Thanks to Karen Hutton and her KHutt caption contest, I ended up receiving the FujiFilm X-T10 in time for my trip to Yellowstone National Park with the Find Your Focus Photography Workshop several weeks ago. It arrived from Karen in California, lovingly packed in its cushioned box, just three days before I departed for Montana.
Initially, I had planned to take it with me in conjunction with my Sony A7 as my mirrorless bodies that would back up and supplement my Nikon D810 for wildlife. However, after packing all my equipment and stepping on the scale, I realized that I had to cut out some poundage, so the Sony gear was returned to the storage cabinet. I immediately downloaded some Fuji videos and went on a crash course to learn a new system, but, as it turned out, absorbing the nuances of the Fuji wasn’t nearly as challenging as I expected.
I’ve long been a camera gear aficionado, and I enjoy following the new technology blogs and the announcements of the breakthroughs in sensor size, pixels, focus speed and the like. I’d read great things about the Fuji cameras through the years and admired many people who created with them, but I’d never picked one up. I think, like many people, I considered myself a sensor snob, and full frame has been my mantra over the APS-C sensor.
Now, after spending a solid week experimenting with the X-T10 in the field and working with the many different settings, shooting in Raw and JPG in various film simulation modes and with custom settings employed, I simply fell in love. The feel of the camera in my hand reminds me of my first childhood SLR, the Pentax K1000. The balance, the dials and even the look of the silver-and-black body transport me back to a simpler time, when the joy of shooting and creating art was first and foremost over anything technological.
My friend and traveling companion Laurie Rubin observed I was like a commercial for Fuji as I worked on creating photos in Yellowstone. I admit that I would get so immersed in the moment that it would just be me, the camera and the subject. Everything else melted away. I rarely, if ever, had to fiddle with finding buttons or menu items to make the changes I wanted to see because the camera was so intuitive. I immediately loved the electronic viewfinder, and the XF 18-55mm 2.8-4 kit lens was perfect for traveling and a lovely complement to my Nikon and long zoom lenses.
I’ve never considered myself a landscape photographer, but with the X-T10 I felt my competence and confidence grow and improve throughout the week. The visions I created in my mind and the compositions that resulted as I explored the park resulted in images I was excited to download and work with back on the computer.
I really didn’t expect this little camera to alter my photographic path so abruptly, but I have to admit it has changed my direction more than I could have imagined. I initially fell in love with photography 40 years ago because of the joy I found in the process of creation, and returning my focus to that singular intent has been a truly remarkable gift. Thank you so much Karen!