(Why) Some of you have an FX camera, and also a DX ....

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by igmolinav, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. igmolinav macrumors 65816

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    Aug 15, 2005
    #1
    Hi,

    Some of you have an FX camera, (say a Canon EOS 5D (Mark II), Nikon D700, or else), and in addition also a DX camera, (EOS 7D, 60D, or 50D, Nikon D7000, D90, etc.)

    Some of you are working with these cameras or are committed amateurs, but
    why have the two systems ?? Doesn´t that mean buying two different set of lenses??

    What holds you to the FX body, if the newer DX bodies even offer as good(?) video resolution. All boast to have super HD video.

    I am dreaming of buying a full format camera from the Canon brand. That way I can use some manual but very sharp lenses with it. I have at the moment the equivalent of the price of the camera body and I could wait perhaps until the next body update. Meanwhile I coul buy a new 60D with a lens or two, (the 7D is a bit too expensive for me and I kind of like the movable mirror of the 60D - I am perhaps among the few crazy ones who like the movable mirror).

    However, why two systems, won´t it be more expensive or disadvantageous ??

    Thank you, kind regards,

    igmolinav
     
  2. igmolinav thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #2
    P.S. Are you also using those manual lenses, is that a strong reason why you are using full format ??
     
  3. CptAwesome macrumors member

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    May 10, 2010
    #3
    With Nikon systems at least i believe you can use full frame lenses on a DX camera?? dont quote me on that but i think thats correct, unsure

    Luke
     
  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Northern/Central VA
    #4
    I have a D3x (FX) and a D2x (DX)- mostly because the D3x is newer and so the D2x is my backup camera. I can use the same lenses on both cameras, and the resolution of the D3x means that a DX lens on it will produce a 10.5MP image- good enough for any usage I'll ever need.

    Neither of my bodies do video, if I need video I'll get a dedicated video camera.

    Paul
     
  5. TWLreal macrumors 6502

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    Jul 9, 2006
    #5
    You can use 135 format lenses on every APS-C system that accepts interchangeable lenses.

    Or just about any larger than 135 format lenses. You are using a larger format lens on a smaller format system. It's simple logic.

    Actually, now that I think about it, there may be some fringe dedicated APS-C system with interchangeable lens that may be APS-C only fully like that ridiculous Samsung system. Again, 135 format or larger lenses should be usable on them, provided the flange focal distance allows it. I'm sure it does. I don't care enough to check, only to say it.
     
  6. amoda, Dec 30, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010

    amoda macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    I only have a crop, but three things I can see someone who has both may say:


    1. Extra reach on crops - For example, wildlife photographers or paparazzi may want a crop body since it gives them extra reach.

    2. AF - Some situations call for high AF ability, in a situation like that the 5DMkII would fall behind a crop such as the 7D. I'm not familiar with Nikon, but the D700 has better AF than the 5D series...I think, so this might be moot for Nikon users.

    3. Many lenses are interchangeable - L lenses, but all EF lenses too, which most pros would use are interchangeable on both systems. They'd behave differently of course, but can still be used.

    4. Better corner sharpness - corner sharpness is typically better on crops since they don't see the "real" corners and their corners are really more central than FF corners....i hope that makes sense aha. Someone using a full frame camera can just crop an image to make it sharp corner to corner, but with a crop they can achieve the same sharpness while maintaining all the megapixels if required.

    Also, while I'm sure several people do this, the majority of 5DMk I/II users don't purchase it for it's video capabilities so that's a moot point.

    About older lenses, they can be advantageous since they may offer one, or both, of the following advantages:
    A) Be cheaper than modern equivalents
    b) Be better (IQ or build, or both) than modern equivalent.
     
  7. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #7
    I shoot portraits with a 5DmkII and my backup is a 1DmkII. The 5D is great for posed subjects, and the 1D is great for moving subjects.
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #8
    It's not greater "reach," the magnification is the same, it's a crop- if I shoot with my 400mm lens on my D2x, I get a 12.4MP image with an angle of view that's the same as a 600mm lens- but if I take a DX crop of the same image with my D3x it's a 10.5MP image with the same dimensions-- not a lot of difference optically between the two[1]. Now if I'd cheaped out and gotten a D700, then the DX crop would be much less usable 5MP crop-- still good for 8x10s and 11x14, but noticeably worse at 13x19 and up. I'd also argue that being able to decide *where* and *how much* to crop is of more importance to wildlife shooters than simply having the crop. That was my primary rationale for the D3x over a cheaper D300s/D700 combination.

