Macro photography with Fujifilm’s new X-H2
I believe that a camera is not simply a tool to get a job done – a great camera gives you the ability to show the world your creative side.
For me, the experience and act of photographing something is just as important as the end result. It’s part of the process of creating something that I value, something that catches my imagination and evokes a feeling.
I was delighted when Fujifilm asked me to test the new X-H2, their latest flagship camera in the X-System. With a sensor resolution of 40 Megapixels and an exceptional level of image quality, I hoped it was the camera I had been waiting for.
I paired it with my sharp X-Mount FUJINON XF80mmF2.8 R LM OIS Macro, a terrific telephoto prime that’s ideal for macro shooting. Its superb optics allowed me to make the most of the X-H2 APS-C sensor.
The freedom that comes with a high resolution sensor opens up a whole range of possibilities. It allows you to not only capture more information per image and to increase the sharpness but also to zoom into images without losing picture quality.
If you really want to flex your creative muscles, I recommend that you try macro photography. It not only makes you focus on the details but it also invites you to experience the world from a different perspective. I particularly like to photograph raw ingredients – anything with lots of natural texture, beautiful patterns and vivid colours. I love the way that macro photographs allow me to capture the most intricate details of food and highlight the textural and colour detail that often goes unnoticed or unappreciated.
Macro photography frequently provides an element of surprise. We are surrounded by lots of fascinating and visually beautiful details that are beyond the limits of our naked eye. Often, when you look through the viewfinder, you suddenly discover things that you weren’t expecting to see. I’m regularly amazed by small creatures hiding in the fruits and vegetables I photograph.
Having tested the new X-H2 for the last few weeks, I’ve grown increasingly impressed and appreciative of what a technical achievement it is. The image quality and stunning colour rendition is where I believe this camera truly excels. By zooming in on luscious textures and complex areas of light and shadow, I found it ideal for creating compelling macro images.
One of the X-H2’s features that really impressed me is the Pixel Shift Multi Shot which allows you to create an ultra-high resolution image that is bigger than what the camera’s sensor can natively capture. Working together with the In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS), the camera moves the sensor in tiny increments for 20 frames to produce a super resolution image, with edge-to-edge detail of up to 160MP resolution and incredibly accurate colour reproduction. Mind-blowing! It’s a fantastic feature which improves the dynamic range, increases the level of detail and reduces noise. Moreover, in terms of creative possibilities, it gives you lots of options to be able to crop down to very small areas without losing image quality, as well as a significant boost when it comes to the size of print that you can make.
Even when shooting with higher ISOs, the camera produced truly beautiful and incredibly sharp looking images. In challenging and low light situations, I found that the sensor in the new X-H2 was able to capture strong images with low apparent noise.
I used the camera both indoors and outside. When shooting with natural light and trying to chase an insect or shooting without a tripod, I was impressed with how sharp the images were. Macro shots can be quite challenging because any camera movement can ruin your shot. Even a slight lack of sharpness is immediately obvious at these magnifications. However, because of the camera’s excellent IBIS, I was able to achieve razor sharp focus in my images when shooting handheld.
Another feature of the new X-H2 that I really appreciate is the weather resistant body. Having used it outside in the rain, I can confirm that this camera handles the unpredictable English weather really well. The peace of mind provided by a weather resistant camera body can make all the difference between staying inside and going out to shoot. When I’m going to the woods to photograph fungi, I have to be prepared to spend a lot of time at ground level and more often than not in a wet and dark environment. Therefore, I need both the camera and the lens to be able to cope with more extreme weather situations, whether it’s humidity, rain, or dust. I’m really looking forward to taking this camera with me to the woods this autumn!
Perhaps most importantly, the Fujifilm X-H2 did something that I wasn’t expecting. By expanding the creative possibilities that lie within ordinary subjects, this camera changed the way I look at things in a new and exciting way.