From Fuji to Sony and back again By Wijnand Schouten

From Fuji to Sony and back again

By Wijnand Schouten

Hello Brandon and Steve.

I have had the pleasure to be on your site a couple of times with my Fuji x100 and x100s.

2 Months ago I decided to jump over and buy the Sony Rx1rII. To make this possible I had to sell my camera’s and so I did. The specifications were great and I could not wait. Something I had to do because the delivery was postponed with 3 weeks in Holland. When it finally arrived I started making pictures. Almost right away I felt insecure about my skills.Not that I am a professional but I have experience.

I could not get a sharp image out of the camera.Not as sharp as I was used to with the Fuji’s .

After one month I returned the camera to Sony because I was sure the camera had a failure. 5 Weeks later the returned it and said it was completely ok and I could get pictures of the testing. I  was not interested.I wanted a camera that I was happy with for the 3500 euro. To make a story short.. I went to a store..returned the camera and exchanged it for the Fuji Xpro2. Financially a bad trade but happiness is all I have now.Beautifull images and the sharpness I really love.

Almost no need for raw shooting because the jpegs are so nice. Also the acros and monochrome settings are nice. I promised to my Fuji camera I will never try to fall in love with a different brand again 😉

Here are some images of the xpro 2

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_DSF1737_Snapseed

_DSF1281-2_Snapseed

49 Comments

  1. I also owned a Sony RX1. I agree with the OP. Images are not as sharp. Its hit and miss.
    Also being a full frame camera, some images lack detail. Full frame is not always the bees knees. I will be collecting my X-Pro 2 tomorrow. Cant wait!

  2. My previous comment have been moderated
    Even if my words were a bit harsh, how can they be excluded if this is an open discussion ???

    • If a comment was moderated then it had to be pretty bad. Not sure if you saw the rules but this site has a ZERO tolerance policy for personal attacks, or critiquing photos in a rude hateful way. If you made a comment and it never saw the light of day, this would be why. This site has had this policy for years, which is why the comment section will never look like something from DPR. Thank you.

  3. Was it this one?

    http://yannickkhong.com/blog/2016/2/23/the-problem-with-modern-optics

    I’ve recently been going through a load of old marketing material I did for the firm using the Pentax FA Limited’s (31 and 77mm on the K-5IIs) and comparing the shots to the modern Sony FE lenses (35/1.4, 55/1.8 etc on the A7r) I’ve been using lately.

    These older film FA lenses and others going way back to 1975 and before (Pentax-K 50/1.2 and Tair-11A etc) are proving much easier on the eye with more pop and yet a more natural “feel”. It could be that my post-processing skills have become worse (harsher) over time, but I can’t feel Yannick has made valid points.

    Also, purple fringing in the old PK glass has been replaced with bright neon green fringing in the Sony FE glass, so no real gain there either. The bokeh on the modern Sony glass is also not as good, you can smell the onion rings in the specular highlights from the FE 35/1.4 ZA, really rough looking.

    I’m hoping the new Techart Pro adapter, either the MkI or wait until the MKIII, will nail it with the A7rII for eye detection AF and speed using the old PK glass. Really don’t want to go back to bulky DSLR’s which don’t have this feature, essential for poor manual focuser’s like me.

  4. Got a similar hate/love relationship with my new sony A7. Don’t like how it feels and handles, but the low weight and mindblowing sharpness and IQ with dirt cheap legacy lenses of various brands make me want to endure it nonetheless – and learn to work around the foibles. So far still worth it, and only getting better.

  5. Don’t trust the manufactures when they say there is nothing wrong with the camera. I was in the middle of a shoot when my old Fuji X-T1 developed an issue where it would massively overexpose everything. I could hear a slow shutter even when I set it to 1,000th, 2,000th etc. It sounded more like 30/60th of a second. It was a real pain as I had no back-up camera out with me and had to stop shoot for the day. I looked into every setting I could and did a full reset on the camera but nothing worked. The camera went back to Fuji twice and they said there was nothing wrong with it both times even though it was unusable (it was only when I got it back the second time that I noticed that it worked if I forced it to only use the electronic shutter across all speeds). I use the camera professionally and thankfully I had my old X-E1 in a drawer to keep me going. The guys in the camera shop managed to sort it out in the end and got me a brand new replacement X-T1 which worked perfectly. I love my Fujis (all three of them) but you can’t trust any manufacturer when they test your equipment.

  6. The Fuji JPEG engine has higher default sharpening than Sony. Judging from the article and the provided images, I am quite convinced this was the issue.

