SOOC

Gray barn with red door, overlooking mount Chocorua, New Hampshire winter scenery
Velvia

Sorry folks, no Mulder and Sculley here, the X-Files I’m going to be talking about have nothing to do with aliens or government conspiracies. These X-Files are the gorgeous straight out of camera jpeg files I get from my Fujifilm X-Series camera, the 24mp X-T2. 

Anybody who’s considered purchasing one of Fujifilm’s outstanding X-Series cameras has no doubt heard about the quality of the in camera jpegs. As an avowed (former?)RAW shooter, to say I was skeptical would be an understatement. I just couldn’t believe that a straight out of camera(sooc) jpeg could possibly match a processed RAW file. 

How wrong I was!

Dark shadowy stairway in an old brick mill building.
Acros

The straight out of camera jpegs, especially when utilizing Fuji’s film simulations, are fantastic and have greatly reduced my post processing time because I’m getting finished images when I press the shutter, no further post processing required. 

My personal favorite film simulations are Acros, for outstanding black and whites, Velvia, for rich landscapes, and Classic Chrome, which gives me a cool retro look to the image. 

Am I really done with RAW?

 
Not quite yet, at least not when it comes to commercial work. But I’m close. For critical work I’ll still shoot in RAW+jpeg so I have the RAW file as backup just in case extensive editing is needed for highlight recovery or white balance adjustments. Still, since making the switch from Canon to Fuji 80-90% of the images I’ve shared on my fan page have been the jpegs and not processed RAW files. 

Smiley face graffiti in wooden frame on a brick wall
Classic Chrome

WYSIWYG. 

Two additional features of the X-T2 that help make the jpegs so good right out of the camera is the live histogram displayed both in the electronic viewfinder (EVF), and on the LCD on the back of the camera. This takes the guesswork out of setting exposure since you can easily see how adjustments to shutter speed, aperture, and ISO are affecting exposure. 

The next feature is the ability to set the camera to display the effect your chosen film simulation has on the final image before you press the shutter. Looking through the viewfinder is truly a, What You See Is What You Get moment. 

So that’s it, a few of the many reasons I’m loving my new Fujifilm camera and the X-Files it produces. 

7 thoughts on “The (Fujifilm) X-Files

  1. Hi Jeff,
    Saw this post come up and I realised I hadn’t commented here in a long while. It caught my eye as I started to switch to Fuji almost two years ago now. I began using an XT-1 for most of my general photography and landscape work back then but I retained my Nikon equipment for wildlife and action. Last summer I completed the transition with the XT-2 and its vastly improved autofocus as well as the 100-400 lens. My traveling camera bag that I lug around the world went from about 50 lbs to about 20 lbs and I firmly believe my images have improved due to the WYSIWYG capabilities that you mentioned. Glad to see a fellow convert!

    1. Hey Scott, I drank the Fuji Kolden-aid back in October after 10 days in Disney where the camera I most often reached for was the XPro1. Which was a total spur of the moment purchase just prior to the trip. While I had all of my Canon gear with me I had little desire to carry any of it around the parks all day.

      The AF was slow and there was a definite learning curve to the rangefinder style, but the images won me over. Within a week after my return all of my Canon stuff was gone.

  2. thank you for your excellent article. Whilst I can still carry my beloved 9 years old Nikon! I will stick with it, but this little camera of yours will be my next choice.

  3. Great to hear Jeff. A good friend really struggled with Nikon to XT-2 transition but is now loving the Fuji. I was a bit concerned about the transition time and was happy to see how quickly it went for you! Beautiful shots

    1. Thanks for the tip. I more or less fell in love with Fuji cameras by accident a little over a year ago. When learning how to use the used XPro1 I bought on a whim just before a family vacation I really found it hard to believe all the hype about how good the jpegs were. After 10 days in Disney, where my Canon gear spent all but one day left behind in the hotel room, I was convinced.

Comments and thoughtful critiques are always welcome.

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