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Archive 2013 · Which system should I buy into as a fresh start? (Nikon/C...
  
 
mattblair
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Which system should I buy into as a fresh start? (Nikon/Canon/Fuji)


As a bit of history, I shot in nightclubs for probably about 18 months solid and really burnt myself out in terms of photography. So I sold all my gear (Canon 5d2 35/2 50/1.8 85/1.8) and shot film. It was refreshing but now I'm ready to get back into digital! I'm done with the night club stuff but what I really want to concentrate on is portraits, weddings and street shooting in my spare time.

What I'm looking for is a system to buy into - my choices at the minute are a Canon 6D and a Sigma 35/1.4, a Nikon d600 and a Sigma 35/1.4 or a Fuji X Pro1(/ XE-1) and the 35/1.4 and 18/2. They are all the same price to start with so that isn't really a factor and ideally I'd like to build up a similar kit to my last but preferably with less low end glass.

For the kind of photography I want to do it seems like the Canon/Nikon would excel at the portraits and weddings (although I'm not sure which would win there) and the Fuji for street shooting but I'd really love some opinions on what you guys think! Would the Fuji be lacking for more professional work? Is there any clear winner with 6d vs d600? Any other input is much appreciated. As I said - I'm also looking for a complete system to buy into rather than which body is best right now.

As a side note - ability to produce decent video files is a plus.

Cheers,

Matt



Aug 06, 2013 at 08:55 AM
Alan321
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Which system should I buy into as a fresh start? (Nikon/Canon/Fuji)


Welcome to FM.

Choosing a system to buy into is a tough call. Chances are that you will never use the whole of either system, and with that in mind it's harder for others to advise you which way to go.

My impression is that at the moment Nikon has the camera advantage, after years of Canon having the advantage. It will turn surely around again in future - more than once.

The one lens you have chosen to start with (the Sigma 35 f/1.4) is very good but is not in either system. That in itself should tell you something about perfect each system is not.

If you were to buy manual focus lenses such as zeiss, etc., then it might help to know that Nikon-mount lenses can be adapted to fit on Canon cameras far more successfully than going the other way.

The D600 takes good images but is smaller and less customisable than the D800. No matter how good the images may be, if you cannot use it comfortably then you may not use it as much as you otherwise would.

Nothing says you must use one system or the other; you could use both. I've got Canon and Nikon cameras and lenses as well as third party lenses. For some stuff Canon lenses are superior and for other stuff the Nikon lenses are superior. e.g if you "need" a 17mm TS-E lens then you need Canon.


Will you be shooting for work ? or for pleasure ? If it is for work then you may well burn out again and so you might consider which system sells better second-hand. If it is for pleasure then get whatever gear works best for your needs as they arise regardless of the system.

I doubt that this has clarified anything for you but it might give you a different perspective.

- Alan



Aug 06, 2013 at 10:55 AM
fotografur
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Which system should I buy into as a fresh start? (Nikon/Canon/Fuji)


That's such a personal decision. You have to go with what you're comfortable with.




Aug 06, 2013 at 11:08 AM
RCicala
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Which system should I buy into as a fresh start? (Nikon/Canon/Fuji)


The cameras are all so good theses days (none perfect, of course) that I think one of the most important things is simply to put them in your hands and see how they feel. Many people find one set of menus/buttons seems more intuitive than another, others (I'm one) find certain bodies are just uncomfortable in the hand.

The second thing in my opinion is is there a certain lens that will be a 'go to' for you. Obviously the Sigma 35 is a marvelous choice on either system. For what you plan on shooting I think either system will have you covered with excellent lenses, although Nikon offers somewhat better wide angles and Canon better macros and tilt-shifts.

Last thing I consider (although not many do) is service and QA. Canon has the edge there right now in the U. S. where I am, but I understand that is not the case in the U. K.



Aug 06, 2013 at 12:28 PM
Beni
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Which system should I buy into as a fresh start? (Nikon/Canon/Fuji)


Keep in mind also that there is not equivalent to the 35mm 1.4 FOV and speed for the Fuji as far as I know. The 35mm on that system is a normal lens not a moderate wide.


Aug 06, 2013 at 12:39 PM
ggreene
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Which system should I buy into as a fresh start? (Nikon/Canon/Fuji)


If you really like the shallow depth of field look Canon does have the 50 and 85 1.2 primes. They also have speedlights with built in radio control which are nice if you are doing a lot of mobile portrait sessions.


