Why FujiFilm?

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 FujiFilm X100F - This is what all the fuss is about. 

FujiFilm X100F - This is what all the fuss is about. 

This is a long and complex story for a first post but I will try to make it as brief as possible. I had no Idea what FujiFilm was about outside of actual "film" until about two years ago. Before that I had always loved taking pictures and would have loved to have attended art school, but that wasn't in the cards financially for my family growing up as anyone who's into photography knows. It is an expensive hobby. It wasn't until I got my first "real" job that the Itch came Back. 

But first, lets back up a bit, back to my first foray into Digital photography. It was the start of the new millennium and I got me a Canon Rebel DSLR because I finally wanted to start taking "serious photos". And I got some serious photos out of (all of which were lost on an old server but that is another story.. one of pure agony and tears) this setup. But they weight made me want to never carry it. So I almost always left the damed thing at home!

 My Old 5mp Canon EOS Rebel. This was both my first and last DSLR.  The quality of the photo is shitty because my phone was as well at the time. Just kidding the HTC EVO was just fine as was this camera. It's weight was it's downfall.

My Old 5mp Canon EOS Rebel. This was both my first and last DSLR.  The quality of the photo is shitty because my phone was as well at the time. Just kidding the HTC EVO was just fine as was this camera. It's weight was it's downfall.

Carrying this thing around legit made me not want to take photos. I would have rather carried around a polaroid like I did when I was 14. Too me thee things might as well have been a large format plate camera. Whenever I see one now especially when some small person is carrying one. It Makes my eye twitch.

 Nex6 Dial

Nex6 Dial

Now back to the Itch. 10 years after buying, ditching and selling the Canon system, I went on a vacation to St Maarten and while I was able to capture some gorgeous images on my Sony Z1 I knew I wanted more. Something had to be done. But what?

 An Iguana on a beach in St. Maarten. Sony Z1, This photo looked fabulous on my phone. Which is the only place mobile phone photos tended to look great circa 2011.

An Iguana on a beach in St. Maarten. Sony Z1, This photo looked fabulous on my phone. Which is the only place mobile phone photos tended to look great circa 2011.

After the St. Maarten Trip I started to take more photos again. I found myself shooting everything in my neighborhood in DC and on Capitol Hill where I worked. The Itch was getting intense.

When my next big trip was coming up a few years later I decided I was going to get a "Real Camera" to document the trip. But which one? I knew it couldn't be a DSLR and I had heard wonderful things about mirrorless. It was time to do some research!

 Sony Nex6 On the Shinkansen Between Tokyo and Kyoto. 

Sony Nex6 On the Shinkansen Between Tokyo and Kyoto. 

After testing out some Olympus micro four thirds cameras for a few months I decided that I didn't like the IQ I was getting I mean they looked better than my mobile for sure, But they couldn't quite stand up to my old back breaker rebel, I then moved on to Sony., I liked my phone and knew that they made sensors for just about everyone (Even Fuji) and I liked the sony lineup. But here is the kicker. I wasn't "In Love" with them or their cameras.

They were fine cameras that produced outstanding images, that is... when you could get the settings right! However they were fiddly and I missed a lot of shots due to having to dive through menus to adjust said settings. Something had to be done and I knew it but didn't want to admit it due to the investment I had made in the system in the months leading up to my vacation.

I saw the Fuji XA2 in Hong Kong while hanging out with a flight attendant I met name Princess. I was shooting Sony at the time and I noticed the back of her screen while she was reviewing some of the photos that she took and I instantly loved the colors so much so that I had to start comparing them to what was on the screen of my Sony's

While the  a5100 Sony NEX 6 produced tack Sharp Images there was something about the Fuji files, something about the jpegs they were almost magical it was better than what I was seeing on my EVF and being a a geek I had to have this camera technology, so after Hong Kong

I moved on to Tokyo where I went to the Akihabara (Or BIC camera. I forget which, as I was midway through the worst case of G.A.S or gear acquisition syndrome, that any photographer has ever seen before or since.) Shopping Center and I had a chance to pick up and test out a FujiFilm X pro2 which had just been released, it was love at first capture. 

