We’re all brand loyal in some way. Be it iPhones versus Androids or apples versus pears. The same goes for Photographers being one of the groups of people that probably are most brand loyal based on the fact that the camera is, for a lot of photographers, like a extension of yourself. For other photographers, the brand is what you use because your friends said so or you simply use it because it’s just that expensive, sought after premium brand that few have the means to use.
Once upon a time I was completely brand loyal to Canon. I knew it was a good brand that a lot of professionals used and if I used it, maybe would I become a pro too. I didn’t become a pro and went over to the Sony side. Didn’t become a pro there either. To be honest, photography wasn’t even that much fun and revolved around the right settings and the technology but the passion was not always there. I was constantly worried about my gear not having the best and fastest auto focus or the sensor being the wrong size. If I didn’t have a full size sensor, what kind of photographer would I be? I was constantly looking at the other models that was better, the ones that had more of everything. If there would have been a 1 gigapixel camera with a f0.2 lens, I would have been drooling over that because it would SIMPLY BE BETTER than what I had based on pure numbers. One of the things I caught was a bit of that dreadful sickness called GAS. Well, not the one that gives you a flatulent stomach, no the other, much worse kind. This sickness costs you an insane amount of money, it constantly stresses you out and never let you be completely happy. It’s The Gear Acquisition Syndrome! There has been a lot written on this subject, but in it’s essence it’s like you always want what you don’t have / can’t have. The ten thousand dollar question here is; When you have it, will you be happier?
One day i found out about an amazing little camera that a lot of street photographers really liked. Some even went as far as to call it the best camera in the world. One thing was sure. It was a camera that changed peoples lives. That little camera was the Fujifilm x100. Long story short, a few cameras left my possession and I got my hands on a slightly used x100t which I at the time, didn’t know was going to change e v e r y t h i n g about me as a photographer.
I can’t really explain what was so special about the x100t, be it the retro styling, the extensive manual controls or the picture quality, but it instantly felt like I finally found what I had been searching for since 13-14 years. What I believe is that it simply is about soul and that’s something the x100t have tons of. With a bit of a GAS-infected mind i upgraded to a complete Fujifilm camera collection and realized that the x100t is not the only Fujifilm camera with soul!
If you compare using a camera to driving a car, my background has been with cars like the VW Passat or the Golf. Cars that takes you from point A to B and most of the times pretty fast and secure. Cars that have a lot of buttons, dials and functions that was useful at times. However, driving one of these cars was never a very fun and uplifting experience. Comfortable, sure, but never really fun. It wasn’t until I sat down in that Alfa Romeo (or some other small, sporty car) that driving became fun again. It might not be the fastest car in the world and it might have it’s odd quirks and characteristics, but when used to it’s fullest potential it gives you sheer joy. These days I really want to take my car out for a spin, hear the engine purr (The X-Pro2 shutter sound is pure magic!) and just drive around to see where i end up. Fujifilm doesn’t make perfect cameras without flaws. No one does. But the image quality these cameras produce as well how they handle color is just simply amazing, and for that I’m willing to go with a few minor quirks.
Fuji is a passionate brand that i believe acts with it’s heart, listening to the userbase to make sure to deliver the product the customer wants. It’s not always about sensor size or the highest number of sequential pictures in a burst, but the quality of the image, the usability and experience. Myself i have finally found the answer to own my ten thousand dollar question – Finally I have it and I couldn’t be happier!