Friday, July 21, 2017

How did the Fuji X-T2 hold up at Silverstone?

I bought the X-T2 with Silverstone in mind, so I also bought the Vertical Power Boost Grip VPB-XT2 as well, in order to benefit from the extra two batteries it carries. The speed boost to 11 fps also helps! I also bought the Fujinon LENS XF50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR with the FUJINON TELECONVERTER XF1.4X TC WR for Silverstone too. After all, our trip to Silverstone would be the first time ever I had seen a Grand Prix up close. It was a lifetime ambition of mine to go to see Formula 1 and my 60th birthday and that of our daughter's 21st was as good as any reason to make this the year it all actually happened.

The big question is, "did the Fuji X-T2 hold up at Silverstone?' By that, I mean, 'did it perform as expected?' The answer would have to be a qualified 'yes'. I say ' qualified' because it had one or two glitches, which didn't ruin the day but were a little concerning at the time. One is an issue that others have reported, namely the camera locking up and the only way to get it back to normal functioning is to remove the battery. This happened twice, once at Silverstone and another time when I was checking battery levels back at our accommodation. Both times I found that loosening the power grip (which has two batteries in) did the trick. The other glitch may or may not be the cameras fault and I am still investigating it. During the race, I was shooting the drivers' parade, a feature of the F1 British Grand Prix in which the drivers go round the track before the start of the race and they do so in vintage cars. It's quite a photo opportunity but during it, the camera suddenly overexposed a sequence of images. It could have the camera, it could have been the memory card having a glitch writing the data or it could have been me accidentally altering a setting in the excitement of the moment.

Here is an example of the images affected:

As you can see, the image is greatly overexposed. The exposure settings recorded by the camera were as follows: 1/1500 sec, F7.1, ISO 800.

Here is an image that was taken just before the sequence of 'over-exposed' images:

As you can see, much better! However, the exposure settings recorded by the camera are as follows: 1/1000 sec, F10, ISO 800. Not much difference I think you will agree. So, either it was a write error to the card (so camera at fault, maybe) or the card had a glitch and saved the data badly. I think I can rule out user error as the exposure values are pretty much the same.

I immediately changed out the cards in case it reoccurred and fortunately, all the images recorded earlier were ok.

So, what're my final thoughts? Well, I will certainly upgrade to the latest firmware for the X-T2. I have version 2.0 and Fuji have released 2.10 back in May. I didn't do it earlier due to being busy with other stuff. I doubt the firmware was the cause of the problem and it's more likely to be the memory card, in my opinion. The card in question was a Lexar Professional high speed 1000x UHS-II (U3) SDHC memory cards. It's interesting to note that Micron, the company behind the Lexar brand, is pulling out of the memory card business. Check out this article for more on the story.

Secondly, I have to say that apart from these two issues, I was very happy with the performance of the X-T2. I took literally thousands of images on four 64GB cards and captured some great shots. Despite the restricted view at times and the speed of the cars, I came away with a good bunch of images from the weekend. Could I have done better, 'yes'? My technique certainly needs plenty more practice, especially at panning. However, the camera was great at taking shots of people on the stage or in the crowd, and I just so love the way Fuji reproduces colours!

In future posts, I will share some moments from the weekend and images that I feel were successful. In the meantime, why don't you check out my Flickr page here?

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