    Paul
    [1] It's not just a pure megapixels equation either- the added flexibility of getting even more detail when the bird or animal approaches closer than expected coupled with a bit better high-ISO for when the animals are most active makes it a very non-obvious equation.
     
  9. amoda macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Sure, a $7,500 D3X is more versatile than a $1,400 D300S. However, I think it might be a tad bit more likely that more people own the full frame D700 ($2,400) so I think it's more fair to compare these two.

    Also, on the Canon side, the 5DMKII is 21mp, while the 7D (with MUCH better autofocus) is 18mp. Therefore the crop 7D is more capable in keeping track of the subject, is only 3mp less, and has surprisingly great high-iso capability.

    So yeah, maybe on the Nikon side it doesn't make as much sense, however I believe it does on the Canon side of things.
     
  10. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #10
    Folks like John Shaw and Moose Peterson who make their living shooting wildlife both shoot D3s and D3x bodies. While some may add a D7000 as a "light weight" rig it's not likely to replace a primary or alternate body any time soon.

    Lots of amateurs choose crop bodies due to price- but they're not so much wildlife photographers as general/family photographers who also shoot wildlife- the crop factor argument only works to a certain extent- and even a 5DII makes it mostly moot.

    We have the same argument on the Nikon side with the D7000- however there's a point of diminishing returns, and the ultra-high resolution crop bodies are in that category once you get past about a 6MP DX crop on the FX bodies. A 5DII crop is what 8+ MP? You can go to almost any size with that. The bonus is that you can also get great wide shots and when you get close enough to fill the frame it's pure magic. The pixel density of the ultra-high resolution DX bodies make for better sharpness in crops, but in terms of overall flexibility the high-res FX bodies win. It's certainly not a hands-down win, and I spent about two months analyzing the options because the D3x was certainly a price premium over a combo of cheaper bodies.

    To a wildlife shooter, "surprisingly great high-ISO" isn't the same as "the best high-ISO" because wildlife is often most active when the light sucks the most. That's why you'll see the D3x/D3s combination in the hands of Nikon-shooting pros. If I'd sold more prints last year, I'd have ditched the D2x and picked up a D3s myself. A stop of light pre-dawn and pre-dusk is often the difference between a good print and a throw-away.

    I don't know how much wildlife you shoot- but I shoot a fair amount of wildlife, mostly avian. Since I went digital, I'd say that outside of a few product gigs and a portraits for publication at least 90% of my shooting is wildlife with the rest mostly nature (landscape and flora.)

    If I shot Canon, I'd either have a 5DII or much more likely a 1DsIII and not a 7D. The main difference is flexibility when I need to go wide. With a lower density FX body as a second body if something goes wrong with the primary I'm not getting both types of shots, and if I'm in the middle of nowhere that's a major issue.

    One of the main differences in the crop/amateur bodies vs the professional bodies is battery life. The D2x was Nikon's last pro DX camera- and the battery life between it and a Dn00 body is quite extreme (enough that when I got a D200, I had it for about a month before I traded since I was shooting 99.9% wildlife then and I could get about a day and a half in the field out of the D200 battery under the best of conditions.) The batteries that came out with the D3x (interchangeable) are even better. When I'm in the field, I can shoot for many days on a single battery and two will outlast four little prosumer batteries. Adding pro batteries via a grip on the Nikon system starts to challenge that, but on the Canon side I think the 7D grips just take the normal 7D batteries.

    The D7000's CIPA battery life is about 1050 shots, the D2x 2600-3800 and the D3x is 4400.

    The 7D is 800 shots, the 5DII 850 and the 1DsIII is 1800.

    At the local zoo you might want an extra battery, but on a 4 day trip, the last thing you want at the end of a several mile hike with 40-60lbs of gear and an animal doing all the right things is a dead battery!

    Paul
     
  11. avro707, Dec 30, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010

    avro707 macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 13, 2010
    #11
    I still have a DX format Nikon, only however because it is what I started with. I have D700 and D3S for the regular use. But the D80 can be used for those times I don't want to take the other two cameras.

    I never use DX lenses on D3S or D700, the megapixel drop is too much. I only have one DX lens, a cheap 18-135mm ED Zoom-Nikkor. Not exotic but it does the job.

    However, I much prefer FX bodies due to the better low light performance (D3, D3S, D700). I have little need for D3X.
     
  12. igmolinav thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #12
    Hi,

    Thank you for your posts : ) !!!

    I think it may depend on the lenses one uses!

    I´ll post another thread.

    Kind regards,

    igmolinav
     

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