First Attempt at Video with the Fuji X-T1

I have owned and loved my Fuji X-T1 for quite a while. I have taken thousands of photographs with it but never used it for video.

Lately, I have been reading more about video and decided to experiment with it.

I initially used my Panasonic LX7 with okay results and wondered how my X-T1 would fare, even though most of what I read wasn’t encouraging. I updated its firmware, as well as all my lenses, and headed to my local park. What you see above is the outcome.

Let it be said I am a novice at video. I have shot plenty for my ukulele blog but that was with my iPad which is as easy as it can be. Using a camera like the X-T1 is more involved.

I did shoot this first one in manual but next time I will probably shoot it in aperture priority. I did not do any editing to it.

My initials thoughts, after reviewing it, is that it has potential. I did not hear any noise when I was zooming by hand. I did hear a little mic noise even though it wasn’t that windy. An external mic, probably a Rode, would work better. I was impressed with the internal mic and the way it picked up my voice.

My final thoughts are that I need to work with more the X-T1, zoom less and use an external mic and tripod. Shooting in AP would help too.

I will post the results when I get an updated video.

Below is the LX7 video for comparison.




Update your Firmware

I spent the last two days updating my X-T1 camera and XF 18-135 and XF 55-200 lens firmware as well as my Mac computer firmware and operating system. This is really important to do. I noticed a difference when shooting today. Both camera and lens were working better.

Took the camera for a test run today at the Arboretum off Rt. 50.

It was a beautiful day but I felt really rusty. Got a little chipped off but more to go.

These were all taken with the X-T1 and 55-200 lens. All are cropped somewhat.

They were processed using the latest version of LR, which I also just updated.🙂

20160904-_VCS4546 20160904-_VCS4570 20160904-_VCS4578


More to come.

The New Hershey Gardens Atrium


Well, I finally made it to Hershey, PA to tour the new Atrium which includes a year round, climate controlled butterfly exhibit. As you look at the picture above the butterflies live on the right side, where the five large windows are. The left side is reserved for a plant exhibit. There is also a gift shop and a basement that includes offices and restrooms.

Whoever designed the building did a good job, IMHO. The butterfly house is nicely landscaped and larger than the original. It is climate controlled at a comfortable 80 degrees with 70% humidity.


The staff is knowledgeable and friendly which makes the entire experience enjoyable. My grandson and I had a great time photographing the various butterflies. They advertise that they have about 600 in the exhibit.


My only critique is that the variety of butterflies needs to be improved. Every time we go, either to the original or this new Atrium, it is the same ones. I wish they would add some moths and  different varieties of butterflies. It is nice to visit a butterfly house not knowing what might be on display.  There is a seasonal one in Wheaton, MD that always has something new. Once they had an Atlas moth which was amazing.


Hershey Gardens has invested a lot of money in this building. I am hoping they will try to find some new and different butterflies in the future. There are about 26 year round, climate controlled butterfly houses in the U.S. This one is a winner!

The Hershey Gardens Butterfly House

I finally had an opportunity today to take my grandson to the Butterfly House in Hershey Gardens.

I am a little rusty but here are a few of what I attempted to get.

Next year, they are suppose to have a year round conservatory built that we can visit even in mid-winter if we want to.

That will be nice!

These were all taken with the Fujifilm X-T1 and Fujinon XF 18-135 lens.

_VCS7068 _VCS7082 _VCS7084 _VCS7129

Getting My Feet Wet

It has been months since I have shot anything worthwhile. I have retired at the age of 62, sold our home and moved into our new home with our daughter, son-in-law, three grandchildren and a total of four dogs. On top of that I began playing music again, but this time it isn’t guitar or bass it is the ukulele. All in all the last few months have been busy.

Today, I went with my two grandsons and son-in-law to a new place in the area we now live in. It is a local arboretum. I am not sure how many acres it is but undoubtedly it is hundreds. Today we explored a little and refreshed out knowledge of our Fujifilm cameras. All of us were rusty but I did come away with a shot I liked. It is below taken with my X-T1 and 55-200 lens.

Now that I am up and running there will be more to come. My wife, Susan, and I are taking a long road trip for the first time in our 42 years of marriage. It will be from the East Coast to the West Coast and back again. The X-T1 will be with me so there will be more pics to come. Stay tuned!


Spring Update

Another update- I am in the midst of retiring so things have been busy on this end, as you can imagine. I have been involved for almost 31 years in full-time ministry. It is time to take a break and focus more on my family. I am looking forward to picking up my granddaughter from pre-school and taking some photography trips with my two grandsons.

This winter I began playing the ukulele and I am now teaching my 10-year-old grandson the instrument. He will be playing a song on his new ukulele in his school’s talent show next month. The best thing is I will be able to attend to cheer him on.

I have also begun a new ukulele blog. If you like music, and who doesn’t, or want to see what else I have been up to you can find it at this link- Vic’s Ukulele Blog.

April will be a new experience for me as I will be moved into our new home with my son-in-law, daughter, three grandchildren, wife, four dogs and myself. I can’t wait!

More to come.


