Tag Archives: camera

Fujifilm X-Pro2

Fujifilm just released their newest camera, the X-Pro2. Since I have been relying on an earlier Fujifilm camera (the original X-E1) for over three years — and liking the results a whole lot — it seemed like time to move up to the newer, more refined body. My new X-Pro2 arrived a few days ago, and so far I’m quite impressed. (My time with the camera has been limited thus far, and I’ll share a much more detailed report once I have had a chance to use it extensively.)

Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X-Pro2 with the new XF 35mm f/2 WR lens

The Fujifilm “x-trans” sensor cameras are appealing for a number of reasons:

  • Small, light mirrorless designs offer an alternative to larger DSLR systems.
  • The x-trans sensor produces excellent image quality and uses a photo site layout that is designed to minimize aliasing without using anti-aliasing filters.
  • The Fujifilm lenses are truly top-notch, from primes to zooms, and there is a complete and diverse selection of available lenses.

Until now all of these cameras have use 16 megapixel (MP) 1.5x cropped sensor designs. 16MP is plenty for almost all photographers, and I make beautiful 18″ x 24″ prints from the files. One of the main updates on the X-Pro2 is the addition of an optimized 24MP sensor. If anything, this sensor improves the low light performance and dynamic range of the 16MP versions, and it provides a bit more resolution.

The X-Pro2 also improves on many of the ideas behind the original (and now a bit long in the tooth, though quite inexpensive) X-Pro1. Both cameras use a hybrid viewfinder that incorporates both an optical viewfinder (OVF) and an electronic viewfinder (EVF), both of which have advantages in various situations. The OVF works beautifully with many primes, eliminates shutter blackout, and allows the photographer to see what is going on just outside the borders of the image. The design overlays an electronic display on top of the optical image. These features are very useful to those doing street photography and similar things.

The EVF works well with all lenses, from ultra wide to telephoto and especially with zoom lenses. It can be advantageous in very low light, such as night street photography. It also shows the precise frame edge lines and can display even more image data than the OVF.

The camera feels light but also solid and well-constructed, and it recalls classic rangefinder cameras.

I got mine with the new XF 35mm f/2 WR lens, one of five newer lenses that are optimized to autofocus more quickly on the X-Pro2 (and, presumably, future X-series cameras). It is also weather resistant. I can report that it focuses quickly and accurately in a wide range of situations. Since I also have my older XF 35mm f/1.4 lens, I haven’t yet decided whether I will end up valuing the extra stop of the f/1.4 lens enough to give up the faster AF and smaller size of the new f/2 lens.

That’s all I’ll say for now, but expect more in the not-too-distant future as I gain more experience with the camera. For now, I don’t see any reason to not recommend it.

  • Fujifilm X-Pro2 digital camera body — $1699 at B&H or Adorama
  • Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 WR lens — $399 / $299* with X-Pro2 at B&H or Adorama (*limited time offer)

(If you find this website and posts like this useful and you are going to get one of these products, consider making your purchase through links on this site. Your price will be the same, but the purchases help support the operation of the site. Thanks!)

Also see:  Taking Stock of the Fujifilm X-E1, X-E2, S-T1 Mirrorless Cameras


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. His book, “California’s Fall Color: A Photographer’s Guide to Autumn in the Sierra” is available from Heyday Books and Amazon.
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Canon EOS 5DsR/5Ds: My Experience

These days I use the Canon EOS 5DsR for much of my photography — particularly my landscape, nature, wildlife, and long-exposure night photography. Since people often ask me about the camera, I have decided to offer this write-up. I’ll try to cover some things about the camera that work well for me, acknowledge one or two very small issues, and consider the kinds of photographers for whom it (or its twin, the Canon EOS 5Ds)  might be a great choice. (This isn’t the first time I’ve written about aspects of this camera’s performance, and I have included a list of some of my other posts near the end of this article.)

Canon EOS 5Ds DSLR
Canon EOS 5Ds DSLR

The 5Ds and 5DsR are both 51 megapixel (MP) full frame DSLR bodies from Canon. They currently provide the highest sensor resolution available from a full frame digital camera and, as such, are targeted to photographers who need particularly high image resolution and who will photograph and post-process in ways that provide this. The 5DsR cancels the effect of the anti-aliasing filter found in the 5Ds — more on that subject below.

