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A question to those of you who have used the Fuji X system

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by ijm5012, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Why did you leave the system and come to m43? The two biggest complaints I've heard have been AF speed/acuracy, and post processing of the RAW files. From what I've heard, the new firmware for the XT1 eliminates the AF speed/accuracy issue, and supposedly LR6 made some updates to its processing engine that improves the way it handles x-trans raw files.

    I handled an XT1 a month or so ago, and didn't find the ergonomics too bad (I didn't think they were as good as my GH4), but the EVF on the XTI. Oh. My. God. I thought the EVF in my GH4 was great, but the one on the XT1 is HUGE! The lenses for the system are also amazing. The primes are very sharp and fast, and the zooms are nice and sharp, while being moderately fast (the 18-55 & 55-200).

    My interest in the system is because of some of the lenses offered (fast f/1.4 primes), and the ability to generate slightly shallower DoF without giving up too much in terms of size/weight (yes, the lenses are slightly bigger than m43 equivalents, but much smaller than lenses for a system like the Sony FE).

    My primary concerns about the system are AF speed and accuracy (the GH4 is excellent in this regard), as well as processing the raw files (I already have LR, and really don't want to shell out $300 for a different software like C1P).


    I don't want to start a m43 vs Fuji battle here, I simply want to hear from people who have used both systems as to why they still shoot m43 vs. Fuji, and what they liked about the Fuji system vs m43 (and vice versa).


    Thanks!
     
  2. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I was in that boat.

    I did not have an issue with processing RAW. Lightroom is not the best option, but there are other options out there that can process them better.

    The AF and system speed were the 2 biggest issues I had. The AF speed caused me to miss many shots. Not only the speed, but the contrast detect system would shuffle back and forth and it just got to be too much of a hinderance. Regarding system speed, just the basic functions of working the menu system were slow and cumbersome. Waking from sleep or powering on would take way too long, even with the fastest memory cards available. I and many other also experienced issues with system slow downs when memory cards were not formatted on a regular basis.

    I started out with a Fuji X-E1 and many lenses for the Fuji X system. I tested out the X-E2, X-T1 and they all still fell short. The newest firmware for the X-T1 is way better but still is lacking for me. System performance is better, but you need to run the camera in hi performance mode, which really kills batteries.

    When tested side by side, any of the OMD cameras were faster and more accurate at AF acquisition than the X-T1.

    Are the Fuji cameras getting better? Absolutely. I'm invested enough into m43 now that I can't see me ever going back to Fuji ILC unless I got a really great deal and their AF and lens selection stacks up to and or rivals what I can get with the m43 systems now....which they currently do not.

    Here is an in-depth review I did way back when I tested the Fuji X-T1, X100s and Olympus OMD EM5 side by side. I honestly surprised myself when I walked out of the camera store with an Olympus OMD EM5!!

    http://bestlightphoto.blogspot.com/2014/03/fuji-x100s-fuji-x-t1-olympus-om-d-em-5.html

    The best piece of advice I can give you is to set some money aside and go to LensRentals.com or similar site and spend the weeks rate on a setup and see what you think. I had the Fuji X-E1 18/2, 35/1.4 and 55-200mm for a year +. Even with that and having worked with the X-T1...the OMD still pulled me in and still does to this day.

    There is really only one thing that might have pulled me over to Fuji at the time of the review and that would have been if I did not have full frame Nikon cameras at the time. The only place that m43 is still a bit lagging to Fuji is hi ISO.
    However, some people really don't like the X-Trans sensor for skin tones/smoothing above ISO 1600. You also have to consider that anything above ISO 1600 on the Fuji works like an ISO-less sensor. It leaves the ISO at 1600 for anything above that exposure reading, then does some in camera workings to boost the exposure and shadows.

    Another thing is that you cannot get a RAW file over ISO 6400, I believe - someone correct me if I am wrong.

    Olympus cameras in m43, which I am most familiar give you RAW files for all ISOs. They might be noisy, but I'd rather deal with that than the overly aggressive smoothing the Fuji does.
     
