail that's impossible to put back in editing, but have the sharpening too high and it produces a lot of artefacts and moiré in repeated detail.
First off, this isn’t really a review, it’s more an overview of how I feel about the camera after using it since it arrived in November. After 4 months I feel I’ve got to know the camera pretty well, but like my blogs about the X-T1 and X-T10 when I first switched to Fuji, this is in no way meant to be a technical review or a full look at every one of it’s features. There are plenty of those already on the internet, DPreview has probably the best in depth technical review of the camera and all it’s features. Instead I’ll focus on the improvements over the X-T2 that I’ve found particularly useful, and how the camera feels to use for landscape and travel photography.
A little background to start: It’s been about a year an a half since my switch from Nikon to Fuji, and over those 18 months I’ve been constantly impressed by pretty much everything about the Fuji X System and Fujifilms approach to their cameras and lenses.
Since I got hold of the DJI Mavic Pro last month I've been slowly trying to get to grips with flying and filming with drones, as well as filming and editing in general. While I principally bought the drone for shooting video I am also interesting in it's capabilities for still photography, particularly as I'll be in Iceland later this year and I'd like to have a go at some abstract aerial images of glaciers and rivers. So I decided to experiment with the RAW images on the Mavic and create a video review for my Youtube channel while I was doing it.
I headed out to shoot a sunrise at Portinho da Arrabida, but it was really windy which limited how much drone flying I could do...still, I did manage to get a few photographs that I could experiment with in Lightroom.
I've been fascinated by drones for a number of years and tempted to get one. The thing that has always put me off is how big and bulky they are. Even a smaller drone like the DJI Phantom is a cumbersome object that fills it's own backpack. There's no way I could see being able to incorporate a drone like that into my shooting kit, which I like to keep as small and lightweight as possible. I knew that what would happen with a drone like that would be that it would get left behind more often than not as taking it with me would mean leaving other things behind or carrying very large and bulky bag.
So when DJI announced the Mavic Pro back in October I was really intrigued. After reading the first reviews, I ordered one and then waited for it to arrive. And waited...
I got a great parcel in the post today! Fuji sent me an X-T2!
In the middle of last year when I made the switch from Nikon to Fuji, it was apparent that Fuji were on the edge of releasing their "second generation" of X Series cameras as the X100, X Pro1 and X-T1 had all been around a while. Earlier this year we got the X Pro 2, and playing with it at the launch I was blown away by the sensor, however I never expected Fuji to release the X-T2 so soon after the X Pro 2, and I certainly didn't expect them to pack it full of so many features that elevated it above the X Pro 2! Obviously it shares the same beautiful 24mp sensor, but it also has an improved AF system and shoots 4k video. Added to that it has so many tiny improvements over the X-T1, a camera I really love, that it already looks like the X-T2 might be my perfect camera.
Things like the dual SD card slots, the tilt screen which now tilts out in portrait mode, the lockable ISO dial and much better integrated video are all features which will really improve the camera for me, especially as I'm keen to start shooting a lot more video.
I'll put together a review over the coming weeks and months as I put the camera through it's paces.
It’s been a little over a year since I switched to using the Fuji X System and one of the many things I still love is how small and lightweight the system is, and of course a small, light camera and lenses means that other equipment can also become smaller and lighter too.
Like many landscape photographers I’ve gone through my fair share of backpacks since I started, and one of the main criteria has always been that I want the bag to be as small as it can possibly be and still fit my needs. When I’m out on a landscape shoot my kit typically consists of an X-T1, the 10-24mm and 55-200mm lenses, a couple of spare batteries, three filters, a cable release and a tripod. Additionally I’ll have a bottle of water and some kind of outer shell for if the weather changes, along with a head torch, a fruit bar or two and wallet, keys and phone. When I’m travelling I tend to use a Lowepro Photosport 200, which I’ve reviewed on my blog, and while it’s a great bag it’s still larger than I need to carry the dayhike kit I outlined above. So, when I switched to Fuji I started to look for the smallest backpack I could find but pretty much anything smaller than the Photosport doesn’t have hip straps, which for me are vitally important as I like to get the weight off my shoulders as much as possible. Then it occurred to me, if I wanted a small bag where I could carry the weight on my hips, why not just look at waist packs? I’d always ruled them out before as they are not really effective for carrying a full frame dSLR kit, even if it’s only two lenses, but for the Fuji system it’s a different matter altogether, so I started to look at what was available.
