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News & Insight

From Nikon To Fuji | Why This Pro Made The Switch Is Good Food For Thought

By Kishore Sawh on November 6th 2014

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When we look at photographic technology and brands today, there’s a sense that we’re in the middle of a rapid evolution. The blue-chip companies that have long held the podium (looking at you Nikon & Canon) and have held at bay the smaller brands, or brands with smaller stakes in photography, are witnessing a shift in power and marketshare. As photography has become more a technological field, you have Sony covering that corner and changing the game, and then other companies like Sigma and Fuji are right in the wings of this power shift, biting at the heels of Nikon & Canon and leaving a trail of swooning new customers in their wake.

More and more photographers we speak with these days are slowly re-evaluating their loyalty. At PhotoPlus recently, a quick look around would see Nikon and Canon bodies, but with new Sigma lenses attached. Then, on an evening out with a few industry professionals in NYC, three of the 10 had cameras on them, and let me tell you now, that of the three people at the bar with me, all were carrying Fuji. Given the chance, I’d be the fourth.

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If you flip back through the pages of SLR Lounge or other photographic resources, you’ll see this trend pop out at you, and there’s no shortage of stories from people coming forward to say they’ve made the switch. The kicker is, they all say they couldn’t be happier. Adding to that list, today we have Lukas Gisbert-Mora, who goes into depth about why he made the switch from Nikon to Fuji.

[REWIND: Review: Fuji X-E2 | The Mistress]

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It appears to be a very honest look at the two systems, with their flaws and advantages. He’s shot 20,000 photos with his X-T1 and that’s given him a good idea of where these issue lay. He doesn’t shy away from the more problematic sides of the Fuji, namely flash ability/options, video capability, and to some degree, battery. However, he goes on to say why he believes the X-T1 is actually a better fit for wedding work than the Nikon D3S – that’s a bold statement. Watch the video for the full breakdown.

A Personal Note

I’ve always been a Nikon shooter. I have a little loyalty to the brand, but really I’ve just always liked what they’ve had on tap better than anyone else, from film days to now. You may remember I reviewed the Fuji X-E2 some time ago, and I can say this wholeheartedly, I fell in love with the camera. I’ve never felt that before, and it was with the entire system of Fuji. I am at a crossroads right now where I want to make that switch, or at least make Fuji cameras my primary shooters, relying on a Nikon D750 for specific things.

At this moment the only thing holding me back is the format. I’m a bit of an old dog, and I’m used to knowing my focal lengths and what to expect without doing any conversions in my mind. I feel this is the only reason why I really am hanging on. Fuji won’t be coming out with a full frame system right this moment, I doubt. That would mean creating a whole new lines of lenses, and with their sales so good at the moment, they are likely content for the time. That said, the day Fuji comes out with a full frame system, if you want to reach me you can find me in line at B&H.

Source: The Phoblographer

About

Kishore is, among other things, the Editor-In-Chief at SLR Lounge. A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. John Armstrong

    I had a chance this winter to go through my archive between jobs and sort out my images. The photos that would be the first to be printed and framed if I wanted to put them up around my home would be a collection photographed in Ireland when I was 21, 17 years ago, shot on a canon EOS300 (rebel equivalent today, non professional) which if I remember correctly came as a kit with a 28 – 80 plasticky lens. I used 400 ISO black and white neopan film, holding off on shots as I couldn’t afford to waste any film. I have now edited over 240 000 wedding photos (not total photos taken, which is probably close to a million), not including other work, coming up on 300 weddings, but yet those are the images that I am drawn to? Photography has to be about feeling and connecting with people, it cannot be about specs and I have to keep reminding myself this every time new gear comes out and gets advertised as though you now gonna take better photographs. The most well known photographs of the last century, you may know who took them, but you don’t know what gear was used, and it shouldn’t matter.
    I use Cannon gear today, because this was the first camera I bought all those years ago. I now own a FUJI XT-1 as well and a few lenses and absolutely love the camera and have seriously considered the change over fully. The reason for the change over would be personal and if I fall into the trap of thinking now my work is going to get stronger, I am fooling myself.
    I have two Canon 5d mk111’s , 135mm f2, 85 1.2, 35 1.4 and 17-40 f4, three flashes and and some light shapers for off camera flash. The main reason for the change would be the size of the gear because of the amount of traveling I do, the equivalent in Fuji is way lighter and may be worth the few work arounds the system would require.
    Lastly I feel Fuji has done well because they give the impression that their focus in manufacturing is on feeling and quality, not specs, they concentrate on the important elements of photography, like amazing lenses before trying to impress us with megapixels. As long as they keep this as their drive going forward, they will continue to grow and get following. I believe people actually do feel inspired when holding a Fuji camera, it’s beautiful and well made by people who seem to love photography, not just money (i am sure the boss do). What did Canon do? Throw a 50megapixel sensor my way and knowing I own the lenses, i’ll just buy it as a replacement for my ageing bodies. Canon and Nikon, there are more options now, get the finger out!
    Cheers

