While you are waiting for you Fujifilm X-E1 camera and lens to arrive it might be good to tell you about this site.
Years ago I made a site for the Canon G9 (Lifespy with a G9) and put up tips on how to set it up for street photography, studio use etc and pushed the bounds of a compact camera into the areas of a professional photojournalism.
Not that I was claiming the camera to be super excellent, but more it just made it in on things like image quality, usability etc. and then only if you were careful.
I was exploring early compact-mobile journalism (MoJo) by taking out the SD memory card and then slotting it into my mobile phone to send the images, audio or video to the picture desks from the streets or the fields. This still continues today and with my DSLR setup; I send Images via an iPad or my smartphone and have solar chargers to power the kit (which may need changing or adapting for the X-E1) but the bulk of this gear is the DSLR, lenses, Flash and so on. I even have coats that I can put my iPad in a pocket, but the same pockets won’t take the camera gear, not well at least.
Why The X-E1?
For a while I have looked at rangfinder cameras, like the Leica M series, but put of by the sheer cost. During a talking gig I was doing for the National Photography Symposium in Liverpool I met a shady character known as @Documentally who I had followed on Twitter and he had a Fujifilm X100, he let me have a quick play and I was impressed with it, but being fixed focal length… I held back as it didn’t really offer that much in what I had already, but alas it was the start of me taking an interest in Fujifilm cameras after being a Nikon user for 27 years, this was a first!
I watched with great anticipation over the Fujifilm X-Pro1 but after hearing first reports of slow AF focusing and difficult manual focusing, I waited and now reports that these have been addressed it may well be a good choice as I like the optical viewfinder, but they (on all manufacturers cameras) are not 100% accurate, its a guide to where the action is and as the X-E1 has been announced with its 100% electronic viewfinder which will work with zoom lenses too, so I feel the time is right.
To me there is enough of a system going with three zooms ranging from 10-20 18-50 50-200mm, add to that a range of fast primes and a pancake lens which are following in the X mount range. I can also add extra X-Pro1 body or wait for the X-Pro2 at a later date.
Well at the time of writing, I have not had the X-E1 in my hands so no idea of how it feels and in the past the one thing that stopped me moving into the Canon DSLR camp was they didn’t feel right after holding a Nikon for so long. Then there is an issue of power, yes I can carry spare batteries, but often my work involves me being away for long periods of time in the middle of nowhere; cut off from power supplies and this makes me nervous. Adding in solar is one way to fix it, but often it needs good weather or bigger solar panels and 12 volt charging which then defeats the compactness of an iPad, the X-E1 and a few lenses. As the X-E1 also has input for a stereo microphone it is a shame that the larger LCD screen doesn’t pull out and rotate either.
The weather is also an issue, my Nikon has been in some horrendous downpours and has kept working, as it is weatherproof and the lenses I bought are sealed, but at least with the X-E1 I can use an umbrella to keep it and me dry as it is small enough and light enough to shoot one-handed.
What to expect from this site!
Well I am going to be looking at ways to exploit every possible feature and workaround there is, there are some exciting things I like about the X-E1 in the way of its discrete profile (I am getting the black version) its film looks which can be customised (make your own style) and so on. But also what third-party accessories are out there, how it fits into the strobist mentality, camera bags and cases, camera straps, software tips and tricks and how to power the camera via solar power.
Then some posts on how to use the camera for documentary photography, street photography (with flash), portraits, protests, landscapes, printing and the like as well as news from Fujifilm and other accessory manufacturers as well as making up some resource pages for you and me.
So if you have a X-E1 or are thinking of getting one its best to subscribe (over on the top right) so you don’t miss any posts from the adventure and while I also wait for mine 😦
You can view Documentally’s website here its well worth a read on how MoJo is being done and some of the tech involved