It's almost a year now since I ditched Nikon and started my relationship with Fujifilm and their fantastic X Series cameras. I haven't regretted the switch for a moment and have loved using the cameras since I first got them.
It's also been my most productive year photographically with plenty going on, one of which is hooking up with Hugo and Mauricio at Fuji X Passion magazine. They've invested so much time and energy in their website, as well as producing a couple of magazines; the FXP online magazine and this beautiful portfolio print magazine, which I was honoured to be featured and interviewed in. You can purchase it at their website, which is packed with useful articles and some great interviews.
I've just returned from 25 days in Indonesia, my first trip with Fuji cameras and my first trip without a large dSLR. We traveled the entire length of Java and Bali overland so it was important to me to have a camera that wouldn't feel heavy and cumbersome to carry around, but also one I could completely rely on to produce excellent image quality.
The experience of traveling with Fuji cameras has been a revelation! Not only in how much lighter, smaller and easier to carry around it all is, but how I've not once missed my old Nikon in terms of image quality or autofocus in any of the many situations I've encountered, from fast moving street scenes to dynamically lit landscapes. They've been brilliant, reliable and a consistent pleasure to use.
The search for the perfect camera bag is one that lasts many photographers years and can cost a fair amount of money. For a long while I was pretty happy with my Lowopro Primus, which could happily fit my old Nikon D3 along with a wide angle zoom and the 80-400mm.
When I upgraded to a D800 though, I also switched to using a 70-200 f2.8 as my telephoto lens, and all of a sudden my kit wouldn't fit in my bag. It's also a pretty heavy bag so I started looking around for alternatives.
There were quite a few frustrating "this would be perfect if only..." and "this is great, but why didn't they..." moments, but over the last couple of years I've owned a couple of bags that pretty much ticked all the boxes, the F stop Kenti and the Lowepro Photosport 200, and after using both bags extensively on trips I thinks it's time I got around to reviewing them. I've also now switched to the considerably smaller Fuji X system so I'll try and write these reviews from the perceptive of a full frame dSLR system and also a smaller mirrorless system.
It's been about a month now since I picked up a Fuji X-T10, but due to a combination of being busy preparing for a month in Indonesia next week, and how cloudless and uninteresting the skies are in Portugal right now, I haven't had much chance to go out and shoot landscapes with the camera. It was important to me to try and get the chance though, as I really wanted to be familiar with what the camera can do before I go away.
If you read my last blog you'll know that I'd made my mind up to switch completely over from shooting Nikon to Fuji gear for a whole host of reasons that I wrote about there. Even so, my plan in getting the X-T10 (rather than the X-T1) was for it to replace my backup camera and to shoot with it alongside my Nikon while in Indonesia, before switching completely when I returned.
Over recent months I’ve read so many blog posts about photographers ditching their Nikon or Canon gear to switch to Fuji, and now here I am, writing my own as I undergo my own conversion.
There have already been so many “why I switched to Fuji” articles written (I know because I’ve read most of them) so I’m really not sure what I can add to what’s already out there on the web. But while reading these articles, I find myself always wondering if the writer's photographic style/process/needs/whatever are the same as mine, and so whether my experience with changing systems will be as effortless as theirs. I found myself thinking “but will I be able to do this or that like I can with my D800 with a Fuji” and occasionally, I wasn’t able to find an answer in existing blogs that completely satisfied me. I guess I was just looking for reassurance that I really could switch over from a full frame Nikon to a smaller lighter Fuji camera and have no regrets.