I bought a Fuji

Who would have seen that coming, the Oly fan-boy venturing out in neighbor’s garden. Even I myself never thought I might be exploring another camera system. But it has really happened. I bought a Fuji….

As I’ve written a few times on this blog, I used to be a DSLR shooter, having assembled a nice collection of Nikon lenses around a D7000 APS-C body. But then it all became too heavy. I was tired of lugging around a huge backpack with a ton of glass. So when Olympus started the Micro Four Thirds system with the original OM-D E-M5, I jumped ship for something smaller and lighter, and really never looked back. I sold all my Nikon gear and, over the years, built up a nice assortment of Olympus bodies and their fabulous glass. I never minded shooting the smaller sensor, given the small packages (in comparison to full frame DSLR’s) and and the great IQ.

Even when the smaller full frames from Sony, Leica and later Nikon and Canon appeared, I never really glanced over. Something that really attracted me to Olympus was the great retro look of some of their bodies, like in my trusted PEN-F. And it was also the looks of the cameras that always had me squinting over at the Fuji X system, that was introduced 2010 with the legendary X100. But I never had (and still don’t have) the intention of embarking on another system change.

But lately there appeared dark clouds over the Micro Four Thirds system in general and Olympus in particular. Olympus sold its loss-making imaging division to a financial investor earlier in the year. It is still open whether, after some restructuring, they will continue the consumer camera business. But it seems already clear that the brand Olympus will cease to exist, potentially the hardware will be marketed simply as OM-D in the future.

Then, the other player in the m43 market, Panasonic, lately started their full frame journey. And there are many advantages to the larger, full frame sensors in still relatively small mirrorless bodies. So as it looks today, the future of Micro Four Thirds is very much in limbo.

But again, what I own in terms of Olympus gear, will last me my remaining lifetime, so another change of systems is not on the horizon. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t take a look into neighbor‘s garden 😉

The last new piece of gear I bought was the body of my OM-D E-M1X a few years ago. Apart from that, I’ve been selling and buying bodies and lenses via eBay or classified ads. If you know what your are looking for and do proper research, you can get awesome deals on used gear (I will do a separate post on my experiences buying and selling used camera gear).

And so I came to look for a Fujifilm X-Pro1 to get my feet wet in the Fuji X system. You have to know, the current model is the X-Pro3. The X-Pro1 was originally released in 2012 (priced at 1600€ body only). Doing some bargain hunting, I found one on ebay classified ads, that, according to the serial number, was one of the last units produced in 2016. And it had a shutter count of just 3000 images. In pristine condition, spotless. And I paid just 300€ for it. Shooting only prime lenses lately, I also hunted for a Fujinon 23mm F/2 R WR lens, which translates to a 35mm full frame equivalent on the APS-C sensor of the X-Pro1. And I found one in great condition for another 300€ (it retails for just below 500 these days).

So why the Fuji X-Pro1? The first X system camera for professional demands quickly gained a cult following, but due to initial problems around the auto focus never really became a mainstream camera – this started only with the successor X-Pro2. But the thing is, over the years Fuji also kept upgrading the firmware of the older X-Pro1, and a lot of the early deficiencies were eventually mitigated via software. The auto focus, while not on the level of the succeeding X-Pro2, is doing just fine.

The X-Pro1 is perhaps one of Fujifilm’s most underrated digital cameras, but that is beginning to change, the aftermarket prices of the remaining used bodies have stabilized and start to even increase again. The 16,3 mega pixel sensor of the X-Pro 1 is rendering images like no other Fuji camera that was released later, and its almost filmic look is still very much recognized, turning the first X-Pro camera of Fuji into a classic. And this is why I went after one as my small scale and affordable start into the Fuji system.

I used my new toy to shoot on the streets of Genoa last weekend, and the camera did not disappoint. There are many advantages over my earlier Olympus bodies (not comparing it to the M1X), like the embedded film simulations and the much better possibilities of customizing buttons for quick access to functions. I will keep you posted on my experiences shooting with it.

Have a great Friday!

Marcus

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42 thoughts on “I bought a Fuji

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  1. About 5 years ago I picked up and XPro1. I thought it was a bit of a gimmick camera. Within a few weeks of shooting with its was in love. From that day on all my other gear collected dust. Still love it to bits.

  2. Congrats on being a Fuji owner. I know very little about cameras. We have a Canon EOS that works just fine for what we need it to do. If I knew more about photography, I would have better opinions about quality, but I don’t. So, I’m looking forward to learning how you like this and what the advantages are. Wishing you great pictures in the future with your new Fuji!

