A return to a DSLR

Posted on August 21, 2014

As you may all be aware I used to shoot with a Canon 1DX and “L” lenses up until maybe feb/march this year. I then after reading many reviews and purchasing a Fuji X-T1 and a few lenses was so impressed with the smaller, lightweight system that I sold all of my DSLR gear and went purely Fuji X system.

Now what where my reasons for doing this? was it that I wanted a lighter system to carry around? was it the fact that I just wanted a new toy to play with?

To be honest I’m not sure, it might be that all of the above played some part in my thought process at the time and whilst the Fuji has been producing some stunning results both in the studio and out in the Landscape environment I have had a niggling in the back of my mind about missing the bulk and size of the DSLR, which is crazy as why would anyone want to carry more weight than necessary. Another reason that has made me think this way again is that for certain work I do clients need a larger file size than what the Fuji is capable of producing and whilst like I have said the Fuji X system takes a fantastic image sometimes that just isn’t enough for some people.

This by no means is the end for my Fuji set up though. It’s my go to set up for portraits and when I’m shooting in the studio and it comes out with me now in the field as my back up system and for setting up on its own tripod and shooting time-lapse photography.

So going back to the DSLR I had a good think what to return to as I had put some of the money aside from the canon sale and after a bit of debating I settled on the Nikon D810. This is Nikons newest release and is a slight upgrade to the D800 and the D800e. I would of liked to return to the Canon 1DX but the 2nd hand price of the camera body would of meant I could of then not afforded to add any new lenses as well so getting the D810 allowed me still to purchase 2 lenses as well. It means that I have had to learn the new menu system and button layout of the Nikon but that is half the fun of getting a new camera I think. So far I’ve been really impressed with the dynamic range the camera is capable of and the detail you see within the images it creates.

Comments

7 Responses to A return to a DSLR

Stephane

October 12, 2014 at 10:14 am

Hi

I have a D800, pretty happy with it and just bought a Fuji X-T1, which is much more pleasurable to use. It seems that for equivalent quality, the Fuji lenses are more compact for similar prices compared to Nikon.

Image quality-wise, first thing I noticed is that the RAW files are more difficult to process. This will be fixed in time, I’m sure. After that, there is more noise in the shadows, but the noise in the blue skys seems to clean up better than with the Nikon. It matters for B&W conversions.

My question is: did you get a D810 to get better quality in large prints? And what is a large print for you?

Cheers,

Stephane

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richard

October 12, 2014 at 10:31 am

Hi Stephane

The Fuji is a cracking little system and like you mentioned the lenses it produces are excellent.
For studio use I found it superb, being able to see a realtime preview of exposure in live view is a god send. Saves a lot of time having to review images. Where I found it struggled more was on the landscape side.
I found in low light it was very hard to focus in live view, the image was very grainy and hard to see. Also I found the dynamic range a little poor compared to a DSLR. Trying to rescue shadow detail was not very good. As you already mentioned editing in Lightroom was not ideal, although I never really found this much of an issue and I’m sure Adobe will update soon to make things easier.
Another reason to go to the D810 was the ability to be able to crop files and still be left with a file big enough to print to A2. If you tried cropping a Fuji file you’d be left with something around 2MB which won’t help. I get a lot of requests for large prints say in the region of 48″x36″ so the large files I get from the D810 allow me to print big with confidence and know I will still get amazing detail.

Regards Richard

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Shaun Walby

October 31, 2014 at 10:25 am

The fuji X sensors gives cracking little images and for me i always knew there would have to be a trade off from such a light weight camera.

In a nutshell…firstly i refer to it as my no crop camera,16 meg lowest id go for landscapes regardless of output size.
Also ease of use…half asleep often frozen pre dawn winter, my canon 5D is utterly second nature and easy with cold/gloved hands.

If iam hiking/climbing…Fuji purely as weight becomes a hugh factor but the niggle is always there…wish i had the full frame to capture this.

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Steve Rickman

December 19, 2014 at 8:40 am

Hi Rich, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the 810, early days yet i guess. I’m currently using a D700 supported by a D300. I loved both of these cameras so the natural progression will be the D810 sometime next year as my much loved D300 is a little behind the game now.
Must have been an interesting transition between Canon and Nikon!
The Fuji and others like the Sony are getting some excellent reports and are coming on in leaps and bounds by the look of it.
Great site BTW! Really enjoyed reading through.

Reply

richard

December 19, 2014 at 8:47 am

Hi Steve
Yes it has been fun having to learn a new menu system and button layout from the Canon to the Nikon. I still find myself in the heat of the moment pressing the wrong buttons and getting flustered!. So far I have found the D810 an amazing camera, the dynamic range is incredible. I no longer have to shoot tons of bracketed exposures for blending, Now I just expose for the highlights and job done in one shot, Then in Lightroom I just bring up the shadow detail and all is good. The file size is also a massive help when needing to print big. I’m loving using the camera more and more overtime I go out with it.

Reply

Frank Williams

December 22, 2014 at 9:32 pm

Hi Richard,
Reading your artical about moving on in the full frame high res Nikon D800 does not surprise me.
I myself went from the very good Nikon D800 to the Pentax 645z because I wanted more pixels as to get more detail. Only time will tell if I can handle not only the file size, but the weight Too.
The difference in the two is incredible. Here’s a small list why.
Sony Sensor is massive. So are the file sizes.
Image in Live view is the raw image and not a JPEG view.
Highlights plink to tell when you are overexposing at point of capture,And not after you have taken the image.
Dynamic range is by far better than anything out their.
One big thing is the cost….it by far the cheapest medium format digital camera out there. Unlike Hassleblad or Phase One. Which has the same sensor. Oh I forgot.it’s weather sealed to.

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richard

December 22, 2014 at 9:37 pm

Hi Frank
The Pentax 645Z looks a fantastic camera and as you have mentioned that whilst it has a hefty price tag it’s still far cheaper than the phase one or hassleblad equivalents. I reckon it could be my next step.

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