Modern Fujifilm cameras are an excellent choice for a wide range of professional photography. How do I know? I’m a professional London wedding photographer and event photographer and ten years ago in 2014 I switched from the stalwart Nikon D700 to the brand new Fujifilm X-T1. I’ve been exclusively using Fujifilm cameras ever since – here’s a comprehensive list of all the Fujifilm cameras and lenses I’m using in 2024.

Now to be entirely fair, the X-T1 wasn’t ideal and there were a lot of compromises for me coming from the Nikon D700. But it was a brave first stab at the market and they got a lot right, not least being fun to use, which was important to me. Every generation since then has made huge leaps forwards and my current Fujifilm X-T5 is a rock solid 40MP beast. I use two of them for everything I shoot: events, weddings, headshots, PR & marketing, food & drink, interiors & property, everything.

Worth mentioning I don’t shoot sports, and that’s one area you might want a more specialised camera for, like a Fujifilm X-H2S with its 40 frames per second – after all, no camera is the ideal choice for every genre.

However, an acquaintance recently got in touch to share a post she’d found listed on Google under ‘People also ask’, purporting to answer the question “Is Fuji good for professional photography?” And the answer Google shared was… surprising. Take a look:

 

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Screenshot of a Google search results page

 

 

I really couldn’t think of any build quality issues at all, let alone enough that Google would report them as reliable fact, so I clicked through to the source post on a website called Jambox to read more. And I was met with a stream of complete nonsense written by a chap called Elliott Deubel about how Fujifilm cameras aren’t suitable for professional use which is why professionals don’t use them. It’s basically a concentrated dose of pure fiction.

Jambox appears to be a site where you pay a subscription to download and/or license existing music for a media project, or connect you with musicians who can write something bespoke. That’s cool, no problem with that – but who is Deubel and why is he publishing this crap? A quick search suggests he’s a marketing exec of some kind. But he’s also responsible for well over 2000 posts on Jambox’s blog.

So my guess is his marketing role involves driving traffic to Jambox, by searching online for existing content with any connection to the creative arts which can be repackaged as a blog post on Jambox. Right enough, at the bottom of this article is a link to a discussion thread on DPReview which has since disappeared from the internet, leaving behind just Mr Deubel’s re-packaging of some very hot takes for Google to crawl.

So one quiet afternoon I thought I’d go through it and pick apart some of the vague, lazy, and entirely wrong statements it makes. Let’s begin!

Update: originally I was directly quoting the source material to debunk it, but Google just started pulling those quotes from this post and presenting them as if I’d said them – which should be another reminder to always check what Google is telling you. In an effort to thwart that silliness I’ve had to break up the quotes below – enjoy.

 

Do professional photographers use Fujifilm for work? Why yes, yes they do.

Jambox’s blog is titled “Why don’t professional photographers use Fujifilm cameras for work?” which is, to be blunt, utter bullshit right from the start.

How did I come to that conclusion? Because I’m a professional photographer and I’ve been using them for a decade. Basically my whole wedding photography website was shot on Fujfilm cameras, check it out and decide for yourself. But don’t just take my word for it, ask some other professional photographers like York Place Studios, Kevin Mullins, Javier Abad, Jaime Paso,  Ross Hurley, Simon Dewey… I could list dozens, there’s pages of professionals using Fujifilm if you do a quick search.

“Professional photographers have a vast array of camera options to choose from when it comes to capturing their subjects. However, not all cameras are suited for professional use, and -” (here comes the first piece of absolute nonsense) “- Fujifilm cameras are one such example.”

Right up front Deubel claims Fujifilm cameras are not suited to professional use. Sheesh, what have I been doing for the last decade then, Elliot? Of course, not all Fujifilm cameras are suitable – I wouldn’t use their consumer grade point-and-shoot cameras on a professional shoot any more than I’d use Sony’s or Canon’s. But widely available Fujifilm cameras like the X-T5, the X-T4, the X-H2, or the X-H2S are all extremely well suited to professional use. If you’re more of a studio photographer shooting fashion or food & drink the Fujifilm GFX range of medium format cameras are highly regarded.

How well do Fujifilm cameras perform in challenging environments?

I’ve used my Fujifilm X-T5 and key lens kit in baking sunshine, heavy snow, and pouring rain, and the weather-sealed camera and lenses held their own just fine – the challenge is keeping myself up and running in these conditions, not my camera kit.

