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

emersonik

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I think Fuji X is the second best mirrorless system, but that X-trans sensor is snake oil.
 

ralf-11

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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

a joke referencing an old movie 'I am curious yellow/blue' - quasi-porn film with two versions
 

DeeJayK

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Keith

Just my own experience with both systems:

...

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
Great and very thorough answer here. Thank you!

I did go to a local store and played around with an X100T and X100V at least enough to learn that they felt sufficiently ergonomic that I think I could grow to like that style. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find any local retailer with an X-H1 in stock, so wasn't able to scratch that itch.

I think I agree that the X-E series probably isn't worth considering at this point. I didn't really feel any "spark" with the couple of bodies I fondled. Maybe it would be something I'd consider down the line if I develop a case of Fuji Fever.

So now I'm leaning toward an affordable X100*, preferably in black. I saw one possible candidate on FM, but it has 30K shutter actuations, which worries me a bit. Anyone know what sort of life expectancy one can expect from the shutter on these?

- K
 

BruceRH

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I’m sure 30k is fine but it really depends on your budget and which version you want. Patience is the key. I paid $1100 for a mint X100V in black with a 1500 shutter count to give you an idea.
 

Leolab

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Great and very thorough answer here. Thank you!

I did go to a local store and played around with an X100T and X100V at least enough to learn that they felt sufficiently ergonomic that I think I could grow to like that style. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find any local retailer with an X-H1 in stock, so wasn't able to scratch that itch.

I think I agree that the X-E series probably isn't worth considering at this point. I didn't really feel any "spark" with the couple of bodies I fondled. Maybe it would be something I'd consider down the line if I develop a case of Fuji Fever.

So now I'm leaning toward an affordable X100*, preferably in black. I saw one possible candidate on FM, but it has 30K shutter actuations, which worries me a bit. Anyone know what sort of life expectancy one can expect from the shutter on these?

- K

XH1 built to super-high standard, worth it to be able to fondle one to see if you like it

As far as X100 series, they have leaf shutters, so you can also synch at any speed, I don't know if that makes them more (or less) robust, my gut tells me that they would be less robust than a focal plane-type shutter, 30K actuations doesn't really scare me away personally, but I doubt you would get 100k out of it, so depending on your propensity for taking many shots...
Another 30K would take me a long time to get to.
 

Armoured

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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.
Definitely, if you want a way to spend all your discretionary money, Leica is the way to go.

It's a peculiar niche in the market, but a profitable one.
 

threeOh

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I shot Fuji ILC for 10 years and X100's since they were introduced. ILC bit the dust due to the lack of a travel friendly package that was comparable to what's available with m43: IBIS, size/weight, zoom coverage and some level of WR. I shoot normal to wide when not traveling. So an X100V and GM1 (PL15, O25/1.8, P12-32) are my daily carries.

If I wanted to dip my toes in Fuji land I'd suggest an ILC you're going to use in a variety of situations and a few primes that support how you shoot. Fuji, without note, has 2 XF lens renders. The initial trio (35/1.4, 18/2 and 60/2.4). These have the render that put Fuji on the map. The rest of the line has a more modern draw. Neither is right or wrong, just know they are different. A trip to Flickr is wise before purchase. Without knowing what lenses you might consider, I can't say much more.

Bodies: Do you need 25mp? If not, an XE2 or and XT1. Gorgeous in hand, lovely to shoot. EVF size and tilt LCD being the major differences, more so than the physical design. If you want 25mp, XT2 maybe XE3 if you can live with the evf. I consider my GX80/85/9 evf's a step up from my XE's.

I view Fuji bodies near irrelevant to the lens line. Put your money in the latter. Buying used should be fairly safe. I found Fuji lenses to be durable and more copy consistent and render between different lenses consistent than Panasonic. Based on my experience, some bodies can have issues. XPro and X100 hybrid viewfinders can have problems, a warranty is nice, perhaps wait until one is ready to buy new. The 2 bodies I mentioned are somewhat basic. Buy from a reputable dealer and you should be fine.
 

melanieylang

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Believe me, I have lost whole weeks to this topic! From the multitude of reviews and forums I've read, and podcast episodes I've listened to, the X100 series is a common "gateway drug" into the Fujifilm system, and the latest X100V is much loved for upgrades over the F. I've never owned one, as I don't care for the 35mm field of view.

Fun fact: in the model naming convention (X100S, X100T, X100F & X100V), S=second, T=third, F=fourth, V=fifth.

