A few days ago, I highlighted colorful snapshot style photographs from the Olympus XZ-1. I’ve gone on at length about how much I like that old camera with its unique color. It worked well at the Dia de los Muertos celebration, and the point and shoot form factor and my shooting style produced candid and personal photos from that event.
Today, something different, though I’m still at the same Mexican day of the dead celebration in downtown Austin. I’m using my Fujifilm X-T10 with the Fuji 56mm f1.2 lens. The lens gives an 84mm equivalent focal length and allows me to be up close to my subjects without being physically near them.
As a photo enthusiast, I might get excited about things that the average person might not care about. But, from my eye, I see a tremendous difference in the photographs produced between the Olympus XZ-1 and the Fujifilm X-T10. Do you see it? There are differences in focal length, depth of field, color, sharpness, and distortion. I shoot differently with this camera, partially because of the focal length, but also because I have an EVF for more precise framing in bright conditions. Mix all these factors together, and you get a very different style of photography.
Now, I’m not saying one set of photographs is better than the other. I enjoy both for different reasons. With the Fuji, it’s all about the sharpness, details, and precision. However, they seem a bit flatter and more distant. The photos seem more removed from the action, as though you are a spectator watching it instead of being in the middle of it.
Three years ago, I shot this same event with a Canon 6D and an 85mm f1.8 lens. And, those photographs were also surprisingly different, even though the focal length is the same. Those images were not nearly as sharp, having a soft dreaminess. They did have a shallower depth of field, and focusing on that DSLR is probably not nearly as precise as the Fuji. More importantly, the compositions differed radically. Have I changed my shooting style? Is it due to the cameras? Was it the luck of the draw?
Where these Fuji images really shine is full screen on my 27″ Retina iMac. I revel in the intricate, even at 16MP. I see more details from this Fuji than my full-frame Canon or Olympus micro 4/3 cameras. But, I’m hesitant to linger on this since I know there is much more to photography than sharpness.
There’s a battle that’s currently raging in my head. Am I more enamored by the ultimate image quality or the feel of the image? I make pictures with cameras that have less acuity, but I love their color and mood. On the other hand, the sharpness of the Fuji X system brings its own pleasures. Is this a left brain vs. right brain dichotomy? Perhaps. I’ll talk more about this in future posts. But, for today, here are a dozen photographs to enjoy the color and excitement of Dia de los Muertos.
I have a free monthly newsletter that’s perfect for busy people. Signup for the Newsletter to get the best of my posts, old and new, plus additional content not available anywhere else.