Multiple cameras - how do you decide?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Hyubie, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Hyubie

    Hyubie FujiXspot Veteran

    Feb 4, 2013
    Weymouth, MA
    As some of you might know, I have tried a few cameras ever since joining a few of Amin's photo sites. :D However, I do not shoot 24/7 (or even 12/7, 8/5, maybe not even 4/2 :D), so my demands are not that great. I suspect a lot of us are in the same boat. My question to the more experienced members who maintain multiple cameras/systems is: how do you decide which one to bring/use?

    That was my initial dilemma when I had an m43 camera and an X10. I enjoyed the X10 very much, but I believe the m43 is more capable given its lens line up. I was thinking that for family trips and everyday use and such, I was going to use the X10. But then I also thought the m43 is too expensive to maintain for those few times I was planning to use it: indoors/low light (which X10's EXR mode sometimes is up to par with, at least to my taste) and my attempts at artsy-non-snapshots images. I have the O9-18, P20 and O45, plus a manual focus 85 -- all of which covers most of the focal length I generally use.

    I suspect it will be the same dilemma if/when I get the X20, but I do miss Fuji's IQ and the convenience of not changing lens in the middle of a mountain climb or some such. Sometimes I'm afraid it just boils down to my laziness/convenience. :D If I am going to bring both, to me that just defeats the purpose of the thing - I need a capable but very compact camera/system. (And I have tried bringing more than one camera - it's just not for me.)

    Your thoughts?
  2. BigTam

    BigTam FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 5, 2013
    Dortmund, Germany
    I got the X100 for its retro looks and manual controls. Almost immediately, I left the D7000 and multiple heavy lenses at home most of the time.

    I find the 35mm-e focal length very useful: not too long, not too wide. And the discipline of moving to get the right framing instructive.

    I shot almost exclusively with the Fuji for over a year, and while I really like my Olympus E-M5, I don't think I would take worse photos if I only had the X100.

    I haven't tried the X10/20, but the X100 would appear to be better indoors in low light. So if you can live with the single focal length - and it does focus(!) your vision, go for the X100(s).
  3. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 1, 2013
    Jersey Shore
    Hyubie... I understand that you don't want to own too many cameras given that you aren't a heavy shooter. But, as Kirk Tuck says, there's no law that says you can only own one cool camera. You say you have a few micro four-thirds lenses. But do you still have a micro four-thirds camera? I'm not clear on that. But, nonetheless, I really don't think it would be overkill if you owned something like an Olympus E-PL5 or E-PM2 and a Fuji X-20. You could switch out when the mood suited you. Sometimes, bringing multiple lenses is fine and sometimes you just want to keep it simple with a compact zoom. Since it appears you have three primes and one zoom for micro four thirds, I'd make sure you have a camera that works comfortably with your Zuiko 9-18. Me, I'm a bit crazy. I run a Pentax DSLR system, a micro four-thirds kit and I'm still looking to get a Fuji X100s and/or an X20. But I'm not saying you should load up anything close to that. Two cameras might work nicely for you. E-PM2's aren't that expensive, either.
  4. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 2, 2013
    I own a ton of gear ... too much, I confess. Still, my personal philosophy is that I should sell a camera, lens, flash, or other piece of kit if I haven't used it in the last 6 months and the resale value exceeds the value I personally feel I get from using the gear in question.

    For example, I'm in the process of selling some (not all) of my DSLR gear because I haven't used it enough in the last few months and I'd get less satisfaction from using it than I'd get from the money I'd make selling it.

    As Biro said, there's no law restricting you to a single camera, so I would only feel bad about keeping multiple cameras/lenses if they're just collecting dust and not being used for photography.
  5. Luke

    Luke FujiXspot Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 31, 2013
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    I struggle with the same thing Hyubie. I'm pretty focused in my life to not be wasteful and if I don't have a justification or use for something, I get rid of it. Finally, I think I have it down to what I can enjoy and use. But for me, that means 2 different set-ups. I have a fixed single focal length cam (when it gets released) and I have a small m43 set-up for when I need more reach or better macro capability. If I had the set-up you are considering, I'm not sure how I would differentiate which one to grab. Because they are more or less the same focal lengths.

