So, I'm looking to buy my first "decent" camera and I want to be able to film 4k at 24 and 1080 at 120, as well as take good landscape / "urban" photography.

I had pretty much settled on getting the Fuji X-T30 and the 16mm F1.4 lens, the body does everything I want it to and from reviews I have seen i like the images it produces.

However after seeing that I could get the X-T3 with the kit lens (18-55mm) for the same price, I can't help but think my money may be better off spent there and buy the better lens at a later date?

any and all advice is appreciated.

  • What would be your photo/video usage ratio ? And what kind of scene do you want to film ? That could help us to recommend the right piece of gear. – jihems May 14 '19 at 7:03

It all really depends on what kind of photography you want to do. The good news is both lenses are the XF line, so you get the better quality in the Fuji line. (vs XC lenses)

Obviously, the 16mm is a prime, so you are 'stuck' with 16mm (24mm full frame equiv). This is rather wide, and likely great for landscapes, but limited for portrait, sports, etc. The 18-55mm gives you more options (27-85mm full frame equiv) for landscape, portrait, etc.

The 16mm is a very bright lens, with much wider aperture of 1.4, vs the 18-55 which has a f/2.8 to f/4 on the zoom range. Typical of these higher end lenses, these apertures are are still rather bright, but not 1.4. I do not have any data, but typically prime lenses are more sharp than are zoom lenses, and I would expect the same here with the 16mm vs the 18-55.

Finally, the zoom offers OIS that stabilizes the lens, and can give you better results from slower shutter speeds. This likely brings the lens down to similar places the 16mm can go (in terms of available light) with its f/1.4.

All things considered, I would go with the 18-55, as it gives you more options for more kinds of photography. With it, you can determine if you need the wider, brighter lens for your photography, selling the zoom or adding the 16mm to your lens collection later.

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  • Thank you for that detailed response.I am sure that I will want to go with the 16mm f1.4 eventually due to my current setup and what i find myself using most. However was considering the two different bodies, the x-t3 vs the lesser x-t30. given my current budget, is the x-t 3 with the zoom lens a better buy than the x-t30 with the better lens (that i know i will eventually purchase either way). basically do i settle on the camera that does what i need and nothing more with the lens i want or do i go for the better camera with the option to buy the lens at a (probably much) later date. – James Price May 13 '19 at 14:49
  • @JamesPrice Only you can answer that. It's a personal choice. There's no "right" or "wrong" answer. – Michael C May 13 '19 at 15:36
  • @JamesPrice I have both lenses. The XF16 is a joy to use. In addition to its large aperture, it can also focus incredibly close. That makes it more versatile than a so-called "landscape" lens. The third-party squared metal hood is a must with it. – jihems May 14 '19 at 7:22
  • I don't have the latest models but have one camera in each line, and I really really can't stress enough that this is more a matter of different camera than "better". In terms of image quality (or potential quality of results), there is little difference. But the X-T#0 line is much smaller — not quite pocket sized but easy to forget about, while you will feel the X-T# after a day. But in return for the size X-T# has more accessible and better-laid-out physical controls. If I had to choose at gunpoint, I'd be hard pressed to pick which is "better" overall for every situation. – mattdm May 15 '19 at 3:01

As far as the cameras are concerned, there shouldn't be any significant difference between the X-T3 and X-T30 in terms of image quality because they use the same sensor, processors, and algorithms. The main differences between the two would be in how they handle. The X-T3 is larger with:

  • Larger view finder and eye cup.
  • Optional battery grip.
  • Weather sealing.
  • Dual card slots. This is more of a peace of mind feature than necessity. With mirrorless, it's more difficult to not notice a card failure than with DSLR.

Although I have not used X-T# models, I have used X-E2/S, X-T20, and X-H1 fairly extensively. Reviewers seem to consider the X-H1 very different from other X-series cameras, yet I find the differences among these models to be mainly first-impression differences. The biggest shock was coming in from a different system. After that, it's easy enough to switch from one model to another.

I wouldn't necessarily consider the X-T3 "better" than the X-T30 if you don't need the additional features. If you have good eyes and don't need the weather sealing, the X-T#0 cameras are great deals. You get the same image quality and many of the features in a smaller, lighter body.

As for lenses, I have the 18-55/2.8-4. It has OIS, and is very sharp. There's no point worrying about prime vs zoom with this lens as far as sharpness is concerned. The main problem with it is it doesn't extend long enough for my liking. I would prefer 24-70/2.8, but FujiFilm doesn't offer such a lens, so I use adapted lenses. The main reason to go with primes would be for the wider apertures. (I have an XF 35/1.4, as well as many manual primes.)

I don't have the XF 16/1.4, but probably wouldn't like it because I tend to dislike focal lengths wider than about 24-28mm. It also does not have OIS. Whether you would like it is very much personal preference. Consider trying out some different lenses before you buy.

I don't shoot video, but based on YouTube reviews, adapted manual-focus lenses are viable options for video. They're fairly inexpensive, so you can collect a set of old, fast primes to cover a range of shooting needs.

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    The X-T30 also has a single card slot, as opposed to the X-T3 which has 2. You know, data redundancy... you may want that. – jihems May 14 '19 at 6:27
  • If one is just comparing on paper, the cameras look more similar than they are in practice — the handing is very different. (Both are great, but they feel very different.) – mattdm May 14 '19 at 19:14

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