D700 to Fuji X-Pro1: Will I be disappointed?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by richard_bach|1, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. I have a kit of a D700 and of some wonderful G lenses (all of the f1.8 primes), and I love them all to death. I love the responsiveness of the kit and the fact that I cant trust my camera to give well exposed, in focus images even in extreme situations. Its a workhorse, it just goes, etc. And I love the lenses too.
    But its just too big sometimes. I find myself traveling for often than I did when I got my Nikon setup, and the thought of trying to pack my D700 + a lens or two in a carry on bag is not a fun one, and I don't want to be hindered by the wight of it either.
    So I'm considering making the jump to Fuji. All of the reviews of the lenses and IQ are all pretty positive, and I very much like the "look" from the files files I've seen (and they seem to be free of some of the artifacts that the D700 can show sometimes, ie. IR contamination at high ISO). The X-pro seems to be the best option for me, as I just can't go back to an electronic viewfinder (I had M43 before..) and I like the implementation of the hybrid system.
    My only concerns:
    - Depth of field: I love the shallow depth of field/angle of view combination I get from my D700 combo. i love having a 50 that can really throw backgrounds out of focus. I suppose I can just go without those nice fast lenses for the Fuji and quit whining about it, but still.
    - Responsiveness/dependability - I love how my D700 just does what it does without tailing back at all. From the reviews of the Fuji, it seems that it can be a bit "picky" and miss shots sometimes for no real reason. The new firmware was supposed to fix these issues but I haven't used the X-Pro since the update. I don't feel confident that I will be as quick and effective as I am with my current camera, and I don't like that.
    - I love my D700, its like an old friend, but I'll have to get over this myself..
    Has anyone else made this or similar switch? I'm apprehensive to say the least. I love the gear I have and how it works, but its just too big for travel. And owning both isn't really an option right now. I'm curious to know what other's experiences have been!
     
  2. I suspect you will wish you hadn't before long.

    Rick H.
     
  3. Thanks for the frankness, Rick!
     
  4. I've been using an X-E1 for a while and recently got an X-E2. The improvements in the 2 are enough that I'm seriously considering selling my D800 (I used to have a D700) and going all mirrorless.
    The D700 and D800 are a bit faster in some respects than the X-E2 but the difference is slim. The images with the X-E2 and the 18-55 and the 35 are competitive with what I get from the D800 (I also use the 50 and 85 f/1.8 G primes as well as some zooms). The D800 has the edge of course over the Fuji in brute force sensor power - I would miss getting those crazy high detail results even if I don't have a real need for them - but comparing the D700 to the Fujis, the Fujis have the edge (which is expected - they're years newer). The Fuji has the small size, which is good for travel, and I get my most interesting shots when traveling so it just makes sense.
    The X-E1 and X-Pro1's main weaknesses are speed and AF performance - the X-E2 fixes these. It's more responsive all around. Going from the E1 to the E2 was like going from my old iPhone 4 to the 5, if that means anything to you. At this point I don't think I'd buy an X-Pro1. I'd go with the E2 or wait for the Pro2.
     
  5. It's a completely different class of camera.

    No way I would even consider that change.
     
  6. It really depends a lot on what you photo. That's the whole thing--match the gear to the subject. I travel a fair amount myself, and have gradually been going to smaller and smaller camera systems. It's quite worth it. My most used camera last summer in hawaii was a Leica IIIc and lenses 28/50/90. The lenses are very small, and the camera will actually fit in a shirt pocket. It's liberating to shed bulky camera gear when traveling by air.
    Kent in SD
     
  7. I'd recommend renting a Fuji kit first or buying
    from a shop with a good return policy,

    I was looking to downsize as well and since I only
    shoot with 28, 35 and 50mm lenses the Fuji seemed
    ideal.

    I actually tried switching to Fuji twice, once with
    an X Pro 1 and later with an X100s. Both were
    returned because they just didn't work for me.

    My main problems with the cameras are the control
    system, the viewfinder and focusing, and the image
    quality. I was constantly accidentally changing the
    important camera settings. For instance I shot a
    whole day and only found out later that I had
    somehow accidentally set the image size to small. I
    also accidentally changed the dynamic range mode and
    a few other settings. The image size change would
    have been a catastrophe if I had been shooting a
    job.