However, Deubel’s wide-reaching research seems to suggest that I must be delusional, because:

“First and foremost, Fujifilm cameras lack the robustness and durability that professional photographers – ” (which, if you recall, Elliot is not) “- require from their equipment.”

This is absolute nonsense.

“Fujifilm cameras, while they are well-built and reliable -‘ (Correct – although he later contradicts himself, as we’ll see) “- are not designed to withstand the rigors of professional use” 

I guess he heard someone else say that somewhere, so it must be true right? Does the post list any of the “rigours of professional use” with which Fujifilm’s cameras allegedly can’t cope? It does not. Has the author had a Fujifilm camera fail on him in extreme conditions that a Canon or Nikon laughed off? He doesn’t say. Did a Fujifilm camera refuse to perform for him in “rugged terrain” out of cowardice? No idea.

In reality, Fujifilm cameras have been weather sealed since at least the X-T1, and that’s been rolled out to most of the pro-grade lenses since then. At this point my entire core Fujifilm camera and lens kit is weather sealed, and I’ve taken all my X-T cameras out in all manner of conditions.Recently I’ve shot weddings in 36 degrees in full sunshine, no shade. Did the cameras show a heat warning? Sure. Did they shut down? Nope. I’ve shot events and even a few wedding portraits in pouring rain, and while I got soaked and caught a cold, my cameras and lenses did just fine.

Is Fujifilm autofocus suitable for professional use?

Honestly, Fujifilm has never been on the bleeding edge of focus technology. But pick up a high end Fujifilm camera like the X-T5 or the X-H2 and you’ll get very impressive performance, focussing quickly and accurately in very low light and tracking all manner of moving targets. It’s way beyond what you may have heard or assumed.

Anyway, what does Deubel reckon?

“Another reason why professional photographers do not usually use Fujifilm cameras -” (source: believe me bro) “- is that they lack the advanced features that many professionals require”

I bet he goes for autofocus. What do you think, folks, should I call a friend? No I’m sticking with autofocus.

“For example, Fujifilm cameras typically lack the advanced autofocus systems -” (ding ding ding! Who had ‘lazy autofocus waffle’? Oh, everyone?) “- that many professional photographers require, which can make capturing fast-moving subjects a challenge.”

I’m gonna toss Deubel a bone here because like I say, autofocus is an area where Fujifilm has traditionally played catchup, first to Sony’s professional mirrorless bodies, and more recently to Canon’s incredibly good mirrorless R-series. I tried an R5 when it launched and was very impressed by how fast it locked focus in low light, and blown away when it changed the shape of the focus box to contextually adjust to what I was pointing at with no input from me.

The thing is… the X-T5 does that too.

On top of that, the X-series firmware has had detailed focus settings for years that offer control over tracking sensitivity and zone area switching, with a multi-purpose mode plus four suggested setups for things like ‘ignore obstacles and maintain the tracking subject’ (e.g. wildlife) ‘accelerating/decelerating subjects’ (e.g. motorsports) or ‘suddenly appearing subjects’ (e.g. ski jumping) – plus a custom bank to save your own setup.

 

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One of the screens in Fujifilm’s Autofocus tracking settings

Beyond this, turn on subject detection and point an X-T5 at a person and it’ll grab focus on the nearest eye. Point it at a cat and it’ll change the focus box size to enclose the cat – and look for its eyes. Going out to shoot birds? Switch to ‘bird mode’ and it’ll ignore any animals that aren’t birds.

Fujifilm also release firmware updates as part of their famed ‘kaizen’ approach to support (a Japanese term meaning ‘continuous improvement’) and autofocus abilities are often improved with those updates.

Are there cameras with better AF than the best Fujifilm model (probably the X-H2S at this point)? Sure, there’s always going to be something better at one thing or another. Not much beats the Canon R3 – but how many people really need an R3?

So despite the tossed bone, this is basically rubbish too.

Does Fujifilm have a good range of professional lenses?

Fujifilm currently offers a fantastic range of 37 X-mount lenses (as of January 2024), and you can check them all out right here: https://fujifilm-x.com/global/products/lenses/#model_x-mount. They’ve got wide angles, normals, and telephotos, super-fast primes, pro-grade zooms, macro lenses, even conversion adaptors. For comparison, on Canon’s page listing their RF-mount lenses I currently count 39 lenses.

