Fujifilm cameras have been popular for decades, but in the past few years, they have released bodies that are fully in vogue and thus difficult to find. Are they worth the hype? Should you buy a Fujifilm camera in 2023?
I had always liked the aesthetic, but until 2018, I hadn't ever tried a Fujifilm camera. Then, landing at my front door ahead of a trip to Fujikina in Tokyo, there was a block oblong twice the size of my Sony mirrorless. I scoffed at it, but it soon became my favorite camera to shoot with and led me to eventually buy one.
The Fujifilm X100V is completely different from the medium format body I fell for, and perhaps its differences are what give it mass appeal. Whatever the case, this little mirrorless has become one of the most desirable cameras on the planet, to the point where few people can actually buy one. I am part of the Fujifilm VIP program and I still can't get my hands on one. I have friends who are not photographers by almost any definition, texting me to ask if I can get hold of one for them. The X100V is viral in the extreme.
What many miss, however, is Fujifilm's wide range of similar cameras that may even be better suited to some users. In this video, TKNORTH discusses just that and whether you should buy a Fujifilm camera in 2023.
This video is just a guy who now loves Fujifilm and thinks these cameras will improve your photography. Yesterday it was a video with a guy enthusing about the Leica Q2. Gear talk gets boring very quickly but I guess people have to fill out their YouTube channels with content.
It's crazy to me how this camera pre-pandemic wasn't selling all that well and we had plenty of stock. Fuji has done an amazing job getting influencers to push this camera. It is a very nice camera but very over rated as well. For the cost there are many better options out there with loads more capabilities.
Agreed, the influencer train is a mile long with the Fuji brand, which is a HUGE red flag to me right out of the gate, since I've learnt NOT to trust ANYTHING an "influencer" has to say. Especially with the issue their new 40MP sensors have with not resolving as much fine detail as their predecessors did, despite the resolution bump. This isn't as much of an issue if you're using Capture One as your RAW processor, but still an issue nonetheless.
Not to mention, it's a dead-end system, in that the X-mount is strictly APS-C, leaving no room to switch to full-frame in the future, locking you into that crop-sensor world, automatic NO from me.
I know nothing of Tik Tok, but I understand it's the x100v that's really been pushed not any of the others, and it doesn't have the 40MP sensor. They are pushing it based on looks (makes sense, it's a narcissistic platform and it is very pretty) and the improvement over a smartphone. But this could apply to any even half-decent compact. There's little attention paid to the leaf shutter, built in ND and OVF with heads up display, joy of the simplicity if your usual set up is a bag of lenses. These are what sets the x100v apart from e.g. the Canon G cameras, which used to be the trendy camera to have. No one bitched about that being APSC in some sad online version of camera top trumps. The x100v is a superlative camera, if it's the right focal length for you and if you know what you are doing. Its for advanced users. Are you sure that's not why it's an automatic no, you just don't get it? Just because it's hyped, rare and ridiculously priced on the used market, doesn't mean it's not one of the best compact cameras money can buy. Generation Z hype and photographic reality can occupy the same space you know.
And claims that the resolution bump to the 40mp cannot be seen is absolute garbage. The key advantage is being able to crop with impunity. Better low light images where they are the same size on the monitor or print also. And why on earth would anyone drop close to €2k for a camera and never shoot RAW, even as jpeg+raw just in case. It's only an issue if you only shoot jpeg, because there's only so much you can do with a jpeg. The 40mp provides options. But it's like when Pentax and Olympus were offering very good ibis and the canon and Nikon fanboys were howling at the moon that it made no difference - and look where we are now - its all about options.
APSC is more than enough for most people. Hell so is M4/3. But I see in your post moaning about hype you have fallen for the full frame is always best hype. Your presumption that anyone that shoots APSC for a while will surely want to go to full frame - irrespective of whether it makes sense to of course.
