My Affair with a Fuji X100T

Well friends, I’m officially cheating on my Nikon dSLR.

I know, I know. I can barely believe it myself.

This all started back in the summer. I struggled with lugging the Nikon everywhere we went. My preferred set-up is heavy and big. I shoot a d600 with a 24-70mm zoom lens and [most of the time] also have a battery pack attached. While traveling afar—or for major events—it is a no brainer… I bring the Nikon. But when I’m hanging locally (or packing tons of supplies for our outings)… it didn’t make much sense. (And it was physically taking a toll on me too.) So, I would talk myself into using my i*phone for photos. A decision I would immediately regret once I started to take the photos, and that would only get worse once I downloaded the pictures. The result was that I didn’t bring my “good camera” and I didn’t take any photos with my phone. And I missed a lot of great opportunities. I’m still kicking myself for two particular outings that there is no photographic record of. I’m a fan of “living in the moment” … but I am apparently a bigger fan of “preserving the memories.” Lesson learned on my part.

 

After months and months of internal debates and way too much time looking at images and cameras online, I rented a Fuji X100T. I did it with the thought that I would probably hate it once I had my hands on it and fall back in love with my Nikon immediately. I mean, it wasn’t supposed to capture moving kiddos well which is exactly what I have. Right? It was mirrorless with a fixed lens… what fun is that? And, what about all those dials and buttons I have come to know and love and use without thinking about on my Nikon? I mean there was no way the Fuji could make me happy… Right?!

Wrong.

I fell in love pretty much the second I held it. It was small, it was light, it was ADORABLE, it’s interface was super intuitive (to me), the menus were somewhat easy and very much a “set it and forget it” thing for my shooting habits, yet it also had “old school” dials, I could connect to my phone wirelessly, it made great guesses as to what to do when I left the “control” up to it… the list goes on and on. But what really blew me away was that when I left everything in “auto,” it really did perform well. So I could get the shot and go back to enjoying the moment. Now, don’t get me wrong… it did not get every shot. And it’s still not the camera I would take to that gorgeous field with the beautiful light and my handsomely dressed kiddos… but for the most part, it delivered. Big time.

But here’s the thing I realized. While I say up above that I am cheating on my Nikon dSLR… I’m really not. Well, maybe I am. But really… I’m cheating on the i*phone camera. (And it deserves to be cheated on, don’t you think?!) I never planned to replace my Nikon with a whole new system… just supplement it. I wanted something better than the i*phone for “on the go” but not something so intense that I couldn’t grab my Nikon and shoot when I wanted to. I figure if I could find a way to put the stress and the pressure of manual shooting aside, and find the joy again, everything would fall back into place. (Because, truth be told, I’ve barely picked up my Nikon these past few months. And it shows when I shoot these days. I’m rusty. Big time.)

Did I find the joy again? Absolutely. I also had a lot of fun. Will I give up the Nikon for a new model Fuji? Absolutely not. In fact, after I rented the Fuji, I picked my Nikon back up and loved shooting that for the first time in months. Completely different cameras, completely different purposes.

But enough of my yammering. The proof is in the pudding as they say. Here’s what I shot while playing with the Fuji. These are all SOOC [Straight Out Of Camera] with NO editing, just cropping. {Full disclosure: The Fuji allows you to add “film effects” while shooting so one or two of these may have been altered in camera… but that doesn’t count.} When I downloaded these and saw the results, that’s when I really knew I was in love.

{The following shots were taken in various lighting conditions… some of them in horrible, indoor light late in the evening.}

I’m actually a little embarrassed that these are not altered. While they are not “perfect”… As a group they visually “hang” together better than some of my other photo groups do. Ones that I have spent HOURS editing. Sigh. And, they are more than perfect for those “snapshot moments.” (I mean, c’mon… you can see eyebrow hairs and scratches and pores. That’s awesome!)

Now, what can I sell to fund this new Fuji obsession?!

In case you are wondering… The deets.

Camera: Fuji X100T
Rented from: Lens Rentals
Available from: Adorama, BHphoto, BestBuy, etc.