06.17.2022 Masami Tanaka

X-H2S: Bird Photography x Masami Tanaka

Masami Tanaka

Born in Saitama, Japan in 1961.
He was drawn into photography at an early age. He built his own darkroom in his home when he was 18 and began developing his own films. Later, he graduated photography school and started working for a film company. In two years, he became independent and started shooting nature photography. In 1998, he began exploring Arctics, mainly shooting wildlife and aurora. His works can be seen in newspaper, magazine, brochures, and on TV.

Impression on X-H2S

There is a scene that will stay with me forever. For that one moment, I didn’t know what had happened. But it becomes a vivid picture and is etched in my mind.

I am a photographer. I have to capture that moment with my camera.

So, what kind of camera do I need? It is only natural that I want a high-performance camera. However, as I always look for the moment at outside, I need mobile and comfortable camera so that I do not miss the moment.

Will this camera accurately reflect my thoughts? Will X-H2S be able to capture my thoughts and feelings that I have put my heart and soul into each and every moment of photography?

This time, I used X-H2S to shoot wild birds on Ishigaki Island, Okinawa.

X-H2S & XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR

A eagle flying through the trees is like a fighter jet. It takes a precise movement to capture the moment, and there are few cameras that can frame and focus on the bird’s eyes within a few seconds. Previous X series cameras have often failed.

The X-H2S, however, was different. It brilliantly betrayed my beliefs.

X-H2S & XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR

Another appealing feature of the X series is the ability to reproduce vivid colors as desired thanks to the film simulation. Only the X series would have been able to reproduce the beautiful red kingfisher and the color of its beak, which seems to draw you in, with such consistency.

It’s such vivid moment that the two red-crowned kingfishers sing to each other in the green forest.

X-H2S & XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR

X-H2S & XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR

X-H2S & XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR

Next, we went after the Yaeyama flying fox. Their movements are irregular, and no one knows when they will appear. They are active not only at night but also during the day. Since they do not have a fixed feeding ground, it’s quite difficult to capture them. We often end up with empty shots.

Then, I was blessed with a momentary opportunity. I held down my trembling hands and captured the animal in the viewfinder. The 40 fps continuous shooting mode comes into its own. How reliable! What a reliable camera!

X-H2S & XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR

When you visit Ishigaki Island, you may see a birds hovering. Without a doubt, it is a subject that requires good tracking performance. It is not easy to take pictures of this bird in the blue sky, but I found on that day that a parent and child fighting with each other. This is rare!

I had to get a shot of this! I immediately prepared my camera and focused it. It’s so fast to focus on! In an instant, the camera was in focus and I was able to release the shutter. I could capture very precious moment. At the time, I had the XF150-60mm lens attached, and I realized that it was the most powerful camera and lens combination.

X-H2S & XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR

In addition, I mainly used hand-held shooting this time expecting a good in-body image stabilization system. I used the XF150-600mm often allowing me to release slow shutter speeds with confidence.

During the firefly season, Yaeyama fireflies dance gracefully in the evening. The calls of owls, frogs, and cicadas echoing in the  forest, where exposure is difficult to match, are so mysterious that it is almost as if you are in a dream. In such an environment, I took one shutter shot at a time and captured the fireflies’ dance in the forest with my camera.

X-H2S & XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR

Shooting at night, we have to watch out for snakes and other things underfoot. As night falls, I can hear the calls of owls, and I look for them holding my camera. The night lights illuminated the main subject, and the high-sensitivity photography and AF performance did not disappoint me.

X-H2S & XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR

This time, I shot some videos with the camera. Even when shooting in hot and humid conditions, the optional accessory air-cooling fan allowed us to continue shooting without stress. Even 4K120P work in the environment without any issues.

The sun rises and sets. Some wild creatures are active during the day, others at night. If you want to be in the wild and capture life there, you have to have very responsive camera. X-H2S certainly works with incredible performance. It was a camera that made me feel as if I had become even better at photography, and I really enjoy using the camera.

X-H2S & XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR

X-H2S & XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR