1: Lens Quality
I frequently hear professional photographers say that lens quality is an incredibly influencing factor in how an image turns out. The lens is one of the key players in how sharp your image will be. It’s one thing to shoot with a 50 megapixel camera, but if you have 50 soft megapixels then all you are getting is a very large soft image. Yes, there are brands that have some good lenses; most of the Sigma Art series, for example, is fantastic. However, in most cases research is required to find out which lens option is the best for your task.
For example, this is a great comparison review of two portrait lenses (CLICK HERE), one is the Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2, the other is the Canon 85mm f/1.2 (there is a condensed summary at the bottom of the page). Bear in mind, at the time of writing this, the Fuji lens is valued at about $1600NZD and the Canon is valued at $3000NZD.
Fujifilm lenses maintain consistent sharpness throughout the range, and many are world leaders in image quality. You don't have to take my word for it, ask google, get some hands on time with the the lenses in a store; the results speak for themselves.
2: Weight (vs DSLR)
Most of my work is landscape photography, hiking and travelling are a big part of the job for me, so keeping weight down can be crucial. My previous camera was a full frame DSLR, weighing in at 1.425 kg including battery, memory card and my favourite landscape lens.
Using a Fuji X-T1, the Fuji equivalent lens, memory card and taking 2x batteries, it weighs in at 900g.
Comparing other camera brand’s equivalent DSLRs, the same set up on average, weighs in at 1.355 kg.
When I have a mountain to climb, or a day’s worth of walking ahead of me, that 450g means the world to my back.
3: Image Quality
In perfect light all cameras can take a pretty good photo, even iPhones do a quality job when conditions are great, but when the light starts to dwindle, or your subject starts moving a little faster, this is when we want our camera to step up its game.
HERE IS A LINK to dpreview.com and their image comparison tool. Change the ISO to 6400, from jpeg to RAW, and change either the X-T10 ($1100) or the X-T1 ($1500) to another other camera of your choice, I would suggest the Canon 1Dx Mark II or the Nikon D5 (both valued over $10,000NZD for the bodies alone). The other cameras are slightly better, but only just, and when you consider the price difference...
Once you’ve had a look at that, change the cameras to perhaps the Canon 7D mark II or the Nikon D7200 (both at a closer price range)... and the results aren't even close.
If you have read the 3 points above, you will notice that I have mentioned price a lot. The main reason for that is when it comes to start up costs, upgrading bodies in years to come, and adding new lenses to your collection over time, the Fujifilm gear comes in about 1/3 cheaper than its equivalents. There are cheaper options than Fuji X-Series, but there is always a cheaper option, my point is that in value for money, Fujifilm has nailed it.
5: That X Factor
This point may not apply to everyone, but I know it will for some. Once you have been shooting for a while you will hit a rut. Motivation and inspiration will start to become harder to find, and the joy of photography will not feel like it once did. It wasn't until a few years after I made the change to fujifilm that I realised, when I was using DSLR, I was constantly feeling ‘I’ll be able to make this a great shot once I have edited it’, and now I feel ‘wow, this is a great shot’.
It’s nothing major, really, as in the end I still have great images, but now I feel that instant satisfaction at the time I take the photo, and I enjoy the moment, where I am, who I’m with, and as a result, it keeps me in love with taking photos.