It’s perfectly normal to be curious about the camera and lens used to create a photograph. When I first started with photography, I knew nothing so I wanted to know what exactly was needed to create a certain look in my pictures. The gear does affect the type of image that you can get. And so I read up a lot on cameras and picked up the basics about aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Things spiralled from there.
But even though I was hungry for information, I kept my questions to myself because photographers can get annoyed when asked about the specific gear used to produce an image. It’s almost like asking a writer, “Which keyboard do you type with?”
Maybe that wasn’t the best analogy, but you get the point. It’s not the gear that produces the image; it’s the person who uses them. An amateur without the right knowledge and skills will not be able to fully utilise its potential.
Yet, we all have to start somewhere.
So why don’t I talk about camera gears?
I’ve been using my Fujifilm XT2 since it came out in 2016 and I’ve been using the same setup since 2017, when I finally found the lenses that work for me and my shooting style. I’ve also sold the lenses that just didn’t work for me.
For a professional photographer, you could say the amount of gear I own is minimalistic; I only own two prime lenses and one zoom lens. There’s honestly not much for me to talk about.
I no longer get excited about new camera bodies and lenses. And the only camera upgrade that I’m looking forward to in 2020 is getting an iPhone 12 with the only reason being the fact that I’m still using an iPhone 8, which limits me to a fixed focal length.
Instead of camera gear, I get excited about new concepts, editing styles and the subject that I’m shooting. I’ve no doubt that my Fujifilm XT2 will continue to produce images that I want until it starts malfunctioning. (Although a Fujifilm XT4 with IBIS would definitely help with my video work…)
Also, I find it hard to answer questions on gear because when I first started taking photography more seriously, I switched camera systems twice as I upgraded. At some point in time, I was also surviving on a borrowed camera. To me, the best camera setup is really just the one that suits your needs and that you feel for.
And this is why you should take gear reviews with a pinch of salt.
All writers write with an agenda and that is to convince. And all writers, including myself, are biased and convinced by their own ideas and experiences. If a writer (or photographer) is sponsored, it’s even harder to remain unbiased.
Jonas Dyhr Rask, a doctor by profession but well-known for his Fujifilm gear reviews, exemplifies this and he is not afraid to be open about it in his disclaimers.
Disclaimer 1: I’m an X-photographer. That’s spelled brand ambassador for Fujifilm. I don’t get paid for doing these write ups (and I have been doing them even before getting involved with Fujifilm). This means that I’m just about as biased as I can get, and whether you choose to believe my views or not is entirely up to you. I expect you to be adults, capable of forming your own opinions based on presented information.
When you read a review, you read it to be convinced that your choice is right. You don’t read it to be convinced that you are wrong.
Before I committed to the Fujifilm camera system, I’d read a lot of reviews on how the Sony camera system is superior especially since it is full-frame compared to Fujifilm’s cropped sensor. However, whenever I tried it in stores, I simply didn’t feel for it. It was definitely not as intuitive for me as when I tried the Fujifilm cameras in store. Eventually I went with my feelings and purchased my first ever Fujifilm camera.
And that is why I don’t actively talk about my photography gear; while I’m willing to share, what works for me may not work for you.