Camera Recommendation - help please

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by iDabble, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. iDabble, Oct 14, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012

    iDabble macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2010

    - OR -


    First off - I know comparing these cameras are like apples and oranges as far as many aspects go, but they're the 2 I've got my eye on

    I'm debating between getting a Nikon D600 or a Fujifilm X E1. If I go with the Nikon I'd pick up the 50mm 1.8 and it would be my only lens for a while, because it would pretty much exhaust my budget. If I go with the Fuji I'd get the 18-55 kit lens (not bad, it's 2.8-4.0) and then after seeing what focal length I gravitate towards, pick up a prime around Christmas time.

    I like to shoot "street "photography" aka just walking around

    I like to take pictures of my dog

    I like to bring my camera when traveling and I tend to take a LOT of pictures (a LOT to me = 100-300 whenever I bring it out)

    I shoot indoors and in dim lighting fairly regularly

    I like camera's because I enjoy photography, but I like them just as much because I'm addicted to gadgets.

    I'm leaning towards the Nikon because:

    -it's full frame
    -it's more versatile
    -there are tons of lenses available
    -it's weather sealed (not sure if I'd need it, but I like the idea)

    Negatives of the Nikon:

    -the buy in price, and price of lenses
    -ginormous file size for pictures

    I'm leaning towards the Fuji because:

    -it's got great image quality
    -it's cheaper
    -it's much smaller (I feel like I'd bring it with me more often)
    -it's much more discreet

    Negatives of the Fuji:

    -slow af
    -limited selection of zoom lenses

    What camera would you guys go with? Any feedback/input would be appreciated.
  2. 100Teraflops, Oct 14, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012

    100Teraflops macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    Elyria, Ohio
    Since you are photographing in low light situations, I say the D600! Although, people rave about the Fujifilm X E1. I figure right off the bat, you aren't going to have more than two lenses. 50mm is a bit limiting, but if street photograph is your genre, then you should be fine.

    The full frame sensor will be beneficial for the type of photograph you enjoy. Plus with the Nikon, a ton of lenses are available just pending your funds, while Fuji does not have as many lenses as Nikon. As you stated, the Nikon is larger, while the Fuji is easily concealable. Just my .02! Not an easy decision, but I believe it will be much more your choice as there are great arguments for both of the cameras you selected. Happy shopping!
  3. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    I would say go with the Nikon but only because I have experience using Nikon for pro photography and that's the only brand of still camera I use for that... you won't be disappointed.
  4. kenoh macrumors demi-god


    Jul 18, 2008
    Glasgow, UK
    Nikon IMHO

    I have a Canon DSLR and a Sony RX100.

    I like the look of the Fuji but I think long term the Nikon is going to serve you better IMHO. I think it has more room to grow into and the full frame sensor is a big plus.

    The 50mm prime lens would be a good lens it just requires a bit more "sneaker zoom" than a variable focal length lens. I have a few professional photographer friends and they all say the 50mm is good for documentary like shooting which I imagine is the same as street shooting.

    Remember, while you are trying to find your focal range, you can rent lenses.

    I bought the 18-200mm for my canon and unless on one of those very rare occasions I am specifically looking to shoot something outside that range, the 18-200 never comes off.

    Now the caveat, I am a beginner. Despite having excellent photographic skills in abundance around me, none of it seems to rub off on me. So, good luck and I am sure you wont be disapointed either way.
  5. Attonine macrumors 6502a

    Feb 15, 2006
    Kent. UK
    Have you looked at the Lumix GX-1?

    Although perfectly possible, using a DSLR for street photography can sometimes leave you feeling very conspicuous. As you mention the Fuji X mount range also have a reputation for slow af.

    I mention the Lumix GX-1 because it (especially it's predecessor the GF-1) have a very strong reputation, really fast af, reasonable lens selection, including some fairly fast wides (what you need for street). Plus I know David Alan Harvey used to rave about this camera, some of the photos in his most recent book were taken using it, and if it's good enough for him, it's good enough for us!.

    Good luck with your choice!
  6. steveash macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2008
    Looking at what you are using it for I think the Fuji fits the bill however they are both good cameras and I can't see which ever you choose making much difference. I would recommend you go to a shop and play with them both for quite a while. Buy the one that you like most and be happy with it.
  7. joemod macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2010
    Athens, Greece
    I guess that is how it goes. If the number of street photos is bigger than the low light photos go for Fuji, else go for Nikon.
    Apologies if that did not help you much.
  8. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    It's really between these two issues, and only you can decide how important each is for your style of photography.

  9. Cheese&Apple macrumors 68010


    Jun 5, 2012
    IMO, don't let file size sway your decision unless you plan on shooting RAW only.

    I try to get a great shot straight from the camera and, as a result, I do very little post-processing (crop/resize/very minor colour & contrast adjustments only). Because of this, I'll usually shoot medium size/fine/quality optimized JPEG. I also don't do poster-sized prints. The files are weighing in at an average 10mb. Occasionally, I'll bump up the size to large if I think I may need to "zoom" with a close crop.

