Spoiler: It can. Here’s my FujiLove story.
As a travel photographer, filmmaker and YouTube content creator, I’ve always been intrigued by the behind-the-scenes-reasons of why we decide to use certain tools to tell our stories. One fascinating thing is that there are so many influencers/YouTubers that will tell you that gear doesn’t matter or that you don’t need equipment to tell a good story and, while this is partially true, I firmly believe that when you feel inspired by the gear you have at your disposal, it contributes to creating an environment where these tools become an extension of your vision and can literally inspire you to shoot more and in more creative ways.
My love story with Fujifilm gear started 6 years ago when I first discovered the Fuji cameras with the original X100. I was about to leave on a 3 weeks trip to Italy and wanted something light and portable to complement my heavy Nikon DSLR kit. Knowing I wanted to do landscape, street and portrait, I brought the good old Nikon D700 with the holy trinity of lenses: the 10-24mm f/2.8, the 24-70mm f/2.8 and the 70-200mm f/2.8. Suffice to say that my bag was SO HEAVY! Still, there was one little spot in my camera bag for that new and fascinating Fuji camera that I had just bought thinking it would be a good camera to take pictures at dinner or perhaps when on buses and trains. You can guess what happened next. I had this beautiful retro camera around my neck for the whole trip. It’s only when I got back that I realized, looking at Lightroom metadata, that 80% of my shots had been taken with the 23mm fixed lens, not really fast AF Fujifilm X100. 80%!! Man, that was kind of a surprise given how attached I was to my Nikon gear. When I reflect back, there’s one word that describes best the reason I was picking up this camera so much more than my DSLR: SOUL. Even if it was (and still is) a more limited camera due to the fixed focal length lens and reduce set of features (like slower AF), this camera had (and still has) something unique, something inspiring, that I’m not seeing/feeling with any other camera brand. It literally forces you to slow down, let the image sink in and capture the soul of a place.
From that realization, I quickly wanted to learn more about other Fujifilm products including interchangeable lenses camera body options. The X-Pro2 was announced and, in a heartbeat and a bit compulsively, decided to sell all my Nikon gear in favour of a lighter and more inspiring quit. At first, I didn’t quite realized that crop sensors had progressed so much since my last crop sensor camera (the Nikon D80). Then I shot an entire trip to San Francisco, California with only the X-Pro2, the 35mm f/2, the 10-24 f/4 and the 50-140 f/2.8. I felt so inspired to shoot, getting up early to « get the shot » laying on the ground for a better angle and it was so much easy to bring this smaller camera with me to all places regardless of the activity, time of the day or weather condition.
Since then it has literally been a love story with the Fujifilm ecosystem. From the quality and variety of available glass, like my preferred 56mm f/1.2, to the inspiring design and build quality of the camera bodies, I really feel that I am inspired to shot more often than with any other systems.
I now use the X-T3 on a regular basis and still feel inspired by both the design and images quality it produces for that small package. I also had the privilege to shoot with the GFX 50R medium format and I was blown away by the depth, quality, and finish of the images.
At the end of the day, it does not matter what you shoot with, you just need to find the tool that will inspire you to shoot more and I’m happy that I found mine.