Let’s Not Forget How Awesome Our Cameras Are

I think it’s really easy to get caught up in the hype of advancing camera technology. It’s natural to think that we need the latest and greatest new gear. But lately I’ve been thinking that we should not forget just how awesome our current cameras are. Whatever camera gear you have, it’s pretty freakin’ amazing!

I found it interesting that Rob Morgan prefers the X100F over the X100V. He said, “…although the technical specs of the X100V are ‘better’ it lost the mojo of the earlier models.” In other words, he likes the five-year-old model more than the two-year-old one. What about gear that’s even older than that? Can it still be any good?

Captured yesterday on my X-Pro1 + Xuan 30mm using the Color Negative Film recipe

The Fujifilm X-Pro1 is ten years old now. So is the X-E1. If you are using decade-old camera gear, you are certainly behind the curve, right? Everyone else’s pictures are so much greater than yours, right? Those cameras aren’t capable of capturing worthwhile images, right? Of course, the answer is no to all three questions—your gear is not obsolete, your pictures aren’t inherently inferior, and, yes, your gear is plenty capable as long as you are. Photography has been around for 196 years, but only cameras released in the last 12 months are worth owning, some would say—those cameras that evolved after only 186 years aren’t nearly as good as those that have had the full 196 years to be released. That’s nothing but pure nonsense!

The X-Pro1, the X-E1, and every single other Fujifilm X camera is a capable photographic tool. Is the X-T4 better? Maybe. Is the X-H2 better? Maybe. Is the X-T1 better? There are some who think so. Is the X-H1 better? Many X-H1 owners think so. Does any of it matter? No. What matters is how you use your gear, not what gear you use.

One of my favorite pictures (that has hung on my wall for years) is this image captured on a Fujifilm X-E1 with a 50 year old lens.

The fact is that the X-Pro1 and X-E1 are just as capable today as they were in the year that they were released. Actually, that’s wrong. With Fujifilm’s firmware updates (that they used to be known for), the cameras are better today than they were in 2012. A lot of positive things were said about the cameras back then. A lot of wonderful pictures were captured with them back then. 10 years later and it all still applies, and the cameras can still capture amazing pictures today.

I thought it would be a worthwhile exercise to reread the old X-Pro1 reviews, and quote the positive things that were said about it back then. I think this is a good perspective to have, especially if you’re feeling a little camera envy. The X-Pro1 was a highly desirable model when it was released. I remember drooling over it in the pages of a photography magazine, but I couldn’t afford it back then. I’m very happy to own it now, because it’s still a solid camera, and still worth drooling over, even at the decade mark.

“It’s not just a retro look that distinguishes the Fujifilm X-Pro1, but its cutting-edge hybrid optical viewfinder and emphasis on quality prime lenses. Excellent image quality with very clean detail is the extra surprise inside.” Imaging Resource, 04/18/2012

“The Fujifilm X-Pro1 does almost everything right: it’s a beautiful (if enormous) camera, it takes great pictures and video, and once you take the time to learn its controls and systems it’s as capable a shooter as I’ve tested.” The Verge, 05/22/2012

“The X-Pro1 is certainly right up there with the best APS-C sensor cameras on the market, and some full-frame models too.”Photography Blog, 03/15/2012

“The camera’s images are exceptional, delivering on the claims that it can match up to existing full-frame sensor’s abilities.”What Digital Camera, 03/09/2012

“The image quality is stunning, with excellent, and I really mean excellent pixel level detail, with excellent colour reproduction, great dynamic range, excellent high ISO noise results and excellent JPEG output straight from the camera.”ePhotoZine, 03/12/2012

“This is a high ISO street shooters dream. Yes, I said STREET SHOOTERS DREAM.” Steve Huff, 04/04/2012

“This camera is a wave-breaker. May the other companies take note!”Digital Photography School, 03/30/2012

“With the X-Pro1 Fujifilm has built on the platform provided by the X100, and is beginning to look like a very serious contender at the high end of the camera market.”Digital Photography Review, 06/28/2012

Whatever camera you have, don’t worry about it being “good enough” or “new enough” or anything else. What you do with the gear you have is much more important than the gear you have—the limitation is only oneself. Do the best you can with what you have, and in time you’ll surprise even yourself at what you create. Your camera—whatever it is—is awesome, and we shouldn’t so easily forget that.

