So why the possible change to a mirrorless camera?
First of all, for those who don’t know much about cameras, a mirrorless camera, or compact system camera, is between a compact camera and a dSLR. They do have interchangeable lenses but are smaller and lighter than dSLRs. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that smaller means cheaper, these are quality cameras (and lenses) and you pay for what you get – usually.
Mainly, it’s a question of weight. Not only the weight of the dSLR camera, which is between 1.5 and 2.5 kg depending on the lens, but also carrying two bodies and three lenses around with me. At the end of a day, which can be 12 or 14 hours, the weight tends to get a bit much. Also, I will be able to take this camera when I go cycling. I have taken a dSLR on the bike before but it’s very rarely worth the extra weight and hassle for the return in images. Instead, I usually carry my Olympus TG4 as it’s pretty much bombproof and gets good enough images for its size. The change will be a gradual one because I don’t want to get rid of my Canon 6D at the moment, I still need a full frame camera which works well in low light (models, concerts, night photography, etc) and gives me a large image which I can crop later if necessary. However, my 60D is really just a back up body in case something happens to my main camera and is therefore expendable (poor thing).
I have been lent a secondhand mirrorless camera by a camera shop here in my city. It has an 18-55 mm lens, it doesn’t have a flash built in but neither does the 6D (and this could be considered a good thing by some photographers; these flashes usually need adapting to get any kind of decent light) and I should be able to use my Speedlite in manual mode on the Fuji, but I will check before doing so as I don’t want to fry a camera, especially when it isn’t mine.
My first impressions of the Fuji XT1 camera – it’s small and light! In my camera bag I have a 6D, a 60D, a 24-105, 70-200 and a 50mm, a Speedlite 430ex ii flash, plus other assorted bits and pieces. The Fuji and its lens have replaced the 60D and I notice that the bag is lighter (that’s just psychological, I weighed body and lens and they are 35g heavier).
On my way home from the camera shop, I shot about 30 test photos to check the quality before I had to use it for real later in the day. The image quality is good but I can’t help comparing it to the 6D, which is unfair, especially when that has an L lens. I have read that this 18-55 mm lens delivers good quality shots so it’s probably me being overcritical and needing time to get used to the results – there’s certainly nothing bad in the quality of the images. Maybe I will have to try a better lens when I get the opportunity, probably a prime. The only real problem I have with the lens at the moment is the aperture ring, which my big banana fingers keep moving!
Now to use it in anger (or a bit of a huff at least).