I have been a commited Fuji shooter since 2013. I used to use Canon, until the 5D Mark II, and finally the package got to heavy for me. I remember the day when it hit me, I was visiting New York City on buisiness, and I brought one extra backpack – just for the Camera.
Fuji, the E1, the X-T1 through the X-T3 appealed to me from the start. The way the camera is used, pretty much everything is a dial, everything is haptic, and just over 500g with battery. Great I thought.
And I did shoot lots of good pictures over the years.
Then in the end of 2019, I started getting into wildlife and milkyway photography. I took a class with a respected astrophotographer. We were 6 in the class, I was the only one who was not using a full frame camera. I had good glass with me, the best that Fuji is offering. But my results were just not as good, not as “wow” as i hoped, they were more noisy, less detail, less dynamic range to fix it in post…
That was the start. Then I tried my luck in the local birding spots, and again, with the glass I had (100–400mm, 50–140mm) the results were just not great. Visit’s to the zoo, where I took good shots of the female lions. But the details were just not the way I was hoping they should look like, not the way I saw them from others.
I started to look at what’s new on the market, should I go Canon or Nikon? There is Sony, but I do not like their ergonomics, their menu system is crap, the cameras feel like a foreign body to me. They were not contending, no matter how great the Sony autofocus is.
Canon has currently the best mirrorless cameras out there, imo. From the pure technical perspective, they are great. They also overheat. Not that I would care too much about this, I am not shooting video, at least not now. But if a company tries to sell me a 4500 CHF pro grade camera, that also serves as a toaster, I feel cheated a bit. They overpromised, and delivered great new technology (8K video, which pretty much nobody can see, but it’s the future, at least so I am told) that turned out to be, at least currently, unusable. That leaves a bit of a sour aftertaste in my mouth.
Canon has fantastic glass. Their lenses always have been the objects of desire for many photographer, and the new RF lenses are spectactular. But they are also heavy and expensive. The lenses that are not spectacular are not that good. Which is why most serious Canon shooters all by the L class of lenses.
Nikon also has very good glass. Not quiet as spectacular, but not shabby either. The base set, the so called holy trinity, the 3 zooms, are, considering all the tests, better on the Nikon side.
Canon: 15–35mm – 840g, 24–70mm – 900g, 70–200mm – 1070g. Together 2810g for around 6600 CHF
Nikon: 14–24mm – 650g, 24–70mm – 805g, 70–200mm – 1360g. Together 2815g for around 7300 CHF
So here, Nikon and Canon are really not showing much of a difference. The Nikon glass is better in each category, which justifies the slightly higher price, the weight is pretty much the same for all 3 together. But if you don’t need the 70–200mm that day, you are saving around 300g with Nikon.
But then, when you go to the primes we want: 35mm, 50mm, 85mm to start with. All the Canon glass you want in that category is F1.2 and between 2000 and 3000 CHF. From Nikon you get very good 1.8F class for 400–800 CHF. And a lot lighter, the 85 1.2F Cannon goes for 2400 CHF and is 1200g, the Nikon 85 F1.8 is 750CHF and 470g.
I ended up getting to a 3–4K difference going with Canon when i added all together. But, that would be better glass.
It’s a coin toss, but one of the things I appreciated about the Fuji system was that it was lighter. Every picture I see of a Canon EOS R5 has monster glass attached, like below, making this a 2kg package.
Compare this to the Nikon package, by the same original website.
What to do? We went and rented an older Nikon Z 7 (the Z 7II was released this Friday) for 4 days over a weekend and tested the system. This will be another post, as this is already long enough.