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  3. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    I'm not a Fujifilm digital camera owner (I've only poked and played with them) however I use their medium format film equipment and I've found that they always put a lot of thought into making their cameras really easy to just pick up and use (although I do find many of them aesthetically ugly). If I were to choose another system for whatever reason I suspect it would be Fujifilm based, the x-pro1 was almost perfect in concept and with more refinement in execution would be my dream camera (dreams most often remain dreams however as I have no need to change system, it's just fun to play).

    An interesting point of view is that the viewfinder screen in the XT1, E-M1, and GH4 are all the same unit, it's the optics you look through where fuji have really outdone themselves. When you look through it appears 4% larger than the E-M1 and 15% larger than the GH4, so the size isn't *really* that much larger. The part I didn't notice at first that gives the impression of a spacious viewfinder is how they've made the optics larger in diameter making positioning your eye very easy, rather than having to have your eye within a small area you can vary the position and still see the entire screen (makes for a very comfortable camera to use).

    In theory there's downsides to to a higher magnification as the screen will have to run at a higher brightness to get a usable image so it might eat into the battery life, in practice I don't think it matters compared to all of the other processing overheads the camera has (the usability gained from it is well worth it anyway). The larger diameter viewfinder could allow more potential to be damaged by the sun however given the rarity of failures compared to the E-M1 it seems that Fuji have figured out what Olympus could not. A small potential for failure doesn't matter when the execution is so good that the product is miles better for it.
     
  4. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    @gryphon1911@gryphon1911, thanks for the detailed response. I wasn't aware of some of the "issues" with the x-trans sensor ("fake" ISO above 1600, excessive NR, etc.). I'll read through the link you posted later on here.

    I am thinking about renting an XT1 & 18-55 for a weekend here and playing with it to see what I think about it.
     
  5. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Sounds like a good plan.
    Definitely research the issues and investigate. Some don't mind the way that Fuji works their magic, others do. I'd just hate for anyone to buy into a system, only to find stuff like that out after the fact.
     
  6. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I own a X-E1 and 27mm prime, and while I love the camera a lot the AF, specially in lower contrast setting frustrates, specially when compared to the GF3 & 14mm combo I have. Like I want to take a picture of the dark sky and AF will go back & forth before it lands on mis-focusing and I have to manually correct it.
     
  7. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I played with an XT1 for a weekend and took lots of comparison shots against my E -M1. AF is notably quicker and more reliable on the E-M1, especially in lower light. However, the big appeal that I thought the Fuji would give me - lower noise, turned out to be a chimera. At first blush the images look lower in noise, especially in the ISO 400-1600 range. However, closer inspection revealed that much of the perceived improvement was just higher NR. This was evident in detail smudging and I could get the E-M1 images close by careful use of NR and sharpening. What's worse is that the NR is baked in to the raw files and can't be turned off. Then there are the well documented issues with X-trans processing - green foliage in particular.

    So, net,net it didn't work for me. I did love the handling of the XT1 though. Aperture rings! - cool!!
     
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  8. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    This was my experience with X-Trans files, too. But I think it's at least partly Adobe's fault - do you use ACR / Lightroom as your RAW converter?

    I mean, in my case it ultimately doesn't make a difference whether it's LR's fault or Fuji's, since the image quality difference between APS-C and M4/3 is so marginal, and I am very comfortable and quick using Lightroom, so I'll pick the software over the hardware. But other people may not be so wedded to their current workflow.
     
  9. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Yes, I used LR. As you say, u43 and Fuji APSC sensor IQ is very, very close. Close enough that other things should be the deciding factor.
     
  10. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Lightroom or not, the amusing occurs in Fuji's own OOC JPG, so the issue would still be there unless you are going to shoot the X cam Raw only. There is also no way of getting around the baked in NR in the Raw files either.

    Other Raw converters handle the XTrans files better, but I found the same for m43 and using Olympus Viewer 3 for the base Raw work and finishing up in Lightroom on a 16 bit TIFF.

    I rarely do this, as I find the Olympus JPG engine very good, even up through ISO 6400.

    It all depends on your output requirements and shooting conditions.