I know I've described myself as a rubbish minimalist before. But I really want to make my photography , especially at weddings, as simple as possible. I think that means trying to use as little equipment as I can and generally working and traveling light.
With that in mind I've always had my eye on the Fuji X cameras. Well, I have had more than my eye on them, I've lost count how many I've owned. At least a dozen I'm sure. I love them and I'm so familiar with them, but have so far been unable to feel that they can completely take the place of my Nikon DSLRs at weddings.
I want to acknowledge right away that it's likely a mix of the camera’s functionality and I guess my own functionality. You can get used to a system and get stuck in your ways. I don't think that the Nikons are a bad way to get stuck in, but it can make adapting more difficult.
My first experience of using a Fuji at a wedding was so many years ago with the XT1. Taking some couple portraits at the time I was genuinely amazed by it - amazed particularly at how bad the autofocus was. It just didn't seem to work.
So fast forward past the excellent XT2 and now to the super XT3. I brought it along to a wonderful wedding last weekend and used it quite a bit. I used it mainly in the morning for the getting ready shots, for the speeches, candid reception photos, and for some evening dancing photos. I was being quite cautious and not using it for crucial moments like the bride walking down the aisle.
Perhaps for my next wedding I'll use it even more, so I may get a clearer idea of whether it could replace my Nikons. I should clarify, I know it could replace them - but I want to feel entirely happy doing so. I may have to adapt my style a little, but we'll see.
I noticed that on the dark dancefloor I couldn't really see what I was shooting through the electronic viewfinder. I had the natural live view mode turned on, but it was still too dark to see.
You see, they don't just put those mirrors into cameras for fun - enabling you to see right through the lens is such a big advantage in many situations. Maybe the optical viewfinder of the XPro 2 or X100F might solve that issue for me.
I should mention that I was using the older 23mm f1.4 lens for all of these pictures. It's a really beautiful lens, but perhaps using one of the faster f2 lenses might have made things even smoother for me as I was getting used to the new camera.
Looking back on the day, there are two moments that I was most reluctant to use the XT3 - when the Julia walked down the aisle and for the confetti shots. I think I just need the autofocus to win my trust in situations where people are moving towards me. The Nikon D750 just doesn't let me down - I kind of need Fuji to match that perfect record.
So these were never going to be conclusive thoughts. Just my first impressions from my first use of the XT3 at a wedding. You might be interested to know that despite not using the camera all day, over a third of the keepers were from the Fuji.