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Fuji as complement to MFT and film rather than replacement?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by jonbrisbincreative, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. jonbrisbincreative

    jonbrisbincreative Mu-43 Regular

    76
    Mar 30, 2014
    I have a bit of format schizophrenia. I started in digital with a Nikon but switched to Canon (which I use mainly for telephoto zoom, though I have shot weddings and portraits with it). Then I added a GX7 because I wanted small, lightweight, and diminutive--and I didn't want to stick with just the single focal length of the X100. I picked up the Panny 14/2.5 and 25/1.4 which I use currently. Then I started getting crazy and added a Mamiya RB67 6x7 medium format film camera to the mix. It's a beast compared to the GX7 make no mistake, but contrary to the advice many have bandied around on the internets, the RB is a capable environmental portrait/street as well as landscape camera. I like lightweight but there's also no way to replace the uniqueness of a 6x7 B&W negative, especially in the highlights and the way film falls off as the tones move toward overexposure. I compared the RB to my 7D setup and found them comparable (not "the same") in bulk.

    All that background aside, I'm wondering if anyone is using the Fuji X-T1 in addition to their MFT setup? I know some have FF gear so that's no surprise to me. But I'm finding that maintaining a minimum of multiple formats has advantages that completely switching formats precludes. I am considering replacing my 7D with something and the Fuji X-T1 in particular seems to be a good fit. It would seem to complement my MFT setup quite well. Zack Arias really likes it and David Alan Harvey has recently been posting photos from a trip to Brazil in which he used the X-T1 and his results are great (part of which is because he's a stellar photographer no matter what setup he's using).

    The thing that worries me is the autofocus versus the other sane option (the E-M1) and the fact that MFT has a more complete lens selection, including longer focal lengths. The reviews I've read about the X-T1 with the 55-200 zoom seem to indicate that people who have actually used the thing in the real world are quite happy with the lens performance in both IQ and autofocus. It's always interesting to read the reviews on B&H's website as you get a fairly even split on almost every item of people who think it's great and people who say the exact opposite. The Oly 75/1.8 is a very attractive medium telephoto option that I don't see the equivalent of on the Fuji side. In point of fact I don't see much fast glass on the Fuji side at all save the "standard" lengths. Even so, the people who have bothered to use the Fuji in demanding situations speak highly of the glass and the Fuji sensor so I'm definitely torn.

    In the end I'm sure it doesn't matter so much as either an E-M1 or X-T1 will give me excellent results. But I'm curious what others who use both MFT and APS-C think about having both formats handy so you can use each to their own strengths.
     
  2. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    The thing that keeps coming back on this subject again and again is what do you shoot and what are your requirements. IQ wise, regardless of format, if you are shooting in low light, a good rule of thumb is that the bigger the sensor the better the IQ you can get at the higher ISOs....and even that comes with a disclaimer of at speeds above ISO 6400. At least that is where I see the biggest differences. I've no problems shooting m43 up through ISO 3200. If I want better detail at the higher ISOs, I'm going to my Nikons with the FX sensors.

    Let's think a little more about the above statement as well....how often do we really shoot at ISO over 6400? I know I have never needed that for a job yet, and personally, I've never shot over ISO 6400 unless I was just messing about and wanted to see the higher ISO.

    So, bottom line is I don't think you can go wrong IQ wise with any option you pick.

    Now, AF is the second subject. I find my Nikon D300/D700 top of the hill for what I shoot and what I have. I tested the Fuji X-T1 and Olympus OMD EM1/EM5 head to head. I noticed that the Fuji still tends to have a lot more hunting, and definitely struggles more in low light than the m43 gear. The m43 gear is blazing fast and either matches or exceeds my Nikon's in single servo AF in most cases. Where the current crop of mirrorless falls down still is continuous AF. The mirrorless are getting better, but for the way that I and others shoot - is still not good enough to replace the DLSR gear I have.

    While everyone makes great gear and the quality is very high at this stage in the game - I still need to give the best overall performance/IQ to m43. This from someone who owned Fuji gear for more than a year. The overall experience with Fuji can be frustrating at times both in speed of AF and menu/function speed. Fuji is not for everyone. I sold all my Fuji gear to fund a Nikon Df.

    Best recommendation - rent what you don't already have and see if you are missing anything.

    You can run with both, but if you are looking for a huge advantage of one over the other, I think it will be more in performance than IQ.
     
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  3. jonbrisbincreative

    jonbrisbincreative Mu-43 Regular

    76
    Mar 30, 2014
    That video is excellent. I've enjoyed reading Zack's insights as he starts his new blog. He speaks very highly of the X-T1 so that's compelling IMO.