    10 mb files are generally easy to work with and store (1000+ on a 16gb card). And, with cameras as good as they are these days, the JPEG images are amazing and you don't always need to use huge 24mb to gain the substantial benefits of a FF camera.

    Of course some people prefer to leave all options open and shoot RAW only. It's a matter personal perference and style.

    One more opinion...either way you'll get great shots and have a blast. Good Luck :)
  10. nburwell macrumors 601


    May 6, 2008
    Hands down, I would go with the D600. Coupled with the 50mm, the combo would make a great street/low light photography kit until you can save up for more lenses. Plus, just having one lens will force you to be a little more creative with your shots.

  11. MacCruiskeen macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2011
    The limited lens selection of the Fuji is mitigated somewhat by the availability of lens adapters. The main downside of adapters is that you lose some of the automation, since there's no electrical connection. I've been thinking about this very same choice, and I've got some older, manual focus lenses that I would like to keep using (and I still use the cameras they go with).

    Has the Fuji been released into the wild yet? Has anyone actually done any real shooting with one? I wouldn't buy either until I'd had a chance to actually lay hands on them.
  12. AgRacer macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2011
    If money is an issue, consider a D7000. Or wait a few months and get the D7100 (or whatever Nikon calls it).

    I have one and it's a fantastic camera. The D600 has been called the "FX Version of the D7000" by many users.
  13. Mattjeff macrumors 6502


    Jun 2, 2008
    I would have originally suggested that you go with the Nikon however I too am looking at the more compact style. There have been many times where I just didn't want the bulk. My 2 cents, if you're carrying it around a lot or looking to be more discrete go for the Fuji. I think you will take more photos or be more likely to take it out with you. If you were planning on hiking through the mountains or nature-ish area nikon for its lens range and durability.

    Hope it turns out well, keep us updated on what you think of whatever you get!
  14. MacCruiskeen macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2011
    The answer, obviously, is to buy both. This is how I've solved the equivalent quandry when buying vintage film cameras, but it's a much easier thing to do when the cost is $100 or $200, not ten times that. These new cameras are just too freaking expensive.
  15. lighthouse_man macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2005
  16. Cheese&Apple macrumors 68010


    Jun 5, 2012
    LOL...this is an excellent question and is, without doubt, the best place to start before looking at what to jump into.

    Well done lighthouse_man. :)
  17. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    When purchasing a DSLR, you are buying into a system of camera bodies, lenses, and accessories. To have the max choice of hardware, software, and support, stick with the two largest vendors Canon or Nikon. If I had to list a third place...I think it would be Sony's top model.
  18. iDabble thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2010
    i have a 60d with 18-200. it's got pretty bad low light performance, and i'm just finding myself bored with it and ready to try something new. i don't have any other glass for it so starting with a new system isn't a problem, and i like the direction nikon is headed.

    i was originally set on the d600, but the x e1 drew me in. ended up ordering the x e1 last night. thanks for all the input guys.

    i'm hoping by the time i'm ready to upgrade again, there will be a bunch of affordable full frame options :D
  19. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    So manybegineers confuse focal length with camera position. The two are different.

    1) Subject to camera distance controls perspective. Perspective is the ratio of the sizes of foregrond and background objects

    2) Focal length controls the angle of view. Angle of view is the size of the frame borders. Notice that you can always crop and image and reduce the angle of view. Croping is EXACTLY the same as using a longer lens except you loose some image quality.

    Because of this I will always say that if you can only have one lens, buy a wide one, you can always crop. But moving with your feet changes the perspective. So compose your shots, allways in this order first pick a location to shoot from, use your feet to get there. then second, use the zoom lens to control what is included in the image, lacking zoom, crop later.

    a 50mm lens ona FF sensor camer is wide enough for most "people" shots and is to wide on a smaller format (crop frame) camera.

    ONe more thing: Nikon lenses can be very inexpensive used. The only manual focus lenses from the 1960's still work and I've got some good ones for about $100. Likewise you can buy and older Nikon film body and use the new 50mm on it if ever you want to shoot film

    late idea: You will need to own two cameras. A nikon SLR is simply to large to cary around full time. Fine something pocketable.


    Yes buy a smaller camera. But it is GOOD to be conspicuous. Never simply shoot pictures of people without asking for their cooperation. Having the large camera makes people think you are serious. Also for taking action shots the Nikon is dramatically faster. There is zero shutter lag.

    If money is a problem buy an older Nikon body. the body hardly matters. No one can tell which body you used by looking at the photo. Spend about $300 on a used D70 or something. If you photos will all be viewed on some kind of screen even a 6 megapixel SLR is over kill.
  20. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    The Nikon produces average-size RAWs and JPEGs. I wouldn't call them ginormous by any means.
    The lenses are more expensive but they are of much higher quality than what Fujifilm can muster with a m4/3 camera.