    I would tend to grab the Fuji more often if it were me because I'm just not that into changing lenses all the time. But then I'd want the bigger sensor for other things. (insert the image of devil and angel smilie riding the see-saw here)
  6. afkenner

    afkenner FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 3, 2013
    New York
    I need two setups to satisfy my photo cravings. A full SLR rig for portraits, studio work, shooting long lens sports and stage performances in low light with fast glass, and just because a big heavy camera with all the trimmings is fun to use when any situation calls for it. A small, fast compact for street shooting, travel, landscape, walkaround. The X100 suits me perfectly for that second purpose, nothing else I have used comes close.
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    i don't have any real system. I choose whatever suits what I want to do. If I am traveling the main thing I want is simplicity. When I travel I like to move fast and light so the X10 is ideal. If I'm strolling around the neighborhood I'll grab the NEX and whatever lens I feel like playing with. For daily use the most often X10 because it's versatile and it's simpler to deal with varied conditions without changing lenses all the time.
  8. kwaphoto

    kwaphoto FujiXspot Rookie

    Feb 3, 2013
    I used to lug an SLR with me everywhere. Then DSLR's starting in 2002. I eventually moved to m4/3 and have been a Fuji guy since the X100 in Nov 2011. It's been my favorite companion. I also added the X10 as the OP was asking about.

    I find the X100 + X10 to be an ideal combo for me for travel. Some examples of my use based upon what you stated you use yours for, family photos and casual imaging:

    - Family daytime trip to the mountains (live in Colorado) = X10
    - Anytime I'm out and about during the day = X10 (and iPhone 4s)
    - A walk a dusk/night = X100
    - taking the kids trick-or-treating at dusk = X100
    - Museum trip = X100
    - Street photography = either one depending on mood, usually X100
    - dim receptions, dinner, parties, etc. = X100
    - Last family trip to Disneyland = X100 / X10 (95% / 5% use).

    I also did add an X-S1 to tele work in good light (think kids soccer, zoo, nature, wildlife, etc.). I strongly prefer the X10 and X100.
  9. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jan 31, 2013
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I usually just rotate them. Use one a few times, then another. After a while, the guilt of owning too many systems gets me, and I sell or give away some cameras/lenses and end up with fewer. Now I have websites for Fuji, Sony, and MFTs, so I'm having an internal dialogue about whether that means I should allow myself to own and use all three systems without guilt. I do like them all!
  10. TheKeddi

    TheKeddi FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 2, 2013
    I wonder what makes us feel guilty for owning more than one camera? Is it the forum comments or money or because more than one may be gathering dust?

    i figure we should enjoy the fact that we are able to own what ever cameras we are able to and not feel guilty about it at all!
  11. Hyubie

    Hyubie FujiXspot Veteran

    Feb 4, 2013
    Weymouth, MA
    That (in bold) is exactly my dilemma -- but I find I don't need any other focal lengths outside of this range.

    I have thought about that - a full-frame and m43 or X10. BUT, I realized that for my needs the full-frame is a bit too much. I really am not planning to earn at all from photography, and my thinking is I don't need that resolving power unless someone will pay for it. :) Additionally, whenever I really feel the need for bokeh, why, there's Alien Skin. :D I'm thinking something like the OM-D will be more than enough for me.

    This is a good guide. Might think about something like this.

