I've had an interesting journey through a few different brands of camera equipment, and to add a bit more credibility to this blog, I'll outline them here.

My first ever camera was a Nikon D5100 with the 18-55mm kit lens. I shot it on full automatic for about a year until I upgraded to a Nikon D7000 with an 18-140mm lens. In retrospect, I hadn't come close to utilizing the full potential of the D5100, but the D7000 just felt "better", mostly due to the physical design of the body. I used the 18-140mm for a while and eventually picked up a 35mm f/1.8 for it. I didn't really utilize the potential of that lens either, but the internet said it was a good lens and I went with it. I also purchased an old 80-200mm lens from the 90s and good hooked on bokeh. I began having issues with the focusing on the D7000, specifically with horrible back-focusing. I did a little research and found that it was basically impossible for a mirrorless camera to have such focusing issues, but most that I saw recommended were pretty expensive. I'd seen the Nikon V series of mirrorless cameras before, but I had heard how bad they were in low light and in their (in)ability to produce any sort of shallow depth of field.

I first got turned on to Sony when I saw an a6000 kit at Sam's Club and was amazed at how small the camera was. I'll admit that their marketing of hundreds of AF points, face detection, and high burst rate were pretty convincing. I ended up selling my Nikon kit to purchase an a6000 with the kit zoom and a 35mm. I used it for maybe a year until I grew tired of its atrocious low light abilities and lack of affordable lenses. At the time, I wasn't even thinking about doing photography professionally, so I just couldn't justify getting locked into a system where every lens that I wanted cost over $1,000. I guess you could say my mind was primed to switch systems, but I hadn't really looked into what else was out there.

One day while browsing Instagram, I saw a post with a photo of what I eventually learned was a Fujifilm X100 and instantly fell in love with the way it looked. I did some Googling to find the camera, but I soon realized that I had not been attracted to a super budget friendly system, once again. The retail prices of the Fuji cameras were way out of my price range, so I ordered an old X-E1 on eBay to use with adapted lenses. I think I paid about $200, and it was undoubtedly the best investment that I have made to this day. This was the first time I had ever come out of Aperture Priority mode and it really changed the way I photograph things. Film slows you down while shooting in ways that I feel are two-sided. While composition may improve with the required deliberateness of film, impatience and cost of mistakes makes it less friendly for learning in my opinion. The Fuji X-E1 on the other hand allowed me to slow down and focus on composition while also manually focusing and exposing, but I was able to get results in real time. The dials, build quality, and overall intuitiveness of the X-E1 made me actually enjoy photography and I probably took more pictures in the first few months with the X-E1 than I did with the Nikons and Sony combined. After those few months with the X-E1 and manual lenses, I thought that I wanted to try to make some money with photography. I'd been asked by a few family friends to take some portraits for them, but I declined because of the obvious technical limitations of my equipment. Something had to change.

Enter the X-T10. An amazing value to this day, the X-T10 is a fantastic balance of price and features. Notably, it has wifi capability, the beloved Classic Chrome film simulation, and a pretty nice screen/EVF combo. I used the X-T10 and 18-55mm for a while, and then picked up the XF50mm f/2. With those two lenses, I began offering photo sessions and my business grew from there. I soon had made enough to invest in the XF50-140mm lens which I used extensively for portraits and sports photography. I then bought the X-T1 as a second body and also bought the XF35mm f/1.4. Quickly I learned that the better autofocus on the X-T2 would benefit me greatly so I upgraded to that. Fast forward roughly 1 year and my setup consisted of an X-T2, X-Pro2, Zeiss 12mm f/2.8, Fujifilm 23mm f/2, 35mm f/1.4, 56mm f/1.2, and the 50-140mm f/2.8. This heavy setup was a great moneymaker and was overall pretty enjoyable to use, but my apparently incurable Gear Acquisition Syndrome struck again.

Clearly I had quite a bit invested in the Fujifilm ecosystem, yet I was drawn to the Sony A7 series cameras once again. I heard people talking about the A7III and the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 online and began to research them. Without a doubt they destroy the Fujifilm cameras on paper, and I was definitely intrigued by the specs and huge lens variety. So, like anyone suffering from GAS but without a bottomless bank account, I liquidated all of my Fuji gear and dove headfirst into Sony. I bought the A7III, Tamron 28-75mm, and 50mm f/1.8 at first. I was disappointed in the 50mm so I bought the Zeiss 55mm, then the Sony 85mm, then more Tamron lenses, then more Sigma lenses. Quickly I had amassed an expensive and heavy kit that made photography feel like work. I did enjoy the Sony at first, but it quickly became boring and overly sterile. Its color rendition was pretty good, and being able to use a variety of lenses with Sony's amazing Eye-AF was really nice, but I never once picked up the camera outside of paid work. The mixture of a boring to use camera and iffy reliability (see shutter problems with A7III), made me then explore the Canon EOS R system. I used an EOS R and EOS RP with various Sigma and Tamron lenses, but the single card slot, expensive and low capacity batteries, and expensive native lenses made me dissatisfied in the long run. I finally decided that I would switch back to Fujifilm and in the process, simplify my kit. My bag (a Peak Design Everyday Sling) now comfortably holds an X-T4, X-T30, 18-55mm f/2.8-4, 14mm f/2.8, 35mm f/1.4, 56mm f/1.2, and 90mm f/2. This kit can pretty much do it all, and the cameras are such a joy to use. I now routinely go out and shoot for fun, experimenting with film simulation recipes, adapted lenses, and just taking snapshots in a different way.

That's the story of how I once again am a Fujifilm shooter. Hopefully it provides some context to any future references and I think makes me pretty qualified to compare Fujifilm to other systems since I do have quite a bit of experience.

Thanks for reading!