To get such great photos into the pages of Bike Rider Magazine, we use some pretty special – not to mention expensive – cameras. But sometimes there’s a need for a camera that’s a bit more portable…
If we’re doing a shoot at a racetrack or locally from the BRM office, we’ll always drag out our huge camera bag full of heavy and expensive photographic kit so we can make sure we get the perfect shot for use in the magazine. But sometimes, we need our kit to be a bit more portable. Heading into the bush for our dirt bike magazine, on the plane to an overseas launch or even heading away on bikes for a few days around NZ, we don’t have the room to carry all the top-shelf gear. That’s when we need a smaller camera, still able to get similar shots to the big ones, but is a lot smaller and lighter to carry around.
FujiFilm approached us to have a go of their X-T2 mirrorless digital camera, with some of the features of the new model apparently perfect for the environment we work in and the punishment we tend to put cameras through. Tipping the scales at a featherweight 507grams with battery and memory card fitted, the body is made of a tough, weatherproof material to keep the internals safe when we’re out in the elements. There’s an LCD screen on the back as you’d expect from this type of machine, and it pops out and rotates, meaning you can get down low or up high and still see what you’re shooting. The pictures are 24.3MP (which is even big enough to keep our designer happy!), and there’s also the ability to shoot 4K video, something that’s more important than even nowadays.
The pictures we achieved with the FujiFilm were excellent, with a couple of features making it standout for us as being the perfect partner when we need a small camera with big capability. Auto focus and tracking is one of our most commonly used features, with bikes shooting past at high speed often being very difficult for all but the high-end cameras able to keep track of. But the little FujiFilm with it’s multiple focus and tracking settings let us choose how we wanted the autofocus to work and even which object to track. The many modes on the camera gave us the ability to really get into the benefits of manual mode, but there’s always the option to let the camera take control and still give you a good image.
But the real surprise was the video, with the X-T2 not only producing clear footage, but having the benefit of being able to adjust focus while shooting. If we really got carried away, we could use a cable to connect it to a separate monitor and look really professional, but the shots we got from just using the screen were more than suitable for what we need.
Finally, with the standard camera shooting at a healthy 8 frames-per-second, the addition of the Vertical Power Booster Grip not only gives you more battery life, but also boosts the shooting speed to an incredible 11fps. If we can’t get a shot with that, well we might need to give up and shoot bicycles instead!
Small but powerful
The X-T2 was with us for only a short period of time, but during that period it became apparent just how much the smaller, digital, mirrorless cameras have improved and are now giving the big, professional cameras a run for their money. With the quality and settings available from the X-T2, we could pretty much do all the video and photography we needed for the magazine simply by swapping out the lenses. It really is that good.
Probably a bit complicated for a photographic newbie, the options available for someone with the basic knowledge of photography makes this a great choice for someone looking for all the power and features of a DSLR in a smaller package.
Price: X-T2 is $2,699 and the 18-55mm lens is $999.
Tested by: Paul
- Li-ion battery NP-W126S
- Battery charger BC-W126
- Shoe-mount flash unit EF-X8
- Shoulder strap
- Body cap
- Strap clip
- Protective cover
- Clip attaching tool
- Hot shoe cover
- Vertical Power Booster Grip connector cover
- Sync terminal cover
- Owner’s manual
- X-Trans™* CMOS III & X-Processor Pro
- Improved AF Performance
- AF-C Custom Setting
- EVF (Magnification ratio 0.77x, Shutter time lag 0.005 sec, 100fps live-view)
- 4K Video Recording
- Optional Vertical Power Booster Grip
- Weather resistant structure