The Big Switch Switching systems and changing the day to day.

Just over a year ago now, myself and my girlfriend decided to make a big change to our lives. We both had good jobs and a wonderful flat in Edinburgh, but we felt like a change was needed. So, we applied for working holiday visas for both New Zealand and Canada. Both countries have been on our minds for years as great places to see and travel in. We applied for both as we were unsure if our applications would be successful, however, a few weeks later we had visas for both. Que the big decision. After debating for some time and a lot of research, we decided on New Zealand. The main reasons were that the size of the country lends itself well to travelling, and we would be able to do it in a camper van (small space vanlife!).

Auckland CBD

That was the big decision to change our day to day. Next came the saving for the journey and the next big decision for myself. For many, many years now I have been using Panasonic Lumix microfourthirds (m43) cameras. My journey in photography started with their G3. Some years later, I moved onto the GX7, then after that the GX8 (of course all with multiple lenses in the system). I love the innovation that Lumix always bring in their cameras, and also the image & video quality from such small cameras. From Edinburgh to Copenhagen and even a trip to Iceland, I got on well with the system. A good friend of mine had always been with me in the m43 system (between Lumix and Olympus) and had recently switched to Fuji. Of course, after some hands on time with some other cameras, another decision had to be made. Which system to travel in New Zealand with for a year? Lumix or Fuji?

A selection of some of my favourite snaps with my Lumix cameras.

Now, this is not going to turn into some comparison review, slating either or claiming one is much better which will miraculously make you a better photographer. It's simply my thoughts into the system I loved, and the system I choose to travel with. I had 2 Lumix GX8 camera bodies with 6 lenses (12-60mm, 45-150mm, 15mm 1.7 Lumix lenses, 45mm 1.8, 60mm 2.8 macro lenses from Olympus, and the 8mm Samyang fisheye). I decided after sometime to sell it all and purchase a Fuji XT-2, with just 2 lenses; the 16mm 1.4 and the 55-200mm.I got on well with the Lumix line-up I had, and I had great variety in some fantastic lenses. Despite this, sometimes I felt I was rushing my photography, or I was too busy changing lenses instead of taking photos.

I ended up deciding to switch mainly due to the in-built colour profiles of Fujifilm, and all of the manual dials. The in-built profiles made a big change to my workflow, and it means that I do not have to spend time editing every single photo I take. Handy when on the road and we don't have charging facilities for the laptop. The manual controls have helped me slow down and think a lot more about every aspect of every photo I am taking. Also, having just 2 lenses keeps my set up simple and portable (still fits nicely into my Tenba DNA8 as did my previous Lumix line-up). Has switching system turned me into a better photographer? No. Having the latest camera, 30 lenses for all occasions (25 of which you leave at home), or a camera from another brand will not do that. Saying that though, different cameras and lenses can open up new possibilities. The 16mm 1.4 for example is just a stunning, stunning lens. Capable of incredible low light photos and also good for close focus (macro with a wide-angle?!) of smaller details.

Northern lights taken in Orkney, XT-2 & 16mm 1.4

Anyway, as I said, just a short one into some of the decisions and reasons that went into me switching system. I still love the Lumix line-up, and if I end up doing more video work, I can easily see myself lusting after the GH5S. For now though, I will leave you with a wee snap of my new editing suite.

The campervan in NZ!

We've been on the road in NZ since January and I've only just got round to writing this blog. My bad!

A few with the XT-2 so far

First blog from NZ coming real soon! Thanks for reading. Scott. Force Media Photography & Film

Created By
Scott van Schayk


Force Media Photography & Film

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