The love affair is over.
To be honest I’m not sure it ever started in the first place.
It was probably just a mid-life crisis. I guess I was looking for something new and exciting to take me away from the mundane humdrum of normal life. I was stuck in a rut and needed excitement and passion.
I found a stunning young model; petite, black and stunningly gorgeous.
I saw others enjoying the pleasures of spending their life with one so much younger, modern and exciting and I guess in hindsight I was a little jealous. I wanted a little piece of that too.
Why should I be alone?
I gazed longingly and enviously at them walking through the streets, hands holding firmly but gently, satisfied smiles on their faces, knowing they were part of something special.
I stared from distance, admiring that irresistible little black body. I desperately wanted to feel the curves. I wanted to feel that inner warmth as I pulled her close to me, my nose pressing against her back as I wrap my hand around her.
This was not going to be a secret pleasure. I wanted to go out and show her off to the world. I wanted people to look at me and go “wow”. I wanted to hear their appreciative comments, see their admiring glances and I wanted them to be jealous of what I had.
I wanted to be part of that exclusive club.
I made up my mind. I just had to have her.
So off I went to the Photography Show at the NEC in Birmingham and bent my credit card to purchase a brand new Fuji X-T1 (what else were you thinking?)
That was a year ago. The initial passion has long since fizzled out and the little Fuji has recently left home to be cared for by another.
So what went wrong?
How can I not love the Fuji X-T1?
Have I gone mad?
The truth is the Fuji is not a BAD camera. Of course it’s not.
It just wasn’t for me.
Like purchasing a house, a car or a motorcycle, cameras are a very personal choice and what works for one won’t work for others. Just look at the social media debates on SLR v Mirrorless, Canon v Nikon, Film v Digital (yes that one still rages on).
I grew up with SLR cameras and progressed to Digital (eventually – I wasn’t convinced by the quality in the early years and let’s be honest compared to film it was dire!)
As my experience and enthusiasm grew so did my upgrades. From the Canon EOS 350D that was my first digital SLR I am now the proud owner of an EOS 5D Mark IV alongside a Mark II and a 7D. Although the 5D MkII is also off to a new home soon.
But I digress. Why have I divorced from Fuji?
On face value it’s a cracking camera;
Its small, lightweight, a great collection of quality lenses available, image quality is very good and ideal for one of my passions – Street Photography.
I’ve seen some fantastic shots taken on the X-T1 and I know it can deliver to an excellent standard.
I’ve also taken some shots with it that I’ve been really pleased with too but I will leave others to judge how good they are 🙂
It just didn’t feel right.
It was just too “fiddly” for me. The overly complicated (IMHO) menus just didn’t feel instinctive as the standard dials, controls and menus on my Canon kit.
Silent shutter on the Fuji is fantastic, especially for candid street photos but I couldn’t understand why you had to switch to mechanical if you wanted to use the hot-shoe mounted flash. Sometimes I want to switch between the two and found it an unnecessary complication to have to switch. My Canon G16 compact has an electronic shutter and I can use the integral flash with a pop of the flash button.
This was a big thing for me – perhaps not for others but as I was experimenting with flash in my street photography it just didn’t fit for me. I wanted silent shutter for non flash but then I would see a shot that I would think “that’s going to work with some fill in” I had to fiddle about and the moment was gone. I left it on mechanical shutter mostly. Perhaps its OCD but this annoyed me. Little things !
I am not even going to bother mentioning batteries. Okay I just did but the least said the better. No point having lightweight kit if you have to weigh the bag down with additional batteries for goodness sake.
Another issue was the autofocus. It was not as accurate or as fast as I would have liked. Its adequate but certainly no Canon competitor. Bright sunshine was fine but low light was a struggle where my DSLR would lock on almost instantly. Even on cloudy days I found the autofocus just a tad slower than I was used to.
Image quality was as I say very good but I never found it matched the DSLR – nor should it. A smaller sensor, less megapixels will not compete but again it was probably a case of what I was used to with full frame DSLR.
The X-T1 was certainly better than my G16 in many respects but the G16 being a compact was always going to be a compromise and never intended as a replacement for the DSLR as many have expected the X-T1 to be.
These are just a few, arguably minor, things that I struggled to get comfortable with. Overall it certainly wasn’t a bad camera; just different and I guess and that’s what I mean when I say that it came down to “feel”
The X-T1 just didn’t feel instinctive or intuitive to me – no doubt having my muscle memory firmly adhered to the feel of a full frame Canon EOS D series for years.
I tried, I really did try. I took it everywhere with me. I captured portraits, news, events, even some sport (but that wasn’t a success if I am honest !) I got some cracking images (well I was pleased with them anyway) and I really really wanted to love this little camera that everyone (or so it appeared at the time) were raving about.
In the end I had to give up. It wasn’t for me.
I’ve since recently sold it in excellent condition with my lenses. At the moment I am more than happy with my Canon kit and have no problem using my DSLR for street photography; it’s not as “in your face” as people would have you believe. I also have my fantastic little G16 which goes everywhere with me. What more do I need?
Well coincidentally its Photography Show time again and I have recently played with the Canon EOS M5 which has controls familiar to my EOS and G16 cameras and I was impressed with the autofocus and quality of images.
Not quite sure about the 15-45mm kit lens with f6.3 aperture at 45mm or the need to unlock the lens but I think I could live with it and buy a couple of additional fast lens or my L series lenses with the adaptor.
Mrs D where’s the credit card? Have you seen my credit card?………