I am sure most Fuji users are aware of the Fujifilm Camera Remote App, but I thought I would show you a couple of ways that I use it to help and also extend the way I photograph.
Lets firstly refresh our memories on this piece of software and what it offers anyone with a Wi-Fi enabled Fuji X camera. This ever-expanding range now includes the X70, X100T, X-T1, X-Pro2 and now the X-T2 of course.
The app is available free to download for iOS (from the App store) or Android (Play Store) Smartphones and Tablets. Once you have downloaded the app, the first thing you need to do is to switch on the Wi-Fi on your camera (see your instruction manual if you need to find out which function button this has been assigned to). When you press the Wi-Fi button, the display on your LCD will show that the camera is looking for a device to connect to. Simply go to the Wi-Fi settings on your device and all being well you will see your Fujifilm camera show up as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Tap to connect, then find the Fujifilm app, open it, tap the connect button and in a few moments the camera and phone/tablet should be connected. You will then be shown the main screen of the app, which gives you a choice of four selections to choose from. The top two are the ones I most commonly use. On the left is the remote section which gives you control of the camera from the app, next to that on the right is ‘receive’ which will send across JPEGs that you choose from the phone to your device. This is perfect for sharing photos to social media whilst on holiday, thus making your friends jealous who are back at home, hard at work! I use it also to post a few photos during a wedding, tagging bride, groom, venue etc. In an effort to beat the guests who are doing the same having shot photos on their phones! (Please note if you shoot in RAW only, you will not be able to transfer photos over as the app only transmits JPEGs. Also if you have an X-Pro2 or X-T2 and use card slot one for RAW and slot two for JPEGs, the app only transfers photos from slot one, so you will have to switch the cards over to transfer the JPEGs to your device)
On the lower left there is a button to browse the SD card on the camera and is a quicker way to import a large selection or all the photos than the ‘Receive’ button. Finally, lower right is a button for Geotagging photos. This works by transferring the GPS position from your Smartphone to the EXIF data on the image. You will then be able to view where you took the photo in software such as the Map module in Lightroom.
However the topic I want to focus on in this article is the first option, that of being able to operate the camera remotely and how it could widen your photographic options.
Regular Fujilove readers will know from my previous articles, that as well as a commercial photographer, I am also a street photographer and I have so far found uses for the camera remote app in both genres.
Lets look at how I use it for street photography first, as this is probably the more obvious use. Anyone who practices street photography will know that capturing those candid moments without being spotted is the trickiest part of the discipline. I love the tilting articulated screens of the X70, X-T1 and 2, as they certainly help in taking candid photos, by using the LCD screen like a waistlevel finder on the old Rolleiflex cameras (Just like Vivian Meir). However there are still times when even this method can result in you being spotted! So just rest your camera on for example a table outside a coffee shop, connect to the Fuji app and just like magic your what the camera sees in the viewfinder will be shown live on your phone/tablet. So you don’t even have to be looking in the same direction as your camera is pointing. Not only that, but the amount of camera functions that can be operated by the app is amazing. You can control; shutter speed, aperture, ISO, film simulation and even focus point. By the way as well as street photography the camera now becomes the best ‘selfie’ camera for holidays. No need for to use the self-timer and running back into shot.
Another use I recently thought of for remote option occurred to me after I had purchased the excellent X70. One of the things I often get asked to do at functions, like weddings, is to photograph the guests at each table, as a record of who was there. Up to now this has proved to be a real chore, as it involves using a ladder to get sufficient height to get all the ten guests seated around a table in shot and often there isn’t space to get far enough back to get them all in. So knowing that my X70 is both small and very light, I came up with the idea of fixing it on top of a monopod, that I usually use for stability when using telephoto lenses. I am now able to hold quite easily, (as it’s such a light combo), the monopod and camera over the tables and using my Smartphone see what the camera is seeing to take the table photos. If I want to, I can ask them to all look up at the camera and wave or raise a glass. The high unusual viewpoint gives a unique shot that clients love and is so much quicker that dragging a stepladder around.
I am sure there are lots of other creative ways of using the remote app and I would love to hear from you how you use it in the comments section below.