For many years we have produced our photography on Canon cameras.
But now we shoot with the Fuji X system!
Changing entire camera systems is a big deal for most photographer, and probably happens no more than 2 or 3 times in a career.
You not only have a major investment capital wise, but also emotionally. With regular use the camera becomes an extension, and you grow used to the organic nature of the images a system produces.
But time moves on, and Canon being a very conservative company, have been slow to adopt some of the new technologies which can add to a photographers skills and experience, and these large DSLR systems are no longer needed to produce high quality results.
The Fuji X’s are lighter than the Canons they replace, they have an almost identical resolution, their controls are more traditional, and the photography they produce is indistinguishable from the previous Canons for the vast majority of the work we do, at a cost that is significantly lower.
Whilst I was nervous at the idea of the move, worried that client would see a difference, or would not feel I was “Professional enough” without the big cameras, that has not been the case at all.
Add to this a superb selection of again smaller and lighter lenses, and their is very little not to like about the system.
New cameras means new software!
In addition to adding Fuji cameras to the company with the attendant lenses, we have also moved part of our photography post production onto a new software!
Since 1993 I have been using Adobe photoshop, but with the new Fuji system raw files not being dealt with very well by photoshop, we have also brought in Exposure X3, which has also sped up a lot of the basic work we have done in photoshop, having a faster workflow with a different approach to editing from photoshop.
So, hows it going then?
There is no doubt that changing from a full DSLR system and all of its bits, to a smaller and lighter mirrorless system is a bit of a shock.
The way you think about what your seeing is different, the controls and options are different.
A big professional DSLR is in reality a fairly simple beast, with a logic to the controls that stretch back to almost the start of photography.
Mirrorless is different. You need to not only control the basic photographic functions, but how the images are actually presented to you as you shoot. So instead of just seeing images on a ground screen, you now have the ability to see images as they will be recorded… in theory.
Whilst many controls are the same, and Fuji have excellent manually adjustable traditional controls for the basic functions of the camera, the myriad of options can be bewildering.
So that takes some getting used to. The camera is as much computer, as camera.
In addition Fuji uses a different demosaicing system on its chips than most manufacturers, which again, takes some getting used to.
But after a year, I think its safe to say its all good!
With major projects with the cameras for clients such as the Forestry Commission, Visit Britain, Eon, NCT, and many others, under my belt, I’m actually now comfortable with them, and can work as quickly as before.
In fact, picking up a DSLR now feels very strange, with its dark viewfinder and its bulk.
With three bodies and 7 different lenses, I have still managed to cut in almost half the weight of gear I’m touting, and have gone from a fully wheeled bag, back to one of my older Domke’s.
In addition their connectivity is better, I can send images directly from the camera to my iPhone or iPad using a wireless connection.
And after 6 months use Fuji gave us all a present. They put out a free firmware update which took the video capabilities from 1080p, to full 4k.
Looking to the future, Fuji are offering equipment which will be able to fully replace all of our Canon gear. With new BSI chips and excellent video specs, we are now looking forward to being able to use the Fuji gear not only for our stills, but also for our video work.
I think however the best thing about the change is the reaction from people who see me using them. One 14 year old commented that I was totally “On Fleek.”
What’s not to like about that?