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  2. Atanu Basak

    I have also recently done this move from Nikon to Fuji. I don’t know if its a smart move or not, but as of now I think fuji is moving fast in mirror-less world. I am not an expert but both these company have their good things, in my opinion Fuji has the best sensors and Nikon have the best lenses……

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  3. Gideon Tunguy-Desmarais

    A few years ago I dropped canon and changed to Nikon, but am very unhappy.I bought a D7100 which is a really great camera.One day I got an err message and in all innocence, took it to a local camera repair shop.A nikon employee then told me that I should have rather sent the camera to Nikon who are better placed for repairs, so I had the camera sent to Nikon in Cape Town 1500km away( there is no Nikon repairer in my city).?Nikon established that the camera had been “tampered with” and are refusing to repair even though I am prepared to pay and waiver any warrany for the repairs!!
    How can a company drop their customers in the lurch? One would have thought that a good product should have good after sales service.
    No wonder there is such an exodus to Sony or Panasonic.

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    • Kishore Sawh

      That’s really unfortunate to hear Gideon. I, thankfully, haven’t had any such experience as yet. I would perhaps try calling their customer service department and really pushing and pushing them until they give in. Worth a shot. Hope it works out.

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  4. Hannes Nitzsche

    haha seems like a new camera war is brewing… Nikonians and Canoneers unite against the new kids on the block :)

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  5. Mark Sheppard

    I watched the whole 17 minute video and I’m at a loss to what his point was, other than that he likes the feel of Fuji better.

    He never said one thing that the Fuji does better than his Nikon, except MAYBE that the Single focus is better. According to the video the continuous focus is no good, the video is no good and without the grip he didn’t like the feel and was afraid that he would drop it. Minimum ISO is 200 and max shutter is 4000, so technically it seems to be worse that any of the Nikon’s for bright situations. The viewfinder is a .77X magnification so he can’t see his edges either.

    He loved the consistency of the color and contrast of Fuji lenses, specifically the 1000 Euro 56mm prime and the 400 Euro 35mm prime. He did not get the same consistency when he used a combination of Tamron, Tokina & Nikkor on his D3. I can’t imagine why.

    Maybe he should have tried the Nikkor 35mm and 50mm 1.8 APS-C’s, which combined would run about half the cost of the Fuji 35mm.

    He also loved the smaller size, but later said he felt like his D7000 was too small, which from the looks, I bet they are about the same size.

    At the end of the video he said he felt like the Fuji with a 56mm prime and tilt screen was far less scary to kids than a D3 with a 70-200mm bazooka. What a shocker.

    The only reason that I can see that he has put all his Nikon gear up for sale is because the Fuji feels better, but he is keeping the D750 and I bet the bazooka for when the Fuji can’t do the job.

    It only took a 17 minute video for him to get that clarified. Can I have that 17 minutes of my life back… Please?

