Firstly I will say that I am not sponsored by Fuji in any way and I am not paid by them. The views below are my own and are wholly unbiased. I choose my camera gear purely based on my needs as a photographer and which brand suits me best.
I made the switch to Fuji X Series camera's this year after moving from Canon with whom I had always used - right from the very first camera I ever bought and I had always thought of first due to my dads use of a Canon EOS series film camera.
Although the Canon bodies and lenses I used were (and still are) fantastic tools, to me they weren't inspiring. They didn't draw any creativity or excitement from me anymore and I felt that I needed change in order to continue to improve and progress, and have fun shooting. Considering the expense of completely changing a camera system, my investment in Canon gear, and years of getting to know my Canon kit inside and out, this was not a decision I took lightly.
Given that I take my camera bodies with me on long hikes and trips however, it was also getting to be a little challenging lugging DSLR size bodies and lenses around with me so I started to look at other available options that would better suit my needs.
It became quite clear to me that mirrorless was the way forwards due to improvements in their performance in comparison to DSLR's, and the weight/size difference of a mirrorless camera in comparison to DSLR's is a big advantage for shooting outside and on the move. The IQ and performance of an APSC sensor has dramatically improved and the results I see from my Fuji bodies do not make me miss having a full frame body/sensor as I first thought I might.
I looked at all brands, but Fuji (and in particular the XT-2) stood out to me for several reasons. Some functional, some personal and some just plain aesthetic. Some you can't really describe as it is just a "Fuji thing" but I will try!
I love the ergonomics - my hands are quite small so Fuji bodies sit in my hands really nicely. I also love the fact that on my XT-2 I have dials on top of the camera for ISO, shutter speed and exposure compensation. This is fantastic and makes quick changes to settings really easy.
The XT-2 is so light when paired with Fuji lenses compared to my previous DSLR kit and it is very noticeable after a long hike or a day out somewhere. The fact that the Fuji bodies and lenses are so much smaller and compact than DSLR equivalents makes it far easier to fit them in your bag with everything else you are carrying!
That EVF (wow!)...
Unlike a DSLR where you cannot see the impact of changes to aperture, focus, ISO etc. in the view finder, on the Fuji EVF you see these changes immediately looking through the viewfinder which means what you see is what you get. This means that you know what your image will look like before you have pressed the shutter and this is a game changer. No squinting in sunlight at your LCD or "chimping" to check if you have nailed your exposure - fantastic!
The EVF on the XT-2 it is large, super clear, bright and just an absolute joy to work with.
I used to shoot with two Canon 6D's. The image quality was absolutely fantastic and they were great for landscapes, but when it came to photographing wildlife it was just not good enough. The focusing system only had 11 AF points, their fps burst rate were abysmal and their ability to track anything that moved reasonably quickly was non existent (I do accept the 6D is by no means geared towards sports/action however).
The focusing system on the XT-2 is incredible from what I have come from. It locks on super fast, tracks accurately and the number of keepers I am now able to get - even from extremely fast and erratic moving birds has really surprised me and this is a credit to the Fuji guys as it is a top notch focusing system. It is more than good enough to shoot wildlife with, and with a normal 11 fps burst rate (14 fps with battery grip!) it is fantastic. This has opened up a whole new world of photography for me and allows me to better capture wildlife such as the owl below.
This is not a technical review of the XT-2 so there are no funky charts or statistics here. There are plenty of technical website reviews for that.
What is important at the end of the day when all is said and done is image quality. Can you get the image that you set out to, and to the standard you or your clients want/need. For me, the answer is a resounding yes with Fuji. Oh, and those files... those beautiful Fuji files! The colour rendition is just incredible. The Jpegs alone from these cameras are astounding. I always shoot Raw, but the Fuji Jpegs are astounding and I can confidently share these straight out of camera or with minimal post processing as they are so good. Fuji really does work magic on those files!
My landscape photos have not suffered as a result of the switch to Fuji and an APSC mirrorless sensor, and the image below of South Stack Lighthouse in Anglesey will show that.
An important aspect of any camera you buy if you are using it outdoors is weather sealing. Thankfully the XT-2 is weather sealed and this is an important feature for me. So far the camera has held up well in rain and in the hot weather we have had in the U.K this summer. Although I have had no issues to date, I am quite careful anyway and I do take steps to protect the camera from being exposed to heavy rain or unneccessary exposure to the elements where possible just to preserve the longevity of the camera.
The "flippy out screen"...
Although some may see a flip out screen as a gimmick, for me it is far more than that. It is actually really useful. In bright light as I can tilt it to see what is on screen better, and I can use it to my advantage when shooting low or high level which allows you to get more creative. It also makes it easier to see when my camera is mounted low level on a tripod which I have been grateful of on a number of occasions.
Again this might seem like a gimmick to some. For me, with multiple social media accounts for my work - it allows me to remotely transfer the Jpeg images from my camera straight to my phone for me to edit and post with ease. No loading into Lightroom, no waiting to get home to process (unless there is a specific image I want to spend more time with in Lightroom before posting for a particular reason). Although I always shoot Raw/Jpeg together, The Jpegs from the Fuji XT2 and Fuji cameras in general are amazing and so little post processing is needed for those I want to share straight away. I feel comfortable to share the jpegs with minimal post processing as they are so good! I was never happy doing this with my Canon Jpegs.
Wifi connectivity really is something I use a lot when I am out in the field and I would find it frustrating to not have on a camera now.