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choosing a fujifilm XF body (APS)

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dCap View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: choosing a fujifilm XF body (APS)
    Posted: 21 June 2020 at 14:41
This is a bit of a summary of things to consider with the current latest or nearly the latest models if you are looking at the Fujifilm system.

4x main body styles
X-T3 = SLR-shape, WR (*1), touch/flip
X-T30 = SLR-shape but smaller, not WR, touch/flip
X-Pro3 = rangefinder-shape with OVF, WR, weird hidden screen
X-E3 = rangefinder-shape with EVF, not WR, touch/fixed
(plus some lower tier models X-T200 and X-A)

WR bodies
The X-T3 and up and X-Pro2 and up are WR.
(I think X-T2 was also but not X-Pro1?)
The X-E3 and X-T30 lines are NOT WR.
The newer, more entry price, primes are WR (16/23/35/50) but these are more fitting (price-wise) with the non-WR budget cameras (X-E3 and X-T30). So, we might be looking to expect some of the older primes getting a WR-refresh (23/1.4 and 50/1.2).

X-T3/X-T30
The X-T3 and X-T30 share a lot of features. (History) this has been a gradual move, the X-T10 was similar shape (a mini X-T1) but not super powered, X-T20 matched the X-T2 much better than the X-T10/X-T1 did. Now the X-T30 is very very similar to the X-T3 that the reasons to get one over the other are very few (size, WR, 1/8000, ISO dial and not a lot else) - speed of operation is almost the same.

X-T4 breaks this mould and takes the 'experimental' X-H1 line's IBIS feature and brings it to the better respected and better known X-T* line. I would guess IBIS will stay X-T4/T5 line and not drop to the T40/T50 models.

The X-T30 line appears to be the biggest seller. As was the X-T20 and X-T10.

X-T30 line tends to launch 6 months after the X-T3 line. But the X-T4 got IBIS and this is unlikely to fit (size/price) into the X-T40 body shell. Perhaps there won't be an X-T40 until after the X-T5? X-T30 is about as good as things get at that price-point.

X-T4 battery
This is the first model to use a new battery.
So, if you have a 2/3 camera system in the older models your batteries are swapable (and also with the X100F and V too).

X-E3 & X-Pro2
The X-E3, the smallest of the X-E1/X-E2 models, was launched after the X-Pro2 (older model) and is basically a mini-X-Pro2 with no OVF but excellent EVF, no ISO dial, and no WR. It was also the first to delete the 4-way control pad (contriversial). Marketed as minimilist.

Firmware
Some trolls hate on the later models being 'neglected' in terms of fewer updates. But dig deeper (past the troll level) and the X-E3 was the 4th camera with that senor/menu/options (X-T2, X-T20, X-Pro2 all pre-date it) and so has less things to change at a later date. It was an evolved set of guts from the launch - so needs less updates!

4-way pad
The 4-way control pad has now also been removed from the X-T30 (probably never to return). I've used X-T30 and own X-E3. I love the simplicity of the fewer back buttons, the joy stick is very good for focus point selection. X-T3/T4 have retained the 4-way controller so this is now a differentiator.

Some people rant about this missing controller (I've switched some to 'off' on other cameras) ... so if you want less buttons/more dials consider this? If you use your camera at your eye a lot then might not be an issue, if you like to press lots of buttons you might miss these (optional) extras. I even have some of my minimalist X-E3 set to 'off' (do nothing).

24mp > 26mp
There seems to be very little difference. So, that is good if you find a clearance new price on an older 24mp model ... image quality is there.

video
As with other makes, a lot of time is being spent on newer/better video tech. As a stills shooter we benefit in a couple of way, examples: more used older models to consider, and better buffers when shooting stills, faster and silent AF lenses. Fujifilm used to be laughed at for video but is now poking Panasonic in the ribs as a reminder for what happens when you fall asleep on the job [or, to be fairer, develop a new system].

Disco?
Rumor is that the X-E3 line has now stopped. So no X-E4.
Same too the X-H1 (now IBIS moved to the X-T4).
For me, this is a problem as I bought the X-E3 (like the shape design) but was hoping for an X-E4 to buy next year. Flippy screen please, would also be a nudge up from 24mp to 26mp.