Yes, with canon, Sony and to a degree Nikon you have an easy route to full frame. All you need to do is buy an under-supported ApSC camera and buy full frame lenses that are much bigger, and much more expensive to use on it. And why would you do that? Because you buy into the Full Frame hype. If you don't know you NEED full frame from the start, you don't need full frame and should frame your purchasing decisions around a format you don't need. Some full frame lenses are smaller, but they are not the ones you go to full frame for.
So you have your Sony apsc and a handful of Sony apsc lenses and you want to change to full frame. You still have to buy a whole new system and lenses. Ok, you have a few lower end full frame lenses, then it's still a whole new more expensive camera you need, and probably better lenses if you are true to yourself about why you want to go to full frame. Very little different to Fuji APSC. The difference is Fuji has a large APSC ecosystem of lenses. It's not the go to system for pro wildlife or sports, nor has it ever pretended to be. But it treats APSC seriously, not as a marketing gimmick to get people to go full frame. Want to switch to a larger sensor, it offer medium format for less than many full frame bodies. No one is locking you into any system - you have no free choice?
But you know Fuji is doing something right when people are all over them in any article that comes out in general photography sites like this.
As to David's comment about "this" camera not selling that well before the pandemic. I hate to burst your reality bubble, but this camera was released during the pandemic. Not sure how many cameras you expected them to sell before the pandemic that they hadn't released yet? And what's the pandemic got to do with anything anyway? It was never meant to be a volume seller, and Fuji was clearly caught off guard by the social media attention. It's overpriced right now - especially on the used market - but certainly not overrated (if you understand it of course). And there's no other camera out there with leaf shutter and a flash sync speed of 1/4000 AND built in ND. If you don't understand what doors this opens in a compact package - if you don't understand what doors shooting wide open with full flash in bright sunlight opens, it's clearly not the camera for you. It sounds like a Sony RX100, smartphone or similar is more for you. Its a camera for photographers that understand photography and welcome something that offers something different that nothing else can. Yes it doesn't have a zoom, isn't f1.4, doesn't shoot 8k. That's precisely not the point.
If I had to sell one camera, the x-t5 or x100v right now, it would be the x100v because I love the fast Fuji primes. And also because my x100v cost €1100, and they are selling for €1800 used. Doesn't mean it's not worth all the hype, it is. But the popularity of Fuji right now does seem to get up some people's noses.
Are Fujifilm cameras worth the hype? No.
I have used the X-mount system on and off (currently off) since 2013. Fuji had some great ideas early on with the pseudo-rangefinder (poor man's Leica) X-Pro1 and immensely fun to use X-T1. The subsequent generation X-Pro2 and X-T2 made incredible and tangible improvements to both designs.
Sadly, Fuji lost their way after 2016. They started throwing anything and everything at the wall to see what would stick. An endless array of slightly varying cameras all using exactly the same sensor. Equivalent Fuji lenses and cameras are neither smaller nor less expensive than bigger sensor options from Sony, Canon and Nikon while offering lower image quality.
Exactly how feel about Fujifilm. I've been using their cameras professionally for a while (2012-2021). Both X and GFX. However, since 2016 I noticed a serious decline in reliability, up to the point that we had to partly redo two shoots due to card slot write issues. Can't have that on a set.
Jeff - they have used several different sensors since 2016, not just APSC but Medium format, not just x-trans but Bayer. And even between generations each sensor has been different. Exactly the same sensor - utter nonsense.
With the x-t4 Fuji lost its way a little. But having owned several camera from the beginning with the x70, including x-t2, x-t3 and not x-t5 the evolution in sensor technology and genuinely useful features is slap in your face obvious. The x-t5 is very close to the x-t2 colour reproduction, while the x-t3 and 4 were more neutral. It's the best x-t camera Fuji has made.
Don't stay stuck in the past hoping for Fuji to release the same first generation camera and over again before they die.
And the lenses most definitely are not only smaller but much cheaper than the full frame offerings. And comparing a top end apsc with bottom of the food chain mini full frame is disengenious to say the least.
