Goodbye Fujifilm

I bought my first proper camera two years ago when I broke up my my ex wife. I called up a friend who was into photography and asked for advice. He recommended one of the Fujifilm X-series cameras and that is what I got. I used to do travel and street photography back then. As an amateur photographer, I found the ISO and shutter speed dials, as well as the aperture rings on the lens extremely intuitive, particularly for someone like me who was getting used to shooting in manual mode. Even though I am now leaving Fujifilm, I am sure I am going to miss my X-T3 camera, as well as the kit lens (XF 18-55mm) and the XF 35mm F2 for travel photography due to the extremely compact size of the camera plus lenses combo. But things have changed.

I have never done any fashion or lifestyle photography at all before December 2020. It all happened by chance. One afternoon I went to central London with the X-T3 and the 35mm with the view of doing some street photography. In fairness, the inspiration wasn’t there. Then I bumped into my friend Joe and a bunch of other people who were doing a flashmob.

Laurita, Fujifilm X-T3 & XF 35mm f2 lens

I spent the following lockdown learning the technique on You Tube. As restrictions were about to be dropped, I invited my friend Johnny to my place and turned my living room into a studio and I started practicing.

Johnny, Fujifilm X-T3 & Viltrox 56mm f1.4 lens

The following weeks gave me the opportunity to practice every Saturday at Pierre Garroudi’s flashmob. I met some cool people thanks to the flashmob who helped me in taking my photography to the next level. As now I am opening a collaborative network with another photographer and a group of models, I felt the limitations of my 24-megapixel Fujifilm, particularly after back to back testing with the X-T3’s cropped APSC mirrorless sensor, Nikon’s d810 full frame and Fujifilm’s GFX medium format cameras.

Daniela, Fujifilm GFX 100S medium format & GF 110mm lens

Obviously good cameras and good lenses don’t come cheap. I decided to sell my Fujifilm set-up (X-T3, XF 18-55mm, XF 35mm f2, Viltrox 56mm f1.4, Viltrox 85mm 1.8) and move to Nikon. I got myself a D850, a 46-megapixel full frame camera, and a 70-200mm zoom lens. I haven’t had the chance to test the new camera at length but the first impressions are good. The dynamic range is amazing and the lens, which I tested previously with the D810, is very sharp. Over the next few months I will buy a couple of other lenses (a wider lens, for travel photography and the 85mm for portraits).

In any case, I am happy I lived the ‘Fujifilm experience’. I am extremely grateful to Fujifilm for the support given, as well as awarding the picture below 2nd place in their ‘best picture taken in June 2021’ competition.

Fujifilm UK awarded my picture 2nd place in their ‘best picture shot in June 2021’ competition

Photoshoot with Nikon D810

Photos taken last weekend when we organised a studio photoshoot to test a number of cameras and different systems: a mirrorless (Fujifilm X-T3 with ca. 24 megapixels), a full frame (Nikon D810, ca. 36 megapixels) and a medium format (Fujifilm GFX 100S with 102 megapixels – see full report). Below are samples of the Nikon D810 with their iconic 70-200mm AF-S zoom lens.

The Nikon Sessions II

Another session, this time in a Pret A Manger coffee shop in Holland Park (London) with a Nikon D810 camera. All images shot with a Nikkor (Nikon) 85mm.

The Nikon Sessions

My idea of “recovery” doesn’t necessarily involve “resting” per se. Guess what I did the moment I was allowed some movement on the arm I fractured nearly five weeks ago…. I borrowed my mate’s Nikon camera and took a portrait of him. The location was my local Starbucks.

A few points of note.

I must admit full frame has still the edge on mirrorless in terms of image output. That said, I would not trade my existing camera for a full frame as “size does matter”. My Fujifilm X-T3 is the ideal travel companion thanks to its compact size and and light weight (the Nikon D810 weights 980g vs the X-T3’s 539g). Should I ever decide to upgrade (and I will once I save up £6,500), my next camera is likely to be a Fujifilm medium format (GFX 50 S II) that is actually smaller and lighter than the Nikon D810 DLSR full frame camera I used on this occasion.

Nikon D810 & Nikkor 50mm 1.4 – photo & editing by Stefano Fujifilm
Nikon D810 & Nikkor 50mm 1.4 – photo & editing by Stefano Fujifilm
Nikon D810 & Nikkor 85mm 1.4 – photo by Jutiar Photography, editing by Stefano Fujifilm