You’ve heard all about Fuji cameras. The colors. The ‘retro’ dials and intuitive shooting experience. The amazing lenses.
You want to try Fuji. But, you’re on a budget. And Fuji isn’t known for being cheap. If you can fight off the Gear Acquisition Syndrome (G.A.S.), you keep your budget and get a great camera.
Here’s how to get into the Fuji X system without breaking the bank.
Fujicron Recommendation: Fujifilm X-T1
Let’s jump straight to the recommendation: most people on a budget will be best served by the Fujifilm X-T1.
The X-T1 was Fuji’s flagship model and it’s most popular for quite some time. It’s weather-sealed, has a tilty screen, great build, a huge EVF, and the SLR style is the best form factor for most people.
That’s an awesome entry into the Fuji system for under a thousand bucks. If the X-T1 isn’t for you check out our other recommendations, or keep reading to see our thought process.
Tip: Go with the ‘old’ 16-Megapixel sensor
Every company uses marketing to make you want the new thing. You’re on a budget. You don’t need the latest and greatest.
- A few years ago the 16MP sensor was the cream of the crop.
- Professionals have been paid top dollar using this ‘old’ sensor.
- If you actually need more than 16MP, you probably aren’t reading this guide.
Older tech comes at a much lower price and still makes amazing photos. If you’re on a budget, go with the ‘old’ sensor.
Other cameras to Consider:
If you don’t need weather sealing and can compromise with a smaller EVF, you can get into FUJI X series for even cheaper.
If you aren’t a fan of the X-T1’s SLR form factor, you’ll probably like the XE series. With the EVF on the left and the same 16MP sensor, either the X-E2 or the X-E2s is a great budget choice.
X-E2 vs X-E2s? The XE2 with a firmware upgrade will get you the same performance as an XE2s. There are a few minor changes to the button layout, but largely these are the same camera. Pick up whichever you can get cheaper.
More details here.
The X-T10 was my first foray into the Fuji-X system. If you’d like an X-T1 that’s smaller, here’s your camera. There’s no weather sealing, and I’d avoid if you have bigger hands, but otherwise the X-T10 is a great option.
If you want Fuji’s famous hybrid OVF but can’t afford an X-Pro2, this is your only option. It’s the oldest interchangable lens camera in Fuji’s XF line, it’s slower than the options listed here and it’s missing some jpg color profiles like Classic Chrome. But it still makes beautiful pictures, and can be had in great condition for a steal. John McTaggart says it’s the [“best value in digital photography today”](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6b8m6PgJY-U).
If you don’t mind being locked into one prime lens, The X100 or X70 series can be a good budget pick. You get a camera and a lens for one price. If one of these is your only camera, you can’t have G.A.S. for new lenses because you can’t use them. There are tele and wide adapters though, so watch your wallet.
X100T or S
People love the X100 series for a reason, the small camera is easy to take everywhere, the fixed lens makes for a nice creative constraint, and the controls get out of the way of you making pictures.
Should you get the S or the T? Check prices, and make sure to read this awesome comparison at Fuji Vs Fuji. I don’t recommend the X100 unless you can get it for very cheap and are willing to deal with slow auto-focus.
Used or New?
If you’re on a budget, should you look at the used market? YES
Camera bodies drop significantly in value after being used. You can save hundreds of dollars on perfectly functioning cameras buy looking at the used market. Although Fuji doesn’t release new cameras as often as other companies, there are still new releases every few years. Plenty of camera enthusiasts want to buy the latest and greatest, and will off-load their ‘old’ but barely used cameras for cheap. Buying used is a great way to save some cash.
However, there are benefits to buying new. A new camera from Fuji comes with a 1 year warranty. Sometimes you can get used cameras with warranty remaining, but you’ll only have a few months instead of a whole year.
New cameras are more likely to last longer. You can’t know how carefully the previous owner used their camera. If they used it in dusty or wet environments without proper precautions your purchase might start failing soon. There’s not much recourse when you buy a used camera ‘as-is’.
It’s up to you to decide if the peace of mind is worth the extra money.
Where To Buy Used Fuji Cameras?
This is not an exhaustive list, but I’ve used each of these in the past and had good experiences.
- Amazon – Look for the ‘Used & new’ section for options to buy used. When buying from 3rd party sellers always check their merchant rating.
- Keh – A reputable used camera dealer with good prices.
- Ebay – Make sure to buy from a reputable seller, and make sure the listing has high quality images so you can check for damage.
- Craigslist – You can get great deals and save on shipping with Craigslist. Remember that buying expensive equipment in person comes with risks. Most people are honest but please take precautions.
As with all online purchases, make sure to use a credit card with purchase protection in case something goes wrong.
Price Comparison Table:
Prices were last taken in September 2017. Prices are approximate, you may be able to find better deals on used cameras. I will update periodically.
|Camera||$New||$Used||Weather Sealed?||Tilty Screen?||Interchangeable Lens?|
Do you have any tips for budget conscious Fuji shooters? Let me know below.