Back again... and why I preferred the X-Pro1 over the Nikon D800

Discussion in 'Welcomes and Introductions' started by pniev, May 14, 2013.

  1. pniev

    pniev FujiXspot Veteran

    489
    May 13, 2013
    Hello everyone,

    I am sorry for being offline for some time but I am back. A bit wiser, I hope. I missed the forum!

    I've used some time to select my main camera to use. Calumet Photo in the Netherlands was so kind to give me a Nikon D800E, the X-Pro1 and the X-E1 for testing and comparison for a week. I used a 50mm 1.4 lens and an old 70-210 zoomlens on the Nikon and the 18-55 zoomlens on the XP1/XE1. I did not want to make this an "all-equal" comparison. I wanted to use the cameras as I would use them day-to-day (I would also not take a couple of cylinders out of a Ferrari to make it comparable to a Fiat 500). I wanted to check if the extra resolution of the D800E was worth the extra money, size, and weight. I also wanted to check if the Hybrid viewfinder of the XP1 was worth the extra investment compared to XE1.

    To start with the XP1 vs. the XE1. I found the XE1 a true joy to use and surprisingly comfortable. The distance between the bottom left corner of the camera and the lens was just right for my left hand to hold the camera comfortably and use the aperture and zoom ring. I don't have small hands but the XP1 was less comfortable in that respect. So the XE1 is a clear winner in terms of size, weight, and stability. However, I just could not see anything with the EVF in bright sunlight. I was definitely prepared to exchange the rangefinder-feeling for the ease-of-use otherwise. But shooting in bright sunlight with the EVF was too much of a challenge. Holding my hand over my eyes and EVF did help but I don't like shooting with one hand. Conclusion: No X-E1. Or any other EVF-camera for that matter.

    Then XP1 vs. D800(E). That one was tough.... The D800 is incredibly comfortable to use. Every button is at the right place. No need to take you eye of the viewfinder to change a setting that matters. The AF worked brilliantly for me. It is noticeable that years of experience are used to build the product.

    What about IQ (in terms of resolution, dynamic range, noise, white balance, color accuracy)? To me the results were surprisingly comparable! The differences mostly related to the resolution when I zoomed in to 100%, which is not really surprising. With the D800E I could read license plates, see the details in the tree limbs, and see the details in green bushes. Not so with the Xp1. As said, not surprising. I also found that you can easily use the D800E without a tripod and get great results (this was important to me because I always have to shoot quickly during vacations to please the family members). The only thing that annoyed me was the sound of the shutter. It sounds like a firing machine gun (just to be clear: I don't have one).

    The key question of course is: is the extra resolution worth the extra cost, size and weight. My answer was NO. A3 print size suffices for me. And I don't like cropping. Differences are only visible when you view at 100%, crop or print at A2 size. I hardly could see differences on my 30" EIZO screen when I compared photos at the same size. In some cases, the XP1 looked more pleasant.

    An then there was the FUN factor. The XP1 is so much fun to use. Dials for aperture, shutter speed, and exposure compensation: I love it! I love the OVF. And above all, the camera makes me more relaxed in taking photos. It makes the moment more enjoyable.

    Of course, it crossed my mind that a new X-Pro is on the horizon but it seems to be unlikely that the camera will include a new (FF) sensor. If the XP2 shows the same changes as we've seen (focus peaking, faster AF) the XP1 is enough for me. For now.

    A couple of other things surprised me:

    1. Shooting red roses is a great way to compare the jpeg OOC results with Raw. The differences are remarkable. Whatever I did in LR, the Raw results were superior to the jpeg ones.

    2. I've learned to appreciate the versatility of the X20 during the process: OVF, excellent lens, perfect zoom range, nice IQ.

    3. I've rediscovered the primes and especially the 50mm equivalent range! I love the perspective of the 50mm.

    4. last-but-not-least. The old 70-210 Nikon zoomlens showed excellent results on the D800E! The colors were great and I was also impressed with the bokeh compared to the 18-55 on the XP1 (I compared them at 85mm equivalent focal length and one stop aperture difference).

    The new camera will arrive in 1-2 weeks with the 18-55 lens as a kit. Now I have to make my mind up with respect to other lenses.

    Peter
     
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  2. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 8, 2013
    NW corner of CT
    BB
    Good for you, Peter - how great to have had the use of those three cameras to check out!

    One of these days when my day to day life settles down, I'll have to get a hold of an X-P1 and check her out...but it might be dangerous to my pocketbook.