I am a micro four thirds devotee, but a Fujifilm tragic. Since buying a heavily marked-down X10 (2/3" sensor compact with manual 28-112mm zoom) in 2015, I've been bewitched by Fujifilm X cameras, but despite owning several ILCs (XE1, XE2, XT1, XT100, XT20), none of them has felt as good in my hand as my mu43 cameras. The thing which keeps me circling is my love of the JPEG film simulations, and how customisable they are, especially on later models. If not for these, I wouldn't keep trying. I wanted to love the analogue dials, but in real use I prefer a PASM mode dial (PSAM on Fuji bodies with one) and can't manage without IBIS, which is frequently claimed to be surpassed by mu43 IBIS.

The Fuji camera I have kept and love is the compact X30, the third generation of my first little X10, as it has my favourite Classic Chrome film simulation, which is as customisable as the ILC APSC bodies of its time, but with a PSAM dial and IBIS.

If you want to shoot JPEG and tweak the film simulations, you won't find a better resource than https://fujixweekly.com/recipes/.

If you enjoy podcasts, The Fujicast is my favourite of all podcasts, which I've been listening to for a couple of years - it's friendly, cheerful, and while it claims to be brand agnostic, the hosts are Fuji shooters and it often features Fuji gear discussion. https://www.fujicast.co.uk/
 
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So far I have stayed away from the Fuji camp altogether except for briefly owning an original X100 a few years ago. To me, Fuji's camera bodies have always felt a bit "hollow" and delicate, nothing like the sturdiness of a G9 or EM1, even EM5 II or GX9. Their lenses look like they're as small as M4/3 lenses but they're not. To me Fuji is capable of some good IQ but their design and construction are more glitz than grit. It might be mostly just the hipster factor of Fuji fans - they get on my nerves, and they're always lusting after Leicas. Own a system for its own strengths, not because it makes you feel like you own a different system.
 

davidzvi

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I've tried a couple Fujis. Didn't like the early rangefinder stuff (early X100's or X-E1/2). They all felt a bit hollow and cheap in my hand. The X-E3/4 and X70/X100v feel better thought I like using half cases as I do on my Pen F.

Are you more interested in the buttons and dials or the Fuji colors and film sims? Any will have film sims. If it's the handling than scratch the X-S10.

Are you looking for different or something to compare against what you already have? If I were looking for different I'd look at the X100v (I like the tilt screen and it's sealed with the filter). Otherwise I'd say X-E3 since it's pretty close to the Pen F and the lens options make close comparisons relatively easy.

I had the X-E3 with my E-M1.2 and an X70 before getting my Pen F. While I do at times wish I had not sold the X70, I do not regret selling the X-E3. There was nothing wrong with the camera or the system. I just found too many little things that made going back to one system and these bodies specifically, more enjoyable. The main point with these two bodies is you can setup the custom buttons pretty close to the same and you can even set the exposure comp to be flash comp so the front and rear dials function the same. One of the "little things" for me was my favorite two lenses, the 18mm and 27mm, handled differently since one lens had an aperture ring and the other did not (yes the 27mm II now has an aperture ring).
 

exakta

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I saw one possible candidate on FM, but it has 30K shutter actuations, which worries me a bit. Anyone know what sort of life expectancy one can expect from the shutter on these?

I don't know, but it's a leaf shutter, not a focal plane shutter so less complicated mechanically.
 

exakta

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Since buying a heavily marked-down X10 (2/3" sensor compact with manual 28-112mm zoom) in 2015, I've been bewitched by Fujifilm X cameras.

The Fuji camera I have kept and love is the compact X30, the third generation of my first little X10, as it has my favourite Classic Chrome film simulation, which is as customisable as the ILC APSC bodies of its time, but with a PSAM dial and IBIS.

Another X10 owner. The 10/20/30 have OIS not IBIS. I loved the JPEG output but high ISO performance was lacking (1600 was the limit for me) which is why I bought an E-M10 although I went in shopping for an XE1 :whistling: This X10 shot printed very nicely at 16x20, pretty good for a 12MP 4x crop format. Lovely cameras.

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doady

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I've always preferred the "faux-rangefinder" style and even Panasonic has moved away from that, so only Fujifilm remains. In addition to various Fujifilm cameras I also considered GX9 and Pen F. But eventually I realized that I need big zooms more than small primes for my style of photography, I am more a landscape photographer than a street photographer, so for practical reasons I reluctantly accepted the "faux-SLR" style. But I can understand if a newcomer notices and picks up Fuji's faux-rangefinders in the store among shelves and display cases full of SLRs and faux-SLRs, and decide the "SLR" style is boring, because they would be right. Having fun can be important to consider for a new camera, and just being different can be fun too, and Fujifilm is really the only company that is giving consumers choices right now.
 

DeeJayK

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If I wanted to dip my toes in Fuji land I'd suggest an ILC you're going to use in a variety of situations and a few primes that support how you shoot. Fuji, without note, has 2 XF lens renders. The initial trio (35/1.4, 18/2 and 60/2.4). These have the render that put Fuji on the map. The rest of the line has a more modern draw. Neither is right or wrong, just know they are different.
Very interesting that the initial lenses give a different look than the others. I hadn't heard this previously, but I'll keep it in mind.