EDIT - removed lenses (to post as a reply)

X-Pro
The X-Pro1 and then X-Pro2 were considered the top of the line. But the sucess of the more common shape X-T2 and then X-T3 now puts the X-T3 (and X-T4) as the top of the line cameras. The X-Pro3 has taken a change in direction, clearly niche.

X100
Today a brand new 23/1.4 for an X-mount body costs more than the out-going X100F (4th, now previous, version) with built in 23/2. So, if you are looking for a set of lenses then this camera can often be seen as an alternative option which also gives you a one-camera walk-about 'rangefinder'. But the 23/2 lens on the original/S/T/F was very poor close-up. Unusably soft even at f5.6 at 1m and closer. So, if you shoot often at the sub 1m mark and want to use the 2/2.8/4 then do not buy the older model cameras.

The new X100V finally as a 23/2 II and reports say this is good close-up. The X100V is also weather sealed (if you screw fuji's filter to the front!).

While the X100 is a fixed lens it is worth considering if you are building a system and want a small body and/or 23mm lens.

Edited by dCap - 21 June 2020 at 14:47
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 June 2020 at 14:56
Lenses
Fujifilm has done a lot more work on their lens line-up than any other APS sensor mirrorless system. APS specific. Having just one mount to work with (until recently) and no 'can also use that FF lenses too' position has resulted in lenses made to just this mount/format size. This is the reason I tried the system.

Original
The original lenses (all slow to AF):
- 18/2 ... very much in the shadows of the 35/1.4, cheap used
- 35/1.4 ... super optical reputation, harder to find used
- 60/2.4 ... glacial AF and only 1/2 size macro, half-priced used
so, perhaps not a fast action shooters choice.

Exotics
After that came the exotics: 14/2.8, 16/1.4, 23/1.4, 56/1.2, 56/1.2 APD.

Latest
Then 90/2 and the 'crons': 23/2, 35/2, 50/2, and almost 'cron' 16/2.8

The 23/2, 35/2, and 50/2 are 'repeat' primes but not replacing the older ones. The focus here must have been on price for new adopters. They've kept 18/2 and 35/1.4 current. Optically neither the 23/2 nor 35/2 beat the 23/1.4 or 35/1.4 but they are slower (f-stop), smaller, and more affordable - they also AF quickly!

The outlier here is the 50/2 which is optically sharper than the 56/1.2 but some portrait shooters demand the 1.2-2 zone and sharpness isn't everything.

The 16/2.8 is the same flavor as the 23/35/50 that is is still considered one of the crons (a Leica term). They do all look to be the same 'brand/line' of lenses. These are also all WR.

The 16/2.8 vs older 18/2 price difference buying new is about £350 vs £530. Similar the 35/2 & 35/1.4 (£380/£500). With the 23mm being more obvious: 1.4 (£800) and 2 (£400). Prices are approx as they go up/down a bit.

The 16/2.8 holds a weird position. 16 [24mm] is considered more sought after than boring old 18 [28mm] and the 18/2 had/has a strange reputation. It is also f2.8 NOT f2 with the other 23/35/50 'crons'. But it also offers an alternative to the 16/1.4 (£850). New at £350 the 16/2.8 is a nice buy. Sharp too. So, 16/2.8 has moved the conversation away from the 18/2 and also provides a lower price alt to the 16/1.4.

18/2
The 'problem' with the 18/2 appears to be partly a quirk of the internets. The 35/1.4 is such a wonder and the 18/2 is just 'not as good'. Then turned into 'not so good' or 'not good'. As a result a mint 18/2 on the used market is less than half new price. And there are people that use it that know it is excellent, just slow to AF (and not as good as the fabulous 35/1.4). Mine will be posted to me next week [mint at 44% of new price, thank you!].

35/1.4
This one is considered to be particularly special. It might be overlooked by modern users who shoot video and want silent lenses. But for stills only use it is apparently worth a look [it is next on my list].

era/class
These are gernerally considered as the reference primes: 14/2.8, 16/1.4, 23/1.4, 35/1.4, and 56/1.2. With the 18/2 not often being lumped in with that lot.

56 APD
There are two versions of the 56/1.2. Standard and APD (think along the lines of STM or Nikkor DC). Both 56/1.2s are AF. And the APD version is easier to find used than you'd think and doesn't command a super high price.

