Why I Switched From Canon to the Fujifilm GFX System

I've been a proud Canon user for over a decade, but the time game to finally make a change. Here's why I left my loyal decade with Canon to switch to Fujifilm.

Moment Fuji GFX 50s II 5814 webres

I've been a proud Canon user for over a decade.

Once upon a time, in a land not too far from home, I purchased my first 'big girl camera' with stashed cash from my job as a server's assistant at a local wine bar. Luckily my natural charm and oh-so endearing smile (lol) earned hundreds of dollars in tips a shift, catapulting my camera-savings dream into a reality. After gathering just enough for a Rebel T3I, I rushed to the nearest Best Buy and cried tears of happiness upon my return home. She was mine, all mine.

It didn't take long for me to find which camera I wanted. All the cool sunset-chasing Tumblr folk sported their shiny Rebels in various mirror selfies and hashtags, furthering my teenage life's most significant buying decision. Canon's were incredible, and they still are. They're as durable as they come, naturally ergonomic for an all-day shoot, and incredibly sexy. But most of all — they're damn good cameras.

After my professional career as a lifestyle and editorial photographer blossomed after college, it was time to upgrade to a giant, meaner machine. Shortly after the humble yet highly successful 5DMIV's debut, I knew she'd be my next big thing. I bought her, cried yet again, and she accompanied me everywhere. Everywhere.

The 5DMIV is the original DSLR powerhouse. It sports a 30 MP CMOS sensor, DIGIC 6+ processor, Dual Pixel AF system, and 4K video capture. The Mark IV is easily the most advanced 5D camera and continues a highbrowed reputation. So much that I still pull her out from time to time nearly six years later. She's been strapped to my chest in the Indian Himalayas, to the side chair jeep ride through the Zambian grasslands, Europe, Japan, and the Amazon Jungle on a river cruise. Everywhere. Not one pitstop to the camera repair shop since (knock on wood).

When I buy something, I intend for it to last forever. Should this online publication bleed into the car consumer market, I'll review my Subaru Outback next.

She was my child, my everything. She performs beautifully in all forms of lights, situations, travel, and context. I've been a Canon fan for a decade with nothing but amazing things to say about the camera that started and nurtured my professional photography career.

Though — such as all good things that ebbed and flowed with personal growth and shifted talent — my heart yearned for something new. Something… else? While I loved her, I felt the time had come to move on. I've outgrown the easy-to-use features, and its sensor finally began to feel worn, exhausted, and somewhat weary. It wasn't easy to admit this needed shift; I've always prided myself on my unbending loyalty. Though, this feeling didn't come to fruition right away because I hadn't settled on my next camera worth purchasing. I still didn't find a digital body worth investing in this ever-evolving tech frenzy universe.

That is until the GFX 50SII was released.

Why Fujifilm GFX Is Such a Big Deal

To put it simply — the GFX lines of Fujifilm cameras are large-format mirrorless camera power horses offering the highest level of image quality in a digital camera system.

The 50SII captures a hybrid of images at a smidge over 50 megapixels, a stunning achievement in camera history. Being an avid film shooter specializing in medium format portraits and lifestyle, I began to feel stagnant with the limited use cases a DSLR could provide my vision. It became increasingly evident that a full-frame was a thing of my past, and a large format was my future across all mediums of shooting.

Large image quality isn't the only enticing factor behind a medium format camera versus its full-frame counterpart. A delicious optical experience delivered by cameras, like the GFX series or equivalent, is nearly indescribable. With the larger sensor comes more pronounced bokeh and a wider field of view, allowing for a shallower depth of field and more pronounced background compression when shooting wide. Such effects are highly renowned by portrait photographers and even more so by those who favor a film-like illusion.

They have the sauce. A creamy, unique flavor that other cameras don't offer accessible (yet). They're a treasure among fellow artists in the industry and hold significant power amongst their competitive peers. They're dynamic and sexy and flat out a new name to the game.

The Switch From Canon To Fujifilm

Again, it's hard for me to write this without gritted teeth because I love Canon; they've helped birth my career into something unique and encouraged me to shoot fully manual. The 5DMIV is still in my possession; I couldn't give her up that easily. She's still much too valuable and provides a lot better fast-act shooting than the GFX ever will (darn slow sensor!).

Nonetheless, a switch still needed to be made.

