I'm Fuji-curious, but not sure where to start. Any advice?

DeeJayK

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So this might not be the ideal site for this discussion, but I know that some of you dabble (or have dabbled) in the Fuji X system.

I'm not looking to replace my m43 kit, which consists of an E-M1.1, PEN-F, and a decent set of lenses. I'm mostly just wanting to scratch an itch to see what the Fuji X system is all about. So what I'm looking for is something that is somewhat comparable to one of the m43 bodies I have so I can compare like with like.

The options I'm considering are:
  1. X-H1 w/ 18-55 f/2.8–4 — this would approximate my E-M1.1 w/ 12-40 f/2.8 (including IBIS)
  2. X-E3 w/ 23mm f/2 or 23mm f/1.4 — this would approximate my PEN-F w/ 17mm f/1.8 (except for IBIS)
  3. X100T or X100F — likewise this would be similar to the PEN-F plus 17mm, but without the flexibility of interchangeable lenses
Obviously I'm aware that these options each have different price points. But I want to choose the one that presents the Fuji system most fairly/ favorably, i.e. the one with the most Fuji-ness, for lack of a better description.

If it matters, I'm planning to purchase used and I intend to go into a shop to fondle these things to make sure they "fit" me before I buy, but just looking for general feedback on any of these cameras, any alternatives that I should consider, and/or anything I should be aware of before dipping my toe into the X system pool.

- K
 

DeeJayK

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Any advice?

Yes, save your money and heartbreak by buying an EM1ii or iii and enjoy your lenses and photography.
I agree, this is the logical answer.

But I'm just afraid that it's an itch that keeps recurring. And I'm hard headed enough that I need to prove to myself whether the "Fuji magic" is a real thing.

I suppose the cheaper option might be to rent (or borrow) a Fuji X kit, but I want to be able to take my time and be deliberate in the comparison. I understand it will take some time to build familiarity with the operation of the Fuji. My hope is that I can be patient and buy cheap enough that if I decide to resell I can do so without much loss.

- K
 

ralf-11

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If you are Fuji-curious yellow then rent from lens Rental and see how you like it.

If you are Fuji-curious blue then just buy a rangefinder model and use it until you buy that M series Leica that you really want.
 

iPete

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X100T or X100F — likewise this would be similar to the PEN-F plus 17mm, but without the flexibility of interchangeable lenses

I thought this but having used one now, it is more than just a small MILC with a pancake lense.

Picked up a second hand x100V a few weeks ago (without knowing the full feature set) and being able to toggle on/off a 4-stop ND filter, toggle between OVF/EVF, the film sims and form factor (dials) make it good fun to use and suprisingly versatile. I do miss IBIS but have adapted to using auto-iso and a predefined minimun shutter speed.

I've also got a X-S10 and absolutely love using this with the 35mm f1.4.

Forget renting, buy second hand from a store with a decent trade in solution. When you are done, trade back in and the loss will be much less than renting. In the UK, we have WEX where I've purchased used lenses, used them for a year then traded them back at a £50-100 loss. You'd pay that to rent something for a week. There is also eBay where I've managed to buy lenses for single trips and sell them at a small profit at the end.
 
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damianmkv

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I had a x100T a few years back and loved it. It really made me think rather than just point and shoot. The b&w images were fantastic.. AF a little slow at times but not p20 f1.7 in low light slow if you know what I mean..

Shame they’re so expensive ( relatively I mean ) now but everything seems to have gone up since COVID

I often wonder if I should get another… would probably like a tilt screen though…
 

DeeJayK

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If you are Fuji-curious yellow then rent from lens Rental and see how you like it.

If you are Fuji-curious blue then just buy a rangefinder model and use it until you buy that M series Leica that you really want.
Can you explain the distinction between curious "yellow" and "blue"? I'm not familiar with those terms.

I have shot enough with a digital Leica to disabuse myself of any notion that there's something I'm missing out on there — or at least enough to justify the outlay. Kinda hoping to do the same with Fuji. ;)

The problem with renting is that I'm too cheap to toss $200 into a two-week loaner. I'd rather make an investment upfront (at a good used price). If I like it, I can hold onto it; if I don't, I can flip it (and hopefully be out less than $200 for my trouble).

- K
 

DeeJayK

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I thought this but having used one now, it is more than just a small MILC with a pancake lense.

Picked up a second hand x100V a few weeks ago (without knowing the full feature set) and being able to toggle on/off a 4-stop ND filter, toggle between OVF/EVF, the film sims and form factor (dials) make it good fun to use and suprisingly versatile. I do miss IBIS but have adapted to using auto-iso and a predefined minimun shutter speed.
Is the V the only model with the built-in ND filter? I usually try to stick with previous gen models, a trait which I (unfairly) blame on my Scottish heritage.

