Not long ago, I purchased a Fujifilm X-T1. At first, I was in love. The retro feel, knobs I could change exposure settings with (I’m not much of a fan of all-digital settings), and the fact that it was just so small made it the perfect walk-around camera. I mostly used it at the local farmers market and to photograph my food at restaurants. It was so nice to have a camera on me but didn’t feel like I was carrying a camera.
Then, later in the summer, I went to Grand Teton National Park. I brought my new Fujifilm setup along with me to see how it fared as a landscape camera. The next month, I also took it along to Moab for the same experiment. But during that trip, something happened … I wasn’t happy with the images I was getting from the Fujifilm. They were soft, and “mushy”. To this day I’m still not certain if it was a lens issue, diffraction, or something else. Either way, I couldn’t rely on the camera and started to fall out of love.
Next week I will be traveling to Thailand to co-lead a workshop for a second time in Chiang Mai with The Giving Lens. I originally was planning on bringing along my Canon gear, but then my good friend and colleague David duChemin posted this article, and it made me re-think about my experiences with the Fujifilm, and also my upcoming trip to Thailand. (Curse you, David!) :)
As much as I love my Canon gear (and I do truly love the gear and the images I can create from it), it’s just so darn heavy. Plus, I have already been to Thailand to do this exact same trip, so I won’t have the pressure to create “good” photos in the same way I did on the first trip. Also, because it is not a landscape trip (mostly markets, people, temples, etc.), then I may not even run into the same issues I ran into before if I bring the Fujifilm along.
So I have decided to give the Fujifilm X-T1 a second chance. My goal is to have a different experience on this trip than I had the first time around, and to (hopefully) experience it on a deeper level. Having lighter and less noticeable gear may be the perfect thing to do just that. I will also have a second body and a few additional lenses that I have rented from LensRentals.com, so I should have a good setup to get another test run in with this type of travel.
If (or when) Canon ever comes out with a mirrorless camera system I will be one the firsts to jump in and try it out. And, my existing Canon gear is going nowhere (it’s still my preferred system for both food and landscape photography). But until then, I’m going to test the waters with the Fujifilm, as well as other systems (such as Sony).