My first impressions about the

Fuji Film XT2

Fujifilm XT2 First Impressions, Introduction

Before I share my Fujifilm XT2 First Impressions. It would probably best to first read my first post in the Fujifilm series,  How I got tempted by mirrorless cameras and how I ended up buying a XT2. I highlighted the reasons why most photographers changed from DSLR’s to mirrorless. These reasons also being the core factors why I ended up changing to mirrorless. In this post I am going to share my first impressions of the Fujifilm XT2  after a year of use for wildlife photography.

I had never used film

I am surprised that I never started my photographic journey earlier in my life, it would have given me experience with film. So I am “that” generation of photographer that never shot film. We are slowly becoming the majority of photographers out there. So my photographic journey is much simpler than what most working photographers had to have gone through. All I did, bought a camera and a few lenses, later a computer and I was off. I could, shoot, edit and deliver the images with minimal effort. This digital process has made everything so easy that you get to a point that you are not being challenged any more. As I mentioned in the first post in this series, How I got tempted by Mirrorless, photography became very automated for me. So I was looking for a challenge.

Falling in love with photography, by making each image an event

I was not looking at Mirrorless cameras to rid me of my photographic boredom. Rather it was the fact that Fujifilm had build their entire system around manual controls of the exposure triangle. A dial for ISO, Shutterspeed and an aperture ring on the lenses. Something I had last seen on a Canon A1, that my father in law had given my wife before she moved into the bush. Manually controlling the exposure with a tactile dial, makes each photograph an event on its own. Something I think film photographers can relate to. Yes you could use a Fuji camera completely automatically, but that was not the point. Fujifilm had almost designed the camera for you to fall in love with shooting it completely manually. Where DSLR camera brands were trying to make it easier to shoot a camera automatically.

Its an amazing teaching tool

Right off the cuff, I have to say, this camera is not for a novice photographer. Or rather it will frustrate a photographer immensely if they don’t truly understand exposure. I thought I did and I teach photographers daily about exposure. In theory, the Fujifilm XT2 and I am sure all other Fujifilm cameras do the same. They bring the practical side to the theory very quickly. Now on my photography workshops and private photographic safaris. I have a tool the shows people practically what happens when you change one setting by rolling a dial over. They don’t just see what happens they feel it. Sort of like having a $1000.00 in cash compared to a $1000.00 on a card. DSLR can show you the changes after the photograph has been taken, but you cannot see or feel it before you take it.
I will also say that a new person to photography we not learn about exposure quicker than having a fuji in their hands.

The joy of getting out and shooting

When I first bought the Fujifilm XT2, I was so excited that I just wanted to share my enthusiasm with my photography peers. It was a honeymoon that did not last very long, soon I ran into the “worming” noise issue that so many Fuji photographers had written about. What stressed me out was when people asked, “how was the new camera”. I just replied “fine”, I was not a happy camper. Combine this we my frustration in getting the very complex autofocusing system to work at a level that I had seen on youtube. Well my hit rate of sharp images where dismal.

These two things had me contemplating my new choice in camera and if it was not for a single thing, I would have sold it. When you have the XT2 in your hands, you are smiling. The noise issue becomes irrelevant and  at the time I did not own a Fujinon telephoto lens. So just did not photograph anything that moved. I was spent weekend exploring remote patches of bush with my son, something I never did with the DSLR. I could have, but I did not and that was because photography with a DSLR for me was boring. Looking for photographic opportunities  that was beyond my normal genre of wildlife made photography fun again.

Speeding up the learning curve for others

I have mentioned the “worming” that can be found in the noise from an X-trans sensor and that the focussing system is complex. These are some of the issues I encountered and there are more. I am however a believer in the philosophy that if one present a problem with its solution, then there is no problem. So my next post will be on how I over came some of the problems I encountered with the Fujifilm XT2. More importantly how I found ways around them or solutions to them.

Regards

Etienne