New Camera?

I’ve been using a Fujifilm X-Pro 1 for the past few years and although it takes wonderful photographs I would like to have a better body. The X-Pro 1’s autofocus is not very good and I sometimes miss photographs because the lens grinds back and forth trying to latch on to something. The EVF in the camera is fine but sometimes takes a while to adjust brightness and that delays the speed with which I can make a photograph. There are a few other annoyances as well but those are the main two.

So what camera do I want to buy? I’ve narrowed down my choices to a few but it’s difficult to decide. All of the cameras have advantages and disadvantages. I’ve been making some notes to help me decide and that’s what the body of this blog is.

The new X-T2 sounds great but reviews are often biased, especially early on. I’ve read that the EVF is wonderful, but is it wonderful for a viewfinder or wonderful for an EVF? I prefer an optical viewfinder. Fuji’s lenses make great photographs but I don’t like the way they handle. Plasticky, and manual focus is done electronically. The thing I don’t really want to give up is the great colour of X-series cameras.

My second choice is the Nikon D810. Except for the size and the lack of Fuji colours there is nothing bad to say about it. High resolution, optical viewfinder, amazing autofocus, etc. I’ve already got a basic set of Nikon lenses so I wouldn’t need to buy any. But, the size . . . . It’s not a camera I can hang around my neck all day like the Fuji mirrorless.

One of my favourite cameras ever is the Zeiss Ikon rangefinder. There’s no digital version, unfortunately. Should I buy a digital Leica? The Zeiss lens I have is an M-mount. But the price is very high and digital cameras go obsolete so quickly that I would feel too nervous about spending so much money. How much would it cost to fix in three years if something happened to the electronics? Would there be parts for it in five years? Leica is nice but it’s a risk I can’t afford.

What about a large camera like the D810 for projects and then a pocket camera like the Ricoh GR for always having on me? Well, then I have two cameras and I would prefer to just have one. And pocket cameras tend to have wide angle lenses whereas I prefer a standard lens. Good compact cameras aren’t cheap, either.

I’ve been making lists of pros and cons for the past couple of weeks and I still can’t decide. The important thing is to not buy anything until I am absolutely certain about what I want. The X-Pro 1 isn’t broken so there’s no big rush.

4 thoughts on “New Camera?”

  1. Hey Marcus, your blog post caught my eye as I, like many photographers before, have pondered about this many times. I went from being a Canon analogue shooter to being a Digital Nikonist (D80/D7000) and then through another system change to Olympus m4/3 where my main camera now is the OM-D E-M1.

    My main learning from this is that changing cameras never made me a better photographer, despite what the brilliant marketing material from the manufacturers promise you.

    The thing that has really helped me to improve my photography from a technical point of view is to get quality lenses. A good prime lens will do more for your photos (including AF performance) than a new body will most likely do.

    But what the most important lever for improvement is is to go out and shoot, shoot, shoot. With whatever gear you have and you are comfortable with.

    Besides thinking about getting a good prime lens rather than a new body I would recommend you pick up a small compact to carry always with you. You mentioned the Ricoh GR. I own a GR II and I love it insanely. It has superb image quality, it fits my front pocket and I can set it up in a way that I just need to pull it out and shoot without worrying about the settings. The best thing is, I always have it with me. It helped me being more creative because of its fixed lense you need to work with what you have. You find many examples of GR II images on my site.

    The Fuji body you have is a very good one, so why don’t you keep working with it and spend less money for something potentially more beneficial to your photography.

    Just my thoughts…..

  2. Hi Marcus. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I’ve used a number of different systems and never once did changing systems make a better photographer. But, some cameras helped me make photographs with much more ease. I was out today with the X-Pro1 and the 35mm lens and I missed several opportunities because I had to wait for the EVF to adjust brightness and the autofocus to decide if it liked my subject or not. I could solve my ‘problem’ by going to a camera shop and handling several different cameras but shops in Korea generally don’t let you touch any new cameras. As I said in the post, the X-Pro 1 is generally a good camera so I’m in no rush to buy a new one yet.

    1. Have you considered a x-pro 2? I just upgraded to it from a x-e2 and it has been great. Viewfinder, auto focus speed, and the new 24mp sensor are all worth it to me. Still smaller than a DSLR and a real joy to use.

      You might check one out at a local shop. To see if it overcomes your x-pro 1 limitations.

      1. I considered it but I prefer the DSLR shape. I never use the optical viewfinder on my X-Pro 1 so I don’t think the X-Pro 2 would be a good purchase for me. I would love to go to a camera shop and try out some cameras but I’d have to travel to Seoul to find a camera shop and their policy is ‘no open, no touch’ anyway. Thanks for commenting.

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