Exploring the Fujifilm X-series range of cameras

Today, Park Cameras employee Guy Stockton talks to us about his experiences with the Fujifilm X-series cameras and why it suits the style of photographs that he wishes to shoot. Guy has worked at Park Cameras as part of our Business to Business team. Prior to this he was a working photographer.

Shot using the Fujifilm X10
Whilst being a photographer I used Canon equipment. I love Canon cameras and the range of lenses available. I had a couple of Canon EOS 5D's, an EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM, an EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, an EF 24-105mm f/4.0L IS USM, and the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM - all of which were totally reliable and wonderfully sharp. It was fair to say that using Canon equipment had made me quite a bit of cash, and I loved them for it.  The only problem was that when I went out for the day or off on holiday I ended up lugging around my large camera bag, which after a while weighed a ton. Because of this I started to resent taking my camera out, which meant that I ended up missing some great photo opportunities.

Shot using the Fujifilm X10
Then Fujifilm came out with the X100. To be honest, straight away I wasn't that enamored by it. I liked the cool retro styling but the handling was so different, and it seemed slow and a bit clumsy compared to the Canon EOS 5D. About 6 months later I was off on holiday to St.Kits, for a total chill out beach holiday (no big clunking camera getting in way and also not having to worry excessively about sand finding its way onto the lenses) and as such decided that I needed a compact camera. Not just any compact, but one with a view finder or at least the next best thing. I really dislike using the rear LCD screen/live view to compose, because for me I feel that everything seems disjointed and separate. When you use a viewfinder there is a connection, at least that's how it seems to me. Fujifilm had just bought out the X10 and on the looks alone I thought it was pretty cool!

The X10 changed everything for me. This little camera was brilliant, it was great to use and the results were fantastic. I was able to get A3 prints without any hassle, and I could crop into the file and still get decent results, I loved it. This led me to start paying more attention to the X100 and see what all the fuss was about. Fuji had released a few firmware updates to deal with the much talked about slow focusing issue and they had announced the release of a Limited edition X100 in Black. I ordered one!

Whilst waiting for this to arrive I sold my Canon kit. Having decided it wasn't worth having it just sitting in a bag in the cupboard doing nothing. The last time I'd used it was for a wedding and I didn't want to do any more of those. I was after a camera with a great sensor, a proper viewfinder, even if it was optical and EVF with a switch of a button, and a fixed 35mm lens sounded great. I really liked the idea of no
Shot using the Fujifilm X100
t having loads of options and just working with what was available. It finally arrived and it looked great, sure I had paid a slight premium for it being black and a limited edition, and some of my colleagues had raised questions regarding my sanity. However, it made me want to go out and actually take some pictures, and therefore I feel it was definitely worth every penny. I took it with me to Montenegro and loved it.  It was small and light enough to not worry about taking it out with me, in fact it become the complete opposite of the Canon. I missed not taking it out. I could shoot in really low light which I hadn't been able to do for ages and it didn't attract attention when using it. Once I got the results back on screen, the images were fabulous. I shoot RAW, I know all the reviews say the JPEGs are fantastic straight from the camera, but I like the peace of mind that having a full file gives. These were brilliant. Pin sharp, and had great depth of field, something which was lacking from the X10 due to the sensor size. I could start throwing the background out of focus, pick a subject out, compose a photograph properly again but on a really neat small camera.

After raving about how fantastic the X100 has proved to be, I then sold this to finance my X-Pro 1 purchase. 

Now here was a camera with the retro stlye of a Leica but without the ludicrous price tag. The X-series lenses were proving to produce excellent quality photos and the XF 35mm f/1.4 had my name on it. Also, Adobe Lightroom 4 was now able to process the RAW files from the X-Pro 1, something Lightroom 3 wasn't able to do. I did miss the simplicity of the X100 with the fixed 35mm lens, but it had done what I needed it to do, and that was to start taking photos again.

I bought the X-Pro 1 with the XF18mm f/2.8 and the XF 35mm f/1.4. Now I had what I wanted all along, a Pro system which wasn't a pain to carry around. I purchased another Domke bag (the Ruggedwear F8) which fitted my kit perfectly, and gave me a bit of extra room for spare batteries and filters. The following month it was given a proper test when I was lucky enough to go to Venice for a long weekend. The weather
Shot using the Fujifilm X-Pro 1
was perfect, hot but not so hot that as soon as you started to move around you had to sit down again.

I expected Venice to be really hectic, it wasn't, only St. Marks square, which was to be expected. Venice really is a photographers dream, fantastic architecture, picturesque piazzas, market stalls, opulent churches and obviously the canals. I was expecting to be using the XF 35mm for most of the time, but it was the XF18mm which came into its own, (not really surprising when you think about it). The 35mm f/1.4 came out at night and this delivered incredible results which I would not of been able to achieve previously.

Since then Fuji have bought out firmware which has improved the much discussed focusing speed. To be fair, this never really bothered me. I am not photographing sports or taking action shots. The firmware has also increased the time it takes to write information to the SDHC card.
Shot using the Fujifilm X-Pro 1

Basically I love X-Pro 1. I will love it even more once they release the XF 23mm f/1.4 (35mm equivalent) which is hopefully expected in October 2013!

You can see the Fujifilm X-Series of cameras in our showroom in Burgess Hill, West Sussex where you can touch and try them out for yourself. Alternatively visit http://www.parkcameras.com/b/12/Fujifilm.html?fgroup=31&Page=1 where you can see the X-series online, with many products featuring videos to help give you a feel of the camera.  


Unknown said...

großen Beitrag .... Sie haben großartige Arbeit geleistet .... es sehr cool blog. Vernetzung ist sehr nützlich, was Sie haben wirklich viele Leute, die diesen Blog besuchen und ihnen dieses nützliche Informationen geholfen. vielen Dank für dieses .. gud Glück .. Grüße,

Auto Kamera

Park Cameras said...

No problem. We also try our best to give our customers the best possible customer service, whether it’s online or in our state-of-the-art showroom in Burgess Hill, West Sussex. We hope the translation below is accurate too!

Kein Problem. Wir versuchen auch unser Bestes, um unseren Kunden den bestmöglichen Kundenservice, ob sie online oder in unserem state-of-the-art showroom in Burgess Hill, West Sussex ist. Wir hoffen, dass diese Übersetzung war OK für Sie!

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