Yes, you’ve read it right, I did it, I made the switch to Fujifilm. Why, you may ask yourselves. That’s a fairly good question, so I thought I’d make a “10 reasons why” to make it all clear, once and for all. Not all are good reasons to switch though, but more or less to point out why it shouldn’t stop me from switching. So let’s head right into it!
Reason 1: Video
So, reason numero uno is video. Since I do video more often these days and want to deliver my clients brilliant footage, I need to have a tool that gives me the best video possible within my budget. Sony has amazing video capabilities, but it lacks some options. The Fujifilm X-T3 has 4K @60fps 10bit internal recording for a starter. That means (kinda) slowmotion in 4K. I’m pretty sure the Sony A7Siii will get the same when it will be released, but that thing will cost you at least twice the price of an X-T3. Fujifilm also has their own Log file, called F-log, which brings you a much higher dynamic range then normal color profiles, just like the Sony system does with their S-Log. So no advantage there, but also no disadvantage.
Reason 2: Color science
Reason two is a bit of a personal taste thingy, but to me very important. That is, color science. The Sony colors always felt a little off to me, with their vibrance green tones in nature shots, magenta like skintones etc. I really had to work those files to get good footage out of it. Offcourse I made some presets to make life easier but the files always had a digital feel to it. Fujifilm on the other hand, are known for their brilliant color science. I always thought it was a bit of a myth, told by Fuji fanboys. But when I actually saw the files, I saw a huge difference in colors. I liked them a lot, and where I always need to edit the RAWs of the Sony files to get great images, I felt that the Jpegs from Fuji were usable straight out of the box. Now I know what you’re thinking, no professional ever, should use the SOOC Jpegs, and I think you’re right for professional work. But for all other shot’s, you may use Jpeg’s as much as you like. And, it’s not only in photography offcourse, you get much better colors from the Fuji in video, then from the Sony. And we all know that if you can’t shoot RAW video, then you’re kind of stuck with the colors you shot the video in.
Reason 3: Performance & features
Now I’ve grown with the Sony system. I started with a Sony DSLT A-mount camera, after that I bought a Sony A7, after that I bought a Sony A7ii and after that I bought a Sony A7Rii. Every model that I bought boosted the performance of the camera substantially that I had before. So no complaints there. And if I really need a particular function or performance, there is a Sony body for that. Now that’s the thing. If I want super fast burst modes for photo, I need to buy a Sony A9, if I want the best possible video, I need to buy a Sony A7Sii (or iii if it ever comes out). If I want a camera that does it all, I need to buy the A7iii and kind off get it all, but not really. So to get everything that I want, I need to buy 3 camera’s to give me powerfull burst modes, awesome video, and overall performance. I was shocked to learn, that I could have all that goodness, in just one body. I’m talking about the Fujifilm X-T3 here. It has up to 30fps photo burst modes, awesome video capabilities, dual card-slot, touch screen, super fast autofocus with AF-points that cover 100% of the screen, just to name a bunch of features. Now that saves a lot of money AND frustration.
Reason 4: Look & Feel
Now this is again something personal, but have you seen these Fujifilm camera’s?! Ok I admit that I’m a bit of a geek and a sucker for retro looking stuff, but damn these camera’s look cool! I fell in love once with the Sony A7, because it was small, light, and looked like an old school camera. But they left that retro feel at the first generation, because the next generation already stopped looking retro, and began to look more like a modern camera. Fujifilm on the other hand, are known for their retro looking camera’s, and the X-T3 is no exception. It has the formfactor of an old 35mm film camera and has those nice big dials on the top of the camera for ISO and shutterspeed, and most of their lenses have a aperture ring. I really love those stuff, and because of those things I feel more like a real photograher again. And the cool thing is, for those who don’t like to use the top dials and aperture ring, you can still use command dials like on your Sony camera or any DSLR.
Reason 5: Weight & size
Now this one depends on what you need as a photographer or videographer, but when I bought my first Sony A7 with kitlens, it was light and small. I really loved the idea that I could bring more stuff with me because of that. But when the system began to evolve, and I also began to evolve, the bodys were getting bigger, and the lenses were getting bigger also. After a long day of shooting my back, shoulders and wrists began to hurt. Now I’m not saying that the pro-series of Fuji lenses are small and light, but they are smaller and lighter then Sony’s offerings. And their body’s are also lighter. The new Fujifilm lens lineup is even smaller and lighter then their older brothers, while adding some features like weather sealing and still have their outstanding build quality. I can now have a Fujifilm X-T3 with 3 lenses with me at the same size and weight of my old Sony A7rii with only one, or maybe 2 lenses if I’m lucky. I now have less weight on my shoulders and wrists, which gives me more room for creativity.
