Mirrorless Debate: Why I think Fujifilm X is better than Sony A

Debating is fun as long as there is good logic and less emotion. This is why debating with my wife is not fun. Most of the time she is the one with the logic and I have the emotion so I pretty much lose all the time...no fun.  

I like both Sony and Fuji mirrorless cameras but I have just decided to stick with Fuji for now and hopefully my post will provide some insight that will be helpful for you in your decision making process.

Here is a list of camera equipment that I have purchased with my own money as the basis for my decision:

Sony

Sony a6000, Sony a7r, Sony a7ii, Zeiss Loxia 2/35, Zeiss Loxia 2/50, Zeiss Batis 1.8/85, Sony 70-200mm F4 G OSS

Fuji

Fujifilm X-T1, Fujifilm X-Pro2, Fujinon XF 2/35, Fujinon XF 1.4/16 

You can see from my portfolio the type of work that I do but for the most part these mirrorless cameras are used on the personal side for family, street, travel, etc. This is not to say that they could not be used professionally because the quality is there for the most part and there are plenty of people who seem to be ok with delivering these files to clients. 

I'll try to boil down my conclusion to the main points which differentiate the Fuji from the Sony. If I do not mention something you feel is important then that probably means I feel each system offers similar benefits. 

1. Files

You probably think I will talk about the amazing quality of the Fuji JPEGS (which are amazing) but this is not what I mean. There are times when the RAW files from the Sony seemed mushy without much depth/character. I know this isn't a technical term and I don't know how else to describe it. This didn't always happen but it did happen from time to time for no apparent reason.

This has yet to occur on the Fuji. 

2. Body

There were 2 things that annoyed me about the body of the Sony a7r and a7ii. The first is the SD door which opened up on a regular occasion by just normal handling. The second is the ISO button on the back which continued to be pressed by normal handling causing the ISO to change while I was handling the camera leading to shots being taken with improper exposure.

The Fuji body does not have these issues. On top of that we all know that Fuji makes some sexy bodies. 

3. Wifi Transfer 

The transfer function works fine on both Sony and Fuji but the Sony always transfers files that are too small. I care about the quality of images I put on Instagram (@tom.f.watson) and Facebook but when I posted images directly from the camera using Sony the files would always be smaller than 1080px across which isn't even optimized for Instagram. They look even worse on Facebook. 

The Fuji files transferred to my phone are at least 1776px which work great for both Instagram and are good enough for Facebook. 

4. Battery Life

When I shot with the Sony I felt that I always had to leave the house with a fully charged battery and if it was going to be an extended day of shooting that an extra battery could be required. I would also turn off the EVF at the eye piece and only use the back monitor to conserve on the battery life. 

The Fuji is able to manage power much better. I have not had to leave my house with an extra battery and most of the time do not go out shooting with a fully charged battery. 

 

Thank you for sticking with me to the end. I'd love to hear your thoughts if you have experience on both systems. 

Zeiss Milvus BTS video and images shooting with the Phase One XF / IQ140 / 110mm

I'm selling my Zeiss Milvus lenses that I have written about previously because I have upgraded to the Phase One XF / IQ140 medium format system. While shooting my "for sale" images I thought it would be good to put together a video to show my lighting setup. 

These Zeiss Milvus lenses are outstanding and my opinion has not changed from when I first wrote about them. For me, my pursuit of the highest image quality possible has brought me into the digital medium format world. I'll plan to write about this more in the future...

Here is one of the final images from this lighting setup. 

Zeiss Milvus 1.4/85mm ZF.2

 

Here's the video...enjoy! 

I love maternity portraiture. This is Grace...

I have been fortunate enough to be entrusted with creating images for women carrying some precious cargo. This, to me, is one of the most beautiful times in the life of a woman. My wife, Rachael, has given birth to 4 children and every time I notice this glow of beauty that is difficult to explain. Every time I am asked to create images for women during this special time I consider it an honor. I recognize that the images created during this time will be cherished by their family for multiple generations...what a task! 

This session with Grace was typical in that I was asked to create some images outdoors as seems to be the overwhelming trend of our day. This was fine with me but I said we also needed to do some work in the studio. The studio time was not on the top of her priority list but at the end of the day these were the images that were the most anticipated and cherished. This makes me happy...

My goal in maternity portraiture is to capture the beauty, grace, femininity, form, and power that a woman possesses during this special time in their life. I have in view that one day their new baby will grow up and likely have kids of their own. I want my image to be the one passed down to the grandkids knowing they will place tremendous value for having this family history. 

 

Now for the outdoor portion.  It was a cold day in January and these two were champs! 

If my maternity portraiture is appealing to you, then send me a message and let's create something special- tom@tomfwatson.com. My studio is located in Suwanee, GA. 

For the photographers...the gear:

  • Camera- Nikon D810
  • Lenses- Carl Zeiss Milvus 1.4/50mm, Carl Zeiss Milvus 1.4/85mm
  • Studio Lighting- Profoto B1, 69" Elinchrom Rotalux Octa, Impact C Stand with Avenger Mini Boom
  • Savage White Seamless Paper for the backdrop
  • Tethered to Capture One 9 and shot in black and white.

The entire studio portion was planned and shot in black and white. My style is drifting toward shooting this way often. If done well, there is something classic about black and white images that is very pleasing to my eye (and to my clients as well!). 

All images in this post belong to Tom F Watson and are not to be used without permission. 

 

The importance of a professional headshot for LinkedIn

I am writing about this topic not just as a headshot photographer but also as someone who has spent over 10 years as a recruiter for some of the world's top consulting companies (Accenture, Hitachi Consulting, SAP). It has been my job to view and make quick determinations on whether someone is a suitable candidate for my companies hiring needs.

At the beginning of my time in recruiting this determination was made primarily based on a person's resume but this has changed over the last 5+ years.  For the most part, the resume doesn't come into the picture until after someone has seen your profile on LinkedIn and they have made the determination that you could be a qualified candidate. It takes me a matter of seconds to view a LinkedIn profile and decide whether or not the person should be interviewed. This is not unusual in the recruiting profession. 

The primary point of my post is related to the image you choose for LinkedIn. This is the very first thing that someone looks at when they visit your LinkedIn profile and if you only have the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager for a few seconds you better make your image count. 

Here are a few things to consider to hopefully drive my point home...

  • First impressions matter. Where 2 candidates are equally qualified, image quality will give you an edge. 

  • A sub par image will be more likely to hurt your chances to get an interview, even if you are completely qualified for the position.

  • Borderline qualifications will be less likely to hurt you if you have a professional image.

I am not making the argument that you need to be "model" status to get someone's attention. The fact that you care about your image and want to present yourself in a professional manner carries a lot of weight. 

What do you need in a professional headshot for LinkedIn? 

  • Good lighting, genuine expression, eye contact. 
  • Keep it professional. This might seem like a no-brainer but you'd be surprised! 
  • LinkedIn recommends an image sized at 400x400px but mine is 500x500px and looks fine. Maximum size is 4MB. Every professional photographer should be able to give you this size image.

If you live in the Metro Atlanta area and need a headshot then send me a message.

If you are on LinkedIn and want to connect then send me an invite. Here's a link to my profile

If you would like me to check out your LinkedIn profile image to get some feedback then include a link to your profile in the comment section. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for future post. 

Tom