I have been a big fan of the Fujifilm X range of cameras ever since I bought my first X100 back in June 2011. It was a big change from my DSLR, and although it had its quirks it was a joy to use. Fast forward a few years on I am literally hooked on the small form factor, versatility, performance and image quality offered by the growing Fujifilm X range of cameras.
Two or three times per week I receive emails from photographers asking advice on things like, “Would the X range replace my DSLR?”. They are hard questions to address as, everyone’s needs are different, I only sporadically use my DSLR but when I do it tends to strengthen my draw to the X-range of cameras. For this reason I have decided to list just ten reasons why the Fujifilm X range is my first stop camera system :
One of my initial attractions to the X100 was the ability to travel light. No more hefty camera bag and no more heads turning when I pulled out a large DSLR camera. Since owning the X100 camera I’ve had the ability to carry a FujiFilm X camera with me everywhere without effort or being aware of the weight or bulk.
The X100 range also has a fantastic little leather case that is not only beautiful but also allows me to carry the camera around 24×7 in my everyday bag.
Even on long hikes my dslr and wide angle have been replaced by one Fuji body, 3 lenses and a plethora of filters and I’m actually still travelling lighter with no compromise on image quality.
The big thing for me is the versatility offered by the Fujifilm X range of cameras. The X100s is one such example, I’ve used it for everything from panorama photography, portraits and long exposure landscapes, all this from a fixed 23mm f/2 lens, the built-in ND filter, great high ISO performance the X100s is ready for anything.
The following images were captured with the X100s :
3. Lens Quality
The Fujifilm lenses are stunning, I haven’t used a Fujifilm lens yet that didn’t impress, the sharpness at large apertures and sharpness even out to the corners is amazing. The lenses also tend to be fast around f/1.4, even the “kit lens” starts with an initial aperture of f/2.8.
I love all the lenses and I have my favourites such as the 23mm f/1.4 and the bokeh master 56mm f/1.2 but Fujifilm have worked to cover the range of focal lengths with fast apertures. Even the little 27mm pancake lens which is a firm favourite walk around lens is f/2.8 and produces sharp images with smooth bokeh wide open.
This image was captured with the 18-55mm kit lens.
More : A Mini Aventure
This image was captured with my wide, prime, favourite, the 14mm :
More : Going Wide with the 14mm
The Electronic Viewfinder on the X cameras is stunning and remarkably useful. Like something from a Sci-Fi movie the ability to see exactly how your image will render superimposed with histograms and camera information is a sight to behold. It can take a bit of getting used to but it has really changed how I capture images and I can control all aspects of the capture process without taking my eye away from the viewfinder.
More : The Long Exposure
As I already mentioned accessibility is a big plus of the X range cameras. All the essential controls are available on the body without the need to tackle complex menus systems. The X-T1 features an ISO dial, the exposure modes and image modes are all physical buttons or dials and, as is a common feature on all X cameras the exposure compensation is a large dial easily accessible on the top of the camera. This accessibility is perfect when using the electronic viewfinder as I can literally change settings quickly without really even thinking about.
6. Photography Features
Most X range cameras offer a little more than just the standard still and video capture modes. multiple exposure and film simulation are two examples but my favourite has to be the panorama capture mode. Simply select this mode from the ‘drive’ menu, focus, then capture the image in a sweep direction (all linear directions (left, right etc) and the camera will stitch the JPG files together to create a stunning panorama.
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I have gone as far as having these images printed up to 40inches long and they look simply stunning. The latest camera releases also feature wifi that improves mobile workflow as well as weather sealing (on some models) for when out in the wind and rain.
7. X-Trans Sensor & FujiFilm colours
When first released the Fujifilm X-Trans sensor was a leap in technological development rewriting how images were captured and recorded. It even took some software developers a few months to catchup and support the RAF RAW file which is now an established leader. The sensor captures a remarkable dynamic range as well as the stunning colours Fujifilm are renowned for. Even when working in mono the RAW files are simply amazing in terms of the range captured in each shot.[Tip: In the Lightroom Develop module you can change from Adobe colour management to the Fujifilm film outputs, see the drop down under processing].
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8. Lowlight performance
I tend not to use flash for general documentary photography. Although many of the X range of cameras come with a built-in flash the low light performance of the Fujifilm X range means I rarely need to use it. Locking the X-E2 or X-T1 at 3200 produces little noise, pair this with a large aperture 23mm f/1.4 or 35mm f/1.4 and you will be amazed at the lowlight performance of these little cameras.
9. Fujifilm Listen
Fujifilm build cameras based on feedback from their customers and are exceptionally loyal to the photographic community. One example is the original X100, It was clear that the original X100 was something special and the company’s dedication to the camera can be seen through numerous firmware updates to enhance functionality. Even when the X100s was release and the X100 was discontinued Fujifilm released a massive firmware upgrade for the X100 that even made users question if they needed to upgrade to the new S model.
The Fujifilm user community is fantastic. A growing group of photographers keen to share their experiences and what they’ve learned from using the Fuji X system. From workshops and tutorials to Lightroom presets dedicated to the X-Trans sensor. There are Facebook groups, forums and Flickr groups full of Fuji X photographers all willing to share their knowledge and experience.
There is no word to describe the X range cameras other than simply “beautiful”, rarely do I take my X100s out that someone doesn’t comment on its appearance. Obviously physical appearance has literally no bearing on performance or image quality but if you get bored capturing images you can also bask in the reflective beauty of these stunning little image makers.
There are plenty more reasons why you might want to add a Fujifilm X camera to your collection. As the Fujifilm lens catalogue grows the need for my DSLR diminishes rapidly. The X-range of cameras are a joy to use and bring photography into everyday life, the performance and image quality is unquestioned and they are a sight to behold. What are you waiting for?
Feel free to add any points I have missed via the comments.