Brand new x-t5, can be found for €1800. Equivalent Sony A7IV at least €2500 and it's now end of life. X-h2s is now under €2500, Sony A7RV is €4500. The A1 is €6500. Both camera that the x-h2s competes with. Even Fuji's medium format cameras can be had for less than many full frame cameras. To pluck a lens at random the 56 1.2 first generation costs €450 right now, the new version can be found for €1000. The new one weighs 450g. The Sony 50mm 1.2 is more than double the price and nearly double the weight. The Sony 85mm 1.4 weighs 50% more and nearly double the weight. The same pattern can be found throughout the lenses. And if you don't know how to get identical depth of field with these lenses, then that's a question of photography skill.
1. Expansive lens and body lineup with exceptional build quality and options at every price point.
2. Aesthetically enjoyable to use and carry.
3. On-camera raw editing and film sims to create share-worthy JPEGS without your editing workstation.
Yes, there is a unique value proposition with Fujifilm that is missing from other manufacturers.
"Expansive" lineup" No. Fuji still lacks some very basic lenses. They provided the 16-55 and 50-140 as "equivalents" (I use that term loosely) to the standard 24-70 and 70-200 lenses. But the 10-24 f4 is simply not an appropriate nor equivalent substitute for a 16-35 f2.8 lens. Further the 10-24 (both versions) have many optical compromises which should not exist in a "Holy Trinity" class lens.
"Aesthetically enjoyable" is totally subjective. I guess if you care more about what your camera looks like than what your images look like, its a good choice. "Use and carry" are two more fails for Fuji. I have had no shortage or missed shots due to external switches being too easily moved. The front facing AF/MF switch is pointless and way too easily flipped. The Exp Comp dials lack locks making them vulnerable to accidental moves.
The last place I want to "edit" my raw files is on the viewfinder of my camera. But if that works for you have at it.
I grieve for the many ways in which Fujifilm has failed you
This is my 2 cents after reading the comments. Shoot on whatever the hell you enjoy shooting, and gets the job done for you. I don’t care what year it is. Choose the tool that works for you. For me right now that is Fujifilm. Especially with chronic back and shoulder issues, it’s easier to carry around something lighter. I’ll probably get another Sony or Canon in the future, but my X-T4 is plenty great enough. Now it does suck that it’s only crop sensor. They went with two extremes. Crop sensor and medium format. Neither is compatible. Regardless of that though, I get the images I want. I love the look of its jpgs. Granted a lot of what I can get with the film simulations, I can get with some of the LUTs I use. At the same time though, working from home full time has really dampened how much I want to sit at a computer when I’m not working. So it’s nice to shoot in jpg and be pretty much done. In closing, get what works for you.
Almost bought an X-H2 but after all the reviews complaining about ISO noise in low light situations with the 40mp sensor I opted for to purchase something else. Even the Fuji mouthpiece reviewers tried working around the issue by making comments like "The pictures should still be good enough for social media". It's a shame such expensive cameras still have auto focus issues and now limited ISO range in low light.
I don't know what "reviews" you saw. Completely untrue though.
Viewing images so that they are the same size, the output from the 40mp sensor is noticeably cleaner than it's predecessor up to around iso6400 and equal thereafter. From around iso 10,000 onwards it falls behind a little but nothing to wrote home about. If you are at iso 10,000 plus a lot for your cave photography...then really full frame or medium format are the better options.
Viewing at a pixel level, yes you'll notice the new sensor is a bit noisier. But then to view two images from a 26 and 40mp sensor on a pixel level means the 40mp image is considerably larger, larger than you'd ever need, so a completely flawed test.
I tested the x-t5 alongside the x-t3 and these are my own findings shooting both in the same conditions and comparing. In addition to better low light performance at equal image size, the 40MP retains more detail and of course has far more croppability due to the increased resolution. I still have an x100v, and the x-t5 images are certainly the more impressive in good and bad light. It's a shame people are unable to reach their own conclusions, rather than blindly following the views of pixel peepers who's main task is to generate clicks.