Yup! I switched to the Fujifilm camera system 🙂

I have been using Canon since I started photography, which is not that long actually. Back when I started, I am only familiar with two camera brands: Canon and Nikon which made my choice of brand easy. My officemates are mostly using canon and since I have been using a Canon 450D way before purchasing one for myself, I found its ease of use and quality good enough for my wants/needs. Including the 450D, I have had 3 cameras already, I did experience the canon’s three DSLR categories (entry level – Canon EOS 450D, semi-pro – Canon EOS 50D, pro – Canon EOS 5D Mark III). I have been into portraits (kids) and various events and the canon, along with my two trusted lenses, the Canon EF 24-70 2.8L and the Canon EF 135mm 2.0L, never failed me.

I did not immediately gave in to the Fujifilm hype. I have an already good system that delivers what I want and need. The 5DMkIII is a beast in terms of image quality, speed, ISO performance, almost all of the things we want on a camera. It was built like a tank to take serious weather conditions and bumps and whatnots, but there comes my problem: We had opened a Shoot for a Cause last July-Aug which was held every Saturday and Sundays. Carrying and shooting around a 5DMkIII with its (also) magnesium alloy grip is not easy. That is roughly 2.5kgs on my arms, and no I don’t lift so that is heavy for me. I normally end up the day dead tired to even check my photos… not good. It was the pain I had to endure for me to get quality photos, after all the 5DMkIII and 135L combination is one heck photo machine, the 24-70L is perfect for events as well… or is it?

Comes in Zibbi’s Fuji X-T1. I had a lot of chance and opportunity to use the camera when Zibbi purchased one and I have to say, I love using it! It has its cool retro look on it.. it is light (~480g body/batt/SD).. and the image quality is superb! Honestly, since January, I only had one personal photo printed.. and it was shot with Zibbi’s X-T1:

The Makati City Business District as seen from the roof deck of Tivoli Gardens (Mandaluyong) | Shot with a Fujifilm X-T1 with a Fujinon XF 35mm 1.4RThe Makati City Business District as seen from the roof deck of Tivoli Gardens (Mandaluyong) | Shot with a Fujifilm X-T1 with a Fujinon XF 35mm 1.4R

I had some reservations moving to Fuji. I am already aware with its capability but I still feel something is missing, I don’t know exactly but it may be that I am a bit stubborn in terms of change 🙂 But then I learned that Fuji is releasing a 90mm f2.0 lens: Dammit.. I’m screwed. Quick info: Fujifilm is said to be NOT planning to build full frame cameras, however, they took the liberty to create X lenses to have focal lengths that matches as if you were using a full frame camera (example, they have a 56mm 1.2 lens which matches the 85mm 1.2 lens on a full frame camera on Canon, since the X series fuji cameras have a 1.52 crop factor). The 90mm lens is the equivalent of my workhorse 135mm on the 5DMkIII. BUT I still want to test the Fuji and Canon system head to head for me to determine if I can really move to Fuji without sacrificing anything in terms of my workflow (pre and post prod). I asked someone from the Fuji office if they are aware of any shops where I can rent a lens. And guess what, they accommodated me and had me send a request to their marketing team so I can borrow one straight from them. Now that’s thoughtful.

Though I never had the chance to borrow a lens, since by that time all of their units was out (used by others), I had a better solution: I posted all of my gear here in Facebook and in less than a week, I was able to sell them.I was able to get a good deal for my X-T1 and now I only need to get a 90mm lens.. and comes the next problem: almost all of the shops in Manila have the lens sold out. I then contacted again my friend in Fuji Philippines (Enan/Bryan) to help me out, and to my delight Bryan told me that he would get me one (their branch don’t have stocks that time) that very evening. In less than an hour I was filling up the receipt for the 90mm lens. Now, I am all about good service (being in the IT service industry).. we all know the “After sales service”, Canon has a very very good after sales service, Fuji has a good reputation as well, BUT PRE-SALE SERVICE?? A company that will accommodate you and even let you borrow a gear from them.. people who will stop their Sunday activities to assist you getting a lens? Come on! 🙂

So long story short, I am already in possession of the Fuji X-T1 and the 90mm lens. Some of my previous “problems” with the X-T1 is still there upon purchase but were easily worked on:

