Fuji Demographics?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Biro, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator

    Feb 1, 2013
    Jersey Shore
    It's no secret that Fuji's X-family of cameras seems to resonate with photographers who started during the film era - for some, even before auto-focus became the norm. No surprise here, of course, because the Fujis feature wonderful external controls as well as a certain look, feel and operational pace that appeals to the tradition-minded.

    But I wonder if the appeal is largely limited to those of a certain age. Do young people - or even those who simply started in photography during the digital age - find as much to love in Fuji's X-cams? So, I'm not necessarily asking for your age (although you can provide it if you like). But are you someone who came to the hobby or profession back in the film days before auto-focus? Or are you a relative newbie, having arrived in photography in the past decade, never having had spent much time with film?

    Myself, I'm 55 years old and my first enthusiast camera was a 100% manual Minolta SRT-200 in the mid-1970s. So no one will be shocked that I like Fuji's X-family. On the other hand, I'm certainly not bound by tradition. I've been an early adopter of computers, cell phones, satellite radio, HDTV and more all along. And I've owned all kinds of digital cameras - compacts, mirrorless and DSLRs. What's your story?
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  2. Hyubie

    Hyubie FujiXspot Veteran

    Feb 4, 2013
    Weymouth, MA
    I've fiddled with my dad's cameras back in the 80's. But I was never serious with it like I am now - back then as long as the moment got captured, I'm ok. (And film isn't cheap, so my dad never did let me just play with it.)

    So you could say I went into photography during the digital age. But there is something there in the Fujis that is very pleasing to the eyes, and makes me want to come back to it. I've had a number of cameras pass my hands, but the X10 was the first camera I got rid of that I really want back. Well, maybe not exactly - I'm gunning for its newer incarnation. :D
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  3. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. FujiXspot Veteran

    Jan 31, 2013
    Albuquerque, NM
    Auto-focus? What's that?

    Yes I began before the digital era, and before auto-focus took off. I remember thinking, watching a friend trying to get his early auto-focus Canon SLR to lock on target, that it was much, much faster to simply focus the damned thing yourself. Back in the day auto-focus was for people who just could not or would not focus a lens manually -- and who had enough time to wait for the camera to do it for them. Focusing on the ground glass with a split screen or some other aid in the center was much faster.

    Things have changed, so much so that one second to focus is considered "slow", and the Fuji X cameras have been clobbered in some places because they do not focus at the speed of light. I suppose my background accounts for the fact that I've never found any of the cameras I've used bad to auto-focus in decent light, including the original Pen, E-P1.

    I like the Fuji X cameras -- though I just have the X10, I want the XE1 or X-Pro -- for their looks, undoubtedly, like rangerfinders of the past, though they are not rangefinders, but mostly for the stunning results they give. My E-M5 satisfies my need for a small SLR-like camera and in many ways is very similar to the OM-1 I shot with for years -- and still shoot with. I like the little viewfinder hump on it that so many find superfluous because it fits so comfortably into my decades long OM experience. The Fuji's will satisfy my urge for a rangefinder "like" digital shooter, since I can't afford a Leica rangefinder (or Leica M glass for that matter), and no one else is making one.

    Fuji has always come up with some wonderful and a bit unusual cameras, like their fixed lens medium format film cameras of yore, which are wonderful picture-taking machines. So I'd love to add the X-Pro (for the optical finder) to my old GS645. Is it my age (61)? I don't know. I've certainly taken advantage of the conveniences of digital, including restoring beloved LPs (from a collection of several thousand) and putting them on CD. But a vinyl record, a film camera, or a digital camera that brings me back are all very attractive, providing they deliver the goods.
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  4. Steve B.

    Steve B. FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 2, 2013
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  5. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 2, 2013
    Although I used film cameras when I was really young (I'm almost 35) during the 1980s and 1990s and started to get serious about photography in the late 90s, I didn't turn photography into a passion and a job until the early 2000s with digital. I'm not loyal to any brand -- I've got cameras made by Fujifilm, Olympus, Nikon and Canon at the moment and I've also owned cameras from Pentax, Panasonic and Sony in the past -- so I'm probably not what Fujifilm executives would consider their ideal customer.

    Still, I've enjoyed my old Fujifilm cameras and I love my little X10.
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  6. BigTam

    BigTam FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 5, 2013
    Dortmund, Germany
    Up until 2008 (when I had reached the ripe old age of 60) I just took snaps. I remember having an Olympus XA and a Rollei 35, but in the film era, I just wanted a simple camera.

