This is NOT a Fuji X-series shot. Just so you know.
Ever since I started aiming a camera in earnest for my own work purposes, probably about fifteen years ago now, I’ve been a Canon shooter. Like many people, this most likely came about from literally being the first camera I picked up in the shop that felt good in my hand. I have little hands, and I found the Nikon bodies didn’t sit well in my tiny paws. My first Canon DSLR was the lovely little EOS350D, with a nice little kit lens. No great shakes technically by today’s standards, but intuitive to use, light enough to drag around with me wherever I went, and it enabled me to get creative, too.
However, fifteen years on and that 350D that sat so well in my hand is now the large, heavy and very capable Canon 5D MKIII, together with a whole host of prime lenses. Well, two 5DIIIs, to be precise. They shoot beautifully, but boy, are they heavy, and unwieldy. At the end of a wedding, you feel like you’ve been dragging around a dead body all day – and not only that, when you shoot documentary, you need to be instantly responsive AND unobtrusive. Whilst I feel I do a pretty good job at both, wearing two large cameras makes you very obviously The Photographer and draws attention to you when perhaps you’d rather be entirely invisible.
So, I made a decision, and here we are. I am now a Fuji X-series photographer. Those large, heavy Canon bodies are replaced with two X-Pro2 bodies, which are not only a better fit for those tiny paws I mentioned, but HUGELY more intuitive to use than the DSLRs, even at this early stage of my relationship with them. The quality is exceptional, of course; I wouldn’t change for a camera which gave my clients lesser quality images. And already, I can see improvements over the Canon that will fit so well with my style of shooting. My lord, the electronic viewfinder is unreal! Being able to view your shot in the optical viewfinder as normal to frame the shot, then getting things like exposure adjustment instantly overlaid on your view… mindblowing! It pulls together the benefits of an electronic viewfinders and puts them just where I need it, which is at the eyepiece. I am genuinely so happy.
Even with a full kit – two bodies, a host of prime lenses, batteries, memory cards, etc… all these now fit in one compact bag, rather than the huge wheely case I was committed to bumping around all the time at previous weddings. My office is on the second floor, and lugging my gear all the way up those sets of stairs late at night after a wedding wasn’t exactly something I looked forward to. Now, I shall positively SKIP up those stairs. I feel like I’ve been released into the daylight.
Added to this, the rangefinder style of camera is something I really love. I collect vintage cameras and have previously owned a Leica M3, which is a thing of beauty. However, sadly I rarely used it, as film photography and documentary style wedding photography are hard to dovetail together (for me, at least. If you’ve successfully done it, then hats off to you!). As it was just too expensive a toy to sit on the shelf, I sold it, regretfully. But, now I get to shoot rangefinder again….and with a camera which is absolutely up to the job of picking up and taking over from where my big, heavy Canons left off.
So, I’ll be coming back here on a (ir)regular basis and giving you a few thoughts on how my relationship with the Fuji X-series develops… but for now, I’m waving goodbye to Canon with a fond look back at one of the first shots I took with my trusty little 350D. It’s not a wedding shot, it’s not special, but it reminds me of a happy time… and of when I liked to saturate images A LOT. And oversharpen them. Oops.
Who knows… maybe one day I’ll buy back a little Canon350D for my vintage camera collection.