Loosing my Fuji-nity

The latest image I posted on social media was titled 'well hello gorgeous' yet the image didn't really do her justice because in reality its not just her looks. Oh, there's a lot more to her than meets the eye because she's every bit as gorgeous deep within. I know its only a camera, but ask yourself this. How often have you heard someone compliment a camera so well?

After deciding to ditch the DSLR and embrace mirrorless technology (read my last post to know what's really going on) I had some more thinking to do, in order to figure out who was deserving of the little stash of money I had saved up. Now those of you who know me know that I'am traditionally a Nikon photographer, so naturally I wanted to head in their direction. However if you've been spending a good portion of your day reading as much as I have over the last five months, you will know that Nikon and Canon have pretty much missed the bus on this one. It is sad, but it also a fact.

Now the prospect of using a camera minus the Nikon badge was entirely an unattractive one. I was convinced that this decision was going to end up biting me in the rear. But then again I've been fortunate enough to have a really good support system of photographers from whom I've learnt a thing or two, so I gradually built up a sense of confidence to go looking else where.

To put it in a nut shell I found two contenders in Fuji and Olympus, who couldn't be faulted much with what they offered. I had had a brief fling with one of them but the only reason it didn't last long was because I didn't put in the time necessary. Decisions, decisions.

Now the guys at Fuji have had quite the run at producing amazing mirrorless cameras, and one of the things I keep hearing with time is how well they listen to what their customers have to say. To me, that is a huge plus, and a sure step in their direction. However Olympus didn't make it any easier. They have a consistency that's as sure footed as Shaun White on a snowboard, which really is hard to ignore.
After much deliberation the choice was narrowed down to the Fuji XE-2 and the Olympus OMD-EM1. Both amazing cameras, but obviously as I'am yet to grow money on the trees in my backyard I could only have one. What I did next was to put all the months of research, insight and feedback to the test. I stepped out to go spend some quality time with both cameras, and finally determine the mirrorless camera with the best bang for buck and more importantly, the one which suited my needs.

Right off the bat I've got to say that there is something about using a Fuji that makes you fall in love with photography all over again. I've used the x100s and I felt exactly the same way about the XE-2. Absolute joy. I love the rangefinder look and the way all the controls are laid out. What caught me off guard was the electronic view finder. Big. Bright. Brilliant in every possible way. While I initially had to come to terms with the light weight of these cameras I found the XE-2 to be just right in my hand. The image quality is stellar, as is expected from their current range of sensors, the low light performance is fantastic and finally the Auto Focus is spot on. I'm glad Fuji has sorted this out as the XE-1 did have a few issues. To be honest I couldn't find much to fault with the XE-2. Actually wait, the camera strap. I will rant about that some other time.

The EM-1 in comparison offered something of a more familiar feel after migrating from a DSLR. It is slightly bigger with a better grip. It is also blessed with wonderful ergonomics and has a host of buttons that can be customized for different functions. The image quality is as great in comparison and the 5axis image stabilization is a welcome addition which helps produce some fantastic images. The added benefit is that it's weather proof, which is a huge selling point for Olympus. (Fuji has released the XT-1 as of 28th Jan which is also weather proof)
One thing that bothered me personally about the EM-1 was the size factor. It seems a tad big and 'tad big' was never a part of my decision to make the switch to mirrorless. I'm fully aware that it still is smaller than a standard DSLR but somehow this bothered me.

Time well spent I was still in awe over what both these cameras could produce given their size. Like I said earlier the Fuji XT-1 has already been released, yet like the EM-1 it is more DSLR oriented in terms of how it is built and that is something I'm shying away from. Don't get me wrong the EM-1 is one heck of a camera, just not for me.

The Fuji XE-2 suits me really well. I can't begin to explain how much I love everything about it. It looks gorgeous, weighs close to nothing and works flawlessly. Im a sucker for attention to detail and as always Fuji delivered. When I'm out there with a camera my primary focus is on creating the image and the XE-2 lets me do just that.

Since Fuji have now released the XT-1  I was anticipating the XE-2 to drop in price. A quick phone call to my local store confirmed my thoughts. They were offering a bundle package at a very attractive price. All things considered this was looking very good for me. It got a whole lot better towards the end of the conversation as the guy I was talking to happened to mention that they had recently received a new shipment of XE-2's, all in black. The silver one was not so easy on the eyes so I was delighted the black one had finally arrived. Prolonging this purchase any more would have been really daft, and that is precisely what I didn't do. I went and bought myself a Fuji XE-2

Happy days to come.

Making the switch

Ever since I embarked on my photographic journey I've always questioned the absolute need to lug around a DSLR camera to get the job done. Sure, you would be hard pressed to find one that didn't excel at what it does, but with all the advancements in technology there had to be a way in which all this awesomeness could fit into something smaller and more importantly, lighter.

Fortunately 'mirrorless' technology has now been around long enough and has heavily influenced photographers around the world in making the switch. To be honest, while all of this was hitting the headlines of every photographic website and constantly doing the rounds on my twitter feed, I however wasn't thoroughly convinced. I had to see for myself.
I'm an avid reader (mostly web related content) so for quite a while every tab on my browser was information related to as much mirrorless tech as I could find. And what a find it has been.
To say I've been blown away would be putting it casually. This new age find is what I have always been anticipating.

The ability to couple images of DSLR quality with nearly all of it's bells and whistles from a body that could quite well fit in the palm of my hand was unreal. The icing on the cake was when I actually got to see it in the flesh. If you're like me you've been using a DSLR all along, holding a mirrorless camera in your hand for the first time can be quite the nerve racking experience. I was constantly worried that it was going to part from my hand at any given moment, crash into the lovely tiled floor below me and explode into a million pieces. It's light weight really caught me off guard, but what's even more amazing is how quickly it grew on me. I adored it. I could shoot with this all day long and not feel a thing. I walked all around the store with it, never for a moment feeling like I was carrying a camera that was a serious contender against the much bigger competition. It was such a nimble piece of work, almost like a toy but one with so much going on in its depths.

Leaving the store I realized that this was an essential tool for what I do, a tool that has been long over due. It's only fair to say, that I now count myself among those that have been influenced into making the switch. Watch this space. If you've already jumped on the mirrorless wagon or are still on the fence about it I would love to hear your thoughts or feedback.