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Is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by dixeyk, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I've been thinking recently about picking up a Fuji to play with. I like what I have seen of the Fuji Images and there are times when I wish I got a bit better high ISO out of my 5n. Not that the 5n is particularly deficient at high ISO it's just there are times now and again where I would like a little more. I also like the Fuji's OOC JPEGs and sometimes when you get a camera crush there's no stopping it.

    i've hopped around between the Fuji XM1, XA1 and XE1 for a while now and I find that I keep coming back to my 5n and really wondering if I wouldn't be better off not spending the money (which is really code for "buy something else"). I shoot manual focus legacy glass. That's partly because I have no AF lenses but that's been a choice rather than something that was forced upon me. I like funky old glass and find the AF lenses I could possibly afford pretty boring. That's not to say there aren't some nice AF lenses out there but each time I had one or three of them I found myself using the manual focus stuff anyway.

    I have been looking at nice low mileage XE1's as of late. I like the old school handling and thought if I was going to pick up a Fuji the XE1 seemed like the one. The trouble is each time I get close to grabbing an XE1 I starting thinking that it's not much of an improvement over my 5n for what I do. I pretty much walk around and take available light shots of stuff. I get in close and make images that interest me. I don't shoot weddings, I don't shoot street, I can't think of the last time I bracketing anything, used burst mode or needed a built-in level, I don't even know where I put the little flash that came with the camera. I set the camera to aperture priority, dial in the aperture on the lens, set exposure compensation and go. About the only digital feature I make use of is focus peaking and on the NEX it's very handy. If it had been as pronounced in the EVF as it is on the LCD I would still have the Sony external EVF (I really liked that it flipped up)

    Then there's the fact that I use Capture One 8 for Sony so the cost of the camera also includes the cost of upgrading to the "every brand" version of Capture One Pro and that ain't exactly cheap although shooting a Fuji as a JPEG only camera is definitely a possibility. The big stumbling block however is that the 5n continues to do what I need. Also, in some ways the 5n has some distinct advantages over the Fujis...focus peaking is definitely nicer on the NEX/Alpha, the 5n is actually pretty fast shot to shot, it has better video than the Fuji and as good as the Fuji is at high ISO the 5n is pretty good too. To sum it up my genetic disposition toward frugality is starting to overwhelm my Fuji crush.

    A few years ago I made the jump from m43 to the NEX and never looked back. M43 didn't suit my needs and it was easy to see the clear advantages that the NEX offered me but I'm not seeing that right now with the Fuji. I think the Fuji cameras are very compelling and if I were looking for a camera system to start with I would probably go with the Fuji. I like what they are doing and especially like what I am seeing out of their native lenses. But that's not the situation I am in. Right now my 5n is staring at me telling me I need to get out and make some images.
     
  2. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    I know, I know, I shouldn't bring old quotes here - but it's the photographer who creates masterpieces, not the camera. From what I can read between the lines, the NEX-5N is still inspiring to use for you, so there's no reason to invest in another system right now. If you have money to spend, buying new lenses, flashes, accessories or even things like make-up for portraits, props for fine art photography or whatever you want to try might be a better idea.

    If you don't feel limited by your camera in a way that limits what you can shoot in a sufficient quality - go ahead, buy a new one. But as long as you're happy with the quality and usability of your camera, there are more important things to invest in to improve your images.
     
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin

    Actually I didn't have any plans to get rid of the NEX I just wanted another camera to play with. I just passed 12 years clear of cancer, my wife got a new job after being out of work for nearly 9 months and I got a sizable tax refund for the first time in years. I was feeling rather celebratory and wanted to give myself a treat. I also tend to want to make sure what I am getting is a good value and that's where it started to fall apart.

    I love my 5n and probably won't part with it until it finally just up and dies. I had grown fond the notion of the XE1 as a digital version of the old compact RF cameras I grew up using. It was more nostalgia than anything else. The 5n comes pretty close in its simplicity but the XE1 does evoke it a lot better with its very analog feel. As much as I like the 5n it's really a little computer first then a camera. The XE1 strikes me as a camera first then a computer.

