Thinking Of Switching To Fuji, Advice?

Discussion in 'Fuji X-Mount Cameras' started by Cruzan80, May 25, 2014.

  1. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 FujiXspot Regular

    44
    May 25, 2014
    Hey All,

    I am thinking of changing over my camera system to Fuji. The manual controls are what the main draw is for me, along with the look from the x-trans sensor, and the wonderful OOC Jpegs. Right now I have a m4/3 Panasonic G3, the kit lens and the Panasonic 20mm. I also have a large amount of legacy glass. If I go with the Fuji, I will probably get rid of all of the native glass I have (the G3 body isn't worth much, and it gives me another focal length to play with). The Panasonic is my first ILC (before this was cheap P&S), and I got it when it was fairly new, so Fuji was in a different price bracket at the time, and was far less developed as a system.

    Question 1: How close are the X-E1 and X-E2 in shooting experience? I will primarily be using legacy glass, figure the kit lens and one of the tele-zooms for native lenses. Several of the reviews I have seen have conflicting information, probably due to updates after the review posted. From what I understand, the E2 has faster AF due to PDAF on sensor, has the split image option, wifi transfer, and more customization. Right now, I see they are ~$500 apart (Adorama has the E1 kit for 700 w/6% back, E2 is 1200 w/4% back). How much real difference would I be getting for $500? Consider I will probably be getting several years out of this body (not one to flip every year/two).

    Question 2: Lens lineup? I am thinking of getting the kit zoom as I have heard good things as a "standard zoom" coverage range. The other two I am thinking of picking up over time is one of the tele-zooms (probably leaning towards the cheaper one), and a UWA (either the 14/UWA zoom, or one of the two Samyangs, probably due to price differences). I have a decent stable of Minolta SR legacy glass, which seems to cover most of the more common lenses Fuji offers. I have a Vivitar Close Focus 28/2 (instead of the Fuji 27), could pick up a 35mm fairly cheap, a 45/2, 50/1.4 which would both be a bit longer than "normal", a Vivitar 55/2.8 Macro (vs the Fuji 60mm macro), and a Minolta 58 1.4 and 1.2 (vs the Fuji 56 1.2), a Vivitar 135/2.8 (not sure how useful it is with this size sensor) and a JCPenny 80-200/4 (can hold me over until I see if I need an AF tele-zoom). Any gaps anyone else can see that would be missing, or a benefit of any particular Fuji lens that I am overlooking? If I decide I really want a pancake in the 28mm range, I can pick up an Industar 69 for pocketability, or is the 27 worth it? How about the 35mm vs a legacy 35?

    Question 3: Minolta glass with Fuji X-Trans sensor? After getting a few Minolta lenses (and almost all the Vivitars I have are Komine), I tried a couple of other branded lenses, and couldn't get over the color differentiation within the workflow I had. How does Minolta glass play with the X-Trans sensor? Any problems/issues people have run across? I understand that the workflow will be a bit different, since the different sensor means it has a different "look".

    Question 4: Dynamic Range and ISO usage between G3/X-E1~2? Looking at some of the graphs (I generally am not a pixel peeper, nor a gearhead) it seems as though the Fujis are a bit better at highlights whereas they lose about a stop or two in shadows? Anyone happen to have shot both (or similar sensors) that can give me an idea in this regard? Don't do too much HDR, but not sure if it is a general difference, or something I would notice while shooting? I generally dont go above 1600 with my G3 (rarely 3200, and I know there will be noise/grain). How visually appealing is the Fuji High ISO Noise? Is it something that can be worked with (aka. understand it will be there, and just treat it like extra grain) or taken care of with NR?

    Question 5: Flash speeds? I know that the X-E series has a 1/180 sync speed. Is it restricted to this? The reason I ask is that on my G3, if I have a flash on (onboard or external) it defaults to 1/60, but refuses to go beyond 1/160. I understand if I go above the rated sync speed I may have black bands, but is it an option I can choose to do on the Fuji, or is it locked out like the G3?

