(This story is sponsored by Beau Photo Supplies.)
In the past few years, Beau Photo has seen sales of mirrorless, interchangeable lens cameras soar. Traditionally, most professional high-end digital cameras were digital single-lens reflex (DSLR), which have a mirror that directs light through an optical viewfinder, and this mirror has to flip up out of the way when a photo is taken. This mechanism put constraints on how compact and lightweight a camera could be, and even how fast it could operate. Mirrorless cameras use an electronic viewfinder (EVF) to relay a live, through-the-lens image, instead of a mirror, and this allows them to be much slimmer, lighter, and faster. Since the sensor capturing the image is also used to measure the scene brightness and focus the image, light metering and autofocus (AF) are often far more accurate than with a DSLR, which uses completely separate sensors for those tasks.
For available light photography, a mirrorless camera is capable of accurately showing you what the shot will look like, even before it's taken, giving the photographer much more confidence that the camera is calculating exposure properly. Newer cameras have features like live clipped highlight warnings in the EVF too, giving immediate feedback on proper exposure in challenging situations. For night shots, EVFs will often show far more detail than an optical viewfinder, allowing one to more accurately judge composition in very low light levels. All those features are also very helpful for those new to photography.
Traditionally, if a pro wanted a fast, durable, high performance camera with accurate tracking AF, a bulky DSLR was often the best choice. But with recent mirrorless cameras like the Fujifilm X-T3, you no longer have to give up pro-level features to get a compact and lightweight system. Durability, speed, ergonomics, video quality, and AF performance are now up there with the best. Even less expensive models, like the new X-T30, offer remarkable performance.
Another advantage of mirrorless cameras is the ability to push lens designs, since the back of the lens can be closer to the sensor. Many consider these mirrorless cameras to be the sweet spot for image quality and size. That’s because light weight, fast apertures, and high quality are no longer mutually exclusive when it comes to lens designs. Fujifilm has many exceptional fixed focal length lenses, some as fast as f/1.2, which meet those criteria. Many have almost no optical aberrations and have excellent corner sharpness at wide apertures. Fujifilm has a long history of designing exceptional lenses for film and broadcast video, and it shows in their primes and zooms today.
Mirrorless technology has also enabled medium-format digital cameras to become far more affordable than ever, and Fujifilm's GFX system is smaller, lighter and vastly less expensive than most from traditional manufacturers. Not surprisingly, the lenses for the GFX system are stunningly good as well.
Despite their advances in digital photography, Fujifilm has not forgotten its analogue roots and continues to offer colour slide and colour negative film for 35mm, medium format and large format cameras, as well as film for instant cameras, and even paper for darkroom printing.
For all the highest quality Fujifilm digital and analogue products, visit the Beau Photo Supplies store at 1401 West 8th Avenue. The staff can help you choose which camera and what lenses are the best fit for your needs.