Haunted House Shootout – Fujifilm X-T1 vs Canon 5Dmk2 for model shoot


A model shoot is something new to me, both in terms of direction and strobes. With my new Fujifilm X-T1 and older Canon 5Dmk2, I can’t wait to test how the smaller XT-1 hold up. Cause if it does, i can ditch my bulky 5Dmk2 😉

It’s a haunted house in the country side, we arrived late and we only have less than 2 hours before the sun gone completely. I have one basic wireless flash with reflector, operating in manual mode. And we start shooting. We start with natural light first.

My 5D mk2 was quite a workhorse in its days. And it still is, as a DSLR, it’s speed certainly surpass X-T1 to capture the ever moving model. However, it’s heavy, and IQ is slightly inferior to the X-T1.

The X-T1 has nearly everything I wanted, except I’m doubtful whether its improved speed can catch up for a model shoot.



From these photos, you won’t be able to see the difference in IQ. But the X-T1 has an noticeable edge on details resolving power, although the 5Dmk2 is a definite fine gear.

For speed, 5Dmk2 with optical viewfinder has an edge. However, since the X-T1 has much improved AF and EVF over its earlier models, it holds up quite well too.


Then I develop my strategy for even faster operation for X-T1. (usable from full body to medium shot) I switched to Manual focus mode. I do one AF using AF-Lock button, then as i continue to direct the model for poses, I just press the shutter without half-press to focus again. When the model have significant distance difference in their poses, i will AF-Lock them again. In X-T1 this operation proves to be the fastest and workable way in this case.



While on street photography the heavy bulky 5Dmk2 is a turn-down I don’t want to carry, in a model shoot I almost forget the fact that it’s heavy – when you shoot a model, you are so involved in running the whole session and there are many things to take care, that bulk won’t be something that is as bothering as I thought.

The slower flash sync of 1/180 doesn’t feel a difference to me either, when other standards to 1/250.

Now, the sun starts to go away quickly. While the 5Dmk2’s optical viewfinder usually has an advantage, its acceptable ISO range starts to show its limitation. While X-T1 shows around 2 stops edge in this situation, and coupled with its superb EVF with f/1.2 aperture, electronic viewfinder doesn’t cause a problem in low light situation like this.



That’s it, the final images you see here has been lightroomed as usual, and VSCO pack has been used for that “haunted look” and popping the model’s colorful cloths. film grains to also added for my taste.


Both cameras work.

For a less action-based model shoot like this, the X-T1’s improved AF speed together with the manual focus-AF-L approach is working  for me. However, I still want to test on more demanding situation.

For 5Dmk2, it’s solid as always. and surely can hnadle more demanding situations. The bulk factor dissolves in a model shoot. However, I will prefer X-T1 for its color rendition and sensor resolving power.

Happy shooting 🙂





6 Comments on “Haunted House Shootout – Fujifilm X-T1 vs Canon 5Dmk2 for model shoot

  1. Thank you for the post. Question for you. Its never documented on any sites that review the Fujis but of all the ones i have owned/owed(x100/x-e1/x-pro1 current), burst shots do not trigger the hotshoe. Does the X-t1 do this or is it still non-functional during burst shots?

    Thank you!

    • Hi. I just tried myself. No, in burst mode doesn’t trigger the flash on the hotshot. and I checked: once you enable burst mode, your flash mode icon is dimmed. I think it make sense because even it can trigger the flash for once, the flash won’t be recharged fast enough for subsequent burst shots.
      Hope this helps.

      • Ah, thanks for the test. I use OCF(Einsteins) and they recharge fast enough for burst modes. My Canons do it and this is the only things keeping me from selling them off. Its a shame they still havent implemented it after this many different products.

        Thanks for posting

  2. I am looking to add off-camera flash to my photography arsenal and wanted to know what set-up you would recommend? I’ve also noticed you’ve ring rights on your Flickr? Do you have a recommended system you care to share about? Great photos btw!

    • Thanks for your comment.
      I must admit I’m new on the flash arsenal too. What I used is some China flash and I always use manual control. Experiment is my golden rule.
      Yes I use the Roundflash with my Fuji X-T1 and 5D mk2. It’s probably the biggest ring type on-camera flash you can find, so that you can move around while still has very soft light. I will write about round flash portrait soon 🙂

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