34 comments

  1. theleshall · September 24

    I was pixel peeping sample images of the X-H2 and noticed this strange anomaly in one of the shots…

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · September 25

      Pixel peeping?! 😮 🤣

      Like

      • theleshall · September 26

        Did I get the term wrong? I’m an old fart.

        Like

      • Ritchie Roesch · September 26

        You got it right. Always a dangerous activity, though.

        Like

      • theleshall · September 26

        You got the image right? U can see every crystal!

        Like

      • Ritchie Roesch · September 26

        I pixel-peeped images from the GFX 50S when Fujifilm loaned it to me a year and a half ago or so. I was blown away. Then I printed some pictures with it and identical shots captured with my X-T30… and I concluded that if you don’t print poster-sized or crop extremely steep, the extra resolution and details don’t actually make any practical difference. Those who need that extra resolution know who they are, and for everyone else (the majority of people) it’s more gee-whiz and not anything especially practical. But it’s good for selling cameras, that’s for sure! 🤣

        Like

  2. lu · September 24

    Love this! When I was learning about Fujifilm cameras, I was surprised at how beloved the X-E1 was. I looked down the line. Others around me assumed that the X-E4 would be the best, but when I compared that and the X-E3, I found there was more support for the X-E3. To each his own. It’s interesting, because we tend to assume newer = better, hands down. But I’ve come to realize that it’s usually not that simple, especially with cameras 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · September 25

      The X-E1 was my gateway into Fujifilm and has a special place in my heart. I’m also a happy X-E4 owner. I think all of the X-E cameras are great and for some reason underrated. I appreciate the input!

      Like

  3. TheCameraEatsFirst · September 24

    Am still using my lowly X100S bought in 2013! https://i.imgur.com/61VCPL5.jpg
    Nisi filter system “professional kit” – (Goldeneye recipe by Justin): https://i.imgur.com/bh10DdF.jpghttps://i.imgur.com/bh10DdF.jpg

    The new “V” and E4 are fugly. They are looking less and less like the X100 and E series. Not to mention the removal of buttons and grip.

    Like

  4. Roger Klemm · September 24

    I teach a photographic art class.
    My cameras are the X Pro1 & the X100V. Nothing else is needed.
    Roger Klemm

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Andy · September 24

    I totally agree, a good camera that was good ten plus years ago is still a good camera.

    I am having a voyage of rediscovery of sorts, using older ccd sensor compact cameras, my favourites being a Canon G11 and a Lumix LX5,both of which are so much lighter than the dslr’s I thought I needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · September 25

      I think there’s a bit of a trend right now as people are beginning to rediscover these oldies but goodies. Thanks for the input!

      Like

  6. Richard · September 25

    Thanks for your interesting blog pieces and many wonderful recipes. I believe huge numbers of photographers are appreciative of how you’ve opened up creative potential with Fuji cameras that for many of us were arcane jpeg settings.

    What leaves me puzzled and I was hoping perhaps you could explain is the reliance of so many recipes on fixed white balance settings. With the colours of light so often fluctuating, my understanding of white balance is that its purpose is to tint the light back to a neutral setting and supposedly objective colours.

    I can understand how if you want to use white balance to shift colours you might start with a neutral auto white balance then shift it, but I don’t see how you can start with an absolute colour setting, say Daylight or Kelvin 3500, then expect to get a particular filmic look irregardless of the actual light in the scene being photographed.

    I don’t know if there’s a short answer to that or perhaps it’s worth a blog, but it’s certainly something I’d like to understand concerning your many appealing recipes. Are they in fact limited to certain situations, such as Daylight or whatever white balance assumptions your recipes make?

    Thanks again for all your great work. I hope you really enjoy the challenges of creating your marvellous recipes.