    I had trouble working with the autofocus. It seemed
    to work but really it was focusing on the
    background. The evf solves this problem since at
    least you can see what is in focus, but really I
    hate evfs and the beauty of the system to me is the
    optical finder. I found the evf jumpy even on the
    x100s.

    Finally, the smearing or "watercolor" effect on
    foliage and some other fine detail was an issue for
    me since I print large.

    These are just my opinions, and some could probably
    be improved had I taken more time with the cameras.
    But to me it seems like the Fuji system is on the
    right track but not fully mature.

    Nikons just work. The 1.8G lenses are not tiny but
    they're light. Perhaps you might just reduce the
    number of lenses you use? There's not much you can't
    do with a 28mm and a 50mm.

    In any event I strongly recommend you try the Fuji
    for a few days or a week in real-life shooting
    situations before you sell your Nikon gear.
     
  8. You can compare side-by-side images from the D700 and X-Pro1 on Imaging Resource's Comparometer. To me the D700 still appears to have the edge at 6400 ISO, with clearly more vibrant colour and better detail.
    As for getting a shallow depth-of-field: The Fuji 35mm f/1.4 lens will give approximately the same DoF at f/1.4 as your current 50mm at f/1.8. Fuji's XF 56mm f/1.2 will also be able to equal the DoF from a full-frame 85mm f/1.8. However, I've yet to see any f/1.2 lens that was even acceptably sharp fully open.
     
  9. Richard,
    Out of your 3 concerns, I think mostly the 2nd one is a serious thing to consider. The fast lenses - Fuji has fast lenses (and more coming); for starters their 35 f/1.4 won't be far behind on a 50 f/1.8G when it comes to shallow DoF. It's not going to be a very noticeable difference, in my view (having used a 35 f/1.4 on D300 and D700). As for the old friend... yeah....I understand... and my D700 isn't going anywhere. But I felt the same about my D300, and the D700 replaced that for 95% without issues. Recently added a F3, and it's already starting to feel like an extension of my hand. From what I see, ergonomics with Fuji are good enough to get really used to them.
    But the AF quirks, responsiveness - I guess the tip to rent one is really the best solution. You can be the only judge whether it's OK or too much for your liking.
    For myself, on and off the Fuji X cameras keep teasing me. But I won't let go of my Nikons, so either it'll be adding a X100S (though I find it too expensive really), or resist the urge. Probably the latter. If I want a lighter kit, I should probably just buy a few more rolls of film and use my F65 (which is really light) ;-)
     
  10. You can get fast lenses for the Fuji as well; there is the 35/1.4 and 23/1.4, but telephoto fast lens options are limited. The Fuji roadmap suggests there will be a new 56mm f/1.2 coming up early in 2014.
    AF may be slow, but the implementation being CDAF, it should be accurate. The X-Pro1 AF is not fast enough for me to consider it given the price of the camera, and after my experiences with the newer X100s (PDAF/CDAF hybrid implementation with 16MP X-Trans sensor, 23mm f/2 fixed lens), I have some doubts about Fuji's ability to fix the AF to be suitable to tracking approaching subjects and about image quality in general. I find the D800 far superior in AF tracking and image quality both in bright as well as in low light. The D800's dynamic range is phenomenal and the X100s' is nothing special, so the D800 files have rich deep shadows and the images can be edited a lot without problems in the final image quality. The X100s AF does work reasonably well but is far from being perfect, and the camera is extremely quiet. I love the optical viewfinder and don't like the EVF.
    There's nothing wrong with trying out the X-Pro1; be sure it has the latest firmware installed to get a feel for the AF performance. I appreciate that Fuji has made a nice lineup of compact and fast primes in the focal range where the camera is expected to be strongest. This together with the optical viewfinder are my main attractions to Fuji. However, I believe they have some work to do with catching up with Nikon in dynamic range of the sensor, I believe they should also ditch the semi-random color filter array pattern since third party raw converters seem to have trouble with their algorithms for it and today DX sensors are 24MP which should take care of much of the concerns about antialiasing filters (in the D7100 the AA filter is left out and people seem to be happy). I am interested in seeing how Fuji is able to improve the AF in future generations of the camera; at some point I may be interested in buying the follow-up of the X-Pro1 if the sensor and AF are up to expectations. It should be a great documentary camera for wide angle to short tele work. In the present situation I will continue to use and invest in Nikons.
     
