Some thoughts about Camera Choice while Painfully Waiting for Fujiflim X100s

August 01, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Fujiflim X100s

I can't wait to try this beautiful camera...but the waiting seems endless. One friend asked me why I fell love with this non-cheap camera which only has one fixed focal length lens. Well, it is totally reasonable that some people prefer the flexibility. The choice really depends on what you want from a camera. There are hundreds of cameras available in the market, tailored for different target buyers. So let's have  a talk about camera choices.

The first suggestion is to really think about the reason why you buy a camera.

If one just wants to take casual snapshots, I won't even think a camera is necessary. Use your cell phone. They are pretty good in this way. Various smartphone apps are available to boost your pictures. They can be creative and great enough with help of those apps. 

More commonly, people approach me and ask "hey, I'm thinking to learn photography, but I'd rather have a try first. Which camera do you recommend?"

Previously, perhaps two years ago, I would say "go ahead and pick one low-end DSLR camera." Which brand, Canon or Nikon or others? Well, it doesn't matter a lot at this level frankly. It depends on which system you'd like to go with, your budget, and deals available in the market.

I didn't prefer Nikon over Canon when I considered buying my first DSLR camera. I was lucky enough to avoid this pain because my first DSLR camera was given as a gift. It was Nikon D80 with 18-135mm lens. A wonderful camera with a not that good lens, but the focal length range pretty much covers my needs, which helps my practice a lot. My Nikon D80 stayed with me for 5 years before I switched to a higher end camera. I got used to Nikon system, and more Nikon lenses and accessories were bought during that time. I enjoy taking pictures, and I confirmed myself that I would like to jump on board seriously. It is a quite natural process for me to end up with my Nikon D800 now.

Then why "previously?"

Things become more complicated when mirror-less cameras emerged. They deliver equivalent image quality to low-end DSLR camera, well even much better...They are smaller, lighter and no more too bulky to carry around. Also, they are playful enough because many of them are lens-interchangeable like DSLR cameras. With proper accessories, we can even play with great lenses like Leica and Voigtländer on those cameras. 

So how to choose? I will suggest buying a mirror-less camera if one has no budget constrain. Why? Because most of DSLR camera owners are dreaming of a nice, small and high quality camera allowing them to carry around... You will ultimately buy a mirror-less camera or even more than one when you find your true passion in photography.

The biggest backdrop of mirror-less cameras is the high price. The DSLR camera technology has pretty much matured, while mirror-less camera's is still developing. We can see a substantial price difference between these two types of cameras. Prices do mater especially for people who just plan to have a try. In addition, lens prices of mirror-less camera are not cheap at all. One possible solution is not to buy the latest model, but the previous version. The prices usually drop a lot when new versions released.

Coming back to the Fujiflim x100s. Why Fujiflim x100s, and why a fixed focal length? Because I'm looking for an alternative. It is not my first camera, even not my first mirror-less camera and unfortunately it is unlikely to be the last one. It is enjoyable to shoot with a fixed focal length lens. You will find out the fun if you try. Personally, I love this little pancake-like lens very much. For some reasons, it bothers me a lot when a slim mirror-less camera body carries a bulky and long lens. I'd rather use my solid D800 in this case.

Of course, I will never mention it to someone who is selecting first serious camera and relies on it to decide whether s/he will continue investing to photography. Make an economically rational decision! 


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