    For a lot of my shooting, I think the Fuji will be perfectly acceptable. The part I'm a little concerned about is the autofocus performance. High school sports at our class level is usually in relatively dim stadiums and gyms are sometimes awful. In my experience the autofocus performance is only really important in being able to track movement and make small corrections. I usually don't try and track subjects that move close to me because any camera I've tried will fail more and more as the subject runs closer to (or by) me.

    FWIW searching YouTube for X-T1 reviews I found Tony Northrup's review where he pitted the X-T1 autofocus against the E-M1. In the X-T1's high performance mode, it actually outperformed the E-M1 and a DSLR in continuous tracking. There are also videos that show the opposite to be true so it's hard to know who to believe. :)
     
  4. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    715
    Jul 23, 2010
    You could try a Mamiya 7 as a lighter weight 67 camera, its an exceptional nice camera and the negs are pretty magnificent, Fuji made a 6x9 RF as well. I have no experience of the Fuji X but had an S3 that was for its time and still is pretty special sensor wise so if the new is better it could be pretty amazing. I have had various Fuji lenses; 50 1.6 and 1.8 in the old X mount and the GS635s and a 135mm M42 all were pretty stellar lenses especially the 1.6 and the 55mm on the GS645, again if their new glass is as good then IQ wise it will be a superb system. But when I tried them out in a shop the AF was slow compared to m43 and some Sony Nex5 version and that put me off so I gave it a pass, your usage may or may not make it a perfect camera, alternatively if you want something crazy and interesting try a 54 RF like the Razzledog conversion of old polaroids :eek:
     
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  5. Matero

    Matero Mu-43 Veteran

    455
    Jun 22, 2013
    Finland
    I've switched from m43 to Fuji almost totally. But the reason is not in m43, it's in me. I simply just like more X-T1 controls. Actually PEN E-P5 is so beautiful camera as a product and have excellent specs so I've kept it but shooting very rarely with it. And the Olympus primes, 45 and 75, are sweet. So I can not apart from them :)

    But what was asked about the Fuji and autofocus and XF 55-200mm. X-T1 itself is quick and accurate in autofocus, but it depends on lenses. I have only three lenses, and XF23 is fastest, very close to m43 IMO, XF35 is just acceptable and XF55-200 can be slow at times. Overall I've noticed that Fuji is more sensitive to setup how you shoot than m43. But you can learn to live with that. But to say it loud and clear Olympus PEN E-P5 and OM-D E-M10 are faster in real life situations, IMO.

    I bought XF55-200 in the first place to complement holy trinity 23-35-56 primes, but actually found it to be very good tool with X-T1. IQ is quite good, if not even excellent, and you can learn to live with autofocus speed. I use zone focus technique and manual back-button focus to be ready when things happen. But to follow and track, I haven't been very successful, no disasters, but I think I just have to practice more.

    But as said, I've converted to Fuji from m43, and use m43 to supplement Fuji :)
     
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  6. jonbrisbincreative

    jonbrisbincreative Mu-43 Regular

    76
    Mar 30, 2014
    Just curious: are you using the latest lens firmware? I've read a recent review (within the last month) that indicated the latest firmware for the 55-200 increased the AF performance noticeably.

    The logical choice is to just go with the E-M1 since I'm already into the m43 ecosystem. But I'm not always logical. :)
     
  7. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    662
    Jul 1, 2013
    I just recently dumped my XE1 after a six month long fling. Prior to that I had an X100. I wanted to be down to two systems from 4 or 5. Nikon DX and M43 won. I really wanted to love Fuji but two things killed it for me. The first was the XE1 was the worst of my bunch for moving objects. It neither had face detection or phase detection, two things which I really value, and it was slow. The XT1 could have solved those issues, but it was about 4 times more expensive than my D3200, and bigger. I think the Fuji lenses are over hyped, my cheap Nikon 35 1.8 was all around better than the Fuji 35 1.4, at least in my eyes. And as much as I loved the JPEGs, they really are processed very very well, there is nothing magical about the sensor.

    I really will miss the camera, especially the controls and no PP required, but in the end, having so many different camera systems was making me miserable.
     
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  8. Matero

    Matero Mu-43 Veteran

    455
    Jun 22, 2013
    Finland
    I had to check, but yes, latest firmware also in lens. And hey, I can capture quite good shots with it, at least in my own scale. So I'm really not complaining. After all, I'll use Fuji as my first choice all the time now:)
     
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  9. zlatko-photo

    zlatko-photo Mu-43 Veteran

    228
    Jan 8, 2014
    I use m43, APS-C and FF. Each format has something good. So, if you're into cameras, go for it.

    However, I don't understand why the XT1 appears slightly unsharp when compared with other APS-C cameras in DPReview's studio scene comparison -
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilm-x-t1/17
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilm-x-t1/18
    For example, compare lettering such as the text that says "water colour" on the paint tubes in the RAW ISO 800 images. A lot of details just seem a little less sharp with the XT1 at various ISOs. Of course, this is not a big deal, but still a bit puzzling. It shouldn't be less sharp than a Canon 70D or Nikon D7100. On the other hand, if it's good enough for David Alan Harvey, it's good enough for me.
     
