Tuesday, September 13, 2016

New York with the Fuji X-T2 - Some initial observations

It didn't take me long to press my new Fuji X-T2 into service photographing around New York. I already knew what to expect in terms of image quality because I have been using the X-Pro2 since it came out, and the results are similar except for the improved video capabilities of the X-T2. More on that in a future post.

Both the X-Pro2 and X-T2 have two SD card slots but only one of these is UHS-II on the X-Pro2 while both are UHS-II on the X-T2. This is more of a necessity on the X-T2 considering its 4k video capability up to 30fps.

Shooting 4k also necessitated supplying additional power to the X-T2. A new Fujifilm NP-126S battery supplies more power, increases speed, all with less heat than the standard NP-126 battery. An auxiliary Fujifilm VPB-XT2 Vertical Power Booster Grip can hold two of these batteries, for a total of three supplying the camera with much needed power while increasing shooting speed to 11fps, improving shutter release time lag, and limiting blackout time. It also allows almost a half hour of 4k recording, a substantial increase over the 10min recording time with one battery.

The new Fuji X-T2 outfitted with one of my favorite lenses, the Fuji 16-55mm f/2.8 zoom.

Another difference between the two cameras is the locking mechanism on the shutter speed dial and a similar lock on the ISO dial. Pressing the center button on either dial will pop it up and allow the dial to spin freely. To lock the dial in place is simply a matter of pushing the button back down again. This is not a fail-safe method for locking the dials because it is easy to tap this button by accident allowing the dial to turn.

ISO button on the X-T2 is up on the left to allow the dial to turn freely, and down on the right to lock the dial in place. 

One thing I find annoying on the X-Pro2 is its lack of an articulating screen. I tend to shoot a lot from different angles where this would be handy. The screen on the X-T2 can not only tilt up and down, but also provide a side tilt in one direction that is very convenient for shooting vertical shots with the camera above or below you. 

A new AF feature of the X-T2 is in AF-C mode the camera can be set to five different tracking modes plus one custom tracking mode. I use AF-C almost exclusively for lifestyle photography and find this feature very beneficial. I have been using the 2nd mode, which ifnore obstacles and continues to track the subject. In the photo below this worked perfectly to keep the Empire State Building in constant focus even as part of it tucked behind other buildings as I passed by in a moving boat. 

In the somewhat abstract view of Manhattan taken from inside a moving boat, the X-T2 was able to lock focus on the Empire State Building and ignore all the things passing in front of it including the reflections in the boat window. 


I attach the strap to the X-T2 using clip-on Mini QD Loops by OP/TECH in the 1.5mm size. These only cost $5.95 and are very handy.  I intend to use this camera for shooting 4k video and being able to quickly remove the strap makes it much easier to balance the camera on a gimbal for hand-held video recording. 

This is a vertical panorama of the Empire State Building assembled from seven horizontal images taken with the Fuji 16-55mm f/2.8 zoom. Using so many images to create the pano resulted in a very large image of super high resolution. 

A sunset panorama of  lower Manhattan and the Jersey City financial center on the left photographed from New York Harbor and put together from two horizontal images taken with the Fuji 16-55mm f/2.8 zoom. 

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