Mountain Time : From Alberta to British Columbia

July 23, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera and the Fujinon XF10-24mm F4 R OIS lens. Post Processing was done in Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop CC software applications.

I spent a handful of days breathing cool mountain air from Alberta to British Columbia. While it wasn't a photography based trip for me personally, I did get to capture some amazing areas in both provinces. Also, I got to finish up my long term review of the Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera.

Way back in 2005 I was still a " Suit & Tie" slaving away at a corporate job. I was posted to Calgary briefly and most of my photo activities were limited to occasional road trips in the more scenic parts or Alberta. This time I wanted to hit a few more spots on the way to British Columbia. The kind of places you tend to see on postcards...and a few others that aren't so well known...or so I thought.

For the trip I took along the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and paired it with my XF10-24mm wide angle zoom lens which stayed on the camera for 99% of the time. I did an initial review of the camera a few months back and my primary applications were macro and portrait shots. This journey was all about the awesome landscape of Western Canada.

I made exactly two mistakes with this setup...I didn't bring a Circular Polarizer, Graduated Neutral Density Filter and I barely broke out my tripod. The trip started out rainy and overcast but to my surprise the periods of sunlight were extreme and things got very contrasty at times, especially the last day. Despite all that the camera performed really well, the rest I massaged in Post-Processing. I'll save you the balance of the technical jargon by telling you that for all of these shots the camera was set to ISO 200, F10 using Aperture Priority. The processing end of things was done using the Velvia Film Simulation mode.

The ViewThe View

The view from the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel | The Bow Valley

The Bow Valley overlooking the Bow River

I also did a few multi-image panorama stitches. Although the XF10-24mm lens is "wide" sometimes you just need a little more on each end to show just how vast the Canadian Rockies are.

4-Image Panoramic Stitch of Bow Valley

Rowing on The Bow RiverRowing on The Bow River

Boaters in Banff

Moraine LakeMoraine Lake

3-Image Panorama Stitch of Moraine Lake

Takkakaw Falls | Yoho National Park

Yoho River | Yoho National Park

Emerald PeakEmerald Peak

Overlooking Emerald Peak | Yoho National Park

Emerald LakeEmerald Lake

Overlooking Emerald Lake/Michael Peak | Yoho National Park

Mt. Burgess/Emerald Lake | Yoho National Park

Wapta Mountain/Mt. Field/Emerald Lake Lodge | Yoho National Park

The Fujifilm X-T1 is my workhorse camera and it definitely has a different feel from the X-Pro2. The latter is a "rangefinder" style configuration while the X-T1 is designed to mimic a standard DSLR. The jury is still out as to which I prefer but it was pretty easy to transition between them. I do miss the flip-out LCD screen of the X-T1 though. There where a few instances that a high/low perspective would have worked for a composition but I wasn't willing to kneel in mud or climb rocks. Everything else was pretty good.

Most of the emails about the camera so far has been about the resolution bump and if I noticed a difference. First, let me say that when a manufacturer bumps the megapixels the result isn't so good. Those who get it right manage to increase the resolution while maintaining or improving the image quality. Such is the case with the X-Pro2. For all practical purposes the image quality definitely hasn't suffered and I would say that it's 1 or so stops better than the X-T1. The real benefit of the increase in megapixels is in output. If you regularly print your work at 20X30" and larger you will like what Fuji has done. Even if you don't print large the extra resolution gives you more room to crop aggressively to fine-tune your composition.

Metering has improved as well. Despite the challenging weather conditions at times the camera handled it quite well. The best feature on a mirrorless camera is the ability to see exactly what you are going to get "before" you press the shutter. On the occasions when the camera didn't get it right, it was very easy to make creative adjustments and see them in real time on the EVF or rear LCD. Incidentally, not too many people ask me about the auto focus performance. This is one of those things that turned me off with the original X-Pro1. The focusing performance left lot's to be desired, even after several Firmware updates. The X-Pro2 is an entirely different situation now that focusing is very fast and more importantly, accurate. It still struggles sometimes in backlit compositions but most cameras suffer in those instances. At any rate it's a bit better than the X-T1 in that regard.

The new build is spot on. 

All the buttons and dials are in a natural configuration for small to medium sized hands and offer very good tactile feedback and there is a nice overall heft that feels good. Not too heavy like a DSLR but not light enough to be mistaken for a play-camera.

Good stuff all around and I'm eager to see how it compares to the upcoming X-T2 camera.


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