Well, I did it. After a great deal of research and pondering I splashed out on a Fuji X100T at the Photography Show in March. I got a good deal on price and a leather case bundled in for free. Yay, new toy!
Why did I want a mirrorless camera? I love my DSLR, but it (and its lenses and accessories) are too big for me to carry around with me every day. I generally have my iPhone with me, but sometimes would like more control or better low-light performance over the pictures I take. I had read a lot about mirrorless cameras and thought one would fit the bill.
Why did I choose that particular one? I decided on a fixed lens camera as I already have the ability to change lenses on my DSLR. I didn’t want to end up carting lenses and accessories around when the idea behind getting this camera is for it to be compact and easy to carry. As an aside, if I do find the lens limiting on this one, I have the option to buy wide-angle and tele- converters later. This particular model is relatively new and so includes some good features, and is very well reviewed by photographers I respect.
How does it fit in with my photography? It is much easier to pop this camera into my bag or sling it around my neck than it is to get my DSLR together. Although I’m quite practised at packing my small DSLR bag, I still have to decide which lens to attach, whether I want flash and whether I need to take any filters. If I want more lenses, etc, then I take my rucksack. I tend to be on a photography mission when I take the DSLR. The Fuji is much less attention-grabbing. Although I don’t do much candid or ‘street’ photography, I’d like to do more and this camera helps me. Almost always this is the camera I take if we go on an impromptu walk near where we live. I also find it easy to walk around with if I go for walks on my lunch break in London.
How do I decide when to use it? I think about what sort of photography I’m going to be doing. Candid or something more specific? Will I need off-camera flash? Are there likely to be tricky light situations? Will I need a sturdy tripod? Do I need to be unobtrusive? Is it a unique situation or a casual walkabout? How adaptable does my kit need to be? Each situation is different so I make a decision based on the answers to these questions.
Would I recommend it? After 3 months of frequent use, yes. I’m no camera expert but in my opinion it’s a great camera. The controls are intuitive and tactile. It has many features that are worth taking the time to get to know (you can add them to a quick menu if you use them frequently). The retro styling is very cool. The electronic viewfinder is awesome. The wifi is very handy. The image quality is fantastic. I often shoot both RAW and jpg, and the film simulations really make the jpgs sing. Classic Chrome – yummy. It’s a pleasing addition to my kit. It’s probably not a beginner’s camera. I think to get the most out of it, it helps if you have some understanding of exposure. It would work on full Auto mode but it is capable of so much more.
Image above shot on iPhone and processed in Lightroom and Analog Efex Pro 2.
Thanks for reading!