After years of hauling a heavy camera and a bag of heavy glass with me on vacations, I went to Disney a couple of weeks ago and left the DSLR at home. I brought my small, mirrorless Fuji X-Pro1, and borrowed a Fuji 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS zoom lens from a friend who has an X-E1. This was my first time really using anything other than my excellent 35 f/1.4 on the camera. So, how did it do?
Really, really well as it turns out. Optically, it did extremely well. While the size of the lens is more in line with slow, cheap kit lenses from Nikon and Canon, it performs more like one of those companies pro zooms, such as a 24-70. While I brought the 35mm f/1.4, and also brought an adapter to use a couple of Nikon primes with the camera, I ended up shooting the entire trip with the zoom. It was that handy, and that good.
While I was thrilled with the pictures it took, I did find the handling of the lens less than ideal. The biggest issues were with the aperture ring. The lack of aperture markings on it means that you can’t just glance at the lens to see where you have it set, you have to use the EVF. The variable aperture nature of the lens probably has something to do with why this is so, although it doesn’t make it any less annoying. On top of that, the ring is fairly loose in operation, so it is easy to accidentally change aperture.
Having a small, mirrorless camera system was really great for Disney World. I saw a ton of people hauling big kits around with them, and was happy I wasn’t one. I think, in general, the Fuji X is the perfect travel camera system. I’m going to New York soon and it will be the only camera I bring with me. For certain types of travel, though, such as doing lots of landscape work in national parks and such, the DSLR will be along for the ride.
OK, enough about the camera itself, how about a little about the trip. I’m not really a “Disney person” like some people are, but we had a blast. This time of year was very pleasant in Florida, while also having crowds not be too thick. We did hit one day with some rain, but that is the risk we took. We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge, one of the nicer resorts inside the “world”, with a ferry ride over to the Magic Kingdom. We did 4 days in the parks, with 2 in the Magic Kingdom and 1 each in Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. We really enjoyed them all. And for anyone making the trip, our favorite meal was at Sanaa, one of the restaurants at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
In addition to this entry, I also posted a series of shots with my son meeting The Incredibles’ character Frozone and dancing and high-fiving him during a parade. The sheer joy on my son’s face during that made the whole trip worth it. That series is here: http://rodneyboles.com/frozone/.
The X-Pro1 also really kicked butt doing some Landscape pics at Jekyll Island while we were travelling to and from Orlando. Those are here: http://rodneyboles.com/jekyll/