Fujifilm’s XH1 Performance:
This is a soft review of Fujifilm’s XH1 mirrorless camera, directly incorporated with an actual shoot for my personal portfolio. If you want a super boring technical review, go somewhere else, you’ll be disappointed with my knowledge on specs in comparison to other cameras. Several months ago I sold my loved Xt2, selling it to a good friend really made the decision a lot easier, however I was sad to see that camera go. To be honest, the jump from the XT2 to the XH1 isn’t quite demanded from a technical perspective unless you’re into making buttery smooth videos without the added shake most cameras provide. I am not going to go into a ton of overly drab technical specs and justify why I purchased the XH1 but rather talk about my experience using this camera for this shoot.
Size: The XH1 is substantially larger in feels than the XT2, however it isn’t a bad thing. The added grip is nice, I have large hands but never seemed to have issues with the XT2. I will say having more real-estate to hold onto is nice. If you have smaller hands, you might miss the size of Fujifilm’s smaller cameras, realistically speaking, for me this is neither an added bonus or a subtraction… it sort of just is.
Shutter: HOLY SH*T; I absolutely love the new shutter, it took all of .3 seconds for me to fall in love with it and my opinion isn’t going to change. Trying to explain its buttery glory is like trying to explain why people enjoy watching other people unbox things on YouTube… theres no explanation. Also, so everyone knows the on-camera shutter button and battery grip shutter button are identical in feels.
Perfomance: This camera is a power house, the OBIS allows you to shoot at super slow shutter-speeds while still retaining image quality. I don’t always use it as I don’t always need it, but for video the OBIS is a dream.
Build Quality: This thing is SOLID. DEAL WITH IT.
Image Output: Scroll down and see for yourself.. keep in mind these images are all straight out of camera.. if the results do not make you moist, than Bob’s your uncle.
About the Shoot:
I had the privilege of spending some studio-time with Seattle model Autumn J. Her and I always text inspiration back and forth, it’s a monthly happening. I cant remember if she was the one who sent me a photo of a double exposure or if I was the one who found it for her; either or, I remember seeing the inspiration and instantly reflecting on that one time I accidentally stumbled upon Fujifilm’s native double exposure mode! I sent her a text and said we absolutely had to do it. We met at a local studio near downtown Seattle and started the shoot. Autumn always does her own makeup, and she kills it, it’s a huge bonus when a model is multi-talented with hair and makeup.
When it comes to working with models for a specific look, I either like to do ultra soft and natural or push some boundaries and get some more interesting artistic or edgy shots. For this specific shoot we decided to keep it natural and soft. I let Autumn decide what she wanted to wear and we both agreed on simple makeup.
The lighting for the shoot was minimal: One filler flash, set to fire with the main strobe via slave mode. This flash was used to fill the background and get rid of 90% of the shadows crated via the main strobe. I didn’t want there to be heavy shadows but I also didn’t want the model to look like she was floating in white space. The main strobe was placed about seven feet from the subject and defused with a 52″ softbox. This strobe and softbox combo brings a nice even amount of light over the entire models upper body. From there it was a few minor tweaks and the placement of white ‘v-flats’ to add more fill lighting.
The idea of the shoot was not driven from any particular mood, objectively speaking it was designed strictly to play around with Fujifilm’s in-camera double exposure jpg shooting option. I wanted to test studio results with variable focal lengths and light strength settings. Because Fujifilm processes all double exposures as .jpg images, it makes editing almost non-existent. I like to use what the camera provides reduardless if I am shooting .raw or .jpg. I fell that if you put a lot of thought into the pre of a shoot it results in minimal post editing!
Shooting Perspective / Lens Choice:
This shoot was a blast to create. Strictly using the 16-55mm f2.8 lens to grab some amazing images, this lens is one of my favorites. The lens can hold f2.8 all the way though the entirety of its zoom! Amazing – it performs well within low light settings as well. This lens is a no brainer and an easy choice for me when it comes to shooting in the studio as well as natural light opportunities. Because the lens isn’t as quick the bokeh on it isn’t as nice as the 56mm f1.2 but if you push the 16-55 to its maximum focal length of 55 at f2.8 you can get some pretty creamy bokeh, so it offers itself as a wonderful portraiture lens as well.
If you haven’t tried out this lens I highly recommend it, you can always order it risk free on Amazon, they have amazing return policies that allow you to test a product and return it if you are unsatisfied. They also have $3.99 next day delivery for prime members… if you are like me, and you want your purchases IMMEDIATELY, prime is the way to go. At the top of the blog is a link to check out prime.
Getting the Gear Just Right:
All items used on this shoot were purchased though www.amazon.com. I love Amazon, they offer super quick delivery (free two day shipping for Prime members) and their return policy is amazing. I am always trying out new gear; simply put, purchasing from Amazon.com makes it extremely easy to decide what is worth my coin and what isn’t.
There was nothing special about the flash or the kit used to deliver the light, this shoot was more about understanding how lighting works and using the room to create the best lighting possible.
Check out the images and leave a comment below if you have any questions. As usual, because I like to test the use of gear against the longevity of my bank account, I will list all the gear used below for you to try as well.
Photographers Instagram: @jjDemir
Lens: Fujifilm XF 16-55
Flash: Fujifilm EF-X500
Soft-box: Neewer 32″ Softbox
Lightstand: Neewer 75″ Lightstand
Speedlite Clamp: Anwenk Flash Speedlite Clamp