Sony and Canon suck? Why I left both (mostly) for Fuji.

I am one of those people who love to switch systems if it’s not working out for me.

A little history…

In the beginning there was Canon and it was good.

I started with Canon (40D) and stayed there for a while.  Getting a 5Dii (then a 5D classic because I liked it so much) then eventually a 1DIV.  When I got the 1DIV I realised what I was missing out on in the AF world.  So soon after I decided to switch to Nikon.

Photo taken with the 40D. I think he wants me to switch to Fuji... pity the Xpro1 didn't exist yet.

Photo taken with the 40D. I think he wants me to switch to Fuji… pity the Xpro1 didn’t exist yet (my son who is now 10 years old)

 

Then there was Nikon and it was also good.

So thanks to my buddy Scotty’s convincing I got a Nikon D3s.  One thing I preferred right away is I found Nikon needed less tweaking in post compared to Canon. Also, Nikon tend to have more control buttons and knobs, which I liked.  The D3s also was/is amazing in low light (it’s only 12MP so you’d expect it to be pretty good). The awesome AF was great and the low light was awesome, but I hankered for more MP.

D3s is actually a pretty nice camera. Nikon just lacked the Video chops for my needs at the time.

D3s is actually a pretty nice camera. Nikon just lacked the Video chops for my needs at the time.

 

So I got a D800.  I liked this camera a lot, so I also bought a D800s.  Both of which were/area amazing cameras.  I also picked up a D7000, but that camera sucks IMHO so I won’t talk about that.

Turns out I don’t really need 36MP, but it’s sure fun to play with…

BUT at one point I started to get into video a lot more than I was, so I decided to go back to Canon (which at the time were kicking Nikon’s butt video wise).

 

So back to Canon (from Nikon) I went.

canonlogofunny

Canon was good for a while.  By then Canon had their legendary (IMHO) 1Dx camera, which I owned and used for a long time.  I also picked up a 1DsIII VERY cheap off Donald (as mentioned above).  He was going to convert it to an infrared camera, and me, not being the biggest fan of infrared photography, I had to save it from that fate, so I bought the 1DsIII.

 

Intermission: Fuji enters and leaves.

Fuji came and left fairly quickly.

Fuji came and left fairly quickly.

Around this time, I can’t quite remember exactly when.  I bought the Fuji Xpro1 (a fairly new camera at the time).  It was good, but as people may remember it was a very quirky camera at the beginning.  Now it’s a lot better because Fuji love to improve their cameras with firmware, but I found at the time I wasn’t really digging the Fuji vibe man, so I swapped my Fuji Xpro1, 14mm 2.8 and 35 1.4 for a Zeiss 85 1.4 for Canon mount.  My friend I swapped with (Donald) was unsure, but ended up loving Fuji.  I was happy too.  I had a new lens.

 

SONY TIME (AKA the lure of advertising)

At one point I kind of wished I wanted something lighter for every day use. I considered going back to Fuji, but I remembered how quirky the Xpro1 was… Being a Full Frame user/lover I decided the new camera that had just come out the Sony A7 was the way to go.  My wife decided to be nice and buy it for my Christmas present, so I went for it.

Which brings us to the beginning of this story of…

sonyandcanon

 

So, I had a A7 with kit lens and the admittedly excellent Zeiss 55 1.8.  I also had a Canon 1Dx, 1DsIII, Sigma 35 1.4 art, Zeiss 85 1.4, 24-70 2.8L II and 70-200 2.8L IS II.

Then Donald decided he loved Fuji so much he’d upgrade to the X-T1.   He loved that camera so much he gave me back the Xpro1.  So I had a Xpro1 and no lenses… but it was nice of him to do that.

One day I was at a shoot with Donald. I had my A7 and he had his X-T1.  I was super impressed how LIGHT is was and how HUGE the EVF was compared to the Sony.  I was actually quite jealous…

You see, though I’m sure people will disagree with me, I never really enjoyed the Sony. It was an ok camera I suppose but I felt it was a bit big for daily use (being full frame you get a large flange on a lot of lenses that kind of defeats the point in some ways) and I was increasingly leaving it at home. I also never really liked Sony colours.  They tend to be on the warm side for me and look terrible under artificial light.

So I tried selling the A7 to see if I could, I told myself, if I sell it, I’ll use the money to buy a couple of Fuji lenses to go on the xpro1.  I worked it out that it would be lighter and more compact than the A7.

So I did, I ended up liking it so much I bought an X-Pro2, which was a very surprising camera to me.  I did a lot of tests comparing it to the 1Dx and found the differences between Full Frame and this modern APS-C sensor had become so minor it didn’t bother me anymore.  I found the noise levels to be more than acceptable and the details/colours to be very pleasing.  Added to this is MUCH improved colour with Lightroom with the new sensor (see more about that HERE).   Also the Auto Focus had been vastly improved, making it (at the time) about 1/2 to 1/4 slower than the 1Dx (which is a very snappy camera).  Also the ergonomics of the Fuji system is much nicer than Canon (for me) and worlds better than Sony (for me).  Additionally, the Xpro2 marked a MAJOR turning point for Fuji regarding video and Canon at the time were dragging their feet on 4K video… so…

I liked Fuji so much I decided to leave Canon and go Fuji (banking on the XT2 being what I wanted).  I had a list of things Fuji needed to do (which I wrote about HERE) and it turned out Fuji delivered everything I wanted with the XT2.

 

So what makes Fuji better than Canon or Sony for me?

Ergonomics/Enjoyment of use

For me the old school styling of Fuji isn’t just about looks.  Having manual dials for ISO/Aperture and Shutter speed as well as exposure compensation etc. make for a very natural photography experience.  Shooting Fuji is FUN.   For me Sony are great on paper, but fall short in user experience.  Which is why I suspect I ended up hardly ever using it.  I know it sounds dumb, but Fuji have more soul.  If you enjoy shooting with a camera I feel your images will be better in the long run (you’ll be shooting more and at least that’s practice).