    About the only limits I run into with the NEX is sometimes I would like better high ISO. I shoot available light and sometimes I sometimes find myself in situations where the NEX doesn't quite do what I need. Whether or not the Fuji would is up for debate but I suspect it would be an improvement. There are also times I would like to have an EVF. I've really gotten used to using the LCD on the NEX and frankly I'm not sure about going back to using an EVF all the time and the lack of a tilting screen on the XE1 would mean that I would need to. All of that really added up to me not seeing the XE1 as "worth it". The other appeal of the XE1 was the thumbwheels. I had them on my various Panasonic bodies and that is something I really do miss. Of course dropping $400 for a used camera because it has thumbwheels is just not something I can do. I have too much of my depression raised father in me to even consider that.

    I agree that the photographer makes the images...I think you'll find me beating that drum quiet a bit. I buy stuff because I want it not because I need it. That said, I also have to feel that the expenditure is worth it. I bought my 5n when they dropped the prices to $399 (new) a few years back. Right now the Fuji wasn't worth it. Whether that was because the 5n is so good or the price needs to drop further on the Fuji remains to be seen. I suspect it is a little of both. The 5n really is quite remarkable and right now the Fuji isn't cheap enough.
     
  4. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    I've looked into switching to Fuji X cameras myself as well, mainly because of the high-quality lens line-up. What stopped me is the problematic raw conversion, in Lightroom at least. I've managed to get some Fuji raw files from the 'net and I wasn't really overwhelmed, something didn't seem right to me. Then came the A7 and that was the end of thinking about Fuji X, or any APS-C camera for that matter.
     
  5. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    I'd say that point falls flat now. There's a sizable line-up of Zeiss E-mount lenses - 12mm 2.8, 24mm 1.8, 32mm 1.8, 35mm 2.8, 50mm 2.8 macro, 55mm 1.8, and even some Zeiss zooms which are not too bad. The quality of these lenses is on par, if not better, than what Fuji offers. Sure there are a few differences in the line-ups, but saying the line-up itself is of a higher quality simply is no longer true.
     
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  6. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    The gap has closed significantly and depending on what you shoot, completely.

    In fairness, the Ziess primes are on both systems. However, Sony offerings do not match the speed or quality of the Fuji counterparts. In almost all cases there is close to a full stop difference. That, coupled with better ISO certainly has the potential to impact your photography.
     
  7. dannat

    dannat TalkEmount Regular

    86
    Jun 22, 2014
    VIC
    if you use Fuji & want good low light you should prob shoot RAW -which brings in the extra step of manipulating the xtrans RAW files -some image converters dont do this so well & you have to work on them extra yourself

    what lens are you using when you would like a bit better high iso low light shot [the fuji is good at this though the xe1 focusing was great -the newer models have mproved a fair bit]
    maybe a faster lens [doesnt have to be zeiss] like the 35mm f1.8 will suit?
     
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I had thought of that as well. It certainly would be nice for my 24mm Rokkor to actually act like a 24mm again. :rolleyes:. I use Capture One instead Lightroom so Fuji RAW conversion isn't really as much a concern for me but I do have a certain amount of time invested in Sony gear (and my Capture One Pro is the Sony only version so I would need to upgrade that. Maybe I'll just hang tight until my 5n finally gives up the ghost and go with whatever Alpha FF is on closeout at that time.
     
  9. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I gotta disagree with that, The Fuji is better at high ISO than my 5n in JPEG and RAW. On top of that the JPEGs OOC are a lot more pleasing. I love my 5n but JPEGs OOC are not its strong suit. That said the 5n isn't bad in low light it's just that the Fuji is better. I think folks may have misunderstood my original post. I appreciate the suggestions but I don't really have a problem I am looking to solve. I was simply laying out what was going through my mind when I realized that my 2+ year old 5n was still a better fit for me than a new(er) fancier camera.

