2019 Fujifilm Gift Giving Guide

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I get asked frequently for my opinions on Fujifilm cameras. Many people are seeking advice on what to buy. Tomorrow is December 1, and the Christmas shopping season is in full swing. This article is intended for those wishing to gift a camera and are searching for tips on what to choose. My hope is that there’s some helpful advice here as you camera shop for your loved ones.

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

First Camera

If you are shopping for someone’s first interchange-lens camera, let’s say a teenage kid or spouse, I would recommend the Fujifilm X-T100. This is a low-budget entry-level model that is still very capable and will deliver high-quality pictures. You get a surprisingly large bang for a surprisingly few bucks. As of this writing, the Fujifilm X-T100 with a 15-45mm lens is only $400, which is an incredible bargain.

Fujifilm X-T100 w/15-45mm lens:   B&H   Amazon

Vlog Camera

Suppose that you are shopping for an aspiring vlogger. Maybe this person has been using their phone to do so, but is ready to upgrade to a more serious camera. My top recommendation is the Fujifilm X-A7. This camera is similar in a lot of ways to the X-T100 mentioned above, but with better video capabilities and an articulating rear-screen that makes it a better choice for vlogging. The Fujifilm X-A7 with a 15-45mm lens has an MSRP of $700.

Fujifilm X-A7 w/15-45mm lens:   B&H   Amazon

Good Camera

My wife wanted a camera. She had a Canon point-and-shoot, a GoPro, and her iPhone, but she wanted something better, something more capable, something good. She wanted a camera that could capture high-quality stills and video. So I bought her a Fujifilm X-T20, which has been my top recommended Fujifilm camera for over a year. This camera is a step up from the X-T100. It could be used as a vlogging camera, although the X-A7 might be a better choice for that. Because it’s not the latest model, it’s priced very well, and as of this writing the Fujifilm X-T20 with a 16-50mm lens is only $600, which is an amazing deal!

Fujifilm X-T20 w/16-50mm lens:   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-T20 w/18-55mm lens:   B&H   Amazon

Second Camera

If you are shopping for someone who already has a Fujifilm camera and they’ve been hinting that they want a second camera body, you have several good options. The Fujifilm X-T3, which is at the high end, is currently $1,300, and the Fujifilm X-T30, which is mid-tier, is currently $800. The Fujifilm X-E3, which is also mid-tier, but doesn’t have the latest sensor and processor (yet is still great), is currently only $500. No matter if you have a large or small budget, you’ve got some good camera bodies to choose from.

Fujifilm X-T3 (Body Only):   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-T30 (Body Only):   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-E3 (Body Only):   B&H   Amazon

Fun Camera

Those wanting to gift a camera that’ll be super fun for the receiving photographer have two great choices: the Fujifilm X100F or the Fujifilm XF10. Both of these are fixed-lens cameras that are an absolute joy to use, especially the X100F, which might be my personal all-time favorite camera. These are great for travel or street photography or even snapshots of the kids. The Fujifilm X100F is currently $1,100 while the Fujifilm XF10 is currently $450.

Fujifilm X100F:  B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm XF10:   B&H   Amazon

Has-It-All Camera

If you are camera shopping for the photographer who already has it all, the one camera that they might not have is the brand-new Fujifilm X-Pro3. This is a unique camera that delivers a unique experience. It’s the most expensive camera on this list with an MSRP of $1,800. Another option is the Fujifilm X-Pro2 Graphite Edition, which comes with a lens and is currently discounted at only $1,600.

Fujifilm X-Pro3 (Body Only):  B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X-Pro2 Graphite w/23mm f/2 lens:   B&H   Amazon

Kid Camera

For those with kids who have been begging for a camera, the one that I highly recommend is the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9. This is the camera that I got my daughter when she wanted one for Christmas, and she’s absolutely loved it! She’s had so much fun with it, and the “magic” of instant film is the same today as it was back when Polaroids were all the rage when I was young. Best of all, it’s super cheap.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9:   B&H   Amazon

The Ultimate Fujifilm X Kit?

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What would be my ultimate Fujifilm X camera and lens kit? What would I have in my camera bag if money was no issue? I have been asked these types of questions several times, and I don’t really like to answer them because, like many of you, my resources are limited and I’ll probably never own an “ultimate” kit. Some of you might have the money, so perhaps you’re trying to assemble such a thing and are seeking advice, so this will be my attempt to answer the question of the ultimate Fujifilm X kit. Hopefully my opinion will be useful to someone.

I’m going to limit this to APS-C Fujifilm X, and not the medium-format GFX system. In all honesty, if I were independently wealthy, I’d likely own a GFX camera. That would be amazing! My best hope for that, perhaps in five or six years, is to buy one that’s used and is being sold at a bargain basement price. I can always dream, right?

What cameras would be in my bag? Well, probably the Fujifilm X-T3, which is the ultimate X camera right now (I know, an argument could be made that the X-H1 is the top X camera). Later this year the X-Pro3 should be released, and I’d prefer that over the X-T3, but it’s a close call between the two, and since the X-T3 is available right now, that’s the camera that I would own. I would have a backup interchangeable-lens camera, one that’s smaller and lighter and better for walk-around and travel, and that would be the Fujifilm X-T30, which is a camera I already have, so I suppose that’s a start to my ultimate kit. I would also own a compact fixed-lens camera for travel and street photography, and that would be the Fujifilm X100F, which is an incredible camera for that purpose. The X100F is not essential, but it is an extraordinarily enjoyable camera, and so it would definitely be in my ultimate bag.

