Originally Posted by Bill Pierce
What camera do you use, and, more important, why do you use it? ...
I use two cameras – FUJIFILM X100T and X-Pro 2.
The primary reason I use these is I can operate them as I operated my Canonet G-III QL17 and Zeiss Ikon M film cameras, respectively. I prefer using the OVF where I can compose while viewing what's outside the frame lines. When precise framing is required I just switch to the EVF. The EVF is also useful for very short focal lengths or medium and telephoto focal lengths.
My other why factors are:
- I like their size and weight (including prime lenses).
- The FUJINON primes are excellent lenses. I much prefer their rendering over Nikon's primes (even the Gold Ring versions) I used with FX cameras.
- The build quality is solid. I have never had an issue with the seven X Series comara's I've owned. I used X-T1 bodies commercially (Photography For Real Estate) and they held up as well as the D700/300 bodies I used for the same purpose.
- Their dynamic range and signal-to-noise ratio performance is competitive. This is especially so for the X-Pro 2 as it has a dual-conversion gain sensor.
- They are quiet (I never use the electronic shutter).
- The X100T leaf shutter means very short flash sync shutter times are possible. A 1/800 shutter time with off-camera YN-560 flashes at 1/2 power can be useful. Wired or hot-shoe sync shutter times can be even shorter. When the flashes have enough output, you can knock the ambient down even more using the built-in ND filter.
- For quick raw-file rendering the FUJIFILM Camera Profiles in Lightroom are convenient starting points. Incidentally, Adobe Camera Raw (LR) finally does XTrans demosaicking properly. My preliminary results indicate Enhanced Details is not required most for XTrans raw files. In some cases ED does make small improvements. This is also what I found (but in different ways) with, my Nikon D700 raw files.
- The manual focusing aids are very useful. For most of my work I use simple focus and compose manual-focus mode. I don't use fly-by-wire, lens-barrel manual focusing often even though the newer lens and the camera CPU technologies mean this is finally a practical option. Compared to the early days (X100 and X-Pro 1) my in-focus keeper rate is very high.
- The X100T leaf shutter allows very short flash-sync shutter times. A 1/800 shutter time with off-camera YN-560 flashes at 1/2 power can be useful. Wired or hot-shoe sync times can be even shorter. If the flash has enough power you can knock the ambient down even more using the built-in 3X ND filter.
What I don't like about the FUJIFILM X Series are:
- Battery life is short and recharge times are long.
- The user interface and menu system are about a decade out of date.
- The small body size affects user ergonomics. The controls and camera buttons are small. In some configurations it's easy to inadvertently change parameters.
- There is a significant learning curve to adapt to the FUJIFILM environment. Besides the menu system and poorly written manual, raw rendering with Adobe products also has a learning curve. I had to adopt a completely different rendering-parameter optimization workflow to for X-Trans raw. If I render FUJIFILM raw using parameters that optimized my Nikon raw renderings, I still see artifacts using Lightroom Classic CC is 8.2 (even when I re-render using Process Version 5).
- The X100 lens rear element is very close to the sensor. Their optical design has two disadvantages. Below f 4, X100 the lenses are not sharp for subjects close to the lens. I find the widest aperture suitable for close ups is f 5.6. Veiling flare levels can be high below f 4 as well.
- For my cameras, the AF is only just adequate for action photography. Other brands are much better.
- Full automatic metered flash is available with a limited selection of flash options. Except for the built in X100T flash, I always use manual flash operation.
- The faster prime lenses have petal hoods. I purchase third party hoods for those prime lenses. (Except for the new 16/2.8, the compact primes don't use petal hoods.)
- Many photographers value IBIS over in-lens stabilization. I'm not one of them. However, FUJIFILM does not make prime lenses with optical image stabilization.