    What camera I use is really about choices. I chose to leave m43 because for the things I wanted to do (use legacy glass). It's a great system and I see a lot of wonderful images being made on cameras like the E-M5 but I would never own one because I don't like them. That doesn't mean they are in any way lesser cameras simply they don't meet my needs in a way that I enjoy. The NEX has a number of things I don't care for. I have never liked the UI. In fact I think it's an absolutely awful UI (speaking as a former UI designer) but the ease with which the NEX allowed me to use the legacy lenses I prefer was worth more to me than any of my objections. In the end whatever gets out of my way and allows me to make images is what I want and so far the NEX does that best. The Fuji has a very appealing control layout. it reminds me of the old RF cameras I grew up with. Add to that what appears to be a noticeably better IQ and it peaked my interest. BUT, it's not enough better to make it worth it.
     
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  10. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    It's simple for me: If I can buy a new toy that makes me happy (for however long) and I can pay cash for it, I buy it. If the romance doesn’t last, I put it up on ebay and consider it a lesson learned. We can agonize over these things ad nauseum. But in the end, what do we learn?

    Life is short, eat dessert first!
     
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  11. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    As you know Kevin I picked up a used Fuji X100. The first thing I noticed was how much better the OOC jpegs are. There is really no comparison at all. I spent a lot of time only shooting jpeg but now I'm back to RAW (The X100 doesn't have the 'new' X-Trans sensor so there are no Lightroom issues for me). It's interesting that you can do RAW conversion in camera with all the film simulations so I find no need to shoot jpeg+RAW as, if I feel I nailed a shot, I can just convert it jpeg at any time. Auto White Balance and Multi Expose metering is better with the Fuji and of course the UI.

    Now I don't know if it extends to models you are looking at Kevin but second thing I noticed is how the handling is so different on my Fuji X100 than my Sony cameras. The 5n was really too small for me. The NEX-7 is great with the Tri-Wheel and percentage wise I still get more 'keepers' with the NEX-7 than the X100 but the X100 is a way more enjoyable camera to use. I can't articulate what it is. I don't come from the old school of film cameras and think how it should be either and I wouldn't say it's easier to use at all but it's more fun.

    It reminds me of Apple and Android. My wife's phone may be more powerful than mine.The tech specs better, camera better (technically) and can actually do more, but I prefer using my iPhone, there's a feel and cohesion to the whole package that I like without being able to explain. That doesn't mean it's better or for everyone of course.

    That said, for me the image produced is not the only important thing to me. I don't set up shots much, it's not what I enjoy. I like being outside and seeing a shot to make, I enjoy the post-processing and how these two things are so completely different from each other working towards the same goal of the making of the final image. Right now I'm finding the Fuji is making the first part more enjoyable for me.

    Get the body and some adapters. You have the lenses. You don't have to switch systems because you are all manual anyway. Use both bodies. You could always pick up another lens but I believe a new (for you) Fuji body will give you more of a different experience.

    What is it that matters to you about photography? If it's just the bottom line, the image, then really with all these great cameras there's not much in it and it becomes a pixel peeping and the photographer's skill so don't buy it, but If it's the experience, then go for it.

    With cameras you can have a wife and a mistress without any moral implications.
     
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  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Good advice.
     
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  13. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin

    Ahhhh you know me well. You hit the nail on the head. It's that intangible thing that I am drawn to. I don't care about the screen resolution or lower refresh rates. I don't care about touch screens or HDR. What I want is to be is engaged in the process in a way that my NEX doesn't quite do. Maybe I need to tell the pragmatic side of me to take a nap and buy a new (to me) body while he's sleeping.

    You're not the only person I know that talks this way about their Fuji. It seems to be a pretty common sentiment. Don't get me wrong, I like my NEX but not in the same way I like my iPhone. But I tell you something, I liked my Fuji X10 in that way. That thing was an absolute blast. It's the only camera in recent memory I regret getting rid of. You're also right, I have my lenses. I'm not going to be buying Fuji X lenses any more than you'll see me grabbing Sony or Zeiss lenses. It's my aging Minoltas and me against the world. Now just gotta decide what body. I have to say there is a part of me that kinda wants the XA1. The low end plastic bodied Fuji with the Bayer sensor appeals to me in the same way that my Konica 40 is much more enjoyable to me to use than my Olympus 38 or my 4WD poop brown 86 Subaru wagon with the dents and the rusted frame was the most fun car I have ever had (even more so than my WRX).

