Thunderbird Two

October 2016

It doesn't seem that long ago that I was reviewing a year as custodian of the cherished and much loved Fujifilm X-T1 (aka Thunderbird 1) compact systems camera (CSC). My praise and reflections were based solely on the user experience of what was then the flagship Fuji - and undoubtably their jewel in the crown. Back in June 2016 I strongly advised against trading in previous model cameras for the latest models in search of taking better images. I also remonstrated that all too often I see budding photographers of all levels buying the next new model - falling for the manufacturers' charms and promises that this will take their photography to a new level. I concluded it was always better to get to know your kit, stick with what you have got, hone your skills around the qualities of each lens and over time your photography will benefit big time.

Above - Fuji X-T1

(In fairness I also added I would definitely be buying the newer later Fuji based on my very positive experience with the X-T1 - running them side by side in the course of my work).

So without ado, I confess, I have succumbed very early to the draw of the new Fuji experience ... all systems are go! ... I can hear the theme tune of International Rescue da dad dar ... enter Thunderbird 2! I apologise wholeheartedly if this appears a little hypocritical but for the first time ever I have bought a camera at its induction; I needed the kick I knew it would deliver.

With the release date being less than a month ago I already know it has been a great decision to buy the camera and I am excited at the prospect of using it over the coming months. The last time I felt like this was when my parents introduced me to my first ever Casdon Soccer game at the age of ten. (A treasured game I still have)

Introducing the uplifting experience of the Fujifilm X-T2.
Now I am not normally one to talk about technical advances in too much detail - there are plenty of websites that more than cover the nuts and bolts of the menu systems and ergonomics of dials, aperture rings and alike. I will, though, just pull out a few of the reasons I have taken the early plunge on this one. Firstly, the obvious higher resolution on offer; the leap up from a 16 megapixel sensor to 24 megapixels just makes sense, offering not only larger files for print purposes but the opportunity to crop images without too much drop off in resolution. The focus system is a big step up too: a much faster auto focus, many more focus points to choose from and the ability to customise to suit different ways of working. The strange thing though is that although the X-T2 looks and feels very similar to the X-T1, there is a different feel to the camera - more SLR like. The dials stand a little higher and have a better locking knob on each and the rear LCD screen has been given an extra vertical tilt to go with the pull out landscape option. The addition of a dedicated rocker knob to move the focus point around clearly states that Fuji listen to what photographers want and need - take heed Canikon! Okay, I appreciate this all may send you off to sleep if you have no previous experience on this kind of camera so I'll cut out the jargon and just briefly mention a few of the other positive experiences of this particular camera, the main one being dynamic range! It delivers a tonal range that knocks the spots of any Digital SLR camera I have ever owned (and if you were to ask my wife she would tell you I have owned a lot). The jpeg capabilities in the form of film simulation modes are almost unbeatable straight out of camera. The new Acros black and white simulation can be set up to produce stunning sharpness and dynamic results. Add to that the impressive grain mode and you have a rival for any film camera of yester-year. So if your photographic experiences have nose dived in favour of digital menus, hyperfocal distance charts and the obsession of pixel counting (and peeping for that matter) I suggest you at least hire one of these little gems and you will be airlifted into a transcendence that will undoubtably bring your photography experience to a level of pure enjoyment.

Fuji's impeccable timing
Just at the time when Canon were releasing their new 5D4 with a their 30 megapixel sensor and the unbelievable high price tag of £3600.00! The X-T2 is an absolute snip at just £1398.00.

By the way I have no connection with Fuji, neither do I get paid for saying nice things about their gear (although that would be nice).

User Experience
My reason for this post is simple - when something comes along that inspires and raises your user experience, moves you to want to get out of bed very early and enjoy the photography making experience then it is not only worth buying but is also worthy of praise!