I've been saying for weeks that I've fitted myself out with a new camera, and for almost as long I've been promising to tell you guys about it (I'm lame.) The truth is, I had to spend some time with this new baby before I was ready to talk about it. Welcome to my new world. Mirrorless cameras.
I'm happy to write a more technical blog post about mirrorless cameras, and about my new camera, the Fuji X-E2 specifically, but I thought first I'd write about my feels. ("Feels:" a nod to all the middle schoolers out there.) Why I made the switch, how I came to do it, and what I hope the change does for me.
Like most big decisions, this one started with a perfect storm of events. Two of my friends from my photography group went mirrorless. To say they extolled the virtues would be an understatement. And then I started thinking about getting a smaller camera for a trip we have coming up in a few weeks. In the middle of all this, I was, along with my friend Kim, teaching an iPhone class. One of the benefits of the iPhone, we told our students, was that the settings were taken care of for you, allowing you to focus on the composition of your shot.
As I thought about these things (and obsessively researched different cameras), I realized a few more. My photography has changed over the past few years, and I'm not completely thrilled about it. Am I better technically? Yes. Have I learned things about my personal style? For sure. But as I thought back on myself as a photographer, I realized that somewhere along the way I'd stopped carrying my Canon every where I went. Instead, I was carrying a little resentment each time someone said, "Oh! You didn't bring your camera?" My camera was heavy and big, and I got tired of people just expecting me to be the documenter of their events. I love taking pictures, but I also love just hanging out with my friends. So more and more the camera stayed home. And because of that, I was missing more and more opportunities to capture the memories that I did want to remember.
The studio became my default. If it got late, and I hadn't grabbed a shot for my 365, I'd head straight to the studio. Still life shots filled my feed instead of moments with my family, and I wanted that to change.
Enter the Fuji. I've had it a few weeks now, and its compact size makes it easy to take everywhere. I'm making conscious choices to capture the small moments that make up my family's life. I shoot completely differently with it, choosing aperture priority over fully manual. In fact, many of this camera's settings can be set to auto, freeing me to take my time and think about the composition of a shot. I trust the Fuji to get the settings right almost more than I trust myself, and there's an ease to my picture taking that had gone missing with the Canon. And I know I'll appreciate its size and ease of use whenever I'm traveling. What I'll also appreciate? Not having to worry about something happening to my Canon when we're on the road.
Have I given up on Big Daddy? No way! Many mirrorless users have totally ditched their DSLRs, but I know that's not the choice for me. In the studio, the weight of the Canon feels best in my hand. Out and about? I'm Team Fuji all the way.
I have a lot to learn still, to completely utilize this little gem to the best of my ability. We're not quite best friends yet (in that I know its innermost thoughts), but we're definitely sitting at the lunch table together.
Moving to new, entirely different gear can come with a crisis of confidence, and that has definitely happened to me. I'm trying to shift what I shoot and how I shoot all at once, and that can make for lots of messy moments. I've been doing this long enough now that I know that the best antidote for those messy moments is to just keep taking pictures. So that's what I'll do.