Nikon DSLR --> Mirrorless

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Discussions
mgn2
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Nikon DSLR --> Mirrorless
Mar 27, 2013

I own: Fujifilm X100, Nikon D40, Nikon D5100, Nikkor 18-55mm VR, Nikkor 35mm 1.8, Nikkor 55-200mm VR

I shoot a mix of subjects - indoor, moving children, portraits, landscape/travel, low-light/night, street, and almost no sports/action/wildlife.

I want to try mirror-less with the main intention of being able to have a high-end setup (only limited by my photography skills) that packs a punch in the smallest package possible and focuses reasonably fast, particularly on moving children and people.

A few more things:

I never shoot RAW, only JPEGS. I don't like post-processing and know very little about it. Maybe in the future.

I typically carry the X100 with me or the SLR with one lens (max 2). No camera bags ever.

I almost never use the 55-200 on the SLR and most commonly use the 35mm 1.8. The 18-55 is ok I think as its slow, but I use it mainly if I want a wider view.

I like the fast response time and focusing on my D40 and D5100 (although they are entry level DSLRs) and sometimes get frustrated with OOF and blurry pictures with the X100, however the keepers from the X100 are on average far more beautiful to my eye than the keepers from the Nikon SLR+35mm.

I was going to buy a good wide angle lens for the D5100, which will cost me approx. $500 (Tokina 12-24mm new or Nikon 12-24mm used). The D5100 is within its return period and I paid $500 for it very recently. So potentially I could just spend the $1000 and stop there.

OR I can buy the NEX-6 or Fujifilm E-X1 with the kit lenses, sell off my Nikon gear (D40+35mm+18-55mm+55-200mm) for about $300 and start acquiring new lenses for the mirror-less system I chose. The intention would be to end up with 1 fast 'normal' prime, 1 wide angle zoom/prime, 1 normal zoom/kit-lens and 1 longer zoom (55mm-200m or so). I would really like the camera with any of those 4 lenses attached to be significantly smaller than my D5100+lens, else I don't see the point of switching systems. The only exception would be with the long zoom, which I really can't avoid being bulky with either camera.

I am torn between the NEX-6 and Fujifilm E-X1 or waiting for the next best thing in mirror-less within the next few months that would address speed and AF issues that I am most concerned about losing vs. the D5100 and getting better bang for my buck.

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Nikon D40 Nikon D5100 Sony Alpha NEX-6
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rwchisholm
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Re: Nikon DSLR --> Mirrorless
In reply to mgn2, Mar 27, 2013

I sold my d00 and lenses and went Fuji x-e1. Couldn't be happier for how I like to shoot. Only drawback to me is the cropped sensor and lack of lenses. However, with the wide, fast 12mm Fuji coming out that will shore up the wide end. I'm using a manual focus Nikon 55 1.2 for portraits (awesome) but I would like the Fuji 56 1.4.

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rwchisholm
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Re: Nikon DSLR --> Mirrorless
In reply to rwchisholm, Mar 27, 2013

Oops, I meant 12mm Zeiss coming out....

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Texchappy
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Re: Nikon DSLR --> Mirrorless
In reply to mgn2, Mar 27, 2013

If it were me I'd keep the D40 (it's a very good camera and you won't get too much for it) with probably the 18-55 (same reason).  I'd return the D5100.  I'd put that money aside to get what you decide you want.

Then I'd shoot the X100 until I learned how to increase the keepers from it.  It really is a powerful tool but takes some learning to master.  BTW, have you updated the firmware on the X100?  If not, that will help.  The Autofocus system (contrast detection AF) is slower but more accurate than the PDAF found on DLSR's.  I've heard good things about the wide angle converter lens for the X100.

If you can master the X100 and be happy with it then I'd guide you to the X Pro 1/XE1 if you feel you need more variety.  If you decide it's not for you, then I'd suggest selling it and taking that and the money from the 5100 and getting a D7100.

Just my 2 cents, take it for what it's worth.  Good luck with what you seek.

 Texchappy's gear list:Texchappy's gear list
Fujifilm X-Pro1 Canon EOS 650D Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro +3 more
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svx94
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NEX6 vs. X-E1 (vs. X-Pro1)
In reply to mgn2, Mar 27, 2013

I am on the same boat... have a D700 with 24-120/4 VR, 105VR, x1.7, PC-E 24mm and a Tamron 70-300VC (selling on ebay right now).  Don't really like the Nikon 1, and the coolpix A has a fix lens - not my style. So bad that Nikon has a very strange philosophy in making small cameras. They just refuse to go for a "normal" route.

