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  • Lars Jameson

My Love for Fujifilm

A few years back I was looking for a backup camera to add to my kit. The logical solution would have been to find a backup that used the same mount as my Nikon D850, but with all of the developments with mirrorless cameras I was weighing other options.

Motif 1 of Rockport through the eyes of an XT-2

In my research, I came across Fujifilm and realized I really liked the colors and feel of the images. I quickly fell in love with the XT-2 and decided to add one to my kit, regardless of the fact that I would have to invest in an entirely new system. As my first mirrorless camera, it introduced me to what is undeniably the future of digital photography.

One aspect I absolutely love about Fujifilm cameras (which Nikon eventually copied with the zfc) is the full set of manual controls on top of the camera. Your aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and compensation are all on dials on the top of the camera. Aperture is controlled via a ring on the lens as well. There are also control wheels on the back and front of the camera’s grip that can be assigned function. The controls were a major feature for me, as I almost always find myself shooting in manual mode to have absolute control over my exposure.

The Green Line

The XT-2 had all of the perks of a mirrorless system, most importantly the EVF and focus peaking. I adapted my Nikon glass to the fuji at times and had zero issues nailing down focus in most situations thanks to the ability to highlight what the camera is focused on. Colors on the XT-2 are phenomenal. Altogether the Fuji system makes shooting fun and encourages artistic effort. The film simulations are also a great feature, allowing the in-camera production of stylized images. My personal favorite is Classic Chrome, which inspired my overall editing style over time.

Jaywalking at Sunset, XT-2

While I did use the Fuji occasionally for photojournalism, the camera really shined at urban and street photography. The crisp detail and color science really come together to create artistic images. Over time I really fell in love with the experience of using the Fuji, and it started to go almost everywhere with me, usually as my primary camera and sometimes as a back-up to my Nikon D850. I loved using it so much that the camera’s silhouette is even the main feature on my business card.

It wasn’t all roses, though. As an earlier mirrorless camera, the XT-2 had some serious limitations compared to other systems. The EVF blackout made any situation with a moving subject a little harder to adapt to, requiring me to factor in its limitations. I didn’t have to think about what I was doing nearly as much with my D850. Usually this would lead me to default to the D850 when moving subjects were involved, but there were also plenty of times I ignored the limitations of the Fuji and pushed through with it.

HDR in Los Angeles, XT-2

Another issue I never quite figured out was when doing HDR brackets, the camera would sometimes freeze up. This would require me to eject the battery and restart the camera to get back to shooting. This didn’t happen a lot over my time with the XT-2, but it was always extremely inconvenient when it did.

Overall, my experience with the Fujifilm XT-2 was quite amazing. I loved its versatility and its ability to make me fall in love with photography all over again every time I picked it up. For the artistic photographer, I can’t think of a better tool. Fujifilm is now on the XT-4 and the improvements are substantial. The autofocus has seen a major upgrade with tracking, and the sensor has been updated to a higher resolution. As far as I am concerned, Fujifilm makes the best crop sensor cameras hands down.

Deserted in the desert, XT-2

The XT-2 also was an excellent introduction to mirrorless cameras, and eventually led me to my new primary camera—the Nikon Z6II. Stay tuned for my thoughts on that transition next week.

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