Above: Image, Gina Milicia Lazio, photographed with Fuji X100F
“Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets.” —Leonardo da Vinci
About a year ago I decided to experiment with the mirrorless camera system. Everyone I know who owns a mirrorless system is head over heels in love and raves about how much better their lives are now that they made the switch.
Switching camera systems is kinda like dating. It’s a big commitment and whilst something looks incredible and sounds amazing I believe It’s important to get to know each before making a commitment to become exclusive.
So, I decided to ease myself into a relationship with mirrorless and test the waters first. I then completely ignored my own advice and hooked up with the first mirrorless camera that caught my eye.
I based my decision to buy the Fuji X100F on looks alone and if you saw it you wouldn’t blame me. This is one sexy looking piece of gear. Early one morning when I should have been sleeping I swiped right or whatever it is you do on the Amazon matchmaker app and I was the proud owner of a brand new mirrorless camera.
My mirrorless love affair lasted about a week before it dawned on me that the Fuji X100F was not my type. I’ve been shooting with pro SLR and DSLR bodies for the last 30 years. They are chunky and heavy and tough. When you press the shutter on a DSLR you feel it and hear it.
I know my DSLR’s inside out. I don’t need to think about how to change focus modes. Shutter speed or aperture, my DSLR is like an extension of my hand.
This mirrorless camera felt awkward from day one. I felt clumsy working with it. I kept knocking buttons and forgetting how to find my settings. My images were soft, overexposed, shite.
“A bad artist always blames their tools.”
After our third failed shoot I ended our relationship. My brand new camera became a very expensive paperweight and sat unloved on my desk for the next year.
“At the end of the day, you are solely responsible for your success and your failure.” —Erin Cummings
I’m now a year older and wiser and realize that it’s not the camera that failed it was my inability or reluctance to adapt to a new system. I was totally in my comfort zone shooting DSLR and needed to learn a new system.
*cue Rocky theme song*
Dadatadadatadatadaaaaaaaaa dadadaaaaaaaaaaa dadadaaaaaaaaaaaa
I decided to give mirrorless another shot, but this time I’d make more of an effort. I read the manual. Watched a bazillion Youtube videos and experimented for about a week until I finally started to feel comfortable and confident with this system.
I have a long way to go before I’ll abandon my DSLR for commercial shoots but there is a heap of features on my compact mirrorless that I’m excited about. I was blown away by the detail and sharpness I got with this tiny camera and not to mention the joy and freedom using such a tiny kit brings.
- It’s compact retro styling means it will fit in my jacket pocket or handbag so I can take it everywhere with me
- The compact size means that nobody takes you seriously with this camera. This is perfect for street photography
- The electronic viewfinder allows me to preview how my images will look before I press the shutter
- It has a built-in ND filter
- 24MB file size is excellent
- 35mm equivalent focal lens forces me to move closer to the action
- Leaf shutter allows me to shoot flash at shutter speeds of up to 1/4000th second
And a few reasons why I’m not ready to make the shift from DSLR to mirrorless. I know I’m comparing apples with coconuts here because the Fuji X100F was never designed to be a pro camera.
- It’s compact size makes it feel like a toy in my hand. I need to get over this but I still love the sound of a DSLR shutter
- Autofocus is slow and it hunts a bit which is annoying
- The color is oversaturated. Canon is still king of skin tones
- This camera is not weather sealed
- The lens cap is beautiful and useless because it falls off if you knock it
I’m excited about the future of mirrorless and the Fuji X100F is fast becoming my go-to travel and everyday camera.
Are you a fan of compact mirrorless? Have you recently made the switch from DSLR to mirrorless? I’d love to hear about your experiences.