Here’s how the Jambox blog interprets this fact:

“Additionally, Fujifilm cameras typically have a smaller selection of lenses -” (a whole two lenses fewer than Canon, oh no!) “- which can limit the creative options available to professional photographers.”

Okay, so if your creative options are limited in any way by Fujifilm’s extensive (and ever-growing) range of first party lenses, what on earth are you shooting? Even if for some reason you can’t find exactly the lens you want then decent third party suppliers like Sigma and Tamron have got you covered. I’m a big fan of the Lensbaby Composer Pro range, the Sigma 8mm fisheye (gimmicky as hell but lots of fun for personal work), and the Mitakon/7Artisans 35mm f/0.95 (yep you read that f-stop right).

How do you choose the best from Fujifilm’s own 37 X-mount lenses and goodness knows how many third party lenses? Well if you’re crippled by choice then I’ve got you covered: I’ve written up a detailed guide to the best Fujifilm lenses for professional photography, updated for 2024. You’re welcome!

How customisable are Fujifilm camera controls?

On recent X-T cameras you can customise just about every single exterior button to do almost anything you need it to. You can set up a number of gestures on the LCD touch screen – you can even deactivate sections of the touchscreen to avoid accidentally triggering them during use. You can customise not only an easy-access User menu inside the main menus, but also Fuji’s ‘Q-menu’ which is activated by a dedicated button on the back. One way or another you can adjust and set up quick access to just about every important control or setting in the camera.

As you can imagine Mr Deubel seems to believe the complete opposite, because of course he does:

“Furthermore, many professional photographers prefer cameras that offer full manual control, allowing them to make fine-tuned adjustments to their images. Fujifilm cameras, while they do offer manual control – ” (he’s right here, they offer full manual control ) “- do not offer the same level of customization as other cameras” (except as I’m about to demonstrate this could not be any further from the truth) “This can be a drawback for professionals who rely on precise control over their images.”

Despite clearly not being a professional photographer himself, Deubel is right that us professional photographers do like our cameras to have full manual control. And every single Fujifilm X-T series camera (and the XPro series, and the X-H series, and the GFX series, and the X100 series, at least) offers full manual control, so he’s right about that too. But that’s all he gets right here.

Apart from the standard customisation details I went into above, if you really want deep “precise control” over your images, shoot raw, bro. Then you can tweak to your heart’s content later. But if you shoot JPEG then boy oh boy you’re in for a treat. The level of output customisation could actually be considered overwhelming.

Straight out of the box you’ve got a choice of at least a dozen ‘film simulation’ modes, designed to mimic famous Fujifilm films – often more if you have one of their newer cameras. From there you can further customise the image output with controls that, for example: selectively enrich the blue or red channels using the Fuji-exclusive ‘colour chrome’ modes; adjust the Fuji-exclusive ‘clarity’ setting; change the colour space; manipulate the dynamic range across several levels; change the highlight or shadow tones; add film-effect grain… here’s a look at the options available as listed in the X-T5 manual:

 

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Shooting Mode settings in the Fujifilm X-T5 manual

 

Just like with their extensive lens choice, if these comprehensive settings leave you wanting more then, say it with me, what the hell are you shooting?

Do Fujifilm cameras have good build quality?

My Fujifilm X-T5 is a solidly built, well-designed little beast of a camera. I’ve taken it on hundreds of shoots in the last 18 months alone and short of a bit of paint rubbing off the corners every button and dial works as well today as the day it came out of the box.

But you know the drill by now: for some reason Deubel disagrees.

“Finally, it is important to consider the cost of professional-grade cameras and lenses. Fujifilm cameras, while they are well-regarded for their image quality -” (Correct, Fujifilm’s colours are the best I’ve ever seen in digital cameras) “- are typically more affordable than other professional-grade cameras. However, this affordability comes at a cost, as the cameras and lenses are typically not built to the same standards -” (as usual no evidence at all – no first-hand experience, no examples offered) “- as more expensive cameras.”

At risk of repeating myself, what does this even mean? What standards is he referring to? What does he want from the build quality of his cameras that Fujifilm allegedly can’t provide? Does he have hands made of butter? Does he throw his camera off a rooftop every shoot?

