x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Fuji X20 camera brings out the Fellini in you

The Fuji X20 is cooler than an iPhone because it harkens back to the days when film was the only way to record images.

The Fuji X20 camera relies on the photographer in you. Courtesy Fujifilm
The Fuji X20 camera relies on the photographer in you. Courtesy Fujifilm

It’s not easy being in the camera market at the moment.

The cameras that most smartphones carry are deemed adequate for most photography needs, so why bother spending on something you already have?

Yes, you may see more digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras around as eager parents look to record everything junior does on a state-of-the-art professional piece of kit.

It is cooler than an iPhone because it harkens back to the days when film was the only way to record images.

When you hold it in your hands, you can’t help feeling that Steve McQueen or James Garner could have used it to photograph Audrey Hepburn or Faye Dunaway. It has the beauty and style of the 1960s, with all of today’s technology.

It is a bold move from Fuji in eschewing modernity and iPhone aesthetics, embracing the camera culture of yesteryears and reclaiming photography as something bigger and better – beyond an image on your phone. 

All major manufacturers now produce either super slim cameras that are no bigger than your phone or larger models, such as the X20, that can take hot shoes and large zoom lenses – and thst’s with good reason. According to the Camera and Imaging Products Association, between January and June 2013, Japanese manufacturers shipped just short of 30 million digital cameras; that’s a 43 per cent drop in a single year. More surprising is the year-on-year decline in shipments of DSLR, down around 18.5 per cent in the first half of 2013 compared to last year. The DSLR market had grown steadily since 2003 but faces a tough task keeping to that growth curve.

Budding Fellinis can also connect an external stereo microphone to record beautiful audio alongside the video.

The camera retails at about Dh2,299 so it’s cheaper than an iPhone and offers better pictures, but it lacks the internet connectivity. But then what do you expect from a camera?

ascott@thenational.ae