    After a couple of really lousy digital cheap cameras, I took the occasion of my nephew's wedding in St. Andrews to buy something better.

    After some web research, I bought a Nikon D40 with the kit 18-55 for 350EUR. An eye-opener!

    I upgraded to a D7000 with additional lenses, flash, a good tripod and head (with a couple of large bags to hold it all). Read a great deal, achieving a rudimentary understanding of the basics: aperture, shutter speed, ISO.

    When the X100 came out, the ability to set those basic parameters directly appealed to me, and the looks did the rest. I really enjoy being able to set up the camera once and then just rotate the lens, shutter-speed dial and maybe the EV+-.

    I like the FOV, and the images SOOC are stunning.

    So maybe I'm an exception - no MF SLR experience, even though I'm an OF (old fart).

    I now have an OM-D E-M5 too, so perhaps I'm just a retro fashionista ...
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  7. afkenner

    afkenner FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 3, 2013
    New York
    Started photography with film in the 1970's. Pictured below is the pair of my father's vintage cameras I learned on. My first "non-manual" camera was a Canon AE-1. I worked at a small camera & framing shop through high school (up to 1980) - we were an Olympus dealer and I got a great discount on equipment so I built a substantial collection of Olympus gear. I stopped shooting sometime after college and didn't really start again until I sold my whole Olympus collection to finance a Canon Rebel XT, which got me started again with Digital SLRs. Moved up to a 40D and then sold it for a 7D which is where I am now. Favorite camera of all time (so far): the Fuji X100.

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  8. Nic

    Nic FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 5, 2013
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nice idea for a thread. It certainly prompted me to register and I'll be interested to see the responses to it.

    I'm 33, and I've never owned a film camera to use, although I am not totally ignorant to them since I have a small collection of some film gear like an Olympus Pen FT, 35 SPn, Canonet QL17 GIII and some Olympus OM and Canon FD SLR gear. I love the look of them for display purposes and generally like the tactile feel of these cameras, but they don't appeal as something that I would want to use. My first camera was a Panasonic so I am very much of the digital-only generation.

    To the topic of the thread, I am interested in the APS-C Fuji cameras (not currently an owner) largely because I appreciate different brands and cameras that have their own unique output, and the Fujis seem to offer just that. The phyiscal look of the Fujis is nice but I have no particular attraction to the retro looks, the same as how the styling of the Olympus E-M5 didn't influence my decision to buy that camera either.

    The least appealing feature of the Fujis to me are the controls. I grew up and became familiar with the control arrangements and multi-function dials of modern DSLRs, and have also embraced the use of technology such as tilt/swivel screens and touchscreen focus and shutter release. So, despite being interested in the imaging technology of the Fujis, the retrospective controls of the current models are actually a turnoff for me, although possibly not an insurmountable one.
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  9. TheKeddi

    TheKeddi FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 2, 2013
    I always followed my dad with his cameras, then with my own in the 80's. and from then into the digital age, I love taking family photos to make sure there is something for the future :)
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  10. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator

    Feb 1, 2013
    Jersey Shore

    Your dad had excellent taste.
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  11. Phoenix

    Phoenix Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jan 31, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'm 35 now and I started photography at a relatively early age when I was 14, In my case I guess photography runs in the family, my father and his friends had photography as a hobby and they often had their cameras and gear just lying around so I guess it really was just a matter of time before I picked one up and take it as a hobby myself. It even affected me later on in life with me ending up working for Minolta (then Konica Minolta, then finally I had to look for a new job when they were absorbed by Sony)

    I started off with 1 body a Nikon F2 and 1 lens a 50mm f2, digital photography was not going to be easily (nor cheaply) available for another couple of years when I got into it. Back then I was more interested with the "tricks" associated with photography e.g double exposures, long exposures, light painting, etc.. I was aware of basic rules 1 over shutter, sunny 16, looney 11, leading lines, etc...but preferred the "parlour tricks" offered by photography (hey I was a kid!) and I vividly remember the excitement of taking the photos, the anxiety I felt on my way to the darkroom (did I meter it correctly? do I need to push or pull? etc..) and the thrill of success.

    I stopped actively taking photographs in my early twenties which lasted a span of 10 years, this was during the time that the big transition from film photography to digital photography was occurring and digital cameras were becoming more common and more affordable (the irony of this is that I had no interest in photography whilst working for a camera company and I rekindled my love for the art when I no longer work for one).

