Me? The one that works best for what I like to do.
I’m not attached to a brand -nor am I very sentimental.
Something comes along, and I think it’ll work better for me? I’ll seriously look into it.
Just like in my guitar playing days. When I was recording in the studio, I wouldn’t hesitate to borrow or rent a different guitar, or amplifier if I thought it would get a sound that fit better with what I was trying to do. (The last time I bought a guitar amplifier -about 15 yrs ago, I went to my local music store, tried a bunch, and had narrowed it down to two. To me, they both sounded very good. How did I decide? I placed both on either side of me, stepped in-between, and picked them up. I bought the lighter one!)
Like-wise, I don’t really care what it says on the front of my camera -so long as it does what I need it to do.
Over the years, I’ve used Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Pentax, Panasonic, Fuji, and probably a couple of others that I forget. For various reasons they all seemed like the right thing to use at the time.
A few years ago, I switched to Fuji, and here’s why:
I got old.
They’re smaller and lighter, so walking around for a couple of hours with a camera and lens slung around my neck, isn’t the chore that it once was. Prior to owning my current main camera, I had a Nikon D700. Amazing camera, but pair it with a 70-200 f2.8, and after an hour of walking around, you might find yourself with a bit of a slouch. You (or at least I did) find yourself, almost sub-consciously, making excuses why you shouldn’t go out for a walk with your camera. Not good.
Plus, my eyes have weakened with age. The diopter wouldn’t ‘rack out’ far enough to make things sharp in the view finder.
Time for a change.
I started looking around online, and oddly enough, for some reason, I was distracted by a review of the Fujinon 16, f1.4. I went downtown to a local camera shop, and, suffice to say, was VERY impressed. 16mm, (With Fuji’s cropped sensor) or 24mm, in 35mm terms has always been my favorite focal length. Plenty wide, and if you’re careful, you can avoid ‘converging parallels,’ and wide angle distortion -or, you can use them for effect.
I went home, thinking ‘Hmm… I wonder what the bodies you attach that thing to are like?’
More online research.
I saw that the recently released Fuji X-T2 was getting sparkling reviews.
Back down to the camera shop, a couple of days later.
I bought both. The body was smaller, and lighter, the electronic viewfinder was sharp and crisp, and because it’s electronic, I can see in focus again. But most important of all, It produced images that I really liked.
My Nikkor lenses went on Kijiji, sold quickly, and covered most of the cost of my new camera and lens. I kept the D700 body, and one 50mm lens, because the body is somewhat banged up, and as the English like to say, ‘I couldn’t be arsed’ to sell it, as I probably wouldn’t get much for it anyway.
After a couple of days of testing, and shooting, I noticed another pleasant surprise: With a little care, and occasional tweaking, I could get really good images right out of the camera. That’s important to me. I’m not one of those people who likes to fool around in Lightroom, or Photoshop to make adjustments on their images after they’ve taken them. Usually, I’ll still have to do a little, but shooting with the X-T2, I can keep it to a bare minimum.
(There’s always a big debate when it comes to shooting jpeg vs. shooting RAW, and to be sure, I have some strong opinions about it, but that’s for another blog post, later on.)
Now, let me tell you some things that my camera isn’t:
-It doesn’t have the fastest autofocus. Make no mistake about it, it’s VERY fast -plenty fast for me, but if I was a photojournalist covering sports, say, I’d probably be looking into offerings from Canon, or Nikon. But then I’d be back with the weight problem.
-It’s not full frame. If extreme detail of large files is your thing, or you’d like to severely crop, you’d probably do wise to look elsewhere. However, I have, just across the room from me here, a landscape shot that I took in High Park in the fall a couple of years ago. I printed it at 24” X 36”, or whatever the dimensions are with Fuji’s sensor size -one side is 36,” and it’s perfectly tack sharp, and crisp.
-It doesn’t have the fastest frame rate for burst shooting. I think in ‘boost’ mode, I can get 8 frames per second. But, come on, do most of us really need more than that? Even half of that?
-Certain software companies offer limited, or no support for files produced by Fuji cameras. I like to think of them as ASSHOLES. I get along just fine with ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate. (More on this later. Rest assured, there’s a colossally vitriolic blog post coming soon…)
-Apparently, Fuji is not a leader in the field of video. I wouldn’t know. I’ve never shot a video with any of my cameras. Not one.
There are a few other things that other manufacturers do better than Fuji, but that are quite inconsequential to me. The X-T2 does what I need it to do. I know how to use it in various circumstances. And just as important, I know what I don’t need.
These days, once you reach a certain price point, every camera is going to be very good. The market is so competitive, camera manufacturers can’t afford to offer something that lags. Other components of their ‘systems’ are what a lot of people are looking into.
How’s the lens lineup? Are the optics great?
How’s the flash system? Is that important to me?
Paramount, is ‘What am I going to be shooting?
For most of us, and I was no exception here, when we’re beginning, the answer is probably something like ‘a little bit of “x”, and a little bit of “y”, and then just about everything.’ We start out running around shooting everything, and as we progress, we tend to gravitate toward certain subjects, and styles.
If you have a better understanding of what you’re going to be shooting, you have a better chance of getting it right the first time.
Do the research. It’s all out there all over the ‘net. And like everything you read online, CROSS REFERENCE IT.
The best thing about the internet is that anyone can say anything.
The worst thing about the internet is that anyone can say anything.