2 years of mirrorless shooting
About 2 years ago I made a difficult but rational decision. I decided to let go the most desired camera model I ever owned, the Canon 5D Mark 2. Not just the body, but my complete set of lenses and accessoires I purchased all the years before. I seriously love this camera. Captured so many lovely shots, carried it to the highest mountains and to far shores and took some great family videos with it.
But as time went by, the big camera bag stayed at home more often. I didn’t wanto to carry around all the lenses, the big camera body, and taking pictures in public made everyone look at the guy with the big ass camera. I definitively prefer to stay in the background. So these images were the last ones to be captured by a FF camera.
I sold the complete Canon DSLR Kit to a guy from facebook, alongside with my trusty bagpack, filters, Remote control, etc. I spent many nights reading reviews and watching pictures, and finally, I read an article about the new Fujifilm X-E1. The Pro1 was a real interesting camera, but everywhere people complained about the general speed and the AF. The E1 was told to be smaller, faster, but with the identical image quality of the Pro1. I was sold.
I ordered the Camera with the XF 35mm f1.4 Prime lens and was gobsmacked by it’s size and sheer beauty.
Hello Lightroom? What’s this?
The first evening was disappointing. My exercised Lightroom workflows didn’t work anymore, the results looked like a waterpainting and the colours were just strange. It took Adobe a few updates to get the X-Trans Sensor handling right, and thanks to the zealous Fuji community there are many guides and presets to handle the RAW files right. I know there are other RAW converter like Silkypix & Photo Ninja, but honestly, I don’t want to spend that much time in developing and learning to deal with a new tool. I find oneself shooting JPG’s straight out of cam more and more, the in camera conversion does simply a terrific job. Shooting in RAW+JPEG has simply become my standard procedure today.
Talking about speed…
Another obstacle was the Speed, at least compared to my DSLR equipment. To be honest, the 5D Mark II wasn’t the fastest camera of it’s class, but in comparison of the X-E1 it was a beast. Fuji adressed the issue quite well over the time, you could see improvements with each firmware update. Thanks Kaizen カイゼン! As soon as I got hands on the XF 18-55mm, things improved drastically too. The XF 35mm f1.4 needs some time in low light situations. A few days ago Fujifilm announced another 35mm, which is a real compact one with an aperture of 2.0 and is told to be much faster concerning the AF.
The camera itself,… i’d call it sufficient. You can’t compare it to the newer models like X-E2 or of course the X-T1, but for a prudent shooting you can cope with the speed. You wouldn’t want to shoot a motor race with the cam. Even running kids can be a bit challenging, but you learn to use techniques like Pre-focusing, or simple tips like pressing the shutter completely. In more than 50% of the shots the AF will hit.
Lets go for a walk…
The one purpose which led to the selling of my DSLR equipment was winning mobility. And boy did that succeed! Taking the camera with me every trip, vacation and simple city walk has become reality! And I don’t regret it because my ThinkTank camera bag is my every day companion. Even with my full equipment (18-55, 35, 50-230) the bag isn’t too heavy.
The ‚oldschool‘ design leads to a completely different style of shooing. I don’t take 10 shots of the same subject anymore and pick the best one in post editing. I am just planning how to shoot, turn the dials and *click*. Finito. Maybe at the end of the day I notice a failed shot, but photography has become a more personal, calm and meditative thing for me. I love it.
All in all I don’t regret this step in my photographic life. I’m able to keep precious moments in my family’s life and get just beautiful results out of a camera I can carry around for ages even around my neck. Of course my old DSLR was more versatile, but i’m not attending sport events I like to capture on photography and don’t need 21MP for developing prints. I am happy I don’t have to repent not bringing my cam with me, as it’s on my side every time I need it.
Unfortunately I am also a geek. In the near future the X-T1 will be my new toy. 🙂