Fujifilm XE-1 Review

Fujifilm XE-1-front.jpg

When the X-Pro1 was announced to a surprised market earlier in 2012 I then remarked on my scepticism at the release of a magnesium alloy bodied, mirrorless interchangeable lens camera.

Then it sunk in and I added that other companies had performed ‘major rethinks about the future of upper level digital cameras: like Olympus with its retro OM-D and Nikon with its bare bones N1.’

It was obvious that Fujifilm had done ‘a mighty rethink about gaps in the pro market and come up with a camera that has some pretty clever answers to some profound questions.’

Since then there have been other models in the X-mount line and the XE-1 is the latest.

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Fujifilm XE-1 Features

Make no mistake, this is a finely-engineered camera. To begin with the review camera looked right with touches of matte chrome set into a black metal body. Although I found the rubber speed grip to be a little small, the general feel of the camera is good, despite a body weight of over 600 grams with the f2.8/18-55m lens fitted – the first zoom designed for X-mount cameras.

Fujifilm XE-1 Bicycle.JPG

The external controls are easily discovered, with the die-cast magnesium top deck layout consisting of black text on chrome, while the rear surface has largish white text in black. Overall, it’s very film camera-ish!

Fujifilm XE-1 Shutter speeds.jpg

The nice touches in this department are a direct-select dial for the shutter speed, accompanied by a +/- two f stops exposure correction dial and power button. Frequently-used actions can also be assigned to the Function button, sited right next to the power button.

Fujifilm XE-1-Menu.jpg

Just over the lip of the top deck is a viewfinder select button that switches your view from turret to rear screen or you can auto select and let the approach of your eye trigger the former’s view.

Not only is there a pop up flash set into the top deck but the nearby hot shoe also accepts external flash units. Immediately ahead of it (and pointing uselessly skywards!) is the L+R stereo microphone; my advice is to use a plug in external mic!

Fujifilm XE-1 Sculpture 1.JPG

The rear has buttons for selection of single frame or continuous shooting, AE and AF options, menu, macro shooting, display options, a quick access button to take you to direct selection of such functions as ISO, white balance, image size etc.

Tucked away on the front, just beneath the lens is a three way switch for manual focus, single frame or continuous focus.

External connections allow hook up for an external stereo mic, mini HDMI output plus USB and AV output.

The 16.3 megapixel CMOS accounts for a large 4896 3264 maximum image capture, both in RAW and JPEG. This can deliver a 41 28 cm print.

Movies in Full HD 1920 1080 can be shot. While the AF seems to function quite well in movie mode you can’t shoot stills mid video.

An unexpected joy (for this film born and bred feller) is the aperture ring set into the lens: as you roll it around, it’s a joy (with the 18-55mm zoom anyway) to see the lens aperture shrink down to f22! How many digicams will allow you that pleasure!

As with some other models, the XE-1 can shoot high quality motion panorama stills, sized up to 5120 1440 pixels. It’s an eery sensation to shoot one, as the camera chug-chugs along, snatching individual frames, then stitching them in camera. If you want to get into panos, I would only suggest that you practice, practice, practice! ‘Tis fun but t’ain’t easy!

Fujifilm XE-1 ISO Tests

Fujifilm XE-1 ISO 100.JPG

Fujifilm XE-1 ISO 400.JPG

Fujifilm XE-1 ISO 800.JPG

Fujifilm XE-1 ISO 1600.JPG

Fujifilm XE-1 ISO 3200.JPG

Fujifilm XE-1 ISO 6400.JPG

Fujifilm XE-1 ISO 12800.JPG

Fujifilm XE-1 ISO 25600.JPG

Right up to ISO 6400 the camera performed brilliantly. At ISO 12800 noise was evident and even more so at ISO 25600 but even this setting could be used!

Fujifilm XE-1-Melons.JPG

Fujifilm XE-1 Review Verdict

Quality: well above average.

Why you’d buy the Fujifilm XE-1: you have the skills to exploit it.

