The Fujifilm X System delivers exactly what I have always been looking for in a camera system, delivering high quality imagery while maintaining a small profile. X Series’ build and design along with its incredible function and performance bring back a purest form of capturing life around me, marrying style and substance. With the arrival of the X-Pro1, from its tank-like build quality to its incorporated film simulations, this camera replaced all my former brand camera gear. Fujifilm’s unique X-Trans sensor pairs flawlessly with a comprehensive Fujinon lens lineup, delivering tack sharp imagery full of fine detail. I've never shot in JPEG until I started creating imagery with the X-Pro1. In-camera dynamic range and highlight/shadow control help to retain a high level of detail, making post-production work on RAW files virtually obsolete. The JPEGs really are that good! When shooting reportage, travel and portraiture, my go-to camera is the X-T1. It just works, and does so in a very classy way.
Speaking of classy, there’s something to be said about the timeless physical characteristics of X Series cameras. From the rangefinder-style of the X-Pro bodies to the DSLR-style of the X-T1, it’s safe to say these cameras are beautifully classic and boldly designed. With command dials for ISO, shutter speed and exposure compensation at your fingertips, X Series bodies offer a genuine feel. The evolution of physical design has been quiet on the outside, but evolutionary within. From the early days of the X-Trans CMOS sensor to today’s X-Trans CMOS III sensor, Fujifilm’s image quality has consistently pushed the limits of what an APS-C sensor can do. In the end, it’s all about high quality, beautiful output.
As a photo editor for Getty Images, I recognize that while image quality is critical, it’s not 100% of what makes an image great. Capturing authentic moments that appear in front of you (which the X-T1 easily does with its blazing fast autofocus) combined with the image output make for a camera system that can be revolutionary for a photographer, allowing a high level of creative control while providing consistent excellence in output. As a photographer, I realize that the camera is also half of what makes an image: the human element is inevitably a large part of the equation. Fortunately, Fujifilm has been developing a system with heart, including a wide range of lenses that has allowed me a vast range of coverage for all types of photography. My stock images rely upon sharpness, and my inner creativity desires fast lenses which Fujifilm delivers with their X-mount prime and zoom lenses. Fujinon glass is simply superb, and my clients greatly appreciate – and can see! – the image quality.
I often shoot in low light, and venturing out into the darkness for landscapes or nighttime street photography with the X-T1 has been a blast and worry-free. The files are amazing, even at high ISO. The X-T1’s rugged, weather-resistant design even made it possible for me to cover Superstorm Sandy when it hit New York City. It handled the onslaught of the wild storm like a champion.
Photography is all about epic moments and awesome experiences. Once, I took my X-T1 and X-Pro1 through the Balkans and while traveling, I was drawn to Sarajevo because of its war-torn history. I was inspired by how the city had rebuilt itself. While walking through the streets, I stumbled upon the main square: quaint and quiet. I walked alongside a man in the midst of his daily routine, feeding the local pigeons. I paused, lifted my stealthy X-Pro1, and captured him passing through the happily fed pigeons as they flew away. It was a beautiful moment of time in a city with a rich history, outputted perfectly in high quality with my light, fast, and intuitive X Series gear. Capturing moments like this with such a sense of ease is a constant remind of why shooting with Fujifilm X Series gear feels natural and rewarding.
Afton Almaraz was born in Los Angeles, California and has lived in various parts of East Asia and the United States. Now based in New York City and working as a Picture Editor for Getty Images, he continues to pursue a variety of photographic projects. During his education at Brooks Institute of Photography he interned as a photo editor at TIME' s Asia edition in Hong Kong, served as a personal photographer for former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and attended the Eddie Adams Workshop (Barnstorm XXI). Upon graduation from Brooks, Afton worked as a photo editor in AOL' s New York newsroom.
His photographic work has appeared in publications such as TIME, Newsweek, The New York Times, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Stern and The Rolling Stones, amongst others. Clients have included Getty Images, Associated Press, Aurora Photos, ZUMA Press, The Wall Street Journal and the Smithsonian Magazine.