Episode 185: Should I switch Camera Systems?

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Greetings, you’re listening to the Liam Photography Podcast, I’m your host Liam Douglas and this is Episode 185. For this episode, I want to talk about a topic that I know I am not the only one who has gone through this and that is should I switch camera systems?

When it comes to Photography, this is not an inexpensive profession or even hobby. Camera bodies cost a significant amount of money and good glass is not cheap either. When it comes to this question, there are a few things you need to ask yourself.

1.) Why am I looking to switch systems? – Is there something that your current system lacks? Is there a new technology that another company offers that will really make a difference in your photography? Does the other company’s system offer better AF? More Frames per second? Does it have better WiFi or Bluetooth or maybe GPS? If it’s a matter of Mega Pixels, that is NOT a reason to switch platforms as your current company is probably already planning to release a body with more resolution and remember Mega Pixels is not everything. Generally any camera capable of 12MP or more is going to be enough for what you are doing.

2.) Can I get the a more compact system that will fit my needs? Many photographers face this question over time. As we get older it gets to be harder and harder to lug around all that gear, all that weight and not have it take its toll on our bodies. This is an issue I am facing now. I have been shooting for about 30 years now and most of that time I have shot with either a Canon flagship body or a standard full frame body with the battery grip. The problems is these systems are heavy. The bodies I shot with weigh on average 3.17 pounds then add on a large lens like the Canon 400mm F/4 L IS USM that weighs 6.25 pounds, you have a system that weighs close to ten pounds. This might not sound like much but when you are lugging this set up around out in the field for 12-14 hours per day, that weight takes it toll on your body, especially the arms. This is what I am facing now, I have severe cubital tunnel in both elbows and I am not the only one suffering from this issue. “Sharky” James from the Peta Pixel Photography Podcast has the same issue as me, and he shot as a photojournalist for most of his thirty years in photography using the Nikon D series flagship bodies. So,  now even though I LOVE my Canon bodies, I am considering doing what Sharky did and switch to Fujifilm X Series. I never thought I’d go back to APS-C from Full Frame and Medium Format but I am not sure I will have much choice. I have surgeries coming up for my left arm to hopefully fix it, but I have a feeling my doctor is still going to recommend either going to a smaller, lighter system or give up photography all together and we all know the latter is NOT going to happen. If you know me in real life, or listen to this show you know that I have broken bones before just to get the shot. My worry is I have been shooting with either Full Frame or Medium Format for so long I am a little leary about making the change to APS-C. I know APS-C can make amazing photographs and I know there are photographers out there making their full time living using APS-C systems. I did use APS-C at one time on the Canon side and I was often un-happy with the results. Now I have heard so many times that Fujifilm is the King of APS-C, they lead the field in technology in APS-C and they have those fantastic film simulations that replicate their film stock from the days of film photography and Fujifilm has always had some of the most popular film and color profiles in photography. The other thing that worries me is the issue with “worms” in some textures when using the X-Trans sensor. My friend Brent from the Latitude Photography Podcast tested the Fujifilm X-T3 shooting on the Oregon Coast and he ran into issues with the “worms” in the textures of the rocks he shot on the coast and said he could not get rid of them even using Capture One Pro. Now I have been emailing back and forth with the owner of www.fujirumors.com and he claims that using Capture One Pro, there are no issues since Capture One and Fujifilm have worked together for many years. Now I have a contact at Fujifilm who has gotten me set up as a media person and reviewer so I am able to borrow Fujifilm gear and test and review it. I did a review on the GF 23mm F/4 landscape lens for the GFX mount and I loved that lens so much that I bought one of my own. Right now I have the GF 100-200mm coming to test next and review, and then I am planning to borrow and test a X-T4 with the new XF 27mm lens to see how it performs.

3.) How much will this cost me? This is the most painful question to ask yourself. You have spent a lot of money investing in the system you have now. The problem is the gear is used now and you won’t be able to sell it for nearly what you paid originally. If you have good glass like Canon L lenses, you will be able to recoup some of your money but you will still lose a fair amount of value. Then of course there is the cost of buying a new system. Since I am looking at Fujifilm I know that I need their flagship APS-C body, which is there X-T4 and they cost around $1,699 for the body only. Not super expensive, but not cheap either and I am considering the possibility of selling my Canon EOS R and RP and using that money to fund an X-T4 and at least one good lens. I will still have my EOS R6 and my RF lenses, but this will give me a way to test and compare the feasibility of making the change. Either way it’s not going to be a cheap transition and that is something anyone looking to change systems has to consider. And it’s not like Fujifilm’s X Series lenses are any cheaper than Canon’s glass, I just hope they perform as well. I REALLY cherish my RF 50mm F/1.2 L USM, it is hands down probably the best 50mm lens on the market and I am not sure how well Fujifilm’s 50mm performs. Fujifilm’s XF 50mm F/1.0 R WR lens at $1,500 compare to the RF at $2,700 is quite a bit of savings, I just hope it’s not that large a drop in performance or image quality.

4.) Should I take the plunge or stick with what I have? This is a question that only you can answer as it’s your gear, your photography and only you can decide what’s best for you. You cannot listen to “fanboys” when it comes to this decision. They won’t give you an honest answer, which is why I recommend renting the new system first from someone like www.lensrentals.com

I have been using them for years and you can not only rent gear from them to try out and if you want to keep it you can buy it from them.

So, I hope this gives you something to think about if you are facing this dilemma and considering switching systems. I am going to wrap this up, if you are a Fujifilm shooter that switched from Canon, let me know in the comments in the Facebook Group. Please no “Fanboy’Fangirl” stuff, just honest opinions. Why did you make the change and have you regretted it? Can your new system do everything that your old one did or did you have to make sacrifices to change?

Remember to stop by the Liam Photography Youtube Channel and Subscribe, watch and Like and share out the videos and hit the little “bell” icon so you can be notified when new content drops and I will see you again on Sunday.

 

Also be sure to join the Liam Photography Podcast Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/liamphotographypodcast/ You can reach the show by call or text @ 470-294-8191 to leave a comment or request a topic or guest for the show. Additionally you can email the show @ liam@liamphotographypodcast.com and find the show notes at http://www.liamphotographypodcast.com.

You can find my work @ https://www.liamphotography.net on and follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @liamphotoatl. If you like abandoned buildings and history, you can find my project @ http://www.forgottenpiecesofgeorgia.com. and http://www.forgottenpiecesofpennsylvania.com.

Please also stop by my Youtube channels Liam Photography

Forgotten Pieces of Georgia Project

Forgotten Pieces of Pennsylvania Project

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