    This is the classical divide between highly processed JPEG engines (Fuji, Olympus, Canon to some extent) vs. conservative JPEG engines (Nikon, Sony). The first have more pleasing out-of-camera files (arguably), while the latter have more latitude in post processing.

    The quick solution on Sony cameras is to create a custom creative style with a higher sharpening setting.

    It is somewhat unfortunate to spend $3’500 on a camera and not know how they work.

    • Quite a pompous statement. What makes you think you know everything about photography? I also owned a RX1 and encountered the same issue as the OP, so its clearly not an isolated case.

  7. On the SONY and the new Canon, when your up in the 50 mp range, camera shake is something that you need to pay serious attention to. I need to shoot at much faster speeds to avoid it…or use my tripod. The pixels may be many…but they are darn small. Still, I need them for large prints.

    Like others I wonder why there are no photos from the SONY? We are talking about a visual issue with image quality. An example would have been very useful. Without it, I’d say camera shake or other user issue before assigning blame to the repair department (which did their tests with the camera mounted on something steady!>.

  8. I have read in many articles that the A7R, A7RM2, and the RX1 series have very unforgiving behaviour regarding camera shake as they all have high mega pixels 36 to 42MP sensors. My A7S was fine but I did encounter shake when hand holding my A7RM2, the stabilisation helps but I certainly do not take it for granted. I tested this with hand holding versus tripod mounting and the latter was extremely sharp compared to the handheld image. The RX1 series are also very small and light and I am not surprised that this is a problem with them. I think its a matter of getting used to a new camera and how the two of you behave with each other. Did you do any tests like I did before you send the camera back?

  9. I had the exact same experience. Went from multiple Fuji’s to the RX1RII which after several months of trying to bond with, I sold at a loss and ended up with the X-Pro2 which I love.

  10. I have settled on the M4/3rds for videos and the Longer Reach with the telephotos. I also keep my Fujifilm X-T10 for the jpegs and controls. I sold off my X-T1 to buy the GX8. I actually like the button feel on the back of the X-T10 better than the X-T1. The Fuji’s feel comfortable and familiar to me. The Panasonic GX8 gives me all I need for video and Longer Lenses that don’t have to be too large. So I love both systems and from now on will just keep all my favorite lenses and upgrade the bodies if needed as things change. I can handle any situation and style with these two systems.

  11. After four years now, I’m retaining mixed feelings about Fuji. The X-series have a lot to love and truly excel as a lightweight travel solution. In perfect light conditions I can make pictures that blow anything else out of the water, but @ low light I still don’t like to use Fuji. Not having a decent creative flash solution doesn’t help either. I love the glass but not all of that is having the unique kind of perfection some fanboys try to let you believe. I was f.i. never blown away by the original XF18mm optical performance, could never get too excited by the XF55-200 (compared to the DSLR-likes) and found the XF60 to be having the most impossible AF-motorization I’ve ever seen. That being said, I love many pictures I’ve made over the years with this system – but still I’m not sure I’ll proceed on this track as something quirky, unexpected is often undermining your very best opportunities. F.i. on the X-T1 – I hate the ever changing scales, by just taking the camera in and out its bag. I don’t like the way these cameras eat batteries. I’m still not understanding how X-professionals don’t seem to experience issues with the very mediocre flash support (and missing pro-flash line). For my more serious missions I’m still using Nikon F DSLR gear and still judge this to be in a completely different league when it comes to flexibility & reliability (like f.i. event & studio-work – never had one complaint about Nikon). However, in today’s constellation I’m really not capable to replace one system by the other.

  12. If you can’t get a sharp photo with the RX1R and this is after its been cleared as OK, then I have to stress that user error might be at fault here. Did you try manually focusing to check and confirm the AF system wasn’t focusing incorrectly? The 35 Sonnar is a beautiful lens, and leaps and bounds ahead of the Fuji 23 1.4. The Sigma Art comes close, very close. It’s sharper but more clinical in its rendering. Sony / Fuji files are all a preference – I loathed the X100T I trialled, x-trans files are just a pain to process at times. I shoot Nikon now, but the RX1 I had was easy to process – I stress to everyone to make a custom colour profile, makes processing 10000% easier. I love a neutral flat RAW to work with and this is where the Sony spanked the Fuji in spades. The D810 on the other hand…..