Why you wouldn’t: the LCD screen does not tilt.

The X-mount series of cameras goes from strength to strength. This sits easily into the lineup.

A fine successor to the X-Pro1.

Fujifilm XE-1 Specifications

Image Sensor: 16.3 million effective pixels.
Sensor: 23.6 15.6mm CMOS.
Metering: Multi segment, centre-weighted, spot.
Lens Mount: Fujifilm X.
Lens Factor: 1.5x.
Exposure Modes: Auto, Program AE, shutter and aperture priority, manual.
Shutter Speed: 60 mins (Bulb); 30 sec to 1/4000 second.
Continuous Shooting: Approx 6 or 3fps.
Image Sizes (pixels): Stills: 4896 3264 to 1664 1664.
Movies: 1920 1080, 1280 720.
Viewfinders: 12.5mm turret (2,360,000) and 7.1cm LCD screen (460,000).
File Formats: JPEG, RAW, JPEG+RAW, MPEG4.
Colour Space: sRGB, Adobe RGB.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100 to 25600.
Interface: USB 2.0, HDMI mini, stereo mic.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery.
Dimensions: 129 74.9 38.3 WHDmm.
Weight: 350 g (inc battery, card).
Price: get a price on the Fujifilm XE-1 (Body Only) or the Fujifilm XE-1 with 18-55mm Lens .

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

Fujifilm XE-1 Review

Amateur or Professional?

Want to do some interesting reading? Do a Google search: “should amateur photographers charge a fee?” There is obviously a lot of expertise around the English speaking world on this topic – Google returned “about 2,760,000 results.”

Some of those results are so naive they are absolutely funny. For example: “I have a digital camera which takes pretty good pictures…” and “Call a photographer in town and see what they say for advice on how much $$$…” and a classic “You won’t incur (in) any expenses by using your digital camera.”

As a professional with more than 20 years experience there are several things I have learned over that time. In order of the above statements I would respond with the following:

Cameras don’t take the picture, it is the person standing behind it,
Yes, I’m certain every professional photographer in town would be delighted to tell you how to establish a fee over the telephone; and
What a wonderful day it will be when we can get our equipment and learn our skills for free.

This question of “how much do I charge often revolves around the topic of weddings. The interesting point remains that one of the most difficult and high pressure disciplines of the entire practice of photography is … wedding photography. It is a one shot deal – bad pun intended.

Can Stock Photo

Is this the work of an amateur?

I know many photographers, myself included, that have tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment and the knowledge to use it, know what we would have to charge to cover overhead costs even if we were doing it for free by not charging a creative fee, and know precisely what we pay in equipment costs every year; but, we wouldn’t touch a wedding job with a ten-foot barge pole. Simply put, it is not within our skill set. Wedding photography is very specialized.

What I really don’t understand is why folks would either ask, or offer, to photograph a friend’s wedding. Don’t they understand that by working at their friends weddings they will not enjoy the ceremony or festivities that follow the ceremony?

What happens when that well intended gesture goes south? Not only are you going to feel bad, your friend won’t have any pictures, and you run the risk of even losing a friendship from your well intended offering.

Equally as bad, or even worse, what happens when a guest catches a toe in the strap of your camera bag, trips and falls and suffers a personal injury? You will no longer be considered a friend of the bride, but the wedding photographer who is ripe for a lawsuit.

Another most likely scenario is that you decide to change lenses to capture that key moment; let’s say signing of the registry. In your haste to be ready you drop a lens, a lens you purchased just three months ago that cost $950. You want to cry as you look at it lying in pieces at your feet. Is your bride-friend going to pay for a replacement? Probably not. And because you are an amateur you most likely don’t have all-peril equipment insurance that would offset the replacement cost.

Before offering your services it is paramount a review of the costs and liabilities that will be absorbed. There is a multitude of what if scenarios that has to be explored. Beyond the cost of equipment, beyond the cost of liability insurance and even beyond the cost of losing a potential friend, there are also questions regarding taxation and industry ethics.

