The most stylish cameras? Photos on a figure with a picture like on a film? A bunch of cool inexpensive glasses? It’s all Fujifilm! Today we analyze why we love cameras of this brand so much.
Fujifilm is a unique company. As one of the flagship manufacturers of film for cameras and cameras, it, unlike Kodak, successfully survived the “digital revolution”, but at the same time it never followed the ready-made solutions of the industry giants — Canon, Nikon and Sony. Perhaps this is the only company that has been able to preserve the “spirit of analog photography” and transfer it to the digital world. Thanks to this, Fujifilm gained cult status and a loyal fan base.
Fujifilm has always followed its own path, despite the ever-changing trends around. At the same time, the company did not close itself in the “good old traditions”, but consistently introduced innovations. Today, unlike other Japanese camera manufacturers, Fuji has not put all its efforts into developing a full-frame mirrorless system, cutting budgets for other formats. Instead, she consistently moves on her chosen course, without giving her fans unpleasant surprises. For example, Canon has discontinued the M lenses for its APS‑C mirrorless cameras.
Fujifilm is the only one of the big companies that continues to focus on APS‑C format cameras (like the X‑T4), which are smaller and cheaper than full-frame mirrorless cameras. They are designed for the widest possible range of consumers — they are used by both photographers and videographers, both amateurs and professionals.
In parallel, Fuji has been innovating in medium format (larger and more expensive than full frame models) by developing affordable, modern and easy to use medium format cameras (like the GFX 50S). Here, the target audience is narrower — professional photographers, for example, sports photographers, wedding photographers, wildlife photographers, and so on.
If you ask any “fujivod” to describe the company’s cameras in one word, in most cases you will probably hear: “style”.
Fuji cameras inherit the vintage look of film cameras, which remains relevant regardless of any modern trends. Don’t be surprised if someone asks you on the street what year your camera is and how you managed to keep it in such great shape. And don’t let the retro look fool you, there’s a powerful modern camera inside!
Controls and ergonomics
The cameras don’t just look like analog models, they retain the retro philosophy of the controls. Even on base models, you’ll find old-school rims and levers on the top bar.
The ability to manually, using the wheels, adjust the main exposure parameters (shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation plus aperture on the lens) is one of Fujifilm’s chips: not all compact cameras from other brands give so much “manual” control. In addition, all controls are tactilely pleasing, and manually adjusting the camera is a separate kind of pleasure. In addition, such exercises develop the skills of a photographer.
At the same time, the modern filling of the camera allows you to set all parameters to automatic mode and not think about “manual” control. The engineers left enough room for customization and changing the functions for the buttons.
Fujifilm’s menu is logical, without obvious jambs and intricacies (which some direct competitors from Sony, for example, a6400, do). The main thing is that the camera does not interfere with your shooting — and this is very important!
And yes, one more item related to ergonomics. Fujifilm cameras are very compact! Despite the filling at the level of top-end full-frame mirrorless cameras, flagships like the Fujifilm X‑T4 are noticeably smaller (600 grams versus 700g for the Nikon Z II or 1kg for the Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H), not to mention the “charged” kids like the X‑T30 . At the same time, not only the cameras themselves are smaller, but also the lenses: here you will not encounter such a problem when you have to wind a huge lens onto a compact full-frame mirrorless camera, like the Sony a7C.
This, of course, by definition does not apply to medium format models, although for their frame size they remain quite sane dimensions. For example, the Fujifilm GFX 50S II weighs 900 grams, on par with some full-frame cameras.
Film simulation and finished JPEGs
If you want great shots right away, without long post-processing, then Fujifilm cameras are one of the best options on the market.
First, the cameras offer many of the favorite film modeling (or simulation) modes. Here, Fujifilm has probably gone to great lengths to bring your shots closer to the “analog vibe” without requiring you to tinker with each shot. You simply select the appropriate “film” and press the shutter.
And if the finished profiles of most other manufacturers are no different from the filters on Instagram, Fuji really comes out with a picture very similar to analog shots — warmer, more soulful and humane.
We will not analyze all the modeling modes here, we just recommend trying Provia — a universal option for a variety of situations due to good contrast and bright colors. The charismatic Classic Chrome will give your shot delicate muted colors and pleasing skin tones. With it, a beautiful shade of the sky is obtained.
For video filming, there is also a ready-made profile for a “cine” picture — Eterna. It is distinguished by reduced saturation, which is convenient to work with during color correction, so the colors do not “jump out”. Adds cinematic smooth tonal gradation for highlights and shadows — it prevents “clipping”.
There is another feature that makes Fujifilm cameras so popular. It’s their beginner friendliness: Fuji’s stock shots (JPEG*) are very good. The photos require almost no processing, are obtained immediately with bright colors, excellent tonal range, good contrast — a great option for all beginner photographers.
*in JPEG format, the user receives ready-made photos “processed” by the camera, in contrast to the “raw” RAW format, which is used for post-processing.
Any photographer knows that the camera itself is only half the battle. Equally important are lenses, their quality, price and availability. As we said above, all these years Fujifilm has not been scattered, creating a bunch of different systems and mounts, but has concentrated on the most important thing. Therefore, the company has a huge selection of specialized APS‑C lenses for all occasions and at reasonable prices. We have a ready-made guide to the best Fujifilm glasses, so here we will limit ourselves to a couple of personal recommendations.
The super versatile zoom Fujifilm XF 18–55mm f/2.8–4.0 R OIS LM is the best kit lens of all. It can easily replace several glasses at once. Suitable for both photo and video shooting, so if you are going to buy a Fujifilm camera, do not be stingy and take it with this model.
If you are not a fan of zooms and want to assemble the most compact kit, then Fujifilm primes are one of the best things in the world! Fast, with good optics and a sturdy body, this is a cool option for street and portrait shooting. Prices are on the rise right now, but the Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2 or Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R remain within reach despite economic turmoil.
If you need a telephoto lens, then the Fujifilm XF 50–140mm f / 2.8 R LM OIS WR will take a portrait with beautiful bokeh, and in the park it will “reach out” to a squirrel.
For Fujifilm, they created a good selection of cheap, but high-quality optics from Chinese manufacturers, primarily Viltrox and Laowa. There are also anti-crisis offers from 7Artisans.
More recently, Sigma has also started producing lenses for Fujifilm X, starting with fast primes: Sigma 16mm, 30mm and 56mm f/1.4 DC DN.
Shooting with Fujifilm is cool
But most importantly, shooting with Fujifilm is very pleasant. It is difficult to convey in the text how tactilely pleasant it is to hold these cameras in your hands, it is pleasant to turn the levers. And you just feel really cool when you go to take a picture with Fujik at the ready.
Do you want to take cool photos for social networks without too much trouble? Please — choose the film mode for your style, wind up a stylish fix and go out into the street! Want to make a vlog? Please turn on the Eterna profile, screw on the 18–55mm stabilized zoom and shoot cool video. Do you want to shoot cool portraits in the studio? Please, put RAW+Jpeg, grab the Viltrox AF 56mm f/1.4 and let’s go!
These cameras are very fun to take photos and shoot videos, so you shoot more and more! Isn’t that what a camera is for?