About 4 years ago, I wrote a lengthy blog post about my experience shooting on safari with the Fujifilm X-T1. In that post, I shared some of the challenges I had and the changes that I wanted Fujifilm to make to improve the experience and results. I had an interest in this: my complete Canon kit for safari shooting weighed about 30 pounds by the time I included all the lenses and bodies. The same kit with Fuji gear weighed about 10 pounds and packed smaller!
Since that post, I’ve continued bringing Fujifilm gear on safari and now it’s the only gear I bring. This last October, I brought the just-released X-T3 along with an X-H1. I even have an X-E2 that I had converted for infrared photography. My lenses were all Fujifilm as well: the 100-400mm, the 50-140mm, and the 18-55mm. For infrared, I also brought the 14mm and the 35/1.4 since those work well for infrared and are compact.
UPDATE 12/15/2014: I’ve caught some grief in online discussion groups for the images in this post and it made me realize I should have been more clear about my intentions. You can find articles everywhere online that show off the best a camera can do. The images here are not those. My goal was to illustrate challenges the X-T1 has and where Fuji needs to improve the X Series features if they want to better serve certain markets (sports, wildlife, etc.).
The other goal I had for this post was provide an answer to the question I’ve received more than once from my clients: should they bring their mirrorless camera on one of my safaris? Until now, I’ve had to say, “I don’t know.” With this experience, I can give them a more balanced answer.
For my photo safari tours, planning what to pack for photography gear has almost been routine for the last couple of years: I like having two SLRs, one attached to a long lens and one to a medium. This also gives me a backup in case one stops working (the closest Canon service center is probably South Africa: about 2200 miles away). I go a little further than I usually recommend to my clients and I bring a third SLR body because it has been converted for infrared. A couple wide to normal zooms for that and I’m set:
This year I’m trying something a little different. More ›
In my last post I talked about what photo gear I brought to Italy for one month and the reasons behind those plans. So how did reality compare to expectations? Which gear earned another trip and what won’t make the cut next time? The good news is that the planning paid off and most things worked very well. There were a couple exceptions though and an uncertainty that might seem familiar/tiresome to some Fuji fans. Let’s take a look. More ›
This last May, I was lucky enough to spend my honeymoon in Italy. I couldn’t go on a trip of this scale without some serious photography (luckily my wife already knew this) so I put a lot of thought into what gear I wanted to bring. I’ve been enjoying my Fuji X-T1 lately and, although the last trip I did of this length was with my full-frame Canon gear, this time I wanted to bring a much lighter kit.