  3. Congrats, Marcus. I love my Fuji … although I still carry and love my Nikon. I really like the Fuji colors …

  4. I made the change from Canon to Fuji a couple of summers ago because I got tired of the weight that adds up to the camera if I’m carrying an extra lens or two! The Fuji is light, small, and has an appealing retro look! The pictures quality are really good as well. I’m still struggling with the difference in the systems and didn’t fully get how to work around the focus yet but I’m loving it so far.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences! There are so many camera specific youtube videos out there that explain how to work the menus as well as practical things like focusing! Check it out! Happy Sunday! Marcus

  5. Very interesting, Marcus. I look forward to hearing more and seeing more photos as time goes on. I’m also interested in hearing what you have to say about buying used equipment, even though you’re in Europe and I’m in the states. I’m aware of the upset at Olympus but time will tell.
    I just bought a new-to-me but used prime lens – the 12mm f2 – but haven’t received it yet. I’m hoping it will be good. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Lynn, glad you like the post. I will soon write about buying used gear here in Europe. How great you got yourself a 12mm F/2. I own that lens and it is fabulous. It gives you images you couldn’t take with a smart phone, to refer to the other discussion. Happy Sunday! Marcus

    1. Thanks, Cornelia, so much appreciated! It’s a metal body, so it does feel great! Will take it for a spin on the weekend, although we are in full fall mode already, with some rainy and cold days ahead. Stay safe! Marcus

  6. Marcus, do you like your new camera? It’s a nice addition to your old camera. I thought about once buying Fuji and almost was ready to do it…
    My very best wishes to you.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Kaya, much appreciated. I find my new Fuji very inspiring and love the images I get out of it. Will use it mainly for street photography. Have a great weekend and stay safe! Marcus

  7. Interesting, Markus….no more Olympus? I didn’t know that. I’m still using my OMD Em1 which is at least 7 years old

  8. Interesting I ordered one of these from an online seller in China and it was never sent, so I had to reverse the payment. Nice to hear a little bit about the camera and your choice of cameras for street photography over the years. Any suggestions on which fast lens is the best to mate with the camera?

    1. After lots of research I decided on the 23 F/2 R WR (equals 35mm full frame). It sharp across, small and perfect for street photography and travel. If you are shooting portraits or like 50mm ( full frame), go for the 35mm F/2 , equally small and light. If you want to go really fast, both lenses are available as F/1.4, but much more expensive and significantly bigger and heavier. Sorry to hear about your China experience. Thanks for commenting! Marcus

  9. Interesting Marcus. I am not a big fan of my X-T2. Have had it in for repair once and now it needs another, different repair. I I also
    Had to send a lens back for repair and after several tries they finally sent a replacement I’m torn about moving to X-T4 vs Nikon mirrorless because of the newly announced Nikon glass. Either way a costly move 🤬

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Fuji. Repairs happen in all systems, I guess. I had a Minolta die on me after 6 months, it was replaced. I had a Nikon zoom lens literally fall apart on me. I had a sensor failure on my first digital Olympus just out of warranty, but they gave me a discount to by my first E-M1. But I agree, moving up for a XT-4 (although an awesome camera) is costly, probably more so a move over to Nikon as you need new lenses as well. Never an easy decision. I will keep my Olympus stuff, complemented by my used old Leica M and now the used old Fuji. Stay safe! Marcus

  10. Fuji and Olympus have the nicest retro looking cameras around. The Olympus system is superb, as is the Fuji system. I moved to Fuji from Nikon a few years ago and love their cameras, but in terms of picture quality there isn’t much difference between any of the cameras nowadays. enjoy your XPro1!

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Stuart, so much appreciated! I agree on the similar image quality between all those cams. I’m definitely not a pixel peeper. For me it is more the emotion of using a camera, the haptics are more important than the last useable pixel or some less noise at high ISO. I need to feel joy when picking up a camera. The process of image taking for me is as important as the image itself. This is why I love those old classic cameras like my Leica M and now the X-Pro1. They feel god….Stay safe! Marcus

    1. I’m loving it, it feels great – and this for me is as important as the images it produces. Picking up a camera should be an emotional process 😉 Thanks for your kind words! Marcus

      1. You mean one needs to connect with the camera before owning it? Well, then it goes for many things for me as well.
        But enjoying your pics is so true because they kind of speak and connect.

      2. Well, I mean picking up more in the sense of grabbing the cam before going shooting. But I do a lot of research on a camera before buying one, watching videos and reviews of people using it. If it doesn’t click there I wouldn’t buy it. Thanks for your kind words 🙂

  11. Seeing your new camera, Marcus, I did some searching for it and other models. Fuji builds some very nice cameras! Enjoy that camera!

      1. I still like the camera very much Marcus, but it’s really a bit too much camera for my skill level, being very honest here. I want to have a one-on-one session with someone who can teach me the things I need to know about the camera.

      2. Yeah – that makes sense. I‘m afraid I can‘t help, having left Nikon so many years ago. Look for exlanations/tutorials on youtube, there is so much help out there. This is how I crawled myself into the Fuji world, via youtube…

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