Saturday, February 8, 2014

Thought of the Day: Fuji X-T1 or Nikon Df

Fujifilm and Nikon have both introduced retro-SLR-styled digital cameras. Fuji's X-T1 has a 16 megapixel APS-C sized sensor while Nikon's Df has a 16 megapixel full-frame sensor. So which is better? Which should you buy?

While initially the two cameras seem similar and seem to be marketed to the same group, they're actually quite different. They seem similar because they're both styled like an old film SLR camera with manual knobs on the top. They both deliver exceptional image quality. But that's where the similarities end.

The first difference is that the X-T1 is a compact interchangeable-lens camera, while the Nikon Df is an actual DSLR. The Fuji camera is much smaller and lighter than the Nikon. Despite Fuji's improvements in speed, the Nikon is the overall faster camera. That's just the nature of those two camera types.

Another difference is in image quality. At low ISO the two cameras will have basically the same image quality, but at high ISO one simply cannot beat the Df with any camera. Now the X-T1 is excellent at high ISO for an APS-C sized sensor, but, simply put, the Df is significantly better. At low ISO, the Df might have a small advantage in dynamic range, but not likely enough to make any real-world difference.

Fuji included HD video on the X-T1 while Nikon left video completely off of the Df. Personally, I think that gives the Df an advantage because the video stuff sometimes gets in the way of the still image stuff on digital cameras. I don't shoot much video on my digital cameras, so I don't really want or need it. However, I think most people like having the video capabilities, so most would give the X-T1 the advantage here.

From what I've heard, photographers seem to like the feel and layout of the X-T1 over the Df. There is apparently some awkwardness to Nikon's design.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the two cameras is the MSRP. The Df will cost you about two-and-a-half times as much as the X-T1. That's huge! You could buy the Fuji camera plus a couple of high quality lenses for the same price as the Df body with no lenses.

If you are considering the two cameras, it may come down to high ISO performance. Do you photograph a lot in dark situations? If so, you may find the much higher price of the Nikon to be worth it. If not, the Fuji is probably the camera to choose.

Either way, be careful to not have GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome).

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