Mum had taken a serious shine to my X-T1. Uh oh.
When I got back to Singapore at the beginning of October, my mother’s point and shoot had expired, and she was on a mission to get a new camera.
“Get a new Fuji,” I told her. “Here, try mine.”
Two minutes later, I’d lost my camera for the night… and the next day. She couldn’t see it lying around without picking it up and fiddling with it.
I needed to take action before I lost it for good.
Conversations ensued about what and how much she wanted to do with a camera. I was adamant that she get something small enough to chuck in her bag at whim, which would give her the creative control she was after, without too heavy a price tag.
She ended up bringing an X30 home.
I haven’t used it at all. Looking at it gives me pangs.
I’ve mentioned several times in passing that my favourite camera is the X-E2.
It was the one body I’ve used, that met all my ideal-camera criterias:
- Great image quality & performance
- Low key enough that I can forget about it on the job
Fellow Kage Collective mate Robert Catto reminds me that not too long ago, innovative digital cameras utilized floppy disks for ease of sharing, and that his first digital SLR cost over five thousand New Zealand dollars and boasted low noise “all the way up to ISO 400.” A 256 Mb Fuji Compact Flash card cost a jaw dropping NZD $800 then too. Ouch.
These days, I’m spoilt by the X-T1 that is my main workhorse. It fits my hand well and is exceptional in so many ways: performance, low light handling, image quality, and has that unholy freaking electronic viewfinder, among other outstanding features. It also gets better with every firmware upgrade, including manual video functions in firmware 3.0 (which I use), and swanky new AF tracking options in firmware 4.0. Today, I download an application from the Fujifilm website into my SD card (SGD $28 for a modest Sandisk 16 Gb one that writes at 90 MB/s), flick an on-off switch, and my camera is reincarnated.
The X-T1 is a camera that looks every inch the mean technological machine that it is, demanding to be noticed both when you’re in front of and behind it, which some photographers enjoy. Here’s where I’m still not entirely comfortable with it, as I don’t like thinking about equipment when I work (or play, for the matter). I enjoy using gear, but giving attention to things that have nothing to do with function, like flashiness, interrupts the process of making stuff with self consciousness. I loved that I could completely forget about the X-Pro 1 while I used it, something which was even easier with the X-E2.
My flashy beast allows me to do things I would not otherwise be doing though, so I’ve gotten used always being aware of its presence. This particular camera has been a huge technological enabler in many areas of my creative and professional life, as have Fujifilm Nordic, the good folks who gave it to me and continue to advocate for, and support my work.
Being in proximity to Mum’s new X30 though, I’m awash in nostalgia for unimposing little black boxes that call no attention to themselves. From me or anyone else.