Goodbye Canon, Hello Fujifilm.

A fair number of photographers have moved to Fujifilm in the last couple of years. This post is to clarify a few things to other photographers – whether they are considering making the same move or not.

“Jumping Ship”?

I find talk of “switching” or “jumping ship” a little hyperbolic. It implies that one company, in this case Fujifilm, is making products that are so superior in quality that photographers are dumping their other gear on the used market and buying Fujifilm gear. This is simply not objectively accurate or real. Why? Well, some Canon/Nikon cameras are really excellent. In addition, there are many more lenses available for them than there are for Fujifilm. And some of the Canon/Nikon lenses are either great value or almost magical. By comparison, some of the Fujifilm lenses are astounding but none of them are cheap.

In the Canon ecosystem (I have very little first hand experience with Nikon) I will certainly miss the cheap but very effective 50mm F1.8 and the amazing 135mm F2. They were my favorite lenses on my old camera. The first delivered great quality at a ridiculously low price and the second…well, just look it up. A very special lens indeed, even on a cropped sensor:

The 135mm F2L yields a 216mm field of view on a cropped sensor Canon body

So why did I “switch”? I had to. Building a (working or serious) photographer’s kit on one camera system means having enough lenses to cover one’s needs. Given unlimited funds I would have kept my Canon gear as well. However, funds are not unlimited. So I had to pick the system I liked the most.

This is where things get very subjective. Shooting style, ergonomics, aesthetics, weight, price and other factors come into play. Subjectively, Fujifilm is more pleasurable to use and thus gives better images than my Canon did – not because Fuji is better than Canon but because I love using this camera. The more enjoyable the user experience the more likely the gear is to be used creatively. The latest full frame Canons produce excellent images but they’re more expensive, heavier and less enjoyable to use. My ideal camera would have the ergonomics and design elements of a Fujifilm XT-2 but with a larger sensor. That would give me the subject isolation  that no crop sensor can offer. However, that camera doesn’t exist and would cost twice as much if it did. It would also need a whole new lens lineup. Sony’s full frame mirrorless cameras came the closest to this ideal but they just didn’t have the right feel in my hands.

Shot with the Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2
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