After getting all giddy over the new, long awaited camera from Fuji and melting my credit card to get it, it was time to put it to use and see if it lived up to what I had hoped it would.
My full time job gives me a few opportunities to cover various events for the company. While photography isn’t my main job (I do that IT Manager thing with some big web sites), it’s great to get the chance to go along to events, big or small and document them for the business. So this event was arranged to support MyBag.com for some bloggers to come a long and check out some handbags and accessories, something I’m obviously “totes keen” on myself….. ahem.
I hadn’t had a chance to go along to the venue beforehand, but I’d seen other photos of it and I knew it was going to be dark. There weren’t many places to bounce flash around, so I decided to try out the high ISO settings and try and use what little ambient light there was. For the event, it was a great venue, but for a photographer it was a tricky one. I pretty much took all my kit with me and it was all new kit to me, so no pressure.
My kit included:
- Fuji X-Pro2 – mmmmm nice
- Fuji 16-55 f2.8 WR – this was going to be my main lens to give me a bit of flexibility given the conditions.
- Fuji 35mm f2 WR – I wasn’t planning on using this lens as I didn’t want to be changing lenses, but I ended up giving it a go towards the end of the event.
- GoPro Hero 4 Black – I wanted to shoot some video too, but didn’t end up using it as much as I thought.
- Feiyu WG Gimbal – Keeping the video smooth was key and this is a great accessory to do that.
That was the kit I ended up using during the evening, but like any good photographer, I took other things, just in case. I didn’t use any of them, but you can be sure if I didn’t take them, I would have needed them. These were:
- 2x Yongnuo 560 III – just in case it was too dark.
- Flash sync cable – I didn’t want to use my pocket wizards after a bit of a reliability issue that I haven’t checked out yet.
- Apple MacBook Pro 13″ Retina – just in case I needed to do any work on the photos or video while I was there to post to social media.
- Apple iPhone 6s Plus 128gb – an alternative to using my MacBook to edit the photos.
As you can see from the photo, the event was full of photographers using everything from DSLRs, compact cameras and smart phones. The bloggers were all keen to get shots for their social media feeds and their own web site so my role was to focus on the event itself rather than the products. We’ve got a proper photography studio at work to make the products look great so I didn’t need to worry as much about those sort of shots.
I had the Fuji X-Pro2 set on Aperture Priority and Auto ISO up to 3200 with a minimum shutter speed of 1/60th and I was shooting wide open with the 16-55mm at f2.8. Even though there have been lots of comments about the great high ISO performance of Fuji cameras, I am always reluctant to push the setting too high. In hindsight, I should have upped the ISO to go up to 6400 and set the minimum shutter speed to 1/125th as some of images could have been a little sharper and a faster shutter speed would have helped with that. I’ll know better next time.
It was a fun evening and I got to try out a few things on the camera, but I’m still very much learning it and can see what I could do better next time. I was pleased with the shots I got. They needed work in Adobe Lightroom as the white balance was pretty tricky. I had a ‘Classic Chrome’ preset for Lightroom which I used as it seemed to suit the mood and the venue.
I’m still not convinced about the battery life on the X-Pro2. It could just be the way I use it but I do seem to get through batteries quite quickly. I used 2 batteries that evening for what was about 4 hours work and about 500 shots. That seems high to me, but maybe with the low light conditions, using auto focus and reviewing my photos quite often. The plus point is that batteries are pretty cheap and I have 6 of them, so I shouldn’t run out, I just need to have them with me.
Overall though, it was a good first proper test for me and the camera. Loads more to learn, loads more experience to get, but the future is bright and my thoughts are definitely that it was the right purchase decision, even though my credit card didn’t like it.
I’m looking forward to my next event.