Review: Fuji vs Canon Side by Side. Colors, Full Frame, Presets

fuji wedding review

So here’s the thing. I’ve been really enjoying shooting on my Fuji cameras lately, even though I am a Canon shooter. So many people keep asking me on Instagram about my thoughts and whether they could switch to Fujifilm as their main camera, how they should edit their Fuji files, all that stuff. So I decided to write down a little something.

Before we go any deeper, let me just say this is not a review or one of those stories about switching brands and having life all figured out now. After all, the camera is out for a while and there are other photographers who only shoot Fuji now and they might be more qualified to write down their experiences. But if you and I went out for a coffee to chat about cameras, this is what I ‘d tell you.

Also: FUJI PRESET! I developed some presets specifically with Fuji colors in mind, since I found that their files deserve some special treatment. You can get them down bellow. Or HERE if you can’t wait.

california engagement session

There is no need to spend too much time talking about why Fuji cameras are so attractive. They’re small, fast, relatively cheap, they look great and their lenses are very solid. They’re just cool. Plus the image quality is very close to Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras. I’m just gonna skip this part, you can find amazing reviews everywhere. Ok now back to our coffee date.

EDITING THOSE FUJI TONES

What always drew me towards Fuji, besides the obvious reasons, were the colors. I am not a big fan of the tones in raw images straight out of camera, but when you learn how to edit them, there is something special about the look and texture Fujifilm renders images. It took me a while to figure out the the files, the x-trans sensors are just very different to what I am used to. What has worked for me on Canon has always looked strange on Fuji. And the other way around.

That being said, I had to update some presets and now I actually enjoy editing again. There is something about the rich greens and reds on Fuji which is exactly the look I am usually going for. And when put side by side against my Canon files, Fuji is right there, if not better. Definitely more interesting.

NO FULL FRAME AND SHALLOWER DEPTH OF FIELD

Not having a full frame is apparently the biggest concern when thinking about getting Fuji for professional work. Obviously, it is a big deal. I must say I don’t care about the full frame “look” 90 percent of the time there are definitely moments when my full frame Canon saves the date. Especially when you are not always in control of the light and angles and backgrounds, which happens a lot during weddings actually.

I always said that if Fuji made a full frame camera, it would be the most popular camera on the market. With their colors and manual dials. Canon and Nikon and Sony would have a big problem. Too bad it might never happen, based on what Fujifilm’s PR puts out there lately.

san francisco wedding photography

In solid light, I actually prefer the look of Fuji over my Canon. Something about the lack of the depth of field is also fun for me, as I’ve always liked incorporating backgrounds in my photographs. I never liked that super soft, blurry f1.2 look my Canon 50mm produces.

Fuji photos are messy, gritty, the smaller sensor doesn’t do much for you. But that’s the magic. It forces you to be more creative and not to rely on blurry background to make pretty images.

But I have to admit, when I was shooting both of my cameras, Canon and Fuji, side by side, in a dark forest, the Canon files were just nicer. Fuji has a really good focusing system though and it was easier to use compared to my Canon 5D mark iii.

SIDE BY SIDE WITH CANON

I tried to shoot side by side during couple of engagement shoots. I was curious to see how different my final files will look and how easy or hard it will be to edit different files. I was able to match colors within a minute but what stands out the most is the depth of field difference. It’s really up to you if you prefer one over the another. For this specific shot though, the Canon files feels better as the forest in the background was already very distracting.

MY CAMERA SETUP

I love shooting with Fuji even if there are better cameras in my bag. It’s just a fun experience and I love that I can bring it with me everywhere without thinking twice. No more heavy backpacks during hiking or people staring at me in a coffee shop because I have a giant camera with me. Plus I really enjoy editing now and getting the perfect tones is definitely easier after tweaking those presets.

However I keep my full frame Canon for weddings and other shoots where I’m not always in control of the situation. Fuji is a perfect second camera for me. For personal use and for parts of a wedding day.

People keep asking me “Is Fuji good enough to be your only camera?” and my answer is always “absolutely yes”. If nothing else, it might make you love shooting everyday life again. And that itself is worth it.

FUJI PRESETS

After playing with Fuji for a while I noticed how different their files are compared to other brands and how different treatment they need during editing. That’s why I created some presets specifically for Fuji. You can purchase them HERE if you want.

fuji preset

Feel free to ask any questions.

Here’s my Instagram and Facebook.

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Comments Expand -
  1. Hi, really nice work and great post. I’m curious your thoughts now a few years later. I am not a pro photographer, I am an architect who loves photography, have for years and used to have a darkroom etc. I shoot an old 5D and love the pictures, but don’t love the cameras size and lack of visual controls. I just bought an XT3 and love the camera, controls, lenses, size, it’s great. But I have a hard time working with the raw files and getting a look I’m happy with. I am thinking to switch to the canon R or RP. They seem small enough for me, good glass, should have the same colors as I’m used to?

