Last year I found myself wanting to change the way I captured photographs. I found that a super zoom and all digital settings made me feel lazy as I stood in one place, zooming in and out to capture a scene with my Canon EOS 7D. The challenge of a prime lens allured me along with the appeal of a camera small enough to carry everywhere.
When I created a photo book last spring I noticed increasing gaps between the times that I took out my DSLR to capture life. I had come to rely too heavily on my iPhone to remember the images of my everyday life. I regretted that I was trading the convenience of my most available camera for the flexibility and image quality found in a better camera.
During my trip to East Africa last fall I was offered a significant sum for my Canon EOS 7D and decided to sell it. I had not planned for this so I didn't know where to start when looking for a replacement except for in the Canon SLR lineup. The full frame 6D was attractive but after shooting with Canon DSLRs for so long I wanted to explore other options.
Wading back into the camera market I started hearing about mirrorless cameras. My previous experiences with smaller cameras had taught me that they just didn't perform well enough to match up to my expectations. As I researched and discussed some of the newer options my skepticism began to subside.
One of my co-workers has been crazy about the Fuji X line for the past few years so I asked him to bring his cameras to work one day. Within a few minutes of shooting with the Fuji x100 I fell in love.
It was small, sported a prime lens, offered tactile controls and captured amazing image quality.
A few months later I purchased my Fuji x100s and I've been loving it. The day that the x100s arrived I wondered if I had made a mistake. It was a lot of money and so much different than what I normally used. Then I took it out to Balboa Park that night and witnessed the best low light image quality I had ever witnessed. The sharpness and clarity that the x100s produces, even in daunting conditions and at a high ISO, makes it worth every bit of the sticker price.
I've found that tactile controls for aperture and shutter speed make me far more likely to take the time to manually adjust my settings. The electronic viewfinder lets me see what kind of exposure I'm likely to capture while the optical viewfinder is a great option in challenging lighting conditions.
When I share photos from the Fuji x100s I'm always surprised by how few edits I need to make. I'm so used to adjusting the brightness, contrast and saturation of almost every image that it amazes me to get so many photos that are ready to go right out of the camera.
I'm enjoying the challenge offered by a fixed focal length and the combination of image quality and tactile controls make this my favorite camera I've ever used. The Fuji X series lives up to the hype and just keeps getting better. If the successor to the x-Pro1 increases in speed and improves in video functionality, I will likely convert to the Fuji X lineup entirely with no need to look back.