It is probably fair to say that the main attraction of these cameras is that high-resolution sensor, a fact that might lead some photographers to ask whether or not they will be able to take advantage of the high-resolution. Compared to earlier 5D-series cameras, the 5Ds/5DsR provide some other improvements, too. The autofocus (AF) system has been updated, noise handling is very good, and the  camera produces high dynamic range files that can be pushed and pulled quite a bit in post. Some updates have been made to the hardware and software interface of the camera, too.

Two Sandhill Cranes in Flight
A pair of lesser sandhill cranes in flight above California’s San Joaquin Valley

Sensor Resolution

There is no question that these cameras can produce very high-resolution images. Photographers who work carefully and who make very large prints will be pleased. I have made test prints equivalent to 30″ x 45″ prints that look very good and it is possible to go even larger. However, before you jump at the highest resolution full frame camera purely on the basis of higher resolution, you should ask yourself a few serious questions. Continue reading Canon EOS 5DsR/5Ds: My Experience

Photographer Louis Mendes

Photographer Louis Mendes
Photographer Louis Mendes rides a historic New York subway car

Photographer Louis Mendes. New York City. December 27, 2015. © Copyright 2016 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Photographer Louis Mendes rides a historic New York subway car

The timing of our December 2015 visit to New York City coincided with a special event on the New York Subway system — a day when historic subway trains run along one Manhattan route. Our sons had told us about this before, and we all met up at the south end of the line to catch the first train. It is made up of a variety of cars — some from just before the vintage of the current trains and others from much further in the past. It is a big event, and by the time the second run began there were big crowds. (One fun thing was watching the looks of the faces of folks at stations who didn’t know about this… as ancient subway trains rolled in and stopped to take on passengers.)

As I walked through one of the cars there was a big group of photographers, many holding vintage film cameras, some rigged up to work with modern electronic flash units. This fellow immediately caught my eye, and for a bunch of reasons. Many years ago my father had a camera almost exactly like his, and I thought it was the coolest thing back then. I also was taken by the contrast between his rig, with his giant camera and multiple flash units, and what I use to photograph in circumstance these days… a very small mirrorless system that works so well in low light than I never use flash. And I was pretty sure I recognized him, and thought that I had read about him somewhere. It was too crowded and noisy to talk, but I later figured out that he is street photographer Louis Mendes, who is well-known for photographing with this eclectic equipment in Manhattan. (I later ran into him again in front of the B&H store, and I recently read an interview in which he said that is his “third favorite” location for photographing.)


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. His book, “California’s Fall Color: A Photographer’s Guide to Autumn in the Sierra” is available from Heyday Books and Amazon.
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Reader Question: Sony Versus Fujifilm

Today I am sharing  another reader question and my response. This one came from “Greg” in a response to a post on my Facebook page:

Hi Dan, have heard good things about the Fuji cameras. Have also heard good things about the SONY cameras. Both are mirrorless, but the SONY is a full-frame while the Fuji is APC/1.5X. Is there a reason you would choose the Fuji over the SONY – you indicated in the article you have been using the  X-Pro1 and will be moving up to the  X-Pro2… Illuminate me on the subject

That is a great subject to consider, Greg. Both Sony and Fujifilm are making some very fine mirrorless cameras these days, but for my purposes the Fujifilm is a better fit than, say, the Sony a7R II full frame mirrorless camera that Greg is thinking of. (Small correction: I have not been using the X-Pro1. I have used the X-E1 for the past three years.)

Before I explain, I must acknowledge that the Sony is an excellent body, and another photographer may well find it to be the choice choice for his/her needs. The Sony a7R II is, as you point out, a full frame body and the current version has a 42MP sensor rather than a 24MP sensor. The sensor is known for its low noise and excellent dynamic range. Sony has some native lenses, but lots of folks are using their Sony cameras with a range of third party lenses, including those from their Canon and (now) Nikon DSLRs.

So, with all of those positives, why Fujifilm? Continue reading Reader Question: Sony Versus Fujifilm

Reader Question: 5Ds/5DsR Print Quality

Reader “Tom” writes to ask:

I’ve read your reports on the 5Dsr.  I assume by now you have one?  Maybe you have different thoughts now, but you seem to point to the new body being good for large print/detail, but maybe not so great for fine art print. 

If that’s still the case, what would you opt for if leaning towards fine art prints, large, maybe a heavily cropped slice measuring say 16″ x 72″ or so? Minus a mf body. 

I’m looking to switch bodies and thinking the 5dsr or possibly the Nikon d810.  Just curious what your thoughts might be if you ever had time. Thanks.

