10 reasons to own a fujifilm X

10 Reasons to own a Fujifilm X

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 :

1. Portability

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.

Hare's Gap

Even on long hikes my dslr and wide angle have been replaced by one Fuji body, 3 lenses and a plethora of filters and I’m actually still travelling lighter with no compromise on image quality.

2. Versatility

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 :

Jim Broadbent

Circuit 21

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.

The mini adventure

More : A Mini Aventure

This image was captured with my wide, prime, favourite, the 14mm :

To The Mournes

More : Going Wide with the 14mm

4. EVF

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.

The Long Exposure Photo book

More : The Long Exposure

5. Control

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.

Hare's Gap

See More : Hare’s Gap, The Mournes.

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].

Fuji Colours

Avalon Guitars

More: Avalon Guitars

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.

Rend Collective
Rend Collective, Mandela Hall

Blackford Dolphin, Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff

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.

Tyrella X20

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.

The Fujfilm X100s

10. Looks

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.

Conclusion

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.

Links:

Review : X100S
Review : X-T1
Review : 56mm Lens
Review : 18-135mm Lens
The Perfect Landscape Photography Kit

Reading

The Long Exposure eBook
Understanding Depth of Field

Flickr

1000 Photos taken with a Fujifilm Camera

Fujifilm X

The Fujifilm X Photographer Website.



Comments

  1. I’m still undecided whether the X100 (S or T) or the Ricoh GR is the better supplement to my DSLR. The Ricoh is more compact, less obstrusive and has snap focus. The X100T has a great viewfinder and manual focusing is very easy and convenient. since both cameras are great, it’s a difficult decision to make.

  2. I would agree with all but one of your reasons to own the X system. The one exception is the high ISO performance. Yes, from the sensor capability stand point they are great but a camera is not just the sensor but also the lens (and a couple things more) and the sensor or the lens shall be stabilized to really say that a camera is capable in low light conditions. Fast glass helps a lot but also need to remember that opened aperture means shallow DOF…not always desirable and sometimes limiting.
    Without an OIS or equivalent system the X cameras cannot simply compete (as far as the primes are concerned) with m43 , Sony mirrorles line or even the latest compact cameras like Sony RX100III or Pana LX100. The Zooms do well but surely are not bright and yet …the latest 16-50 2.8 ….i not stabilized.

  3. David, that’s a really good write-up and I think you have hit the key points well. One you didn’t really draw out that is a big plus for me at least, is that for years I would lug two systems around – Leica M rangefinders with their lenses, and either Leica, Contax or Nikon SLRs – two completely incompatible systems and two lens mounts leading to massive duplication of focal lengths. With Fuji I have ONE set of lenses that fit both “rangefinder” and “SLR” form factors. Result, happiness…

  4. To add to Bill Palmer’s comment, the GR also has a high amount of customization. You will have to handle both cameras in person and decide which one is for you.

  5. I’d add exceptional build quality – there’s something about a Fuji X camera that just feels well made. Not sure if it is the ergonomics or the material or both, they’re solid.

  6. Yep. I’d agree with all those. My favorite thing about the X-Pro is the size. Being a former dSLR shooter and Mamiya RZ67 owner, the ability to carry my camera with me everywhere has really had a positive impact on my shooting. Nice article and blog BTW.

  7. David, I would completely agree with how fantastic the image quality is and with most of the positive comments regarding X cameras in general but certainly not build quality. While many elements appear well made, some feel worryingly flimsy, such as the rear buttons and dial on the rear of the x-100s and connection covers. The shutter release itself does not feel very substantial either. Worst of all is not just the absence of weather sealing but the sheer vulnerability of the x-100s (and I would assume at least all versions of the X-100) to water. My x-100s got slightly wet in a rain shower – I placed it in a waterproof bag after just a small amount of water got onto it – and it was rendered irreparable. This is a very unreliable camera for travel photography, unless you limit your trips to weekends where good weather is guaranteed. At the moment I would not consider buying any fujifilm camera other than the X-1t. At least fujifilm offered their “apologies for any inconvenience caused” but of course this didn’t cover my insurance excess! If the camera was in any way well made I would have considered replacing with another x-100s but it’s just not worth the risk. I’ve also read comments about dust problems in the pro1 viewfinder so think this camera would be just as vulnerable. I did love using the x-100s though and may go for the x-1t as a replacement.

  8. hi: 1. what is the philosophy behind Fujifilm to don’t make and present a full frame camera? and is a weakness point of crop sensor for the new camera Xt1? 2. is 16 megapixel is good enough for high sharpness and resolution in screen as well as paper print ? is it true that Xti has problem with AF system as well as missed stabilization built-in? 4. is new Sony a7Rii is a game changer VS Fujifilm Xt1? pls advice.

  9. The XT1 does not have a full frame sensor or the highest megapixel count. However, it is the sum of its parts that make it an excellent, full frame beater. It’s smaller, weighs less, has an amazing EVF, unrivalled colour reproduction, amazingly fast auto focus, astounding burst rate and a better, more refined lens selection than Sony.

    I sold my Canon DSLR for the XT1 and haven’t looked back.

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David

David is a documentary and landscape photographer covering everything from dramatic long exposure landscape photography through to live music. David is a former Official Fujifilm X Photographer.

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