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I would have a number of different lenses to go with those cameras. My choice for Fujifilm primes would be the Fujinon 16mm f/1.4, Fujinon 35mm f/2, Fujinon 56mm f/1.2, and Fujinon 90mm f/2. I would also own the Rokinon 12mm f/2. I would have a telephoto zoom, probably the Fujinon 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8, and maybe even a wide-angle zoom, perhaps the Fujinon 18-55mm f/2.8-4. I prefer primes over zooms, but occasionally zooms are preferred for their versatility, so having a couple of them would be important.

All of those cameras and lenses are going to add up to a lot of money. This would not be a cheap kit! Of course, that’s the point, as this would be a money-is-no-object situation. Most people, myself included, are on a tight budget with limited resources. So I will give alternative suggestions for a more budget-friendly ultimate kit. Maybe this will be helpful to some of you.

If you still want an “ultimate” Fujifilm X kit but the suggestions above are out of budget, I would choose instead the Fujifilm X-T2 and Fujifilm X-T20, which will save you several hundred dollars right off the bat, and will get you essentially the same exact thing. If that’s still too much, get the X-T20 and the Fujifilm X-T100, or skip having a second camera body altogether. You could skip the X100F and purchase the Fujinon 23mm f/2 lens and get similar results to that camera without actually owning it, which will save some money. Alternatively, if you really want the X100F, buy one used or get the X100T, or even choose the Fujifilm XF10 instead.

For lenses, you could save money by choosing the Fujinon 16mm f/2.8 lens over the 16mm f/1.4, and the Fujinon 60mm f/2.4 instead of the 56mm f/1.2. Or just skip those lenses altogether, and get the Fujinon 16-55mm f/2.8, which would cover those focal lengths pretty well. If you chose carefully, you could have an almost-as-good ultimate kit for probably half the price as my suggested ultimate kit. There are certainly options for those on a small budget. And don’t be afraid to buy a lens here-and-there when you can, slowly building your glass collection. Nobody says you have to buy everything all at once.

My Fujifilm Camera Recommendations

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I’ve been asked several times lately which Fujifilm camera one should buy. People are looking for camera recommendations, and they’re interested in my advice. Since it’s December and Christmas is right around the corner this is something that’s on many people’s minds. I don’t necessarily like giving my opinion on this because everyone’s wants and needs are different, so what would be great for one person might not be for another, but I will do my best since it is a topic of interest for some of you out there.

Fujifilm makes many different cameras with many different features because the wants, needs and budgets of photographers can vary greatly. There is, however, one camera that’s easy to recommend, and that’s the Fujifilm X-T20. This is a great all-around middle-road offering that’s rich on features, not too expensive and a great choice no matter your skill or budget. The X-T20 is a camera that’s easy to suggest to anyone.

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Stark Salt – Wendover, UT

If you’re thinking that the X-T20 is not high-end enough for you, there are four great alternatives: the X-T2, the X-Pro2, the X-H1 and the X-T3. The X-T2 is the best bargain of the four, the X-Pro2 is my personal favorite of the four, the X-H1 is the only one with in-body-image-stabilization, and the X-T3 is the latest and greatest. If video capabilities are important, the X-H1 and the X-T3 are your best bets. If you want the very best, that’s probably the X-T3, although I’d argue that any of the four could be “best” for different reasons.

If you’re thinking that the X-T20 is too expensive, you have three good options: the X-T100, the X-A5 and the X-A3. These three cameras have a traditional Bayer sensor instead of an X-Trans sensor and have a more basic processor, but they are still good cameras that are capable of excellent image quality. The X-T100 is the best of the bunch, but even the X-A3, which is a couple of years old now, is a great low-budget option and perhaps the best choice for someone’s very first interchangeable-lens camera.

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Snake River Fog – Grand Teton NP, WY

There are a few alternatives to the X-T20 that I haven’t mentioned yet. The first is the X-E3, which is very similar to the X-T20 but with a different design and slightly different features. The X-E3 would be my second-place recommendation and is definitely worth taking a look at. Next is the X100F, which is a fixed-lens camera that is quite excellent and easy to love, but it might not be for everyone. Perhaps it is a good gift option for the photographer who has everything. Finally, there is the XF10, which is also a fixed-lens camera but is on the bargain end of things. It’s the smallest camera mentioned in this article (and one of the cheapest, too), yet it is capable of capturing beautiful pictures.

There, you have it! If you are camera shopping, look first at the X-T20, then decide from there if you need to move up to the more expensive models, move down to the cheaper models, or look at one of the other alternatives. You really can’t go wrong with any of the cameras, because they could all serve a purpose no matter who you are, but I think the middle is a good place to begin a search.

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Keyhole Monochrome – Salt Lake City, UT

Alternatively, buying an older model second-hand isn’t a bad idea at all. My first Fujifilm camera was a used X-E1, which I captured many great pictures with. It’s very much a capable camera today. There are a lot of great Fujifilm models that are a little older, but are still good quality cameras, such as the X-T1, X-T10, X-E2 (with or without the “s”), X-Pro1, X70, X100T, etc. You can get a used model that’s not quite as good as what’s brand new but not all that far from it either, for significantly less money.

You might be wondering about the photographs above. I purposefully didn’t label what camera they were captured with because I wanted it to be a surprise at the end. The picture Stark Salt towards the top was shot with a Fujifilm X-A3, which is an incredibly cheap camera right now because it’s not the latest model. The next image, Snake River Fog, which is one of my all-time favorites that I have hung on my wall at home, was captured using a Fujifilm X-E1. The last picture, Keyhole Monochrome, was shot using a Fujifilm XF10. These three cameras can be found for $500 or less, which demonstrates that even the cheapest options are still good options. It’s never about how expensive your camera is, it’s always about how you use what you have.