XPro-1: my first wedding shoot.

Started Oct 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
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mark finn Contributing Member • Posts: 531
XPro-1: my first wedding shoot.

Yesterday I got to try out how the Xpro-1 handles one of the more intense photographic tasks: a wedding. I’ve been second shooting with another photographer for a while and decided that the time had come to put the Fuji through its paces. The conditions were either nightmarish or perfect depending on your perspective - bright sun throughout the whole ceremony with the bride and groom backlit from the only positions we could shoot from. So here’s a little rundown on how the camera performed:

The Camera: On the whole the camera performed very well, and the dynamic range that comes out of this thing is amazing. I had to do a bit of tweaking in Lightroom to pull up the shadows, but the detail was there and I was blown away by how much I could recover without degrading the image. Having the histogram in the viewfinder was a real asset in these conditions, as was the OVF. I’m pretty sure an EVF would have been rendered almost useless in the same scenario, no matter how good it was. The only annoying thing was the accuracy of the framelines, which had me cropping closer to heads than I would prefer, and I have to remember to leave a little more room than I’m used to. High ISO was, as usual, amazing, though I didn’t need to go as high for this shoot as I’m used to.

The Lenses: I used the 15, 35 and 60, and all performed very well optically. However it only took me about two shots to start missing my zooms. Most weddings I’ve shot I’ve been able to move around pretty freely, but this one only had a couple of spots to shot from which meant that framing choices were limited. I think I’ll be getting some zooms if I’m to continue using this camera for weddings.

The AF: That’s the other reason I want to look at the zooms, which I hear will be better than the primes in terms of AF. While I was able to get some good shots, I missed a lot as well while the AF desperately tried to lock on to something. The 60 was the worst culprit, as even with the 2.1 firmware it would occasionally rack in and out through the entire range while the scene disappeared in front of it. Other times, it would lock onto stuff that I would have given it no chance of getting, such as couples dancing. But the real killer was the slow focus with moving subjects, such as the procession coming down the aisle. By the time the camera had locked focus the person had moved far enough forward for the focus to be off, which nearly had me tossing the camera in the ocean a couple of times. I guess I could have compensated with high ISO and greater DOF, but for these shots shallow DOF is what sells. Thankfully my partner was shooting with a D700 and got those shots!

The Flash: This was the biggest disappointment of the day - for some reason the flash was just not consistent. I mean, I would shoot an image that was massively under exposed and then shoot another a second later with the same settings and the exposure was fine. The flash also completely failed to fire now and then, but this was fixed by wiggling it in the hotshoe. What I suspect is happening is the flash is not hitting the contacts properly which is causing it to misread the signal, resulting in the variable output. I’ll do some testing this weekend to see if I can replicate the problem.

So after all that, the verdict is... I’m not sure. The setup misbehaved enough that I think I’ll be reaching for my Canon gear for the next job, but when it did all work the files are AMAZING. As I said to my colleague today, the process of me reviewing the images was something like “I love this camera... I hate this camera... I love this camera... I hate this camera... I...”

Speaking of images, here’s a few from the first pass of editing, done in Lightroom 4.2

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Please check out my photos at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/drmark/

Nikon D700
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