Gear musings - My Fuji X system. Not as good as the A7r but I love it anyway.


I've always been puzzled by the attitude of some camera owners that say 'I use this camera / lens so it has to be the best', no matter what the evidence to the contrary. To me it's one of three things. Firstly some mistaken belief that it gives them some kind of authority over others who make different purchasing choices. A kind of 'I have high standards, so if I bought this camera / lens it MUST be good.' Secondly its an attempt to show what good taste they have or thirdly, insecurity and a desperate attempt to prove to themselves that they haven't just made some huge mistake. The concept of - 'X is a better camera than Y, but I still enjoy using Y and it has something to offer me' - seems a little too sophisticated for large numbers of photographic internet chatterers.

I've been extolling the virtues of the Sony A7r recently and there is no doubt that it is a very fine camera. The image quality is probably the best you can get currently. It also shoots the best jpgs. I've seen, one of the virtues that the Fuji X range built its reputation on. The size and weight advantage of the Fuji's has also been cancelled out. So does that now make my Fuji X cameras, of which I still seem to have three, suddenly become a second rate system? Well it wasn't a week ago before I bought the A7r and of course it isn't now. 

There is firstly the fact that the cameras look great and are incredibly good to handle. With regard to that I took advantage of the PhotoMadd shop having a 'cyber monday' sale yesterday on the L-Plate grips for the Fuji X cameras, so I bought one for the X-Pro 1, which I was planning to sell, but I seem to have real problems getting out the door!! The X-E1 in the picture above is a wonderfully light little high quality combination for unobstrusive shooting and of course there is a fine lens system that the Sony A7r can't as yet match. 

Another advantage of the system is the incredible stability for hand-held video using the X-E2 plus the 18-55mm lens. OK not the best video quality you can get but that combination gives me handling pretty close to using a steadicam rig and that's a lot more useful to me than any fancy codec. Plus of course you can actually buy some native AF lenses for the Fuji X system which aren't currently available in the UK for the A7r unless you want to buy an A7 body along with the 28-70mm.

So the Fuji X system still has a lot to offer me. And I will be continuing to use it. That might change but at the moment I'm still happy with what it offers. And of course it has to be said that taking pictures with the A7r won't make them more saleable. I've already been upsizing my Fuji X images, often to the size of the A7r files and no they aren't as good by some distance, but that doesn't seem to stop them being accepted by stock libraries or people buying them. Plus for the web and print markets I supply, it's unlikely at the sizes they will be used at there will will be any discernible difference anyway.

Every photographer hasn't always used the best that's available all the time and there have been countless examples of great practitioners of the art of photography using all sorts of strange and seemingly 'inferior' equipment just because it suits them. Take Canon users for example. With regard to what else is currently out there their cameras are now seriously 'pixel challenged' particularly the pro-spec. models. Many of their cameras still have that 18MP sensor inside which must be heading towards 'vintage' status and the company still persists with the clunky 'big boy' DSLR philosophy that seems to be atrophying their marketing strategy. They also seem set to bring out yet another underwhelming EOS-M camera. However this slow decline into mediocrity and inertia by the company doesn't seem to stop people using the cameras. (Don't think I'll be frequenting any Canon forums in the near future then!)

Finally, I like the Fuji X system because it's different. That doesn't mean that it's better (or worse for that matter) but it does offer something different. Plus it still has it's 'jewel in the crown' that super special high ISO quality. Yes you can equal or better that with the Nikon D4 sensor but only if you sell a kidney to buy the D4 and hire a team of sherpas to carry your gear or you are prepared to be seen with the Df 'knobfest' which is surely the most tasteless example of 'chest bling' ever released. 

So FUJI RULES!! At least for the moment!


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