1. The lens is heavier than the body so there is an imbalance.

2. The body is small thus my pinky tends to be hanging when I hold it

3. The grip is insufficient per my liking, I prefer the DSLR grip that I have (especially the 5DMkIII)

Solution: Brian Lim 🙂 Got an L-Plate for my Fujifilm X-T1. It is made from durable metal material that fits perfectly on my camera. It provides additional height to the body (where my pinky can stay snugly) and provides additional protection. It also has a removable metal grip which now helps me hold the camera better. It is made from metal but is not too heavy, in fact I think this helped even out the weight of the camera with the 90mm lens. It also includes a removable vertical plate that can be used as a tripod mount (this one I removed as I don’t see the need right now for that part).

[L-Plate for Fujifilm X-T1 | Contact Brian Lim to purchase]

I did a shoot last weekend with Maro (one of the last models I had shot with the 5DMkIII) and the results are great. I am not seeing that much of a difference in image quality, except from the bokeh (bokehs cremier with a full frame body and a long L prime like the 135mm 2.0L). It is of course not that easy doing the first edit as I have been used with the settings I use in post processing photos from my canon but it did not take that much long to get me the settings for the output that I want.

Here are the sample photos from my session with Maro:

[Model – Maro | Shot with a Fujifilm X-T1 with a Fujinon XF 90mm 2.0R LM WR (Pic 1 and 2) and a Fujinon XF 35mm 1.4R (Pic 3)]

Now I will provide you with some pros and cons of me switching to the Fujifilm X-T1:


1. Battery life: The X-T1 is really bad with the battery life. I have not actually counted the shots before the battery ran out but as per some reviews it stands at around 350-400 shots.

[Solution: get additional batteries, duh?]

2. It is “just” a crop sensor – For that, why won’t we ask Mr Z himself, Zack Arias: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHYidejT3KY

3. Less Bokeh – as mentioned, bokehs tend to be more creamier on full frame cameras, I noticed it myself but this is something I have to live with. Maybe I might get a 1.2 lens from Fuji when it releases another than the 56mm 🙂 I can’t find a good photo of mine to compare but here’s a photo from Zack Arias:http://dedpxl.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/bokeh-balls.jpg

[Image from http://dedpxl.com/crop-or-crap-math-or-moment/]

Pros – There are too many to mention but I will only list those that I have already experienced and those that are not present on my old 5DMkIII

1. This is way lighter than the 5DMkIII I had. My old gear was at 2.5kgs (magnesium alloy body, magnesium alloy battery grip, magnesium alloy lens) against X-T1 and 90mm and L plate at approx. 1kg. I used to feel the weight on my shoot with my canon after the FIRST OUTFIT. When we did the session with Maro, I did not feel the weight throughout the shoot. That is a big deal for me.

2. Tilting LCD Screen – I have to admit, I kept on saying that I hate moving parts on the camera that’s why I still purchased the Canon 50D even if the 60D was to be released in a week, but now that I am using it, I can now do new shooting angles without the need of me going down too low. I must say I miss using the view finder on the DSLR but convenience is here baby 🙂

3. The Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) – You just have to see it and test it. It is so cool and it has a very high resolution enough for another mini-screen when doing the manual focus. What I like about it even more is that it automatically adjusts orientation when you’re shooting landscape or portrait (photos below)

[The Fujifilm X-T1 EVF automatically adjusts its orientation to Portrait keeping all information readable]

[The Fujifilm X-T1 EVF on Landscape orientation]

4. Focus points – Though the Canon 5DMkIII has that much AF points, they tend to lack on the corners, the AF points on the fuji is properly scattered on the screen giving you the best options when shooting.

5. Electronic Shutter (ES) – I have a maximum shutter speed with my last canon of 1/8000 of a second but sometimes I can’t still use my f2.0 aperture as it tends to still overexpose the scene. The Fujifilm X-T1 has a max (electronic) shutter speed of 1/32000. ‘Nuff said.

And now, here are the photos of my new friend:

So all in all, I am very much happy with my move to fuji. I feel that I am more flexible during shoots and now I have one less thing to worry (that is the weight). Fujifilm definitely did a good job with this camera, and with the lenses that they have produced and are being made, it is obvious that this camera system will go a long way.