Why did you buy an X series???

Started Nov 27, 2012 | Discussions thread
whyamihere
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Re: Why did you buy an X series???
In reply to ahuyevshi, Nov 29, 2012

First, I have to commend the OP for asking users why they bought a Fuji X-series instead of saying, "I want one, but I'm not sure because I'm comparing it to ****." It has probably brought out the most reasonable and well-written responses I've seen on any forum in recent memory, and most have been far more useful than the typical 'Product X is better than Product Y because of [insert unsubstantiated reasoning here]' posts (never mind the usual devolving of conversation into bickering and character assassination).

I do not own any Fuji products, let alone an X-Series, though I am very much interested in who is using them. My situation is this:

I returned to photography about a year ago after a 10 year hiatus after losing my last P&S. My first purchase was a Panasonic FZ-40, and almost instantly I recognized the limitations of the tiny sensor and full-zoom lens. Most frustratingly, I kept missing shots in low light, and you can't get terribly creative with a camera that doesn't have a very shallow DOF. It was sold five months later for a used Olympus E-P2 with the original M.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6. I had considered a DSLR, but I didn't see myself bringing a large camera with me every day in an attempt to practice the basics of composure and proper exposure. (I walk a mile to work through an urban area, and I work on a university campus, so there's often a lot to take pictures of.)

I have to admit, I rather like the Micro Four-Thirds format. It's flexible enough that I can use primes as well as telephoto zooms with confidence, assuming they're of reasonable quality. When not using telephoto, the overall package is quite small and discrete. However, the 12MP 4/3 cameras leave much to be desired in the noise department, so I eventually wound up with a Panasonic GX1 body, and I own a 14mm f/2.5 and a 45-200mm f/4-5.6 which I'm quite happy with shooting JPGs with (which I do on purpose so I'm not tempted to correct for bad exposure later). They're both sharp on the GX1, and the latter produces better bokeh than I would think any telephoto zoom should considering the apertures available and the price paid. The GX1 itself plays well to my style of shooting, which is generally single AF, street or wildlife, day or night, indoors and outdoors.

My major gripe with the format has already been mentioned by another user: Quality wide through normal zoom lenses and primes are bloody expensive. My 14mm came to me by way of buying a Panasonic GF3 kit used, which was less than just purchasing the lens on its own - used or new. I don't like any of the kit zoom lenses that Panasonic or Olympus produce, but attempting to buy better glass results in a nearly 5-to-10 fold jump in price for the 12-35mm f/2.8 or the still-costly 25mm f/1.4. I feel like I'm stuck between buying an inferior lens that has the focal lengths I want with only meh image quality, or buying lenses that produce the image quality I want using funds that could quite honestly be better spent elsewhere. It might be just me, but I think there's more value in putting that sort of money towards full frame lenses with equal focal lengths and apertures because the end results will be significantly better.

What intrigues me about the X-mount cameras is that it manages to reasonably split the difference in what I consider to be reasonable value and consistently good image quality. The RAW images from the X-Trans sensor look gorgeous, and it's more impressive when one considers it's an APS-C sensor. The lenses, while certainly not cheap, are of good quality and seem reassuring that they are worth their initial financial investment. While there's nothing to cover the telephoto range (yet), I can easily imagine using an X-E1 or an X-Pro1 with the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 for most day-to-day use. It almost negates my intent on going to a full-frame sensor DSLR, both financially and practically. In my eyes, it makes all but a select few APS-C DSLRs look impractical and unwieldily. (E.g.: One can always justify the likes of a Canon 7D if they need the burst rate and AF but can't put up the funds for a full-frame 1D or a Nikon D4.)

To conclude, I'm keeping one eye on the Fuji X-series and the other on the entry-level full-frame DSLR market. Both provide a certain level of value in my eyes, and one or the other will eventually fill my progressing needs - probably shortly after I feel I'm ready to handle what they have to offer.

 whyamihere's gear list:whyamihere's gear list
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