I hope that you are all well and ready for the festive period. I always know when Christmas is approaching because whole house seems to be covered in a thin layer of glitter.
Anyway, this is a bit of a review post, which is something that Ive never done before but here goes.
I have always been a Nikon girl. When I bought my first second hand SLR on eBay, I chose Nikon. I had friends who shot Nikon and they always spoke highly of the cameras and so it seemed like a good place to start. Lots of photographers seem to pick one and stick with it throughout their career and that is what I have done so far. Nikon feels really natural to me and it never really appealed to me to try anything different.
I recently decided to add another camera to my collection. I’ve been trying to challenge myself to take more personal photos because I was finding that even though I love photography, I didn’t always feel motivated to photograph when I’m not working and that’s a real shame because my personal life is the bit that’s just for me. Part of my dilemma was that I didn’t want to have to take my work camera out with me. It’s heavy and large and a bit of a pain to carry in a bag and so for the most part, I was resorting to my trusty iPhone. Phones are great for quick snaps but for images that I wanted to print, it is a little limited in terms of quality.
I started looking for something in the middle but didn’t have a huge budget. I have heard amazing things about Fujifilm recently and a couple of my wedding photographer friends have been ditching the big brands, like Canon and Nikon, in favour of these little, hipster styled cameras. I was certainly intrigued and so I took to google to find out more. After some extensive research, chatting to a Fuji shooter (thanks Rachel), searching for sample images and watching far too many cheesy America review videos on YouTube – I settled on the Fujifilm XT-10 at around £450. The camera looked perfect for family and travel shots and the style definitely appealed to me. I then had to pick a lens and I definitely wanted something that would allow me to shoot wide open but would be pin sharp where it was needed. Again, after extensive research, I decided on the 35mm F2. There was quite a lot of internal deliberation about whether to get that or the f1.4 but in the end it was the cheaper price tag that won. On a full frame camera, 35mm is my favourite focal length – however the XT1-10 has a cropped sensor and so the focal length is the equivalent of a 50mm on full frame. I love 50mm for portraits but I’ll definitely be getting a wider lens before traveling with it next year.
Ive had the camera for just under a week now and I’ve been trying to shoot every day, using different subjects (my cat wasn’t impressed) and different light situations. Overall, I am incredibly impressed with how easy the camera is to use. Having used Nikon for years, I did wonder how quickly I’d take to a new set up but it’s really straight forward. My only criticism is that it’s slower to change settings because of the external dials and menu structures for things like the ISO. In a wedding photography situation, it may be too slow because I know that I tend to shoot through settings quickly to keep up with the pace of the day. I would have to bring the camera away from my face to a change the dials and that takes a bit of time. In a no pressure environment, then it’s absolutely fine.
The bokeh is so beautiful with this camera and lens combo that I nearly cried. It easily rivals my Nikon cameras and I would possibly say it’s better? I couldn’t believe what this little compact camera was creating. I haven’t stopped shooting at F2 because it’s so pretty.
The autofocus is pretty good. I had read in reviews that other similar models from Fujifilm struggled to focus in low light but I’m pleased to say that this is not my experience so far. The ISO capabilities are good. There definitely is some struggling going on towards the higher end of the scale but I wouldn’t expect to venture up there too often, if at all, so it’s not something that I’m worried about.
This little camera also has wifi, which means that I can easily send images directly to my phone. I didn’t realise that this appealed to me until I got it. All of the images below are edited via my iPhone in the VSCOCAM app. I’m pretty impatient when it comes to being able to share images and so being able to send to my phone within seconds is brilliant.
I have noticed a difference in the colour of the images that that Fuji produces, compared with my Nikon. There is definitely more punch in the colour and there are also film presets within the camera that give a particular look to the images. I have preferred the SOOC raws but it’s definitely worth experimenting with them.
So…who is this camera for? Well it’s for the beginner and the expert. It can be used fully automatically or fully manually. It’s lightweight and very easy to pop in your handbag. It comes with an extensive manual for newbies, or if you’re like me, you’ll faff with it until you work it out for yourself. I’m unsure about its ability to survive a wedding but I’ll be taking it along to the one I have next week.
Below are a couple of images that I have taken over the last couple of days (including my two lovely nieces)
Thanks for reading!