2 Guys Photo friend, Prentis Drew (more information here) and I were once chatting about the merits of carrying around a smaller but still capable camera instead of a full DSLR kit. As our readers no doubt know, Ed and I have become fond of mirrorless cameras having moved over completely to them. But it’s one thing to move to an interchangeable lens compact and another thing entirely to grab but one fixed focal length camera such as a Fujifilm X100 (or now, X100s) with it’s 23mm (35mm equivalent) focal length. I mean who would ever photograph anything as important, as diverse, as substantive as a trip abroad with just this camera and its ever-constrained singular focal length?
Turns out, Prentis would do just that.
Read on for more of his impressions.
Prentis tell us:
About a month ago we had a little discussion on whether or not it was advisable to take a trip to Paris with only the X100 in tow. Well we have returned and I have had a chance to go over the photographic results. It turned out that with only one single exception I didn’t miss the D90+lens one bit. The exception was at the cathedral in Chartres which is a monster building and very close quarters. But if I did have a fisheye lens (which is what it would have taken) it would have been ultra-distorted anyway. So the verdict is, no more international travel with a DSLR for me. The X100 was more than adequate for the job and it performed flawlessly.
One example is attached (editor’s note: see below). I used a mini-tripod and three auto-bracketed exposures and rendered them with HDR processing. It was a ball to have this little camera in hand at all times without feeling like a tourist with a big rig.
Having been sufficiently impressed (yet still sufficiently skeptical) I asked Prentis whether he’d consider sending us a few more images (such as the classic cafe shot at the top of this post) and to describe what it was like shooting with only a 35mm focal length (equivalent). He notes:
I was absolutely fine with the single focal length. I did some occasional zooming with my feet but generally the lens on the X100 worked for almost every situation I encountered. I was also able to virtually zoom by cropping in post. I used the pan function for a shot of our room (all affordable hotel rooms in Paris are pretty small, just like New York City) but that was about it for wide angle needs. The low noise sensor and f-2 lens worked wonderfully for night shots. Nope, the X100 was a joy to travel with. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
More evidence of joy…
For more images from the trip, see Prentis’ gallery entitled “Impressions of Paris France” here. A glance at these images will suggest that Prentis has indeed proven his point.