I expect you know the type of thing I mean. If I had ‘that’ camera I could …, it’d make my pictures better, etc. I’ve been enjoying taking pictures for a long time so I’ve been through a series of cameras but only really developed it into a serious hobby comparatively recently. I started out with a second-hand 35mm Minolta from the local camera shop, bought with my first savings when I started work. Using it with a light meter made for accurate exposures but, in the hands of a beginner, not for spontaneity! This eventually stopped working and I bought a second hand slr, though I can’t remember what brand it was. I eventually bought the wonderful Nikon FE, with its split-screen focusing and built in light meter. Whee! Freedom! I really enjoyed that camera and used it for a number of years. I still have it, just in case!
Bicycle on Promenade taken with Nikon FE
My change to digital began in 2004. I was on pilgrimage in Israel and a number of us were being guided round a number of places in the old prison city of Acre. Most of the group had small point and shoot digital cameras and I had my Nikon SLR. As I was waiting for a chance to take my picture the others would raise their cameras and, courtesy of the rear view screen and zoom lens, bzz bzz, CLICK, focus and take their picture and be ready. Mmm, must get me one of those I thought!
By 2008, DSLR’s had become more affordable. Knowing how much I liked the Nikon FE I bought a Nikon D60, blithely expecting it to be like using the SLR, only electronically. Wow, was I in for a shock! All those menus!!! It took me ages to get the thing off auto and, with apologies to those who love Nikon, I was never too keen on the colours the jpegs produced. I’d taken a big step backwards and had a learning curve to climb and I was a bit fuzzy about RAW. That winter I saw photographs taken with the Canon 450D and was bowled over by the beautiful aqua skies and golden sunlight shining on a snowy scene. It didn’t take long before I’d sold the D60 and bought a 450D. With that camera I learned the ins and outs of shooting digital.
I enjoyed this camera for a couple of years or so before deciding to upgrade to full frame. I decided to stay with Canon and bought the 5DII with the 24-105L lens and later the 100L macro. I very much liked the results I got from it. I’d worked my way up through various cameras and had the most expensive camera I’d ever owned which produced lovely pictures and I would have been happy with it for longer except that for me …
IT WAS SO FLIPPING HEAVY I WAS HARDLY TAKING IT ANYWHERE!!
It was heavy round my neck so I got a small bag and wore this cross body. It felt so much better and I set off for a day in London feeling much happier about it, but by the end of the day my back, my legs and above all, my feet, were painful.
Misha, taken with Canon 5DII + 24-205L
In January 2013 I got to try a NEX 7 for a couple of weeks but, though it felt nice in the hand, there was something about the images that made me realise this wasn’t the camera for me. I wasn't too keen on the lens, a third party one wasn't going to be available for about six months and I wasn't going to wait that long. Meanwhile, I’d been hearing things about the image quality of the Fuji X cameras. I did a lot of online research and decided to buy an X-E1 and this is what I did. I can honestly say I haven’t looked back since then. The Fuji X cameras have put all the fun back into photography for me. I no longer have any DSLR gear and I hope the person that ended up with mine was able to do it justice.