The same time the launch in the beginning of 2012 of the Fujufilm X-Pro 1 camera, an entire mirrorless system was under way. The X-system was born.
As any other system being in its infancy the system wasn’t perfect nor complete. With time came its development together with the help of its users of whom Fujifilm seems to listem more then others (camera/lens manufacturers) do these days (as of April 2016) the X-system has reached a certain maturity.
I think can be easily considered a viable alternative to a SLR camera based one and probably the best mirrorless choice. I see it so first of all because it is set on quality then quantity but still keeping the entire system in a financially more manageable area.
Of course it needs improvements, of course it has its own pros and cons but today as already said, if not in all areas (of photography) a photographer should not have a problem chosing it.
Because I mentioned improvement, I think where this could be made is its flash system and of course its battery life but the later one I can add it to the cons.
I begin mentioning the pros first (even though many are already known):
– Small camera body and lenses with a big sensor. I think the APS-C or DX size sensor makes it the best choice for a mirrorless camera. It is not too big to necessitate / request big dSLR lenses but in the same time big enough to bring especially in 2016 an excellent image quality (detail, ISO, DR, etc.) so that you won’t need necessarely a full frame sensor camera.
– Most of its lenses, especially the prime lenses don’t need in-camera distortion correction, being already optically corrected. This means you buy quality “glass”
– The cameras and the lenses are well build, metal making a comeback in a larger scale into the photocamera’s world.
– It is the only mirrorless system that has in its offer a camera with an optical viewfinder (usable mostly with a certain range of focal lengh lenses though)
– The photographer needs no LCD or to look through the viewfinder to set its camera (depending on the model). I mean to set the main exposure settings (aperture, shuttertime, ISO, exposure compensation).
– As of now, two cameras are wheather sealed, two cameras are made in a rangefinder style, two in a SLR style and one as a simple, viewfinderless compact camera.
– The X-system lenses expands its weather sealed ones offer. Today it reached about 6 lenses in its lineup.
– There are over 20 dedicated excellent quality autofocus lenses available, and more can be used via an adapter (in manual focus mode though)
– The focus peaking and digital rangefinder when using the electronic viewfinder are of great help while manual focusing (compared to a nondedicated focusing screen found in modern dSLRs).
– Image quality is no more a problem at least until ISO 6400 (especially for the X-Pro2) being more or less at the same level with 2-3 years some full frame cameras.
and the cons:
– Short battery life. A problem comment to most of the mirrorles cameras on the market.
– The lenses have fly-by-wire manual focus control. This means that if the motor or the lense’s electronics are dead, the lens is dead (manual focus can not be used)
– On some occasions and for some situations the autofocus is still not on par this certain dSLR cameras. But improvement are made from a generation to another.
– Although the lens offer is pretty wide and of high quality, the second-hand market is way smaller than for the dSLR lenses. Understandable, though.
– No IBIS. Maybe could be implemented on future cameras but the competition also has no IBIS (APS-C/DX camera sensor ones).
– Not all the lenses have OIS but yet again most lenses are quite fast and using a higher ISO is no more a problem.
Further there is Fujifilm’s camera lineup and lenses 🙂
Dedicated APS-C lenses:
1. Autofocus X-mount lenses (20+1+3)
-Fujinon prime lenses:
XF 14mm f:2.8 R
XF 16mm f:1.4 R WR
XF 18mm f:2.0 R
XF 23mm f:1.4 R
XF 27mm f:2.8
XF 35mm f:2.0 R WR
XF 35mm f:1.4 R
XF 56mm f:1.2 R
XF 56mm f:1.2 R APD
XF 60mm f:2.4 R Macro
XF 90mm f:2.0 R LM WR
-Fujinon zoom lenses:
XF 10-24mm f:4.0 R OIS
XF 18-55mm f:2.8-4 R LM OIS
XF 16-55mm f:2.8 R LM WR
XC 16-55mm f:3.5-5.6 OIS
XF 55-200mm f:3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
XF 50-140mm f:2.8 R LM OIR WR
XC 50-230mm f”4.5-6.7 OIS
XF 100-400mm f:4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
plus the teleconverter
XF 1.4x TC WR
-Carl Zeiss prime lenses:
Touit 12mm f:2.8
Touit 32mm f:1.8
Touit 50mm f:2.8 Macro
2. Manual focus X-mount lenses
Samyang / Rokinon 10mm f:2.8 ED AS NCS CS
Samyang / Rokinon 12mm f:2.0 NCS CS
Samyang / Rokinon 16mm f:2.0 ED AS NCS CS
Samyang / Rokinon 21mm f:1.4 ED AS NCS CS
Samyang / Rokinon 50mm f:1.2 ED AS NCS CS
Samyang / Rokinon 300mm f:6.3 ED UMC CS
and many more 😉
All in all, perfection does not exists. The same can be said about a camera system. In the end is about the relationship between the photographer and his or her tool.
Because “It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson