Category Archives: Blog

Fuji X-T2 landed in Australia

Last week I had a sneak peak at the new Fuji X-T2. There’s alot to be desired with all the improvements! This may be the most perfect camera right now.

Fuji, fujifilm, xt2, x-t2, mirrorless, camera,

Fuji X-T2 with large eye cup and new battery grip kit using 3 batteries. With the extra juice from the batteries the camera can fire its mechanical shutter to 11FPS!!! Thats PRO camera body territory!

Continuing on from the very successful X-T1, and sharing new technology from X-PRO2, while adding a few extra features, we can see Fuji is doing everything right with the X-T2. I’m sure their loyal userbase will be excited to get their hands on one or 2 of these.

The same 24.3 megapixel X-Trans CMOS sensor as the X-Pro2.

More focus points!! 325 phase detect autofocus point for fast and accurate AF! This should be as good as the Sony A6300, cant wait to see the comparison.

The grip will take 3 batteries and give you approximately 1000 frames per charge!

As with many other Fuji caneras, they have included a threaded shutter release so you can add a splash of flavour and personalise your camera.
Turbo button!!  When using the grip, you can choose to fire the mechanical shutter at 11 frames per second. Without it, the shutter still shoots at 8 FPS, or 14 FPS using the electronic shutter!

The Joystick on the back of camera is super handy, a feature I liked about the Canon cameras and glad to see it in the Fuji X-T2. Navigation in the menu is so much easier with it.

The D-pad sticks out a little more and does feel alot better to press than the X-T1.

By popular demand the mechanical dials on the top were also made a little taller so there is better traction when changing ISO and shutter speed.

4k video!! And 60FPS recording. Slow-motions scenes will look amazing. This is better than what Canon cameras are offering. I’d love to see the rendering of colours and detail with the super sharp Fujinon lenses.

A new 3 way tilt screen makes framing the subject easier when shooting high and low angles, in portrait and in landscape orientation.

Officially announced on 7th of July but according to the Fuji representatives, stock will be pretty limited so pre-order as soon as possible to make sure you get one.

Chasing the Sun at Port Macquarie – Sunrise and Sunset photos

2012 Road-trip up the NSW coast

Day 5 of 6

This journal entry highlights ‘Day 5 of 6’ of my road-trip with my good friend up the east coast of NSW back in 2012. We never been to Port Macquarie so it was a great opportunity to enjoy the sights. We stayed at T’s Tennis Resorts which was a big motel with great sporting facilities and known for their tennis courts, where many local tournaments are held. But they also have swimming pools, a spa and newly installed putt-putt /miniature golf circuit. Overall, it was a very comfortable place to stay over the duration of 2 days. We cooked on the barbeque and prepared our own meals to save money and eat better.

First Light at Town Beach

We didn’t get much sleep that night we were both very dazed when we woke up at 4AM to drive to Town Beach, Tim had even less sleep, apparently I was snoring and sleep-talking all night! –sorry mate! 

The night sky was a dark blue shade that faded into a light blue horizon, with the colourful wispy clouds ablaze with yellow and orange were it catches the first light of the sun, then fading off to a pink and purple. The beach was also reflecting these beautiful colours along the shore and in the sand.

Standing there in awe of such a sight, I couldn’t wait to scout the beach for angles, this happened to be my 3rd photo of the morning when we were walking along the beach to a section with giant rock platforms. It was already my favourite image for the day.

 
First Light - Port Macquarie  Sunrise - Andrew Croucher Photography.jpg

 

Golden Dawn

We got to the rock platforms and the sun was shining through the gaps of the heavy clouds above the horizon creating an orange and golden sky. The waves there were turbulent and smashing up againt thes rocks. You can see the rocks being formed by the water over millions of years.

Shortly after we packed and went back to the resort to upload and review the images and eat a nice warm breaky. A late morning snooze was needed after that morning session so we could continue shooting latet and shoot the sunset at another location in Port Macquarie.

Andrew Croucher Photography - Golden Dawn - Port Macquarie.jpg

After Glow

We arrived at a different location moments before sunset, only to find that it was a disappointing view, so then we were frantically chasing the sun, driving west, in-land from the east coast of Port Macquarie, past the town, and into the flat farmland where we could pull over on the side of the road to capture this beautiful Australian sunset. As you can see, by the time we found an ideal location, the sun had set behind some mountains off to the distance, but this had cast a huge shadow in the sky. The spectrum of colours in the sky and the brooding cloud formation made an interesting kind of sunset photo to share.

