Sunday, September 25, 2016

Nikon D5 & Fuji X-E2 Shooting Live Theatre

Nikon D5, Sigma TC-2001 2x, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, ISO 22800, ƒ/5.6, 1/500
I have a daughter who is in theatre and I have been enjoying using my photography to connect with her through her plays and musicals.

I have been shooting the latest performance using Nikon D5 and my Fuji X-E2. Let me just start by jumping to the end for you. I wish I could blend the two cameras and then I would be happy.

What I loved about the Nikon D5 was I could shoot at ISO 45600 which also let me use the shutter speed of 1/500.

Nikon D5, Sigma TC-2001 2x, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, ISO 45600, ƒ/5.6, 1/500
What I loved about the Fuji X-E2 is that because it is a mirrorless camera it is so much quieter.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 800, ƒ/4.4, 1/60
Now the Fuji lens has image stabilization that as long as the actors were somewhat still I could get excellent images. However, most of the time ISO 6400 was the top I could get out of the Fuji. which limited the shutter speed to about 1/200. This was only possible when the stage was well lit.

In theater they often dim the lights to where you need a much higher ISO.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4.8, 1/200
Now I did try shooting with the Nikon D5 in Live View and this let you shoot totally silent. It grabbed a screen shot. However it is only a JPEG and most of all the auto focus sucked. Even Nikon tells you as much. This is on page 45 of the manual.

The only reason I disliked the Nikon D5 was the noise of the shutter as compared to the Fuji. In every other respect I preferred it.

The Fuji images put side by side the Nikon D5 were very acceptable. As long as the actors were not running around then they were excellent.

The main downside of the Fuji is the focus didn't lock in as fast as the Nikon D5. If it went out of focus it would hunt.

Then Nikon D5 was extremely quick with focus.

If I could have made the camera as quiet as the Fuji I would have never shot the Fuji. In live theatre you don't want to draw attention to yourself and distract from the performance because of the camera.

I chose to shoot more with the Fuji based on sound of the camera more than anything else.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 1600, ƒ/4.8, 1/200
Here are some more photos for you to see and the camera as well as the settings.



Anonymous said...

Why did you feel you were limited to ISO 6400 with the X-E2 and was it loaded with the latest firmware?

Stanley Leary said...

The ISO Range of the X-E2 is 200 - 6400 (Standard Output Sensitivity). This is the range that you can shoot RAW. Shooting above ISO 6400 is possible with JPEG and I prefer to have a RAW file to work with unless there is no other way to capture then I might shoot in the JPEG higher ISO range.

Anonymous said...

Stanley, thanks for the answer. Of course you are 100%. The quality of the Fuji JPEGs are so good that we neophytes tend to forget the power and usefulness of RAW. Greatly enjoyed the article.