FX for a casual shooter?

Started Feb 17, 2014 | Discussions thread
Teila Day
Teila Day Veteran Member • Posts: 4,704
FX for a casual shooter? (odd question considering…)

Penny123 wrote:

… is FX ok for a casual shooter? Hmmm…. that's an odd question considering that a basic film camera that you can find for $75 at a garage sale, is likely "FX". (friendly poke in your ribs).

I am just wondering if there is any huge advantage to using FX as a casual shooter to some of the newer DX models, ie D7100.

Yes, you can get closer to your dog, cat, fish, nephew… and photograph them in smaller spaces because you'll be able to get more into the frame while you move up close. So if you photograph indoors a lot, I would recommend FX. I would also recommend only buying FX lenses. It keeps you from getting stuck with lenses that you can't use on other Nikon bodies to include film cameras.

I had a D40 and have been using a D90 this past year, I have had some focus issues but never really got to the bottom of if it was me or the camera. It has been to nikon and they found errors but never said what so I have it back with me. Focus issues aside I am starting to find the iso rather restricting. I have been using iso 800 at a push but really notice the quality fall especially if I need to start pulling shadows ad adjusting exposure. I take quite a lot of shots in woodland and Scotland can be pretty dull at times so to keep a good shutter speed I am often having to push it up a bit.

You'll notice quality fall off at higher iso, because the aforementioned cameras are older- today you can shoot at 3200 iso without worrying too much in most situations with full frame cameras built in 2008 and younger.

I mainly shoot portraits of my dog and landscape with a bit of everything else thrown in. I feel my photos have gotten better this past year but nowhere near the high standard I see on here and I will always purely be doing this as a hobby. What I am looking for is a camera that will last me the next 4 years (at least) and I have narrowed it down to the D610 or the D7100. FX seems appealing as a camera to develop my skills with but is it overkill for what I do? What I am after is a camera with excellent image quality (most new cameras fit this) and one where hopefully I can use ISO 800 or above but the images look just as good as if it were iso 200.

Not at all over kill. I suggest you by a mid range camera, like a used D700 or something of the sort (a new body if you're up to it) and be happy with a decent buffer, fps, and high iso image quality that is still very respectable today.

What put me off the D7100 is the buffer as I sometimes shoot shots of my dog running. She is a bit older now so this isn't a make or break deal and I would be happy shooting in crop mode. I also read that you need superior glass and good technique for the 24mp. I have a 40mm, 16-85 and 70-200.

I loathe a small buffer as well.

You don't have to have any special technique for a measly 24mp… some photographers were claiming the same thing when the D2x came out and it was only 12mp, but if you listened to the tech-crazy photographers you'd think the D2x was 112mp by the "special care" you had to use to get good shots. The bottom line is that you can hand hold a 40mp medium format camera and as long as your shutter speed is reasonable with all things considered, it isn't an issue. Moving up to a higher res, or more sophisticated camera is just like moving up to a higher quality car- all cars basically drive the same and it isn't rocket science to learn how to use a new car… let alone a camera. Nothing to be intimidated over.

On the other side of the coin what put me off FX is I have no way to try before I buy and I would need to see how it suits me with the different dof and clustered focus points. Am I correct in thinking that if I bought a 24-120 fx lens that would give me the same field of view of my 16-85? I would also need to assess if I would miss the extra reach that I get with my 70-200 on a cropped sensor.

For my needs and what I am looking for what do you think D610, D7100 or hold tight with the D90 and see what might come out later in the year?

I would dump the D90 and look for a lightly used semi-pro or pro body (D700, D3 respectively) and move to full frame.

Just pick up an old film camera somewhere Nikon F100 or something, and that will give you a realistic idea of what you'd be dealing with as far as full frame goes- I wouldn't sweat the focus points; you'll adapt.

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Teila K. Day

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