Down in size, up in quality as a photographer?

Discussion in 'Fuji X100, X100S, and X100T' started by Bjorn, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Bjorn

    Bjorn New to FujiXspot

    Feb 5, 2013
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Hello everyone! I am glad I found this new forum for Fuji X photography and this is my first of many posts (I hope).
    I have been a Canon DSLR guy for many years ranging from 350D in the beginning to my 7D with premiums which I just recently sold (it happened to coincide with the introduction of x100s;). I've been more and more burdened (both physically and mentally) by owning such a gear. A lot to carry around, a lot of expectations from folks around me. I guess anyone owning or owned a DSLR setup heard the "oh that’s a big camera, it must take great pictures" question. I've just stopped answering that. Anyway, the last addition to the burden was the "which lens am I going to buy next-syndrome". You get stuck in gear and forget about photo a lot of the times. I have earlier owned compacts parallel to my DSLRs but was always put down by the IQ.
    Now it is time to take the "big" leap. For good I hope. Now I am without a camera but have pre-ordered the x100s which I hope will be my companion for many years. I want to focus on photography, not on gear. I want to take photos just for me. I want to be able to bring my camera without ever thinking if I have the patience to carry it around. I am so looking forward to the compact format but still with OVF and a great EVF (I've heard). I am also intrigued by the fixed lens, and this leads up to my actual question. X100 and fixed lens owners (preferably coming from DSLRs), do you feel that you as a photographer have to think differently when taking photos, and thereby develop more? I want to be forced to actually contemplate over composition. And have you gained any other qualities on a more emotional and personal level?
    Regards, Björn
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  2. boid

    boid FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 2, 2013
    Hey Bjorn, your post made me chuckle a bit. I'm afraid that you'll be shifting your GAS over lenses to entire cameras now. :)

    You could head over to our sister forum seriouscompacts to meet a number of fellow victims, including me, who have multiple compact cameras. I have been using the X100 for the last year and a half now. And frankly it has had the most influence on the way I make pictures. For one, I carry it everyday, everywhere. I always have a camera on me. Period. That little change in itself will change your outlook towards the way you make photographs. I highly recommend spending a lot of time deciding on a bag that you won't mind carrying with you at all times. Day/night different social/work situations etc. Put some thought into getting the bag right, if you like me, plan on carrying the camera around with you a lot.

    The fixed focal length, its not an issue. In fact it's the best part about the X100. It's just one less thing to worry about. To me the 23mm (35mm equiv.) has become the way I look at the world. It's a great all purpose fov and works for most situations. What I'm most thankful for is the quality of the sensor that Fuji has developed for this camera. In fact I'm a bit worried about the sensor on X100s, which is a completely different sensor. It might be that the sensor is so different from the old X100 that I might not like it at all. Oh well. Progress, gotta love it.

    I found shooting on the X100 an entirely exhilarating experience. I started getting closer to my subjects, definitely started thinking more about the way I made my pictures (that might be because of a slow-ish AF), by going close and interacting with my subjects I started directing them, moving them sometimes into better light and backdrops. The EVF gives me enough feedback to shoot manual all the time. Takes the guesswork out of getting the exposure right. I find myself using it most of the time over the OVF.

    The stuff that you will miss coming from DSLRs is the immediacy of getting the shot. That's just not there yet in these camera systems. Maybe the X100s will be better at it. Every other experience of using a camera (to my mind) is better than using a DSLR. You might enjoy it as much as I do. Best of luck!
    • Like Like x 4
  3. snkenai

    snkenai FujiXspot Regular

    Jan 31, 2013
    Campbellsville, KY
    I don't have a "X" yet, but a thought as to the question of a one lens camera.

    I currently have two cameras (unusual), with two lenses each. Unless I am taking a trip, I never leave the house with more than one camera and one lens. And that is almost always a prime, with the effective focal length of 50mm to 100mm. I don't feel cheated by the limitation. I am not really a wide shooter. I usually have a close-up filter/adapter, sometimes a mini tripod with macro rail, and a extra battery. That's it.

    I do have a couple of longish zooms for shooting wild turkeys from my window, like this morning as I was having my first coffee.:) But it's rare that I take them out.

    This has changed with time. My early years of 35mm film, which was mostly Alaska outdoors, I wanted more choices. Forced medical retirement has given me a more constrained and focused approach to photography. But has not diminished the intensity, or the joy.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. afkenner

    afkenner FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 3, 2013
    New York
    Some background: I've always been on the fence between the control and IQ of an SLR for "real" photography and the stealth and convenience of a rangefinder for street (my favorite) and travel. My first experience with 35mm film (Canon AE-1 and Kodak Retina) gave way to several years with Olympus (OM-1, 2, 4 and Stylus) and now a never-ending upgrade cycle of Canon EOS digital SLRs (7D currently) and G-Series compacts. All the SLRs have been terrific, and I have been satisfied with the results. Not so with the rangefinders and compacts, UNTIL NOW. I recently snagged an X100 and wow oh wow does it perform. As boid said above, it makes me think more about the shot I'm taking, so I take fewer, with more attention, and as a result the ratio of keepers is much higher than it was with any Canon G I have used (10, 12, 1X). I REALLY enjoy using (and even just carrying) this camera. I can't wait to start building a better portfolio with the X100. Fuji found a real sweet spot with this camera, as you can see from so many photographers posting about it "bringing back the joy" to their hobby or craft. There's a truly unique blend of modern digital convenience and old-school charm and handling that set the X100 apart from anything else I have used. The images it creates have a "film-like feel" to them that I have never seen from another compact. Maybe the rest of the X series cameras and sensors share these qualities, I don't know (yet). Fixed lens? Just a different way of thinking and shooting. I prefer the slightly wider 28mm FOV so I have the conversion lens attached, I think it will stay on nearly 100% of the time. Good luck with your X100s, I don't know how you can even stand to wait for it to arrive.
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  5. snkenai

    snkenai FujiXspot Regular

    Jan 31, 2013
    Campbellsville, KY
    I too, spent a few years with the OM 1 and 4, and have been searching for that same simplicity, charm, size and quality of workmanship, in digital. Did I forget to mention super IQ?

    Are we there yet?
  6. TheKeddi

    TheKeddi FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 2, 2013
    Hi! your going to love the X100s! and your going to find that you love taking photos again :) I am in the transit as you are, going to get rid of the big stuff and M4/3 gear and just go with Fuji.
  7. BigTam

    BigTam FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 5, 2013
    Dortmund, Germany
    Boid said it all, really. The single focal length, direct control of exposure (although I use Auto-ISO most of the time) and great 'feel' force you to think about composition, where to stand, art instead of technology.

    You get better photos, more keepers, more enjoyment.