16/1.4
Some ex-Canon/Nikon (FF/FX) shooters regard the 16/1.4 as the best lens they've ever used. [no comment, bigger than I want for the moment]

R
Lenses with R in their title mean they have the aperture ring. Note that while this is mechanical in look at feel it is an electronic ring and there is a tiny tiny delay when changing aperture to seeing the number change in viewfinder. Clicks every 1/3 stop. There is no difference in click at full-stops. And there is an aparrent difference in feel from the old generation (18/2) to the new generation (35/2) [I will report back next week].

Zooms
They also make zooms.

Zooms, really though
The kit 18-55/2.8-4 is considered to be one of the best kit lenses ever made [no comment, I flipped mine un-used]. It is also often quite a premium on the body price. The X-T30 and less exciting models now come with a non-R 15-45 which is apparently a very good/cheap '15mm' lens (£50 premium over the body price gets you a small/respected '15mm' lens!). One of the teles has a good reputation (price/performance). The 16-55/2.8 is also supposed to be lovely. Whatever, they are zooms.

R zooms
Some R zooms have an R RING but no labels (e.g. 18-55/2.8-4).
Pretty sure all the fixed aperture zooms have labeled aperture rings (4 - 5.6
8 etc.)
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile
- Don McLean
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 June 2020 at 16:17
Kinda the wrong forum for this don't you think
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 June 2020 at 16:18
OVF
A lot of the price of the X-Pro3 and new X100V, plus the out-going X-Pro2 and X100F has been in the development of that wonderful hybrid OVF.

And it is absolutely amazing to view through. You get the benefits of some modern day electronic info (exposure info) in there and the OVF/EVF level has effectively three modes:
- OVF
- EVF
- OVF plus a mini (bottomr right) corner positioned pop-in focus-aid EVF

You can leave the camera in EVF or OVF mode and it will remember this next time you turn on [I can't remember if it remembers the pop-in focus aid, my guess is not as this is more of a quick-check option than something you'd live with].

A lot of X-Pro1/2 and X100/S/T/F swear by this OVF as one of the key things in buuying/using the camera.

While it is not a true range-finder, it is a modern day adoption of that idea with what is probably an AF lens fixed/attached.

X-Pro3
I doubt anyone who even vaguely follows the camera industry has not seen what happened to this model. They tucked the read LCD away behind the back panel. This has been quite a polarising decision.

There will have been X-Pro2 users wanting a new body and to continue with a fixed screen and some who wanted X100V style tilt. But to hide it away is a strange move. This has been mooted as a 'stop chimping' decision and to focus on the photographer (see below).

Then someone thought it would be a thrill to put a fake film-box on the back and the end result was that everyone now laughs at this camera. Focus has been on this dopey faux film box. Expect the X-Pro4 to have this feature removed and just give a nice plain back.

OVF/X-Pro2/X-Pro3 view
Fujifilm changed the view of the OVF on the X-Pro2 to X-Pro3 update. So check the specs carefully.

One reason I stayed away from the X-Pro2 was that the OVF works for the 18mm as the widest view but not for the 16mm. And I had a firm eye on the 16mm lens. 16mm on the X-Pro2 is 'around about' the whole OVF view (not quite, but nearly) so it is useable, just about. It is designed with the the 18/23/35 lenses in mind. And I had 16 and 50 on my shopping list. I would end up using EVF a lot of the time, but paying the size/cost of a glorious (and ignored) OVF.

The X-Pro3 is now aimed at 23mm and 35mm only. So, as OVF is much more of a niche product. There isn't an 18mm frame line. I think 16mm is wider than the OVF is now.

Sure you can use 50, 56 (and I think 60/80/90) with both X-Pro2/3 but it is a really really small view for those lenses.

OVF or not
Doubtless the OVF will be a big factor in considering the X-Pro and X100 lines. And having a 'rangefinder' style is nice. You can frame your 23mm [35] shots and still see what is out of frame ... and I used this a few times on my X100F to good effect. Especially neat for street to see who is walking into your frame.

But, I'm also a critical framer at heart. The OVF is a very good approximation of the view you are capturing but not for critical framers. Think hard about this if considering it. I tried very hard to like the X100F but I used it in EVF almost all the time as a result of wanting to frame (my way).

