If you follow us on YouTube you might be aware by now that we have decided to move camera systems, from Canon to Fuji, specifically from our lovely Canon 5Dmk3’s to Fuji X-T2’s.
This decision wasn’t made easily, or lightly. To completely move camera systems is costly and a learning experience. For some time now we have been looking at the mirrorless camera market. The light bodies and small form is certainly appealing when you carry two on your shoulders for what can be up to 14 hours a day shooting a wedding. So why did we choose Fuji, why did we change now, we have made a couple of YouTube videos about this, but thought a nice little blog post wouldn’t go a miss either.
So why Fuji?
We have had our eye on different cameras and were certainly pulled to the Canon M5, which is Canon’s first Mirrorless. When we looked seriously at reviews on such systems they almost all fall down in one area or another, such as Auto Focus problems. Then we found the Fuji X-T2, flutterings about this camera have been in a few articles we have read over 2016, 90% of them being extremely positive. We took the opportunity at our local camera dealer (Wex) to have a play with one in the flesh and see what they guys there thought, this was just prior to release. We both immediately loved how light and compact it was; with the Fuji X series lenses not being on the big side either. Having got our hands on, we decided to get on Google and YouTube and seriously look at what Fuji was offering with this camera. After much reading and video watching of not only the camera but lenses as well, we were convinced it was the next step we were looking to take with our photography and the ‘upgrade’ we were looking to make. This decision was difficult, going from a Full Frame professional body Canon to a cropped sensor Fuji body. Were we still going to be taken seriously as photographers? Were our clients going to respect us and take us seriously when they saw such small cameras, isn’t there an ‘expected image’ for a professional camera (bigger the better)? All of these ‘doubts’ we can pleasantly say have been squashed.
Fuji itself then…if you haven’t shot with Fuji before, there is ’something special’ about the images we find coming out of camera. The Fuji grading you can apply are lovely, various filters can be applied to the image as you take it in camera in a preview, in a JPEG conversion in camera and also to the RAW within Lightroom. Naturally colours out of the Fuji are beautiful, skin tones are lovely, the X-T2’s dynamic range is immense. Fuji are also well known as listeners, having already responded to customer feedback with a Firmware update due very soon. Fuji look after their customers, and firmware updates are expected to enhance the X-T2 further.
(16mm Lens | f/7.2 | ISO 800 | 1/240 Shutter)
The Fuji X-T2
So the camera itself then, its small, its old school and well thought out. Going from a DSLR to mirrorless has another big difference over weight/size, thats Optical View Finder to Electronic View Finder (EVF). We love the EVF, its crazy, you can see in the dark! It is big, bright and beautiful, being able to see what the image is going to look like before you hit the shutter, absolute no brainer. Percentage of useable images in comparison to a DSLR is up, no ‘chimping’ required, what you see in the EVF at the time of hitting that button is what is going to be saved to the memory card. You can turn the White Balance/Exposure preview in EVF off as well, we have set this to our personal menus for when shooting low light and off camera flash. Dual SD cards is a must for professional use, we currently have a 64GB and 32GB cards, swapping half way through to have that 1st set of images safe, as opposed to loosing all images if a card corrupts (its happened!).
The ‘old school’ look is great, but not only that it is very functional. Before you even turn the camera on you can set the shot up and see what settings you have. On the left side is the ISO dial which can be locked in position by pressing the button on top. Under this is another dial allowing you to set the shot type, i.e. one shot, continuous low/high, video etc. On the right hand side you have shutter speed, again lockable, under this is the bracketing dial. The you have the exposure compensation dial, this is not lockable. We use the camera in ‘Aperture priority’ (AP) mode when we are not using any type of flash, when we are then manual. We say AP mode, basically we set the Aperture (on the lens aperture ring), pop the ISO on what we want and have the shutter speed on A (auto). We then find when the camera is to your face you can easily pop your thumb up to the Exposure Compensation dial to add/minus as required, and because the EVF is showing you what you are going to get, you can dial this in nicely. You can also pop this EC dial on C, which then allows you to adjust the EC by using the command wheels.
Auto focus is awesome for a mirrorless camera, something which mirrorless are not famed for, but we think the X-T2 has this nailed. When it comes to tracking it is also amazing, but don’t get us wrong, it wasn’t as easy to master as you might think. We have been on a learning curve with this one, and some of the settings in camera are not favourable when it comes to do thins quickly. We have found turning onto continuous focusing using the switch on the front is fine, you then need to adjust the size of the focus points along with added face detection for shots like brides walking down the aisle. Would be nice to see Fuji allow some custom functions to make this a one button operation. We would also like to see Fuji allow some of the EVF view modes to be turned on and off when you press the button, for example, we like to use the EVF 99% of the time, but only in ‘Eye Sensor’ mode, we hope this saves battery. We then would like to hit the button to turn it to the articulating screen for arty shots, then hit the button to go back again. At the moment there is a few presses of this button to cycle through the other settings you can have, which we personally dont use.
We purchased the ‘Power booster grip’ with our bodies, three reasons, 1. look, that more professional look 2. Big hands and comfort, becuase the camera is small, to use consistently for hours with big hands, there is a nice level of comfort when you add the grip 3. Added power boost, this comes from the additional 2 batteries you have, as well as the one in the body, and the boost mode, which believe us works lovely. We also love the fact that the grip comes with a plug for mains charging it, so you can charge the two batteries in the grip with that, and the one in the body with a USB, no remving batteries to charge them. This leaves the battery charges that come with the cameras free to charge the couple of spare ones we have, i.e. we can charge 8 batteries in one go.
Together we have 4 bodies, all with grips and a range of X-series Fuji lenses, which are amazing, 16mm f/1.4, 23mm f/1.4, 35mm f/2, 56mm f/1.2, 90mm f/2 and 50-140mm f/2.8. We have shot with a couple of these lenses at a couple of weddings as a test prior to making the complete leap, we have also used to take some images, here are some results: