Fujifilm Holiday Buyers Guide

Many of you are in the market for cameras this holiday season!  Whether it’s upgrading from an old analog or digital system or just adding to your existing kit.  

Often, friends of mine will ask me when they start off going down the Fujifilm mirrorless route; What camera and what lenses should they get?

So I thought it would be a good idea to put together some kit ideas as well as some go to lenses that I think would be a good purchase this holiday season for your existing or emerging Fujifilm system!

The Beginner Kit

  • Fujifilm X-T30 Kit with 18-55 Zoom
  • Fujifilm 35mm f2

This kit is a great starter kit for those who are new to photography or are hobbiests that would like to make the switch to mirrorless and want a good kit that will help them ease into the Fujifilm system.

This package is perfect for the all around photography situation.  It’s compact, light and extremely versatile.  Perfect for family moments, travel and an all around walk around setup.  

The X-T30 is one of the best cameras out there for the price being the little brother to the more pro version, the X-T3.  It has 90 percent of the features of the X-T3 but in a more compact camera body and priced at a more attractive range.  

I suggest getting the 18-55 kit lens along with the X-T30 as it’s one of the best and most versatile kit lenses available on the Fujifilm system.  18-55 covers a range of applications from landscape to portraiture.  It’s also the perfect travel lens and easily fits in a small bag making it a really nice option for vacations and capturing family moments.  It also has optical image stabilization which comes in handy in video application which is another strong suit of the X-T30.  The 18-55 and X-T30 give you an instant filmmaking package with stabilization allowing for less shaky video footage.

In addition to the kit lens I’ve also recommended getting an affordable prime lens such as the XF 35mm f2 WR.  This lens will give you some nice portrait images and is a good all around prime to have.  It’s a 50mm full frame equivalent on your APS-C sensor and is a great prime to start shooting with.  Since this lens is f2 this will come in handy in low light situations where the kit lens might struggle and it’s nice and compact!  It’ll literally fit in your pocket!

This kit is a great starter pack into the Fujifilm world!

The Street/Documentary Kit

  • Fujifilm X-Pro3 (or X-Pro2)
  • Fujifilm XF 16mm f2.8 WR
  • Fujifilm XF 23mm f2 WR
  • Fujifilm XF 35mm f2 WR
  • Fujifilm XF 50mm f2 WR

Fujifilm is well known for being the “go to” for street/documentary photography.  The rangefinder style often seen in film cameras, are a popular ergonomic style in this genre sported by brands like Leica.

First on the list is the Fujifilm X-Pro series.  One of the most popular of the Fujifilm’s flagship line; I, indicated two models. Mainly because the recent X-Pro3 has a very different ergonomic style to it compared to previous models and it’s become quite a polarizing subject.  Since both models are currently still available, you can choose which one fits you better as both are quite capable cameras.

The X-Pro2 and 3 is a stylish rangefinder style camera with the same guts of its respective brothers the X-T2 and X-T3.  While the X-T2 and the X-Pro2 are nearly identical on the inside, the X-pro3 currently represents the latest in photography technology (by way of firmware) not currently available on the X-T3 camera.  There are rumors however that there will be an update to the X-T3 which will match some of the performance enhancements of the X-Pro3.  

Both X-Pro cameras are quick, ergonomically pleasing and did I mention stylish? 

The big difference between the two models is one has a fixed screen on the back while the newer one, the X-Pro3, has a fold down screen that when in the closed position renders the back screen inaccessible and hidden.  This is a sticking point that a lot of people have a problem with including myself.  But if you can embrace the idea of focusing on shooting and less on the images you just shot until afterwards the X-Pro3 is a great option.  For those that don’t like the screen design, you have other options in the Fujifilm lineup including purchasing the previous model at a discount which has an always open screen a-fixed to the back.  

In this kit I’ve included all four weather resistant compact primes, nicknamed by some as the “Fujicron” primes for their similarity to the Leica Sumicron set.  These 4 lenses represent the focal lengths of choice in street photography.  From the 16, 23, 35 and 50; you should be completely covered.  These primes are also very affordable, gorgeous to use and very compact.  

You get one of the X-Pro series cameras and 4 of these lenses and you are all set for your day to day captures!