  13. I had a similar experience with my Nikon D810. I was used to shooting wildlife with D3/D700/D7100 and hoped that the D810 would be my primary camera. However, I really struggled to get sharp images.Using a tripod or gimbal mount things were fine, but when trying to shoot handheld I really struggled. So I sold the D810 and bought a D4 instead. Keeper rate shot up.

    But the D4 is not exactly compact. So I got an X-T1 as my everyday camera. What a pleasure.

    So perhaps the problem is the same as I had. The higher pixel count makes the camera more susceptible to shake. I had to double the normal shutter speed on the D810 to get sharp shots.

    • I have an 810 (and 800/E before that). Two factors impact sharpness at such a high Mp count more than with a lesser count: exact consistently accurate focus, and camera shake. The former was addressed adquately in the 810, compared to its 36Mp predecessors, the latter is a matter of setting minimum shutterspeed (linked to focal length, fortunately) tonone or even two stops faster than reciprocal. That eats into useable ISO values, but there you are. 1/160 with the 58 (560 ISO) gives me pinsharp handheld images of my willingly posing three year old twins.

      • “a matter of setting minimum shutterspeed in auto ISO to one or two stops faster than reciprocal”…

        I usually set 3200 ISO as a maximum, one stop faster than reciprocal shutterspeed or two stops if, as with the twins, close up and moving subjects.

        Works well enough. I see no reason to not get sharp images with that Sony (unless it had a defect).

  14. I sold my RX1 because of focus problems and sensitivity to camera shake, and that experience has made me skeptical about the RX1R2. I have no such problems with the Sony A7R2 with which I’m very happy.

    Before moving to Sony, I got some stunning shots with the original Fuji X100 and the XPro1 and tried the XT1, but ultimately the latest generation of Sony cameras suit me better. It is great when you find a camera which you enjoy and that gives you confidence. You have obtained very nice results with your new Fuji.

  15. I can’t speak to shooting Sony or Canon as I moved to Fuji from Nikon. I attend quite a few photo meetups and shoot with many who have a wide variety of equipment. Generally speaking (presuming a decent level of gear), there’s very little difference in output (the other variables such as lighting, composition, etc…have much more impact). The big difference for me is that, with Fuji, I don’t spend any time in menus. I have the camera set up as I like and so, with the X-T1, I can see my settings and adjust them easily. As a result, I can concentrate on the basics of ISO, shutter speed & aperture as well as my subject. It’s a joy to shoot this way – and very liberating!

  16. I sold my A7II and 3 lenses, and bought a Leica Q, very happy with that decision, sure, sure Sony has the best sensor, but then again I’m more interested in the files and image quality, I still kept my 5D MKiii also, best of both worlds now..gonna try the Fuji next…

  17. Same here. I sold my X-t1 and get a A7s, and after a month I brought fuji back! The only brand that can beat fuji in terms of shooting experience is Leica. So I’m now with M9…

  18. I did the same thing. Loved the x100 and bought the XT1. Saw the Sony rx1r ii and ordered it from lensrental for the weekend. Didn’t like the layout, images and returned it only to pick up xpro 2. Great images right out of the camera.

  19. Intersting. I’m not sure what the point of this article is though. If it is to say you prefer the look and feel of the Fuji over Sony, that’s great. But I don’t see the point in saying the Sony RX1r II isn’t as sharp. That clearly is just not true, and can be proven false easily. The Sony produces sharper images so not sure what you are trying to say. I like both Sony and Fuji so I have no dog in this fight.

  20. It maybe not convenient to carry a tripod or mono-pod when you shoot with that small camera. Unless you use higher speed shutter, a mono-pod is a minimum to get sharp images on the high resolution cameras.

  21. Everyone should shoot what they are happiest with….but I have both the Sony A7r2 and the Fujifilm Xpro2…. Given the right glass the Sony still spanks my Fuji for sharpness and cleanliness of the image…especially in situations where the in body stabilization helps like when using primes in lower light…. I do prefer the out of camera colors of the Fuji better…but since I shoot raw that’s something I can adjust in post…. It is more fun shooting with the xpro2… Unless I’m shoot my Loxia lenses on th Sony…. I’m curious, what lenses where you using with your A7r2?

  22. The Sony is capable of taking very sharp pics, so there may have been something wrong with it.
    The service center may have returned it and said all ok, because they didn’t want to do anything.
    I have heard this happening from a few mfg service centers, not just Sony, and repeated visits are needed before the issue is actually addressed and fixed.

    Anyway, you are happy now and that’s what matters.

