Q & A: Considering the New Fuji X-Series

Allen Mowery
January 11, 2012

Q: I’m looking to buy a camera, and I like the Fuji X-S1 model. Do you think Fuji is the way to go?

My first SLR was a ’70s-era Fujica (I miss that camera!), and I used to use an S2 Pro, but I am by no means a Fuji expert.

I like some of what I see in the X-S1, but there are a few points I don’t like, such as having the bulk of an SLR without the benefit of interchangeable lenses. Plus, it’s more of a standalone camera as opposed to an industry standard, so accessories (such as a cable release or TTL flash) would have to be purchased specifically for the X-S1 which means a bit higher cost without the option of buying third-party or using them elsewhere.

With the X-S1 you do get a lens with a mechanical zoom from 24-624mm, which would negate the need to buy multiple lenses as you would with an SLR. However, I cannot comment on the quality of this particular Fuji lens and would be willing to wager that it’s not top-of-the-line quality like you could purchase for an SLR if you so choose.

What is your primary purpose for the camera — Will you be photographing weddings, or will you be snapping pictures of your kids as they roll around in the dirt at the park? Are you hoping for something that “looks cool” and semi-professional, or are you simply worried about capturing great-quality images? Do you need something that will easily fit into a pocket for convenient carry? Is having the option of interchangeable lenses a priority? Is a retro-looking camera kick-ass thing you’ve seen since the real retro cameras?

Determine what your needs and desires are, and then make a decision off of that. You might find that, in the end, you would be better off going with something like a mid entry-level dSLR for both price and quality.

I personally love the X100 and X-Pro1. With these two models Fuji has returned to a basic design and rugged construction, the likes of which shaped a couple generations of photography. They are more compact than an SLR but still maintain the larger sensors and image quality you could expect from a camera twice their size. But, maybe my admiration is simply born of the nostalgia for my dad’s old Argus rangefinder that I used when first getting serious about photography as an adolescent. ::wink::

I’m waiting to see what else they come out with as time goes on and hope that they continue to perfect this line before I finally throw in the towel and buy one. Then again, I really wish Canon would start releasing similar products…

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