Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Back To The Future

After years of photographing with DSLR's, I have taken the leap to mirrorless!  Early on, I had used point and shoot film cameras for family or friends-type snapshots, eventually moving on to digital point-and-shoots. After retiring in 2002, I bought my first bridge camera. It was a Panasonic Lumix FZ40, a nice compact 14mp - 24x zoom camera. While getting more serious about photography and getting out of "auto" mode, this was a great little versatile camera to start learning photography.

It wasn't too much longer when, in 2013, I jumped up to a full size DSLR. The Nikon D5200, a 24mp APS-C (crop) sensor with interchangeable lens was a big step up in my photography use and experience. Before long I had acquired several more lenses for the Nikon.  It's a great camera for all kinds of photography - portraits, sports, landscapes - but it is bulky and heavy.

Because of desire for a smaller, lighter camera, I had been watching rapid development in the mirrorless field in recent years, with Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus and others making huge advancements in technology. After much research I zeroed in on the flagship Fuji X-T2. For me, besides reduced size and weight, the big features were the 24mp APS-C sensor, the retro manual dials, amazing EVF, fast focus, image quality, and available lenses.  On paper the Fuji, in a smaller form factor, actually outstrips my Nikon in every function and feature.

Because of high demand, it took months for my normal preorder to get filled, but once in my hands, the sophisticated tactical feel of the body and knobs was an awesome experience. Not having to fiddle in menus while having exposure settings all readily handy right on top of the camera is just astounding! There is something very comforting about the mechanical feel of this camera - you feel that you are part of the photography process. It is just plain fun to use!  The image quality is outstanding, and even while still learning to use the camera. It's unadjusted jpeg quality seems virtually to equal the Lr adjusted RAW files.

I have a lot to learn and explore with this system, but one thing I know. Spending time with this mirrorless camera will be an exciting adventure.