Last year on a recent trip to Africa I had all the usual tough decisions to make. How many pairs of shorts do I need? How much beastie repellent to bring? As a man it’s all pretty straight forward really. As a photographer it’s a whole different set of problems!
Thanks to airlines and their ever diminishing baggage and carry-on allowances and the fact that it was a gorilla trek, I had to have a complete rethink on my camera equipment. Taking my usual x2 pro bodies and 3 or 4 fast lens was never going to fly. Yes… I have been that person that looks like a walking camera shop!
I needed a smaller lighter solution and I had the answer under my nose. For a while I had owned the Fuji X100 camera, a great little thing, For a photographer who cut his teeth on manual Hasselblad cameras with proper shutter speed dials and aperture ring on the lens this was a great little camera. But the thing that really sold it to me was the exposure compensation dial, which was in exactly the right place, at your thumb. No having to push buttons, go through menus, trying to remember where in the menu it is. It’s just where it should be. Oh and the quality of images was just beautiful. But it was a fixed lens, which was part of its charm but not suitable for this trip. Also as this was probably as once in a life time deal I wasn’t prepared to compromise on image quality!
So my gaze changed to the Fuji X-Pro1, again all the attributes of the X100 now with interchangeable lens and something called an X-Trans chip! I’ll leave the technology and camera testing to those that don’t get out much. As I needed to shed weight and size from my camera bag but I wasn’t about to compromise on quality. Everything pointed towards the Fuji, sure lots of companies make very nice equipment and do most, if not all, that the Fuji X series can do. But as a pro photographer sometimes you just pick something up that just feels right. In my case thats the X-Pro1. And thankfully not only does it feel right, it also delivers. There’s some voodoo black magic going on here with Fuji, I think they may have a magic formula. I hope they don’t lose it.
Anyway, I’ve had the camera for well over a year now and it isn’t the camera I original purchased, It’s so much better. How? I hear you shout! Well unlike any other camera manufacturer I can think of, Fuji regularly release new firmware updates with new features and updates. Too many for me to mention here, but they have transformed the camera from a really great camera to a fantastic camera.
For those that are interested, at the time of writing this I have the 14mm, (my current favourite lens, though that changes week to week) 35mm, 60mm macro, 18-55mm and the 55-200mm. All beautifully crafted lens. I’m just about to add a second body, possibly the X-E2 and the 23mm F1.4 lens plus the 56mm F1.2 lens when available. Fuji very kindly make public a lens road map so I know what’s about to be released and what’s just over the horizon, some very interesting lenses coming our way! And yes, these are possible some of the sharpest tools in the box
Anyway that was the easy bit taken care of, all I had to do know was trek though thick Ugandan jungle looking for gorillas!
And my back thanks me everytime I pickup my X-Pro1 camera bag and not my DSLR bag!