    Anyway, just curious what you think. There is something to be said about having a camera that feels good in your hand and I totally appreciate your point about relying on bokeh too much. When I shot film I taught myself to frame the background and the foreground, and used aperture to control the exposure.

    Thanks a lot!

  2. Hello, great article! I’m wondering what Canon body in your experience pairs the best with Fuji, specifically the xpro2, as a second camera?

    1. I really liked it with my 5D mark iii. Not so much with the mark iv, which has more modern, cleaner, more desaturated sensor.

  3. Loves the xpro2 through your images so much,i will probably buy one this year ! really nice blog

  4. do you recommend this camera for food photography?! i’m still shooting on my iphone and can’t decide on a camera- i’m a totally newbie and will have to learn everything about shooting with a real camera!

  5. I’ve been looking at fujifilm cameras for awhile. Love the idea of comparing + contrasting the two different cameras. Great read!

    Ig: @kendallannegram

  6. Lovely read! Love the Fuji cameras dials to change the different modes. Lighter and easier to carry around. Beautiful captures! 😊
    @cutesharon04

  7. Aloha, thank you for this brilliant review! I really appreciated the side by side comparison!

    IG: Mamadragon808

  8. Aloha, your reviews are such a good read! The passion and knowledge you have for cameras and photography is great. I have been wanting to save up for a camera for quite some time now and could never decide on which kind so save for I finally have my answer!

    IG: @AlohaKal808

  9. I stumbled across this blog as I was unsure on whether to invest in the fuji. I needed this coffee chat. THANKYOU @ssavannahrose

  10. Never thought i’ll ever explore the fuji brand but i’m excited to after seeing your posts!
    @wavesoverwalls

  11. Finding a great camera for everyday life photos is what I need. Making it easier to grab a camera and go! So excited about your thoughts on shooting Fuji.

  12. I will absolutely purchase these presets, because I truly need Fuji-presets <3. The greens in the trees give me the chills, sooooo wonderful!!

  13. Hi Lukas.

    Really great to hear your thoughts on the Fuji’s. I have exactly the same thoughts actually and it is what keeps me holding onto the Canon full frame cameras. In certain situations the fuji is just as useable as the canon, and in certain styles of photography. If you are a purely documentary shooter that wants to get as much information as possible in the images then the fuji is great because blurring the background out sufficiently is actually hard to do without the 56mm attached! Most of my wedding day is shot with the 35mm focal length and I like to create a bit of a portrait look even with the candid shots, that is where the fuji really falls down for me. Also the low light situations when the Canon just seems to be able to see in the dark and maintain some great colours. It’s a shame as I would really love to be able to shoot the fuji all the time as it is simply more fun to shoot with, the user experience is amazing, but the full frame thing really does make a difference, particularly at 35mm. If only a full frame sensor was put into the Xpro!!

  14. I actually bought a second hand x100t two weeks ago for a trip to Stockholm ( so I didn’t need to take my big and heavy Canon) as I also had my child 12/24 on my back. Actually I really enjoyed this compact, fixed lens and think I’ll use it standard next to my canon, just whenever I go out. I ll be looking into your presets for Fuji and canon, I really enjoy the mood of your pics. Thanks for sharing these thoughts.

  15. Hi,

    what are your tactics for handling RAF files in Lightroom? just started shooting on an Xt-1 and really enjoying the camera but my version of Lightroom (version 5 (something)) can’t read RAF files… any tips?!

  16. I dump most of my Canon system (Mark IV/III, Sigma Art 85,20, and some other cheaper lenses) for Fuji (XT-2/XPRO2, 16, 23/2, 35/1.4, 56, 90), but I’m contemplating repurchasing some items so that I can shoot Canon and Fuji side by side for weddings. I’m in the same boat as you are when it comes to loving what Fuji provides, but there is that 15-20% that I just can’t recreate – and most of it comes down to the low light performance.

      1. Just for posterity’s sake, here, the X-T3 is a large leap forward from the X-T2 in terms of sensor performance in low light.

        Source: fashion photographer using X-T3 for outdoor shooting and GFX series for studio.

  17. Comparing the Fuji X-Pro2 and the Canon 5D Mark IV doesn’t seem appropriate to me. They are cameras in different classes. You refer to the X-Pro2 as "the Fuji," but there are Fuji models that have larger sensors, are more versatile, and would be more appropriate for the "heavy lifting" of your professional work. Likewise, there are Canon models that would work okay for carrying with you every day, taking photos of your girlfriend in a cafe without attracting attention to yourself, and other such purposes but in that class of camera the X-Pro2 is far better than any Canon.

