It’s 10AM on a Sunday in Barcelona. I’m in a small, poorly lit room with about 30 other journalists where Samsung is planning to show us its next big thing. My body is fighting off jet lag and the cured ham I probably shouldn’t have eaten at the bar the night before. I’ve been given 10 minutes to photograph three new products Samsung will formally unveil tomorrow evening. I muscle my way through the throng of journalists and get my hands on a device.
This scene plays out over
And over again at big trade shows like Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which I’ve been attending every February for the past half-decade or so. As a journalist covering the show, my job requires me to both write about and photograph everything important at MWC.
I’ve covered the show with everything from full DSLR rigs to mirrorless cameras. Last year, I even did it with the fixed-lens Sony RX1, a sublime (albeit expensive and limited) camera. As the years have gone by, I’ve tried to minimize the weight and size of the camera rigs I bring with me — after all, they have to make the nearly 4,000 mile trip across the Atlantic Ocean and are slung over my shoulder the entire duration of the show. The smaller the camera is, the happier I am.
This year, I brought along Fujifilm’s new X-T1
interchangeable lens mirrorless camera. It’s actually bigger and heavier than other cameras I’ve used in the past, but the $1,299.99 X-T1 ($1,699.99 with Fujifilm’s 18-55mm lens) has a lot of features that appeal to the working photographer — everything from a massive electronic viewfinder to loads of buttons and dials to a weather-sealed magnesium body. So I put it to work, using the X-T1 as my go-to camera for every press event, every meeting, and anything else I might want to take pictures of during the six days I was in the capital city of Catalonia, and then some.
I’ve been searching for the perfect, no-compromises mirrorless camera for a long time. I think I’ve found it.