One Out Of The Hat

One Out Of The Hat

This blog has argued repeatedly that focusing solely on the technical aspects of photography usually causes more harm than good. After all, emotions, state of mind, vision, light and composition are the most important elements of the image creation process. Gear should only come second. However, we admit that sometimes we experience moments of weakness. Today is such a day.  

There is a good reason for it. Patrick of Fujirumors.com has reported that Fuji is working on a medium format range-finder-style camera! As some of you know we have been longing for such a camera for a very long time. Our position is that the medium format camera market is ready for some disruption.

Fuji did a very good job with the X-series cameras (especially the lenses) and there is very little to gain for most photographers (including us) to move to full frame. However, a medium format camera priced right ($3.500-$5,000 range?????) coupled with some quality lenses (and medium format demands high quality glass!) would definitely cause a stir. The 100S/T would remain the always-with-us camera and a medium format Fuji would do all the rest. The possibility of shooting the Palouse or vistas of the Canadian Rockies with such a camera means we can’t stop smiling.

All right, enough of these sinful thoughts. It is time for some imagery. Here is some material we shot last weekend on the Sea-to-Sky highway – mostly near the Porteau Cove. All taken with our usual setup – the X-T1, XF 14mm F2.8, XF 56mm F1.2 and Fuji X100S.

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Copyright 2015 © Olaf & Kasia Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.

Crying Wolf

Crying Wolf

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Fuji X-T1, XF 50-140 F2.8

As most of you know, almost all the images presented on this blog have been shot with the X-series cameras. Since we got our first X100 and then the Fuji X-Pro1, we have become independent ambassadors of the X-series system. Many readers have bought Fuji cameras because they like the imagery we present here.

Given that the Fuji X-series is relatively new and is still evolving, we have been paying close attention to every development. As early adopters, we have been pleased with the Fuji approach of receiving feedback from photographers and making appropriate changes or improvements in the form of software updates – an approach marketed by Fuji itself as Kaizen.

Recently, however, Fuji has sent numerous signals that it would end this philosophy – no more major software updates for older models! We cannot hide the fact that we are deeply disappointed by this news. Here is why.

It was Fuji that introduced the idea of Kaizen, promoted it and marketed their cameras along with it. We believe this philosophy, along with the photographer-friendly design of Fuji cameras, among other factors, distinguished Fuji from other manufacturers and contributed to the rising popularity of the Fuji X-series. Therefore, we have no doubt that this change, if confirmed, would have a negative impact on the brand – at least among its keenest proponents.

But there is a solution. Some of our fellow photographers have suggested that Fuji could start charging for such major updates (don’t confuse it with fixes). We certainly wouldn’t mind paying for major improvements. It’s an idea worth exploring!

The signal to abandon the Kaizen philosophy is one thing but we recently picked up more news from Fuji that makes us a little bit concerned. There is a lot of talk about improvements in video and delays in the development of the highly anticipated Fuji X-Pro2. In regard to video, please don’t bother; we are not at all interested. In fact, the majority of photographers we know who shoot X-series are not interested either. There is still a need for simple, photographer-friendly cameras with excellent viewfinders and an improved menu system. Please, don’t turn the X-series into a “do-it-all” camera system.    

Then there is the X-trans sensor. It is already a few years old and we haven’t seen any material improvement to it since its introduction. We only hope that Fuji is delaying Fuji X-Pro2 to pack some new sensor technology into it (a dramatic improvement in the X-trans technology or organic sensor).

We express this litany of concerns out of care for the brand that we enjoy so much. The X-series is still our favourite line of cameras and lenses. We hope that our unease about the future direction of the X-series cameras will turn out to be unwarranted and upcoming products will show that this fulmination proved to be nothing more than crying wolf.

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Fuji X100T.

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Fuji X-T1, XF 14mm F2.8

 

2015 © Kasia & Olaf Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.