What the Fuji X-T20 is for me

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Mark Tacatani

"Kumusta I'm Mark, I love photographing people, scenes and events on the streets. I'm into portraiture as well. I write codes for coffee too as a day job. Not being fulltime in photography won't hinder me in pursuing this passion! I just have to make sure when I photograph, it's intentional! I'm based in Davao City, Philippines."

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I have read a lot of articles and seen videos about whys… why fujifilm is better than Canon/Sony/Nikon etc. and vice versa! That is why I won’t talk about it here. Instead, I will tell you what the Fuji X-T20 is for me.

Way back in 2012 I got my first job as a programmer on a night shift schedule, it was so stressful because I had to deal with a lot of adjustments. I then realized, I needed a stress reliever, a hobby… I ended up wanting to try photography because I liked taking photos. In my mind I wanted a DSLR thus I researched a lot, comparing a bunch of those to help me decide. Voilà, I bought a point and shoot camera, because… funny my budget wouldn’t permit!

Canon A3300 . f/2.8 . 1/320″ . ISO 100
Canon A3300 . f/2.8 . 1/15″ . ISO 100

Lol! You know, a fresh job and low salary. It was fun having and using it mostly on close up and macro shots. Still, in my heart I wanted a DSLR, those bulky DSLRs!!! Not long enough, the point and shoot and I were separated… it stopped working! Life must move on and so does our passion too! As we all know the saying, “The best camera is what in your hand”, hence I used my phone and paired it with a cheap clip lens. Every weekend I shot at our backyard to enhance my macro photography.

Canon A3300 . f/2.8 . 1/60″ . ISO 100
LG D618 . f/2.4 . 1/125″ . ISO 100

A few years after, I moved to another company with better pay and it helped me to upgrade! Finally, I had a new flagship phone that had a better camera and a Leica logo in it! Haha I was excited to try it to really see for myself how it would give the quality of a Leica co-engineered camera. As I tried my clip lens on it, it seemed off because of the dual lens set up and I had a hard time making it work, thus giving up my macro shots. I keep shooting and shooting… my genre changed from macro to street photography then.

Huawei P9 . f/2.2 . 1/17″ . ISO 800
LG D618 . f/2.4 . 1/125″ . ISO 100
Huawei P9 . f/2.2 . ISO 400

I believe that was when I knew that street photography was the genre I want ed to harness, it started my love for it! In those span of years, I still visited blog posts and Youtube videos about new camera releases, still hoping and aiming to buy the camera I wanted! Not just watching those review videos but watching tutorials too, to have the theoretical knowledge about photography. It’s my way of investment in learning first, because that’s the only I could afford at that moment. I considered those years, waiting years.

Huawei P9 . f/2.2 . ISO 200
Huawei P9 . f/8 . ISO 250
Huawei P9 . f/2.2 . 1/140″ . ISO 50

A night I was praying for a DSLR! Talking to the Lord about it, how I badly wanted it. Don’t get me wrong but I did my best to make way to buy a DSLR. I saved money for it but there were priorities that forced me to set aside this passion and goal. It wasn’t just the priorities that hindered me but there were circumstances as well, money related. But I didn’t lose my hope and plan because I knew in the right time, I would have it! You know that desire in your heart? That keeps me going and believing and using my phone to improve my photography.

Huawei P9 . f/2.2 . ISO 50
Huawei P9 . f/2.2 . ISO 50
Huawei P9 . f/2.2 . ISO 50

The years passed and 2018 came. I had a gut feeling, that this year I would have a camera, a DSLR! Thus, the techie guy in me was awakened, here comes comparing cameras again and watching reviews about it. Then I came across Fujifilm, searched for an affordable, hobbyist Fujifilm camera. I liked the reviews and how mirrorless works, its functionalities over DSLR, the portability and its retro style too, especially the dials! Mirrorless is getting attention and popularity! I wanted to have that X-T10 because it’s cheaper and suits to my needs and skills… I just need a body first then invest in good lenses before upgrading. Fate has its ways, I wasn’t able to buy that X-T10 that I really wanted! Just when I had money for it, it was out of stock, it would have been a perfect Christmas gift for myself!

Fuji X-T20 . @35mm . 1/180″ . ISO 2000
Fuji X-T20 . @35mm . 1/60″ . ISO 2000
Fuji X-T20 . @35mm . 1/180″ . ISO 640
Fuji X-T20 . @35mm . 1/500″ . ISO 400

But I knew early 2019 I would have my new camera! And yes I did! I got an X-T20! I was so blessed that the X-T20 price has dropped just few cash to add in my pocket. I bought it and was so happy, finally! Thank God! The X-T20 was the answer to my prayers! And I got reminded by this, “God exceeds expectation” too cause, I wanted an old camera body but now by His grace, I acquired a newer one! Looking back it was a long wait for me but my passion for photography did not fade. Learnt to use what I have and fully utilize it because it is preparing me for another mile stone. Now, I am into street and portrait photography, these two genres are the ones I want to master.

Fuji X-T20 . @35mm . 1/125″ . ISO 2000
Fuji X-T20 . @35mm . 1/60″ . ISO 2000
Fuji X-T20 . @35mm . 1/180″ . ISO 2000
Fuji X-T20 . @35mm . 1/180″ . ISO 800
Fuji X-T20 . @35mm . 1/100″ . ISO 2000

Sometimes we feel like we aren’t moving up at all… still the same camera we’re using, same lenses for years and we feel like stocked! But that’s not the end, it teaches us patience and when the right time comes, we will appreciate the upgrade much more than we could! It’s all so worth it!

Fuji X-T20 . @35mm . 1/30″ . ISO 640
Fuji X-T20 . @35mm . 1/30″ . ISO 640
Fuji X-T20 . @35mm . 1/400″ . ISO 500
Fuji X-T20 . @35mm . 1/250″ . ISO 400

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