Aug 06, 2013 at 01:07 PM
SKumar25
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Which system should I buy into as a fresh start? (Nikon/Canon/Fuji)


If photography is a hobby, then go to a shop and have a play, and pick the one you like. Can't go wrong with any of the options, all have pluses and minuses.

However, if you intend on doing any critical pro work, then I'd advise you to go with a DSLR. There is a performance and ergonomic advantage, backed by a superior system.

Canon vs Nikon? If you have specific requirements, then you may sway one way or the other, but again have a play with both, and decide on the body you like. Both systems are good, ultimately these are just tools, people are making beautiful photos with both.

Good luck.



Aug 06, 2013 at 01:25 PM
markshelby
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Which system should I buy into as a fresh start? (Nikon/Canon/Fuji)


I'll go ahead and recommend going with either Canon or Nikon.

The 6D is a lot like your 5mkii; it's a little bit better in almost every respect technically, and a little smaller and lighter. The downsides are it doesn't have quite the same expensive-feeling heft (partially because the wifi antenna necessitated a plastic top piece) and it doesn't take Compact Flash.

I don't know much about Nikon. I like Canon's lenses, but I'm not sure there's really a difference until you get to the really big glass (and half my lenses are Sigma anyway).



Aug 06, 2013 at 01:50 PM
OntheRez
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Which system should I buy into as a fresh start? (Nikon/Canon/Fuji)


Virtually all modern DSLRs are superb devices capable of doing things we couldn't even dream of in the film era. While their capabilities vary and each brand has strength and weakness, you really can't go wrong with any system. Either of the systems mentioned are quite likely - at this point - capable of more than your current skill level. You have room to improve. Canon has a greater lens selection, Nikon at this moment seems ahead in sensor technology. The high end Sony's have perhaps the best sensors.

Pick up and handle each candidate. Whatever feels best to your hand and eye is the correct system. After that everything is just various opinions.

Also, the other formats MFT, Sony, Fuji, etc., can be very attractive if you are looking for discrete and highly portable cameras. My only advice is to buy more camera than you currently think you need. Your skill will grow.

Robert



Aug 06, 2013 at 01:50 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Which system should I buy into as a fresh start? (Nikon/Canon/Fuji)


I'll go out on a limb and say that Canon has better lenses for portrait and wedding types of photography. For example: the 50/1.2L, 85/1.2L, 135/2L, 70-200/2.8L IS, the new highly praised 24-70/2.8L II -- along with the Sigma 35/1.4 you are already considering.

You may not be in the market for all these lenses! But any one of them would be a terrific addition.

Personally, the 50/1.2L lens is one of my favorites for general photography. You might do best with the 85/1.2L matched to your 35/1.4.



Aug 06, 2013 at 02:12 PM
 

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Daan B
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Which system should I buy into as a fresh start? (Nikon/Canon/Fuji)


mattblair wrote:
I'm done with the night club stuff but what I really want to concentrate on is portraits, weddings and street shooting in my spare time.


Weddings in your spare time... not sure how to interpret that. Payed gigs for clients or just some fooling around at a friends or relatives wedding?

For payed gigs I would advice to get at least two bodies, flashguns and a set of lenses that also can act as a double. Otherwise all stuff can do the works.



Aug 06, 2013 at 02:19 PM
mattblair
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Which system should I buy into as a fresh start? (Nikon/Canon/Fuji)


Thanks for all the great replies guys! I'll try to clear up as much as possible here from the questions you've all asked.
Alan321 wrote:
Will you be shooting for work ? or for pleasure ? If it is for work then you may well burn out again and so you might consider which system sells better second-hand. If it is for pleasure then get whatever gear works best for your needs as they arise regardless of the system.



A mix of work and pleasure. I now have a cushy desk job that pays better than the nightclubs ever did and also afford me more free time! The portraits and weddings are something I'd like to branch into as a sideline business and the street is for pleasure.

SKumar25 wrote:
However, if you intend on doing any critical pro work, then I'd advise you to go with a DSLR. There is a performance and ergonomic advantage, backed by a superior system.


I did think that if I wanted to at some point branch into professional work, the likes of the smaller Fuji system might not cut it.