    In case you're in the mood for giving away another one, have it go my way. I can also pick up. Haha! :D But rotating them might also be a good idea. I guess I'm just trying to justify having at least two of what I want (and believe me, I think I want them all!)
  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    You know I could use only one camera. I don't think I could choose between between my NEX and Fuji but if I only had one that would be fine too. I'd make it work with whatever I had. I like to play to a cameras strengths and avoid what it does not do well. That's why I use MF on my NEX 99% of the time. Don't ask it to do what it doesn't do well and you won't be disappointed...or perhaps better...ask it to do what it DOES do well and you'll always be pleased.
  13. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jan 31, 2013
    Boston, MA (USA)
    For me it's money and dust gathering. I agree though - we should let go of the guilt!
  14. Richard

    Richard FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    A friend of mine is a keen cyclist, and owns at least three bicycles to my knowledge; his best Italian racing bike for road use on fine days, his previous racing bike for when it's wet and a mountain bike for going off-road. I think there might be a fourth in bits in the shed too. He has only the one backside, so can only use one machine at a time, but cycling is his passion and what makes him 'tick', so why feel guilty about owning several expensive bikes? (his wife has a view on that, which I shall ignore here)

    I think it's the same with any hobby - owning the kit and planning one's next purchase is all part of the fun.

  15. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. FujiXspot Veteran

    Jan 31, 2013
    Albuquerque, NM
    Which one to bring?? I don't shoot for a living either, but I do have some ongoing photo projects, and whether or not I'm going to be out pursuing one of those can narrow down the field. If I'm going out to the canyons to shoot petroglyphs I usually bring the E-M5 and the Hasselblad with a bunch of lenses, tripod, etc. and resign myself to hiking with a weighty backpack. If I'm just going out to run errands or for nothing in particular I take the X-10 usually and maybe one of the small film rangefinders, the Olympus XA. Together they take up less room than the OMD with a couple of primes or with the kit lens. Other days there is just a particular camera I want to shoot with, whether it be film or digital. If I haven't used something for a while I will probably at some point just get the itch to use it again. If I'm going out "to shoot" the E-M5 is my go to digital camera, the Bessa R my film choice, but I actually have the X10 on me more these days. My Hasselbald, with three nice lenses, is one of my favorite camera systems; it gets less use than those that are easier to carry around, but I wouldn't get rid of it for the world. When it is what is needed or wanted, nothing else will really satisfy me. And then there is the experience of shooting it, different from the other systems I use -- and fun.

    I use and like all my cameras. No, I do not NEED them all, but I don't need to do photography at all, except I'd be unhappy if I didn't. So... not very helpfully I realize, I have to say "I bring the one I want to use that day" in the knowledge that the others will inevitably get their turn.
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  16. nianys

    nianys FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 6, 2013
    Amin I think thru your various websites you've gained in depth knowledge and understanding in all mirrorless systems and I wouldn't feel ANY guilt whatsoever owing and using all those you like. If I wouldn't mind immobilizing some money I could have a GX-1 + PL25, my X10, an X-E1 for kicks, and the NEX 7 + legacy glass and the SEL 35. I also have a D90 I don't use but will keep. Right now the X10 and NEX are my two main cameras, but I see myself flirting with Fuji further in the future.
  17. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 1, 2013
    I agree! And yet, I fail.
  18. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 1, 2013
    I used to make a decision about the kind of photography I would be doing before going out, and take whichever camera seemed appropriate. If I couldn't decide, I would find myself taking everything (two bags worth)... and you know what? Most of the time, it would be either the X100 or the XZ-1 I would take out to use. So... I keep those in one bag all the time, and the DSLR kit in the other.
  19. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 1, 2013
    Jersey Shore
    Unless I know that I have some specialized need (an ultra-wide or ultra-long lens, or perhaps low-light work) I usually just rotate my camera gear or go with whatever strikes me at the moment. But having a Pentax DSLR kit, a micro four-thirds kit and a couple of compacts does keep me from getting bored. It also allows me to have current, multi-system experience that gives me the ability to contribute in some small way to forums like these. I don't feel guilty for owning as much gear as I do, but I do feel a bit bad if any particular piece goes without being used for too long. Like Amin, I tend to give away a lot of my unused stuff to deserving relatives and friends.
  20. yorik

    yorik FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 1, 2013
    Northern California
    Exactly - The planning is almost as much fun as the having (almost).