I've also got a X-S10 and absolutely love using this with the 35mm f1.4.
Curious what differences (beyond focal length) there are between this combo and the X100V.

Forget renting, buy second hand from a store with a decent trade in solution. When you are done, trade back in and the loss will be much less than renting. In the UK, we have WEX where I've purchased used lenses, used them for a year then traded them back at a £50-100 loss. You'd pay that to rent something for a week. There is also eBay where I've managed to buy lenses for single trips and sell them at a small profit at the end.
I agree that this is the way to go.

- K
 

BruceRH

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I have a Pen-F and I recently bought a lightly used Fuji X100V. I had a used X100F and sold it off after not getting a lot of use even though I loved the images. I kind of regretted selling so here I am again! I do like that the X100V has the tilt screen vs the FAS of the Pen-F and the fixed screen of the X100F. Personally, I think the Pen-F is the better camera at least for me but the thing I really like about the Fuji is the built in flash and how well it does in social settings with that flash. Yes, I can use the tiny Olympus flash but the Fuji does a nicer job in that area. And then of course there is IBIS which the Fuji does not have. I will keep the Fuji for certain situations because I got a great deal on it but the Pen-F is not in any danger of leaving.

I have the same attitude towards renting, I would rather buy used and sell later for the same price or not much less. I look at any loss as a long term rental 😁 I don’t think there is much of a difference between the F and V versions for my uses except for the tilt screen, I really like that! I am pretty sure the F also has the built in ND filter. I would certainly recommend trying the Fuji X100V, it is a very nice camera that produces wonderful images, but so does most camera bodies these days.
 

iPete

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Is the V the only model with the built-in ND filter? I usually try to stick with previous gen models, a trait which I (unfairly) blame on my Scottish heritage.

I think the F has a 3-stop ND.

Curious what differences (beyond focal length) there are between this combo and the X100V.
I never planned to own both but picked up the X100V as I wasn't taking the X-S10 on bike touring trips. It's just small enough to grab and go and I find it better in social situations to grab candid photos and document trips.

X-S10 has IBIS, a nice big grip, modern PASM dials and different screen movement (tilt vs articulating).
 
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DeeJayK

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I keep looking at the X-Trans-Green grass as well. I've managed to stay on this side of the fence so far. I keep telling myself that those top dials would be just a little too hard to reach with my thumbs.
I've tried that justification myself. Just can't shake the attraction.

- K
 

jhawk1000

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I have shot many brands of cameras, Yashica, Contax, Leica, Canon, Mamiya MF, Nikon for years, Fujifilm, and now Olympus. When digital first arrived, my wife owned a professional color laboratory using Fuji processors, fuji paper, chemicals which led to her becoming a dealer for Fuji in the days of the S-2, S-3, and S-5 Pro so we each had one of them. I loved Fuji's colors but after she sold her lab, we went back to Nikon. I still have Nikon cameras, D2X, D750 with more lenses than I need but now we use Olympus.

I occasionally get that twitch to try another system, the most recent was the Nikon mirrorless but changing back to Nikon means that most of my lenses will not work even with the adapter as auto-focus. Too much money! I thought about Fuji mirrorless since a close friend uses them with great success but the same thing--too expensive to get a full kit and it would seem to me as throwing a whole bunch of money for just a little difference in convenience or results. I guess that if I wanted prestige or even wished the chance to just spend all my discretionary dollars, Leica would be the way to go.
 

frankmulder

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Forget renting, buy second hand
This. If you must try it out, just buy something used, and sell it if you don't like it.

@DeeJayK: For me personally, holding an X-T2 in my hands for 30 seconds was enough to convince me that it wasn't for me, but if you need more time to try a Fuji camera, why not buy one used.

I used to believe all the Fuji hype that's around on the internet. But the very things that are promoted (the 'analog' dials, the X-Trans sensor, the lenses, and to a lesser extent the film simulations) ended up being reasons for me not to choose a Fuji APS-C body. The GFX 100S is the only camera on which they got everything right (in my opinion ;)): digital dials, Bayer sensor, 4:3 aspect ratio, flippy screen, ... Too bad it's a bit large, heavy and expensive. 🤑
 

DeeJayK

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This. If you must try it out, just buy something used, and sell it if you don't like it.
I agree with you. I only mentioned renting to dismiss it.

For me personally, holding an X-T2 in my hands for 30 seconds was enough to convince me that it wasn't for me, but if you need more time to try a Fuji camera, why not buy one used.
I suspect I may have the same reaction once I get these in my hand. Thus my plan to handle them a bit in a retail store before jumping into a purchase. I may be putting the cart before the horse in asking the question here before paring down the list.

