Finding the perfect casual use camera has been a winding path for me. I’ve shot with a lot of different cameras, from the Canon 1DX to the Sony RX100. I love trying new cameras but I really needed to just settle on an everyday use, casual camera that I can tote everywhere I go.
While I do paid work from time to time, the majority of what I shoot is documentary images of my kids. You know, everyday life stuff. To me, that’s my most important work. For this use, over the past few years, I’ve used the original Sony RX100, the original Fuji X100, the Fuji X100F, the Fuji X-E2, the Fuji X-T1, the Sony RX100 Mk III and the Sony a6000.
Of course, at some point I either sold or traded all of these away like an idiot. Oh, regret.
While all of these cameras where great for family documentary photography, street photography and casual use, the only ones I deeply miss are the Fuji X100 models and the X-E2. As I often do, I started lusting once again for the perfect casual use camera to supplement my rather large Fuji X-H1. I almost bought another X100, this the time an “S” model, but at the last minute I went instead with the Fuji X-E2S.
Why buy a previous generation camera with the “old” 16 megapixel sensor? Because even though technology moves forward, previous model cameras don’t somehow become worse. The Fuji X-E2 cameras where and are great to this day. Also, I bought mine brand new for $350, so that was a huge factor as well.
My casual use camera has to meet certain criteria:
- It has to be affordable. My kids are…adventurous. If my everyday camera ends up at the bottom of a mud puddle, I won’t feel nearly as bad if it was cheap.
- Size matters. I need something light so I have no excuses for not bringing it everywhere. This camera is very light, depending on what lens you use.
- The more diminutive the better. A cute, harmless looking camera is much better for pointing at people than a big honking, intimidating rig with 72mm filter thread.
- It has to be fun to use. A Sony a6000 would fit the bill so far, but they’re not fun to use. Fuji cameras make me want to shoot photos because they have soul.
- Of course, great image quality is important and the Fuji X-Trans 16 megapixel sensor is known for producing excellent images, even though there's a newer sensor available in the X-E3.
The Fuji X-E2s meets my criteria. I’m mostly shooting it with the Fuji 35mm f/1.4 lens, which is pretty compact. And, I recently purchased the 7Artisans 25mm f/1.8 manual focus lens as well (review coming soon). This camera is not as small as the X100 series but pretty close and I can change lenses, which is not the case with the X100.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive, casual use camera, take a look at a used (or new) Fuji X-E2 or X-E2s camera. For me, it’s just about perfect for everyday shooting.