Gear: The Big Switch

Fuji XT3_crop

I made the switch.

About two weeks ago, I packed ALL of my Canon gear – 70D body, four lenses, Speedlight – and sent it off to Adorama to trade it all in.

I decided, after a lot of long and hard debate, to switch to Fuji.  Here’s a few reasons why.

My Canon History

I’ve been with Canon since 2001. I had been messing around with photography back in 2000, but didn’t have a “real” camera. I did a two week swing in Europe with Joe McNally and I packed a couple of those plastic disposable Kodak cameras that you’d drop off at the drugstore to get developed.

But near the end of 2001, my sister was getting married in Niagara-On-The-Lake. It would be the first trip my new girlfriend (Leslie, now my wife) would take together. I wanted a camera for that trip.

So, I went to the local big box retailer with the intent to buy a Nikon, since Joe used Nikon’s (our friendship had increased after that trip.) This was late in the film days, no digital yet.

They were out of the entry-level Nikon, but they did have a Canon Rebel with a kit 18-55mm lens.

So, that’s the one I bought.

And i stuck with Canon ever since, making progressions from the Canon Rebel (which I still have), to the 20D, 50D, and 70D. I could never really convince myself to step up the 5DMark models – always too expensive, so I never make that leap.

And I always had those little pocket Canons in my bag too.

I was always really happy Canon, especially when I finally purchased the 70-200mm lens, after years of renting it. It’s a beauty of lens. Yes, it can be heavy, especially when I have to hold it over my head at a concert to get a shot (when I workout, I literally hold 25 lb dumbbells over my head to mimic that move). I still am happy with Canon.

My Fuji History

Around 2013 or, so started hearing about Fuji and the X series. I rented the X100S and liked it, but didn’t love it. Then, in 2015,  I bought the Fuji X100T, a little rangefinder camera with a fixed f/2 3mm lens. I loved its small size, and it’s BEAUTIFUl B&W jpg frames that came out of it (interesting, in re-reading the post at that link I mention I didn’t like the JPGs. I must have figured it out.)

As the years went on, I packed both cameras on all my shoot, and used both. I especially loved the B&W shots I’d get doing my concert work.

Then, I just started to notice that I was pulling the X100T out more and more, and the Canon less and less. I loved the color frames the Fuji gave me, I loved that it worked well with my Neewer strobes, I loved the film simulation.

I loved that the Fuji app allowed my phone and camera to talk to each other supe well: I could shoot a frame with the X100T, open the app, connect with my phone, send the frame to my phone, edit it in Snapseed and then put it out on social media within a matter of minutes. My Canon app never worked so well.

I know that sounds super generational. And I’m sure most reading this couldn’t care less about that how fast they could send a file to their phone.

But when I’m shooting a band right before they go on stage, and they say “Hey, do a backstage group shot so that we can put it on our Twitter feed as we go on”….I don’t want to use my phone camera. I want a good file of that frame. I did that here.

You’d be surprised how many bands asked me to do that. And when Bruce Springsteen made a surprise appearance at a concert in Asbury Park, I was able to get a great shot, send it to my phone and shot it to the editor at Backstreets.com who put it out on their social feeds. It got huge hits.

So, sometimes you need that speed and flexibility in your workflow. And Fuji gives that to me.

So, like a drip drip drip, I started to look more at Fuji. A few weeks ago, I rented the XT3 and I loved it.

The Next Step.

That set the wheels in motion and I started to think about making the switch. I contacted Adorama about the trade-in process and it all went pretty smoothly. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I got a decent amount of money for all my Canon gear.

It’s like trading in a car. You know you’ll take a hit. It’s one of those bird in the hand things: Could I have gotten more trying to find  buyers myself? Maybe, but that would have been a lengthy process. And I did need the money from the sales/trade in to fund the new purchase.

Overall, it was a pretty painless process.

Of course, there were Fuji influencers: music photographer Flemming Bo Jensen, former photojournalist/Blurb god/podcaster Dan Milnor, current photojournalist Jason Ryan, documentary photographer Charlene Winfred, teacher/author/travel photographer Jerod Foster, and sports/adventure photographer Dan Bailey to name a few.

Flemming Bo and Jerod were especially helpful in giving me guidance and advice when it came time to make the switch. I poured over their IG posts and blogs to see which body to get, and which lenses are best. We three shoot similar content, so their thoughts and ideas were invaluable to me.

So, after A LOT of late-night link clicking, YouTube video watching and price-checking, I made my decision:

Body: Fuji XT3 in black (the XT4 is the more current version of this model, but it seems the video was upgraded in the 4, which doesn’t interest me as much.)

Lens 1: The Fujinon f/2.8 40-150mm zoom. This one is pricey, my splurge. But I loved the Canon 70-200mm so much, I wanted something similar. I think this is it. It’d much lighter than the Canon too.

Lens 2: A tiny f/3.2 15-45mm zoom. Whew, this was a hard one. Flemming Bo loves the 16 mm, but, again, pricey. My X100T is 23mm – I LOVE the wide angle for concerts. Didn’t seem to make sense to go with the Fuji 23mm. Charlene loves the 35 mm – in fact, she has the last word on it in this video. But I wanted something a bit wider. Then I stumbled upon some very strong reviews of the very inexpensive 15-45 and thought it may give me what I need in terms of wide angle.

So while I splurged on the telephoto, I saved back on the small glass.

My full Fuji kit – complete with ’80s era shoulder strap

So that’s what’s in my bag now – it’s a pretty small, tight, Fuji kit that should be able to do all I need it to do.

I’ve been excited to start using this camera. Still getting used to it, and still hitting the book to figure out where things are. So far, I’m liking what I’m seeing.

Images coming soon!

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2020

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5 thoughts on “Gear: The Big Switch

  1. Hope Fuji works out better for you than it did for me – i was on board from the beginning and owned several different models ( all the high end ones) over a few years the only one that didn’t have to go back to them for repairs or recall was the X100’s I owned. Had to give up on them for critical work or anything i was getting paid for. Not to mention the processing issues with some software and the overly warm white balance that seems to be part of the sensor. Loved the ergonomics of Fuji but they just didn’t hold up for me. Finally bit the bullet and went back to my roots for camera makers. I really hope they have upped their game and maybe someday I’ll give them a try again.

    • Well, like I said, I’ve been happy with the X100T and what I’ve seen and read from some of those other photographers using this gear. Perhaps Fuji cleaned up their game, but I haven’t come across much in the way of tech issues. Fingers crossed, as always! Machines can be fickle.

  2. I know a retired NPS rep that decided to explore the Fuji line because of a shoulder issue. The Fuji bag was about 1/2 the weight of the full frame kit he was carrying. That was a few years ago. He is now using Fuji almost exclusively. He kept a great old lens that he uses with an adapter to give him a 600 mm effective length for his Fuji.

  3. Mark, works for me too. I started with Canon but wanted something that was more “Leica” like, so I got the X-Pro1. Added the XT-2 later and been very happy since. Small, comfortable cameras with great IQ. I’m hearing great things about Capture 1 and I’m think of switching from Lightroom, since Cap1 has a Fuji mode that seems to work better than LR. Good luck.

  4. Pingback: Review: The Fuji 15-45 | JerseyStyle Photography

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