The Fujifilm X-Pro1 is a camera you buy with your heart and not your brain. You could get a better performing DSLR for less money – so why get the X-Pro1?
If attraction was only a function of efficacy or efficiency than most of us would feel little attraction for the beautiful things in life. But we do feel attraction for such things and logic or reason has got nothing to do with it.
Some of us want to own beautiful things. Well designed things. Well designed in the sense of aesthetics: shape, colour, size, tactile feel, texture – all the visual elements. It’s nice to hold a beautifully designed object in the hands – no? Have you never marvelled at the shape of a bed-side lamp? Or the design of a plonguer for making coffee? Or the shape and feel of a Pelikan fountain pen? But a camera is not just a lump of material for holding – it is also for using. A camera – such as the X-Pro1, has inside of it, technical wizardry to make Merlin cry. How does it feel to use it?
How does it feel to use it? Notice the italics are on the feel. This is a very personal subjective thing – how you feel about a camera – may be different to how someone else feels about it. What does it mean when I ask ‘how does it feel?’.
Well, how it feels can also be translated to: ‘how do you feel’ when using it? Does it excite you? Does it feel comfortable? Does it make you want to go out there – when you could stay warmer indoors – and take photographs with it? Does the way you feel when using it, impact the type of photographs you take? Does it limit your vision or expand it? Does it get in the way of what you see?
A camera should never get in the way. My Canon 5DMKII does get in the way when I do street photography or travel photography – but it never gets in the way as far as its operational parameters are concerned (i.e. focus speed etc). In fact if it wasn’t for the weight and heft and size of it, I would barely notice it. But isn’t that the thing? If a camera is invisible to you, then it won’t make you feel anything. The Canon does not make me feel much. It works pretty well, is reliable. It neither inspires me nor holds me back. So you have to get that inspiration from somewhere else. Perhaps from existential angst, or some philosophy that allows you to see profundities out there in the world – when others see nothing.
Can a camera help you to see profundities ‘out there’? No, only your mind attached to a rapt eye can see profundities out there. But a camera can make you want to get ‘out there’, and take pictures. A beautiful thing can do that.
If you like beautiful things that is!
Oh you thing of beauty you!