I have a new baby in my life and I cannot stop thinking about it. Okay, so that may be a slight boost but seriously, I am in love with the Fujifilm X100T camera that we picked up about a month ago.
As the madness of wedding and holiday portrait season was winding down, I had a lot of time to think about my photography and to asses just how I felt about it. I spent a lot of time looking at photography projects that colleagues of mine are doing (such as Ian Willms documentation of his father’s motorcycle accident) and I thought, “When did I stop making images for myself?” When I got my first camera back in high school and throughout my four years at Ryerson, I was always taking photos. I would always have a camera on me and I would have a number of projects on the go at any one time. I would make books of the images and I loved the entire process. I think that it was the introduction of digital SLRs that made me stop doing this. Suddenly the whole waiting for the film to be processed was gone and instead, we got instant gratification. The magic was gone. DSLRs are also quite bulky and they have good weight to them which makes it not so easy to just throw into my purse on any given day. In my professional photo-taking life, I do love the weight of my Canon 5D Mark iii’s and I love the lenses that come along with them but in every day life, I craved someone smaller. Something better than my iPhone. Something that would allow me to take the images that I actually visualised. I have a number of friends who have made the full transition to Fuji cameras for their professional career. Although I do not ever see myself going that way (they just do not fit my style of picture-making at this point), I was curious about these little cameras. I asked on Facebook about them. I said that I was looking for something small, that I could carry around daily to take photos. Something that would still give me total control over my images but that would not seem cumbersome to have on my body. I ended up with the Fujifilm X100T.
I chose this camera over the others in the X series of the Fuji cameras because I liked the simplicity of having a fixed lens. The 23mm is the equivalent of having a 35mm on my Canon 5D Mark iii which is a focal length that I really love the look of when it comes to documentary work. I like that the fixed lens also allows the camera to be more compact. A few friends tried to convince me to get the step up from this camera, such at the X-T1, just in case I would later want to buy additional lenses to have more variety. I opted not to because, well frankly, I didn’t want to spend an extra $800+ on a lens for the body and I just didn’t see myself ever buying extra lenses. I felt that if I was ever in that situation, I would get out my trusty Canon 5D Mark iii and get the job done that way. For my purposes, having a more compact camera seemed like a dream.
Josh and I love to travel and we obviously do it quite frequently. When we do, we often spend days wandering new cities and all the while, I am lugging my (heavy) camera bag around. When we head out at night in these new cities, we hit up as many awesome cocktail bars as we can. It has always been my policy to never bring my professional cameras out on these nights. They are worth far too much money to be responsible for after a couple of cocktails and again, it’s a bit of a nuisance to lug them around. I am already envisioning how much the X100T is going to free up my life on these trips. In April we head to Australia where I will wander the streets (and cocktail bars!) of Sydney and Melbourne with this awesome li’l guy in hand. I’m pretty excited. I am also excited about this camera because it can be used in a more automatic way so that even Josh, who will admit that his photos are traditionally awful, can take some nice photos with it. He took this camera on his trip to the UK last month and he came back with some beautiful images. This made me happy.
This camera has so many wonderful features, most of which I have not even explored yet. You can shoot up to 6400 ISO with it and the images still look great. Shooting in low light is not a problem as the aperture goes down to f.2. The in-camera colour settings for the JPGS are gorgeous and I am currently obsessed with the Classic Chrome film simulation preset. The viewfinder can be used digitally or the old-school way. There is even a small built-in flash should you need one. This camera just feels great in your hands and it brings me back to how it used to be when I first started learning about photography. Yesterday afternoon on our way home for a cafe, we walked through an alley. The snow was falling in the most perfect snow-falling way and I enjoyed that walk home, stopping here and there to take photos. This is something that I used to always do and I had no idea how much I missed it, until I had the access to begin again. Heart swoon.
One of the greatest things about this camera is the wifi capabilities. As soon as I learned of them, I was sold. I basically went out two days later and bought the camera. If you have the camera set to take JPGs (as well as the RAW files which I actually use for the most part), you can send those JPGs to your smartphone via an app called PhotoReceiver. On Wednesday evening, I attended an event. I was able to take a photo of the product that they were promoting and then immediately send it to my phone, which I then posted on my Instagram and Twitter with the appropriate hashtag. It’s pretty incredible.The coolest aspect of having the wifi function on the X100T, however, is then using it with the Fujifilm Instax Share printer. This printer is a tiny one that operates on two CR2 batteries and it prints those adorable mini Instax photos. You can send a photo either directly from the camera or your smartphone (via an app called Instax Share) to this printer and seconds later, you will have an adorable print. My head is swirling with all of the ideas that I can use this baby for and it makes me so excited.
All in all, I am in love with this camera. I love that it’s allowing me to make more images for myself which, in turn, will allow me to make better images for my clients. This camera was probably my greatest photography purchase done in the past year.