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Transition - from DSLR to smaller system, (Sony NEX, FUJI etc)


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I've decided to abandon my Nikon digital system entirely in favor of the smaller, lighter Sony NEX system. NEX is what I bought into a few years ago now, and so I've stopped looking at the other small systems that are now available. As you all know, everybody is producing smaller pro systems now.

 

Until last week I had planned to hold onto my D700 and D90 and my 20 f/2.8 AF, 60 f/2.8 and 24-120 f/4 VRII. I have not been happy with the way Sony has been dragging their feet with a selection of good lenses for NEX, but I feel I've dealt with that issue now and perhaps the future will be brighter (and the zooms will be brighter too). 

 

I've been obsessing about images I may not be able to do without a DSLR, of course.  But I've finally come to the conclusion that there no longer are; everything I plan to do in the years of image production I have left I can do with the NEX system. 

 

I have a gang of film and digital equipment, bodies and lenses and support gear, and I plan to sell it all . . . the D700 last, which will further reduce its value. But everything will go.

 

I'm wondering how many of you are going to take this same path?

 

If I were still doing assignments, of course I would hold onto a basic amount of Nikon gear, but the fact is I'm very much retired. 

 

 

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You are joining quite a cool gang, currently led by Trey Ratcliff (of HDR blog Stuck in Customs fame).

 

A lot of 'togs I admire are downsizing their systems with many opting for the Fuji X series in all its guises.

 

I have toyed with just keeping my Nikon 500/4, 200/4 Micro and D3s and jumping onto the Fuji bandwagon. I've invested a lot of shekels in Nikon gear over the last couple of years though and that makes me reluctant to dump it at the moment.

 

I can see it happening though.

 

Keep us informed of your progress - I, for one, would be very interested to hear how you're getting on. 

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I have already taken that route Ed, and did so some time ago.

 

I still have my Canon DSLR bodies and lenses, but the last time I used them was June last year, haven't touched them since. I will be selling all of my Canon gear off over the next couple of months as it is not going to get used.

 

I have the NEX 6 and 5N along with the three Sigma lenses and the CZ24, also the Fuji X100 and X Pro 1 with 35 and 60 lenses. That lot does everything I need these days.

 

I'm kind of sitting on the fence at the moment as to which system to settle on, like you I am not impressed with Sony's lens line up, but I'm sure it will improve. Similarly, I am not happy with Fuji's X Trans sensor technology at the moment, or rather the lack of good RAW conversion software for it. Likewise this will improve in time I'm sure.

 

I'm not getting any younger (55) and I cannot be bothered with hauling a load of heavy gear around with me anymore. So yeah, I'm with you!

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Ed, the Nex system is a very capable system and as you say, it can only get better. There is also the option to add some nice manual lenses as well via adapters.

 

Like you, I have moved away from lugging the big DSLR around now and much prefer the lighter system. For me it's Fuji. Like you I wasn't happy with the selection of lenses for the Nex.... well..... I wasn't happy that I couldn't get a quality long zoom  :). I resolved this a couple of months back now and as a result, I have just put my Canon 5dmkii up for sale. I'll be getting rid of the last few lenses and accessories etc and will complete my Fuji system with a second / backup body and a couple of flash units.

 

I love the fact I can travel with my entire kit and still have less weight than the 5d with two lenses  :)

 

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I too have started down that route with the Fuji X system; lenses were the determining factor for me as well. I will be putting much of my Canon pro kit up for sale. I am currently grappling with where I am going to take my photography; I am starting to shoot news as well as stock but the Fuji is OK for all of that. Question is whether I am going back to shooting sport seriously, in which case I will sell the lighter/ slower stuff that I use for travel and stock. Or do I sell it all? Big decision because I will not be able to afford to go back if I do sell.

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I too have started down that route with the Fuji X system; lenses were the determining factor for me as well. I will be putting much of my Canon pro kit up for sale. I am currently grappling with where I am going to take my photography; I am starting to shoot news as well as stock but the Fuji is OK for all of that. Question is whether I am going back to shooting sport seriously, in which case I will sell the lighter/ slower stuff that I use for travel and stock. Or do I sell it all? Big decision because I will not be able to afford to go back if I do sell.

 

I would imagine over the next couple of years both Fuji and Sony will develop better and better autofocus systems. If that's the case, you wouldn't need to sell your Fuji gear, just upgrade to the newer / faster body! The lenses I think will last for many years but of course, they would need to introduce a long fast lens.... which I'm sure they will.

