After years, and I mean YEARS of loyally using Canon gear, I recently switched over to Fujifilm. Why?
Trey Ratcliff of Stuck In Customs was a trailblazer in the mirror-less switching movement. When he announced he was dropping Nikon for the Sony mirror-less cameras, I realized that considering a switch was a reality. However, Trey shoots primarily landscapes and architecture. Putting any camera on a tripod and shooting a non-moving subject allows for more leeway in selecting gear than when one is shooting fast-moving subjects, handheld, in various light. I knew intuitively that just because he was producing stunning results with his Sonys, it didn’t mean that I could because our styles are so different. In any event, his switch made me start looking for a camera line to move to.
After looking for over a year at other mirror-less cameras and assuming that I was going to make the move to Sony, I did a quick survey of some of my favorite photographers on flickr and 500px. Without realizing it, I had self-selected three times as many mirror-less photographers that use Fujifilm cameras over Sony. So, without so much as seeing a Fujifilm mirror-less camera in real life, much less testing one, I began selling off all my Canon gear (10 years worth of it) and replaced it all with Fujifilm gear.
Admittedly, this was a potentially bone-headed move. It could have been one of the stupidest things I’d ever done. Luckily, I absolutely love the Fujifilm line and the photos I’m producing now are closer to what my vision is for my photography than my photos from the Canon gear ever were. This is going to sound counter-intuitive – but the photos I produced with my Canon 7D’s and 5D’s were sharper overall and more crisp than what I produce with the Fujifilm. And that is exactly why I love the Fujifilms. The overly sharp images produced by the Canon DLSRs, while technically excellent, tend to lack soul to me. Canon fanboi’s relax. This is a personal opinion, not a technical review. I’d liken this phenomena to an audiophile’s preference to vinyl recordings over digital recordings. I love the soul and the timber of the colors that the Fujifilm’s produce.
I have also converted from shooting in RAW and then doing post processing on all my images to shooting in JPG and only cropping images before I publish them. This allows me to stop carrying around a Macbook Pro – I now only take an iPad with me for all my post and publishing on multi-day trips which allows me to stop carrying my Lowepro 300AW backpack.
You should be getting the picture here. If not, let me make it clear for you. Moving from SLR cameras to mirrors-less has a snowball effect on everything you do and all the gear you carry. Everything becomes smaller and lighter.
With that, let’s get into the nitty gritty of the gear in my bag. Here is a complete inventory of all the gear I take with me today, no matter what size the job is or how long the schedule is. I’ve done ALL my work with this kit (with a few small variations) since the beginning of this year. ALL this gear also fits into a small shoulder bag – where I used to carry the LowePro 300AW and a Timbuk2 Messenger bag, I now only carry the a single Domke bag for everything, which also makes flying much easier.
The Fujifilm 56mm 1.2 and Fujifilm 14mm 2.8 lenses are in my bag at all times. *I also use the Fujifilm 35mm 1.4, Fujifilm 60mm 2.4 Macro, and a Fujifilm 55mm – 200mm 3.5 – 4.8 lenses for specific situations, but they are not kept in my bag. To be honest, I’m not a fan of the 55mm – 200mm. It’s too slow for what I need so it’s likely going to end up on ebay pretty soon.
- Apple iPad 4th Gen Wifi, 128GB with SEIDIO EXPERT Case
- Apple Wireless Keyboard (In bag, didn’t pull it out)
- Apple iPhone 6 (128GB) w/ Boost Case X Carte Blanche iPhone Battery Case
THE BAG AND THE STUFF
- Domke F-803 Waxwear Camera Satchel Shoulder Bag w/ Domke 3 Compartment Insert
- 12 X Delkin Devices 32GB Class 10 SD Cards
- Gepe Extreme Polyethylene Waterproof Card Safe Case for Memory Cards
- Bottle of pain reliever and antacid
- Audio-Technica ATH-SPORT2 SonicSport® In-ear Headphones
- Mophie powerstation XL 12,000mAh battery
- Western Digital My Passport 2 TB Wireless Hard Drive
- Cub Co. Leather Monochrome Sling Strap & Great State Classic Pro Leather Camera Strap
- 4 x Wasabi Batteries for X-T1
- 2 x Fujifilm batteries for X100T
- iPad Adapters: Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader, Lightning to USB Camera Adapter, Lightning to VGA Adapter, Lightning to 30-pin Adapter, and a few USB/micro USB cables
- Mechanical pencil, click pen, iPad stylus, Multi-tool, LED Flash Light, Moo mini business cards, and PayPal credit card reader.
One last item which has become absolutely critical to me when I shoot multi-day festivals like SXSW that are spread out over several city blocks is the EcoReco M5 Scooter. More on how I set the scooter for shoots in a later post. So what’s in your shot kit?
P.S. – I do pack battery chargers for the FujiFilm cameras, a Fotodiox Flapjack-C200R LED Edge Light LED Round Light Kit, a Fotodiox Flapjack-C200L LED Edge Light Daylight LED Light Kit, and a Manfrotto 680B 4-SCTN monopod in my main luggage on multi-day trips just in case I need them.