My wife, Amanda, had a birthday last month. When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she said, “A camera!” I was a little surprised because for most of our marriage (soon to be 17 years) she has not had much of an interest in photography, but also I wasn’t all that surprised because she has taken an interest in it beginning this year. In fact, I’ve been teaching her photography here and there on the Fujifilm X100F.
Last year for Amanda’s birthday I got her a GoPro because she was making home movies using her iPhone. She’s had a lot of fun over the last 12 months making some pretty epic home videos of our vacations with the GoPro. The kids love them! I think that they’re awesome. This might be where her recent interest in photography stems from, as video and still pictures are in the same general ballpark.
She had told me that, if I did buy her a camera for her birthday, she didn’t want it to be Fujifilm because she was concerned that I would be buying it for myself more than for her. She thought that I might try to take it over. That’s a valid concern because I do love Fujifilm cameras. I suggested that, if I did buy her a Fujifilm camera, we could share lenses. That idea didn’t seem to impress her much.
I ended up buying Amanda an Olympus OM-D camera. It arrived in the mail before her birthday and I set it up the day before so that it would be ready to go. Except that it didn’t work. It was broken! Brand-new, right out of the box, and it was a bust. Talk about a let down! This was supposed to be a big surprise for her.
The next day, on her birthday, I explained what had happened and showed her the non-functioning camera. She was excited that I bought her a camera but disappointed with the camera that was sitting in front of her. I felt bad about it, so later that day I took her to Best Buy, which is right down the street, and told her to pick out a camera.
Amanda tried the different models that they had on display and picked out a Sony A6300. The clerk informed us that they were out of stock but could have one delivered to our house in a couple of days. My wife was okay with that, so we made the purchase and left.
A couple of days later the package arrived from Best Buy. There was a note inside informing us that they were out of brand-new A6300 cameras, that it was an open-box model they had sent us–if we liked it we could keep it and they’d give us $100 off, and if we didn’t like it simply return it to the store. It wasn’t “open-box” so much as it was non-existent-box, with important pieces missing and scratches all over. Obviously we returned it to the store, and the customer service person apologized extensively, shaking his head and saying, “I can’t believe they sent you this piece of junk!”
My wife was ready to give up at this point, but I was not. I told her not to worry, that I’d take care of it. This time I did what I should have done in the first place and purchased her a Fujifilm X-T20. This camera is basic enough for her to feel comfortable using yet advanced enough that she can grow into it. There’s a lot of carryover between the controls of the X100F that she has used several times, so she was able to start shooting pretty quickly. And it has 4K video, something that was important to her.
She seems to be very happy with the X-T20. She’s carrying it around and using it frequently. She’s told me several times that she really likes this model. We’ve even had a few photo walks together, her with the X-T20 and me with the X-Pro2, X100F or X-E1. And I haven’t taken over her camera. I’ve only handled it a few times to show her how to do something when she’s had a question. The X-T20 is Amanda’s camera, while I have my own Fuji X cameras.
I’m very excited that we can share the photography experience together. I’m glad that she wanted a camera and that I purchased her one. It was a frustrating experience at first, but once I purchased the X-T20 all has been well. I look forward to seeing the photographs that she will capture and the adventures we’ll have in the coming months and years.