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  10. wushumr2

    wushumr2 Mu-43 Regular

    137
    May 20, 2013
    Currently a lot of the RAW converters for Fuji aren't perfect and apparently aren't great at resolving fine detail. That might be the issue.
     
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  11. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I dunno if you have seen this video, but it maybe useful to your needs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up8K_xd_iwU

    I can't really comment on the X-T1 vs the E-M1, but I do have a GF3 and X-E1 now*. I think some of the AF issues is a bit overly exaggerated, and find the X-E1 perfectly fine(at least for my needs), after a year and half of also shooting with a Sony A57. At night yes the GF3 is faster, but it's not that much faster, and in good lighting the I can't really tell too much of a difference. To be fair the GF3 isn't the latest and greatest and only does like a 3fps max. The X-E1 otoh is at 6fps, the A57 is at 10(12 in crop mode), and X-T1 and E-M1 are at 9fps if I am not mistaken. You really can't go wrong with any of your choices as they are all are fairly capable. It's what feels best in your hand and usage, and just on paper. I sort of made that mistaken with the A57, which is why I have the X-E1 now.

    *As a note, I only have the Panasonic 14mm F2.5, and Fuji 27mm F2.8 atm.
     
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  12. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    To me the 2 systems dont complement each other that well. Yes there are differences - XT1 has a bit better image quality, a bit better low light - the EM1 has IBIS (which means lower isos), better handling (imho) and faster focus. Really I would be happy to have either system (but I think M43 has the edge for me). But I would prefer to use the extra money spent on a second system on making sure I had all the stellar lenses of one system and think this would add more photographic wise than the X system. Having said that I have added an A7r to my M43 because I think it really does complement the system - much better sensor verses much better everything else.
     
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  13. val

    val Mu-43 Top Veteran

    548
    Dec 19, 2013
    Australia
    William
    With the X-E2 that I still have, I only use it for the lenses that M43 don't have

    the 55-200mm is an obvious choice since the 45-150mm has higher F stop, I do miss the M43 clarity though, Fujifilm primes are really sharp but their zooms just don't seem to have that per-pixel clarity.
    I've stopped it down to F7.1-F9 a few times and it's helped a bit but hmmm.

    Kookaburra again by William Solis, on Flickr

    Also the 10-24mm accepts filters unlike the 7-14mm and there isn't a 14mm f2.8 equivalent in M43, could always use the 9-18mm at 10.5mm and with IBIS it would stabilize at lower shutterspeeds.

    I also prefer the rendering from the 23mm f1.4 from the 17mm f1.8.

    So that's where I think the Fujifilm system compliments M43. I've tried shooting only Fujifilm and well the 18-55mm just isn't the 12-35mm and the 16-55mm f2.8 is taking too damn long to come out for my liking.

    For workflow, I have to use PhotoNinja to really get the detail from .RAF files (export as .TIFF and open in LR), sometimes Lightroom does a good job but not enough for me, I know I've said it didn't before but after more comparisons, it's too obvious for me.
     
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  14. jonbrisbincreative

    jonbrisbincreative Mu-43 Regular

    76
    Mar 30, 2014
    In doing some reading on the Lumix GH4, I ran across this reference to the E-M1's autofocus and it seems the PDAF points are only used for adapted 4/3 lenses and not native m43 lenses. That makes a lot of sense regarding the results in the YouTube video that showed the X-T1's autofocus to have a higher keeper rate on subjects moving through the Z axis than the E-M1. It also seems to indicate that improvements can be made through firmware, which Fuji seems very keen to release, even for older cameras, thereby protecting your investment better.

    In all honesty, the more I think about it, the more it seems maybe just reducing my Canon kit to the 200mm f2.8 lens with tripod collar would be sufficient for my needs. Everything else I have covered except for telephoto with fast action. It seems when you get right down to it, even though alternative formats have come a long way, there is simply no replacement for a DSLR when it comes to raw autofocus tracking performance.
     
  15. wushumr2

    wushumr2 Mu-43 Regular

    137
    May 20, 2013
    I've thought about Fuji, but every lens I'd want (10-24 and 56 1.2 to name two) are the same price as my E-M1. That's too dear for me.