Got my new Fuji XT-1 and first thing I did was see how it handled reef aquarium photos. Combine inch thick acryllic, moving water and lighting that can be over 20,000 degrees Kelvin and you’ve got something that will challenge any camera to it’s limits. I figured this is the hardest type of photography I do so it would make a proper break-in test. For the last couple years I’ve been using a 5D Mark II and before that a 1D Mark III. They did well- no question, but I will say without reservation the Fuji is better. First thing I am thrilled with is how useable ISO 3200 is. That speed is going to be a big deal for me. Ok next thing- auto white balance is great! Of course the colors were off the charts but even so the camera did an admirable job.

DSCF5024A few minor adjustments and voila: the colors in this photo are pretty much spot on for the real thing. Aside from the color challenge there’s the speed challenge. To get a nice frame filling shot that has a lot of interesting detail a very small aperture is needed and without that wonderful low noise/high ISO combo I’d have to compromise and have blurry polyps or too shallow depth of field. F16, ISO 1600, 1/50th of a second did the trick.

DSCF4977That beautiful coral is nicknamed Strawberry Shortcake. And yes- it’s real, it’s alive and growing. As with all the photos in this post it was made with the Fuji 60mm macro lens.

DSCF5017This piece is about 7″ across, yes the colors really look like that. The coral is Echinophyllia aspera. ISO 1600, f16 and 1/14th shutter speed.

DSCF5022The camera really shines on this one. The tips on that coral are bright bright white and present a very difficult challenge. I like how there’s still plenty of detail in the dark shadows but the tips still have detail too.




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