Professional photographer Alex Bartie recently made the switch to Fujifilm. What were the drawcards to the Fujifilm system, and how did his new X-S10 influence his photography? We chatted to him to find out more.
Portrait of Alex taken by Mishkah Bartie.
How did you start in photography and where do you find yourself professionally?
It started back in 2004 when I wanted to go with my dad as he went to shoot random landscapes. He would let me use one of his beater cameras and I just had a fun time.
Professionally, I just came off the back of a three-year full-time contract shooting daily for the Truworths website, so I can say I’m a well-versed studio professional that excels in product work and headshots.
You recently switched to Fujifilm – welcome! How did you become interested in the brand?
Naturally, like most people point out, the film simulations caught my attention.
I’ve been on this journey of trying to find my own style after being crammed into a creative box of clinical studio work over the last few years. I wanted the option of just going out there, popping a camera in Acros or a softer Eterna style, and seeing what I could do, instead of shooting RAW and going the long way through Lightroom to find a cool colour grade for the edit.
This gives you the option of actually shooting the shot you want, instead of editing for the shot, if that makes sense. I also needed a camera in my price range that could keep up with the quality I produce on my Nikon D810 setup.
What were the factors that eventually made you decide to move?
Price was a big factor, and I wanted to make sure I was getting the best for the money spent – a camera capable of producing great stills in studio or on the road. It must also have been able to produce a high level of video quality with good slow motion (that buttery 240fps).
I looked into Sony, the Canon EOS RP and Fujifilm. Factoring all of my needs into account, knowing that I would look into adding more bodies and lenses down the line, Fujifilm made the most sense. It ticked all of the boxes from quality, feel, look and price.
What model did you end up buying?
I bought the Fujifilm X-S10 with the 16-80mm kit lens, and an extra battery of course.
Now that you’ve had it for a while, what are the things you like the most?
The Acros film simulation – it’s just too good. Everytime I shoot a video of people, whether it be a church news story, or some cinematic or a coffee shop explainer video, I find myself taking a black and white shot of the person or people I’m shooting.
Also, the eye tracking AF for video is so much better than some people have said online, especially with a bit of extra catch light on the face.
Has your Fujifilm gear made post processing any easier?
Absolutely, I only really use Lightroom for RAW processing and some exposure tweaking these days. I find myself barely editing at all.
F-log has also proven to be wonderful as I’ve created a few LUT’s for DaVinci so I can import into a timeline, load the LUT, do minor exposure lifts here and there and move on.
What’s next on the list of gear to buy?
The XF 35mm F1.4 R as soon as I can afford it, after that I’d like to go towards the 100-400mm and then an X-T4 body.
Tell us about any big upcoming projects you’ve got planned.
I’m getting more involved in coffee shop stills and video for media campaigns for two vibey cafe’s in Cape Town (Peak Connect Cafe in Fish Hoek, and OB Market in Lakeside), which is pretty exciting as I thoroughly enjoy shooting food and drink.