So, I went to a local store today to try out few options.  Compare Nex6 with Fuji, the Nex6 doesn't have the build quality Fuji has.  Although, one may thing only the picture (outcome) counts. But I am a gear guy. A good quality camera is part of the joy. So, Nex 6 is out. But for people don't mind the plastic feel of Sony, Nex 6 seems great deal.

I think I may go for the X-E1 unless someone shows me the critical difference.

 svx94's gear list:svx94's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 4500 Nikon D700 Fujifilm X-M1 Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR Nikon PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5D ED +9 more
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mgn2
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Re: Nikon DSLR --> Mirrorless
In reply to Texchappy, Mar 28, 2013

Texchappy wrote:

If it were me I'd keep the D40 (it's a very good camera and you won't get too much for it) with probably the 18-55 (same reason).  I'd return the D5100.  I'd put that money aside to get what you decide you want.

Then I'd shoot the X100 until I learned how to increase the keepers from it.  It really is a powerful tool but takes some learning to master.  BTW, have you updated the firmware on the X100?  If not, that will help.  The Autofocus system (contrast detection AF) is slower but more accurate than the PDAF found on DLSR's.  I've heard good things about the wide angle converter lens for the X100.

If you can master the X100 and be happy with it then I'd guide you to the X Pro 1/XE1 if you feel you need more variety.  If you decide it's not for you, then I'd suggest selling it and taking that and the money from the 5100 and getting a D7100.

Just my 2 cents, take it for what it's worth.  Good luck with what you seek.

Yes perhaps I will keep the D40. The X100 is tough but I really love it. I am quite used to it now but it definitely has some limitations compared to an SLR. I don't know if the X-PRO or XE1 would feel similar, but I am sure they produce great jpegs even in my hands. Is Fuji due to have a hybrid cdaf/pdaf like the Sony NEX systems? If so when can we expect a release?

Definitely not going to get a D7100 at this point. Trying to move away from chunky SLRs. I'm not a pro and if I can get 90% of what I get out of a DSL in a smaller package, I'm golden. With the X100 I sometimes feel like I get much better success than the SLR.

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iamthenewguy
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Re: Nikon DSLR --> Mirrorless
In reply to mgn2, Mar 28, 2013

I typically carry the X100 with me or the SLR with one lens (max 2). No camera bags ever.

I like the fast response time and focusing on my D40 and D5100 (although they are entry level DSLRs) and sometimes get frustrated with OOF and blurry pictures with the X100, however the keepers from the X100 are on average far more beautiful to my eye than the keepers from the Nikon SLR+35mm.

If you want small size (not just in the body, but the lenses as well) have you looked at the Nikon V1 or V2? The V1 can probably still be found for a very low price, around $400 for a two lens kit. I have the V1 and the X100 and although I love both cameras the X100's focus speed and that it focuses on the wrong thing often is almost enough to suck the fun out of it. I've had it for 5 months now and enjoy shooting with it, but when I pick up the V1 it's a more carefree shooting experience. I don't have to worry if I'll be able to get focus fast enough or about switching to some silly macro mode.

OR I can buy the NEX-6 or Fujifilm E-X1 with the kit lenses, sell off my Nikon gear (D40+35mm+18-55mm+55-200mm) for about $300 and start acquiring new lenses for the mirror-less system I chose. The intention would be to end up with 1 fast 'normal' prime, 1 wide angle zoom/prime, 1 normal zoom/kit-lens and 1 longer zoom (55mm-200m or so). I would really like the camera with any of those 4 lenses attached to be significantly smaller than my D5100+lens, else I don't see the point of switching systems. The only exception would be with the long zoom, which I really can't avoid being bulky with either camera.

I am torn between the NEX-6 and Fujifilm E-X1 or waiting for the next best thing in mirror-less within the next few months that would address speed and AF issues that I am most concerned about losing vs. the D5100 and getting better bang for my buck.

