New Camera Set-up - D810 / XT-1 / A7R

Started Jul 22, 2014 | Discussions thread
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awf476 Regular Member • Posts: 200
New Camera Set-up - D810 / XT-1 / A7R

Hello! Over the last couple of years, I have become more and more fond of photography and have essentially given up all other hobbies to focus on the fun, addicting, yet expensive hobby of photography. Question stem first - I'm trying to decide on a new camera system that would provide size/quality/great glass/etc. for my needs, detailed below.

I currently have a Nikon D300 with a couple DX lenses, SB-800 and a Nikkor 70-200 2.8, and mainly shoot travel photography, family/friends/kids, and horse shows (thus the 70-200 2.8). I have had some job offers to shoot some families/friends/kids, turning this hobby into a bit more of a side-job (this will be few and far between - 6x annually?). I would really like to get more into landscape photography as I'm an active hiker and my wife and I enjoy traveling as much as possible. (money and time are both finite, money tree still growing out back - no good fruit yet) I love printing photography and if I ever get a picture worth printing large, I would like the latitude to do that. (much like the side job discussed above, this would be 1 in 1,000 photos or less)

I am looking to upgrade camera, and most likely move away from APS-C DSLRs, forcing me into a new system. As we really enjoy traveling, and my wife already brings more things than anyone could ever hope to use, something compact would be nice for travel photography (Fuji XT-1). But also have a great camera for landscape / "professional" purposes.

I currently love the layout of my current D300, and after reading about the 810, it appears to be a great camera. I could use my current 70-200 2.8 on it but it fails the 'compact' test. I considered buying the 810 to be used during travel with something like a Sigma 24-105 f/4 A, but still wouldn't be anywhere near as compact as a XT-1. ($3,200 + $899 for the first piece of FF glass in a 'normal' range = $4,100 >> +$600 more)

The XT-1 has the compact size that I would love to have but missing some of the FF benefits (DOF, low light [horse shows] performance, pure resolving power), along with the 36 MP benefit of the 810/A7R for pushing/pulling pixels and printing large prints. From the reviews I've seen, the glass with the Fuji system seems to be spectacular for their size. ($1,700 + $999 for 10-24 f/4 = $2,700 >> Cheapest option)

The A7R gives the great size of the XT-1, although the "handling" seems to be lacking, with the sensor of the 810 but the glass on the A7R is limited and from what I've seen... quite large for a mirrorless system? (correct me if I'm wrong) Bringing the system closer to that of the 810. Would this be a jack-of-all-trades/master-of-none? ($2,300 + 1,200 24-70 initial outlay of cash = $3,500 >> +$800 more)

The last option I was considering was the long-term option and that would be to get the XT-1 now, keep my D300 and work towards getting a FF Nikon when the D900 comes out in a year+ or trying to pick up a D800/E from anyone who has more money than sense, or finds the 810 to be really groundbreaking enough to sell their 800/E. ($2,200 appox. [low shutter ct] + $899 = $3,100) The obvious upside to this would be you get the best of all worlds, so long as you have the right camera at the right time. In addition to having to determine which system to bring and have the right one with you at the right time, the other downside to this is the $$$$. It would be a very expensive option to keep up two camera systems unless in the Fuji system you would avoid all overlap and only own something in a standard zoom, covering UWA (14-24) / Tele (70-200) with the Nikon system. ($1,700 initial outlay + $3,100/$4,100 at a later date)

Thank you for everyone who took the time to read this and offer any advice you might have from your own experiences / research. I will do my best to write back and acknowledge the responses in a timely manner, but all constructive responses are greatly appreciated. I truly am not trying to turn this post into a Nikon / Sony / Fuji bashing session as these are all AMAZING cameras, but specific needs obviously force one person to lean towards one system over another. So any efforts to avoid such posts would be greatly appreciated.

 awf476's gear list:awf476's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony Alpha a7R II Sony FE 35mm F2.8 Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 24-70mm F4 OSS +2 more
Nikon D300 Nikon D800 Nikon D810 Sony Alpha a7R
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