The perfectly formed, FUJI X-T20!
I am sure all of you by now have read all of the amazing reviews of all of the new Fuji film products that were excitingly released on the 19th of Jan! So my experiences? Well where to begin
As a portrait and travel photographer the obvious choice for me of the new arrivals was the X-T20, a smaller more compact little sister of the the X-T2 (a camera that I now use for ALL of my portraiture and travel commissions).
In November 2016, I was approached by Fujifilm asking if I would be interested in having a trial of another of their prototype cameras. Now is any photographer going to say no, to such a great opportunity? You’d be a fool not to get involved!
The very next day I was off on my travels again as a trainer for the wonderful Photojourney in Nepal, I packed up the x-T2 in my Billy bag and just popped in the X-T20, and hoped that I would get a chance to give it a go.
With most of the prototypes that are sent out there are always some initial glitches, but I managed to get it up and running for a few days whilst up in the hills of Barpak, Nepal.
It was so small I would often take it out on my golden hour walks, something that I try and do everyday whilst visiting a new area, I would pop on either the 90mm or 56mm prime lens on and that would be it!
The following images were taken a year and a half after the devastating earthquake in Nepal, and I wanted to really highlight the way the town had managed to regenerate and develop with vigour and pride after such an epic event, it was really very inspiring!
As the X-t20 was a pre-production model, I was unable to shoot RAW so shot all of the images in Jpeg, and then processed after in Nik software as I love the BW conversion, I was amazed by the quality and depth of the files and the sharpness! Sheesh! That 56mm APD lens is something else!
The biggest benefit to the size was that I found was that I could very discreetly hand hold the camera, in all situations and it is pretty much unnoticed, really nice when you are trying to get natural portraits.
Even more so when imaging the children of Barpak, (and there were LOTS of children!) as they were certainly less intimidated with the smaller body, I was amazed how close to the subjects I was able to get.
I’m not one to go into to all the new technologies and features, but as a photographer who likes things easy I just like things to work the way they should!
Photography for me is more about the connection and interaction with the subject, and this lovely little piece of kit certainly allowed me to have that! The eye contact that I was able to maintain was easier as I was not behind a huge DSLR, quite often I would use the flip screen with my eyes above camera to draw an expression from the subject!
The controls and menus are pretty much the same as the X-T2, so I was used to where everything was, just slight differences were noted but nothing too out of the way.
After returning from Nepal and a couple of firmware updates (very normal for the pre-production models) I was able to shoot RAW and the files as expected did not disappoint! The files are BIG! And again lots of depth and clarity.
I am still experimenting with the body and it has also recently been in my kit for a recent family holiday to Costa Rica, it was a great to take out on days and to the beach, and I am sure it will be a great add on to my work kit also!
I am now thinking of carrying two bodies (this one being the extra) to my portrait shoots, so that I am able to seamlessly shoot both wide and long lenses quickly! When shooting children at speed this can only be of benefit! I will update you when I have started my London portrait shoots in a few weeks! (its just too cold out there at the moment!)
In the meantime for all of the camera details just click on the images above we really could learn a lot from their strength of character!