In August last year (after a good few months of thinking about it) I bought my first Fuji X-Series camera (an X-T1) with a view to supplementing my existing camera set up (Canon 5D3's) and then, if things went well, replacing them altogether. It wasn't something I felt I could just go all in on straight away… I loved my Canon cameras and had just about got to the point where I felt vaguely competent in using them. However, the impact of using such a heavy camera system on my back and a desire to keep working for as long as I physically can meant I had to look for a less cumbersome camera system so I decided to give Fuji a go.
I have already written a couple of blog posts regarding my experiences over the last 10 months or so and there are also many other articles all over the interwebs that will say more or less the same things so I won't go into minute detail about what I discovered over this long trial period. What I will say is that a cardboard box full of all my remaining Canon gear has been posted off to its new owner this morning.
Yep, I have done what so many other Photographers have/are doing and have decided to move completely to using Fuji Mirrorless cameras.
Because I had become so comfortable with my Canons I have been very thorough in my 'testing' of the Fujis capabilities. I know how I like to work when shooting a wedding and it was important that the Fuji cameras could fit in seemlessly with the approach I take to my work. Over the last 10 months I have photographed small elements of each wedding I have worked at with my Fujis so that I could get a good idea of their capabilities without risking compromising my work for my clients. As time progressed I found that I was shooting more and more of each wedding day with my Fujis (I now have a second X-T1 and an X-E2) than I was with my Canons. Indeed, a few weeks ago Charlotte and Bens wedding was practically all shot with Fuji and then I bit the bullett and shot all of Kat and Toms wedding with my new cameras last weekend. It was after Kat and Toms wedding that I made the decision to finally sell my Canons and go fully Fuji
*('Go Fully Fuji'… that should be an ad campaign… and I'm claiming dibs on it here and now…..).
I have also found myself shooting for fun far more in the past 10 months than at any time previously (My 5D3 was just too big and obvious to take out for anything other than work). And, probably most importantly I am far happier with the standard of my work. I feel like I have improved hugely in the last year simply by shooting more and slowing down whilst I do so (something that the Fuji cameras almost force you to do…).
From a technical point of view, the Fuji sensor is stunning. Yes, it's only 16mp (seriously… 'only 16mp'… who really needs more?) and it isn't full frame, but it renders seriously stunning image quality. The dynamic range is amazing… to my eye it is way better than the 5D3. Its autofocus system is of course slower than a DSLR but I find it to be so much more accurate. I shoot using back button focusing and focus peaking and it is a mind-blowingly good way of working. Nailing focus when shooting wide open is much more likely to be successful now. Fujifilm also invest in the longevity of their products. Most X-T1 users are waiting for Firmware 4.0 to be released shortly which will see further improvements to Autofocus. Previous firmware updates have included such items like an electronic shutter (a godsend when shooting outside at a wedding).
And the lenses… well, I don't really need to say much other than they are sharper than a very sharp thing.
However, when all is said and done the main reason for me looking to Fuji cameras in the first place was to protect my health over the (hopefully) long period until my retirement. During Kat and Toms wedding I sat down to eat my meal after working for 9 hours without a break and for the first time since I can remember, my back didn't ache. I felt fresh(ish) and not in need of painkillers. This, on top of all of the wonderful photographic elements the Fuji mirrorless camera system brings convinced me to make the move, so I have.
I hope whomever takes ownership of my 5d3 enjoys using it as much as I have. It is a stunning camera… but I am now all in with Fuji and I'm looking forward to seeing what wonderful new things the wizards in Japan come up with next…..
Here are a few images taken over the last few months at weddings or just for fun with either my X-T1 or X-E2. For more, just check out my gallery, or visit my other site www.meadowfieldphoto.com