    Thanks Colin, that was great advice. BTW, love the walking sets I've been seeing.
     
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  14. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Fujifilm does indeed seems like a good alternative to the Nex IMHO. I recently played with an X100s and while it has a more "retro" RF feel than the nex, i personally didn't like its overall grip despite the fact that its bigger and heavier. Image quality, the jpegs it produces are very nice indeed but I doubt its better than the 5N in low light. One thing its miles ahead of the Nex is the UI and button layout. However, from what you write it does seem like the 5N still satisfies your needs. Personally I think the only fuji that would me me think of leaving the nex is the xt-1...
     
  15. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    No matter what direction I go I'll keep my 5n. As Colin so aptly put it...wife and mistress
     
  16. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    Fuji use a Sony sensor. In fact, it's very probably the same Sony sensor in the 5N. What is different is that they overstate their ISO and this is commonly acknowledged in the Fuji forums at DPR. So "ISO 200" on a Fuji is closer to "ISO 100" on a 5N. This makes comparisons and the same ISO number look like they're better, but in reality to get the same brightness between a Fuji "ISO 200" and a Sony "ISO 200", you would actually need to use a slower shutter speed on the Fuji. If you are shutter speed limited, you'd have to use a higher ISO to get the same exposure, meaning that the high ISO performance gain is lost. Then there's the little matter of Fuji appearing to apply NR to the RAW... great if you don't care much for image detail, irreversible and annoying if you do.

    If it's high ISO performance you're looking for, the difference is inconsequential - you would get more gain going up to the A6000 (1/3 stop improvement) than you would moving to a Fuji. Much better, if you're still happy with your 5N, is wait for the A7 successor. Personally I got the A7 and am 100% happy I did, but the system cost moving up was steep. Start saving now! :D

    Where Fuji shines is having faster glass than Sony. Of course it comes at a price: Aside from the 35/1.4, the rest of the Fuji prime line up goes for over $600 so building an extensive range of Fuji lenses is much costlier than Sony. But if you move up to FF, the glass effectively becomes as fast or faster than Fuji, so it's a wash.
     
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  17. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    No, Fuji's X-Trans sensors are NOT Sony sensors. In fact, they work quite a bit different than any bayer array sensor out there. Fuji indeed uses Sony sensors for their entry level cameras without X-Trans sensors, though.

    Also, as for high ISO - it's true that any manufacturer measures it differently. DxO compensates for that, though, so the DxOmark ISO score is comparable between systems.

    Unfortuantely, DxO didn't test newer Fuji cameras. The newest they've tested is the old X100, which is actually worse than the Sony cameras at high ISO. However, I'm not sure whether the old X100 uses a X-Trans sensor.

    All in all, the advantage Fuji has at high ISO is minimal, though. Getting a super fast lens definitely will make a much bigger difference. And as we're at it, I still can recommend the Mitakon 35mm T/0.95 - it's a really sweet lens for its price.
     
  18. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    The X100 uses the old Bayer and it's only 12.3MP
     
  19. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    The resolution has not much to do with the high ISO capability. But yeah, I thought it uses an old sensor. DxO seems not to test any X-Trans sensors anyway, unfortunately.
     
  20. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin

    The sensor may indeed be made by Sony but the Trans-X uses a different CFA overloading the green and has no AA filter. To my eye the Fuji images look pretty good. In fact they look a little better than my 5n. It's not a huge difference but it is noticeable enough for me to consider buying one to play with. The big draw however is that the controls are very reminiscent of my film cameras and I find that appealing. When I do get the Fuji it will simply be another camera body. I might like and I might not.

    A few years ago I had a Fuji X10 and loved that camera. I had to rid of it but I have really missed it. Having it didn't mean I wanted to ditch the 5n and there were some things that I liked better on the Fuji. I must have twenty different film bodies. In the end it's about whatever tool gets the image. My 5n works great for me but no tool is perfect. I don't just have one size (or brand) of wrench in my tool box. Why should it be that way with this?
     
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