  11. I have a Nikon D800 and D7100. I have a bunch of f1.4 primes, super telephotos, and consumer level zooms. I also have a Nikon V1 and Sony NEX-6.
    Around town I use the D800 and whatever lens I want. When I travel I take the D7100, 12-24 f4, 16-85 VR, and 70-300 VR and leave 1 or 2 behind in the car/hotel based on what I will be shooting that day.
    When I use the DSLRs they feel like extensions of myself and I can't blame missing a shot on the camera. With the V1 and NEX-6 I am always disappointed by the AF, controls, image quality, lens choices, slow lens extension, etc. That said, I have those cameras for a reason. When I'm hiking 10 miles and don't want to haul around the DSLRs they get the job done but I'm still routinely disappointed by them.
     
  12. It's such a radical change in working, I'd try to borrow one or rent one first and take it around with you and experiment. It
    really depends on what kinds of pictures you take how satisfied you're likely to be.
     
  13. pge

    pge

    Your issue with carrying a large camera is of course shared by many of us. I suspect very few of us think of the D700 as too large when we are actually holding it and taking photos. It is only large when we are carrying it. The way I mitigate this issue is by having a camera bag for every occasion. I literally buy a new bag each time I buy a lens. I have very small bags when I want to travel light and larger bags for each situation. You, like I, have all the new F1.8 AFS lenses. Each individually fit nicely into the soft case and make a nice small package. The nice thing about the soft case is that you are reusing the camera's own strap. Is your strap long enough to carry the camera sling style? I find that this helps quite a bit.
     
  14. I tried the X1-Pro in a store and the AF and EVF were hugely disappointing. Three Fujinon f/1.4 or better lenses won't save you much in terms of weight - less than 200g by my estimate (and a little bit of saved space). My first choice to save weight would be to use a D610 (or Df) when traveling - that's a few hundred grams in weight and also quite a reduction in size. The X-Pro 1 would be about half the weight - so in all, you save a little over one pound and probably the space taken up by the 28 or the 85mm lens of your current setup.
    I am currently evaluating a setup consisting of a NEX 6, Voigtlander 21/4P, Leica 35/2 ASPH, Leica 90/2 for traveling purposes - the entire system fits in a bag that barely holds a D700 body by itself. Adding a Tokina 11-16/2.8 with Nikon-to-E-mount adapter nearly doubles the space requirements though.
     
  15. I can't say I've made the switch, but I'm considering Fuji as complementary a different style of shooting (I do own a film rangefinder, that gets occasional use). I don't think I'll move from an SLR for telephoto imaging any time soon, but I've no problem with an optical rangefinder solution (X100/X100s/X-Pro1 style, not the EVF) for shorter focal lengths. The X-Pro1 is showing its age a bit, and that's partly putting me off (where I've been looking it's currently cheaper than the X100s). In its favour, it's obviously more flexible than its fixed-lens sibling; against it, it lacks phase-detect AF (and focus peaking) and has only screw-in diopter adjustments (my eyes are weird). Both those - especially the former - I might hope to change in an X-Pro2 update, if there is one. It also lacks the leaf shutter that's one of the significant advantages of an X100/X100s, and it's really not that small. Sadly, they're all currently priced at the point where I can't forgive the foibles, unless I get a very large Christmas bonus.
     
  16. Thanks for the feedback everyone,
    I suppose I won't be making the switch after all. While the Fujis seem awfully nice, It seems like they just aren't up to the dependability of an SLR. It's a shame in a way, as my shooting style and my choice of focal length (pretty normal, in the 28-85mm range) would suit a rangefinder style body well, I just don't want to deal with weird issues with my primary camera.
    While they may not be the most glamorous or portable cameras out there, SLR's seem to be the most (if not the ONLY) dependable and refined cameras out there. Maybe in a few years I'll revisit the mirrorless world again…
     
