People often ask me why I’ve chosen Fuji to be “my” camera system.
Ask almost anyone who knows a lot about modern digital technology about which camera system to buy and Fuji is almost never at the top of the list.
They don’t have the most resolution (unless you spend $10,000 on a GFX medium format).
They don’t have the fastest autofocus system.
They don’t have the widest lens selection.
They aren’t the cheapest by a long shot.
My wife has a Sony A7III that is just an incredible piece of technology. It consistently autofocuses supernaturally quickly (the animal eye focus is quite amazing), it’s full frame, and it has top image quality.
Yet I would almost never choose that camera over a Fuji any day of the week.
I came to this conclusion recently after my wife showed me an app on the Apple store called “Fabulous.” It’s a self-help app designed to get the user to increase positive habits and live a better life. Using the app feels like it’s been designed to be an “experience” more than just a functional app.
Check out the screenshot from that app, which really speaks to the user and empowers them with an enjoyable font and color scheme.
I’ll admit that I was skeptical. But the joy on my wife’s face was real and she talked about how important an experience is for her, whether that’s shopping, opening a package, or using an app.
She said that if she enjoys the act of using something, she’s much more likely to follow through and make it a part of her life.
I realized that my love of Fuji was very much similar to this. Her “Fabulous” app offers the same kind of things that other similar apps offer. Her first task, for instance, was to increase her daily water intake. There are dozens of other apps that encourage the user to drink more water, or exercise more, or eat right.
The Fabulous app, however, does it in a way that brings joy to the user. In the same way that other cameras can do the job just as well or better than Fuji, I just don’t care.
Fuji is my camera because it provides me with the most “delight.” It’s the most fun to use. The images it provides make me smile in a way other camera systems just don’t do.
How did I get to this conclusion?
Years ago I was fully invested in the Canon ecosystem. I had the top cameras and lenses for wedding and portrait photography, the flash system, and lots of accessories. Canon was doing a fine job but I was becoming a bit bored and disillusioned with wedding photography. If I heard “All the Single Ladies” at a reception one more time, I felt like I might explode.
So my wife and I mostly retired from wedding photography and most of my Canon gear sat in a closet, rarely used.
And then I saw the X-Pro1 and was instantly in love with the design. It was different. It was retro. It was smaller and lighter than the 1D series I was using with Canon. (Thes following shots are of the Pro3)
I saw many people online point out the weaknesses of the camera. This is when I actually kind of cared what “reviewers” or “people who know” thought about things. liked the design of the camera, but it was overpriced and beyond the cute optical viewfinder gimmick, it was behind technologically.
Yet it made me smile, but I wasn’t about to let that change my mind. I was practical. I needed more megapixels and better performance. The technology just wasn’t there yet for me, and it wasn’t until the X-T2 and X-Pro2 (and the 50-140) that I fully embraced Fuji. In a time in my career that I was losing some of the joy inherent in the act of taking photographs, I needed some more “happy” in my life, and Fuji was providing that along with just enough technology to produce the results I needed consistently.
I spent some more time with the X-Pro2 and it was just so joyful to use that it had me picking up the camera more and more to take photographs.
Soon after I sold all my Canon stuff and converted completely to Fuji, knowing that I was in some ways downgrading my kit.
I didn’t care though.
Fuji made me shoot more. It made portraits and weddings more fun (partly because I did them far less). It delighted me personally and professionally, creating images that continues to make me enjoy the act of taking a photo and also delivering something for strong for my clients.
So for you: what delights you? Embrace it, enjoy it, and work with it.
And you know what? I just might download that Fabulous app and give it a try as well.
For now though, here are some of the photos I took this year out of pure joy, using the Fuji to create something beautiful for the world to enjoy: