(image linked from: Fujifilm) Since year 2013, I've been suffering tendonitis on my right wrist. I wasn't able to grip things hard enough, or hold on to things hard enough. I've had difficulty in riding motorbikes for this reason (since I couldn't squeeze front break hard enough) and I couldn't hold on to my heavy cameras long enough. This became quite a problem since the beginning of my wedding season. On every wedding, it started ok but when I get home at the end of the day, my wrist and thumb hurts crazy. This is when I realised myself that, it is probably not the best idea to hold on to these heavy full frame gears, and maybe it's time to find something that will bring me quality and good enough controls to handle the fast paced wedding days. Thankfully, it's not year 2000 any more.
Enter the mirrorless system.
I've been weighing Olympus m3/4 system and Fujifilm X mount system. Although the usability of m3/4 and hardware of Olympus is way up there close to - or even exceeding in many parts - the full frame system we have nowadays, I just couldn't get myself around with awkward 4:3 ratio. I can certainly crop it to rather comfortable 3:2 ratio, but that means I'm loosing some pixels and not utilising the whole sensor. It's just difference in preference. I just like wider 3:2 ratio. Plus, I find it much easier to find print shops and frames for 3:2, in New Zealand at least.
I was in love/hate relationship with Fujifilm's flagship model, X-Pro1 for a long time. Only not long ago, when they released brand new firmware, v3.00, I made a decision to go back to X-Pro1. Image quality is just that good and the atmosphere in the image it delivers is just dreamy. Lenses are great quality. There were couple of things that stopped me swapping my main gears completely into Fujifilm.
1. Not weatherproof After couple of weddings in the heavy rain, I just couldn't dare pick up X-Pro1 on the day. Although many says it's just marketing, I can say from my past experience, it's better to have the sealing than not. I'd rather be safe than sorry if you know what I mean.
2. No constant f2.8 aperture zoom lenses I do prefer prime lenses. But when I do events, when I get paid by the images, I just cannot risk changing lenses in between. Unless I get as many camera bodies as lenses, it just didn't make sense. Zoom lenses were way to go and if not constant f2.8, it's hard to work in indoors. And Christchurch doesn't really have nicely lit up stages.
3. Fast Focus Tracking AF I don't do sports. I'm not looking for extremely quick focusing like Canon and Nikon's flagships do. If the camera can track fast enough to catch bride and the father marching in, I'll be happy. Sadly, my X-Pro1 failed miserably in that department.
OK, maybe not a couple. For those 3 reasons, I was on the fence for Fujifilm, which was why I considered Olympus. But this new camera X-T1 made me change my mind once again.
I already own X-Pro1 as a back up for wedding and for personal projects and as everyday camera. I already own couple of beautiful prime lenses. According to Fujifilm's new lens roadmap, constant f2.8 zooms are to come. According to the initial reviews and Fujifilm's claim, focus tracking is very much usable. According to everything, it looks pretty good.
I won't be giving up full frame gears just yet though, for personal projects and when work requires high resolution. But I think my main working gears will change this year.
I guess the mirrorless system era is coming very close.