Its well over a year since the Canon 6d mark ii landed and I was very underwhelmed. It was just not the jump I was looking for. I did not want to spend 3500 euros on a 5d mk iv. Don’t get me wrong, the 6d, the first one’ was an amazing camera. I got mine about 18 months after it came out and moving to it from the 60d was a serious step up. Ill not forget the first images I took with a 14mm Samyang lens. The colours and the just wideness of a full frame sensor. I just could not wait to get some good glass and get shooting.
Chasing full frame was the thing then, everyone I knew was at it. Full Frame = Better Images. Yeah and to a large degree this was true. But Canon held back. The focus system was basic, you got one card slot, and annoyingly 97% coverage in the view finder. I sold all my crop sensor glass and bought 3 L series lenses. A 24-105L 17-40L and a 70-200L (F4) to add to my Samyang 14mm astro lens. I thought this is me for the next 10 years. What happened?
Well, I got itchy feet and wanted to travel. Morocco happened, followed by Mijas, Paris and London. Then I went to India. Hot! Very hot and a photographer’s dream. I noticed the mirrorless cameras really for the first time. I had dismissed them as poor quality and at worst toy cameras. But long chats on busses between locations and starting to look more on line I was intrigued. Sony, Olympus, Panasonic and Fuji. Names that for me mean the past, or in the case of Sony, big bulky DSLR with no support and a heating issue.
My first steps into the world of mirrorless was Olympus. Hahnel Ireland was kind enough to lend me the flagship Olympus ED Em 1 Mark ii and a couple of lenses for a shoot I was doing for Kerry International Dark Skies. It was an eye opener. They kit was half the weight and size of my DSLR gear. I was also amazed at how much more tech was packed into the camera. In camera HDR, Panoramic and stacking, all at the touch of a button. And the sharpness, wow. I had read that looking at mirrorless images after shooting canon was like getting new glasses and boy was that the case. Was this the camera for me?
After getting back home I decided to give Sony a look and rented the all singing all dancing (according to every magazine review I read) Sony A7ii. This was full frame, but I was surprised at how big it was, and the lenses. They might as well have been DSLR for the weight size and cost. Then as I dug deeper I noticed that most people adapted Canon glass or Nikon and that Sigma had some lenses coming down the road. The system felt unfinished. I started to hear that a new A7 was coming out, but that seem sot be a trend with Sony, a new camera every 6 months. As much as I liked the images this camera produced. It was another DSLR, heavy and bulky lenses, with a menu system that suggested a degree in maths. It just never felt like what I was looking for.
So, what about Canon I thought, they have a mirrorless option. I borrowed a friends M5 and went off shooting. I was very much smaller than a dslr and had some of its own lenses too. I could with an adapter use my L glass on this. This was looking very good. Problem was Canon has been in my opinion resting on its market share the last 5 or 6 years. They don’t push the limits anymore. Apart from Video, and this is an area that frustrates me. I believe that cameras are getting more expensive to allow 4k and such for video shooting, and I as a long-term shooter want none of this and don’t like paying for it. M5 felt like a bloggers camera, nothing on it said, “this will help you shoot the images you want to shoot”. I wanted more of what Olympus offered, options, dials, tools, an old school shooting experience. Something that felt like my Nikon 35mm camera back in the 1990’s. Then a friend gave showed me his Fiji xt20.
The Fuji felt small in the hand, very small, and I was taken aback with the way he looked to add a couple of grips to the camera. This is not start out well at all. But then I looked down and saw everything was a dial! Aperture ring! Shutter Speed, even exposure comp. Like a camera used to be before we ended up with sterile plastic hunks with menus and rubber buttons. Looking through the EVF, and there it was 100% coverage and what you see is what the image looks like. And film emulation. This was really speaking to me. I had to price this up and see could I get one.
A quick visit to the internet and it seems Fuji is about to drop the XT3 on us sometime around Photokina, so they have dropped the price of the XT2 to just above the XT20. Result. two card slots, weather sealing, ISO dial and a great kit lens. What’s not to love.
I have it a week, guess where the canon kit is…….