Look at all those dials and stuff. Aperture ring on the lens... wowee!

Look at all those dials and stuff. Aperture ring on the lens… wowee!

 

 

Size/weight

Fuji are definitely lighter and smaller than my old Canon system.  Sony is closer, even sometimes being a tad lighter, but generally the Sony system is bigger (longer and wider) making is sort of miss the point.

Comparing the 5Diii to the A7rII both with 85mm lenses. You don't gain much size advantage with the Sony. Image from Petapixel.

Comparing the 5Diii to the A7rII both with 85mm lenses. You don’t gain much size advantage with the Sony. (Image from Petapixel).

 

Colours

This is pretty subjective, but to me Fuji colours are superior to Sony in nearly every way and just as good if not better than Canon.  Also, Fuji have all their different film simulation modes (being an olde school Film manufacture, they know colour science) which lets you pick the perfect look.  Sure the “film look” doesn’t suit everyone’s style, but I actually really enjoy Fuji Colour profiles.  I think they all look quite unique and special.  Unlike Sony/Canon/Nikon profiles that IMHO are a bit boring.

 

Video 

This is mainly a criticism of Canon.  I liked Canon video a lot, but they (as is their habit) dragged their heels on offering 4K in a more affordable body.  Even with the 5DIV (which has 4K) they still crippled it to protect their pro video camera line. I hate that Canon does this, so it’s a major reason I left them.

 

Kaizen (continuous improvement)

Kaizen, a philosphy Fuji have shoveled into their products.

Kaizen, a philosophy Fuji have shoveled into their products.

Sony love to improve their cameras.  They bring a new one out every 6 months or something like that after-all. 😉  It is the issue with Sony/Nikon/Canon.  They all make you upgrade your camera to get a new feature that they could easily put in with firmware.

Fuji are different, they will improve the camera you already own, for free, using firmware updates.  So the camera you own now will be almost like a completely new camera 6 months down the track.  Meanwhile the Sony user has to sell their camera and buy a new one to get new features.

 

Fuji seem to listen and change things when they realise their mistake.

This is related to Kaizen, but I have noticed Fuji really listen to the average user and sentiment that rises from the community.  People wanted dual card slots, we got them; people wanted better control over AF points, we got a joystick; people wanted better Autofocus, Fuji continually improve that; people panned Fuji for crappy video, they improve their video to pro-standards; etc. etc.  Fuji listen to problems and fix them, often for free (firmware).  All this makes you feel like they really want to improve their products for the customer’s sake, not just to make more money.

 

Customer care 

Also related to the above… I’ll aim this one squarely at SONY.  Sony, your customer service sucks.  I can’t actually comment on Fuji in this regard because I haven’t needed them. But I’ve had plenty of terrible experiences with Sony.  Canon and Nikon are EXCELLENT in this regard, so I won’t criticize them. Sony staff are often rude and they won’t fix things even under warranty as they blame you for damaging it or some other excuse.   This alone is enough for me to never touch Sony again.  Though I do like the playstation… maybe different departments in the behemoth that is Sony have different rules?

I thought this was beary punny.

I thought this was beary punny.

 

Fuji aren’t perfect.

Another thing I want to say is FUJI ARE NOT PERFECT.  For example, I wish they had less noise at base ISO (sure it’s very “film like” grain, but I still wish for less at base ISO).

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Conclusion

So sure, Fuji isn’t for everyone and the fact is you need to shoot what YOU are happy with.  Some people love Sony/Canon/Nikon that’s cool.  The above is just my story.  I am happy with Fuji.  They aren’t perfect, and I wish Adobe would improve their sharpening/demosaic algorithm more (they have improved it already but there’s room to do better) or at least if we could get the Iridient guy to make his program available to PC users, or even better if he could make some sort of sharpening plugin for LR (that also works on PC) but I can live with adobe for now, at least they nailed the colours.
By the way, I still own the 1DsIII and Sigma 35 1.4.  Both are very nice and I might get myself a Sigma 85 1.4 Art if Sigma ever bring that out.  Otherwise I use Fuji for everything.

Thanks for reading and if you’re a Sony/Canon/Nikon fan, it’s OK.  It’s just my opinion.

Regards, your friend always,

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  • azbest

    so canon 1D has X, nikon D3s has FX, then comes fujifilm with GFX. i hope it will be affordable on the used market. like around 300 bucks or so.. one day..

    • Stealthy Ninja

      $300 on a $8000 dollar camera… not for a long while I guess.

  • mahmudahsan

    I used Nikon D5000 for 1 year, then moved to Canon 5D II then 5D III with 50mm 1.4 and EOS 24-70 II lens for few years. When I travel I used to carry 5D III with EOS 24-70 II, with roughly 2 KG weight that bothered me much. I was looking for mirrorless long time for lighter option, and few months ago I impressed with FUJI XT-2 photos in internet and I convinced to buy one. Now I have FUJI XT-2 with 18-55 2.4-4.0, 35 mm 1.4 lens. I ordered 16 1.4mm few days ago. I liked fuji XT-2 much than my 5D and I already sold all my canon gears and I love this FUJI XT-2. Such a wonderful camera. For me it doesn’t matter what others use, the matter is whether I am happy and satisfied or not in my system. And fuji XT-2 made me satisfied and I am very happy now.

  • Thinkinginpictures

    I feel it happening. 2017 is going to probably be the year of Fuji for me. It’s Olympus right now (no chance in helll I’ll get rid of it) but I’ve always had two systems. Now that I”m Sony-less the Fuj sauce keeps calling me. I must answer the call.