After reading all the above arguments suggesting why you should charge a nominal fee for your services you will have then entered another scenario. In most countries this fee will be considered income, and will be taxed accordingly. Should you decide to not report the income another topic enters the discussion. I suspect tax avoidance would not only come with potential legal consequences, but at its most basic form it raises questions of ethics.

Professional photographers contribute to the local economy. They hire local students (most often aspiring photographers who desire to learn the profession before hanging out their own shingle), they pay various taxes, they pay studio rent, they pay insurance to local brokers, and a host of other expenses that most often support local service industries and overall economy. If enough weekend Rebels (they all shoot with Rebel’s, don’t they?) start shooting weddings for free that professional photographer will eventually have to close shop and the community loses the local jobs and economic spin-off the professional photographer supported.

Can Stock Photo

Professional wedding photographers today often bring a reportage style as opposed to the traditional and formal approach.

As I mention, I do not photograph weddings as I do not feel qualified. I also strongly believe that each of us has a moral obligation to ensure we do not undermine the capacity of our neighbour to earn a living, regardless of occupation.

Before you agree to photograph that friend’s wedding, be honest with yourself, your friend, your neighbour and your community.

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

Amateur or Professional?

15 Lonely Photos of Lost Things

Below are picks from our showcase challenge, Lost Things. Enjoy!


Lost Things Photography

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Juan R. Martos

Lost Things Photography

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Lost Things Photography

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thomas lieser

Lost Things Photography

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thomas lieser

Lost Things Photography

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Lost Things Photography

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Lost Things Photography

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Lost Things Photography

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Lost Things Photography

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Lost Things Photography

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Rina B.

Lost Things Photography

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Lost Things Photography

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Lost Things Photography

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Irwan Gunadi

Lost Things Photography

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Vernon Kilby

Lost Things Photography

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Attractive Nature Beauty Pics

Nature, in the broadest intelligence, is equal to the natural earth, bodily world, or fabric world. “Nature” refers to the phenomenon of the bodily world and too to life in universal. It ranges in level from the subatomic to the space. Nature has sweetly be the approximately everyone exceptional subject future for photographers. Nature provides the final property and basics that create up for firm to consider photographs. Nature photography comprises photographs of Nature, plants and fauna, Landscape, desert, beach, sunsets, animals, mountain, forests, plants, etc. Photographers be treatment to us the shut ups of usual prospect and feel. A group of the usual earth photographs are second-hand in periodical, educational plank and as well in placard print.

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Attractive Nature Pics (15)

5 Quick Tips for Coastal Photography

There’s nothing like a great coastline to get me excited about photography. Whether it be unmarked sand dunes, sea grasses blowing in the sea breeze, rugged outcrops of rocks and cliff faces or a beach scene complete with all the color of families on their day at the beach – coasts can present photographers with some great opportunities.

Here’s 5 tips for your next coastal photography outing!

1. Look for Reflections

Image by midlander1231

Any time you’re shooting around bodies of water you should be aware of the potential for enhancing your image with reflections. This is particularly relevant when shooting at sunrise or sunset where your images can be brightened and have interest added to them by reflecting those pretty pinks and oranges in the water before you.

2. Focus in on Details

Image by Max xx

What often grabs your attention most on coastal shoots is the grandeur of the landscape – so it’s easy to overlook what might be at your feet as you’re lining up your shot. The coast is full of smaller opportunities for amazing shots – whether it be sea shells on the waters edge, the footprints of an animal in the sand, small wild flowers growing in the dunes or patterns in rock formations. Take the time to look around you at the detail of what surrounds you. Oh… and don’t forget your macro lens!