    Question 6: Silver durability? I am not a stealth shooter, nor do I obsess over the physical appearance of my gear, but wondering how durable the silver top is on these. I know that on some of the Olympus bodies/lenses, it is silver paint over plastic (no problem there) but that it started to wear/flake faster than a black would have (possible problem). Not planning on blacking out any logos or things like that, but is silver going to be harder to match for touch-ups? Any real pricing difference people have noticed in the used market?

    Alternative B: Metabones MD-m4/3 adapter? The other case I was looking at was getting the Metabones Speedbooster for my existing m4/3 camera, giving me the approximate FoV that I would get mounting it on the G3 I have. I do already have issues going with the faster shutter speeds in outside daylight, so not sure the extra stop of light would be more of a help or hinderance. The upside is that it is about $400, so significantly cheaper than the X-E1 kit, and may better keep its resale value if I decide it isnt for me (generally resale is low on my list of priorities, but since I am branching out of my comfort zone, it may make sense here). I know that currently Metabones doesn't make a MD-Fuji X Speedbooster. Anyone have experiences with off brands giving good quality?

    Sorry if this seems a bit rambling, just trying to come up with a list of pros/cons in my head before I decide which way to jump. Right now we are showing our house to move, so it will be a bit before I will act on this. The good news is that where we are moving to has a camera shop which carries both m4/3 and Fuji so I may be able to go in and handle the X-E series and see how it feels. I know this is primarly a Fuji forum, but is there a reason I should stay with my m4/3 gear based off of this?
     
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  2. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 FujiXspot Regular

    44
    May 25, 2014
    This is the companion post that I put on mu-43.com, which I think laid out the positives/negatives a bit better.

    Fuji Positives: I find myself being lured by Fuji for their manual controls and OOC Jpegs. The Rangefinder look vs the mini-DSLR isn't really a concern for me right now, as I don't really care which way it works out, as long as it is comfortable to hold (and the G3 has the smallest grip of any of the G series). Right now I find myself unable to change speed fast enough in Manual on the thumbwheel, and feel the dedicated dials for SS and EC would help me shoot in manual even more than I do now (vs Aperture Priority). I rarely use the LCD screen on the G3, except for reviewing pictures. I can probably count on both hands the number of times I have folded it out and at an angle to take a picture. The onboard flash can be bounced in a pinch (vs using a folded receipt to bounce the onboard up). I also believe that on the Fuji you can go above the sync speed at your own risk (the G3 is locked at 1/160 max, even in manual).

    Fuji Negatives: Price. If I were to swap systems, I would pick up the 18-55 kit lens so I had at least one AF lens. Aside from a couple of used deals that seem to go quick, most X-E1 sales are body only, and by the time I add the lens, I am almost at a new price (Adorama has it for $700). Then I add a grip, batteries, etc. I would also need to adjust my workflow to accomodate the Xtrans sensor. I have heard that the latest LR seems to do a fairly decent job (especially compared to older versions), so I won't have to learn a new program entirely. I have also asked at the Fuji X forum how the Xtrans sensor behaves with the coloration/look of the Minolta glass, as that is the primary type of lens I am going to put on it. I wouldn't have a pancake currently like I do with the G3/P20, but I can either get a Fuji 27 or an Industar 69 (same aperture on both) down the road. 3:2 Aspect ratio may end up being a negative, as the first ILC I have had is the G3, and I find myself liking the 4:3 aspect ratio more than the 3:2. But that may be because that is how I started to visualize it, and if I had the 3:2 that included the 4:3 I see on the screen, I would be fine with that too.

    Metabones Positives: Price. Even at $400, it is cheaper than the alternative. It should also hold its value if I decide that I am not getting enough use out of it for resale without too much of a hit (glass always holds value better than bodies). It gives me the shallower DoF I can occasionally want while changing nothing else about how I shoot. It also adds a tripod mount in front of the camera for better balancing on some of my heavier lenses.

