I picked up a used Fuji X-T1 on January 2, 2023. It’s not even a week into the new year and I’m buying cameras. Not a new camera – a 9-year-old camera model. Interesting start to this year. Actually, I bought two other used Fuji cameras in December 2022: the Fuji X-M1 and the X-S10, released in 2013 and 2020 respectively.
This post is not necessarily about camera technology or image quality but it is about the exact question posed in the title. What are some reasons to pick up a second or third Fuji camera, if you already own one? Particularly older models. I can think of at least five reasons.
1) Different sensors create different images. The 16MP X Trans I sensor in the X-M1 will create unique looking images compared to the other Fuji cameras. I am interested to see the images the X-T1’s 16 MP X Trans II sensor produces. This can inspire different perspectives and ideas when holding the camera and composing images.
2) Different camera bodies feel different in the hand and will cause you to shoot differently. Lighter and littler cameras can inspire different shots than heavier, wider or bulkier cameras. One is not better than the other. But different sources of inspiration can produce different results. And more variety of inspiration can expand your repertoire.
3) Megapixel differences or limitations will cause you to – or allow you to – compose differently. Knowing an image will not hold up to pixel peeping actually informs how you compose and shoot. If you are not concerned primarily about the resolution, clarity and sharpness, you may be okay with introducing some motion blur, some high ISO grain, or other artifacts that might be contrary to those first three concerns.
4) Different film simulations (or lack of film simulations) can provide different inspiration. The X-M1 has only 4 film simulations so I find myself choosing monochrome more often than not just as a compositional tool. The X-T1 has 6 film simulations and doesn’t have Eterna or Classic Negative which are two of my go-to film simulations from the X100v and the X-T4. So I’m going to adapt and choose different film simulations based on what’s available and I will see what’s in my frame differently.
5) Appreciation. Expanding your experience to older Fuji cameras helps you to understand and more fully appreciate what cameras like the X100v, the X-H2s and the GFX100s offer. You can start to sense – in a new and different way – the innovative development of the new Fuji cameras. Did you see the price difference in the X-T1 and the X-S10 when they were introduced? $1299 vs $1000?!? Newer, more technologically advanced cameras are entering the market at a lower price point. Buying older models, simultaneously cheaper than buying newer models, also – in sort of an imaginative reverse engineering user experience experiment allows you to better grasp what exactly the newer cameras are offering that wasn’t available in the past. And with more appreciation comes maybe more respect and maybe new reasons for choosing a particular camera for a certain scene, subject or event.
And sometimes the limitations of the past provide helpful creative choices and inspirations moving forward.