So, chosing an X-Pro2/3 is as much about which lenses fit best. You can use a zoom (EVF would make most sense) but that isn't really the target for this body style. I'm sure some do. I have the X-E3, EVF only, same shape, which is bundled with the 18-55mm zoom.

peronsal take on that hidden LCD
I shot with a Panasonic G80 for a year. This has the same style rear LCD as the GH5, G7, G90, G9 and Oly E-M1 and E-M5 II. A side flip-out, vloggers, video-graphers LCD. But I used my G80 in 'obnoxious X-Pro3 mode' almost exclusively ... with the rear LCD actually closed up (tucked away). I shot for a year with the viewfinder. Looked at my images at home (and occasionally in the EVF). I'm auto-review OFF. I did of cource have that pop-out LCD for shooting from strange angles ... but an RX100 III flipper or X-Pro3 hide-away would work just as well for me.

Personally - I love the idea of the X-Pro3 (minus the film tab) - the only reason I didn't buy one at launch was the price (£1700). The out-going X-Pro2 with 'just as good' 24mp sensor dropped to less than half the price (£800). And that is too much for too little. I might have an X-Pro3 in my future [when the X-Pro 4 launches in 3 years!].
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 June 2020 at 16:26
Originally posted by nandbytes nandbytes wrote:

Kinda the wrong forum for this don't you think


(at least I put it in the 'other camera systems' sub-forum)

but ... it is there for those that have considered the system over time
or for dual system shooters
(so I left out the X-T200 and X-A stuff)

it is a system I've followed since the original X-Pro1 launch

after missing my primes in 2019
I shot 2019 with one camera/lens Pan G80 12-35/2.8 [24-70]
I realised I wasn't too deep into an m43/Pan system as that was all the gear I owned
... so gave it a whirl
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile
- Don McLean
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 June 2020 at 18:24
Well, I love the Sony A6x00 series of cameras. The left side viewfinder makes the camera smaller and gives plenty of space on the right for my hand (I am left eye dominant so my nose moves to the right). The grip makes it easy to hold the camera in my hand - I do not have to hold it tight, I can dangle it from the grip.

Looking at the Fuji options, I notice they all lack a proper grip. Your Panasonic G80 had a proper grip. Make sure you are fine with the lack of a proper grip with Fuji cameras. I find it quite difficult to differentiate between the Fuji cameras.

For the cameras, it is not that difficult. First decide if you want a side viewfinder. Do you need WR or not? `Do you want an higher end body or do not care?

You bought the X-E3? I hope you enjoy it.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 June 2020 at 16:48
That is a very good point about the very sleek gripless X-E3 and X100 (and also my RX100) ... it might make it look pretty but in the case of the X-E3 (X-Pro) etc. you're gonna have a lens tube poking out the front of the camera so having a super thin design for 'spec' wonder is pretty silly. This sort of model isn't suited handling-wise for hours-long camera in hand shoot (like a wildlife park) ... but not everyone holds their camera all day.

There are optional first/third-party grips (but my preference if not to add things to the base design).

The G80 [G85] grip was good and could indeed be dangled off two fingers. I only use a wrist strap (right lug) and that makes it even better. I've found with the X-E3 the wrist strap makes the handling great though since the wrist strap becomes part of the handling/grip (the ones I have today are pretty short). I used to only have Gordy leather straps but now have the generic 'climbing rope' ones which are quicker to get (and silly cheap too).

If anyone (unlikely in here as noted) in the UK is looking TODAY - the X-T30 body price at £650 ends this Thursday (25th June). It is £200 off at the mo. A lot of camera for £650. That is about 45% the price of the equivalent Sony A6600 but the Sony does have IBIS now.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 June 2020 at 16:30
Also worth a note - for any eBay used buyers - is that the lenses are Fujinon and some eBayers list their used lenses as Fujinon without also including the word Fujifilm in the title.

Just like Nikkor lenses for Nikon cameras.

The smarter people would include both Fujinon and Fujifilm in the title ... but you can see auctions go and sell for lower than expected if the seller has missed out the more common search style: "Fujifilm 23mm 1.4"

(olde timer eBay tricks-of-the-trade)
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile
- Don McLean
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