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Photographer Emily Renier chooses Fujifilm X Series

Posted on Jun 11, 2024

Pure dependability

For Emily Renier, a documentary-style family and wedding photographer, the X Series workhorse is a definite winner

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“Is this image going to have meaning for my client?” questions Emily Renier, Belgian-born family and wedding photographer. “That’s my baseline for success. If I think it will, then I’ve done my job.”

With an interest in creating documentary- and reportage-style imagery, Renier requires a camera that can be used with the utmost fluidity and efficiency.

“I need my camera to be almost like an extension of my body,” she remarks. “And I need speed because I’m incredibly reactive. I don’t show up with a vision for compositions; I frame things that I’ve reacted to, so speed is very important. That’s with regards to autofocus, yes, but also being able to find my way around the camera ergonomically, so I can change settings.

“I work completely manually, so I need to have a good muscle memory for all aspects of my camera. That means there needs to be easy access.”

With these qualities as primary concerns for Renier, it’s little wonder her camera of choice is the FUJIFILM X-T5. Lightweight, rapid and worked by external dials, it offers a tactile, professional experience – exactly matching her brief.

“With the X-T5, there’s nothing you need to worry about!” Renier enthuses. “It’s so robust that it can deal with a lot of physical activity. But also in terms of its processing, everything is so easy.”

Equipped with Fujifilm’s top-of-the-line X-Processor 5, the 40.2-megapixel mirrorless camera features subject detection AF, which is modelled using deep-learning AI.

This grants it blistering speeds, with incredible tracking of human features – enabling Renier to focus on framing up memorable moments.

“The way it handles white balance is also truly amazing,” she adds. “If I am working anywhere indoors with mixed lighting, sometimes you’ll see all these horrible bits of yellow light falling on people’s faces.

“But when you create the image from the camera, you go, ‘Oh, phew, I don’t have to do as much work as I thought I was going to have to do. It’s handled the white balance much better than even my eyes did!’”

With seven whole stops of IBIS, Renier doesn’t have to adjust her vision, regardless of conditions. “For my documentary-style photos, I don’t use flash – at least not until I’m on the dance floor at a wedding. So that means I must have as much room for low light as possible.

“With family photography, I’ll often end up working with a family on a late afternoon around November, when there’s no light at all. I need to be able to dig deep with my camera and produce these images. Toddlers move rapidly, so being able to bring my shutter speeds right down is helpful.”

Lightweight yet robust, and weighing just 557g, the X-T5 is perfect for Renier, who often needs to hold her camera at arm’s length. “Since I’m quite short and everyone’s taller than me, I make pictures from above a lot,” she explains.

The versatile, three-way tilting LCD guarantees this is a viable technique. “Having that flipping screen helps me to see exactly what I require,” Renier notes.

“I also need my camera to be robust, and the X-T5 is a beast in that regard,” she adds. “You can do anything you want with it; I use my cameras more like tools. I should probably have a little more respect for them than I do, but I’m a very physical photographer.

“I can be on the ground one second, then sitting up on something the next, so my equipment needs to be strong enough to cope with the element of constant movement – which the X-T5 does.

“When I start photographing on the day, it’s all about responding to the emotion I’m presented with,” Renier enthuses. “Whether it’s deep and meaningful or more lighthearted – that’s what I’ll try and document.

“What’s crazy is what the X-T5 is capable of doing, considering it’s so light. Despite being light, it doesn’t feel flimsy; it’s so robust. I’ve never understood how they’ve managed to do that.”

Pair this with the FUJINON XF23mmF1.4 R LM WR and Renier reckons you have imaging perfection. “I’m not being over the top when I say that the X-T5 and the XF23mmF1.4 is the best combination out there. For photography, some of the best images I’ve ever made have been with that set-up.

“It has a sweet spot for creating a mood I’m keen to emulate when I work,” she remarks. “It’s this type of equipment that has helped me become the photographer I had the potential to be.

“But also, I’m a professional so I need to be able to depend on the equipment I use. At the end of the day, if this camera didn’t perform for me, I would use something else – but this delivers,” Renier concludes. “I am certain I can count on it; that’s why I’m so drawn to it.”

This feature was first published in Issue 115 of Photography News.

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