Fujifilm X-T2 – we buy into a new, smaller, lighter camera system for travel

Less is more. The new Fujifilm X-T2 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera is smaller and lighter than the traditional DSLR and matches the photo quality of the 'pro' level DSLR like the Canon 5d Mk II, now 8 years old

Less is more. The new Fujifilm X-T2 (right) mirrorless interchangeable lens camera is smaller and lighter than the traditional DSLR and matches the photo quality of the ‘pro’ level full-frame Canon 5d Mk II, now 8 years old

Let’s face it.  Camera equipment is expensive, especially if you’re a photo ‘enthusiast.’

‘Pro’ photographers have their equipment purchased for them or if they’re freelancers, they can write off (depreciate) the cost of their equipment against their income.

We regular photographers have to think long and hard before buying new equipment such as buying a new lens or flash.  And we have to think that much harder if we decide to jump ship and move to one brand to another company.  When you switch brands, none of the main accessories such as lenses or flash can be used on another brand.

I’ve just jumped from Canon, which I started shooting in the 1980s with 35 mm film camera, to the Fujifilm mirrorless camera system.

The old, big and bulky Canon EOS 5d Mk II has served me well.  It’s a pro level camera I bought pre-owned, and I was able to use my lenses from my Canon 35 mm film camera on it.  But the 5d Mk II is simply to big and cumbersome to use as a travel camera.

And technology marches on.  The 5d Mk II was introduced in 2008 and was one of the best full-frame digital SLR cameras on the market at that time.  Now, the smaller, lighter, and faster shooting Fujifilm X-T2 has higher resolution in a much more travel friendly package.

Travel cameras – Less is more

I do much of my travel photography on motorcycle road trips, and I grew tired of lugging around the big Canon.  I then went to the other extreme and replaced it for a pocketable Canon S100, an ‘advanced’ point-and-shoot camera which has numerous manual controls.  But the picture quality, as good as it was for a pocket camera, wasn’t good enough.

I wanted a compromise camera; something that shot superb quality, and was light enough to carry easily in a motorcycle tank bag.

During my online ‘research’ into an appropriate new camera, I found an article, “Top 10 Compact Cameras for Travelers”, written by National Geographic Magazine photo engineer Tom O’Brien.  His top pick overall was the Fujifilm X-T2.

More accolades

Online photography website DPreview in their Best Cameras for People and Events buying guide awarded the X-T2 ‘runner up’ after the much, much more expensive Sony a7R III ($3,999 Cdn body only.)

A little more research uncovered side-by-side image quality comparisons on photographic website Dpreview showing the relatively diminuitive X-T2 actually outperforming the resolution of the venerable 5D Mk II.  Impressive!

Top view (Canon 5d Mk II left, Fujifilm X-T2 right)

Top view (Canon 5d Mk II left, Fujifilm X-T2 right.)  Canon shown with EOS 28-70mm f3.5-4.5 zoom lens.  Fujifilm shown with ‘kit’ lens 18-55mm f2.8-4.0

Size comparison: Canon 5d Mk II full-frame camera (left), Canon S100 pocket camera (centre), Fujifilm X-T2 mirrorless camera (right)

Size comparison: Canon 5d Mk II full-frame camera (left), Canon S100 pocket camera (centre), Fujifilm X-T2 mirrorless camera (right)

Small – but pricey

As I started this post saying changing camera systems is pricey.

The downside of the excellent Fujifilm X-T2 is the price point, $2,249.99 Cdn with 18-55mm f2.8-4.0 ‘kit’ lens, which I bought at McBain Camera.

That puts the X-T2 more expensive than Sony’s comparable (and also top rated) mirrorless compact camera, the Sony A6500 with 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens ($1,649.99 Cdn.)

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