After Glow - Port Macquarie sunset Andrew Croucher photo.jpg

First Light - Port Macquarie  Sunrise - Andrew Croucher Photography.jpgAfter Glow - Port Macquarie sunset Andrew Croucher photo.jpg

Where is Port Macquarie?

Leica T (Typ 701) Mirrorless Camera Review

Leica T (TYP 701) mirrorless camera with Vario-Elmar 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6 lens

Leica T (TYP 701) mirrorless camera with Vario-Elmar 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6 lens

Leica Australia gave me the the opportunity to test-drive and review the Leica T (TYP 701) and a couple T-lenses over a period of 2 months, it was my first proper experience with a Leica camera, and having read about played with these prestigious cameras on display in my local camera shop, I was excited to finally see how this luxury boutique camera fares against my much cheaper DSLR canon gear.

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Original Canon 5D – First Impressions Review and my first steps into full frame

My friend Michael from O’Farrell Photography lent me his Canon 5D, a memory card and a couple batteries! Even threw in the manual! Such a kind and generous offer!

I took it for a spin with my Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM MKII  around my back yard.

This camera+lens combo is something I desperately needed a full frame camera for. I didn’t have any L-quality glass that could do 57-115mm on my cropped Canons’, only with EF-s zoom lenses.

The sun was setting and most of these subjects were in the shade, I had the camera maxed out at 1600 ISO shooting as slow as I could to get a decent exposure, lucky I had the image stabiliser on the lens to keep the images sharp.

The images below are  my first digital full frame shots!

Being so used to seeing my lenses through cropped sensors, it’s great to see the lenses expressed in their full glory. I realised also how much of the shot I was missing when compared to a full frame, even down to the way the vignette fades off is different.

And yes, we’ve probably all read about this and seen examples all the time about the differences between APS-C and 35mm full frame sensors, but when it’s your gear, and you get to see it with your own eyes, it is much more enlightening!

 

2014 Australian National Judo Championships – Event Photos

Some edits from my coverage of the 2014 Australian National Judo Championships. I had the best time shooting this event! Well done to all the competitors, event organisers and helpers for putting on such an awesome long weekend event.
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Canon EF-s 10-18mm and EF 16-35mm f/4L on Australian shores pre-release – My first impressions

It’s approaching the end of financial year and in the world of business, it’s another Christmas! Well, today it certainly felt like it when I met someone, lets call that person Santa, who had a few surprises in their camera bag.

My source informs me that I’m the 5th person to see this on Australian shores, so I am really excited to get my hands on them! These ultra-wide angle zoom lenses are a great addition to Canon’s range and will suit different levels of photographers.

I’m most surprised by the Canon EF-s 10-18mm IS STM, it’s tiny size (like a 50mm prime lens), light-weight, solid feel with many more features and I think this will sell really well at the price. I also think it will be the ultimate budget traveller’s Landscape Lens if you are a photographer that wants high quality,  light weight and low replacement costs in case it gets damaged of stolen.

It is replacing Canon’s EF-s 10-22mm , which was released in 2004 and is still a great lens if you want an ultra-wide angle lens that has ‘L-series’-style colour reproduction and overall, a sharp quality with little distortion. I haven’t had a chance to pixel peep into at the images from the EF-s 10-18mm on the 70D because there was no memory card in the camera! So I can only hope that this lens will be as good if not better than the EF-s 10-22mm’s image quality. Here are some pictures from Mic’s review of the Canon EF-s 10-18mm.

A few other features that stood out were the image stabilisation and an STM motor for a quick and ‘silent’ auto-focus. Great for any handheld work, especially landscape and architectural photographers and videographers.

For low-light situations, the image stabilisation will give you 4 stops more light, in the case that a real estate agent/photographer forgets to bring a tripod, they can shoot indoors handheld providing there is sufficient light, and a higher ISO setting may need to be used.

Canon EF-s 10-18mm IS STM specifications:

  • Focal Length: 10–18mm
  • Maximum Aperture:  1:4.5–5.6
  • Lens Construction: 14 elements in 11 groups
  • Diagonal Angle of View: 107°30′ – 74°20′
  • Focus Adjustment: Rear focus system
  • Closest Focusing Distance: 0.72 ft. / 0.22m
  • Filter Size: 67mm diameter
  • Max Diameter x Length, Weight: 2.9 x 2.8 inches, approx. 8.5 oz. / 74.6 x 72.0mm, approx. 240g

Canon 70D with EFs-10-18 f3.5-5.5 Australian Pre-release hands on review

 

And for the enthusiast, semi-pro or professional there is the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L USM IS Lens, the glass and the build quality in this lens is much better than the EF-s 10-18mm, but that’s because it is the signature L-series, with that comes a price and a quality standard to be expected.

