I have a confession. I love cameras. And I have rented, owned and mastered plenty of them throughout my life. Problem is, nowadays it’s hard to find a standout. Everything seems so... vanilla.
As a longtime Canon user, I thought I had found my sweet spot. In my search for minimalistic bliss, I downsized by combining my stills/video shooting package to the venerable 5D Mark IV, a handful of fast L-Series lenses. All was fine until... I had an opportunity to try the tiny, yet formidable Fujifilm X-T2.
I was excited. For the first time since owning one of the first digital Leica models, I wanted to take this camera with me everywhere. There was so much to like - It’s diminutive size and weight, the intuitiveness of its control layout, retro styling, fast and compact lens choices, the organic film-like image quality... I could go on and on (and I do a bit more below). Needless to say, after spending a week shooting with it, I must say that I am duly impressed.
What I Like.
The color science. Fujifilm has always been a leading innovator and supplier of still and motion picture film. With tried and true film simulations like Provia, Velvia, Astia, among others, they have mastered the many different tonal “looks” photographers desire. I find it refreshing that, in an age of non-committal RAW imaging, my straight-out-of-camera JPG images need virtually no enhancement.
The intuitive X-T2 camera body. Featuring a bright, detailed and massive EVF, it makes composing/framing and confirming focus/settings a breeze. Dual card slots, physical dials and controls, programmable function buttons and custom menus round out its professional, weather sealed body.
The lenses. Fujifilm has apparently been hard at work perfecting their optics. The X-Series "R" designated lenses are fast, compact, built predominately of metal and have manual aperture rings that click sure and true in thirds of a stop. My favorite Fujifilm X-mount lenses are the 16mm f/1.4 R WR, 35mm Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster II f/0.95, XF 56mm f/1.2 R primes and the XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR zoom lens.
Digital Cinema. What applies to the JPG color science mentioned above also applies to video. The UHD 4K images are exceptional! Adding to its long list of motion picture functionality, and combined with exceptional Fujinon Cinema Zoom Lenses, variable frame rates, time-lapse and a Fujifilm LOG profile for increased dynamic range, I now have a capable and unobtrusive storytelling machine in miniature. Sure, there are Arri’s and Red’s... they have their well-earned places on larger productions but, for less demanding corporate interviews and b-roll, Fujifilm knocks it out of the park!
Firmware and Support.
Finally, Fujifilm has a demonstrated track record of standing behind their professional users, offering stellar product support and free firmware enhancements uncommon in this competitive industry. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
**Update** I am now shooting (video) with Fujifilm’s formidable hybrid photo/video flagship, the X-H1 along with the outstanding XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR Lens, XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens and MKX 50-135mm T2.9 Cinema Lens.