My Experience with Canon Cameras

What is the most popular camera brand in the US? Probably Canon. I’m not going to give you statistics but I think a lot of professional portrait photographers use Canon, Nikon, or Sony. I used to be a loyal Canon fan, until I wasn’t.

Canon Rebel XTi

In the 1990’s I had a film Canon Rebel that went everywhere with me. In 2008 my husband bought me a digital Rebel XT1 and it was awesome to shoot more and see what my images looked like immediately. No more mailing in my film. It was awesome! I used the auto mode and shot in JPEG and kept it easy.

In 2016 my Canon Rebel lens quit working. I just couldn’t get it to focus and take photos. Big bummer. I found the Rebel 6Ti and bought a manual to learn how to really use it and get out of auto mode. I learned about histograms and RAW files versus JPEG files. I learned the exposure triangle what white balance was and things I’d never heard of.

Canon R

Well, I decided I needed a full frame camera. Why? Because I thought it would make me a “pro” level photographer. I learned a bigger sensor was better, which really isn’t always the case. You don’t need tons of megapixels to enlarge photos unless you want it to be billboard size. But I bought into needing full frame. I shopped for the Canon 5D mark iv, which was on sale. The guy at the camera store said I needed to go mirrorless. Should I look at Sony, I asked? I’d heard the mirrorless Sony cameras were great, and they are. He said to stay with Canon since I had 2 other lenses that could be adapted to the Canon R. Well, I should have rented the camera. I didn’t love the coloring. The focusing wasn’t very fast. I had to really edit everything and the highlights were bad. The dynamic range of the camera wasn’t good and I just didn’t love it. I spent hundreds on presets. I was looking for a better film look with my images. I did not like the Canon coloring.

When the Canon R5 and R6 came out I thought about upgrading from the R. “Everyone” said it was so great, faster focus, better sensor (which it really needed) and it was $3,500 to get just the body. I had my Canon R for sale and was really close to selling it to get the R5 or R6, but I waited.

Fuji X Series

I watched YouTube videos about the Fuji X series and how much cheaper the body and lenses were. What I loved most was the Fuji color science, especially for skin tones. In 2020 I bought the Fuji XT3 with the kit lens for $1500 and started to play. I loved having all of the dials on the outside of the camera. I had grown up with a manual film camera and it was like coming home. The auto focus worked well and I used it to shoot a lot of portrait sessions. Sometimes I worried I needed to use the Canon for extended family work and use that $2500 50mm 1.2 lens, but when I saw how the Fuji printed at 20x30 it was perfect. Why had I spent SO much money on Canon lenses and the R camera? Huge regret.

Fuji had a special to try out the GFX 50 SII for free in February 2021. I told my husband I just wanted to try it. I wasn’t going to buy it. But after 3 days I couldn’t live without it!  It. Was. Amazing! The colors and sharpness and the huge medium format frame was so beautiful for landscapes and portraits. I had to have it!

It was then I decided to ditch all of my super expensive canon gear: the 70-200mm, the 50 1.2, the 24-100, a Lens Baby….all of it. I traded it into the Pictureline camera store in Salt Lake and paid the difference for the Fuji GFX 50sii. I have not missed the canon at all! Nope. Best decision ever! I used it to take bridal, wedding, and family photos for paying clients. Great images!

Fuji XT3

My Fuji XT3 was my main camera for a while and the shutter button was starting to stick a bit. My nephew touched the camera and I think he had sticky fingers. It had been so well loved and I thought about getting the XT4 to have image stabilization. 

I rented the new Fuji hs2 and loved the new sensor. The focus worked well and the colors were more vivid than my XT3. More megapixels too. When the XT5 was announced in November I was on the wait list to buy one. I bought it from Pictureline before Christmas and have fallen in love with it. 

Fuji XT5

My favorite JPEG recipe is Reggie's Portra. I shoot RAW and JPEG and often pick the JPEGs straight out of camera. I love it! The dials on the XT5 are mostly the same as the XT3. I don't have to use the menu and I shoot in manual. I LOVE having IBIS especially when there is low light and I use a slower shutter speed. Some people have said it’s just like the XT3 but it’s not. The Fuji XT5 is such a great value at $1699! I have 7 lenses for the fuji and love to play with my Lens Baby lenses, Hellios, Russian Mir, and the Fuji prime lenses. I love the size of the XT5 for traveling and took both the XT3 and XT5 on my last vacation. The shutter is quiet and the camera is easy to take everywhere. If you put the 27mm pancake lens on it it’s pretty much the same size as the Fuji x100v that everyone wants. (I rented that camera too and I like the XT5 coloring and sensor better. The x100v is a fad really).

What I learned spending thousands on Canon gear is to ALWAYS rent the camera and lenses before you buy them. It’s worth it in the end. I know the Fuji XT5 isn’t for everyone, but I couldn’t be happier with that camera! I’m a Fuji fan and am never going back.

These are the JPEG shots straight out of camera. My husband and I took a trip to Israel and Jordon after Christmas. Some are indoor shots with low light (especially in the churches we visited.) The RAW files will have more dynamic range to play with the sunsets and sunrises, but I think the Fuji is great in low light and night shots. The photos are not perfect and have not been edited, but what sold me on Fuji the most was Fuji's color science and dynamic range. Simply amazing.


Classic Chrome

Dynamic Range: DR-Auto

Highlight: -1

Shadow: -1

Color: +2

Noise Reduction: -4

Sharpening: -2

Clarity: 0

Grain Effect: Weak, Small

Color Chrome Effect: Strong

Color Chrome Effect Blue: Weak

White Balance: Auto, +2 Red & -4 Blue

ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400

Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Let me know what you think!

Nazareth Church sculpture.
Old building in Nazareth.
Church in Tabga in Galilee.
Corinthian column.
Sunset over the desert along the Dead Sea.
Old City of Jerusalem at night with Dome of the Rock.
Day shot of dome of the rock.
Hebrew text from a book she is reading.
in a church in Jerusalem she light a candle.
an older lady is sweeping the steps at the church of the holy sepulchre.

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