No camera out there is perfect. No camera can ever be perfect. There are just too many different needs out there to be able to pack them all into a single camera, as a lot of those needs are mutually exclusive. Every brand, and even different camera models within a single brand, all have their pros and cons that make them more or less effective for whatever it is that you want to shoot.
In this video, Manny Ortiz takes a look at Fujifilm, looking at the pros and cons of the brand as well as different models of camera within the Fuji lineup. It’s an interesting take on the brand and its cameras. It illustrates why Fuji, but also pretty much all of the camera companies, have a range of devices that are wildly different from each other in order to satisfy as many needs as possible.
Manny’s quite fair in his take on Fuji, and his lists of pros and cons are valid. But as with most cameras, what’s a pro to one person could be a con to another and vice versa. Some of the pros and cons also aren’t applicable to every camera Fuji makes, and almost none of either are exclusive to Fuji. Every manufacturer and every camera has its pros and cons. But if you’re looking at buying into the Fuji system and aren’t sure which camera to get, this is a great primer, in a way, to help you at least narrow it down to a few models or a particular type of camera.
In the Pros column, Manny lists several things, but the first one he jumps into is something that is unique to Fuji. That’s the Fuji Film Simulations. These are digital in-camera post-processing that Fuji cameras use to try to make your digital images look like Fuji film stocks of the past. Sure, you can do this with any camera if you spend enough time in Lightroom or Capture One, but this is all done in the camera, saving you a lot of time in the edit.
The ergonomics, frequency of firmware updates, third-party lens support (now that Fuji’s opened up their mount), the overall image quality and the value Fuji cameras present for their cost are all benefits to the system, depending on what you need. For others, those pros might be irrelevant if those benefits don’t matter as part of their workflow.
When it comes to the cons, the first thing Manny mentions is something that was also in the pros list. The ergonomics. This is what I was talking about when I said that pros can also be cons for some people with different needs or vice versa. Depending on what you want to do with the camera, what was once a pro in one situation could now be holding you back in a different one. Manny also touches on the autofocus system – particularly continuous autofocus – as part of his cons list, although there aren’t really that many cons overall.
Finally, he gets to sensor size, although the pros and cons of APS-C are not unique to Fuji and that’s a whole other discussion. Many brands produce both APS-C and full-frame cameras, whereas Fuji doesn’t. They only make APS-C, then skip full-frame and go straight to medium format, which requires a whole other set of (way more expensive) lenses and accessories. Sony, Nikon and Canon produce APS-C and full-frame bodies that can utilise full-frame lenses, letting you switch between the two formats as needed. No such luck with Fuji.
Personally, I’ve tried Fuji cameras a handful of times over the years for stills and while they’re definitely a lot more fun to shoot than cameras from some other brands, I don’t think they’re for me. Now that they’ve opened up the mount and more third-party lens manufacturers are jumping on it, that may change. We’ll see.
How about you? What are your favourite things about shooting Fuji? What do you hate about it that you wish they’d fix/change?