Should I go for a full frame Nikon?

I have been offered to exchange my Fuji X-Pro1 with XF 35mm and XF 60mm lenses for Nikon D600 with AF-S 50mm f/1.8 G lens. I have read many very positive reviews about Nikon D600 and I have to admit that I have been somehow missing full frame after selling my Canon 5D Mk II.

Nikon has a faster AF, better auto ISO (and good ISO performance up to 6400), decent RAW support in LR, and of course the FF. But it is bigger camera than X-Pro1. I have the brand new Sigma DP2 Merrill which is quite pocketable so I'm not sure if I need two small cameras ( X-Pro1 is not a pocketable camera anyways).

These are so tricky decisions every time! There is one big thing though. I take quite a lot of shots of my family and they are never still objects. 🙂 Faster AF (and less hunting one) would be a big asset.

Your opinions on this would be highly appreciated!

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5 comments

  1. Hi,

    I just recently encountered your blog, and have been reading it with great interest. I stumbled here through Chris’s site, which I also enjoy as a part of my daily photoblog reading arsenal. I had X100 Fuji for almost 2 years, and I recently sold it after ordering DP2 Merrill in order to satisfy my preference for 50mm focal length. One option for me was to switch from X100 to X-pro1 or X-E1 with that gorgeous 35mm lens.

    The problem with newer Fujis is the raw support (or lack of it). The price is steep for a camera with no support from Adobe / Apple. I can manage with the complicated workflow on Sigma, as the lens/sensor combination truly gives something special on every frame I concentrate on. My original plan was to try out the Sigma and possibly buy either one of the Fujis for high ISO and general photography alternative. The lack of raw support, some useability quirks found in all X-cameras and artefacting issues presented by Lloyd Chambers (diglloyd.com) have put me off from my plans. I enjoyed the color output and flexibility of X100 compared to DP2M, but I’m slowly learning to deal with SPP and Sigma raw files. I even saw your sales ad for X-pro1, and gave it a long thought…

    I guess the biggest problem of FF DSLR for me would be the feeling and weight. Shooting with a rangefinder or one of these smaller cameras has a special feeling, that I can’t seem to replicate with larger and more “technical” bodies. I’m in the same search of digital companion for where the Sigma can’t succeed, but I’m not sure yet what it is. NEX-7 with manual lenses might do it, and I’ve always been fond of Leica M-system (though the price is for now non-justifiable for me). I’m not getting the certainty for pushing the order button with any of these alternatives, and can kind of similarize to situation you’re in. OM-D with focus peaking and some manual lenses is also an interesting combo, but the price is getting close to M9 body, which has been the digital grail for me.

    I guess this wasn’t quite helpful, but I wanted to share my thoughts on similar issue.

  2. Thanks a lot for commenting, Jesse! I really think that your post was very decisive to me in this situation. I just made my mind and decided to keep my X-Pro1 with XF 35mm and 60mm lenses. I sold my big Canon because of its physical size and quite mediocre ISO performance (I feel X-Pro1 is much better in that department).

    I would like to see which kind of lenses e.g. Carl Zeiss is going to bring for X-mount. And I especially have to learn more using my X-Pro1 to overcome some of its shortcomings (focusing in low light, RAW processing).

    So, thank you once more for big help in my decision process!

  3. Jonne: It’s possible that the XE-1 might solve your AF problems and given that you have some Fuji lenses you might want to try that body before you make yet another big sea change.

    As Jesse says, the Nikon or a full frame Canon DSLR, even the smaller 6D is a heavy beast compared with your Fuji.

    I would try the Sony RX1 before a DSLR as you’re pretty hooked on smaller and lighter. But, even before that I’d try the XE-1.

    I’m in about the same place and have not moved on any of it yet.

    In related news, our “friend” Wouter is also looking to switch cameras from Ricoh: he’s found Ricoh unreliable and so wants to switch to a different brand. He’s looking for smaller sensor cameras than we are as he loves noise and grain more than we do and can do but I think it’s interesting that many photographers who I follow are considering different types of cameras now. This means the playing field is wide open which is great.

    If the Canon EOS M ever got better AF I’d bite on it but I can’t live with the slow AF so I’ll wait a while. But, I’m watching it closely.

  4. Thanks, Richard. Always nice to hear your opinions. I do not, however, see how X-E1 could solve the AF problems. Both X-E1 and X-Pro1 have the same firmware to enhance AF performance. I shot some RAW files today with X-Pro1 and I used OVF all the time. I got the impression that the AF was faster with OVF than with EVF when the available light was in the low side.

  5. Jonne: Seems like AF problems are everywhere. Canon’s new EOS M has awful AF and that’s the reason I’m passing it by for now. I might consider it later if they improve AF and add some more native lenses but for now I’m going to stick with my point and shoot cameras and sit on my hands, keep reading reviews, and see if anything comes into focus (pun well intended).

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