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I recently sold my Canon 5D, three lenses, backpack & other gear via Craig's List to willing full-frame acolytes. With some of the proceeds, I bought an NEX-6 with kit 16-50mm, and the 10-18mm. After using it a bit, I felt that for some uses I would still prefer DSLR ergonomics. We still have a 10mp Canon XTi and some lenses for it, so I also bought a Canon honey-I-shrunk-the-DSLR SL1 with kit 18-55mm. The duplication of that range is not a problem since my wife sometimes shoots at the same time. Also, the other lenses we have for the Canon fill in well at the long end and for macro. Also got a messenger-style bag (Ape case brand).

 

I'm happy with both cameras and my collection of lenses. I've had a batch from the Sony accepted by QC, including shots from the extremes of both lenses (haven't quite gotten around to submitting a batch from the SL1, but I anticipate no problems).

 

I also stopped using a collection of programs for raw conversion, other post-processing, and keywording, and finally made the effort to learn Lightroom (I'm not a Photoshop user). All of my processing is now through LR5.

 

I feel like I've had a big reset, and I like it. I'm embracing "lighter and smaller", and also "good enough"--good enough for Alamy or any other photographic venture I might do.

Edited by Bill Kuta
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Wow, it looks like I'm a bit behind the curve. I better get my stuff up on eBay before everybody moves to Sony or Fuji. Nikon and Canon seem to have missed the boat on all this, like Kodak did a few years ago. 

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I've been in a bit of transition this year myself.  I do some street stuff, I do some portraits, and I do some editorial newsworthy.  The ONLY reason I have my Canon 5D MK III bodies is because of the editorial newsworthy.  I had bought a Pentax 645 Digital and I really like the camera...but I had an issue with a red line across the image (I think it was just my copy - I bought it used) so I returned it.  If I didn't do editorial newsworthy, I would seriously go with a medium format digital for portraits and landscapes, and I would go with a compact (currently a Fuji X-Pro) for everything else.

 

This has led to a lot of thinking.  I also have a Leica Film Camera and a Mamiya 645 Pro film camera.  I found a place that sells used digital backs at a very reasonable price.  Eventually, the goal is to move to a medium format system and to a compact system.  Fuji is rumored to be coming out with a replacement to the X-Pro at the end of this year or early next year.  I will wait to see what that looks like.  If it isn't what I'm looking for, then I may sell the Fuji system and go with a Leica M.  I am convinced that I can move to a compact system for the editorial newsworthy eventually.  The only thing that holds me back is the longer lenses...but Fuji has a 55-200 which is about a 320 equivalent....my common sense keeps reminding me that my 100-400 has been used twice in the last year and I'm never satisfied with the image quality out of it and my 70-200 is my most used lens for portraits and editorial.

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I'm hanging on to a Sony DSLR body and a few lenses, mainly because I like having the option of using an optical viewfinder now and then. Also, my stuff wouldn't fetch very much at this point if I sold it. Otherwise, I'm enjoying the switch to the NEX system and plan to expand in that direction. However, affording new equipment is quite a challenge these days, so I'm turning into something of Secondhand Rose.

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I still have my Canon 5D II and find it preferable for some situations, mainly where unpredictable movement has to be recorded, the AF is faster, more reliable and more user friendly. However I have just returned from a month's tour when the DSLR was left behind, and I don't recall any situations where I was unable to get the shot I wanted, and mainly using manual focus glass!

 

Using old lenses with a distance scale that is properly calibrated is a great solution, no focus lag and a certainty about what is in focus - great for street work, I have found that I am getting more really crisp keepers from my old Pentax 28mm, than from the auto focus 19mm Sigma.

 

Maybe I am not using the NEX correctly, but I can't appear to replicate the back button focus of the Canon, where you lock onto a spot and then the lens remains fixed at that focus, despite removing your finger from the shutter button. When I am using the Canon, back button focus is my preferred option for most situations.

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If I don't go back to shooting sport seriously my DSLR kit will go. I used to shoot sport professionally with manual focus, no motorwind and manual exposure so I am sure for occasional use I could use the Fuji for sport without too many problems. And in time the system should improve.

 

I too have had no problem getting Fuji X-E1 pics accepted by Alamy, and Demotix and Corbis (via Demotix)

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I picked up the FujiX100 a few weeks after they first came out.  Quirky - but results were better than I expected.  Now using Fuji X-Pro1 and the Fuji XE-1.  The stock sites I supply seem very happy with the images.  However, I simply cannot bring myself to get rid of the D3s or the D700.  The Nikons are just way too heavy to lug around...... but, there are certain jobs where I just wouldn't be without the Nikons.

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The new Panasonic GX7 is only a 4/3rds sensor but with new technology installed look very interesting.

 

http://www.panasonic.co.uk/html/en_GB/12916331/index.html

 

Allan

 

PS just to keep in with the spirit of the thread I will not be selling off my DSLRs and lenses kit yet. Still have the Leica M9 and lens set to fall back on though, if needs be.

