Why Wi-Fi?

How the Fujifilm Camera App saved me

Sometimes I wonder why companies spend the time developing new features, when they don’t appear to have a lot of value. At least to me. Well, one of those new features just proved very beneficial to me.

Students empowered to change culture of bullying

That new feature is the built-in Wi-Fi on the Fujifilm X-E2 and the corresponding iPhone Camera App.

I have used the Camera App to transfer photos from the X-E2 to my iPhone and iPad in the past, but I have never considered it appropriate for my work photography, as it doesn’t integrate with my Lightroom workflow (import, rename, tag, title, caption, process, upload to Flickr). To maintain that workflow, I use a laptop, with LR installed, when I travel. I typically do that processing and delivery within a couple of hours of the end of the event, as I wait for a flight home. I can edit a very large number of images in a short time and deliver the initial batch of images to be posted, so that my colleagues can start to distribute to government websites and social media outlets. Upon returning to my office, I can integrate the laptop files and edits into my main LR catalog, and finish any edits and delivery of images.

Students empowered to change culture of bullying

Last Friday, I was shooting a student-led forum at a high school in Surrey, B.C., that included the Premier, Minister of Education and over 600 students. On this occasion, due to the time it took to drive back to the airport, there wasn’t enough time to do any post-processing before catching my return flight. On top of that, when I arrived at the small float-plane terminal at YVR, the terminal Wi-Fi was spotty at best. With only about 20 minutes to go before my flight, I wasn’t going to be able to deliver even a bare minimum of images to HQ, using my normal workflow, and the event had ended over two hours before. Can you say “missed deadline?”

But wait, there is a happy ending to this story.

Fujifilm Camera App
Fujifilm Camera App

My last option turned out to be a really great solution. I connected the X-E2’s Wi-Fi network to the Camera App on my iPhone. As I reviewed the images on the back of the camera, I transferred five shots. Once transferred, I previewed the images to check focus. From the initial five, I selected three shots to tweak in SnapSpeed, before using my work’s web-based email to deliver to a colleague at HQ, with my apologies for not doing the normal tagging, titling and captioning.

This entire process took less than 15 minutes, including the very slow delivery of high-res photos from my phone by way of the poor network connection at the terminal. And, the resulting photos were of the great quality I always want to deliver. HQ was thrilled to have something to post within a reasonable timeframe and I could wait to edit the balance of the photos from the event until I returned to the office, at the end of the day.

Because there isn’t a good LR workflow option on portable devices like iPhones (and who would want to do the work there anyway?) or iPads, I will continue to take a laptop for working on the road. But for delivering a few photos in a timely fashion, the Wi-Fi capabilities of the X-E2, and X-T1, give me a very handy solution.

Nice to have the engineers of these cameras developing technology that I don’t think I need until, well, I need it. And, it just works. Great.

Screen shot courtesy of Fujifilm.
Photos shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 with the Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8 lens.

7 Comments

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  1. Sorry just realised the post was March 2014

  2. Have you seen Lightroom Mobile? I’ve not tried it as I do not have Adobe CC, but seems an interesting idea.

  3. Interesting!

    I use it for times when I just need to transfer a shot or two, normally I use my Eye Fi card.

    • Thanks for the comment. I find the Eye-Fi cards too slow to write for most of my work photography.

      At events like these, I have to shoot a lot. The terrible lighting conditions are such that I am shooting on the edge with each of my exposure variables, high ISO, low shutter speed and wide open aperture. Nearly all of the subjects in the shots are moving, which means that it doesn’t take much to make the shot out of focus and unusable. Add to that the fact that the subjects are mostly speaking, which can make for very unflattering facial expressions. So, I shoot in small bursts as people speak, looking for the pauses. This adds up to lots of photos that the camera must process quickly so that I can continue to shoot. The Eye-Fi cards are just too slow.

      I use the fastest SD card that I can and shoot JPEGs when possible. This insures the camera can keep up with the image processing, which the X-E2 does very, very well. I might use the Eye-Fi card for slower shooting situations, such as studio portraiture or product shots. However, I even find them a bit slow for portraits, where I am trying to shoot quickly, keeping the model engaged.

  4. Yes I love this feature too.
    For your Lightroom workflow, did you try Photosmith for iPad?

    • Thanks for the comment and you bring up a good point. I avoided talking about Photosmith in the post, as I have written about it earlier. In the scenario mentioned in that post, Photosmith worked well. However, it is worth addressing its use in the context of this post.

      Using Photosmith adds an additional step to my workflow, without getting me any closer to delivering content. In fact, if I was using it, I would be delaying delivery. In my normal, laptop/LR-based workflow, I transfer photos from the camera SD card to the laptop and import to the LR catalog. At that point, I can add tags, titles, captions and make the selection of which photos I want to provide to the client. All things I can do with Photosmith on my iPad. HOWEVER, I can not edit the photos. AT ALL. And try as I might to make perfect images with each frame I expose, I generally need to make some minor adjustment to exposure and the crop of the photo. These are things that I can do very quickly, to as many images as I want at the same time, in Lightroom. A good thing to remember is that I dealing with hundreds of images, not a few, which means I need the horsepower of the laptop and LR, if I am going to edit an entire shoot.

      If I am going to just deliver a few photos to meet a deadline, as a stopgap measure, then the direct import of those few images into my iPhone or iPad from my camera is all that I am looking for. The Wi-Fi features of the X-E2 and X-T1 are perfect for that. Someone else can add the metadata needed, until I have the opportunity to edit the entire job.

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