How Fujifilm Cameras and Fujinon Lenses Changed a UK News Photographer’s Life


UK-based photojournalist and event photographer Steve Burton, Director of Smartpicsuk® event photography, recently shared an article on his website and at PetaPixel about how his life and career in photography was radically changed by the Fujifilm APS-C mirrorless 
camera system. 

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Mr Burton had been a Nikon DSLR user since starting to photograph digitally in 1999, like many professional photographers in his field, but it was a Fujifilm X-Pro1 that really changed his life. Most recently he has been using Fujifilm X-Pro2 and X-T2 cameras.

I had recently started using the Fuji X mirrorless system starting with the Xpro 1 which I purchased on one of Fuji’s brilliant deals which came with 2 free lenses which got me hooked with an XT1 and more lenses soon following.

I made a decision to only take only the Fuji kit in a small camera bag with 2 bodies and 5 lenses from the 10-24 to the 55-200 for the longer shots.

My life was radically changed by mirrorless cameras when Fujifilm released its X100 and I could begin making digital photographs in the way that had been so familiar to me for so many years since I bought my very first Leica M-Series rangefinder film camera. Then as now, I experienced “a different kind of photography” that was remarkably similar despite one being a rangefinder-style digital camera and the other being an analog rangefinder camera.

As with my Leica rangefinders, contemporary APS-C and Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras are “extremely quiet and very compact”, allowing me to “get closer to the action”. Try as I might, my experiences with so-called full-frame or 35mm format mirrorless digital cameras have not been the same due to their size, slower operating speeds and difficult-to-use menus and controls.

With any of my small mirrorless cameras, I can photograph anything anywhere and in any weather and lighting conditions, as good as invisible should I want that and especially in public.

If I could take up professional photography right where it was for me when photochemical allergies and ill health demanded I give it up then I would do so in a heartbeat. Digital photography hardware and software is right where I wanted analog to be back then, enabling craftsmanship and creativity well beyond analog’s native capabilities.

Mr Burton ends his article with good news for professional users of Fujifilm cameras:

I’m reliably informed there are advanced plans for a “pro” backup service for fast repairs and loan equipment for professional users.

I certainly hope that is the case and that the pro service and loaner equipment will be available here in Australia. I believe it will make all the difference for increased adoption of contemporary mirrorless cameras in the professional sphere in this country.

Soon, being seen covering a news event with an X-Pro2 or an X-T2, or a GH4 or GX8, may not draw the occasional unwanted, puzzled attention from DSLR-toting news photographers in the same way that covering news and magazine jobs with my Leicas or 120 roll film rangefinder “Texas Leicas” once drew puzzlement and sometimes even derision from SLR-using colleagues.

Mr Burton’s photographs illustrating his article more than amply prove the quality rendered by his X-Pro2s and X-T2s.

Tech Notes:

Article header aka featured image of Fujifilm X-T2 with Fujinon XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens next to Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM lens made with Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 and Olympus M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens. I processed three raw file brackets in Macphun Aurora HDR 2017 then further processed in Macphun Luminar. Lighting by Rotolight Neo 3 Light Kit with barndoors and Chimera soft light.

In-text image of Fujifilm X-Pro2 and X-T2 sitting on Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13 photographed on GH4 with available light then processed in Aurora HDR 2017.

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