Fujifilm X-PRO2, Gear Acquisition Syndrome and thoughts

Most of us have been there.  In periods of our creative life we loose focus. We become demotivated and uninspired. And we start to blame our gear. For photographers the gear means camera and lenses. We start to think that sensor sizes, megapixels, lens sharpness etc, would make a difference. If you know the feeling, you most likely have been struck by  Gear Acquisition Syndrome aka GAS. And it is bad… (and good)

Copenhagen, June 2017. Fujifilm X-PRO2, 23mm f/2
Photo: Jan Jespersen

I am there right now. And I can only blame myself (and a good friend who borrowed me one of his nice Fujifilm x-pro2 cameras, with a 23mm f/2 lens attached). This spring I almost did no photographing compared to the last 3 years. I had a lot going on with family stuff and my daytime job. But instead of acknowledging the fact that I was just to busy, I started  to blame my gear. My Canon 6D was to big. The lenses too big and heavy. My beloved Ricoh GR was missing a viewfinder, the buttons where not logical placed, the focus system on the GR was bad, ISO noise to high – and the list continues.

Then a good friend of mine from the Platea Street Photography Collective, heard that I was considering to make a camera switch, and called me to hear if I wanted to borrow one of his Fujifilm X-PRO2 cameras. Just to test it out. Just a free first fix… And of course I would. So for the last 3 or 4 weeks, I have been exploring the new world of Fuji “rangefinder like” camera. Unfortunately I love it… I mean, I hoped I would hate it. Really, really hate it. But I don’t 😦

Copenhagen, May 2017
Fujifilm X-PRO2, 23mm f/2
Photo: Jan Jespersen

So the bad thing is – I really can’t afford a switch right now. The good thing is that I now am a little more back in the streets, doing what I love. Observe life and photograph. And another good thing. I still love my Ricoh and Canon 6D. They actually make just as good pictures as the Fuji does. Yes they are all very different cameras. But they all make great photos. It is only the photographer who is the limit.

But the Fuji X system is so fun to work with. The viewfinder, the workflow and the image quality is so nice. Will I make a switch? I  don’t know yet. I love my other cameras as the great tools they are.  But the Fuji is fun. Maybe I should just go for the little beauty, Fujifilm X100F? Oh, bugger…

Grundtvigs Church, Copenhagen June 2017
Fujifilm X-PRO2, 23mm f/2
Photo: Jan Jespersen

I hate GAS! But again, sometimes it can be the path that guides you back to what matters. Having fun, getting into the creative zone and actually makes you go out and shoot with your camera. And hopefully we realise that equipment is important, but never as important as fun in the process and the final result.

 

 

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9 Comments

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  1. Really understandable!!! It’s really easy to blame our weakness on camera gear. I too feel the same way, since I’m also use a huge DSLR camera and planning to change it with a mirrorless.
    By the way, great shot!!! Amazing street photography!!!

  2. I know what you’re talking about so well. This year I switched from 5DMKII to Fuji X-T2. It will sound ridiculous, but for me it was mostly the weight – I got to a point where I didn’t take my camera with me anymore when I was going out, because it was too heavy. Given that photography is a hobby of mine, not a full time job, I feel like it was the right decision for me. Few months in, and I’m finally taking pictures again and am excited to take my camera with me 🙂

    • Thank you for commenting Aleksandra! And I really agree. The weight and size is a big consideration, especially when doing street or travel photography. That is why I got interested in the Fuji X system (and because some of my friends just love it). The DSLR style of cameras are great tools, but it has a cost. That is also why I love my Ricoh GR. Small, light and a fantastic lens and image quality. But I miss a viewfinder that is integrated with the camera. So right now I am considering a Fujifilm x100f or an x-pro2. I still have the x-pro2 I borrowed from a friend, and I love it. But again, it is not that much lighter and smaller than my Canon 6D with a 40mm pancake lens.

      The good thing with borrowing gear, is that you find out that the gear you already have is not that bad after all 😉 So my GR will always be with me, until it no longer will work… And the 6D – well I can’t sell it. It just makes so nice raw files, and is so easy to work with as a tool. Actually I think the 6D is the best camera Canon ever made in that price range. So all in all, I have a positive “problem”, and shouldn’t complain. 🙂

  3. hey Jan !
    i remember how they started with this mirrorless gear and after a few updates/upgrades i really lost my interest to these Fuji, Olympus, Sony and other small computers in hands of smartgear lovers.
    i saw the version “Fujifilm x-pro2” and really curious where they will put another x in the next model.
    the funniest thing is how an owners of this stuff are busy with every year replacing process cos every next camera is absolutely better then not too “successful” previous model that was the best ever just half year ago..
    same about new firmware – new functions, new presets, new buttons new everything –
    ALL this so far from photography, but i really understand these ppl – most of them came to photography not because of “photography” and results but because of shinny bolts and nuts and long-long conversations how they cameras better then all what they had before..
    i’m really sorry for this kind of negative feedback – i love the results you got here, but i can’t find any difference with your previous results taken with DSLR or Ricoh GR cos you have a style and you will shoot same stuff also with a smartphone..
    have a nice time of day
    Victor

    • Thank you for comment Victor! Yes I agree. There is too much talk about gear and all the limitation the gear you have, has… We should go out an make images instead. And use the time on looking on others photographs, instead of reviews of equipment. But in the end, the web sites that has equipment talks and gear review, gets a lot more clicks and views. So we have to accept that it does matter for a lot of people.

      As you mention, it is quite funny that many praise their brand and say that it is the best in the world, and when a new model arrives, the old one suddenly is not good anymore. Just like Fuji, who said that sensor size does not matter anymore. Then they release the GFX with a bigger sensor, and suddenly the size matters very much! 😉

      I also agree that the images in this blog post, are not different just because I took them with a different camera. You do what you do, no matter what camera you have. But I must admit that the x-pro2 brings you joy when you work with it. The way you can set it up and customize it. The lack of mirror is actually nice. The EVF shows you what you get (more or less). It is easy to see if the image will be under- or overexposed. And if you like to shoot manual focus, the very good focus peaking is a blast. With this camera I would not hesitate to buy a manual focus lens. And the size of the camera is actually very good for street photography. It also looks like an old retro camera. People have been asking me what camera it is, and if it is a film camera. But in general they seem to just ignore me more than when I put a dslr on my shoulder. Now I just am the poor weird photo enthusiast, that couldn’t afford to go digital 😉

      So there are a lot more to it than just image quality. If a new camera brings you motivation, then it is fine. For some it actually will cause them to shoot more. And with more shooting, your chance for a good image, is bigger.

  4. Gorgeous images as per usual!

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