It’s August 2019, and I was already suffering bad G.A.S. cause my last camera purchase dates back to November 2017 – yay that is almost two years ago! I was shooting my little Fuji X-E3 all the time, and loved it. I’m not a heavy shooter in terms of shutter count apparently – I apparently did exactly 10,000 clicks with the Fuji over these 20 months. I know folks who do that in one weekend. :)
Some random shots from a city trip to Leipzig – the Fuji with 23/2 and 50/2 “Fujicrons” is a great companion for that sort of things!
So my photography is slow, it’s all travel, landscapes and cityscapes, and the occasional assignment (product shots, business portraits, interiors and architecture). Yes, the Fuji does a tremendous job here, especially in combination with the Iridient X-Transformer that I still recommend heavily.
But in the end I got attracted again by even more resolution and the simpler processing that Bayer sensors offer over the Fuji X-Trans. I also dislike the fact that the X-E3 doesn’t have an image stabilisation, and started thinking of buying an X-H1. You get a good one for 900 Euros … a lot of camera for little money. But the files of this big camera, in the end, would be exactly the same as those that the diminutive X-E3 delivers! And while those 24 MP Fuji files are very good, I started to miss the last bit of extra resolution and detail. Maybe I was spoiled forever when I used my Sony A7R back in 2013–2015 …
I got really interested in the Fuji GFX 50R. It’s slower than other modern cameras – no phase-detection auto focus, but that doesn’t bother me at all. So I shot it once when the opportunity arose here in Cologne – Foto Gregor, one of the two big camera stores in town, had an event where you could borrow the camera for an hour or so. The files are oft course extremely rich and detailed and the Fujinon 63mm f/2.8 lens is unbelievably sharp and crisp already at wide-open aperture. And I love the classic, no-fuss handling that all the Fuji bodies and lenses offer.
But – the GFX 50R with the upcoming compact 50mm f/3.5 lens would be an investment of 4,000–5,000 Euros. For all that money I’d still have no built-in stabilisation, and a lens selection that is very good, yet also very limited – plus bulky and expensive – when compared to the usual APS-C or 35mm “full frame” systems.
When I recently got an assignment to do high-quality reproductions of a series of century-old color plates, I bought a Sony A7R II to use for that job. Prices of the A7R II are so low by now it’s almost unbelievable, as everyone’s getting rid of their II’s and even III’s right now! I only paid 1,100 Euros for the body with a mere 5,000ish clicks on it! Yet the quality of the 42 megapixel sensor is still impeccable – and the advancements that the newer A7R models offer regarding auto focus, processing speed and what not, simply aren’t important for me anyway.
Now that the A7R II was in the house, it very quickly grew on me. Yes it’s a bit bulky and clunky compared to the sleek Fuji X-E3. But there are so many more lens choices by now, compared to 3-4 years ago. They have such a head start over Canon und Nikon! Looking for 35–40mm lenses, I found there are 11 or 12 options, and that’s only counting the native ones for the Sony FE mount – from Sony, Zeiss, Samyang, Sigma, Voigtländer, you name it …
I realized that it’s time for me to move on. I’m still not a huge fan of Sony’s user interface but it was funny how familiar it all felt after all that time, as I had the original A7R and an A7 II several years ago. Right now I’m still totally undecided about my first real “standard” lens for the Sony, so I’m using it with all my classic manual focus glass right now. The results are already stunning, as is how good and familiar it feels in my hand.
Time to say goodbye to my Fuji system. Thanks Fuji, it was a great time!