Currie Goes Mirrorless

Fuji X-T10 with 18-55mm Kit Lens

As in “mirrorless camera”. As in this mirrorless camera, the FUJIFILM X-T10.

Seeing how I turn 50 this month [shudder] I’m due for a mid-life crisis purchase—and since I’ve neither the funds nor the inclination towards a Corvette or Harley I figured I would replace the Canon DSLR that sits mostly unused under my bed with a newer, smaller camera to sit unused under my bed. Or not. Hopefully not.

Just in case anyone reading this is in the market for a standalone camera and/or camera upgrade, I’ll share with you everything I learned leading up to this big purchase.

Preamble

Back in 2009 I did the unthinkable: I took a once-in-a-lifetime trip around the world (okay, mostly Asia with a stopover in London) with a smartphone as my only camera. I’ve done the same on almost every vacation since, despite owning two Canon entry-level DSLRs during this same period. My camera and lenses are an obvious burden while on holiday, but at the same time I’ve become frustrated with the limitations of my smartphone camera. The obvious upgrade would be to a digital compact like the Sony RX-100, but I like the option of adding additional lenses for special occasions. Which led me straight to mirrorless cameras.

Mirrorless Camera Advantages

To explain, here’s the video that introduced me to the Top Gear of Camera Channels on YouTube, DigitalRev TV:

TL;DW Mirrorless cameras are smaller, lighter, quieter and more easily connected to a smartphone to share your work. Another big advantage that mirrorless cameras have over DSLRs is their electronic viewfinder, or EVF. The optical viewfinder on a DSLR will let you see through the lens; an EVF will give you an actual preview of how your captured photo will look, exposure and all.

Which Mirrorless Camera, Then?

Up until purchase day last week I was pretty much sold on another mirrorless camera, the Olympus OM-D EM-5 Mark II. Definitive review site The Wirecutter points to its cheaper sibling, the OM-D E-10, as the best you can get for under $1,000 USD. The EM-5 offers the same in-body image stabilization system as the E-10, and adds weather sealing, a fully-articulating flip-out screen and a super high-resolution mode that stitches a bunch of 16 megapixel images into a gigantic 40-megapixel monster.

So why did I end up getting the Fuji, a camera with no articulating screen, no weather sealing and inferior video capture? It came down to ergonomics and ease of use. Here’s a video walk-through of the EM-5 II:

And here’s its X-T10 counterpart:

Seems apparent that the Fuji is far easier to use. Another DigitalRev video pretty much sealed the deal:

There’s one more reason why I chose Fuji; my first-ever digital camera purchase was a FUJIFILM FinePix MX-700. I bought it in 1998 and still have its photos backed up on an external drive. Digital cameras have obviously progressed since then, but from my research Fuji’s ability to manufacture a quality product seems to have remained the same.

I’ll likely have more to report once I take delivery of my new toy. Stay tuned, if you’re interested…

3 thoughts on “Currie Goes Mirrorless”

  1. I too was almost was sold on an Olympus (PEN PL7). But the reason why I ended up with the pricier Fuji were several things:
    1) Sensor – the sensor is bigger, APS-C. The Olympus’ is Micro 4/3. There is a lot more post production I have to do as a result.
    2) Colour/ Jpegs – while the Olympus does colour very well, there is something that the Fuji is able to capture that makes it feel more organic. The colours are beautiful straight out of the camera – I barely do any post production anymore. The first couple of months shooting with it, everytime I looked back at the images I was just astounded. Excellent dynamic range.
    3) Lenses – they are sharp excellent glass. As much as I love mounting my hipster Voigtlander to it, Fuji glass is amazing. We should go on a photo walk if you want to try out any of the other lenses. I’ve got 3 (14 f2.8, 35 f1.4, 18-135 f3.5).
    4) Body – I like being able to hit buttons and turn dials rather than going through a menu system to fix aperture and shutter speed. My dad had a Fujica film camera which I’ve now inherited. It’s pretty much the same design.
    5) Customer service – Fuji has amazing after care services and firmware upgrades. You should follow the Fuji Guys and register your camera so you can attend the events they have.
    I ended up selling my whole Canon kit and beloved Sigma lens. I don’t regret it.

    1. Thanks for the comment!

      re: Lenses
      Definitely interested in trying out that 18-135mm… I’m going to Seoul next week; you’re welcome to tag along. 😀

      re: Canon Gear
      Where’d you end up selling yours? I’m in the same boat.

      re: Fuji Guys
      I knew about their YouTube channel (obviously) but didn’t realize that they also hosted events… Thanks for the tip!

      For anyone else reading this @Xxxtine is the proud owner of the X-T10’s bigger sibling, the X-T1. So a question for you: How’s the weather sealing on it? I’m already wondering if I shouldn’t just swallow the extra $400 and upgrade—though I suppose I should take my X-T10 out of the box and actually try it, first. 😉

      1. Lol – I would love to tag along to visit Seoul again. Perhaps when you get back?

        re: Canon Gear
        I ended up selling my gear to a co-worker looking for a decent camera. The Sigma Lens, I ended up selling it on Kijiji.

        re: Weather Sealing
        I’ve not found myself in any torrential rain or sandstorms to fully enjoy the weather sealing and the X-T10 was not available when I bought my X-T1. The weather sealing really is on the lower end of the reasons why I personally would purchase it. There is something about all the dials, in particular the ISO and metering dial available that makes sense but I suppose you can customize a dial or button on the X-T10 to easily access that. Also, the 2 screen EVF in the X-T1 is super helpful.

        At this point, I wouldn’t buy the X-T1, simply because the X-T2 is coming and I’m hoping for a focus lever (AF joystick) like the one they put on the X-Pro2. I was sold on that new feature when I tried it out at one of the Fuji events in Toronto. Though, I would probably have to wait till they release an X-T3 before I can afford to buy another camera body.

        My advice, take your new X-T10 out and shoot to your hearts content for now. But if your heart aches for its big brother, I would wait till the upgrade.

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