Those aren't your only two choices, and although I know many people on this forum will tell you the 1" sensor in the Nikon 1 systems is too small, it is capable of excellent pictures and accomplishes the task that you seem to be most interested in. The smaller sensor makes the lenses, especially the 30-110mm zoom (80-300mm equiv), tiny in comparison to any APS-C sensor lens.

With all that said, of course the IQ will be better on either the Sony or the Fuji. But as you stated in another post you aren't a pro and if you can get 90% of what you need from a mirrorless system you'd be happy. I feel confident the N1 system can cover 90% of what you need. Now that the lens line-up is more fleshed out you have more options and for the indoor shots and moving children. I'm sure the cheap but great 18.5mm f/1.8 (50mm equiv. for $189) will help you capture these moments still. Low-light is the only gripe of the system but it's truly not that bad and the aforementioned lens really helps out. Anyway, don't take my word for it. Go over to the Nikon 1 forum and check out all the pictures people post and how much people are liking the camera to their own surprise.

 iamthenewguy's gear list:iamthenewguy's gear list
Nikon 1 V2 Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 Nikon 1 Nikkor 10mm f/2.8 Nikon 1 Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8 Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 +1 more
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Tom Schum
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Re: Nikon DSLR --> Mirrorless
In reply to mgn2, Mar 28, 2013

Now that DPR has a review of the NEX-6, you can compare resolution between it and the X-E1.

I did that comparison and the NEX-6 has moire near the limit of resolution.  X-E1 is clean.  I'm glad I own an X-E1.

This might be a minor effect in everyday photos, but the X-E1 would deliver less of this distortion and consequently better image quality as a result.  Maybe it really is worth thinking about.

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Tom Schum

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Sigma DP2 Sigma DP3 Merrill Fujifilm X-E1 Sigma 50mm F2.8 EX DG Macro Samyang 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF +5 more
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Texchappy
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Re: Nikon DSLR --> Mirrorless
In reply to iamthenewguy, Mar 28, 2013

Almost recommended the Nikon 1 but my only experience with it is reading about it.  That said, what I've read it's a pretty good little system.  Bonus, you can buy the LT1 adapter and use the Nikon DSLR (DX/FX) lenses with it.  It's a lot easier to find locally than the Fuji's.

Note on all Fuji's: they have perhaps the best JPEG engine on the market but you have to know how to use them to get those results - there is a pretty good learning curve.  I found it worth it; it's the closest in feel to my old Nikon F2 Photomic film SLR that I've found.

 Texchappy's gear list:Texchappy's gear list
Fujifilm X-Pro1 Canon EOS 650D Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro +3 more
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iamthenewguy
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Re: Nikon DSLR --> Mirrorless
In reply to Texchappy, Mar 28, 2013

Texchappy wrote:

Almost recommended the Nikon 1 but my only experience with it is reading about it.  That said, what I've read it's a pretty good little system.  Bonus, you can buy the LT1 adapter and use the Nikon DSLR (DX/FX) lenses with it.  It's a lot easier to find locally than the Fuji's.

I've been shooting with it since Jan. 2012 and I find it a joy to use. The adapter is definitely a plus and what's amazing is that it isn't a dumb adapter. You still get metering, AF-S (You lose AF-C and you are stuck with center focus point only, but that's how I shoot 99% of the time anyway) VR and so on. I prefer the native lenses because of size, but it's nice that it's an option.

Note on all Fuji's: they have perhaps the best JPEG engine on the market but you have to know how to use them to get those results - there is a pretty good learning curve.  I found it worth it; it's the closest in feel to my old Nikon F2 Photomic film SLR that I've found.

I agree with you here too. I love the V1 but I almost always shoot RAW with it. The N1's files are very easy to work with and can take a lot of PP'ing but if you only want to shoot JPEG you may not like the camera as much. Granted, it only takes me a minute or two with each photo because I generally have to do the same things (unsharp mask, noise reduction, and sometimes color correction). There are plenty of N1 users though that use it only in JPEG mode and are happy with it. But for me, comparing the JPEG's I get out of the X100 to the V1, well there is no comparison. I only shoot JPEG with the X100 but I am not sure I would want to limit myself to that with the N1 system. Just another thing to think about.

 iamthenewguy's gear list:iamthenewguy's gear list
Nikon 1 V2 Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 Nikon 1 Nikkor 10mm f/2.8 Nikon 1 Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8 Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 +1 more
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