Why I Switched to Fuji X Series – My Epiphany

Like nearly everything I do, I did a lot of research when looking for an upgrade to my Canon 7D.

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This resulted in a HUGE table with specs on dynamic range, shutter lag, max auto ISO, ISO noise, perceived megapixels (P-MPix) etc. Originally, I was planning on a used 5D Mark III which would take me over a year to afford, be even larger than my 7D, and would probably still not make me much happier.

So, it was time to re-look outside the DSLR box. In earlier research, I found mirrorless cameras lacking, but technology changes and I like looking out of the box. Sony? Olympus? Fuji? The Fuji X100T was sooo close to what I wanted, but I wanted more lenses. That’s when I (re)discovered the X-T1 after it had been out for a year. After another year of shooting heavy DSLRs (and another year of getting older), I was finding lighter cameras a more attractive option.

So one weekend, I dig deeply into:

  1. What I needed to shoot
  2. What I wanted to shoot and
  3. If the 7D, 5D or a Fuji X-T1 could do that for me with the least amount of labor.

This simple table is what I came up with. (You don’t need to know the exact details. Your list would be different anyway.)

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And, unlike the spec table, this simple table clearly showed that I would get an improvement with a 5D, but I would end up adding even more weight and post processing to my photography making me even more unhappy, but the Fuji would get me what I really wanted (more enjoyment, less frustration, less work).

So, with a family vacation to the Grand Canyon imminent, I jumped onto the Fuji train and have not regretted it since. The 7D still fits better in my big hands, but a camera is a tool and I’m not getting any younger.

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The drawback that I have not overcome yet is that the large Fuji flashes are:

  • neither quiet like my Canon 430EX II
  • nor able to do focus assist beam in low light like my Canon 430EX II (a function I need occasionally at work)

I read that you can get a Canon 580EX II or a 600EX-RT and shoot them in legacy mode (which uses a sensor in the flash to gauge exposure like “old school” flashes), but:

  1. I don’t shoot enough with a flash to justify the cost
  2. When I do shoot, I tend to like bouncing off the ceiling

You can use a Canon in manual mode on a Fuji which works fairly well especially when bouncing of the ceiling (after some test shots).

Plus, I also like to use radio remotes with my old flashes which operates the same way on all cameras.

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Finally, that tiny flash that comes with the X-T1? It works fairly well! The trick seems to use is that the camera does not change the ISO setting much, but uses the tiny flash as a fill light.

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