Daan B wrote:
Weddings in your spare time... not sure how to interpret that. Payed gigs for clients or just some fooling around at a friends or relatives wedding?

For payed gigs I would advice to get at least two bodies, flashguns and a set of lenses that also can act as a double. Otherwise all stuff can do the works.


I think I phrased that poorly! I'd like to shoot street in my spare time and the other stuff would be as 'work' as such. Obviously nothing crazy but like everyone else to hold a camera I have dreams to shoot full time - Maybe shooting 1 wedding a year at the start could turn into a viable business? Maybe not but not doing any has a 100% failure rate!



I fully appreciate the time you have all taken to reply! Thanks




Aug 06, 2013 at 02:28 PM
Daan B
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Which system should I buy into as a fresh start? (Nikon/Canon/Fuji)


mattblair wrote:
I think I phrased that poorly! I'd like to shoot street in my spare time and the other stuff would be as 'work' as such. Obviously nothing crazy but like everyone else to hold a camera I have dreams to shoot full time - Maybe shooting 1 wedding a year at the start could turn into a viable business? Maybe not but not doing any has a 100% failure rate!


Thanks for clearing that up. If done as work I see no other alternative than using DSLR's. These systems are the most complete and fully matured. For every situation there is a specific tool. Wether that should be Nikon or Canon is purely a question of personal preference. I suggest trying out both systems in the shop to see where they differ and how that matters to you. And budget plays a role too I imagine. If doing weddings seriously, you have tot have back-ups of ALL your gear IMHO. That's a big investment. Which doesn't matter if you do lots of weddings...



Aug 06, 2013 at 02:55 PM
BenV
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Which system should I buy into as a fresh start? (Nikon/Canon/Fuji)


Go to a local camera store, pick both bodies up, see which one feels better. Enjoy shooting.


Aug 06, 2013 at 03:10 PM
timpdx
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Which system should I buy into as a fresh start? (Nikon/Canon/Fuji)


Or rent a C and N body with your chosen lens and try them out for a weekend each. Much better way to get a feel for each and gives your the chance to review the files, too. The online lens rental services also rent bodies.


Aug 06, 2013 at 03:24 PM
johnctharp
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Which system should I buy into as a fresh start? (Nikon/Canon/Fuji)


BenV wrote:
Go to a local camera store, pick both bodies up, see which one feels better. Enjoy shooting.


I'll add this- I did definitely enjoy the ergonomics of Nikon's semi-pro cameras when I picked them up in store. Very natural to use in full manual, though my previous 60D and current 6D come close, and a 5D III would likely be even better.

But for lenses? Canon all the way, unless you really want Nikon's 14-24. Nothing will beat the combination of optical quality and autofocus speed and accuracy of Canon's Mk. II lenses, and the otherwise troublesome 85/1.2L/II seems to have much better autofocus performance on Canon's current full-frame cameras (6D, 5D III, 1D X).

Grabbing the 35L, 85L, and 135L setup would probably work very well, or a 24-70/2.8L II + 70-200/2.8L IS II combination, and neither could be matched by Nikon, and definitely not by Fuji, as nice as Fuji's sensor and lenses are.

Also, the 6D doesn't feel as 'solid' as the 5D III? Have you seriously picked one up? Yeah, it's smaller and lighter, but it's no less solid- do you use the top plate as a hand grip?!?



Aug 06, 2013 at 03:28 PM
surf monkey
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Which system should I buy into as a fresh start? (Nikon/Canon/Fuji)


Regardless of whether or not redundancy is "necessary" for weddings, you'll need more gear than a DSLR with a 35mm lens. Among "must-haves" are a quality flash, wide angle lens for group shots, and a telephoto for close-ups.
If you plan on using only one body for weddings, you'll probably find switching lenses troublesome and should consider a 24-70 2.8 to cover most shots.
Also 35mm lenses aren't the best starter lenses for portraiture and street photography. 85mm works better for most photographers. This is not to say that 35mm isn't a valuable and versatile focal length - it's one of favorites.

Sidenote: it might be wise to get your feet wet by being second shooter for an experienced photographer. That way you can learn what you need without the pressure of getting all the shots and the initial outlay for equipment can be less.



