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Thursday 24th July 2014,

Fujifilm X-A1 – At The Beach

Leigh Diprose September 18, 2013 News

Part 2 - Creating Colour with the Fujifilm X-A1

Fujifilm X-A1 At the beach

Captured using the Fujifilm X-E1 with XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS

When I was given the opportunity to take a Fujifilm X-A1 with the new Fujinon XC 16-50mm lens for some test shooting I didn’t hesitate. From my previous experience using X-Series cameras I knew the image quality was going to be good, but like all new cameras I had to find out exactly what I was in for. So where better to take a camera in Australia for some serious image testing? The beach of course!

Tripod in hand I strolled in the rain to the vacant beach. The wind blew an icy breath and unexpectedly threw a shiver up my spine causing a whimsical body shake, fortunately no one was around to witness my embarrassing event. I found a position where the water sat calmly on the shore, reflecting threatening clouds in small sandy pools. With a firm hand I setup my tripod as if it was a flag marking territory on the moon and with a few clicks and turns the camera found it’s home on top of the stable structure.

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Captured using the Fujifilm X-E1 with XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS

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 Captured using the Fujifilm X-E1 with XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS

Looking beyond the three legs I witnessed a small spate of waves rolling in toward me. It was such a bleak day and there wasn’t much to photograph, however I was only here for a short stint so I had to make the most of it.  I pointed the 16-50mm kit lens toward the high lonesome cliff in the distance and used the horizon guide on the tilt screen to gain a level position.

I could feel my shoes beginning to fill with water as the sand beneath me gave way. Hurriedly, I pressed the Q button and within a few seconds the quick menu had served its purpose, I had set the self timer and adjusted to a suitable ISO. With a quick breath I clicked the shutter and ran away, releasing my shoes from the depths of the wet quick sand. I listened as seconds were marked by beeps of the accompanying self timer. My shot was in full swing.

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Fujifilm X-A1 – XC16-50mmF3.5-5.6 OIS - ISO 200 – 1/350 second – f7.1

By now the dark charcoal blanket rolled over the ocean diffusing my scene completely. My mission to capture colour with the X-A1 was certainly fading.  Due to the lack of light I decided to travelled on, watching as heavy clouds filled my view.

The road twisted and turned and I continued to look for my next photographic opportunity. The minutes pasted and as the vacant green paddocks flew by I spotted an unusual scene. Releasing what I had witnessed, I turned around and stopped the car alongside the quite country road. Lines of old sneakers, high heels and even the odd flipper had weirdly impaled themselves on a rusty barbed wire fence. This certainly was the rural Australia at its best!

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Fujifilm X-A1 – XC16-50mmF3.5-5.6 OIS - ISO 1250 – 1/400 second – f10

I thought the scene presented a perfect opportunity to test the image quality of the X-A1 kit. Positioning myself alongside the fence I changed the Film Simulation Mode to Monochrome and quickly gained focus while half pressing the shutter. A quiet ‘click’, and the capture was instant. When I looked at the back of the tilt screen the entry level lens results were surprisingly sharp. I had been so used to the quality of the XF lens range that the Fujinon XC lens output seemed much more like an identical twin rather than a distant cousin when compared against one another. The Fujinon Lens System on the X-A1 was brilliant to say the least. The kit lens was even lighter than the XF 18-55mm due to the non-metal construction and what was easy to understand was the optical quality of the lens, being all glass the results spoke for themselves.

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 Captured using the Fujifilm X-E1 with XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS

When I reached my next destination I changed lenses to one of my favourites, the XF 55-200mm.  I wanted to see how the X-A1′s metering and focus performed so I set myself up at the base of a cliff and waited for some birds to fly overhead. The clouds were still lingering a deathly grey which happened to be perfect for my next test.  They diffused the sunlight perfectly so switching to shutter priority mode I turned the mode dial to reach the maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 second. Now, for those of you who don’t know, wildlife photography is all about patience. Although fortunately I didn’t have to wait too long as the birds were feasting on freshly caught fish, so their flight pattern was quite predictable.

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Fujifilm X-A1 - XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS - ISO 200 – 1/4000 second – f8

The metering performance was spot on. The black to white tones straight out of camera were brilliant. The dark shadows had detail while the highlights held their own and weren’t overblown, which was a surprising result as I was shooting directly into the sun.

Carried on strong coastal winds these birds flew by very, very quickly. I had to time my composition perfectly, so the birds ended up in the perfect position. There was no room for error. I waited and when the spilt second moment presented itself the camera performed reliably providing a clean, sharp image ever time.

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Fujifilm X-A1 – XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS - ISO 200 – 1/4000 second – f13

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Fujifilm X-A1 - XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS - ISO 200 – 1/4000 second – f10

I tried to add some light to my photos by including a ‘light-house’…oh dear that was bad pun wasn’t it? No seriously, by the time I ventured to this huge structure the light had disappeared behind the thick dark cloud.  The wind was bitter and cold, strong and prevailing so I moved to shadow of the lighthouse to protect myself from the elements. I zoomed in to around 25mm on the XC 16-50mm lens and snapped.

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Fujifilm X-A1 – XC16-50mmF3.5-5.6 OIS - ISO 800 – 1/400 second – f5.6

Feeling relieved with my efforts I reflected upon my images I had captured throughout the day. This shoot formed the second part of ‘Creating Colour with the Fujifilm X-A1′ and upon reflection I realised I hadn’t captured much colour in my photos! I don’t think I did the title justice due to the bleak, dismal day. What was I to do, I mean how could I manage to capture colour if their was none?

A fleeting thought processed in my mind…I remembered this camera had advanced filters! Maybe I could use them to bring some colour into my photos! So that’s what I did!

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Fujifilm X-A1 - XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS - ISO 200 – 1/400 second – f7.1- Low Key Advanced Filter

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Fujifilm X-A1 - XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS - ISO 200 – 1/443 second – f5.6 – Miniature Advanced Filter

For a consumer priced camera the results were spectacular. I’ve used quite a number of cameras from different brands and I have to say I’ve never experienced such a sophisticated consumer level camera. The X-A1 was great to travel with due to the small size and I really do think this would be a fantastic camera for beginner, enthusiast and even professional photographer, like myself. You really do need to see the image quality for yourself, it’s that good.

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So if you are after a small, lightweight camera which provides razor-sharp images then I challenge you to pick this camera up and try it for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

Until Next Time – Happy Shooting!

 

 

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