I used to believe all the Fuji hype that's around on the internet. But the very things that are promoted (the 'analog' dials, the X-Trans sensor, the lenses, and to a lesser extent the film simulations) ended up being reasons for me not to choose a Fuji APS-C body...
The intellectual part of my brain keeps telling me you're correct. But that other primal part that only learns by making the mistakes on its own just won't shut up.

I also agree that the GFX is lust-worthy, but I just don't have a use case that requires anything that substantial (in cost or size).

- K
 

DeeJayK

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I don’t believe I saw this mentioned, but if you shoot raws, make sure you’re post processing software is capable of dealing with an x-trans raf file.
Yeah, I'm vaguely aware of some challenges in processing the X-trans files. Definitely haven't dug into the "how" or "why" of that. I primarily use LR & LR Classic (subscription versions), so I'm assuming those are capable of handling Fuji raw formats.

- K
 

Mountain_Man_79

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Yeah, I'm vaguely aware of some challenges in processing the X-trans files. Definitely haven't dug into the "how" or "why" of that. I primarily use LR & LR Classic (subscription versions), so I'm assuming those are capable of handling Fuji raw formats.

- K
Yup, they should be fine. I used to use Luminar, and now use DxO, and neither dig my x-trans pics. My free trial of Adobe Essentials (I think that’s what it was called), worked great with them, but I haven’t gotten around to purchasing it yet.
 

Leolab

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So this might not be the ideal site for this discussion, but I know that some of you dabble (or have dabbled) in the Fuji X system.

I'm not looking to replace my m43 kit, which consists of an E-M1.1, PEN-F, and a decent set of lenses. I'm mostly just wanting to scratch an itch to see what the Fuji X system is all about. So what I'm looking for is something that is somewhat comparable to one of the m43 bodies I have so I can compare like with like.

The options I'm considering are:
  1. X-H1 w/ 18-55 f/2.8–4 — this would approximate my E-M1.1 w/ 12-40 f/2.8 (including IBIS)
  2. X-E3 w/ 23mm f/2 or 23mm f/1.4 — this would approximate my PEN-F w/ 17mm f/1.8 (except for IBIS)
  3. X100T or X100F — likewise this would be similar to the PEN-F plus 17mm, but without the flexibility of interchangeable lenses
Obviously I'm aware that these options each have different price points. But I want to choose the one that presents the Fuji system most fairly/ favorably, i.e. the one with the most Fuji-ness, for lack of a better description.

If it matters, I'm planning to purchase used and I intend to go into a shop to fondle these things to make sure they "fit" me before I buy, but just looking for general feedback on any of these cameras, any alternatives that I should consider, and/or anything I should be aware of before dipping my toe into the X system pool.

- K
Keith

Just my own experience with both systems:

Tough question first off.

I view the advantages/uniqueness of Fuji as follows:
1) excellent optics across the board with access to both small primes and larger/faster primes in all of the classic fields of view, all built to a high standard and with excellent ergonomics (if you like aperture rings...). Zooms are also good but not better than the zooms available for m43 (we are spoiled for choice in good zoom lenses)
2) some of the models have exceptional viewfinders and unique MF modes allowing easy and clear manual focus even without peaking (XH1 on your list has a superb finder, its a real pleasure to use)
3) OVF/EVF combination. For those that like to use a traditional RF or appreciate the optical finder, there is much to appreciate in the Fuji models that have this feature (XPro and X100 series)...this is unique in mirrorless
4) exceptional JPEG options - a lot of time I just shoot in JPEG only on my Fujis, and do a film simulation bracket, so that it records three JPEGS with different profiles to pick between (all of the cameras above have the film simulations (the latest cameras have a few additional ones))

As far as your choices above
1) XH1 + 18-55. Superb camera but G9-sized, built like an absolute rock, with superb VF...in short its a G9 with Fuji-ness. The 18-55 is a great kit lens, but is not as good as the 12-40, and if you are going to judge Fuji just based on this combo, then it likely won't meet your expectations. The XH! is a great platform for the faster primes in the lineup.
2) XE3 with 23mm prime, in my opinion is too indistinguishable from your PenF, size will be similar, EVF similar, some IQ benefit with Fuji offset by the IBIS advantage of the PenF
3) The X100T/100F have a lot of uniqueness to them and use the manual controls and the OVF/EVF. There are some real points of differentiation with your PenF.

in short I would be looking for something that Fuji is known for and is unique to see if that appeals to you, hence of the three I would go with the X100 series, frankly I would maybe pick up a used X100T to test the waters. there is one available on FredMiranda for $450 (no relation to seller), they can be had for a modest sum.. You wouldn't be out much if its not for you. Just recognize that the AF and sensor are a few generations behind the X100V, but you get the goodness of the OVF and film sims, and manual controls. If you don't like these features, then i don't think Fuji has much to offer you over Oly, in the same way that if someone does not value size and IBIS, Im not sure I would steer them to m43
 

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