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · September 25

      With film, there were largely two options: “daylight” and “tungsten”. People sometimes used color correction filters for other light situations (which you can still do), but largely you got what you got. Obviously digital cameras have almost an unlimited option for precise white balance, but film was a much different story (just two), and since I’m more or less trying to replicate film aesthetics, I often don’t use Auto, as there is no such thing as auto white balance in film. I hope this makes sense. You might find this article interesting:
      https://fujixweekly.com/2022/01/19/film-simulation-recipes-why-pictures-are-too-yellow-how-to-fix-it/

      Like

      • Richard · September 25

        Thanks Ritchie. I found that article quite helpful. (Accidentally posted earlier reply to wrong spot.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · September 26

        You are welcome!

        Like

  7. frankgphotography · September 25

    Thank you for bringing light to this topic, I often think how much money i would save without buying so many new cameras, the old ones are just as good.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. leodelatorre · September 25

    Totalmente de acuerdo: lo importante no es la cámara si no las imágenes que creas con ella. Al fin y al cabo una cámara no deja de ser más que una herramienta, que ayuda a expresar la creatividad del que la utiliza. En el mundo de la fotografía digital a partir de una determinada calidad de imagen todos los demás “avances, o mejoras” no son más que velocidad de proceso, velocidad de disparo, de enfoque, de seguimiento…etc.
    Saludos

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dave · September 25

    completely agree, Ritchie….

    as noted by Andy (above), I’m also shooting vintage digital CCD cameras, including an LX5 (and a Pentax 645D)… while my ‘newest’ camera is the X-H1…

    while I know and understand that the X-H2 is a ‘better’ camera that what I’m shooting with, I honestly don’t believe that it would make me a better photographer….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · September 25

      The X-H1 is a really good, really underrated camera. There is a recent trend, I think, where people are rediscovering the older digital models, and there’s a renewed appreciation for them. Thanks for the input!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Richard · September 25

        Thanks Ritchie. I found that article quite helpful.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. theleshall · September 26

    I shot abiout 250 pics at a Fall Festival today. E3 and the cheap kit lens. Everything looks great, apart from user error. Was shooting a lot of bowsers and got a lot of dog butts and owner legs and arms! I see now why people don’t like the X-S10. When I switched to it it felt clunky…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · September 26

      The X-S10 has its place for sure, but I’d recommend the X-E3 over it any day of the week for still photography. Thanks for the input!

      Like

  11. rabirius · September 26

    I read somewhere a long time ago that the best camera is always the one you already own.
    And I think it is true. You know its advantages and its flaws and you know how to work with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · September 26

      I agree! We should all (myself included …or, perhaps, especially myself included…) be in less of a hurry to “upgrade” to the latest models. Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  12. Pingback: Let’s Not Forget How Awesome Our Cameras Are — FUJI X WEEKLY - M.E. Risser Photography
  13. Onno · October 12

    Fully agree with you post, Ritchie. My father, long time ago, in the pre-digital age, was an avid amateur photographer, shooting with a Praktica camera and a standard 50mm lens. Some of his best shots (and they were good), printed at considerable sizes, still hang in our and other people’s homes, and I honestly can’t say they look technically inferior to anything I have ever shot with vastly newer (and more expensive) gear. Of course, there is nothing wrong with enjoying high tech gear (as I do) and I guess most of us suffer from occasional bouts of GAS. I recently bought an XT4, and I enjoy shooting with it; for instance, you can now dedicate different white balance settings to different recipes, which was not possible on the XT2 or XH1. Then again, while improvements may contribute to the joy of shooting, I have no illusions that the XT4 will make me a better photographer. Just like my masterbuilt guitar did not make me a better player :). Although I sure enjoy playing it. And that, in itself, can be half of the fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 13

      I think it’s an important distinction that you make: will it (whatever “it” is) make you better? Will it be more fun? If the answer is no to both (and certainly the answer to the first question is no every time), then it should be avoided. If the answer is yes to the second question, then it might be worthwhile just for the joy of it—you only live once, right? I appreciate your thoughtful input!

      Like

  14. Rajiv · 26 Days Ago

    I just bought the X100 V. It is super

    Liked by 1 person

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