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Mirrorless Cameras Pt. 3

7 Building Blocks of Photography 2

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My first impressions of the Fuji XT-1 was that I like it. In parts one and two of this mini series you probably gathered that for yourself. But there is only one way to find out if a camera is right for you and that's to live with it for a while.

I'm lucky enough to have been lent one by Fuji for a week so I took it with me on our Myanmar (Burma) photo workshop for a week of hard shooting to see how the relationship would develop.

I left my Nikon DSLRs at home in the UK so i wouldn't be tempted to stick with what's familiar and force myself to get to know the Fuji XT-1. This is way outside my comfort zone because I'm not a techie photographer and find learning new cameras hard work. This is because I'm into the images I capture - not the machine used to capture them. Sorry but the tech and kit holds no interest for me at all.

So how did I get on with the XT-1? I love that it's small enough to be lightweight and the exposure controls are quickly and easily available. A big plus point for me is having a histogram display in the eyepiece so I know where to set my exposure to capture maximum data in highlights and shadows. With the DSLR I'd have to make test exposures, check histogram and re-shoot but with the Fuji I could check it as I shot and know all would be well.

I shoot RAW so I can make the images what I want them to be instead of being given what the camera thinks I should have. On this trip I shot JPGs as well so I could compare in camera processing to my own and I was very impressed with the results. Having read a lot on the web about Fuji's X-Trans Raw format not working that well in Adobe Lightroom this was also a fall back on my part. But I needn't have worried and am delighted with the 308 files I processed myself. There's a gallery of 108 of my favourites on our Facebook Page.

There are a few niggles with the camera. I found high contrast in the LCD viewfinder worrying from a visual point of view but this is more of a personal fear rather than an issue with the camera. By trusting the histogram display and setting exposure accordingly everything was fine.

Auto focus lacked 'snap' compared to a DSLR and on several occasions it had trouble locking onto an image in fast moving situations. But for scenes and portraits it was fine.

I confess to having some sweary moments as I learnt it's idiosyncrasies. But at the end of the day I captured some amazing images and to me that's all that matters.

The camera has little impact on your images. It's YOU the photographer who chooses the light, composition, exposure, focal length to use and all creative elements of your images. So before rushing out to buy kit why not invest in yourself? My Beginner’s Course and The 7 Building Blocks of Photography will show you how to capture fantastic images you're really proud of with any camera.

So would I buy a Fuji XT-1? Watch the video and find out...

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Thank you

commasopencommasclose I wanted to say how much Sue and I enjoyed the Beginners workshop last Saturday. It was a pleasure to meet you and the other guys and certainly worth the 7 month wait since we booked up last September.

- Mike and Sue (Mallett) -

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