  23. HI Wijnand,
    Very brave to return the Sony. I own a Sony Nex 6 bought it based on the specs, but it is like windows compared to apple. I now use a Panasonic Lumix 1/4 inch sensor for convenience and the sony is in the drawer. It is hard to buy the right camera.

    • Thank you.
      At the end I succeeded in buying the right one.
      Sometimes it takes no to hear a yes again 🙂

  24. Leica Q was no option for you, altough it has a fixed lens, but still….)? I love that camer…..

  25. One thing to consider as it a common problem with many strange issues.

    The memory cards. Sometimes while writing data I have seen them lock up. I used to write system level hardware in assembly in my past. Make sure to buy quality cards no matter what camera. One of those things that crossed my mind

  26. I use the Fuji XT1 at the moment. Had the use of the Sony for a while, with good (non-Sony) glass. My knocks against the Sony are many. The lenses are no smaller than DSLR as such the system is no easier to transport and use. The images lack the color and punch of the Fuji. The focus system is not much, if any better. The ergonomics are not of a camera, but of a piece of consumer electronics gear, etc.

    In the end I took a group of photos with each camera and showed them to a group of professional photographers. They preferred the Fuji images almost every time.

    Now don’t get me wrong, the Sony is a fine camera if you like it and can get what you want from it. However, it is just not right for me.

  27. Greetings!
    Very nice (and sharp!) b/w images! This is very reassuring to hear about the Fuji files, as I too, am a sharpness guy, and very much agree that the Fuji files are some of the sharpest, most detailed I’ve seen in my 35 years in photography! I shoot an XT-1, and look forward to the next iteration as well. Also, may I add that Fujinon optics are some of the best lenses I’ve ever used, in terms of sharpness, handling, and build quality! The 35 f/2 and the 16-55 f/2.8 are especially nice on a gripped XT-1!

  28. I can think of three things that might have contributed to your non-sharp Sony files:
    – af system
    – depth of field if you are shooting wide open
    – pixel-level sharpness when comparing different resolution sensors

    On the first question, only you can judge whether it was the autofocus that was giving you trouble.

    On the second, I have to ask, are you shooting at f1.4 on Fuji? If you are shooting at f2 on Fuji then that will give you larger depth of field than f2 on Sony, but F1.4 on Sony is roughly equivalent to f2 on Fuji for depth of field.

    Third, for the same sharpness of image, the Sony might look less sharp at the pixel level, due to having higher resolution?

    Fuji cameras are very nice and I think the reasons to choose them are:
    – if you happen to prefer the handling or look of the camera… some might think it is more fun
    – if you desire great JPG images straight from the camera (Fuji killer feature)

      • I am not a fan of any of the A7 series of cameras but sharpness should not be an issue with any of them. Only Thing i can think of is, that your computer only showed a low quality preview because of the files being so large. That can happen especially with older computers (and 4 years is already old in this case) or if you mess with the settings in your Image viewing/developing software.

  29. Interesting
    I looked at the Sony as well.
    As well I looked at the A7R.
    The ergonomics weren’t right
    Didn’t feel like a camera
    So I stayed with my X-Pro1

    • I recently read an article that’s been semi-viral on photo sites recently titled “the problem with modern lenses”. Where the author complains that modern lenses have lost their charm because their aim for optical perfect (Zeiss Otus) to the detriment of character and a sort of natural 3D look. After looking through Flickr photos where the photog uses modern cameras (i.e. D750) with vintage Nikon glass and comparing that to the same cameras with the modern renditions, I can see the author having a point. Obviously this is not a scientific test by any means but I was wondering (to other Fuji shooters), do you think that Fuji shoots for that more classic character in their lenses rather than optical perfection?

      • Hi Vernon. Nice research into this! As a former DSLR shooter now into the Fuji X-System, I happen to be a “Sharpness Fanatic”, and since the Zeiss Otus line is unattainable at present, I am extremely pleased with the sharpness, overall detail and clarity I’m seeing with the Fuji XT-1 and superb Fujinon glass. I cannot speak to Fuji’s motivations or intentions with the X-System, beyond just creating a system that works as reliable and consistent photographic tools! Honestly, IMHO, this entire discussion exists merely because of the technological advancement in sensor and optical development, whereby greater detail is able to be captured, not to mention advances in software! I also believe that a suitably skilled photographer can still create that (subjective) “3D look” even with today’s “optically perfect” lenses, via the near endless pre- and post-processing techniques available to us modern photographers. This is just my opinion. Thank you, and happy shooting!

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