    Around 2-3 years ago I rekindled my passion for photography, but instead of returning to the so called “tricks” and “gimmicks” I have gained a lot of appreciation for juxtaposition, composition, and the play between light and shadows. Where I used to be a technical photographer I believe I have changed into a more expressional photographer.

    It also has been a rude awakening when I got back into it, while my only concern in the past was what type and ASA of film was I going to use, and will I be using filters on the enlarger, etc.. I got bombarded by terms like Dynamic Range, adjustable focusing points, cross type AF, noise, AA filters, micro lenses, write times, etc.. it was still photography, but not as I know it, I remember a time where it was such a novelty to be able to shoot at ISO (ASA) 1600, nowadays people shoot at these ISO speeds as if they were nothing and cameras reach up to ISO 25600!!

    I just wanted a camera that can shoot photos, has a reasonably good output, and I can change lenses as I see fit. I don’t need something technologically advanced if I am not going to use any of its great features, it’s just wasted on me I think. A friend of mine suggested a Leica M9, no fuss, no muss, just has a sensor, a lens, no af, and takes great images. it’s a rangefinder, but that’s alright, I used rangefinders in the past I’m familiar with the operation, so I had my heart set in getting an M9, then I saw the price tag………………

    And so I settled with a Sony NEX-5 as it had what I was looking for in a camera and now the Fuji XP-1 as it fits the bill perfectly to what I was after.

    My apologies for rambling on and getting carried away, but I reckon our photographic history explains to why we belong to a certain photographic demography.
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  12. BigTam

    BigTam FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 5, 2013
    Dortmund, Germany
    Phoenix, your referring to the X-Pro1 as the XP-1 made sense of Fuji's naming conventions:

    X-Pn: P for Pro
    X-En: E for Enthusiast
    X-Fn: F for Fashionista

    I get it now!
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  13. DH59

    DH59 FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 10, 2013
    South Yorkshire, UK
    I did start my photography hobby with film cameras, in fact my very first camera was a Fuji ST601, but that isn't why I was drawn to the X10. I just wanted a compact camera, but one with more control than the normal point and shoot type, for days when I did not feel like lugging the Canon dSLR gear around. I was initially drawn towards the Canon G1X, but decided to go for something a bit cheaper, and the X10 it was, after reading numerous reviews.

    I moved from the ST601 to Olympus (can't remember the exact model), then got fed up of carrying all the gear around and had a few film compacts, then an awful APS camera, then gave up photography for some time, until digital started to appear. I initially had a compact camera (Nikon 995) then progressed to dSLR, and carrying the weight around again! I am not giving up the dSLR, though.
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  14. Thinh L.

    Thinh L. FujiXspot Rookie

    Feb 9, 2013
    I'm only 22 but yes, Fuji does have tremendous appeal to me.

    When I first started shooting on my Yashica FX-D I was sort of amazed by how nice having an aperture dial on the lens and a shutter dial on the body was and the ability to change both quickly at the same time. So from a functional standpoint I'm drawn to Fuji because of it's controls. I'm also more of a fan of the brick camera aesthetic than the SLR hump. I've also got a bad back so lugging around my Canon all the time isn't very fun.
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  15. Penfan2010

    Penfan2010 FujiXspot Veteran

    Feb 1, 2013
    Central-ish NJ
    Count me in as one of the film "oldies"; I started getting serious about photography in High School back in the early 80s and have been shooting since. I never really gave up film, even when I switched over to digital, and still shoot a bit of it today. The X-Pro 1 and X-100 are digital reincarnations of my Leica M3 and Olympus Pen 35 SP. Their design, analog controls, and OVF are what really appeal to me, as well as great image quality.

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  16. AlbertInFrance

    AlbertInFrance FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 11, 2013
    Morbihan, France
    I'm a film guy from way back. Large format (mostly Sinar), medium (Rollei, Hasselblad, Mamiya) 35mm (Nikon, Petri, Exakta, Pentax) and some oddities (Tessina sub-miniature TLR, among others). Never had an autofocus still camera until about 5 years ago, but spent 10 years in video with autofocus and (yup!) electronic viewfinders. Still have a couple of 35mm SLRs and a brace of 120 folders.