It was at that point that I knew that I was switching to FujiFilm but first I had to get rid of my Sony gear which was still only a few months old because I just got back into photography after hearing about how great mirrorless cameras had become. But had only had a chance to test out sony and olympus systems and I wasn't a fan of micro four thirds. Sony was next and didn't last for long

 Fuji XT1- This Camera Saved Me.

Fuji XT1- This Camera Saved Me.

So after selling my a5100 I purchased a Fuji XT1 used on Amazon and let me tell you I was instantly impressed with the EVF, the tactile knobs and the ability to control everything from the top plate, it was a dream, no more diving through menus, my camera was "out of my way" it allowed me to breathe, it allowed me to observe the scene, to take it in and to not worry about what the settings on my camera would do.

When I had Sony's I didn't trust the auto ISO nor did I trust the white balance and white balance is something pretty much locked in by today's camera manufacturers, but I found myself walking around with a gray card to make sure that I had correct white balance at least with the Nex6.

The a5100 was better however the cameras still tended to lean to the warm end of the spectrum and my photos would end up with a  yellow tint regardless of the auto setting, it was always too warm for my liking and the system just seemed off even though I had the metering set for daylight.

With the FujiFilm Cameras I just set it to auto and I don't think about it. I don't have to even do much in post if at all to the white balance.

 My Fuji X-Pro 2 Purchased Used on Craigslist. this photo is from the day I picked it up, Hands down my favorite camera.

My Fuji X-Pro 2 Purchased Used on Craigslist. this photo is from the day I picked it up, Hands down my favorite camera.

After shooting with the XT1 for awhile and after the release of the XT2 which had just arrived I had to decide if the X-Pro line was still what I wanted and after watching some youtube reviews off all of the features I had decided that it was. I got a good deal on mine used for $1000 on craigslist.

The guy had wound up with two, one he got for himself for his birthday and one his girlfriend had got him. So I ended up with the one he got himself to hide the fact that he got it before his girlfriend could.

In short, the stars aligned perfectly as I saved about $200 after looking at one used on Amazon. A recent firmware update had expended the focal points and improved a lot of areas and complaints. Fuji continues to listen to it's customers this made the decision even easier becasue with every firmware update it was like I was getting a new camera!

 
 As you can see from the top of the X100F you can control the entire exposure triangle before the camera is even powered on! For me, this is invaluable.

As you can see from the top of the X100F you can control the entire exposure triangle before the camera is even powered on! For me, this is invaluable.

 

I tend to make big decisions while on vacation, from the decision to go FujiFilm, to the purchase of the X100F while walking the streets of London while on a photoshoot none the less. The main reason I Love this camera is that it is a compact fixed 23mm lens version of my beloved X-Pro2. It was love at first shot. Everything about the camera felt right and suddenly I saw what all the fuss was about I had heard of the X100 series and it seemed a lot videos on the camera. But this was the first time I ever held one in my hands. I told the shopkeeper after about 15 minutes of playing with the device to wrap it up. I then proceeded to shoot with it for the rest of the afternoon and now I carry it as my primary camera on the streets. If I feel that the shoots really going to get serious and I'm going to want to change lenses or be out for an extended period of time I'll carry my X-Pro2 but for just about every other situation my X100F my X70 are always on me and more than enough to get the job done.

So the real reason I shoot FujiFilm is a combination of mind blowing image quality, when you look at a Fuji Jpeg (I know it sounds weird as a pro talking about Jpeg but trust me when you see them you'll understand) its like looking at decades of dedication to film realized digitally.

I almost feel guilty at times at what comes directly out of my camera. If you nail exposure you will get one hell of an image, obviously this doesn't apply to everyone but if the jpegs are flexible and will suit most peoples needs so long as you're not someone who likes to do a bunch of extra stuff in post or doing serious portraiture or landscapes you can probably get away with jpeg. This coupled with user experience, (These are designed like real CAMERAS and you can control all three aspects of the exposure triangle before the camera is even turned on from the top panel!) customer service with frequent firmware updates, and cameras that stay out of my way thus allowing me to do what I love. Taking Photos!

 

I want to hear from you so please feel free to leave to comments and suggestions.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

DB