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X Ambassador Jack Picone Talks About the Fujifilm X-E2

Posted by Fujifilm Australia

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Legendary photojournalist and documentary photographer Jack Picone is right at home with his new Fujifilm X-E2, but this is no short term involvement with the Fujifilm X-series. Before digital he had used film-based Fujifilm cameras and had been following Fujifilm’s R&D in sensor development.

“I started with the X100 three or four years ago because it represented a digital version of what I enjoyed with the film-based Leica M6. And when the Fujifilm X-Pro1 arrived a year or so later, it was even more like the old M6 in that it had a special hybrid optical viewfinder and interchangeable lenses.

“And because I use these cameras like my old Leica - looking, waiting and tripping the shutter one frame at a time - I rarely miss a shot.”

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Perfecting The X-E2

And so it was no surprise to find Jack testing out the latest Fujifilm X-E2 in Cambodia and Bangladesh.

“As a photographer, you want your cameras to be as technically responsive as they can be, even though you always find a way to achieve the outcome you need. I’m very impressed with the way Fujifilm has improved the autofocus on the X-Pro1 with a firmware upgrade and to be honest, at first I didn’t think I needed to switch to the X-E2.

“However, the X-E2 is faster again, both in focusing and processing the files. I don’t think it necessarily supersedes the X-Pro1 because they are quite different cameras. For instance, the X-E2 is smaller and has an electronic viewfinder, but no optical viewfinder.

“I find the electronic viewfinders work well in low light, are good for composing precisely and there’s no danger of parallax error – you capture exactly what you see.”

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Two young girls enroute to school. Angkor Wat Complex. Photos by Jack Picone on the Fujfilm X-E2.

 

Backup To Primary

“A lot of professional photographers I know throw a small camera into their camera bag as a backup, or tuck one in their pocket so they are never without a camera.

“I was the same, but although the Fujifilm cameras are small, they are not toys and the files from them are ‘stonkingly’ good. In fact, these days if I only have one camera, it’s the Fujifilm X-E2. It has become my take-everywhere camera because it’s so light and small – it even fits into the pocket of my jacket.

“I find some of the best photos I take are ones when I just happen to have a camera with me. Even when on assignment shooting a commercial job, I have a ritual where I take my camera with me on a walk for an hour or so, just for street photography.

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A young girl draws in the sand at the Angkor Wat Complex. Siem Reap Cambodia.

“I could take my smartphone, of course, but what scares me is that I might take one of the most iconic photos of my career and it would bug me if it were taken on a bloody phone! With the best light you might be able to make an A4 print from a phone file, but in low light the image quality is shocking and I just shudder at how I’d feel. In your lifetime you might only end up with half a dozen iconic shots, so do I want to risk that on a smartphone or pull out my Fujifilm X-E2?

“I’m not highly technical, so the X-E2 works perfectly for me. The menu is really intuitive, the autofocus is fast and the metering is accurate. I can just pick it up and shoot the picture, really quickly. It’s a natural extension of me so that when I take the picture, the process is seamless.”

 

Shooting Wide

Jack’s favourite lenses for the X-E2 are the XF14mm, XF18mm and the XF23mm.

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Cambodian classical dancers await their next performance for visiting tourists. Angkor Wat Complex Siem Reap Cambodia.

“I prefer to shoot with wide-angles and I find myself using the 18mm predominantly on the X-E2. It’s a bit wider than a 35mm on a full-frame DSLR, so to compensate, I just get in that much closer. It’s great for working in tight areas and it’s pretty much distortion free.

“Photography for me has gone full circle. When I started with the Leica M6, everyone thought it was an old antiquated camera and so they didn’t take me seriously, which was perfect when dealing with sensitive situations. Now with the X-E2, it’s the same because it’s a small camera. People don’t put up walls when they see it and it’s this aspect of shooting with the X-E2 that is simply invaluable for me.

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Cricket in the boatyard, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

“I like to strike a rapport with the people I am photographing and to make them feel comfortable, so my camera needs to be as unobtrusive as possible. I simply can’t shove a big camera into someone’s face. It sounds simple, but really, it doesn’t get much more important than this.”

For more about the new Fujifilm X-E2, visit www.fujifilm.com.au. Or take a trip to your nearest Fujifilm camera supplier.

 

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