My good friend and former Konica Minolta/Sony Alpha product specialist, Paul Genge, has just stunned his many friends and industry colleagues by announcing that he is selling all his Konica Minolta and Sony Alpha gear in favour of a Fujifilm XT-1 mirrorless outfit.

Paul is currently on his honeymoon in Malaysia and my understanding is that his decision is based on his struggle to lug all his gear around on the trip. Paul has a top of the range Alpha 99 DSLR, a wide range of lenses going back to the pre-Konica Minolta era a well as a Sony NEX-7 mirrorless camera.

You might wonder why Paul isn't going down the Sony Alpha 7 mirrorless route to supplement his NEX-7. I think he may well have done exactly that if the Fujifilm XT-1 hadn't appeared. Paul's decision to go with the XT-1 is not only based on the excellence and light weight of the Fuji but also because the Alpha 7 is limited in the range of full frame lenses and its loud shutter, a point that has been raised repeatedly in A7 reviews.

I haven't yet had a lengthy play with the XT-1 but the limited time I have had was notable for the quiet and refined shutter and the rather lovely blend of retro and cutting edge design, especially in the external controls. Fujifilm's range of lenses is now quite respectable with the promise of expanding the line-up further. My next 'classics revisited' article for Amateur Photographer magazine involves comparing a 'vintage' Fuji FinePix S3 Pro DSLR with an XT-1 so I hope to get the latter to use in anger shortly.

On a personal note I can remember when Sony launched the Alpha 700 DSLR in September 2007. That was when Paul was key to photography journalists in providing technical advice and help on the Sony Alpha system. I asked Paul why the A700 didn't support live-view, an increasingly popular new feature in rivals' cameras at the time, and his answer was that Sony didn't see the need for it. How times have changed!

I still love to use DSLRs and I currently have the use of a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and a 70D. These are awesome cameras. But I had to carry them with some lenses the other day and it wasn't a pleasant experience. Over at our [URL=""]Olympus hire[/URL] sideline I'm currently dealing with an enquiry from a client who wants to try an Olympus OM-D E-M1, another compact and lightweight high-specification mirrorless system camera. He currently uses a Nikon D800 which he regards as too big and heavy. Enquiries just like this are increasingly common.

For Paul to switch systems like this, even though he is no longer working for Sony, must have been a huge wrench. Paul still has many personal friends here in the UK and Japan forged through his time with Minolta and, latterly, Sony. He has given many of them food for thought. But I applaud Paul's decision, not for ditching Sony per se, but for being honest to himself and going for what is best for him.