    1. Thanks for the comment Peter, you’re absolutely right! These are completely different cameras and they are not really competitors. I decided to compare these two anyway as I’ve known so many wedding photographers around me switching (or thinking about switching) from canon full frame cameras to the fuji x-series. I myself tried to google some comparisons to see what I’d loose or gain by switching (or downgrading) myself and never found anything useful. So I did some testing on my own and wrote this for people struggling with the same decision. Hope that make sense!

  18. This is dead on. Fuji is great but in the end I gave it up because the full Frame canon files had that little extra oomph. I do miss the portability of the Fuji though and yes it does challenge you to push what you’re trying to do rather than just point and shoot.

  19. Hi Lukas, first of all, I want to say that I really love your work and you’ve been a true inspiration!
    I’ve been using an Olympus Pen F (mirrorless) for a while and love the mirrorless world, but lately my beloved camera has started to get me really frustrated (the EVF is not really working as well as it used to, the AF is always second guessing and never focus where it should, some of the settings make it sometimes slow to use,…), so I’ve been thinking about switching to another system. I have to say, even though I did already hear about the Fuji system, it’s when I found your post a couple of days ago that I really started looking for informations about it and I’m so impressed from what I’ve found that I’m actually considering switching to Fuji as soon as I can.
    My biggest issue now is what lens to chose, because for a while I won’t be able to buy a second lens. After a lot of research, I think that the 23mm is the focal length that would suit me the better, but I wanted to ask you if you think it would be versatile enough both for landscapes and portraits (which are the two main things I shoot).
    Otherwise, I heard that the 18-55mm is a really good kit lens and I don’t know if it would be a safer option to get that for now… Do you have any advice? What is your favorite Fuji lens?
    Thank you so much in advance!
    -Elisa

    1. Hi Elisa, thank you for your kind words! So glad this made you think about fuji and I’m sure you’ll love it! I totally agree the 23mm is a way to go, I would choose the f1.4 version, it is not as fast as f2 but I love the look you can get with this one. I would skip the zoom lens for sure. I personally love to shoot people and work with shallow depth of filed and with the 18-55 on a crop sensor camera, there is not really a lot to work with. All of the images in this post have been shot with the 23mm 1.4 by the way! Let me know if you have more questions!

  20. Hi Lukas!
    Love your work, you’re such an inspiration to me 🙂
    Are these presets so much different from the original Tribe Archipelago version?
    Thanks,
    Maurizio

    1. Maurizio! Sorry for a super late reply. I would say they share a similar aesthetics but these are different. Try yourself and if you feel you wasted your money, I’ll refund you.

  21. Hi Lukas,
    I love your style of photography because I love vintage edits as well. Your editing is so flawless and very classic. But of course your photography skills is just on point and effortless. I hope to see more of your works. God bless.

  22. Hi Lukas,

    initially I came here following a link in a gear forum. You wrote a nice article on the camera systems. But when I return, it will be to see more of your images… really like your style.

  23. Well said Lukas! (i’m sorry if i make misatkes, i speak french) I just made the BIG move from the famous Canon markiii (wich was divine but SO heavy with Sigma Art lenses…) to Fuji X-T2. Beeing a girl, the weight was my first motivation. At the begining, i missed a bit the look of a full frame, but it passed soon enough, not having these back pains anymore! And now, after i modified all my presets, i think that was the best decision i made as a photographer! The lightness, the colors and the texture, as you said!! It also pushes us to create more interesting compositions of image, not having the same depth of field… Anyway, just wanted to say i so agree with you. And for my taste, all considered, Fuji is the best! (i so hope i didn’t make too many mistakes)

    1. sorry for late reply! thank your for sharing your experience, I love that you were able to make it work and only use fuji now! your work is amazing btw 🙂

  24. Great review, thanks Lukas! I love my X-Pro2 but definitely miss FF shallow depth of field at 16(24)mm and 23(35)mm. Therefore I think about adding a FF-body just for these two focal lengths.. F.i. all the shots of your industrial wedding set have a very noticeable depth, guess those are all shot with FF? Some seem longer than 35mm but just few, right? Greetings

    1. Hi Rene, yeah it definitely gets tricky sometimes with these focal lengths but it is doable! getting closer and creating more separation helps but yeah, nothing beats FF.

      Btw the Prague Industrial Wedding is completely Canon and 35, 50 and 85 lenses.

  25. Hey Lukas,
    Great review with a big practical point of view.
    What are your favorite sharpening settings for Fuji? Any problems? Cheers

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