 

 

Edited by Allan Bell
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Not planning to give up on my Canon 5D and 7D bodies just yet but looking for a 'compact' when traveling with limited luggage.

Has anyone any thoughts/experience on a Canon G1 X for general travel work?

 

Regards

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Not planning to give up on my Canon 5D and 7D bodies just yet but looking for a 'compact' when traveling with limited luggage.

Has anyone any thoughts/experience on a Canon G1 X for general travel work?

 

Regards

 

Had the G1X. OK camera but ditched it favour of the Sony RX100. No regrets. There is the RX100 II now to consider as well.

 

You may want to look at the new Panasonic GX7 too. Link above. If I was not settled with my collection I think I would seriously consider the Panny with its built in Tiltable ELV.

 

Allan

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For one thing, it's not on the Alamy recommended list---none of the Canon G Series have been on that list. But it seems that Alamy has not been keeping up with that list of late (the Sony NEX-6 is not on the list either, yet every image I capture with it has been accepted by QC). Personally I feel the G1 X is a little big for a small camera, and if you want it as an extra camera, I would follow the advice Allan has just posted. 

 

Me? I want a whole new system, and I'm not going to hedge my bets. 

Edited by Ed Rooney
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I used a G1X as a travel/ social camera but got very frustrated with the viewfinder - it shows so little of the real view. I was much happier with the EVF of my Sony DSC-R1 and now with the Fuji X-E1. Not as good as the optical viewfiunder of my 1Ds3. For me a camera has to have a viewfinder to be properly usable; not happy composing on a screen waving about at arm's length in sunshine!.

 

That said the G1x certainly produced results good enough for Alamy; optically it is very good as David Kilpatrick's reviews suggested. It is quite heavy but I happily carried it in the pocket of a a field jacket (or in a small shoulder bag, with pen and notebook etc).

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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You can't go wrong with that, Gervais. I thought I couldn't work without a viewfinder, but after using the screen on the NEX-3 for some months I found that I could do most things with it. And the RX100 is actually a pro-level pocket camera.  :)

 

Good luck with it. 

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I recently switched from Nikon to Canon with the 6D. I also have been using the Fuji X Pro-1 with the 35mm,18-55,55-200mm.

 

The images I get from this excel in many ways from the Canon as I don't have clipped highlights

with the Fuji.

Photos with the long end comparable zoom on the Fuji are sharper.I love this system.

 

I was injured in April,still trying to heal arm/shoulder so the lighter system is easier to carry and a heck of a lot more fun to use than the Canon.

 

I really hope someday soon Fuji comes out with a full frame in a small package that will work with the X series lenses.

 

I think if you are not getting use from your DSLR's it is wise to sell before the market is glutted.

 

I don't even have a backup to my 6D,that's how little invested I am in that format these days.

The Fuji can do everything except sports.Then again,I don't do that type of work anyway!

 

L

Edited by Linda
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I was just looking at the new Fuji RX100s, Linda, an FF retro-looking camera with a fixed 35mm f2 prime. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilm-x100s

 

The IQ on the new Fujis may even be better than my NEX cameras, but I won't be switching. I'm happy using primes but I think the fixed-lens models are somewhat limited, considering the costs. 

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I recently switched from Nikon to Canon with the 6D. I also have been using the Fuji X Pro-1 with the 35mm,18-55,55-200mm.

 

The images I get from this excel in many ways from the Canon as I don't have clipped highlights

with the Fuji.

Photos with the long end comparable zoom on the Fuji are sharper.I love this system.

 

I was injured in April,still trying to heal arm/shoulder so the lighter system is easier to carry and a heck of a lot more fun to use than the Canon.

 

I really hope someday soon Fuji comes out with a full frame in a small package that will work with the X series lenses.

 

I think if you are not getting use from your DSLR's it is wise to sell before the market is glutted.

 

I don't even have a backup to my 6D,that's how little invested I am in that format these days.

The Fuji can do everything except sports.Then again,I don't do that type of work anyway!

 

L

 

1+ ..... My 5dmkii has joined a queue of 11 on ebay  :D Thankfully only one finishes within 1 day of mine! Once it's sold, along with my remaining lenses, I'll pick up an X-E1 as a backup to my X Pro1. I'm thinking of getting the EF-X20 flash to go along side a yongnuo 560iii.

 

The Fuji 55-200 is an amazing lens. If you get a chance, try out the 14mm.... best UWA i've used. Hopefully the 10-24 they are going to release will be similar quality!

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I am warming rapidly to my Fuji X-E1. I believe IQ is much better than my 1Ds3 in low light even if Fuji focus can be desperately slow (I have latest firmware). That said I took around 230 shots at a concert (1600 and 6400 ISO) and less than 10% had failed AF. Mind you there were a fair few more where I held off pressing the shutter as the 55-200 drifted through its focus range.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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