This lens has the added benefit of image stabilisation, again, great for the videographers, although I don’t find it necessary for my handheld video or landscape needs, it will be great for the price, which is a little cheaper than the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L MKII.

As a current owner of the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L MKII, I can vouch for the quality of these L-series Ultra-wide lenses. They render rich beautiful colours with great micro-contrast within the details. I am currently using this lens on Canon 50D and 70D, both are APS-C cropped sensor cameras, and it has a very usable zoom-range of 26-56mm on an equivalent 35mm sensor. It is my work-horse lens that I use for landscapes, portraits and events.

In saying that there are still disadvantages of Canon’s wide angle zoom lenses like having corner softness. But hopefully this lens is sharp at f/4 in the corners. As mentioned above, I wasn’t able to pixel peep, but here are some sample shots from Canon Rumors Guy. Seems pretty sharp in the corners to me, I did spot 1 image that had corner softness, but it really depends on your focusing technique and the aperture setting of the lens.

Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L USM IS specifications:

  • Focal Length: 16–35mm
  • Maximum Aperture:  1:4.0
  • Lens Construction: 16 elements in 12 groups
  • Diagonal Angle of View: 108°10′ – 63°
  • Focus Adjustment: Inner focus system
  • Closest Focusing Distance: 0.92 ft. / 0.28m
  • Filter Size: 77mm diameter
  • Max Diameter x Length, Weight: 3.3 x 4.4 inches, approx. 21.7 oz. / 82.6 x 112.8mm, approx. 615g

 

Canon 70D with EF 16-35 f4 IS

 

 

Portraits for a fellow photographer

Around 2 years ago, I had some fantastic fitness photos taken by my friend and wedding photographer Robert Slabihoudek (Click here to see his work) to mark one of my fitness milestones.

Today I return the favour with a photo shoot and hopefully deliver images that he will cherish as I have with his.

He needed a few updated corporate head-shots for his photography website and social media profiles and also some personal portraits for his friends and family. And he asked for natural light and natural looking photos that weren’t tooposey’.

Like our last photo shoot, it was held at my backyard and garage, but this time, we discovered and got to try out a few new locations that had interesting backgrounds. It was golden hour and the sun was setting quick, we went with the flow and the shoot was over in 20 minutes.

Although to us it seemed like it was getting dark, the cameras and fast lenses picked up the soft ambient light and produced some amazing lighting and shadows. I got to use his Nikon D700 and his 135mm prime lens and I’m blown away by the quality of the images coming from this lens!  We took a few pictures with both his kit and my kit.  Now he has a bunch of images from both cameras and I’m leaving it in his capable hands to edit the ones he likes or use the ones I edited.

In the meantime, here are some of my edits from my new Canon 70D, it is actually the first portrait shoot I have done with it, also, the first time I mounted the Canon 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM so I was eager to play around with the image files. So far, I am happy with the colour reproduction, the extra detail in the images and the killer movie-mode. Look out for my Canon 70D consumer review in the future for my deeper analysis and experiences with the camera.

Andrew Croucher Photography - Robert Slabihoudek Profile Pics Photoshoot (1).jpgAndrew Croucher Photography - Robert Slabihoudek Profile Pics Photoshoot (6).jpgAndrew Croucher Photography - Robert Slabihoudek Profile Pics Photoshoot (8).jpgAndrew Croucher Photography - Robert Slabihoudek Profile Pics Photoshoot (3).jpgAndrew Croucher Photography - Robert Slabihoudek Profile Pics Photoshoot (5).jpg

If you like these pictures and would like some photos of your own. Don’t hesitate to contact me to organise a professional corporate photo shootpersonal portraits or a family photo shoot.

Norah Head Lighthouse – NSW Landscape Travel Photos

2012 Road-trip up the NSW coastline with my buddy Timothy Yip

Day 1 of 6

Earlier on in the day we had left Sydney to drive up north to visit the sights at Terrigal, which is in the Central Coast region. The weather was fantastic with blue skies and little cloud cover. I will post the Terrigal collection in another post.

Here are 2 highlights taken from our 2nd destination, Norah Head Lighthouse, around 3PM in the afternoon. Pictured in the first image is of course Norah Head Lighthouse, and in the second, is a small (but colourful) part of the massive rock platform on which the lighthouse is perched atop of (you can see on the Google Maps image below). Storm clouds were brewing off the coast and we started to feel a light sprinkle of rain, so we packed up our gear and walked back to the car park to seek refuge in a motel so we could recharge for the night.

