The camera was so light and unobtrusive, that it allowed me to go into places where I would be kicked out with the DSLR in no time!
X-T1 the camera that changed it all!
When Fujifilm announced their new top of the line X-T1 in January 2014, their two main selling points were "weather-sealing" and an "enhanced auto-focus system" which included the focus tracking system which I was lurking after.
As soon as GPP Dubai had an X-T1 in stock, I was on my way! I didn't take long, before my Nikon D800 and 4 expensive lenses went up for sale on the second hand photography market. After all they had been used so little since the start of 2014, that they really deserved some new ownership.
So is the X-T1 perfect? Obviously NOT! No piece of technology is... I don't like how the 4 way buttons feel at the back, even though I slowly learned to live with it. Battery performance is really nothing to write home about; especially since it is known to drop from being fully charged to being empty in just a few shots. I travel with a minimum of 4 batteries where ever I go. I do however like the camera. It has something which is very hard to describe; like falling in love all over again!
Is the Nikon D800 better than the X-T1? Hard to define what the definition of better is, I guess... Well two things are clear, it weighs double and it costs more than double. Especially when trekking up a steep mountain path the weight is a great advantage for me. After all the facts that all the gear was getting so heavy, was the main reason I was shooting less and less images for my personal work! Needless to say the image quality is great. That is if one can frame a sharp image without tripod in the first place... To me the D800 had really become a "tripod only camera"; adding to the whole weight issue even more. And then there were the problems with some of the focus points on the side not being fully accurate. Trying to take it in for repairs in the US (where I bought it!) within 6 months, I was told my warranty was not valid as I had asked for the camera to be shipped outside the US! Really?#$%ˆ*& At that time, I started asking myself the question if loyalty for Nikon was going to last...
Very common for all large technology companies, my Canon friends have told me similar stories, I'm under the impression that they really do not care what their customers have to say. Something that can't be said about the smaller companies like Fujifilm where the client (photographer) feedback comes before anything else. The frequency and the quality of the firmware updates of bodies ( and lenses!!!) is a good example of this. When was the last time Nikon or Canon came out with a brand new camera feature on a camera that has been out more than 12 months? They would rather have you buy an entire new camera body right?
When I took the pre-production X-E2 for its two week testdrive to New Zealand, the fine guys of Fujifilm Middel East invited me to give them feedback and guess what... most of the remarks have now been addressed. Obviously not only due to my comments but because of what the worldwide Fujifilm users were saying. Keep on doing this Fujifilm!
DOES SIZE MATTER?
When one makes the big decision of changing camera systems, two size related items keep re-apprearing;
1/ Down-sizing the resolution from 36 to 16 megapixels. Is 16 million megapixels sufficient? Obviously I can only speak for myself, but I have no problem printing my Fujifilm work large; I mean as large as this 1m10 wide canvas print and clients seem to still love it...
2/ Is the camera not too small? Does it look professional enough? Personally I like the smaller form factor. When using longer lenses like the 55-200 Fujinon lens, I tend to use the optional X-T1 battery grip for added stability. When it comes to what the client thinks... Well I've been into this long enough to know that if a client has a problem with this, that he or she is probably not my type of client anyway. Enough said?
THE END OF THE DSLR IS HERE
I've been vocal about this a few times, but I sincerely believe that by 2020 there will be hardly any new classic DSLR's being sold. Whoever asks me advise about which first camera they should be buying (yes, they seem to be out there every week!), I have over the last 12 months always pointed them towards the mirror less system. What makes it a hard sell to some of them, is the fact that the two largest camera companies turn a blind eye to the whole mirror less market... Wake-up Nikon and Canon or you'll miss the boat, if that is not too late already!
NIKON, it has been a pleasure working with you, but the future has now arrived. Bye Bye Nikon! Hello Fuji!
PS: In case you are wondering, all images above have been shot on the Fujifilm X-series system. An entire gallery with X-series images ONLY can be found here.