X100/Pro1 owners - don't rush out and sell your D700/D3/D3s/5Dll

Started Apr 16, 2012 | Discussions thread
lnbolch
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Re: X100/Pro1 owners - don't rush out and sell your D700/D3/D3s/5Dll
In reply to max m metz, Apr 17, 2012

max m metz wrote:

I don't anticipate it will be anything but premium, like the three primes released so far.

Fujinon lenses are very new to the consumer market, but historically have been major players in the industry. Only the f/1.4 35mm has arrived here so far, but it stands up to anything I shot in medium and large-format with Fujinons.

The question for me is between the d800/d4 and the x-pro1,

The D800, of course has very high resolution, and the D800E has the low-pass filter neutralized. With the XP1, the low-pass filter is absent, due to a whole new colour filter array that is a radical departure from the ubiquitous Bayer mosaic array.

I expect those who have only shot with SLRs will find the camera strange and possibly frustrating. Late in the film era, Contax brought out the G2, with pure rangefinder DNA, but in every way a contemporary auto-focus camera. The XP1 will be instantly familiar to any G2 shooter—no 1930s mirror/cam/lever contraption—but in every other way a rangefinder in technique and concept. This is totally foreign to SLR shooters. There is zero SLR DNA in this camera.

Had digital not come along the moment it did, I fully planned on dumping all my Leica stuff and going for the G2. I had hoped for a digital G2, and was depressed when Kyocera killed the brand. Fuji took the G2 concept and improved it greatly. Fuji hit 100% of the marks for me.

The d700/d3s are proven performers, till now it has been worth the inherent clumsiness of the system as the Leica alternative is very expensive.

Leica is a camera with a $2,000 body and a $5,000 mystique. It has a Kodak sensor from antiquity that does fine as long as you are shooting under 2004 bright-light digital conditions. With a lens-mount that has not changed since 1954, autofocus is out of the question. An overpriced antique. No, in spite of a lifetime of shooting with them, I don't like Leicas much.

I have a broad comfort zone with the D700 that I never had with Leicas. "We are engineers. We do not make the machine to fit the user. The users must make themselves fit the machine!" seemed to underlie the design over the years.

For me then, an x-pro1 with full set of lenses will still be cheaper than a d4...

The D4 is arguably the best sports/action camera ever designed. It has the mass to balance the super-telephotos used by both sports and wildlife shooters. The XP1 is light, compact, stealthy, quiet, ideal for a photojournalist—and opposite in almost every way to the D4. They serve totally different constituencies. If a D4 is even under consideration, the XP1 is clearly NOT an alternative. However, it can be a sterling compliment, opening up possibilities in areas where the D4 is inappropriate.

I would rather a slower af if all the controls are at my fingertips and the camera was ready for action. I am not fussed about the optical viewfinder, i would rather operate in live view and see what the sensor sees and have the hyper-focal distance/in focus range displayed.

In the lab, the D4 may be much faster, but in the hands of a shooter, human reaction times nullify much of that speed. With proper technique—anticipation and use of the half-press—the Fuji cameras focus fast enough. They will still focus in light so low that camera and subject movement blur are unavoidable.

With both the X100 and XP1, I am constantly using the EVF, OVF and LCD as circumstances dictate, and none takes precedence over the other. All three meet specific viewing needs extremely well. Information displayed is entirely configurable, cleared back to just the essentials at the tap of a button. Absolutely superb!

Fuji's approach to hyperfocal distance is clearly the most conservative I have seen. The camera is a lot more forgiving than the scale would indicate. Not something to obsess over.

The D3s/D700 take excellent photographs, they are just inherently clumsy and unnecessarily complex to operate.

The Fuji cameras are not one bit less complex to operate. When Fuji announced the X100, they called it "a personal camera for professional photographers" and that was no hype. There are no training wheels. Fuji expects sophisticated buyers that fully understand digital camera operation and also photography. If you can not bother to take the time to work your way through the manual with camera in-hand, don't buy these cameras.

The D3/D700 cameras are big and noisy, but well balanced and versatile. Where versatility is more important than portability and stealth, they excel. Both the Nikon and the Fuji are superb when used for their strengths, and neither replaces the other.

I guess I see the wisdom in the warning of the OP, though with what Fuji is offering it seems to me that an x-pro1 system was inevitable and the reason it has been so long coming is that Nikon and Canon have made a lot of money by keeping the status quo.

Not really. It took more than a decade for all companies to learn to make a mature camera, and only now can they begin to think outside the box. They kept the status quo, because during the learning period, they could put reliably working products into photographer's hands. Considering the challenges, they did a remarkably good job.

Fuji is clearly on a roll. Its X-series is perhaps the most original and innovative set of camera designs in existence. That said, I have not even considered divesting myself of the D700. There are so many things it simply does better than either of the Fuji cameras. None of the three are "better" than the other two, just each does a specific range of things better than the others. Together, they empower a shooter to work optimally under a very wide range of photographic challenges, and produce brilliant quality photographs, both image quality and content quality.

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