Putting the X-E2s through its paces.

Our family trip to Big Sky Country was a great opportunity to really try out my new-to-me X-E2s. Though I bought the camera back in May, I’ve been waiting for the chance to use it on a more regular basis, and let’s be honest, I typically grab the X70.

All of my gear made the cross country flight to Montana: three lenses, two bodies, one compact camera. My daughter was convinced that she wanted to take pictures as well and as I didn’t want to share with her, we brought enough gear for a photo walk with my children.

On my part, I kept the X70 and X-E2s with 35mm f/2 in my bag at all times and made a conscious choice to use the X-E2s. The result was the solidification of my initial opinion: I love it and it may replace the X-T1 as my all time favorite interchangeable lens camera.

I know the sensor, and therefore the image quality, is identical so it’s really more about styling and how the camera feels in my hand. In fact, since I bought it, I’ve barely even picked up the X-T1. Good ‘ol Sebastian has become my daughter’s camera of choice instead. I’m certainly surprised by my own perspective, but I don’t mind. I’m glad to see her taking an interest in something that I love. The X-T1 was (and still would be) my professional choice, but as it turns out, it’s not my first choice as a hobbyist.

One of these days, maybe I really will sell everything except one camera and one lens and if I did, well, the X-E2s would be the frontrunner at this point.

My dream camera. If such a thing existed.

All this recent transition with gear has me even more convinced that the perfect camera doesn’t exist. Why? Because the term “perfect” is completely subjective. We each have different needs and preferences, therefore, what’s perfect for you is unlikely to be perfect for me.

That said, I’ve been pondering what my perfect camera would look like and this is what I’ve come up with:

  • The body size of an X70 with maybe a little more of the sleek styling found on newer bodies like the X-E4, X100V, and XPro3 (with a D pad, mind you). 
  • A textured grip (I don’t mind a small grip, but if it’s smooth, it’s hard to grab hold of).
  • A fixed 28mm or 35mm equivalent lens with an f/2 or f/2.8 dedicated aperture. Tack sharp wide open. I’d take whichever lens version kept it the smallest, unless the difference was negligible and then I’d probably go with the 35mm with the option of a wide angle conversion lens.
  • Let’s keep the articulating screen design of the X70 as well, but maybe make it flush with the body, like the X100V.
  • A dual shutter speed/ISO dial, also like on the X100V. So clever. I really like having access to the exposure triangle without having to access a menu.
  • The autofocusing capability of the X-T4 (or a Sony I guess, but I don’t have experience with Sony so we’ll just stick to Fuji)
  • Dual cards slots, also like the newer X-T series and X Pro series cameras. I’d be willing to increase body size a bit to accommodate that.
  • The newest film simulations and in camera editing options like curve control, plus the ability to save them all within custom recipes.
  • I love the pop up flash design of my X-E2s, and the fact that it has a dedicated button. Very useful and very quick. Anything that allows me to access controls without having to go through the menu is a plus.
  • Weather sealing. 
  • Personally, I wouldn’t want to go with more than 24 megapixels. I think between 16-24 is the sweet spot.

Now, this camera will likely never exist, but if I could customize the perfect camera for me, this would be a pretty excellent start. Not because I need the latest and greatest, but because a tool like this would simplify my creative process even further and inspire me to shoot more. That is the goal, after all.

What would your ideal camera look like?

*These are just a snippet of some of my vacation images from the past week or so. More stunning views of Montana to come.

Beware the person who stays the same.

I’ve traded out my gear almost entirely over the past nine months and I’ve chronicled that transition here. I gave up newer gear in favor of older. I embraced the so called limitations. I tried to remember why I started all those years ago; why I picked up that first DSLR; why I dove into photography in the first place.

Style, vision, gear preferences…it all changes over time. Because we change. It only makes sense that our whole approach would be affected as a result.

We explore, we learn, we grow, we master, and then we move on.

Beware the person who stays the same.