Bodies: Do you need 25mp? If not, an XE2 or and XT1. Gorgeous in hand, lovely to shoot. EVF size and tilt LCD being the major differences, more so than the physical design. If you want 25mp, XT2 maybe XE3 if you can live with the evf. I consider my GX80/85/9 evf's a step up from my XE's.
I certainly don't need the higher resolution. But I think I'm leaning toward one of the options with the hybrid (OVF/EVF) viewfinder as this is a point of differentiation from what's offered in m43.

I view Fuji bodies near irrelevant to the lens line. Put your money in the latter.
I've found this always to be good advice. Lenses also hold their value better than bodies.

Thanks for all the tips!

- K
 

DeeJayK

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Believe me, I have lost whole weeks to this topic! From the multitude of reviews and forums I've read, and podcast episodes I've listened to, the X100 series is a common "gateway drug" into the Fujifilm system, and the latest X100V is much loved for upgrades over the F. I've never owned one, as I don't care for the 35mm field of view.

Fun fact: in the model naming convention (X100S, X100T, X100F & X100V), S=second, T=third, F=fourth, V=fifth.
This last bit is incredibly useful. I found myself always having to look up the order of the various models as I was looking through online listings. I wonder if it's just a mnemonic developed after the fact or if this naming convention is by design.

Also this talk of "gateway drug" has me nervous, especially as the 35mm FOV is one of my faves.

I am a micro four thirds devotee, but a Fujifilm tragic. Since buying a heavily marked-down X10 (2/3" sensor compact with manual 28-112mm zoom) in 2015, I've been bewitched by Fujifilm X cameras, but despite owning several ILCs (XE1, XE2, XT1, XT100, XT20), none of them has felt as good in my hand as my mu43 cameras. The thing which keeps me circling is my love of the JPEG film simulations, and how customisable they are, especially on later models. If not for these, I wouldn't keep trying. I wanted to love the analogue dials, but in real use I prefer a PASM mode dial (PSAM on Fuji bodies with one) and can't manage without IBIS, which is frequently claimed to be surpassed by mu43 IBIS.
I also don't really want to give up IBIS. That's the main reason I had the X-H1 in my initial short list even though I'm not sure I want a body that's larger than my E-M1. The film simulations are a big draw.
If you want to shoot JPEG and tweak the film simulations, you won't find a better resource than https://fujixweekly.com/recipes/.
Great resource! There's a lot to play with there.

- K
 

mumu

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Curious what differences (beyond focal length) there are between this combo and the X100V.
The X-S10 is different from the "classic" Fuji X ILC bodies in that it uses the PASM control layout instead of the retro dials. It also has control presets (eg: custom settings like on your Olympus) which is something the classic Fuji X cameras do not (much to my annoyance). It's also not weather resistant but it does have in-body stabilization where the X100V does not.

I bought an X100V to try out the Fuji system and, for me, it was a good choice. The camera has a specific use: street photography and photographing friends/family. Since I wasn't intending to buy multiple lenses and 35 equiv is my preferred street FoV, the X100V gave me everything I needed in the most compact package. I think the biggest surprise for me was how weird the menu system is compared to my Panasonic, Canon and Nikon cameras. It has custom presets but they only pertain to image parameters and IMO the menu layout is generally non-intuitive. Also, the X100 gives you the Fuji retro control experience as well as their unique optical/electronic viewfinder. Prior to getting the Fuji I was not a fan of retro controls (despite using them for about 10 years when I first started in photography) and I continue to feel that way. I have my X100V configured so that I use the front/rear command dials for everything and the retro dials are always set to Auto or Custom. I also never use the camera's optical finder. It was fun to play around with, at first, but that's about it.

In terms of image quality, well, 26mp is great when you're using a fixed lens camera because it provides a bit of extra breathing room when it comes to cropping. Also, I find that the dynamic range of the images has more latitude than my m43 cameras. Image noise has a character that it less obtrusive than m43, too. I cap the Fuji at ISO6400 vs 3200 on my m43 cameras. But I find that I can routinely shoot around ISO1600-3200 and not have any qualms with the images vs m43 where anything above 400 is, to me, noticeable.

AF is ok. I still think my GX7 from several years ago is just as fast and accurate as the X100V.

But getting back to your question, of your choices, I think the X100F would be most representative of the Fuji way of photography.
 