3. Add Foreground Interest

Image by Kyle Kruchok

When shooting seascape shots its very easy to end up with images that contain few focal points of interest (ie: shots that are half sky and half sand). One way to add interest to these shots is to look for opportunities in the foreground of your shots. If you’re able to place something interesting in the foreground (perhaps some interesting rock pools) you’ll lead the eye into the image. When doing this test shooting from different heights – sometimes getting down quite low and will add more interest to the shot while sometimes a higher vantaage point might work better. Also remember that if you want the foreground and background to be in focus that you’ll want to shoot with small aperture (high f numbers).

4. Slow things Down

Image by Matthew Stewart

Another way to add interest and atmosphere to seascape shots is to slow your shutter speed down so that blur any part of the image that is moving. In this way you might get a misty looking sea that captures the movement of waves or a furry carpet of swaying sea grasses. Of course to do this you’ll want to shoot with a tripod to make sure your camera is perfectly still.

5. Horizons

Image by Garry

Two last tips when it comes to horizons. Firstly – make sure they’re horizontal with the framing of your image. There’s nothing like a horizon that slopes unnaturally down at one edge of the frame to make those looking at your shot a little sea sick. If you’re going to break this ‘rule’ – break it well and make it an obviously intentional thing. Secondly – the convention is to avoid placing your horizon in the middle of your frame but rather to position it nearer one of the thirdway points (depending upon whether there’s more interest in the sky or foreground of the shot). Of course ‘rules’ are made to be broken but for balanced shots keep these in mind.

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

5 Quick Tips for Coastal Photography

Cyber Monday Deals From TPA

We wanted to pass along some great savings today. These deals are for One Day Only so act fast.

Deal 1

Our first deal is from Union Actions. Union Actions are producers of professional quality Photoshop actions. Their Photoshop actions are designed to create amazing effects with a click of a button. However, to make their actions as flexible as possible, they give you granular control over every facet of the workflow allowing for endless possibilities.

They are offering their entire product line of 3 actions suites containing 55 pro actions & 32 custom textures for a crazy price of $39. If bought separately all 3 actions suites would cost $147. That’s a 73% savings for just one day only!

Check Out This Deal Here

Deal 2

Our second deal is from Learn and Master. Learn and Master Photography is the most comprehensive video instruction course for photography. It comes with over 30 hours of instruction in 24 sessions on 15 professionally produced instructional DVDs, 2 photography sample CDs (containing editable hi-res images used in the course sessions), a thorough Lesson Book that follows the sessions, and access to the free online student support site.

Learn and Master is offering this amazing course for $149. That’s $100′s off the regular price of $249.

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Deal 3

Our third deal comes from our friends over at Theme Trust. Theme Trust creates amazing portfolio themes for WordPress. Specializing in clean minimal design, Theme Trusts themes wont get in the way of your photography. If you need a new portfolio design for your existing wordpress site or you need to create a site for the first time, look no further than Theme Trust.

Theme Trust is offering any 4 of their themes for the low price of $49. Just go to Theme Trust, add 4 themes to your cart, add the coupon code cybertpa, update your cart, and checkout.

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How to Shoot and Create a Composite Image for a Product Advertisement

Background and Vision

The holiday season is upon us, and what better way to start the season than to share our behind-the-scenes video on how to shoot a composite image? I needed to shoot and create an advertising image for UNDFIND’s Fishbomb, which is a versatile accessory pouch that can carry lens filters, memory cards, and other small items. So I figured, why not create a behind the scenes video and tutorial on how I went about the shoot. Plus, it’s not a bad stocking stuffer for the photographer in your life, especially since you can get two for $13 (50% off) with this sale, wink! =)

Anyway, because the Fishbomb is shaped like a Christmas tree ornament, I decided to decorate a Christmas tree with the Fishbombs and shoot our model, Maria, placing a Fishbomb on the tree. Here is the final image we will be working towards.

Fishbomb UNDFIND SLR Lounge

The Behind-the-Scenes Video

If you are interested in watching the full behind the scenes video on the SLR Lounge YouTube Channel, here is the video below.

