A big side effect of being a highly productive photographer (8134 selected and edited photographs in 2018 alone) is the trouble of being organized and selecting images to share. For the last two years my online website has not been updated. Finally, finding some free time, I have managed to gather up my favorites. Here are some of them.
Is this title clickbait-y enough? I aspire for maximum clickbait appeal these days.
So apparently today is National Camera Day (because why not) so this seemed like the perfect day to finally push myself to finish this post that's been in my drafts for ages. While this post is in fact about gear it's going to be in an extremely subjective way that should definitely not be counted as a review. It's worth noting that I change cameras and buy new (or acquire used ones) when the one I'm using breaks down or starts annoying me. At some point you outgrow the gear you have and your needs require something more.
A brief history (of my gear)
My first camera was a Nikon Coolpix 5000. It's crazy that even though I keep forgetting the exact name of the camera I'm using right now this name is basically engraved in my memories. I was 11 and felt that my dad was taking too many pictures of us instead of the landscape during our family trips. I've never had a better excuse for anything since.
A while later I dipped my toe into film with my dad's old Canon A1. A camera that was around for 20 years, lasted only a year in my hands. I then jumped into entry level DSLRs with the Canon EOS Rebel. At that point I was still finding my feet so I chose to get a comprehensive but cheap range of lenses, a standard kit lens, a telephoto zoom and after a while I got a prime.
But then I did something that would later prove to be a habit: I changed my already set up system and switched to a Nikon. I never invest too much into a system and have had the possibility of trading and selling my old gear easily enough, I realize not everyone would have this ease of switching.
I got the Nikon D200 and at that point I had enough knowledge of what I wanted to do that I only invested initially invested in a 50mm prime. Later on I'd at two other primes to that mix.
But wait! That's not all!
I did another system purge and got the current camera I'm using a few years back, the Canon 5D mark III. I like it. I'm satisfied. It's my main body.
But despite my single prime and lack of frills, it big, i smol. I needed a decently sized side gear to always have on me.
The Fuji X100
Sometime between my D200 slowly giving me more and more grief and getting the 5D, Fuji put out the Fujifilm Finepix X100 and I fell in love.
Look, ultimately it's just a tool. It doesn't matter, as long as it fits your budget, you're comfortable and familiar with it, you can adapt to whatever you need to create. And the X100 had a lot of faults that annoyed me from the beginning, the AF was horrible and the camera was slow. But not only is Fuji great about updating their software to fix issues, the problems that drove me crazy could easily be ignored in favor of its advantages.
That thing fit in my pocket. Mind you, as someone who shops from the women's section, my pockets are always tiny (obviously it's a ploy by bag makers to make more money but that's a topic for another post) but the X100 comfortably fit in my coat pockets. It was also highly innocuous. And I absolutely loved the image results it gave me, soft and muted colors in the way that reminds you of film. Not to mention the ease of use, you don't realize how nice it is to have the iso and shutter switches until you go back to a camera without them.
All in all an ideal camera for street shooting.
At some point though, I started using my dad's Sony NEX-7. I loved the tilt-screen and the speed of the camera but truthfully that was about it. Absolutely nothing to write home about.
The Fuji X-T2
A reasonably priced Fujifilm X-T2 put me under its spell a few months back. It's too early to tell but it truly gave me the same light and super unchallenging feeling that I had while shooting with the X100. An incredibly easy way to get the giddy "I'm creating!" feeling you have when you're super in the zone. Something that to me isn't always accessible when I'm shooting randomly since I have to pay attention to other factors. I can't very well be "in the zone" when I'm walking on cobblestone streets with a high heel now can I?
It combines everything I loved about the X100 - namely the lovely color and light rendering - with all the best functionalities of the NEX-7 - fast system and a tilt-screen. And honestly, I might even go far and say that the 23mm 1.4 lens I got is making me happier than my regular canon 50mm 1.4 ever does with its heavy chromatic aberration and difficulty focusing.
It is much bigger than the X100 though, and the lens isn't helping. But it is light and even if my pockets stay empty, my shoulders don't ache so it's easy enough to add inside a bag.
While I realize, despite the number of times I've tried to reassure in this post that brand and gear don't matter, I did spend a large part of it gushing over fuji products. I assure you, I didn't get compensated for this, I would have written a much more comprehensive and highly poetic review if I had. I just wanted to write down how much I enjoyed using those specific cameras and share examples of what they can produce. I do believe it's crucial to read about real world experiences before you get a product. So if someone who's looking to buy but is stuck between systems happens upon this, I hope they realize that in all likelihood it doesn't have to be a prison sentence. It's important to remember that they're just tools and they're all most likely going to break at some point. You don't owe them anything. On the other hand if someone's wondering about fuji but isn't sure, I assure you it's good shit.
TL;DR: I keep switching camera systems because I don't have a share in these companies so who cares.
Starting off the blog with a list because lists are amazing and I love lists.
These are what I consider best this year. And while I did try to stay clear of sentimental drivel and not take into account background experience, there's no way I could pretend to be in any way objective. Sometimes you just look at a picture so much that they start having newer, unforeseen meanings and more than anything it's the familiarity that starts compelling you. Anyway.
The good, and best, chunk of the year was spent in New York, the rest in Turkey. Going against instinct, I did try to provide context or descriptions through captions.