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    • Holger Foysi

      Agree. I can’t understand this kind of movies, too! I have D810, D610, XT1 and EM1 and put all of them through the paces. The Fuji is nowhere near the two FF Nikons. Focussing is much faster especially with the D810, not to mention AF-C. IQ is better imo, too. I have more DOF control and if you take a D610 or the new D750 with the excellent 1.8G primes, the weight and size difference compared to a XT1 with grip (necessary for handling, imo) is not much. People forget, that equivalent lenses are of equivalent size (compare 50/1.8g to 35/1.4, 56/1.2 to 85/1.8g). As soon as a switch is promoted, they refer to the 2.8 FF zooms, which are indeed heavy, but with their mirrorless system they mostly use primes only. And there is more to the proven DSLR: accessories, flash system, third party lenses, battery life, lens prizes (fast mirrorless equivalent lenses are expensive (Panasonic 42.5, 56/1.2))… I like my mirrorless, but at the moment, they are only a backup system to complement the DSLR or used when traveling. That may change in the future, maybe even with the A7 successor, but not right now. I have to add, I will sell my XT1 and 56/1.2, since I don’t like the control layout. I’m so used to making fast changes to aperture and shutter speed or ISO with one hand only, or using back button focus, which slows me down when using the Fuji (buttons too small). The OMD is much more responsive, similar in control to the Nikons and with IBIS great for macros. The Fuji is nicely made and to look at, but doesn’t suit me. An other issue with Fuji: Xtrans. I can get around the smearing using CO7 or PN, but this means extra work. Additionally, the files are almost as large as those of my D810.

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  6. Kate Hailey

    I’ve actually just done this. I have shot with Nikon digital cameras for 10 years, and loved them. But due to a shoulder injury have made the decision to go for the smaller, lighter options by Fuji.

    I got the X100s last year when it came out and have loved it, it’s a great street/walk around camera and I even travel with it (took it to Photo Plus). And just this month I’ve purchased the XT-1 and the 35mm lens, having my eye on the 56mm lens as well. There are enough rental places around that if I need to rent a full frame body (or even a medium format) I can.

    So far I’m happy with my decision, but haven’t really put the XT-1 through it’s paces yet. That will surely happen throughout the rest of the year. I still have my nikon film cameras though and yep, I still shoot film. :)

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  7. Ben Perrin

    I don’t really understand why people need to be so vocal about making the switch. At the end of the day cameras are nothing more than tools and there are few cameras nowadays that hold us back from our artistic vision. Still, I’m content with Canon. I’ll admit I’ve considered a switch to Nikon or Sony but when I’ve looked at the entire ecosystem (from lenses to accessories to compatibility) I’ve been convinced that it wasn’t worth the money to switch. I still have so many things I need to learn and I’ll benefit more from education and experience right now than I will from a new system. YMMV.

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    • Kishore Sawh

      You’ve made some good points there Ben. Regarding being so vocal on switching, it would seem it’s probably because SLRs have been just so dominant for so long, that moving to anything else usually garners a lot of questions, and warrants some explanation.

      I’m certainly in that camp of those who believe that most of what most people shoot can be done with most modern cameras, and i think you’ve made a good call in submitting your attention to furthering your education, then deciding on a system. Cheers

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  8. Eric Sharpe

    I can respect it.

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  9. Steven Pellegrino

    I too shoot with both Fuji and Nikon. I love my Fuji cameras – the original X100 and an XE1, but they can’t do everything I need them to, so I shoot both and use whichever is appropriate for the situation. For portraits I can go either way, but for sports (or protests), the Fuji’s can’t keep up.

    But to take another direction with this – I don’t look at myself as a “Nikon photographer” or a “Fuji photographer”. I’m a photographer and the cameras are just tools. I guess some people feel like they have to make public proclamations that they’ve ditched the DSLR for mirrorless. That is the trend now. That’s fine with me, but I’m happy to keep shooting with both formats.

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    • Kishore Sawh

      Steven, I believe this would be my approach also, as hinted to in the article. I would certainly keep my SLRs for particular things, but for the majority of my photo work/pleasure, the Fuji would be brilliant

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    • Rafael Steffen

      This is one of the best comments so far. We some times get cought up with equipment and forget about perfecting the craft.

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    • Rafael Steffen

      Great view on how different cameras can really add value to the lineup.

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