    Metabones Negatives: Locked into one mount. I have been fairly pleased with the Minolta glass I have, and have disposed of a couple of other brands that I picked up to try. However, this means that the investment I have is unable to change to something else.

    Metabones Wash: Lower F-stop. Sometimes I can see this being a great thing, other times I am already bumping up against the shutter limit, and shooting more open will only make this worse.

    So I have a few different ways I can do this. To go the Fuji route, I will be selling some things to fund it, primarily the P20 and kit lens (unsure about the G3 body, as I am not sure how much it would be worth, compared to having a second "set" of focal lengths). Or I keep everything I have, get the Metabones, and shoot that way. I find myself shooting 95+% of my shots between 14-60mm on the m4/3 with the remaining 5% being in the 60-200mm range (all actual focal lengths). So I don't think I will be missing out on too much that the kit lens+legacy glass covers on the Fuji.
     
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  3. Phoenix

    Phoenix Ronin-13 Subscribing Member

    744
    Jan 31, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix
    Hi and welcome to the forum Cruzan, unfortunately I don't own an XE-1 or XE-2 nor have I used an mu-43 camera. I can only speak from the perspective of someone who has adapted legacy glass, primarily Minolta glass to mirrorless cameras.

    One of the really good things about the Fuji system is how good their glass is, of course this will be open to discussion and debate, but personally I find that their lenses are some of the best lenses I have used. This has led me to abandon using my legacy lenses, and I have quite a few. I was using a different mirrorless system previously and my main complaint was the lack of good lenses which opened up an avenue for me to adapt some of my old lenses. But when I moved to Fuji, I found their lenses to be very good that I found adapting legacy lenses more of a hindrance (no af, relying on focus magnification, using focus peaking which is not as well implemented as other systems) than a boon. That is not to say it is not possible, indeed it is, you can adapt almost any lens to it with the corresponding adapter, and I have seen quite beautiful shots with various lenses adapted to a Fuji X camera, however imho, you can get the most out of the Fuji system if you use its native lenses.

    As you have mentioned you are not a gearhead, pixelpeeper or too concerned with the appearance of your gear, have you considered other mirrorless systems? If you do want to take full advantage of using your legacy lenses the Sony NEX system (what I previously used) is one of the most popular systems that people adapt lenses to, It has better focus peaking implementation (imo) and anti-motion blur function that lends itself really well with adapted lenses.

    As for moving from mu-43 to APSC, to me, that’s similar to the APSC vs. Full Frame or Full Frame vs. Medium Format, etc..etc argument… and everyone will have their own opinion. A professional photographer who’s work I really do admire is Bob (Landshark) and I do agree with his opinion regarding sensor size in a separate thread regarding tethering, that as a working professional
    just my 2 cents :)
     
  4. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 FujiXspot Regular

    44
    May 25, 2014
    As far as switching sensor size, I am mostly thinking of it from a FoV perspective (hence the Metabones being the alternative). I am firmly convinced that IQ will be better than I can take advantage of, and DoF is a tool to be used one way or the other. Just not sure about the DR "shift" (for lack of a better word) between the x-e1 and g3 (according to charts). What is drawing me to the Fuji is the control system, and the Xtrans sensor. I have looked at the NEX before, but they usually seem to resemble a brick with a grip welded on the end. Concerning from a ergonomic standpoint vs an appearance one. I understand liking the native glass, and I may find myself switching more to it, but a large reason initially is price. I have all of the legacy glass, so it doesn't cost me almost anything to use it (a $20 adapter). Aside from comparing to the native glass, you were comfortable with the "look" that the Xtrans and Minolta had? Right now, all I have is Magnification on my G3 (no focus peaking) so anything would be a step up.
     