How We Shot It


Camera: Canon 5D mkIII
Lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM Lens
Lighting: LED Light and Christmas lights on the Christmas tree

The biggest challenge that I encountered was how to light the Fishbombs in addition to lighting Maria, the Christmas tree, and the environment. The Christmas lights were used to light Maria and the environment.

However, when we hung the Fishbombs on the tree, we noticed that the front of the Fishbombs were not illuminated by the Christmas lights. This meant that we had to light the Fishbombs using another light source; I selected an LED light with an adjustable temperature so that I could color match with the tree’s natural Christmas lighting.

However, I ran into another problem. The LED light was casting a harsh shadow against the wall which destroyed much of the warm, ambient light from the Christmas tree as you can see in Shot 1 below.

The easiest way to solve this lighting issue was to light and shoot two separate images, one for the model and the environment, and the other for the actual detail on the Fishbombs and the tree. Afterwards, we can composite both images together in Photoshop via layers.

For each shot, I had the camera placed on a stationary tri-pod to make it simple to combine both layers into our final composite. So let’s look at how I shot each image.

Shot 1: The Fishbomb and Tree Details


Shutter: 4.0 seconds
Aperture: f/16
ISO: 100

For the first photo, I lit the Fishbomb and the front of the Christmas tree with the LED light. I also dragged the shutter speed and used the smallest aperture possible in order to get a twinkling/starburst effect from the Christmas lights. I didn’t have to worry about any camera shake because the camera was on a tripod and was triggered with a shutter release. The tree and the ornaments were completely still as well since we were in a closed environment.

Shot 2: Maria and the Environment


Shutter: 1/8 seconds
Aperture: f/2.8
ISO: 200

This image was lit strictly by the lights on the Christmas tree. Because I want to minimize any motion blur with the model, a quicker shutter speed was required. Therefore, I used a wider aperture and a higher ISO in order to attain a shutter speed of 1/8 seconds. Even then, I still had to ask Maria to hold completely still during the photo to prevent any motion blur.

How We Processed It

In Lightroom, I applied the Soft Portrait preset from the SLR Lounge Lightroom 4 Preset System to both images. Additionally, I shifted the Tint and the Temperature in order to add a warm, intimate glow reminiscent of a fireplace. Once I achieved the look that I wanted, I exported the two images into Photoshop via layers for compositing.

In Photoshop, I used layer masking to reveal the Fishbombs and the tree details from the first image over the second image of Maria and the environment.

After a little bit of clean up in the hair and the cloning of an extra branch to the top of the tree, this is how the image looks.

Fishbomb UNDFIND SLR Lounge

Finally, here is how the UNDFIND Fishbomb ad looks after I added the text:

UNDFIND Fishbomb Advertisement

Hope you all enjoyed this article! If you are interested in picking up some Fishbomb’s for stocking stuffers, the deal is available on UNDFIND’s Camera Bags website through the end of the year.

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

How to Shoot and Create a Composite Image for a Product Advertisement

12 Photography Tutorials for Thanksgiving

Image by Darwin Bell

Happy Thanksgivig to the many thousands of our US readers celebrating that holiday today!

As today’s one of those days when cameras come out a lot to photograph gatherings, the food being eaten and to capture the memories of the day – I thought I’d put together a few tutorials that might be helpful. Enjoy!

  • 8 Tips on Taking Party Photographs
  • Holiday Food Images and Thought to go With ‘em
  • 11 Great Camera Angles for Food Photography
  • 10 Tips for Mouth Watering Food Photography
  • 10 More Food Photography Tips
  • Food Photography – an Introduction
  • 16 Digital Photography Tips for Christmas (while it’s not Christmas yes – much of it applies to both holidays)
  • 10 Tips to Improve Your Food Photography Styling
  • How to Take Great Group Photos
  • 6 Keys to Shooting Great Group Photos
  • 8 Family Portrait Tips
  • 10 Tips to Take Great Family Portraits

Lastly – thanks to all of you as readers of dPS. We value your participation, support and encouragement – Happy Thanksgiving!

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

12 Photography Tutorials for Thanksgiving