    The Fuji X-E1 doesn't have an optical viewfinder. That alone is a dealbreaker for me. What you see in the EVF isn't what you will get in your photo; there's a noticeable amount of lag. Optical viewfinders have no lag at all!

    The Fuji also has a much denser sensor which usually means poorer lowlight performance. Although it has a denser sensor, it doesn't have the resolution, though, so if you ever need to crop a lot, you're left with fewer options.

    Personally I would advise a D600 with a fast prime like a 50mm f/1.8G.
  21. lighthouse_man macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2005
    The idea is that photography is an ample field, and any camera will have its limitations. It's knowing what your camera is limited in or lacking that you feel the need for to decide on which one to get. If it's low light, get the one with the better low light performance.
  22. nburwell macrumors 601


    May 6, 2008
    Why not pick up a 5D Mark II and 50mm f/1.4 since you are already using Canon? You'll same some money doing that rather than purchasing the D600 and the Nikkor 50mm.

    Just my $.02
  23. genshi, Nov 28, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012

    genshi macrumors 6502a


    Jun 27, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    I wish I would have seen this thread earlier...

    The Fujifilm X-E1 is NOT Micro 4/3, it is the larger APS-C sensor but better than even many full frame sensors as I will explain below... (and their lenses are great as well.)

    Don't even know what you mean by this but, it's not true and actually the X-E1 is being praised for it's exceptional low-light performance over even the higher end Canons and Nikons.

    There is so much I can say about all of this, but I don't have time to write a novel, but a simple Google search will show you why even Leica shooters, who originally were buying the Fujifilm X-E1 as a backup camera, are now using the X-E1 as their main cameras... the main reason being this new Fuji X-Trans sensor. It's an APS-C sized sensor, BUT, unlike every other APS-C sensor, and unlike the Canon and Nikon's Full Frame sensor, there is no Anti-Aliasing filter on the front of the sensor, which means you get a much sharper, clearer picture.

    The disadvantage of not having the Anti-Aliasing filter in front of the sensor usually (like in the case of the Leica M9) is it will, of course, cause aliasing and pick up moire patterns... but Fuji solved this with their X-Trans sensor by randomizing the RGB pattern (not sticking to the old, traditional Bayer pattern that almost ALL digital cameras use) and thus, you get a sharper, clearer photo with no moire or aliasing in a small in-expensive street shooter. It is, in my humble opinion, the ultimate street photography camera (especially since it is a mirrorless camera, unlike the Nikon DSLR.)

    As for the lenses, if you are doing street, you should absolutely get the 35mm f/1.4 lens with the Fujifilm X-E1, I just got this setup a few days ago and am shooting handheld in lowlight at 1/30th with great resolution and detail. And the Fujinon lenses are actually VERY high quality (remember, this is the same company that are making the $30,000+ Digital Hasselblad camera and lenses!)

    Just google all the praise ("The new Fuji XE1 is the closest thing to perfection to come along since the dawn of the eletronic-viewfinder...") that the Fujifilm X-E1 is getting, now that it's out in the real world... and the other great thing about it is the M mount adaptor; so you can attach Leica lenses to it. Here is an example of the X-E1 with a Leica lens in low light (not my photo) -

    Camera: Fuji X-E1
    Lens: Leica M Summicron f2.0/35mm
    Settings: 1/110s ƒ/8.0 ISO 1250 at 35mm
    Just wanted to clear up some misinformation for you; again Nikon and Canon DSLRs are great for sports and wedding photography (and obviously for many other things) but if you want to do street photography and can't afford a Leica (or even if you CAN afford a Leica) it seems the Fujifilm X-E1 is definitely the way to go for many serious shooters... at least for me it is. I just bought this a few days ago along with the Fujifilm GF670 Professional Medium Format Rangefinder film camera (I still love film!)

    Just a really great combo for what I do...
  24. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    Thank you for the clear-up, I must have confused the X-E1 for the X-Pro1, which has a tendency to muddy up details in high-ISO photos.
    Also must have misread somewhere that the X-E1 is a m4/3. :p
    It still won't change my opinion of it, since I'd be paying the same price for an X-E1 for a 7D or D7000 (actually, double the D7000). Those in my opinion still have better lowlight performance than the X-E1, and I really don't like the lack of an optical viewfinder or rangefinder.
  25. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    A full frame Nikon will be the best low light camera. But you'd be MUCH better off to buy a cheaper FX body and a second lens.

    What it comes down to is what are you going to do with the images. Are you making large prints? Are you looking at them on an electronic screen?

    If the latter then you do NOT need so many pixels. Heck, you can buy a used D200 and even that will have more pixels then you need for any electronic screen

    In short the FX format Nikon is very good at low light but you are investing your money in the wrong place. Bodies become "old" rather quickly (Notice what you thought about the D200) but the 50mm lens will still be desirable 25 years from now. If you have limited funds put them in gear that "lasts" and go cheaper on the ephemeral stuff like dSLR bodies.

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