is Fuji (and APS-C) your Goldilocks?

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nostatic Regular Member • Posts: 399
is Fuji (and APS-C) your Goldilocks?

There is a lot of drama and gnashing of teeth with the impending X-T4. Mixed into the frenzy are plenty of, "I might as well go FF..." types of comments, along with those who call out m4/3 as both IBIS-done-right™ and staying true to the "smaller is better" roots of mirrorless.

Having shot pretty much every sensor size since digital came about (other than MF), I always come back to the engineering reality that every design is a compromise, and that one really needs to consider the system. I'm a recent adopter of Fuji, coming mostly from Sony FF (though we still have a Canon 6D in the drawer for when my wife needs 16-35mm).

Truth be told when I was shooting a lot some years back some of my best shots were with a pretty small sensor. I printed 24x36 with good results from a D-Lux4. But I also like to shoot abstract, macro and hand-held low light, so over the years the combination of OIS/IBIS, higher ISO, and bigger sensors become something I chased. While the first A7 was an eye opener, oddly enough I probably had more fun shooting with early Oly Pens. Something about the form factor.

Flash-forward to today and we're surrounded by amazing cameras, including the one in my iPhone. Went through A7i, ii, and iii (still have that at work for video), but after doing some soul searching along with the occasional fits of GAS, I decided that maybe APS-C was the best compromise for me, and that instead of chasing specs, I instead prioritize the shooting experience. And for me, that is something that Fuji has over the other cameras.

Even with that, I still end up thinking late at night (dangerous, I know), "maybe a Z6 would be a better bet, or the next Eos R so I could use the EF lenses we have." But then I start doing the calculation of size, weight, and cost. And it just doesn't add up. Then I fold in the user experience, and it really doesn't add up - again, for me.

I certainly see why some gravitate towards FF, and why others towards the high-res FF and/or MF. Pixel peeping those outputs is pretty mind-blowing. But oddly enough I look at what I get out of the X-T3 at iso 12800, and love the look. Yes, it has noise. But I like the noise - to me it is part of the gestalt of the shot. Do I want every image noisy? Of course not, but for me it often is more feature than bug.

So when you start figuring out the system elements, presumably many here have found Fuji to be a strong middle ground. There are great small primes, great slightly bigger primes, and most of them are cheaper than their FF counterparts - though the Sony 55/1.8 and 85/1.8 are totally workable lenses and cheap. But if you look at the faster zooms and the fast glass, it gets pricey quick. Yes, I know about "equivalence" (please, let's not go down that rabbit hole), but then we're back to another, "depends how you shoot" factor.

For me the dedicated knobs were a bit part of the value equation, and a main factor in pushing me to sell a perfectly good A7ii setup to move to Fuji. Others have a different calculus, but long story short, not clear to me that sensor size is nearly as big a factor (pun intended) as it often is touted.

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 nostatic's gear list:nostatic's gear list
Canon EOS 6D Sony a7 III Fujifilm X-T3 Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L II USM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM +5 more
Canon EOS 6D Fujifilm X-T3 Nikon Z6 Sony a7
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