  17. While they may not be the most glamorous or portable cameras out there, SLR's seem to be the most (if not the ONLY) dependable and refined cameras out there. Maybe in a few years I'll revisit the mirrorless world again…​
    I wouldn't go that far. Fujis are not the only mirrorless game in town. If you want to get significantly smaller than the FX camera systems from Nikon take a look at the m43 cameras. Sure they DR of the sensor can't match a D600, Df, or D800, but you get a really small bodies, some with professional features, and there is some fantastic m43 native glass out there. As an owner of a D800 (and before that a D700) I can fully appreciate the size/weight issues.
    I've handled the Fuji's and though they seemed great, the resulting system size (camera + lenses) is just not significantly less enough than my D800 + lenses to really make it worth it.
    I've been slowly building a m43 kit to use when small and light at reduced DR is appropriate. The high quality (i.e., non-kit) m43 lenses are quite excellent.
    At the moment I have a Panasonic GH-2, 12-35/2.8, and 75/1.8 and will soon be getting a 7.5mm fisheye and the 7-14/4 (I may also swap out the 12-35/2.8 for the recently-announced Olympus 12-40/2.8). The weakest IQ link in this lineup is the GH-2 - it's rather old. But the latest m43 cameras (Panasonic GX-7, GH-3, and the Olympus EM-1) have dynamic range that is approx. equal to the D700 (lots of caveats of course).
    AF is fast and accurate with these latest m43 cameras too.
    Of course these all have EVFs, but I find them to be just fine to use in practice.
    So, there are lots of opinions on m43, but I'd give them a real look over before abandoning your search.
    John
     
  18. "Dependability"? What does that mean? Are mirrorless cameras supposed to be more likely to break down or something?
     
  19. It's a challenging decision and I've just made it myself. My D300 kit has made way for a XE-1. However I shoot 95% portraiture, and the main part is controlled lighting. So with my kit of 1.8 G primes my D300 bodies worked very well. So why change?
    I felt I needed to make a change to how I work and shake things up a bit. Add to that a scary trend where locally offered new generation Nikons are suddenly much more expensive. ( A new D610 is about 30% more than a new D600.) So when a good 2nd hand XE-1 kit came up I decided to take the plunge.
    I've gained but I've lost. I will say the autofocus is not in the same league, but it's usable for me. The lack of telephotos is not a big issue, and I am enjoying a V1 for anything that moves. The control system is a pleasure, and the quality of jpegs is really good. On top of that the ability to work with various other lenses in manual focus mode is something I look forward to. The focus peaking does help. And yes the weight difference is quite a revelation.
    Was it the smartest choice? Who knows. But I have been enjoying shooting again and actually do carry my camera with me, where in the past I'd leave the D300 in the car.
     
  20. I have D800 & Fuji X100, and had the X100 before getting the Nikon. The Fuji though very good and small hardly ever gets used - I don't know why!
     
  21. "I suppose I won't be making the switch after all"
    Wait a moment. With all due respect to the people who replied, how can you make such a decision based on anaswers you receive from strangers online? None of us knows how and what you shoot and you have no idea whether the people badmouthing the mirrorless cameras have any idea what they are talking about.
    I agree with seeking some guidelines from those online and to gather opinions, but there is simply no substitute for trying the mirrorless system in your own hands. For the record, I shoot with D3's and D700's (my D700 used to be my "small, compact camera" for time when I did not want the exta weight) but I decided that I wanted smaller and lighter in certain circumstances so I picked up a Sony NEX 7 and as couple of really fine Zeiss/Sony zooms and I find them to be fabulous performers as long as I am not trying to shoot moving subjects or need the exceptional AF speed of the Nikon DSLR's. I love the little kit for landscapes and travel photography as wel as people shooting since it is so unobtrusive. Can the Sony replace my "real" gear for shooting sideline sports or fast moving critters? Of course not. But it is a damn fine kit that I love when I need to travel light.
    But of course you have no idea what I find "satisfactory" so you shouldn't base your decision on my input either. I think the fellow who posted above saying that you should investigate a variety of mirrorless systems, take your time trying them out and only then decide if they are suitable for you.

    To dismiss a system based on a couple of negative online replies makes no sense to me at all.
     
  22. Wise words Eric. You wouldn't buy a car without a test drive and just because a few strangers say you should.
     

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