My first serious camera was a Russian made Zenith EM in the late 1970′s. It was a joy to use, completely manual in operation, delightfully tactile and it did what it said on the tin. Now, over 30 years later, using high-end Fuji Compact System Cameras (CSCs) has re-ignited a passion. Over the last 2 years, when not shooting fine-art landscapes I’ve enjoyed the occasional dalliance with street photography using the Fuji X100. This is a wonderful camera to use, a superb ‘carry around’, and the fixed focal length lens is ideally suited to street photography. Far from feeling restricted by having a fixed focal length lens, it is unexpectedly liberating to be forced into using a set focal length. For an old-hand like me who spent years wet-processing and working exclusively in black & white, the X100 is an epiphany. How refreshing to use a camera with manual selection of shutter speed and aperture using traditional dials, rather than having to suffer the modern distraction of interfacing with electronics. Of course, under the bonnet, there are all the advantages of modern electronics and digital alchemy; it’s just nicely hidden for most of the time. Couple this fantastic experience of image gathering with state of the art creative black & white processing algorithms found in Nik’s Silver Efex Pro, and you have a winner. Miles of enjoyment walking the streets, black & white creative heaven. Despite the life-changing qualities of the X100 for street-photography (it’s quite possibly still the finest street-photography camera available bar none), for other genres there are obvious advantages in having interchangeable lenses. When I first held a Fuji X-Pro1 I was smitten. This was a camera that surpassed the already amazing X100 in specification, with the important addition of interchangeable lenses. The X-Pro1 has an improved APS-C sized X-Trans sensor that mimics the structure of silver halide film and lacks an anti-alias filter to provide the sharpest possible results. Fuji have kept the hybrid viewfinder that allows switching between the more traditional optical or electronic function, similar to that found on the X100….
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