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Is Fujifilm a Good Camera Brand? | 3 Reasons to Buy & Avoid
There are several camera brands out there, some with different strong points than others. Fijufilm is a very unique brand in my eyes.
So, what are Fujifilm’s strong points in general, and do they match your own preferences? That is exactly what we are going to analyze in this article today.
- Buy a Fujifilm camera if…
- You like the old, retro, film-like style and natural cinematic looks. If you want night photography to look more natural, with just enough contrast and beautiful bokeh.
- You love the autumn season and the golden hour, and you want to emphasize the warm tones of nature without burning highlights and shadows.
- You want a camera that can adapt pretty well to different settings and pleasantly surprise you with different hues as per setting requirements.
- Don’t Buy if…
- You are an amateur photographer or low on a budget and want the best quality at the lowest price.
- You want to use the camera in extreme environmental conditions such as underwater photography, snow photography, rain and storm photography, mud, dust, excessive heat, and so on.
- You are a professional videographer and you want a full-frame combined with 4K and 60fps. There are better alternatives from other brands.
At the time of this writing, Fujifilm’s entry-level camera kits start at around $800 and go up from there. Unless you are a brand enthusiast or are high on a budget, I don’t recommend starting with a Fujifilm.
In my humble opinion, for the features they offer, they are overpriced. I mean why not choose the Nikon Z 30, which offers a medium-format sensor for about $50 extra?
If you’re just starting with photography or videography, you should consider brands with entry-level cameras that start as low as $300 like Canon, unless you can get your hands on a certified refurbished or used high-end camera.
Now let’s get to what really matters: image quality! Fujifilm cameras’ trademarks are the warm colors and film-like look. But! They are not always warm. The color pretty much depends on the setting.
I like to think of Fuji cameras as the chameleons of the industry.
As seen in picture(1), if you want to shoot Autumn settings with red and gold maples, the camera will adapt to that and give you the perfect warm tones, as if you are shooting majestic Japanese scenery all warm and vibrant! Your photos will barely need some editing!
On the other hand, as seen in pictures (2) and (3), Fujifilm goes in the opposite direction when it comes to Winter settings with mountains or snowy forests.
The camera adapts once more and gives you cool blueish tones whereas Canon tends more towards yellowish tones. However, Sony(using a Tamron lens) is pretty close to Fuji in such settings, just less blueish and far more affordable.
In addition, and in my opinion, always, Fujifilm cameras can handle daylight better than Canon and Nikon, as seen in picture(4), which burn the whites more easily. Fuji keeps the balance between whites and blacks.
That’s due to their D-Range technology. When there is light behind the subject (e.g: sun), they create a mild blooming effect, preserve the light rays and give you a beautiful and cinematic lens flare.
If you are a lover of the old, film-like, retro style, I definitely suggest Fujifilm.
On the other hand, when it comes to portrait photography, especially indoors, Fujifilm cameras just aren’t the best for skin tones as they, apparently, tend to look pink, even if the model has a fair or yellowish complex.
The image sharpness is decent and pretty similar to Canon and Nikon, but the contrast is much lower than the other two.
On the bright side, their video recording is promising as the resolution you will get from their low-end cameras starts at 4K!
Unfortunately, they don’t offer in-body stabilization except for the more expensive models, so you better make sure you use a proper lens that offers that.
The X-A7 is their cheapest mirrorless, which offers a 4K30fps and 1080p60fps, which is satisfying enough for shooting slow-motion footage.
Not perfect, but satisfying considering the price. When it comes to autofocus, Fujifilm is okay but definitely can’t compete with Canon’s Dual Pixel autofocus.
As opposed to Fujifilm’s photo system, video recording is not as warm and vibrant. Bringing the high-end X-H2S to the test, the colors are pretty close to Nikon Z9.
Fujifilm cameras perform pretty well at night as well, but they tend to be slightly darker compared to Sony and Canon in picture(5).
However, the colors are less warm compared to Sony and Canon in different lighting conditions, which is quite surprising, especially compared to the EOS R in picture(6).
EOS R is admittedly pretty close to X-T3 with minor differences in terms of color and lighting; I will mention that EOS R appears more saturated and with a bit higher contrast than X-T3.
Return policy and warranty
If you are unhappy with your purchase, you can return the camera to Fujifilm within 90 days from the ship date and they will either fix it or replace it with a new one, depending on the circumstances.
If you return it within 45 days, there will be no fee. However, if you return the camera within 45 to 90 days, there will be a 15% restocking fee.
And it is always important that you return it in the original packaging. But either way, they never issue a refund, so don’t expect any.
So, before you buy, you must be 100% certain that a Fujifilm camera is what you want and that you are not going to throw away your money on a camera you will end up never using.
Fujifilm cameras have average weather sealing, except for the X-T4, which is a BEAST among the rest!
However, the X-T4 is one of the brand’s expensive models, so if you are on a budget and you are an adventurer, meaning underwater photography with a glass tank or filming waves up close, I suggest you skip Fujifilm and check out Pentax, whose prices are more affordable by any means, and they make every camera weather-sealed.
Fujifilm has typical customer service. I haven’t personally bought from them, but after taking a look at Trustpilot reviews, it is not easy to ignore that the average rating is about 3 stars, so don’t expect anything special.
Their customers have evidently complained about Fujifilm not fixing or replacing their cameras with manufacturing issues within the warranty period.
Situations like this can be really frustrating, especially if you have spent a whole bunch of dollars on your camera.
Cameras typically require service once every 4-5 years if you are lucky, but what happens if the brand-new camera you just brought in is defective?
If you take a lot of travel photos from far away or use your camera for action shots, or just like the idea of a waterproof camera, then the Fujifilm Finepix XP120 might be worth considering regardless of price, as well as the X-T4 for weather sealing, but don’t put it in water.
That said, there are some other equally good options out there that may be even less expensive. The Fujifilm X series is a good choice for those looking for a camera that offers professional photo quality.
It is meant for amateur and semi-professional photographers, particularly nature and landscape photographers.