Eighteen Months With Fujifilm – Reflecting On The Move

It was a little over 18 months ago that my decade with Nikon came to an end. I remember struggling to decide what to do. My heart had been set on upgrading to a Nikon D500, but then at the Camera Show 2019 in Birmingham I played with numerous cameras and really disliked how the D500 felt in the hand. On the other hand, I just loved everything I seen and touched from Fujifilm. I went home and researched everything there was too know about The Fujifilm cameras available, and the story began.

A Bit Of Background

There are a number of reasons that Fujifilm sprang to mind when deciding to upgrade from my D3200 and D5300 cameras (I’d also had a D40 and D7100 over the years before these). First of all, I had briefly used a Fuji S1 DSLR before moving to Nikon, plus during the time I owned Nikon camera I also owned a number of Fujifilm bridge cameras. I always wanted my Nikon images to look like the Fuji images, but sadly they never did.

Another reason I swayed towards Fujifilm was the very granula analogue controls and looks that the cameras have. Since I was around twelve I’d had access to or owned various 35mm SLR cameras from Zenith, Minolta, Olympus, Nikon, Pentax and more. I’d also owned many instant film cameras and other formats, but the 35mm SLR cameras were never far from me. Having read that the Fujifilm also emulate old film stocks very faithfully, my mind was made up and I purchased a Fujifilm X-T20. It was everything I had wanted. Smaller than the clunky DSLRs, stylish, plenty of control without going into the menu and I could sell all my Nikon kit and just afford it with two lenses.

The Journey

It was a huge learning curve moving from a DSLR to a Fujifilm mirrorless camera (just getting used to the fact there’s no PASM dial alone was interesting!). It was akin of moving from throwing paper airplanes, to suddenly flying a jet fighter. Yes, the basic principles are the same, but that’s as far as it goes.

Having the ability to see exactly how your photo turns out before you press the button is game changing, having film simulations (or very advanced colour profiles) is game changing, having 14fps instead of 5 is game changing, quick flip screen… Analogue controls… Hundreds of auto focus points… Eye auto focus… Edge to edge focusing… Huge selection of bracketing modes… Upgrading firmware from phone app… Amazing low light performance… All game changing in everyday use.

I loved the X-T20 more than any camera I had ever owned. It transformed my photography because of everything mentioned and more. Photography was fun again, and I adopted a philosophy of one camera one lens to keep my kitbag small and to really push my artistic abilities. If you look through my images, you can visually see the point that it changes from Nikon to Fujifilm. If never been happier.

Having such power from such a small and capable camera really helps you enjoy photography again. No more heavy bags, you can carry your camera anywhere, and enjoy taking photos again. In fact, I’ve enjoyed taking photographs and the Fujifilm ecosystem so much that I traded in my X-T20 for the top of the line X-T3.

The Future

Now I have what is arguably the best APS-C camera, with even more features than the X-T20, and much faster processor as well as other refinements (faster frames per second, much better auto focus, more simulations, bigger EVF etc) I can happily build on what I’ve been working with. This includes my onecameraonelens personal website which has regular photography posts filled with my photos, the Fuji film simulation section of onecameraonelens (which is proving hugely popular), Great Photography Walks South Wales which I run (as a meeting group and a Facebook group) and which allows me to take images in places I have never or rarely visited before and lastly to concentrate on the Fujifilm Simulations Group which I Admin.

As far as photo development is concerned, I really want to concentrate even more on getting everything I want in camera. I only want one or two images per shoot to be artistically edited in any way. I want to visit more towns and cities and let the documentary photography overtake my landscape photography. I also want to concentrate more on creating more film simulations as well as grow my website.

Conclusion

It’s not hard to imagine how much I’ve fallen in love with Fujifilm. Everything from the tactile controls before you take the photo, through to the finished product is just perfect. It’s the system for photographers who just want to enjoy taking photos.

I’m enjoying being out with the camera, it’s non-obtrusive these days which makes so much of a difference. The images I take are sharper than ever before, I can shoot in lower light and I never get to miss a shot because of lack of burst or buffer speed.

I’m looking forward to taking photos, shooting until my cards are full of my batteries are empty. Because you can never look at photos and opportunities you’ve never taken and quantity with quality is a feeling second to none.