Originally Published April 10th, 2019
Last week I took a gamble and only carried two small cameras for a weeklong road trip across the southwest. We landed in Vegas, drove to Flagstaff, Sedona, Zion National Park in Utah, and back to Vegas.
I left behind my favorite travel camera, the Fuji X100F & opted for my new Fuji XF10.
I also brought my compact Canon M50 for video.
Why did I do this?
The first reason was that I wanted to test out my new Fuijifilm XF10. It’s a pocketable APS-C camera that takes amazing photos—but I wanted to really push it to the limit of it’s capabilities.
The second reason was that I didn’t want to carry a lot of gear. I thought about bringing a zoom lens but decided against it. The M50 & XF10 are both small cameras that would be easy to carry on the road and on the trails.
Here is what I learned:
I’ll Never Travel Without My X100F Again
The XF10 is a great camera to have, it’s small, quiet, & takes amazing photos. However, I found myself missing my X100F. Even though both cameras have a similar focal length & sensor size, the shooting experience was astoundingly different. Granted—I knew this going in, but by the time we made it to the 6th day of our trip—I was over the XF10.
I mean, I was ready to ditch the camera & buy another X100 or X70 while we were still on our vacation—it was that bad.
Of course part of the reason I was so frustrated was because I’m new to the camera and I haven’t figured out all the functions yet. There is a learning curve. But there were some aspects of the camera’s performance that weren’t user errors.
The AF is extremely slow—especially in low light.
One night in Vegas we walked around a street fair & I kept missing shots because the XF10 wouldn’t focus in low light. The camera is constantly searching—even on the standard AF setting. I carried the XF10 in one hand and could feel it searching while I was walking—it was so annoying I had to turn the camera off and back on when I found something to shoot.
For street photography—this is unacceptable.
My other complaints are all based on the camera’s functionality. Shooting with the X100F is so much more enjoyable than the XF10. I love the manual shutter & aperture controls of the X100F. The XF10 is meant to be a more minimalist camera—compact with less buttons. I kept having to dig into the menus and change settings—meaning the shooting experience sucked!
One example is that in order to use the digital converter, the camera must be set on single shot. ANY OTHER MODE WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO USE THE DIGITAL CONVERTER!!!!!!! So I kept having to go back and forth between high burst mode & single shot whenever I wanted to use the DC.
Ok. This is starting to sound like a rant and maybe I’ll just do a complete review of the XF10 in a separate blog.
Long story short—I ended up using the Canon way more for photos than video. I shot tons of landscapes with the Canon which turned out great. The neat feature of the M50 is it’s flip screen, which along with a selfie stick, allows you to take excellent selfies.
I’m glad I had the M50 as a back up still camera—otherwise I probably would have just bought another camera while we were on the road. I know. Sad.
I still missed my X100F and I will NEVER go on a vacation without that camera again.
What’s So Special About The X100F?
I took over 2000 photos with both the XF10 & the M50. I don’t mean to sound like a baby—I had a blast on our trip and I’m so happy with the photos I was able to capture. Both cameras take great photos! Both cameras are awesome to own. However, if I would have brought my X100F, I probably would have taken close to 4000 photos.
The shooting experience of the X100F is incomparable to both the XF10 & the M50. I took a gamble by limiting myself to these two cameras and I ended up frustrated & really just giving up on taking photos by the end of the trip.
Maybe I was getting tired towards the end. Maybe I wasn’t digging the Las Vegas scene (we didn’t drink, smoke, gamble, or order escorts). Maybe I was more impressed by the hiking portion of our trip.
The truth is, it was probably a mix of all these things that lead me to leave Vegas with very few photos.
Some Cameras Are Just More Enjoyable To Use
It’s like comparing Apple to PC—yeah they both do the same job but one is way more sexy & fun to use (Apple***). The X100F is more intuitive, faster to focus, easier to adjust, loaded with more features, and simply more fun to use.
I won’t go on another trip without it—and if I do, I’ll buy one on the road (why not have a backup?).
I may (will) even sell my XF10 and go back to the X70 (The Little Brother of The X100 Series). I still haven’t decided (I’m going to) on that yet. But most likely yes. (*yes).