Ghostbuggy

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Very interesting that the initial lenses give a different look than the others. I hadn't heard this previously, but I'll keep it in mind.
The initial trio of Fujifilm primes, the 35mm f1.4, 56mm f1.2 and 23mm f1.4 are usually dearly mentioned within the Fujifilm community, with especially the 35 and 56 being often mentioned as "magical". I can't comment on that myself, however for sure there is a visible difference between f1.4/f1.2 and f2 in terms of dof. However these lenses are also supposed to have a unique color and contrast rendering. I've researched about the 23 f1.4 quite a bit because I had it on my own shortlist, that one however seems to be the trio's oddball, with a fairly large copy-to-copy variation. Some people claimed they had to go through multiple samples of the lens until they've found a good one. The downside of these lenses are the fairly loud and slow AF, especially on older camera bodies. The 56 1.2 in particular is often called difficult to focus, not only being on the slow side, but also tends to hunt and not always really nail the focus to where you'd like it to be, so it's clearly not a lens when you want to rely on fast and accurate AF.

The f2 variants are more modern, offer full weather resistence, much faster and silent AF. These lenses aren't bad, but quite a number of people claim them inferior to their older, more expensive siblings because they are "boring" in terms of lacking character, with the pictures they produce to be somewhat clinical. I think this has partly to do with the aperture difference for sure. Personally I got a trio of "Fujicrons" for my X-Pro3: The 16 f2.8, 23 f2 and 50 f2. Personally I can't say anything bad about these lenses: They are compact, light, have a nice aperture ring, very fast and accurate AF and the weather resistence is great in combination with my X-Pro. Last but not least the decision was also based on price: Bought new all three lenses would've cost around EUR 1149, the 23 f1.4 alone would've cost way over EUR 800.
As a note though, again it is the 23mm which is the oddball: If you are interested in shooting at minimum focus distance or at least at almost minimum focus distance, the 23 f2 tends to produce unsharp, hazy images, you can counter this quite a bit by stopping down to around f5.6 or smaller.


I think @mumu made a good post regarding the X100V and I agree with him. The X100V is possibly *the* most Fujifilm experience in a compact, allround package. The lens is better than those of the previous X100 generations and even better than the 23 f2 X-Mount lens. It sports all the firmware features from the flagship X-camera like X-T3 or X-Pro3, with the same performance (minus AF) and processing capabilities. For me it was a great entry into the X-System as a whole, even though it really took me a week or two to really start appreciating the camera.
As Mumu said, even on the "retro" cameras, you can set them to use a two-dial UI just like you'd have on any typical DSLR or mirrorless camera, you just don't have a PASM dial, instead you need to use the shutterspeed and aperture dials.

Personally I enjoy the option to use the OVF on both the X100V and X-Pro3, although I clearly state I'm using the EVF about 95% of the time, there are still moments and situations where I either prefer the OVF or simply feel like using it just for fun. It is a feature you'd find nowhere else on the market. There are more things which make the X100V an interesting package:
Can be easily made weather resistent, the 4-stop ND filter (which can be enabled either via menus, Q-menu, the front lever or an assigned button) is nice to have, the leaf-shutter is essentially silent and offers a flash-sync of up to 1/1000s of a second. The major downside in my opinion is: While the shutter is silent, the rest of the camera is not, something is always clicking, buzzing or whirring, even if you just scroll through all the menus.
 

mumu

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Personally I enjoy the option to use the OVF on both the X100V and X-Pro3, although I clearly state I'm using the EVF about 95% of the time, there are still moments and situations where I either prefer the OVF or simply feel like using it just for fun. It is a feature you'd find nowhere else on the market. There are more things which make the X100V an interesting package:
Can be easily made weather resistent, the 4-stop ND filter (which can be enabled either via menus, Q-menu, the front lever or an assigned button) is nice to have, the leaf-shutter is essentially silent and offers a flash-sync of up to 1/1000s of a second. The major downside in my opinion is: While the shutter is silent, the rest of the camera is not, something is always clicking, buzzing or whirring, even if you just scroll through all the menus.
I think the OVF feature also has something to do with that noise since the camera always seems to default to hiding the EVF panel whenever it can.
 

Ghostbuggy

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Indeed it does have to do with the noise, especially within the menus. The X-Pro3 also clicks around, it mostly seems to be related to the video shooting menu - I actually wish I could just disable it like you can on the X-T4. In any case, for me the hybrid viewfinder was one of the major features why I was attracted to both cameras.
 

DeeJayK

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I finally found some time yesterday to get to my local camera store and really try to suss out which Fuji (if any) could be "the one". I went into detail on this in another thread, so I'll keep it brief. Essentially I went through the entire current lineup of bodies like Goldilocks, finding some fault or another that dampened my enthusiasm for each one. Then I found baby bear's "just right" camera upon holding a used X-H1 they unexpectedly had.

I didn't buy it, but nearly did. Ever since I walked out of the store I've been debating whether I should go back and grab it and thinking about which lens(es) I want to try with it.

GAS is real, folks, and I've got a bad case of it.

- K
 

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