He is, of course, right that a £1,399 camera is cheaper than one that, um… costs more. Beyond that, I’ve no idea what he means or what he wants. I’ve accidentally dropped my own cameras a handful of times over the last decade and most of the time everything escaped unscathed except for the exact same scratches any other brand of professional camera would suffer.

The worse drop happened just before a wedding ceremony when I fumbled the camera and it hit the solid stone floor at an angle with my 56mm lens taking the full force. I feared the worst and yes, the lens barrel casing had cracked open around 50% of the circumference of the barrel but get this – the glass was all fine, the lens still worked and I went on to shoot the wedding with it.

If I’d dropped a much bigger full frame camera with a much bigger full frame 85mm lens (they are massive) four feet onto a solid stone floor lens-first would the damage have been worse due to the considerable extra weight and much greater amounts of glass inside the lens? I actually don’t know but then I don’t make claims outside of my own experience, unlike Mr Deubel.

I struggle to think of any major build quality factor you could be upset about with the current crop of Fujifilm cameras such as the X-T5 or X-H2, but as the blog post doesn’t offer any evidence at all, anywhere, to back up even a single one of its claims, my own combined experience and educated speculation will have to do.

Fujifilm’s interchangeability with other brands

“Additionally, Fujifilm cameras and lenses are often not compatible with other brands -” (no explanation of why they would need to be, obviously) “- which can be a drawback for professionals who need to use multiple brands and systems to meet the demands of their clients.”

SARCASM ALERT: I just can’t tell you the number of times I’ve booked a shoot where my client required that I use a Canon/Nikon/Sony lens on my Fujifilm X-T5, and I’ve had to cancel the shoot because I wouldn’t be able to meet the demands of my clients. Ten years I’ve been using Fujifilm and this comes up at least NEVER, Elliot! Ever! At all! What are you talking about?

So I can’t think of any situation where a client would require me to mix brands, but let’s throw him another bone here because with some additional kit and some compromises it is possible to fit, for example, a Canon lens onto a Sony body. For example, when my mate switched from Canon DSLRs to Sony mirrorless he used an adaptor on the Sony body so it would accept his existing Canon-mount lenses, as a money-saving measure.

But it’s not a long term solution as he lost some focus speed and the lenses didn’t balance well or talk to his Sony camera properly, so he bit the bullet and bought all the Sony equivalents as they were released. Then when he switched back to Canon’s R-series mirrorless cameras a few years later he had to do the same thing – sell all his Sony lenses and replace them with Canon RF lenses.

So, yes, if you buy a Fujifilm X-series camera you will need X-mount lenses. What’s the big deal? As mentioned, there are 37 native Fujifilm X-mount lenses and loads of third party X-mount lenses. You aren’t going to be able to put a full-frame Canon-mount lens on a Fujifilm body and there are no adaptors to make it work that I know of.

But if you need to do this… WHAT – ARE – YOU – SHOOTING?

 

In conclusion…

I think we all know what I think.

“In conclusion, while Fujifilm cameras are well-regarded for their image quality -” (and for their flexibility, great design, ample range of weather sealed lenses, ongoing support of released hardware, user feedback designing the next generation…) “- they do not offer the robustness (wrong), advanced features (wrong), manual control (wrong), and compatibility (so what?) that many professional photographers require.” (Source, again: believe me bro) “As a result, professional photographers -” (which he isn’t) “- typically do not use Fujifilm cameras for work.” (Except we really do)

Just nonsense – I wouldn’t care about this crap in a forum, but presenting it as fact like this is irresponsible when Google starts presenting it as fact too. The reader also misses out on the ways Fujifilm excels in areas where other brands struggle. For example, in the UK at least their customer service and repair team are unmatched. My Sony and Canon-using colleagues tell me horror stories of sending off to third parties like Fixation for their repairs, and it taking not days but many weeks to get something critical like a 70-200 repaired. Whereas whenever I’ve needed repairs the UK Fujifilm engineers have shipped me a padded box direct to my door with paid courier postage, typically completed the repair the following day when it arrived with them, and had it back to me a day or two later.

I love Fujifilm and every professional photographer I know that uses them loves them too. If you have questions about using Fujifilm cameras professionally – especially the X-T1 to X-T5 – just reach out and ask me. I’ve got ten years experience using Fujifilm to draw on and I’ll give you my actual experience, even if it’s not entirely positive.

 

 

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