In November 2014 I "went mirrorless" with a Fujifilm X setup. The decision came from liking how the Fuji cameras operate, liking how the Fujinon lenses render, liking the in-camera film simulations, and liking how flexible the RAW files were. And it has remained a good decision.
At that time, Fujifilm was the most serious mirrorless camera maker. Now, years later, sure, the other brands have caught on to the benefits of a mirrorless approach. Are the spec sheets of the competition comparable? Sure. So why do I still champion Fujifilm X? Because the fine people at Fuji seem to, more than designing just another consumer gadget, actually like cameras. There's an elegance to their design that I haven't often seen in Fujifilm's competitors.
This elegance isn't something nebulous or vague. Rather, distinct details inform the mystique – details which parade a love of photography. In a business sense, these decisions cannot have been cost-effective, since they doubtless both mystify casual consumers and complicate the camera's design.
In specific, these are features such as the X-Pro line's three different viewfinder modes (traditional, digital, and hybrid), or the XF 56mm's lens APD twin sibling (subtly controlling the smoothness of the bokeh), or the screw threading on the shutter buttons (enabling old-fashioned cable release operation, not requiring me to use a modern digital remote), or the X-Pro3's unique rear screen (a non-backlit small screen displaying the selected film simulation).
This passion for the craftsmanship – building features that photography enthusiasts alone could appreciate – is only available with Fujifilm. Other camera systems to their detriment concern themselves little if at all with such minutia. But in an art like photography, where it is the finest of lines between a photo being majestic and rubbish, it is buried in the minutia that we find what really matters.
As far as me carrying both the X-T3 and X-Pro3, well, Fujifilm (again, unlike other brands) makes several series of camera bodies, each with a different underlying ethos. All of the camera series use the same sensors and lenses and accessories, but to hold in hand an X-T camera is a experience distinct from holding an X-Pro. And for those of us who cannot afford to, why not both?
On my shelf surrounding these bodies are a gluttony of lenses. Practical need cannot justify such a collection, but what in art is practical? In technical consideration, the Fujinon lenses are mostly fantastic, with only a few weak entries in the lineup.
In actual usage, the "holy trinity" of wide-to-normal f/1.4 lenses – 16mm, 23mm, and 35mm – take three-quarters of my shots. Two telephoto primes – 50mm and 90mm – and the pancake 18mm – all at f/2 – round out the "daily shooter" list. Regarding them as practical tools, they are all flawless. They deliver perfect results at every aperture and focal distance and lighting condition. There are no realistic concerns, no settings to avoid, no worrying about anything other than composition.
I've complemented my Fujinons with one third party addition: the Venus Laowa Zero-D C-Dreamer 9mm f/2.8 (good lord that's a lot of names) for the occasional ultra-wide angle shot. Fujifilm does have ultra-wides of their own, but nothing this compact or affordable.
And I do also have the 100-400mm bazooka, with the lens's large size leading to obvious practical issues preventing it from seeing regular usage.
This gallery below can speak for itself, but I will introduce it thusly: I love the way these cameras render images. The film simulations are excellent, allowing me to work in JPG in all but the most demanding settings, and the RAW files, when needed at all, are powerful in their flexibility to be bent into recreating the specific style I am seeking. I am proud of the work I've created with this system, the stories we've told together, the powerful life moments we've witnessed. I've taken many thousands of Fujifilm X shots I love. But, for brevity's sake, here's just 16: