Over the recent weeks, we have seen a lot of announcements, Canon’s being the most recent before this one, and we have also seen a lot of really solid rumours from the likes of Panasonic. So, should those of us who switched to Fuji mirrorless be worried?
All of the below is opinion and not based on real-world usage of the X-T3 or any of the other competing brands. Eslie, if you read this, I would love to try out the X-T3 when available from Fuji South Africa
Why I Went With Fuji
Just a recap to my own mirrorless journey. I was a Canon shooter for many a year and decided to make the switch to FujiFilm in around 2013. The reason for switching was that my entire Canon system was getting long in the tooth and I was going to have to upgrade not only bodies but lenses as well. This is probably one of the few times when switching brands is ‘OK’. In fact, because I went with Fuji it was probably the only time when switching would have been cheaper than upgrading. My reason for Fuji was because, of the options available at the time I preferred the direction they were heading in, their service was on another level compared to Sony’s (in South Africa), their policy with regards to firmware updates, and I had used older Fuji DSLRs in the past and was always impressed with the image quality. It also helps that FujiFilm is a known entity when it comes to making exceptional lenses – which also swayed me.
Jumping into the Mirrorless game back in 2013 was very different compared to anyone looking to head down that route in 2018. Expectations were pretty low. Obviously, there are minimum requirements that all photographers look for, and these even vary from photographer to photographer, but I think, in general, photographers were more forgiving in 2013. Fuji users tolerated the very average AF systems of the time, and Sony users brushed off over-heating issues and other minor niggles. We weren’t expecting perfection and knew that things would get better.
I am still shooting with the X-T1 and have been very happy with it. The things I would have liked Fuji to improve they had largely done so with the X-T2. Now we have the X-T3 and the jump seems to be just as big again.
Better AF with greater coverage. Improved facial recognition (only time will tell if it is as good as Sony’s), much better video options that put it in the same ballpark as the Panasonic GH5, and all of this at a lower $ price than the X-T2 launched at. The X-T3 is definitely proving my theory that there is no need to upgrade to every new body. There are definite advantages to skipping a generation!
Overall Fuji seems to have made the perfect camera for what I need. My only, if somewhat consistent gripe, is that it seems that the grip isn’t going to be deep enough for my hands. Yes, Fuji makes the X-H1 which will undoubtedly become the X-H2 with most of the X-T3 internals, but I prefer everything else about the X-T3 design. And no, the grips that Fuji offer don’t make it deep enough for my hands 🙁 Again, not having held one this is all based on assumption, but I’m probably correct. Other things which some would consider ‘missing’ is the lack of an IBIS system. Not really a deal breaker for me, but I can see people using it for video taking issue with its absence. Also, something that Youtubers would have wanted to see was a fully articulating screen. Fuji is sticking to their guns with their two-axis tilting touchscreen and I think they are wrong on this one.
Here is a longer list of the headline specs from the FujiFilm website – I wasn’t kidding, this really is a big upgrade from the X-T2. (X-H1 buyers are probably slightly annoyed 🙂 )
- 26MP BSI ‘X-Trans CMOS 4’ sensor
- 425-point hybrid AF system
- Improved AF Tracking and Face/Eye Detection AF
- 20 fps shooting with AF (11 fps with mechanical shutter)
- 30 fps shooting in 1.25x crop ‘Sports Finder’ mode
- 3.69M-dot electronic viewfinder
- Two-axis tilting touchscreen
- 10 bit 4:2:0 H.265 internal video capture (4:2:2 over HDMI)
- UHD/DCI 4K/60p from 1.18x crop region
- UHD/DCI 4K/30p using the full width of the sensor
- Internal F-Log capture (HLG coming by end of 2018)
- Dual UHS-II SD card slots (Take note Canon & Nikon)
- USB C-type connector can be used for charging the battery
So to answer my initial question of whether or not Fuji users should be worried about the recently announced newcomers. I would have to say that the answer is a pretty firm NO! I think the rumoured ‘full-frame’ Panasonic is more likely to infringe on Sony’s turf, and at this point, I see no reason why someone should/would switch from Fuji to either of the Canon or Nikon mirrorless options. I do however see compelling reasons why Canon and Nikon DSLR shooters may want to consider the Fuji X-T3 over the new offerings from those brands.
One thing I will say about Canon, having used their products for many years, is that they are always there or thereabouts. They are a gigantic company that probably has a larger tea and coffee budget then most small manufacturers have available for R&D. The big wheel at Canon has started turning, and when they do throw 100% of their weight behind mirrorless cameras things will get interesting. And hey, competition is ultimately good for all of us. Prices will go down, quality will go up, and technology will keep advancing. Ultimately, that is a win for all photographers.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Will you be getting an X-T3 or is there something else that has caught your eye?