To put it simply — Fujifilm feels more modern. They understand their consumers and the wide range of available customers looking to upgrade or switch their toolbox. They cater to modern-day photographers and never dwell on forgotten trends of the early 2000s. They adapt so candidly yet humbly. I don't ever feel as though Fujifilm "tries hard" to appease the younger crowds; they do a great job of knowing what's genuinely sought after at the consumer level.

But beyond my emotional stipulations, I know that Canon's technology wasn't advancing at the desired rate. DSLRs seemed stuck behind the advancements made by other companies, only furthering my incessant FOMO behind the lens. While Canon continued to produce advanced lineups with new specs, their latest cameras didn't excite me as much as I wanted.

Then comes the argument between DSLRs to mirrorless digital bodies. DSLRs and mirrorless cameras differ in their construction and design but not in their sensors, image quality, technologies, and many features. The differences are partly physical – the way these two camera designs look, handle and work – and somewhat technical in terms of 4K (or even 6K or 8K) video capture and autofocus systems. Mirrorless sensors also have the advantage of eye autofocus, less bulk, and live exposure previews without switching over to live view. But, to be honest? I didn't care which form of digital shooting experience I had. I just wanted something fresh.

If I was going new, I was going brand new.

A mirrorless option intrigued me, but the medium format's allure piqued my interest. Working for Moment has a ton of blessings, one of them being an early hands-on opportunity with upcoming gear. Taylor, one of our in-house filmmakers at Sunny Sixteen, tested the camera as part of a now popular video on Moment's YouTube channel. Results? Nothing but amazing. She and I share a lot in common with our art, so I was 100% convinced when she said she'd switch from her Canon 5MDIV.

General Specs on the Fujifilm GFX 50SII

The 14-bit RAW files preserve a good amount of shadow detail though I wouldn't say it has the night-vision level recovery that some other modern solutions provide. It may not offer the dynamic range as the GFX 100s, but it isn't a slouch. I could comfortably shoot up to ISO 6400 without hesitation concerning noise performance. The noise is perfectly manageable, and the sharpness doesn't suffer significantly. In extreme situations, you can go to 12,800 ISO and still get usable results, but this may vary based on your threshold. While the sensor may be older, the results feel anything but old. These files are very robust and give a lot of room for you to direct your creativity.

Fast, reliable autofocus comes to GFX50S II thanks to advanced technologies and Fujifilm's powerful X-Processor 4 imaging engine. Sensor readout speeds have been boosted from 130fps to 250fps compared to GFX50S, enabling razor-sharp responses – whether subject tracking or picking out a face in a crowd. An improved autofocusing algorithm, taken from the latest FUJIFILM X Series and GFX system cameras, boosts focusing performance in all modes, including face and eye detection. The AF system brilliantly works with in-body image stabilization (IBIS) to provide up to 6.5 stops of handheld stability. The camera's autofocusing performance will be up to the task when the creative senses flow.

Also — the "wow" factor is real when inputting a CineBloom filter on this mind-blowing sensor. Just take a peek at the images, including RAW comparison shots between the FujiFilm and my friend's Nikon DSLR.

  • 51.4 Megapixel Large Format CMOS Image Sensor

  • X-Processor 4 Image Processor

  • 3.0 Frames per second

  • Updated Autofocus (AF) algorithm for optimized performance with G Mount lenses

  • Up to 6.5 stops of Internal Body Image Stabilization (IBIS)

  • Compact, weather-resistant body


The Fujifilm GFX 50s II vs GFX 100s | Which Is Best For You?

For the photographer looking to graduate into digital medium-format imagery, these two cameras—the GFX 50s II and GFX 100s—are the first two worth considering. However, they differ in application from their $2,000 price gap, which may lead you to believe. They share identical bodies, and if it weren't for the subtle branding on the 50s II, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Let me take this one step further; you could look at two images from these respective cameras and likely, not tell the difference.

Read more

Brand: Fujifilm

Type: Photo & Video

Best For:

Professional photographers wanting to elevate their daily camera tool.



I love my GFX. Heck, I'm still getting used to it after all these months. Due to my shooting vision and stylish choices, I primarily shoot film for all personal (and even professional!) projects. Though, when digital is at the head of a theme's creative direction, no doubt I'll first reach for the 50SII. She performs perfectly without question and provides image results so tasty it's hard not to drool. If I'm ever in need of a camera for fast action shots, like my sister's track practice or a wedding I'm helping second-shoot for my best friend, then the Canon 5DMIV stays winning.

I don't regret my decision. I love my choice to switch, yet I feel comfort knowing I still have my old Canon friend right where I need her.

If you need a sign to make bold moves, I hope this article covers your bases.