The Photographer’s Camera – Follow up
Our last write up, “The Photographer’s Camera,” has met with a great response. Thank you all for your comments and thoughts. No, we are not switching to Nikon or Sony. The purpose of this article was to share our thoughts about the industry and compliment companies that push the envelope.
Some of you interpreted my article as a restart of a “full frame vs. APS-C” argument. Let me clarify. I don’t think it is necessary for Fuji to go full frame at all. The current Fuji X-series line-up is excellent. The whole hysteria around full frame is way overblown if you take a look at how people use their cameras or even look at prints (how many people actually print their photos?). For our work, Fuji X-Pro1, Fuji X-E1 and X100s are more than adequate. Most importantly, the “feel” of those cameras and how they engage a photographer and let him/her focus on key elements is much more important to me than discussion about full frame or not. After all, the Fuji X100s is the camera that I breathe in my daily photographic life.
This leads to the subject of design and philosophy. When I said, “the ball is in your court” when referring to Fuji, I meant please don’t stop innovating and improving/simplifying your products, especially the high-end of your line-up. I do believe that Fuji with their X-series strikes a chord because photographers like me have had enough of do-it-all, heavy and non-engaging cameras.
A fascinating fact about how Fuji approaches design was shared by Bert Stefani is this post (link here). Here is a quote: “What struck me most is that the technical part doesn’t seem the starting point in the development process. It’s not about: “Let’s produce a sensor with as many pixels as possible.” Instead they start from the kind of colours, contrast and “feel” people like in pictures. And only then do they start looking for a technical way to capture that. A fine example of this philosophy is the fact that one of the main guys in sensor development has been involved in the development of some of the iconic films that Fujifilm has produced such as Velvia, Astia and Pro. Bert Stefani moved from chemicals to microchips but his job is still the same – making sure the image is pleasing, has character and the right “feel”.”
This is the direction I think the industry should be taking. It reminds me of the way Apple approaches their product development. It is not about components or engineering (that comes later) but it always starts with design, idea and “feel”. Of course, “feel” is a very subjective idea but there is no better company to sense this photographic “feel” than Fuji with their expertise in film.
© Olaf Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.