    Chose the X-E1 because it has a real shutter speed dial and aperture ring. Using legacy glass is a bonus.
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  17. Richard

    Richard FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    I started shooting on film when I was about 16 (I'm fifty soon) and my first cameras were all made by Olympus. The first was a little Olympus Trip 35, which I inherited from my father. It produced great images with its fixed (40mm f2.8) lens, but other than cocking the shutter or deliberately mis-setting the film speed, there weren't any user controls. But it got me hooked on photography, and over the course of the next few years I bought an OM-10, an OM-2 and finally an OM-4, and a lot of nice Zuiko lenses.

    The OM-2 was my favourite of the SLR bodies, and it's the film camera I still own. Sadly I had that experience many others will know - of assembling a gadget bag full of expensive camera bodies and lenses and then never taking it out because it was too heavy and too much effort (this is why I'm wary of going down the system camera route again now, and I'm close to buying something like an X20 instead). So the OM-4 and the lenses got sold and I bought myself a little digital point-and-shoot camera with the proceeds. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and actually made sense for social and travel purposes.

    But after many years of pointing and shooting, I do miss the look and feel of a traditional film camera and the creative controls I used to have. Clearly many other people feel the same way, and Fuji have very cleverly tapped into this market with the X series cameras I believe.

    So just as soon as the reviews and sample images start coming in I think I'll be ordering an X20, to get back to my roots (!). The silver version even looks a bit like an Olympus Trip, don't you think?

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  18. kevwilfoto

    kevwilfoto FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 10, 2013
    Frederick, CO
    I'm 43 now. I had a cheap Minolta Maxxum in high school, got a handful of shots that I really liked but the rest were junk snapshots. Didn't have the shutterbug then.

    In 2008, I got a big bonus from work and decided to get a "decent" camera for our family vacation in Florida. The shutterbug bit me big time.

    Since then, I've (foolishly) bought & sold & rented many types of cameras as I hunt for something I can afford that will let me create the kind of images I want to create. After many heavy DSLRs and even an RB67, the lightweight mirrorless systems are a God-send for long hikes in the dark up to mountain lakes for sunrise.

    I love my OM-D and µ4/3 lenses, that's currently my main system. I bought the X-E1 because I love the style and feel, and how it pushes you into a slower pace similar to using a manual SLR with a meter like my old Nikon FM2n or Minolta XD5. I also bought into the idea of the X-Trans sensor and lack of AA filter. I'm still struggling with my X-E1 output, but I'm hopeful that Adobe will get their RAW conversion sorted out and the X-E1 will become my primary camera.

    I'll still keep and use the OM-D, though. Love that thing. Although, if my willpower fails and I order the X20, I could see the OM-D getting a bit dusty from time to time. :)
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  19. fujidanny

    fujidanny FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 11, 2013
    My photographic life started in our school's dark room. I don't remember the camera i used. Perhaps it was my brother's Canon AE1 program?
    Having finished my studies, i made a trip to Puerto Rico. 3 weeks being lazy was to much. So i took a lot of pictures with my compact film camera: a Konica A4 MINI. The last day my Konica A4 mini 'died'.
    Getting good comments on my pictures taken in PR, I bought a Leica R5 with a 50mm f2 and 90mm f2,8 when coming home. Later an M6 with 50mm f2,8 and 90mm F2,8 and a Voigtlaender 15mm f4,5. I was amazed by the mechanical and optical qualities of these cameras and lenses.
    Later than i got a Nikon autofocus camera - F800s with a Tamron 28-200 - travelling with friends, that didn't want to wait for somebody taking pictures. Later than a D80 with upcoming the digital era.
    Now, 20 years after my trip to Puerto Rico, I was looking for a new camera. I didn't know: O-MD or X-E1? I went for the X-E1, because I remembered my photographic genesis: taking high image quality pictures with a camera that allows manual techniques... Old school rangefinder like sooc jpeg's!
    So, I was clearly influenced by the old rangefinder and manual slr era. I am happy that Fuji offered an alternative to the over-expensive Leica M-cameras and lenses. When i see, what possible is by Fuji in this price segment - amazing!
    Visited the last days the Leica Forum of dpreview. I didn't see anything worth 10.000 Euros...
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  20. landshark

    landshark Fujiman

    Feb 1, 2013
    While I am in that older demographic and love the nostalgic appeal of the camera, reminding one of the great rangefinder cameras of the past. I still think Fujis are also a very modern camera that should appeal to every shooter
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