Reason 6: Philosophy of Kaizen
Philosophy of what..? Fujifilm is a Japanese company, and they believe in their philosophy called Kaizen. Now I can write a whole article about what Kaizen means, but I’ll keep it short. Basically it means that whenever they can improve the performance of the camera, or add more features, they will do that with an update. Other camera companies tend to add better performance and features in a newer generation camera, but Fuji just adds them to the camera you already have. This is truly amazing. For example, when the Fuji X-T2 came out, it had some cool movie features, but it lacked a Log file and 120fps 1080p. Then they released the X-H1, a more filmbased camera which had Log and 120fps 1080p added, so they decided to add it to the X-T2 also. So your camera which you bought because of some features it had, keeps improving over time to keep up with the rest of the world, within the limits of the camera hardware offcourse. That’s something I really missed from Sony. They pushed some small updates here and there to fix something, or to minorly improve something, but they really want you to buy their latest and greatest stuff, even if you just want that one feature that could easily be added to your “old” camera.
Reason 7: IQ & Sharpness
This one is gonna sound a little dull to some of you, but my Sony camera’s produced pictures that were too damn sharp. Especially my A7Rii with it’s 42mp sensor. Because of this sharpness, you could see every little detail in a picture, every little pimple, every little unevenness in skin, literally everything. That’s cool and all, but that also meant a lot more work in retouching to smoothen everything out. Now I know that in some photography fields you need to capture every little detail, but I mainly photograph and film people, so I don’t need that. The Fuji is less sharp than the Sony, while still containing more than enough detail. With my Sony I didn’t show my clients the pictures I made, bacause they really needed to be retouched before I showed them anything. With my Fuji I can safely show them the images without them crying. We don’t need to capture every micro detail unless we are scientists, in my opinion. The image quality from my Fuji is just stunning SOOC. Now I know that noise will be more noticable in higher ISO then with a fullframe camera, but I have to say that my X-T3 has exceptional ISO performance that is almost as good as what I got from the Sony camera’s.
Reason 8: Prices
Now lets talk about prices. I told you about all that greatness that the X-T3 contains in that small body, and what’s even greater, is that it only costs $1.499 by the time that I write this article. In comparison, the Sony a7iii costs $1.998, the Sony a7sii costs $2.398 and the Sony a9 costs $4.498. I remember me laughing out loud when I discovered everything about the Fujifilm X-T3, thinking it would cost at least $2.300 and then hearing the price. I just couldn’t believe it.. This is still a lot of money for a lot of people, but just knowing what this camera is capable of, selling for this price, I was flabbergasted. And because the X-T3 is an APS-C camera, the lenses are also a lot cheaper then Sony’s offerings. Here are a few comparisons, the Sony 24-70 f2.8 GM costs $2.198 while the Fujifilm XF 16-55 f2.8 costs $999. The Sony 70-200 f2.8 GM costs $2.598 while the Fujifilm XF 50-140 f2.8 costs $1.399. The Sony 85mm f1.4 GM costs $1.798 while the Fujifilm XF 58mm f1.2 costs $899. As you can see you can get pro quality lenses and features for far less money than with a Sony system.
Reason 9: Fun
A camera like the Fujifilm X-T3 just brings me a lot of fun and joy. I also enjoyed the Sony system, but I didn’t grab the camera as much anymore besides jobs. I can’t really explaint why though, but I find myself grabbing my Fuji all the time, just for fun. It could be because it’s new and all, but it can also be that this camera just suits me better. I find myself trying new stuff of photography and videography with it, being more creative, and I believe that’s the whole point why we started photography or videography at the first place.
Reason 10: APS-C is not dead
While every big camera brand comes out with their own fullframe mirrorless camera, Fuji has no intention to do the same. Some people claim that APS-C is dying, but that’s far from true. Sony is pumping money in new APS-C bodies all the time, and one of the most popular filmmaking camera’s in the prosumer realm, the Panasonic GH5, is even a micro 4/3 camera. This is not highlander, there can be more then one system. Fujifilm has a whole line of new lenses coming up, and they will keep investing and inventing in their APS-C system.
This were 10 reasons why I switched to Fujifilm, but no system is perfect though. The Fujifilm camera’s lack some functionalities that I had in my Sony’s also. For one, IBIS (in body image stabilisation). The X-H1 has it, but the X-T3 doesn’t. In photography I haven’t noticed it yet, maybe because I have a steady hand, of don’t go too low with my shutter speeds, but in video it’s noticible. I always use a gimbal or some sort of stabalizer or stabalize technique when filming, but when run and gunning I sometimes miss the IBIS. It also lacks a continuous AF follow mode in video. It has this function in photo mode, so I’m pretty sure this will be added later on in an update.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved my Sony’s and I still recommend these to people with certain demands. But just because Sony is awesome, that doesn’t mean other camera’s can’t be awesome too. While scrolling my Facebook timeline I often see these gear wars, “your camera sucks because it doesn’t have a dual card slot” or “your camera sucks because it’s big and heavy and old technology”. A very smart photographer that I follow always says “use the gear that works for you”. Your camera is just a tool, and it’s your job to use it to it’s full potential and create awesome footage.