Winter Blues

I wanted to make a quick post to assure the many who are visiting that all is well on this end. I had another pre-cancer removed a couple of weeks ago and it is healing great. Hopefully, this is the last one.

Winter’s in Virginia are always difficult and this one is really tough temperature wise. We haven’t had that much snow but the temps are brutal. Last Sunday I left for work at 0800 and my car’s thermometer read 9 degrees. With the wind chill it felt like -13 degrees! A little too cold for me.

I haven’t shot hardly at all as Virginia is pretty dead during the winter with not much to shoot or see. Spring is almost here, thank God, and I will be out and about with my X-T1’s.

Here is one of the last pics I took last year. I love the detail in this pic. Fujifilm rocks!

P.S. Some may be wondering what I have done this winter. I began playing the ukulele! After playing guitar and bass for years I am having the most fun, musically, that I have ever had. I am going to my first ukulele festival in March. Should be fun!


I am back with some new pics!

I have been off-line for awhile as I had skin cancer removed from my face three weeks ago. I had similar surgery last year.

I am feeling better and healing so I went into my Lightroom Catalog and found a few pics I don’t think I have put online yet.

These were all taken with the excellent Fujifilm X-T1 and most of them had the XF18-135 lens attached. Enjoy!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!🙂









Part 4- The Fujifilm X30 at ISO 2500

I have waited for the new version of Lightroom to come out so I can begin shooting my Fujifilm X30 in RAW. Unfortunately, it is not out yet. I am not sure what the hold-up is as the new Camera Raw came out over a week ago.

I have had some requests for some JPEG’s shot at higher ISO’s so I thought last night’s band practice would be the perfect opportunity to give this a try. After some experimentation here is what I had the camera set at:

ISO 2500


WB Auto


Sharp +1

Spot metering

Large, Fine JPEG

Classic Chrome Film Simulation

These pics are SOOC, except for the last two, and I have not done any noise reduction in Lightroom. Frankly, I am pleasantly surprised with how the Classic Chrome reproduced the lights on the stage. It is very accurate. I can’t wait to get Classic Chrome for my X-T1’s!













This next pic I did process including Noise Reduction in LR 5.6.



There you have it. The X30 did better than I thought it would at ISO 2500. I haven’t spent a lot of time playing with these files so I am happy with the way they came out. I hope to do a shoot in RAW if the new LR ever comes out.

Until then, keep shooting!

© Vic Schmeltz


Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 9.39.33 PM

Part 3- My First Two Weeks with the Fujifilm X30

The last couple of weeks I have spent my time getting to know the Fujifilm X30.  I have taken pictures in and around Leesburg, VA including the leaves changing colors for the Fall. As I progress I want to note a few things.

If you are looking for a point and shoot, with capabilities other than “auto,” this camera is perfect for you. It is nicely built, easy to use and produces a nice file. I like the looks of it. I think it has a bit of a modern look which suits me fine. I know some have complained about its appearance but I like it. It is a small, light camera which can easily be put in a backpack for a hike. You will come back with some beautiful pics.

I like the three different film simulations I have used so far. In Part 1 I used Classic Chrome and in Part 2 I used Velvia. In this post I have used Standard. You will find that this is truly the standard with Classic Chrome being slightly muted and Velvia slightly more vivid, color wise.

So far I have found a couple of things I would like to change. It needs an ND filter if you are going to try to shoot wide open during the day. I was finally able to do that on a cloudy, rainy, dreary day. I wish the filter was built-in like the X100 series.

The camera only goes to f/11. Not sure why but it should be able to get to at least f/16. I am confused by this. Not good.

The X30 can go to 1/4000 of a second but only at “small aperture.” I would prefer 1/4000 sec be available at all apertures. I don’t understand Fujifilm’s thinking on this either.

This post is more pic heavy than word heavy. The pics were originally large, fine, JPEG’s.

So far I like this camera. If you are expecting files like the X-T1 or any other APS-C camera you won’t get them. Noise is present as you increase the ISO from 200. It is okay to ISO 1600. I wouldn’t go higher than that.

I am curious what the RAW files will look like and how they will respond to adjustments in LR, especially noise reduction. I hope to have that post out as soon as Adobe releases LR 5.7. The new Camera RAW is out so LR 5.7 shouldn’t be far behind.

My goal in the following pics is to show how beautiful the colors are that come out of the X30 on the standard setting. I really like the way the camera faithfully reproduces them. I did do some processing in LR 5.6 as I wanted to show how the JPEGS respond to a little touch up. I didn’t do much.







This pic does show some DOF as I was able to shoot at f/2.5, 1/80 sec at ISO 200.


This pic also shows some DOF. It was taken at f/2.8, 1/180 sec at ISO 200.







One of the things that Fuji Rumors predicted was discounts on the X30 soon after its release. I paid the MSRP of $599 but I am already seeing it on sale for $509. I think the main reason for this is that the camera is in its third generation and it still has a 2/3″ sensor. If it would have had a 1″ sensor, or larger, this wouldn’t be the case. More about this in Part 4.

You can find Part 1 here.

You can find Part 2 here.

You can find Part 4 here.

© Vic Schmeltz