For a good few years now I have been looking at the mirrorless cameras, not with the intention of using them over my Canon 5d mkiii but in addition to them. When I started to look it was all to do with the electronic shutter being able to photograph without anyone knowing I was photographing was very appealing as I have been asked not to take any photos during a church service a fair amount of times which leaves me with disappointed couples (not disappointed with me may I add just the situation.) A friend of mine Ian Cook is a Panosonic ambassador so I have had a play with his cameras a fair few times but there was something missing for me hence never buying into the system.
At shows like ‘The Photography Show’ I have been looking at the Sony’s as I knew I could get a adapter to use all my canon glass on them which again was appealing but in the end I just never really wanted a Sony. In 2017, still keeping an eye on the mirrorless cameras, the Fujifilm XT2 caught my eye along with the XPro 2. Back in film days I would only use Fuji colour film, I loved the Fuji colours. Then I started to see more and more wedding photographers switching systems to the Fujifilm system this got me really intrigued, why were all these photographers I loved leaving Canon/Nikon which were tried and tested to the still newish Fuji system. After a few months of research and watching loads of YouTube videos late one night I finally brought a second hand XT2 and a 23mm f1.4 to try it out.
One of it’s first outings was at a wedding fair. I brought it along to have a play with it. I ended up talking to a fellow photographer and friend at the fair who said he had a XT1 set up at home with a load of lenses which I was welcome to use to have a play with. I took him up on the offer and borrowed a few lenses and shot with the XT2 at an engagement shoot I did later that month. This is a link to that blog if you’re intested.
After this the Fuji started to come with me at weddings, to begin with I just shot a couple of images with it, mainly candid images as I found I could get much closer to people and get much more interesting images with the Fuji, especially with the 35mm f2 on it. I think because the camera is a lot smaller than my 5d’s they really were not noticing me or caring that I was there. The next wedding it was getting more use and so on till the last two weddings of the year I was shooting with the Fuji xt2 and a 5d mkiii with the other 5d in the car just in case.
Now I have sorted out the teething issues I found when first picking up the XT2, I feel comfortable using it. The Fuji has now given me the confidence to start trying new things like night images. I have never done these before why? I’m not too sure, but at the last wedding of the year I came back with this. Is it perfect… maybe not but what a great starting point?
One issue I had straight way was tracking subjects, now I know Fuji have improved this a lot from the XT1 and you have different options for tracking, a lot like my Canon’s have. But on the engagement shoot I was really disappointed with this aspect of the camera. Since then I have watched loads of You Tube clips and done a lot more research and spoken to Fuji wedding shooters. I now have it to an acceptable level, around the same hit rate as I was getting from my 5d Mkiii’s. I think I best add, I used to be a sports and press photographer using Canon 1d series of camera and when these lock on it stays locked on. This probably did not help as I had high standards for the Fuji to compare against. The best thing I have done is set my focusing to all so when I move my focus points I can use the back wheel to move between focusing systems.
As you can see I’m now having a lot more success with this. As you will know with Fuji the better the light better the focusing.
There has been a lot said about the battery life of the Fujifilm cameras. Are they as good as the DSLR camera battery life? Simply answered NO. Have I found it to be a problem, no. I’m going through around 3 batteries a wedding at the moment just shooting one camera. So I’m guessing that shooting two bodies for a full wedding I will get through 4-6 batteries. But for the fun I’m having and the weight of the cameras and lenses I’m more than happy with this trade off.
I have never had an issue with my Canon glass I have always been impressed and happy with it. I have used L series lens and some of the cheaper canon glass as well as the Sigma 35mm ART lens. I must say the Fuji lens have not disappointed either. I have invested in the 16mm f1.4, 23mm f1.4, 35mm f2, 56mm f1.2 and the 50-140mm f2.8 All these are brill I will look at adding the 8-16mm f2.8 when that comes out as I have always liked having the 17-40mm f4 Canon in the bag. The only thing that has surprised me with Fuji is I have preferred the primes and have gone for a prime set up mainly, where this was not the case with the Canon’s. I do feel more comfortable to shoot wide open with the XT2 I feel like it will hit focus and stay sharp which I could not say on all of my Canon glass. If money was not an issue or I win the lottery I would be looking at adding the 90mm f2 as I have found mainly shooting winter weddings with the XT2 f2.8 is not always enough. Maybe a 80mm or 60mm macro or maybe just some extension tubes.
What I have found shooting Fuji is I LOVE the camera, it gives me great pleasure to use it. The EVF is incredible, I was unsure about this but I don’t know if I would want to go back after using the EVF. Coming from Canon I really enjoy having the aperture on the lens as a dial rather than using the wheel on the front of the camera like the Canons. I do set the shutter dial to T so I can use the wheel to move the shutter speed for me this work really well but it is nice to have the option of having the shutter speed on the dial as well. Like the aperture, having the ISO on the dial for me is a massive plus I have never been able to change ISO without taking the camera from my eye with Canon but with the Fuji this is now possible for me. I know there are DSLR which now have rotating and flipping LCD screens this has never bothered me, in fact I have never looked to see if a camera I’m looking at getting has one. Now having it on the XT2 I find it so useful, for example getting an overhead photo of a packed dancefloor with my old setup I was effectively doing it blind just holding my camera above my head and seeing what I got, now using the screen I can now get a reference and have an idea what will be in the frame when I hit the shutter button.
The weight difference between the two systems is amazing. I’m really looking forward to 2018 and halving the weight of my kitbag. Getting through a wedding was getting harder and harder and my back was starting to suffer for it. I have had years of carrying a lot or gear around with me while I was a press photographer, and now wedding photographer.
This may be a small point but the fact that the XT2 takes two sd cards is a massive plus for me. I like the fact that the camera only uses one type of card. I have got used to my Canon 5d mkiii using sd and cf but it can be a pain having to carry different cards. This would not of been a deal breaker for me but it is a plus.
Having now brought a second XT2 and a good lens set up it’s now time for me to ebay my Canon gear to fund my new Fuji habit. It’s the end of a 16 year relationship with Canon and the beginning of a new Fuji relationship- if this one last 16years I will be a very happy photographer.