Why I left Canon for Fujifilm

In my beginnings, I used cameras from several brands (Olympus, Panasonic, Nikon) and then I went to Canon which I used last ten years. But in past months I’ve decided to change the brand again, and now I have Fujifilm X-T2.

When I told about it to my colleagues, almost everybody asked why. Except those who made the same change earlier.

I would love to say “it’s a sexy camera” (what X-T2 actually is), but it’s not like that. You know, leave camera brand you worked with for ten years, sell all accessories and lose a lot of money just because of the change – you need a strong reason. So the answer isn’t that simple.

I started thinking about the change about a year ago because I wasn’t happy with Canon product strategy for a long time. So at first, I was considering Nikon because I think Nikon does better cameras than Canon nowadays. Then I focused on Sony for a while because this brand is growing very fast in the camera market and have some impressive cameras. Also, their mirrorless cameras have smaller bodies, but as I realized when you attach some lenses, the whole setup is about the same size as Canon/Nikon setup. Also, their focusing is such fast as I would like. Not suitable for reportage photography.

And then it came: I noticed guys from Nordica photography are coming to Prague. So I went to their speech, where they were talking about their photography, why they switched from Canon to Fujifilm X-T2 and why it’s better for their work. Later I had a couple of beers with them talking more about the camera, and I was impressed.

I realized I found the camera I dreamed about for years. I always wanted a camera which is both compact and good enough for my work. There were some mirrorless cameras for a long time, but I couldn’t use them for serious work. But Fujifilm X–T2 is another level. It’s compact, lightweight, fast, accurate, sharp, provides excellent image quality and amazing colors.

Let’s see eight things I like on this camera.

it’s compact
When you have to carry a camera for a whole day, then size and mainly weight is a thing. Also, when you travel, then small stuff needs a much less space (obviously) and is much easier to deal with weight limits on carrying on luggage when you fly. And even if some airlines don’t care, your back does.

Shutter, ISO, aperture. Holy Trinity of photography. Fujifilm cameras don’t have control panel displaying your current setup, because you can see your setup right on controls or on a lens respectively. I like this, and I wonder how big an impact it will have on my work with the camera.

Well, how camera look isn’t the main thing, but X-T2 looks sexy. Actually, all Fujifilm cameras look great. I love this design. Including the control buttons, so they look like an old good analog camera.  And it’s an excellent feeling to hold it in hand.

When you need to shoot overhead or from the ground, then tilt screen is very handy. You can tilt it even to the side, but there are not many reasons why to do that.

This is a real advantage for mirrorless cameras in comparison with DSLR. While in DLSR you see thru a viewfinder the real scene, in a mirrorless camera you see the final exposure. With this, you never forget to correct camera setup when you move from indoor to outdoor (and vice versa), so overexposed (or underexposed respectively) pics never happen again. Also, there is no need to control the exposure after you capture a pic because you saw it already, so you know the exposure is ok.

Unlike Canon, Nikon or Sony, Fujifilm uses a different type of sensor which produces significantly different colors, and I like them a lot. Also, Fujifilm cameras provide film simulations so in case you shoot in JPEG, special color filters can be automatically applied. It’s not something I would use for my commercial work, but I’m sure I will use it for my holiday pics. Just capture, select the best ones and share with friends and family. Unlike my 2–years–old pics from Grand Canyon I didn’t edit yet. You know the shoemaker’s children go barefoot. Shame on me.

silent shutter
Another thing which is pretty cool. When you shoot in quiet places such as in a church, shutter might be very noisy. But Fujifilm’s shutter is much less loud compared to any DSLR. Very nice. But there is one more thing – an electronic shutter which is a total game changer. When you activate it, the camera makes no sound at all, so you don’t disturb a wedding ceremony for example. Also, when you shoot candid pics, you might want people don’t notice you’re around, so then electronic shutter helps too.

When people notice they’re being photographed, then sometimes they stop act naturally or even are not relaxed anymore. Some of them because they want to look good on pics, others because they don’t feel good being photographed. But here comes something interesting: More photographers said since they begin to use Fujifilm cameras, people this is not happening. People don’t care about the camera anymore. Colleagues said people sometimes wonder if it’s a professional camera (because it’s so small), or they think it’s analog (because it looks pretty much like that). However, for candid photography, it as a gift and I’m looking forward to that.

And here are two things which are not so cool, but I had to deal with them:

Well, in sensor sizes bigger is usually better. There are two main things which are not so good on smaller sensors. Noise and bokeh. But I realized with X-T2 noise isn’t such a big problem and so looks pretty good ’cause is monochromatic. And when it comes to bokeh, 56mm f/1.2 APD is the answer. So I don’t care about the sensor size anymore. What I care about is image quality and there is nothing to complain about.

This is something I have to deal with. While with DSLR I was able to shoot even 2500 pics on one battery, X–T2’s battery lifetime is 350 pics only. So I will have to carry much more batteries with me. But there is one cool thing. I found a battery charger which can charge two batteries at the same time from – wait for it – a power bank! So I’ll be able to charge batteries without access to a power socket. Pretty cool.

So if I make it short, now I have a beautiful compact camera which makes me happy in many ways. I’m looking forward to all upcoming weddings and other photo shoots. In September I’ll write another blog post about my experience with the camera. I hope I’ll be excited at least as I’m now.