The Portrait Wedding Starter Kit

  • Fujifilm X-T3 (or Fujifilm X-Pro3)
  • XF 23mm f1.4
  • XF 56mm f1.2

When I started shooting with Fujifilm I shot a lot of portraits.  Whenever you are shooting portraits or weddings you want to have the best a camera system can offer you and in this case I recommend the flagship models of either the wildly popular X-T3 or for some who are more of the documentary wedding or portrait photographer the new X-Pro3.  Both have outstanding autofocus capability, color rendering and just overall performance.

The X-T3 is the workhorse of the Fujifilm line.  The best of its class.  With a more DSLR like design it’s very popular especially for those leaving a DSLR system and moving to mirrorless.  It’s quick, it’s pretty and will do the job.  

Portrait needs can vary from gig to gig but I’ve always found myself well covered when I have the 35mm full frame equivalent and 85mm full frame equivalent primes in my bag.  In this case in the form of the 23mm f1.4 and the 56mm f1.2.  Two extremely fast lenses that work great in low light and when coupled with these newer cameras are lightning fast!  If you have these two lenses, chances are you are all set!

Honorable mentions: 

  • XF 35mm f1.4 Prime Lens

This lens is a great standard prime that is just magical.  Not everyone always likes this focal range but this lens was my go to for a long time.  It’s magical and has this character I’ve grown to love.  Everyone talks about this lens.  Yes you should get this as well if you can afford it.

  • XF 50-140 f2.8 Zoom Lens

This lens is astounding!  One of my favorites that I still don’t own myself.  If you do a ton of portraits you might want to add this to your kit.  It’s fast and gives you really nice reach if you don’t want to be all up in your subjects grill.  Versatile, giving you a lot of range especially in portraits!  I highly recommend it 

The Landscape Kit

  • Fujifilm X-T3
  • Fujifilm XF 8-16mm f2.8
  • Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f2.8
  • Fujifilm XF 16mm f1.4

I’m not a big landscape guy but here is a kit I commonly see my Fuji Landscape friends use.

I put in the X-T3 because again it’s the all around camera to use and when you put a camera on sticks during a landscape shot you want the most flexible camera ergonomically and the X-T3 serves that up.  

For lenses I went for the beautiful and substantial 8-16mm f2.8 lens.  This will give you the best wide angle focal ranges commonly used in landscape and has superb optics.  I added the 50-140mm f2.8 because for all the wide shots there might be situations where reach might be important.

Finally I also added a nice fast wide prime like the 16mm f1.4.  It’s one of the best primes that Fujifilm offers and for times when you need a fast prime for astral photography or lowlight situations this lens will do the trick.  

There are other go tos you could probably explore but this would be a good start if you wanted to go full landscape!

The Video Kit 

  • Fujifilm X-T3
  • XF 16-55mm f2.8 (or the New XF 16-80mm f4 with OIS)
  • XF 10-24 f4 OIS

An area Fujifilm has been vastly improving on is in video.  The Fujifilm X-T3 represents some of the best video features in the industry!  With the ability to capture 4K 60p internally and at 10-bit; these are features only professional cinema cameras offer.  Mix that with Fuji’s color science and you have an amazing filmmaking machine!

For the lenses you have really two options depending on how you shoot.  The fast and luxurious 16-55mm f2.8 lens is the best standard zoom lens that Fuji offers.  But it’s one draw back is that it does not have OIS (Optical Image Stabilization).  So you will need to use something like a gimbal to make sure your footage stays stabilized.  An alternative is to use the new 16-80mm zoom lens which does have OIS.  This new lens considered by some to be the replacement to the 18-55mm kit lens, with it’s extended range all the way to 80mm; It has an aperture of f4, so you won’t be able to get as much low light performance out of it as you would with the 16-55 but if you are in well lit or professionally lit scenes, it’s a great alternative especially if you want to shoot more handheld.   

Last on the list for this kit is the nice wide and older 10-24mm f4 lens.  This sports OIS and has a great wide field of view which offers you some wider ranges for your filmmaking or vlogging application.

This kit represents a solid start to a good Fujifilm filmmaking kit from a camera and lens kit perspective.

There are a ton of other combinations we could discuss however I think these kits are a good starting point to get you going with a solid setup for common photographic application.   Happy shopping!

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