Switching from Canon to Fuji

10th September 2015
I've never been one of those guys that crows that Canon makes better cameras, or Nikon are superior.
The camera itself is a tool for me, nothing more.

Don't get me wrong, I love tech, and I love cameras, but any camera is cool for me. The throw away ones on wedding tables right up to large format beasties that need an industrial tripod to hold up.
They're all fascinating to me.
But I've never aimed to have the best, the fastest, the newest. I only ever want what will get my job done in the most efficient way, and that will produce an end product I am happy to give to clients.

Up until recently, I've used the Canon 5D Mk 3 , with the 5D Mk 2 as back up/second camera. Both fine cameras. Still are.
But I've had a few tests of the Fuji gear. I own an X100 and love it's retro looks and quality pics. And recently tried out the X-T1. It's a really smart looking camera and all the controls are big old fashioned dials.
There's no electronic menus for the main functions. If you want to change ISO , you crank a big dial.
Want to shift aperture from F8 to F2.8 , turn that big ring on the lens.
I suppose I must be like Clarkson on Top Gear moaning about modern electronic cars over older proper gear knob pushing a metal stick kind of thing :)
That's just my preference.
But I sometimes shoot film as a hobby, and you HAVE to do all these things to get proper exposures. I've always said the best way to really learn photography is to shoot film, get off "P" mode and learn properly.

All that aside though we got an X-T1 initially for Annie to use as she's wee, and the 5D2 is huge. But on the first wedding I did without her it's the only camera I used all day... and so began the love affair.
A second X-T1 was bought and now that's our daily wedding kit. 2 X-T1 systems.

I've still not said why, other that they have dials and knobs.

Well another great reason is Fujifilm have always been one of the experts at making... well film. And in modern days, they've transferred the film types they excelled at to in-camera settings. You can dial up Velvia, or Astia as a film simulation mode and you get really wonderful jpegs right out the camera that need no post processing.
And that takes my nicely into another reason I love them... the out of camera pictures.
They produce standard RAW pictures, but if you shoot properly, expose right, you get amazing jpegs right off the cuff ready to view/print/sell/stick on Facebook.

I really believe that a wedding on a good day, and shot carefully, could be all post processed in minutes. I love the Classic Chrome look of the subtle colours and am using that in all wedding photos now.
But I'll be honest, I shoot in RAW and jpeg , and work with the RAWs. In Scotland the light and colours changes so often you need the dynamic safety of a RAW file.

But I have started to use certain straight out of camera pictures for our wedding previews.
Here's a pic from a wedding as it came out of the camera...


So what about the sensor... going from full frame to a crop sensor ?
Makes no real difference. If I was shooting landscapes or commercial work to get blown up over 3 mtrs wide, then yeah, the X-T1 wouldn't cut it... then again... would the 5Diii ?
But I've blown up landscape work with crop sensor cameras before to 30" plus, and they've been great. You'll only get into bother if you don't nail the exposure.
So sensor size isn't a plus point on the X-T1, but it's not a negative either.

While we're on about size... the physical size difference can be a massive plus point.
The X-T1 feels tiny in the hands after holding up a 5Diii.
With my walk about wedding set up, with both cameras on similar lenses (24-70 equivalent) the 5Diii weighs in at 2406g and the Fuji only 1377g.
When you have 2 strapped around your neck for a whole wedding, those grams start to have a huge impact on you.
Since switching to Fuji - I've been bounding home full of energy after an 11 hour wedding gig - even promising to take Ali to Ikea on the Sunday such is the difference.
Maybe not quite that good.
But yeah, the weight for a long day of running around is a HUGE plus point.



Even taking into account the full logistics of taking all the gear you need into a wedding... some sections requiring two cameras, it is so much easier with these wee beauties strapped to you than two 5D's, one with a 24-70 and one with a 70-200.

And that takes me nicely into lenses...
Anyone that knows me will know I was in the throws of moving to prime lenses only with my Canon's as the quality of picture is so much better.
The Fuji lenses are brilliant. I'm currently using their XF-16-55 which is the 24-70 equivalent, but I am more than excited with the results it gives. I will try a Fuji prime soon though.
I actually bought an adapter to fit my old Canon FD mount 50mm 1.8 and that works amazingly good too.
And better still... the good Fuji lenses are not as expensive as the goof Canon ones.
And we all know... you can have the best camera in the world, but if you stick a bit of tuppeny glass on the front of it, you'd be as well just drawing what you saw :)

So what else.
There are some other neat functions, which I would put in the "cheating" category. You know me, if there's an old fashioned hard way to do it... I'll opt for that... but things like face detection on the X-T1 works really well.
It can be worked from a smartphone... which will be very handy for solo weddings that need that shot from a high balcony. Stick an X-T1 on a tripod and take photos from the other side of the church.
Electronic viewfinder ?
At first this seems really odd, but then a few shots in... you love it. Seeing live what you will actually get as the photo (that IS kinda cheating too) is great.
Especially at a wedding where time is really against you and you have a photo in mind you want in tricky lighting. You'd usually have to try the shot, chimp at the back of the camera - try again... and repeat.
But with all required functions near your fingers you see the image live that you'll capture... even WITH a histogram ! very cool.

So in summary... a great light weight, fast working and great quality camera that can produce photos instantly that could take a bit of huffing and puffing in Photoshop with other cameras.
Our main kit bag has bags of room now, and can be carried by Annie now - yay !

We've only had the X-T1's 4 weeks but shot 4 full weddings on them now. Some fellow pros thought we were brave/stupid to dive right in instead of gradually testing them out... but a camera is a camera, and as soon as saw the quality was up to par, what's the point of thinking about it.

He who hums 'n haws.... gets hee haw as they say.

That's that covered, now we're off to unpack all the stuff we bought from Ikea today for our shop-refit. I'm officially getting a section of Lothian Computers soon, with new carpets and other bits and bobs being done in the next few weeks.
The outside of the building should be getting painted soon too... and nice new signs.

Now get onto eBay and buy up my old Canon gear... it's going to go for very cheap !!


G.x

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