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How Switching to Mirrorless Made Me Fall Back in Love with Photography

It's not about how many megapixels you have. It's what you do with them that counts!

By: Cat Ekkelboom-White + Save to a List

As a professional photographer, I always told myself that I needed to have the very best equipment to take the best images. And for me that was shooting with Canon DSLR full-frame bodies and their top of the line lenses.

Even now I can’t say a bad thing about my Canon 5D Mark IV. It’s almost certainly the best camera I’ve ever owned. It’s an absolute workhorse of a camera and the quality of the images it produces is absolutely stunning. 

But I can’t lie. It weighs an absolute ton! And whether I’m shooting a 12 hour wedding day or hiking a 12km trail, the weight of it is very noticeable indeed. And after a full day of shooting, my hand tingles and my back and feet ache like hell. And during my free weekends, I have found myself choosing to leave my camera at home because I didn’t want to lug it around

I started toying with the idea of investing in a mirrorless system last year when I was hanging off the edge of a rock face taking some climbing images. This big bulky camera in my hands started to make me feel slightly uneasy, and I was more aware of not damaging the camera than I was damaging myself! 

I chatted with a few industry colleagues who had made the switch from full frame DSLRs to cropped sensor mirrorless cameras. Most of them said the same thing. The quality was absolutely good enough, their clients still loved the work they were producing AND they were in much less physical discomfort due to a massive reduction in the weight they were now carrying around.

So last Autumn I bit the bullet and purchased a Fujifilm X-T2 and in so many ways it has made me fall in love with photography again.

The camera is so light and easy to use (once you familiarise yourself with the slightly different setup) and the picture quality is really pretty great. Sure, if you zoom in to 100% in a high resolution screen you might notice a difference between the Fuji and the Canon images, but who (apart from you) is going to do that anyway!

Whenever I’m planning a new hike or going travelling, taking the Fuji has become a no-brainer. When I was shooting Canon I had to carefully pick which lenses I wanted to take on a trip to make sure I wasn’t carrying too much weight, but with the Fuji I can pack so much more and it still weighs less!

I will be completely honest and say that it hasn’t been 100% love at first sight during changing over. It certainly has taken me time to get used to the new way of shooting and editing. The battery life is a lot worse too. And not to mention the looks of disgust I get from other photographers on a trail when they are there with their massive DSLRs and I pull out the Fuji. I just smile to myself knowing that I almost certainly enjoyed the hike way more than they did because I didn’t have to carry half as much gear! It might not be the best camera on the market, but every time I pick it up, I’m excited to take pictures. This camera has let me get braver and much more playful with the way I shoot and for that I love it.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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