Monday, January 14, 2019

FujiFilm's Mirrorless models Are Finally Great

Ever since the FujiFilm introduced the X-Mount and the X-Trans color filter array, I've waited to see what would happen.

I tried the X-T1 in a camera shop and decided that it was too slow and sloppy for my needs.  In fact, it seemed a very casual camera body, much like the Sony mirrorless models.  When a body has loads of enhancements but requires complete manual control to keep up with action, what does it really offer?

Having used various SLRs in the 1970s, manual control wasn't a big deal.  Keeping up with the action could be.  Back then, I appreciated the shutter speed ring around the OM-1N lens mount that kept my focus on the action, rather than having to reach across with my left hand to futz with the dial on the top panel.

In 2012. that didn't make sense to me.  In 2018, it makes even less sense.  However, the newest image processor in the X-T3 is quite capable and various parts have been modified to make the X-T3 the envy of most APS-C and micro Four-Thirds users--if they could just admit it.

At this point, I wouldn't recommend any APS-C Nikon, Canon, Sony, or Pentax models, although Pentax' weather-sealed bodies are quite good and offer plenty on a budget.  Tight budgets notwithstanding, the X-T3 is the best compromise, even without In-Body Image Stabilization.  (I'm still of the opinion that the Panasonic G85/G80 with Dual I.S. is a better option for great video and good lenses on a budget, plus it's part of a very compact system.)

People starting today, should seriously consider what FujiFilm are offering.  They have two good systems now and will continue to improve, especially as they gain more, impassioned users.  The company has pulled back from their frequent firmware updates but if they get it right first, they don't need to fix it or add features afterward.

It's somewhat amusing that the X-T100 pulls at me the same way the Fujica ST-605 did.  Reviews mention shortcomings, but those shortcomings, such as slower than anticipated auto focus, aren't that different from the first two generations of the X-series camera bodies.  The X-T1, for me, seemed quite unusable but plenty of people have done well with it.

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