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I am writing these lines now because I want to share my thoughts and motivations with you.
As the title suggests, I have now decided to go with the Fujifilm X-System.
How did that come about? Well, let’s start at the beginning.
Ok, not all the way to the front of how I started taking pictures, etc. … 😉
As a wedding photographer you need at least two cameras, there is no question about that. I work with two cameras at the same time, but there are also colleagues who work with one camera and use the other only as a backup. In any case, there must be at least two cameras, because one could fail or even be damaged. This leaves at least one camera that works and with which you can fully finish the day’s photography. Logically, the issue of “fail-safe” is at the forefront of weddings. With my large reportages I have additionally even a third camera in the car. So I have the best possible protection.
So it happened that I have been on the road with two Sony cameras and corresponding lenses for quite some time. The Sonys have a very good autofocus and the low-light characteristics (i.e. photographing in a relatively dark environment (church or in the evening at the party) is also very good, because the cameras have a 35mm sensor. Well, then why not just continue taking pictures with it? The answer in a few words: feeling, emotion, operating concept, weight.
Feeling / Emotion
The Sony cameras and lenses are great tools that deliver the desired quality. Just tools, but nothing more. Someone once described it quite aptly: the Sony cameras have the charm of a Playstation 😉 – certainly a bit exaggerated, but it hits the core quite well in my opinion. You can already see that this is a very personal decision. Therefore, here again the note that it is about my subjective opinion.
With my Fujifilm cameras, on the other hand, I “feel” much more. That is, it feels more like “camera” and less like computer, even if this is only the emotional level. Of course, all cameras are soulless devices without life.
However, that is exactly the point: as a photographer, you have to feel comfortable with your tool. Some even build up a relationship with the tool. For example, some craftsmen prefer to buy tools from brand A rather than from brand B. This point becomes especially clear when all cameras are soulless machines without life. This point becomes particularly clear when it comes to the example of cars. There the emotion or the feeling plays a very large role. Technically, there are actually no more bad cameras these days, sometimes brand A is ahead in one feature, sometimes brand B is ahead in another.
For private purposes I had bought the Fujifilm X100V (compact camera with a fixed 23mm lens) a long time ago. I was for private photography of the family, vacation and some street photography looking for a “simple” camera that is easy to use and you do not have to constantly change things in the menu. This introduced me to the “different” operating concept of Fuji cameras. In my eyes, it is a simpler operating concept:
There is simply a wheel or a switch for the essential parameters. These are, for example, aperture, ISO, shutter speed, continuous shooting speed, continuous autofocus/single AF.
You don’t need an extra built-in display on the camera or to look at the rear display. I can see the parameters right away at a glance. The Fuji cameras have a much more “analog” feel to them.
Sensor / Lens size
The Fuji’s sensor is slightly smaller compared to the Sony, but sensors these days deliver such impressive image quality that this is no longer a relevant difference. It is rare to print so large (several meters) that a difference would be noticeable.
In mirrorless cameras, the new lenses have already become much smaller and lighter compared to lenses from DSLR times. With Fuji, the APS-C sensor makes it possible to build even smaller and lighter lenses compared to 35mm. A welcome weight advantage for a full-day reportage. However, if it is to be very fast, the size/weight advantage disappears. I can practically “build” the camera as I like it: from small and light e.g. with the 35mm f2 to large and super fast with battery grip with the 50mm f1.0.
In Summe ist jedoch In sum, however, is possible to travel with the Fuji-X system still a little more inconspicuous than with my previous system. Another plus point.
Of course, nowadays images are processed on the computer and the colors are optimized / changed and adjusted. However, in my case, I have found that the colors of the Fuji sensors are much closer to the look that I prefer or fit better to my image style.
Furthermore, the following factors also played a role in my decision to go with the X-System:
The mechanical shutter is capable of up to 15 frames per second. With one click I can switch to this speed and capture very special moments safely. I rarely need this speed, but there I am once with the motto: have is better than need 😉
The shutter of the Fujifilm X-T4 is 30% quieter than the Fuji predecessor and extremely much quieter than my previous Sony cameras. You know from the past the “loud mirror clatter” of the DSLR cameras. This was already better with the mirrorless cameras. However, with the mechanical! shutter of the Fuji a new level of “silence”. It is so quiet that I can use it in church or at the registry office without hesitation. With the previous system, it was often unpleasant how loud the shutter was in such situations.
(Using the fully electronic shutter is still not a good solution nowadays, because with most cameras (except a few (very) expensive models) it can lead to so-called “banding”, i.e. unwanted stripes in the image due to LED light).
Furthermore, with my previous camera, I was bothered by the fact that the manufacturer did not clearly communicate how many releases the shutter is designed for. Since the cameras do heavy work at weddings, it is crucial to have a reliable shutter here. Here I have the assurance that the Fuji’s shutter is rated for 300,000 releases.
Another important consideration for me is the weather protection of the camera. Of course, weddings typically don’t take place in the most adverse conditions, but I want to be prepared for every conceivable situation. Again, Fujifilm scores well here with a clear specification and explicit weather protection compared to my previous manufacturer. The cameras have 63 seals and are even specified down to -10 degrees Celsius.
As I said, you’re lucky if you can photograph a wonderful wedding on a mild summer day, but I like to be prepared for anything and be able to rely on my camera in any weather situation.
While a manufacturer’s communication and outward appearance is not crucial to the functionality of the camera, it is very important to me. However, I find it very positive when you can see a lens roadmap from a camera manufacturer or also communicate what is being worked on. Here, I feel I am in better hands with Fujifilm.
Fujifilm Professional Service
As a photographer with some Fujifilm equipment, I get to enjoy Fujifilm Professional Service. Fast prioritized repairs and loaner equipment during a breakdown allows me to always be ready for action.
This is purely my personal experience. I am in no way affiliated with the Fujifilm company.