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.
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…