Saturday, November 7, 2020

Grokking the X-E3

1/1300, f5.6, ISO 200, 42mm

Warning! Fuji X-nuts only beyond this point.

Since getting the Fujifilm X-E3, back in June, it has been fascinating to work out how, exactly, I wanted to use it. Of all the digital cameras that I have ever owned (including full-frame DSLRs), this is, by far, the most versatile and fascinating - simply a joy to use in so many situations. 

But, all this versatility comes at a price - the mental agility required to both remember and use a seemingly endless permutation of settings through dials, menus and touch screens (just like most prosumer digital cameras). At times, it can all be a little overwhelming for this septuagenarian. My solution may not suit everyone, but I have simplified my X-E3 to the camera I need it to be: I shoot in one of only two modes - accessed by the flippy, auto lever on the top of the camera - Auto and fully manual. 

1/480, f5.6, ISO 200, 45mm

Auto is what Fuji make it; it shoots fantastic JPGs without any fuss. Press the shutter. Done. Fuji says it's great for handing off the camera to someone else, I say it's great for family snaps, walking the streets or anything when I don't want to think too hard about the camera in my hand. 

The second mode is fully manual. I use it when I'm playing 'photographer'. It is set to RAW, manual focus (rear dial focus assist, front dial aperture and ISO). Fn switches electronic and manual shutter. No menus are required while shooting - not even Q. This works for me because I can transition between the X-E3 and my vintage film cameras seamlessly. The dials and levers may be different, but the decision-making process is just the same. If for some reason, I want assistance from autofocus, then the 'C' and 'S' lever is by my finger, without having to take my eye from the viewfinder.

1/1000, f6.7, ISO 12800, 230mm

With the body sorted, that just leaves the decision of what gear to carry:

  1. Pocket - body and XF27mm f2.8 - gives me a mini X100 for street and walkabout
  2. Small bag - body, XC15-45 and XC50-230, +accessories - covers 95% of everything else

Simplifying in this way helps me to put the focus back on the picture-making process, rather than the tools I am using. Taking a picture is either easy or mentally engaging; my choice. And photography remains fun, rather than an exercise in finessing the technology. 

1/15, f22, ISO 6400, 45mm+tubes

In a long line of cameras, the X-E3 is my first Fujifilm - and I'm loving it. It brings a new level of pleasure to using a digital camera.

No comments:

Post a Comment