My transition to Fujifilm...
To be honest, i had never thought in the wildlest of my dreams that i would be transitioning to Fuji as my primary camera for street photography. Lets go back to the year 2015, back then i was using two Nikon fullframe bodies, a Nikon D810 and a Nikon D750. I had a friend of mine, who had invested on a Fuji xt1 AND WAS QUITE EXCITED ABOUT IT! Me on the otherhand hated the mirrorless bodies, i loved the feeling of the DSLR's in my hand, the ergonomics, the robust feel, and above all the fast experience of making an image. While i would have shot an image, my friend at the same instance would be fiddling with the controls, especially the sluggish view finder of the fuji. Back then, Fuji had just entered the market atleast in India, and honestly they werent as matured as they are today, compared to the other camera manufacturers in the market.
Don't get me wrong, when i say i have a Fujifilm in my bag, i still own the Nikon D750 and i love it. The cameras are incomparable and have specific attributes to their advantages. Atleast, that is the way, how i see it today. As a matter of fact, today in 2020. Fujifilm has come a long way, the small compact bodies, with tremendous potential, with amazing colour science and trustworthy customer support makes it an undeniable proposition.
How i went about owning it...
There would be many who might resonate with my thoughts, i can say that. To give you the background, i do wildlife, nature and street photography. Both are totally different genres and have very different demands with respect to equipment. Lets talk about street and travel photography here as that is where the fujifilm is intended to be used on. Until the last month, i used a Nikon d750 and tamron 15-30 2.8 g2 for my street work, occassionally, i would use a sony a6000, but thats another story for some other day. There is no question about the Nikon 750 combination, fast, accurate, amazing image quality, but the only gripe i had was the size and weight. Honestly, we tend to get spoiled with neverending technology advancements, "the bigger the better" is no more the trend. Like i mentioned before, i loved the substantial feeling of the DSLR and had never thought i would get over it. But we change, lets accept it - the world is, and we are no exception.
So, the Nikon D750 was my constant companion in my street photographic endeavours. I was constantly bombarded with articles related to how amazing the Fujifilm is with the image quality, especially with its proprietary film simulations etc.
One fine morning, i rented the Fujifilm xt2 and went out for a shoot. Initially, it did appear a bit fiddly with the controls, and thats bound to happen, coming from a DSLR. But trust me, once i became familiar with the camera , i just loved the experience. It just changed the entire experience of making an image, and in a good way. I believe, we all do photography because it gives us happiness, and using the Fujifilm, it added to the joy.
Here is the thing, i definitely cannot compare a full frame image quality with a crop sensor. However that is a debatable topic especially in todays age when the sensors are getting better and better. But, i can tell you this, the fujifilm stands strong in most of the situations, other than the lowlight and shallow depth of field areas. The small size, lovely ergonomics, amazing film simulations, jpegs, fast autofocus can compensate for the limitations atleast for me. Lets get to some of the images i have shot with this as we tallk further.
The vegetable seller - 1/60th, F/3.6, ISO1600, 18mm
A portrait - 1/400th, F/2.8, ISO 200, 18mm
So the weekend ended and sadly the fujifilm had to go back to the owner. Further to that, my pursuit of happiness began. 2019 was coming to an end and there were attractive offers all over the place. However, my interest was to buy an XT2, since as per my research and understanding, it was more than enough for my street photography and xt3 was an overkill for me. Nevertheless, i still waited and people suggested to look at the XT30, since it was the latest fujifilm offering at an attractive price. It did catch my eye, since it was a sensation over the internet. I spoke to one of the local dealers, and since i was an old customer of his, he agreed to give me a good deal. There it goes, it was a Friday evening, i headed to the store and got myself a brand new XT30, BLACK variant.
The Fisherman's cove -1/60th, F4, ISO160, 18mm
Straw seller - 1/400th, F2.8, ISO250, 18mm
The first thing that comes into notice is the colour that comes straight our of the camera. The rich, vibrant, contrasty tones are my favorite. There are other fujifilm colour profiles which are equally good. I prefer the classic crome for colours and Acros for monochrome. To be honest i have hardly shot RAW since it arrived. The jpegs are perfect to my taste and i dont prefer editing my street photographs that much. The camera is highly customizable, there are custom menus that can be set according to our needs. Further to that we can have 6 different custom menus and that can be toggled through as the situation demands. Lets talk about one of the important aspects, the battery life. I would say its mediocre, giving about 350 shots. I am not accurate, as i have not used the camera that exhaustively. I shall still suggest to get a spare battery on every shoot, combining which, shall confidently last for the entire day.
Untitled - 1/125th, F5.0, ISO1000, 18mm
I can say, i am loving the camera. The kit lens 18-88 2.8 is brilliantly sharp. I never expected a kit lens have such an IQ. I look forward to couple of more investments that i need to make with respect to the camera. I have ordered for an after market grip. The size is adequate for the stand alone camera, but a grip would add the perfect height to the grip for my hands. I also look forward to a fujinon 35mm 1.4 lens.
The Potter - 1/640th, F4.0, ISO320, 18mm
So, there you have it, my fujifilm xt30 shall stay in my arsenal for long. I hope to have prolonged relationship with Fujifilm. Watch out for this space, as i update my page with more experiences, photographs, articles etc.
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