FX for a casual shooter?

Started Feb 17, 2014 | Discussions thread
InTheMist Veteran Member • Posts: 3,078
Define Casual?

If casual, you mean a few times a month, I wouldn't recommend FX. But if you find that you're shooting a few times a week, or even every day, then you're firmly in the "enthusiast" rank.

Allow me some brutal honesty and overgeneralization: If, say, you will shoot 500 sessions in two years, and you strive to get the best out of your photography then your craft may be eventually good enough that you'll notice the difference between FX and DX.

But as a beginner or intermediate? No way. When I first bought my D800 (coming from a D7000) I was like "WTF, why didn't my photography magically get better?" but now, something like 30,000 shots later with constant study and self-critique I can honestly say that I can tell the D800 from the D7000 without too much pixel peeping - but not in every case! It depends mostly on how much light there is.

Another thing to consider: if I took any two of my cameras FX or DX and shot the same scene with teh same framing and printed at 8x10, I'm really not sure I could tell the difference. In fact, something similar has happened. My stepson and I went to the airport and it happened that we took two photos at exactly the same instant with nearly the same framing. The light was good enough. When I brought both photos in lightroom, I had to give a moment's study about which was his and which was mine. My kit: D800 and 300 f/2.8. His? D5100 and cheap Tamron superzoom. Now, don't get me wrong, when I started zooming, the difference was clear, but at full screen on a 27" monitor? Meh, mine looked a little better. Not six thousand dollars better!

That said, I do shoot fast action sports and in low light and then yeah, it's pretty obvious.

Take the following examples:

No obvious difference - Good light, nice lens.

Obviously better. I had to crop this a LOT (D800)

A bit better. Again, I had to crop a lot.

No difference without very careful examination. This is a DX shot.

No difference. The lighting is what makes this shot.

No difference.  This was taken with a $50 plastic film camera.

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It's more important how an image looks as a thumbnail than how it looks at 100%.

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