  5. flysurfer

    flysurfer X-Pert

    Feb 1, 2013
    Nuremberg
    Rico Pfirstinger
    Speed Booster is a viable concept for folks who know how to operate manual focus lenses in A or M mode. It can be tricky for those who are used to autofocus. Personally, I use Speed Booster to adapt a Carl Zeiss Sonnar 2.8/180 MM C/Y Germany that I found on eBay in mint condition. As a former Contax shooter, I like the look of this legacy lens, and it reminds me of my photographic beginnings in the 1980s. I am sure there's some nostalgia involved, an emotional component that is completely unrelated to technology. The lens is rather large and heavy, so I rarely use it (even though I love to own it), and it's best to mount it on a monopod.
     
  6. flysurfer

    flysurfer X-Pert

    Feb 1, 2013
    Nuremberg
    Rico Pfirstinger
    Dynamic range is a concept that relates to the sensor, so comparing DR charts based on JPEG output is irrelevant when it comes to finding out what's possible with a specific camera model. After all, the JPEG engine is just one of many ways to process the RAW.

    Since all current Fujifilm APS-C cameras are based on Sony's well-known 16 MP isoless sensor design (some with, some w/o PDAF pixels), there are no secrets involving DR. It's an isoless design, so the amount of DR you can pull out of this sensor in post-processing through tonemapping (basically selective push-processing) is simply amazing. This sensor is also used by Sony, Pentax, Ricoh, Nikon, Leica and other brands in a plethora of mirrorless and DLSR cameras. Even the sensor of the Nikon D800(E) is basically just a larger-area version of this sensor, so there's no "full-frame" DR advantage, just more pixels.

    Obviously, a 16 MP MFT sensor can't feature the same DR as a 16 MP APS-C sensor as long as there's no major generational gap between the cameras you compare. Olympus is using Sony sensors, too, so these cameras are offering a state-of-the-art isoless design, as well. Panasonic make their own sensors, they are currently partnering with Fuji to exploit Fuji's organic sensor patent (which may or may not lead to actual sensor products in a few years).
     
  7. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 FujiXspot Regular

    44
    May 25, 2014
    Thanks for the advice on the sensor differences. I know the G3 uses Panasonics first 16MP sensor, which compared almost equal to the Sony sensor in the EM5, especially when looking below 1600. So aside from learning exactly how far I can push a new camera before clipping (something I was already planning on having to learn), I should get the same or better performance from an XE1 than I currently have. I figured that was the case, bur since I dont mormally read charts, figured on asking the hive mind for clarification.

    Flysurfer, you kind of expanded on my own reasons for shooting legacy glass. Thankfully, aside from the 100+mm lenses, the rest are small enough to easily handhold. At this point, I am just unsure of how much the Fuji would help the shooting experience, vs the Metabones just giving me the FoV difference. I am looking at the 18-55 for when I want to be lazy, or am somehwere that myself and my wife will be taking lots of pictures, handing it off to each other. She can MF, but vastly prefers AF. The other thing the external controls will help me with is to ensure at a glance it is still set up correctly for the situation, vs being left on what the previous setting called for. Had a few times she has gotten frustrated, because it was set up for low light, and she is trying to take pictures of our son outdoors, or vise-versa.
     
  8. Nic

    Nic FujiXspot Regular

    118
    Feb 5, 2013
    Brisbane, Australia
    What measures are you using to comparing sensor performance? While there are definitely other sensor qualities that can't really be measured in numbers, an almost two stop increase in raw dynamic range is a fairly significant operational difference between a G3 and an E-M5 and the gap to the X-E1 may be even slightly more again.
     
  9. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 FujiXspot Regular

    44
    May 25, 2014
    I was mostly going off reviews from when the G3 went on firesale after the G5 appeared. Several reviewers were commenting on sensor difference between G3 and EM5 compared to the price difference. The general consensus eas that below ISO 1600, there was very little difference in what could be captured. Again, I am fine with the IQ of my G3, and any limitations of the sensor are 95% user error, so anything that surpasses that is a bonus. I am not looking to upgrade for IQ reasons but for controls/FoV. That is why the Metabones is in the running as well, as I gain the same FoV/Dof control, but stick with the same body/sensor I am used to.