Fuji X-E2 Hands-On Field Test with Nathan Elson

  By Jordan Drake

Finally! Another video with a co-host!

As much as I love spending all my free time with Chris Niccolls, sometimes its really nice to bring a friend in and change things up. We’ve been meaning to have Nathan Elson (www.nathanelson.com) back on the show for a long time, especially since his episode of the 5D MK III vs D800 shootout was so well received, but we hadn’t been able to make it work until this week. Nathan is a big fan of the Fuji X cameras, so the new X-E2 was the perfect opportunity to get together.

Our goal with this shoot was to have a small, light kit so we could cover a lot of ground and get a lot of variety in the shots. So we just brought the X-E2 with the Fuji 14mm F2.8, 18mm F2 and 35mm F1.4. Every one of these lenses are brilliant performers, and they don’t weigh a thing!

I used my now-standard rig, a Sony FS700 with a Tamron 24-70 F2.8 VC on a Metabones Speed Booster. We used a Sony UWP-130 for Nathan’s audio and and Sennheiser G3 with an Audio Technica 803 lav mic for Chris. I kept things stable on a Manfrotto 561BHDV Monopod, and recorded the footage into an Atomos Samurai. For the final hot tub scene, I ran into an issue; I wasn’t going to be able to pin a lavalier mic on anyone. Fortunately, I still had the Sony kit mic that comes with the FS700. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a blimp or dead cat for the mic, so the sound in that last scene is pretty rough. Hopefully everyone will be too distracted by the stunning visuals to notice.

This episode also marks the start of our new partnership with Beatsuite.com. We’ve struggled to find music for our videos for some time now. I’ve used the rights-free music from Apple’s Garageband to death, so this new opportunity came at the perfect time. There’s a massive amount of music on the site, listed by tone and genre, so finding three songs for this video only took a few minutes. The prices are great, and the service is top notch if you do have any issues. If you need some music for any video work or slideshows, check them out.

While the Fuji X-E2 isn’t a huge upgrade over its predecessor, it does pretty much everything you’d hope for from a mirrorless camera. The images are stunning, focus is fast, and the viewfinder is top notch. It’s a fun camera to shoot, you can tell by the creative and sometimes hilarious shots Nathan took. Sure, I’d love to see some quality video modes in the next batch of Fuji cameras, but for stills, these are wonderful cameras.