Aug 09, 2013 at 05:38 PM
lukeb
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Which system should I buy into as a fresh start? (Nikon/Canon/Fuji)


timpdx wrote:
Or rent a C and N body with your chosen lens and try them out for a weekend each. Much better way to get a feel for each and gives your the chance to review the files, too. The online lens rental services also rent bodies.


+1



Aug 09, 2013 at 05:50 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Which system should I buy into as a fresh start? (Nikon/Canon/Fuji)


I shoot a Canon 5D2 and a Fujifilm X-E1. (The latter, for Canon shooters who may not know, is very similar to the X-Pro1 that the OP mentions.)

Any of these cameras can be used to do "professional work" (whatever that means...) but the DSLR and digital rangefinder-style/mirrorless cameras are suited to quite different purposes. In general, your DSLR is a more flexible camera, adapting to a wider range of shooting situations.

If you are really about street shooting, there are reasons to think about the several Fujifilm options. The XPro1 does have an optical viewfinder and an electronic viewfinder, with the attendant advantages and disadvantages of each. If you are happy with the electronic viewfinder, consider the X-E1. Many XPro1 users report that they use the optical viewfinder less and the electronic viewfinder more than they expected - and the electronic viewfinder, despite being slightly slower, is quite decent, displays more information, and adapts to a wider range of lenses. On the other hand, if you want to lean more toward traditional street photography, theX100s with its fixed 35mm-equivalent focal length is the fastest and most responsive of the bunch.

However, if I were getting a camera specifically for portrait and wedding shooting (rather than, say, street and travel photography) I would prefer a DSLR with a zoom lens over the Fujifilm camera. I know there is a certain romance to using primes - you'll get over it! - but you can produce truly excellent image quality with good zooms and they adapt much more readily to varying and changing shooting circumstance that you'll like encounter at weddings. You could always augment a zoom with a couple of inexpensive non-L primes for special situations.

As to whether you should get Nikon or Canon, flip a coin. Both are excellent, and while various partisans will argue vehemently for their brand - whichever one it happens to be! - great photography is made with both and no one will be able to tell the difference.

The point made earlier about redundancy is critical. If you seriously contemplate doing wedding photography, you have to understand that your clients are putting a very great deal of trust in you. The wedding happens only once, and many things occur quickly and cannot easily be redone. Unless you aspire to be an "Uncle Bob" type of wedding photographer who works on a low budget and for a low price and who is comfortable with telling the clients, "Oops. My camera is busted and I can't photograph today's wedding after all," or "Oops, my one lens was broken and all of the photographs are out of focus."

At a bare minimum, you need to:

- be equipped to cover a wide range of circumstance and to respond to them quickly. A single 35mm lens on one camera does not meet that standard.

- know weddings quite well, so that you know the must-have shots, how to interact with clients quickly and effectively, and more.

- that your gear is reliable and redundant enough that you will never leave clients in the lurch because of an equipment failure.

You won't be able to do that with a single body and one 35mm prime.

Dan

mattblair wrote:
As a bit of history, I shot in nightclubs for probably about 18 months solid and really burnt myself out in terms of photography. So I sold all my gear (Canon 5d2 35/2 50/1.8 85/1.8) and shot film. It was refreshing but now I'm ready to get back into digital! I'm done with the night club stuff but what I really want to concentrate on is portraits, weddings and street shooting in my spare time.

What I'm looking for is a system to buy into - my choices at the minute are a Canon 6D and a Sigma 35/1.4, a Nikon
...Show more



Aug 09, 2013 at 10:09 PM
ggreene
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Which system should I buy into as a fresh start? (Nikon/Canon/Fuji)


gdanmitchell wrote:
- that your gear is reliable and redundant enough that you will never leave clients in the lurch because of an equipment failure.


In regards to redundancy I would say try to have your backup bodies be the same user interface as your main body. I don't do weddings professionally but did a couple last year as gifts to friends. I felt pretty vulnerable with a 1D4/1D2 combo as the user interface is much different. I refreshed my memory on it but it's not the same as using a particular body day in and day out. Events are pretty dynamic and many times you don't have a lot of time to capture key moments if you are trying to remember a setting you need adjust.

Fortunately for me the 1D4 held up fine but gear fails and you have to be prepared for it especially if someone is paying you good money to capture those critical moments.



Aug 09, 2013 at 11:47 PM
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