I just read on DPReview this morning that new firmware is coming for the Fuji X-Pro 1 and Fuji X-E1 cameras that will enable focus peaking during manual focus! Combined with the new ability to choose the focusing point (and thus, where the 100% view of the frame will be targeted for finer manual focus via focus peaking) this should be a tremendous boost to the cameras’ functionality! Glad to see this coming out soon. Downloads for the cameras will begin next week.
One thing that has been very nice to see from Fujifilm is that the company seems responsive to user’s wants and observations. The Fuji X-E1 shipped with essentially the same button layout as the X-Pro 1. This places the AF point selection button on the extreme lower left of the camera. To me, this is incredibly awkward both when holding the camera to my eye and when holding the camera out and using the rear screen to compose. My approach has been to keep the camera in manual focus mode, and use the AF-Lock button to activate the central AF point as needed, and then recompose. Up to this point, this has been an acceptable, although not terrific solution.
By comparison, the newer X-100S, which cannot accept interchangeable lenses (but does have a leaf shutter!) has a much improved location for the AF point selection button: the “up” arrow button of the four-way controller. On the X-E1, this button controls macro focusing on some lenses. But the “down” arrow wasn’t doing anything, other than scrolling in menus, of course.
So, with the release of firmware 1.06, available at http://www.fujifilm.com/support/digital_cameras/software/firmware/x/xe1/index.html, Fuji gave the “down” button something to do: it can call up the AF point selection. This makes the ergonomics of actually selecting a focusing point something that is comfortable to do! Thank you, Fuji, for transforming an annoyance into something that is simply a “quirk.” Now, if the dedicated AF button on the lower-left was also made user-programmable in the process, I would have been able to eat cake and have it, too. Maybe on the next go-round!
Oh, and if interested, the screen protector I am using on my X-E1 is the Giottos SP-8300, the strap is from UpStrap, and the plate on the bottom of the camera is from Really Right Stuff. More about that after next week, where I’ll be in Asheville and running up and down the Blue Ridge Highway once again…with the X-E1 in addition to my standard Canon kit!
While out letterboxing, Summer and I came upon a hidden gem of a local preserve in Port St. Lucie, Florida: Oak Hammock Park. The winding path took us through seemingly endless palms, palmettos, and oaks. We entered the path near dusk, and while the air was thick with humidity, we didn’t really get eaten alive by mosquitoes. Strange!
I was very glad that I took the Fuji X-E1 with me; its light weight makes it easy to take anywhere, and the image stabilization built into the 18-55mm lens is surprisingly good. The image above is very sharp despite being made at 1/17 sec hand-held!
More to come.
As I mentioned in my posting the other day about learning from my mistake, we enjoyed a lovely scene over the wetlands of Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. While my 5D Mark II was packed along for the ride, the camera I actually reached for was my new Fuji X-E1. Why? It’s small and light enough–and the IS built into the 18-55mm lens good enough–to let me “hail mary” the camera above my head for a better angle on the landscape. I certainly won’t abandon 35mm format anytime soon, but I continue to be impressed by the capabilities and quality available with compact systems.
It has been a while since I have posted here. I had the best intentions of crafting my new Web site format in a different location, perfecting it, and then replacing the Web site here overnight. Sometimes, life has other plans! I’ve been trying to give Light’s Edge Studios the space it needs to really showcase the range of skills and abilities I’ve developed over the last nineteen years, and the quality services I provide using my experience.
Photographically that includes everything from mulltimedia storytelling, book publishing, wedding and celebration photography, professional and personal portraiture, and of course my roots in natural history: landscapes and wildlife. But to make all those images, videos, and books, I had to develop other skills along the way, such as fine art inkjet printing, and what better place than here to offer to consult on photographic technique, issues, equipment maintenance as well as equipment selection. I’ve used several cameras and lenses over time. Recently, I sold my Micro Four-Thirds system and I’ve begun to work with a Fuji X-E1. I have more thoughts on that camera to share, but suffice to say that over the years, several people have asked me “what camera should I buy?” and I am more than happy to ask about their needs and wants in equipment. I then narrow a list of options for them from hundreds to choose from to a selection of two or three.
To be sure, there will be more adjustments and edits in the coming weeks, but for the most part, the web site is up and running, which means I can returned to regularly scheduled blogging!