    Looking forward to enjoying your photos with your new addition!
     
  3. Luke

    Luke FujiXspot Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    855
    Jan 31, 2013
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Welcome back. informative post. Fuji, FTW!
     
  4. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2013
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Very interesting stuff... My trajectory was not that different, since I traded in my D700 for the X-E1. I am interested in your comment about the viewfinder being unusable in bright light. Do you wear spectacles? I have for years, and not had a problem with all sorts of viewfinders. I find that the X-E1 however is terrible in bright light. My solution has been to take my spectacles off and use the onboard dioptre correction - this puts my eye right up against the ocular. I am wondering if my choice of spectacle frame has a bearing (they are relatively new and not flexible, standing proud from my face) and also my being a left-eye shooter. In any event I have found a way forward but it is interesting to hear of others with the same problem.
     
  5. pniev

    pniev FujiXspot Veteran

    489
    May 13, 2013
    Thanks, Bill.

    Yes, I do wear spectacles but my wife and son had the same experience with the EVF of the X-E1 and they do not wear glasses. So it is not a spectacles thing. Initially I thought it was me but I asked some other people and they basically said that they "guess" when using an EVF.

    I think you found a clever solution! I should have thought about it! I thought about wearing a cap (which should be do-able with such a small camera) but at the end I decided against the EVF, partly to retain the rangefinder experience. I am curious if the new Olympus viewfinder for the PEN E-P5 will be better. I also looked for eyecaps and alikes but was not able to find anything.

    Are you aware of any external viewfinders that can be used with the XP1/XE1? If so, that may make it easier for me to buy the 55-200 lens.

    BTW: I should have added that Fuji's responsiveness to customers was another major reason for preferring the XP over the D800.

    Peter



     
  6. Gary

    Gary FujiXspot Top Veteran

    698
    Feb 15, 2013
    SoCal
    Gary
    Nice write-up Peter. We are in the same camp of 'if you need a computer to see a difference, then the difference is insignificant'. I haven't used ab XE-1, but I find no problem under the mid-day sun using the XP1 and X100S with spectacles. (The EVF in the OM-D is what sold me on EVF's.) I do suggest the Fuji grip for the XP1. I'm not big into ergonomics, to me a camera, is a camera, is a camera. While some cameras feel better than other cameras, once the camera is to my eye all I feel is the shutter release beneath my index finger ... but the grip has significantly improved the comfort and handling of the camera.

    Gary
     
  7. pniev

    pniev FujiXspot Veteran

    489
    May 13, 2013
    Thanks Gary, that is a very good suggestion! The Nikon's grip was much more comfortable than fuji's grip so this might just be the right solution. I will look for one!
    Part of the fun is to look for some nice accessoires now!
    Peter

     
  8. carlb

    carlb FujiXspot Veteran

    271
    Feb 6, 2013
    twin cities, minnesota
    Carl
    Hi Peter and Bill, I wear glasses too and on bright days need to address "into the sun" glare with either EVF or view screen.

    My solution is a cap with a bill, either a baseball cap or a crop-fertilizer cap being the usual ilk over here. I don't know if you have similar over there for euro-football or cricket teams or such, if so you can tilt them this way or that to keep out the sun while getting the shot.

    Granted, it's not my "look," but who cares? ;)

    <img src=http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_V2_uZANUM3A/TUJJSW5AOoI/AAAAAAAAEio/Vt920ndB2OM/s400/DSCN2869.JPG>

    OK, that particular cap might not be the best for shooting, heh!
     
  9. pniev

    pniev FujiXspot Veteran

    489
    May 13, 2013
    Looks cool! :cool:
     
  10. alanhli

    alanhli New to FujiXspot

    2
    Oct 1, 2013
    thanks for the info! i own the d800 as well deciding should i get a xpro1 for 2nd body! i rented the body for couple week for testing! i love the xpro 1. but surely it wouldn't replace my d800 ! Basicly i think those 2 camera are totally different! so what do you guys think? should i get the xpro1 or the xe-1?
     
  11. Gary

    Gary FujiXspot Top Veteran

    698
    Feb 15, 2013
    SoCal
    Gary
    The XE-1s (an upgrade to the XE-1) should be released soon, later this month I believe. I'd wait for that model. In the meantime play with the EVF/OVF of the XP1. If you find the OVF to be a piece of high tech you can't live without ... that will probably answer your question.

    Gary
     
  12. alanhli

    alanhli New to FujiXspot

    2
    Oct 1, 2013
    thanks so much i will get the xpro 1 tomorrow