Andrew Croucher Photography - Norah Head Lighthouse.jpgAndrew Croucher Photography - Norah Head.jpg

Andrew Croucher Photography - Norah Head Lighthouse.jpgAndrew Croucher Photography - Norah Head.jpg

Where is Norah Head Lighthouse?

Note: the beautiful aqua and blue colours emanating from the massive rock through the water.

Gear for the shoot

  • Canon 50D
  • Tokina 11-16mm F2.8
  • Benro carbon-fiber tripod
  • Aputure remote shutter trigger

 

Stormy Dawn at Flat Rock beach and Newcastle Ocean Baths

Today in Sydney the weather is absolutely dreadful, I had some time off from work, and was inspired to finish editing these pics I took over a year ago in Newcastle during a landscape photography road-trip half way up the east coast of Australia with my friend and fellow photographer Timothy Yip.

2012 Road-trip up the NSW coastline

Day 3 of 6

This was one the most challenging environments I’ve shot in, and it was a choice we made to endure these conditions and see how much we (and our cameras) could physically take. Plus we didn’t really have a choice since we were only there for a couple days and had to make to the most of this trip! 🙂

Newcastle; canoe pool; andrew croucher photography; NSW; australia; Beach; east coast; storm; dawn; bad weather; dramatic; fine art; landscape; black and white; slow shutter; rain; seascape; nature; ocean baths; canon; 50d; tokina; 11-16;

Strong winds blowing seawater off the ocean bath’s surface.

So it was Boxing Day, 26th of December, 2012, 4:30 AM (2nd day of our NSW east-coast road trip), cold, dark, very windy with some light rain when we got to Newcastle Ocean Baths (right on the beach). There was zero chance of a majestic sunrise happening, and the conditions weren’t ideal for us or the cameras. Strong winds blew seawater and rain onto the lens and into the buttons of the cameras so we were frequently wiping the lenses dry only for it to get a few more drops the instant you take a shot. This limited our compositions too, we weren’t able to get out to the rocks facing the ocean because the waves were crashing violently and spraying up too much sea water which meant we couldn’t get down low to the water with the cameras and tripods for those awesome low wide-angle shots. So with our large hot cups of McDonald’s coffee and cameras in our hands, we braved the weather and began scouting the area to find some other interesting scenes to shoot.

We felt like we were National Geographic photographers risking our lives for awesome photos. The morning was long, we walked (marched) in the rain for hours, but towards the end of our journey, we ended up getting soaked by a few massive waves hitting a break-wall and then we had to call an end to it. We were freezing cold by this point, and had a long walk back to the car…

So far, my favourite two shots for the day (and the ones I’ll publish for printing or licensing) are taken at Flat Rock beach, Newcastle (shown below). This location is popular for surfing and there are annual tournaments held here. Newcastle in general has a huge surfing culture and waves are good year-round.

I liked the movement in the water and the clouds, even though the exposures where only for 5 seconds, you can see quite a bit of cloud movement, an indication of just how windy it was that day. I decided black and white also for these photos because they looked more dramatic and have this fine art quality about them.

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Andrew Croucher Photography - Newcastle Flatrock Beach (1).jpgAndrew Croucher Photography - Newcastle - Stormy dawn - Flatrock Beach (1).jpg

 

 

A Fitness Photoshoot with Carlos Teixeira

Back in November 2013, I had a visit at my home studio (and gym) from my friend Carlos, an IT expert and personal trainer with a new Australian group fitness and PT business starting up PROSCULPT FITNESS.

Carlos has been chiseling away at his physique for many years and his body was looking it’s best ever, so to mark this transformation milestone, he wanted to do a fitness photoshoot and at the same time, we could get some promotional photos for his new website.

He has put a lot of work into his bodybuilding regime to reach his goals and he certainly knows his stuff. We got to talking about our exercise and nutrition philosophies and exchanged some tips. I was also surprised by his professionalism, he was well prepared and knew what he wanted in the shots and was helpful in providing input for our collaboration.

The shoot began in my garage gym while he pumped-up his muscles with a series of weighted exercises, I took some candids of him working out and some posed shots. Later on we took some more posed photos in my living room studio against a black backdrop.

Here are some of the favourites out of the bunch.

Andrew Croucher Photography - Carlito 05.jpgAndrew Croucher Photography - Carlito (5).jpgAndrew Croucher Photography - Carlito 03.jpgAndrew Croucher Photography.jpgAndrew Croucher Photography - Carlito 07.jpgAndrew Croucher Photography - Carlito 02.jpgAndrew Croucher Photography - Carlito 9.jpgAndrew Croucher Photography - Carlito (4).jpg