Canon EOS 5Ds DSLR
Canon EOS 5Ds DSLR

It has been a while since I’ve written about the Canon 5DS and the 5DsR cameras here, but since you asked I’ll share more based on my extensive use of the 5DsR over the past months. I have used it to photography everything from landscapes to people to wildlife. I think I see several sub-questions here, so let me respond to each of them.

Are the 5DsR and  5DS good for large prints? Continue reading Reader Question: 5Ds/5DsR Print Quality

New Fujifilm X-Pro2 — and X-Pro1 Discounts

Fujifilm announced the new X-Pro2 digital mirrorless camera today., The announcement provides very interesting opportunities for photographers — one being the new camera itself and the other being an extraordinary low price on its predecessor, the X-Pro1. (The X-Pro2 is now available for pre-order at B&H.)

The New X-Pro2

Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X-Pro2

The X-Pro2 is the updated successor to  XPro1. The newer camera will feature:

  • A compact rangefinder style mirrorless design
  • 24 MP 1.5x cropped format sensor
  • Improved autofocus capabilities
  • A hybrid optical-electronic viewfinder
  • Manual controls for shutter speed, aperture, ISO, more
  • Wifi equipped
  • …and more
  • Body-only price is $1699 — preordering now available..

The X-Pro2 is now available for pre-order at B&H. I’m almost certain to upgrade to the X-Pro2 from the  X-E1 that has been my primary street and travel photography camera for the past three years.  (The current updated equivalent of my camera is the X-E2.) Since I’m sold on the Fujifilm system — bodies and lenses — the X-Pro2 will bring features that I’ve wanted for some time.

(See a Fujifilm press release for the X-Pro2.)

The Old X-Pro1

Fujifilm X-Pro-1
Fujifilm X-Pro-1

The announcement of the X-Pro2 brings a very special opportunity for folks who could use the X-Pro1.  The X-Pro1 provides

  • The same compact rangefinder design
  • An excellent 16MP 1.5x cropped format sensor
  • A hybrid optical-electronic viewfinder
  • … and more
  • a very low price of $499 for the body-only!

While the X-Pro2 most certainly brings useful  advances, the X-Pro1 is also a fine camera, and at this very low $499 price (it was originally $1299) it is a tremendous bargain right now. If you poke around a bit at the B&H website, you can find it with a lens for $699.

Other New Fujifilm Gear

Fujifilm also announced several other new products including…

This website has an affiliate relationship with B&H Photo. Your purchases through website links return a percentage of the sale price to this website — but your cost remains the same.

One More Thing

Regarding Fujifilm cameras, a quotation from Fuji X-series senior product manager Takashi Ueno in the British Journal of Photography says a lot:

“We are in a very good position to make a medium format camera, as we make camera bodies, sensors and lenses. We already make the lenses for Hasselblad, so we have that expertise.”

  1. Fujifilm, a company with a history of producing some excellent medium format film cameras, is becoming more open about their interest in medium format digital. (Note that they have not actually announced a product. Yet.)
  2. If you have wondered why those of us using the Fujifilm system are so enthusiastic about the beautiful Fujifilm lenses, re-read the quote if you missed it the first time and note whose lenses they currently make.

BJP article here, with the medium format discussion on page 2.

Continue reading New Fujifilm X-Pro2 — and X-Pro1 Discounts

B&H Deals on Canon and Nikon Expiring Today

Some end-of-year special promotional prices on Canon DSLR/lens bundlesCanon lenses and Speedlites, and Nikon DSLR/lens bundles are valid at B&H only through 4:00PM EST time today!

  • Canon DSLRs and DSLR/lens bundles — Savings of up to $650 on many products including 5DIII, 5Ds, 5DsR, 6D, 70D, 7DII, several Rebels
  • Canon lenses and Speedlites — Savings of up to $200 on over 30 lenses, including many excellent and popular models, along with four Speedlite/flash units
  • Nikon DSLR/lens bundles — “Instant Savings” of hundreds to over $1000 on camera bundles including D3300, D5300, D610, D7100, D7200, D750, D810, Df, D4s

Purchases through these links to site-affiliate B&H return a small percentage of your purchase price to support this website. Your price is the same.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. His book, “California’s Fall Color: A Photographer’s Guide to Autumn in the Sierra” is available from Heyday Books and Amazon.
Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | FacebookGoogle+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email


All media © Copyright G Dan Mitchell and others as indicated. Any use requires advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.