Help! first timer! Fujifilm x100 vs nex-5N vs Canon 600D

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Jun Yoo, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Jun Yoo

    Jun Yoo SC Rookie

    10
    Jan 26, 2012
    Hi, I could really use your advice. Im a complete beginner to the art of photography and I am very keen to get into it. Ive only owned a compact camera till now and want to get a camera I can take photography seriously with. I was thinking of buying either a Sony Nex-5N or Fujifilm x100 or a Canon 600D/T3I. What would you recommend? I would love to get involved with landscape and food photography but also to be able to take it while travelling. your advice would be appreciated.
    Cheers.
     
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  2. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Real Name:
    Bill
    Oh no!!!

    (with all due respect!)













    ................

    go for an X10

    or an iXS-1 - if you have big pockets
     
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  3. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator Moderator

    Jul 3, 2010
    It's a tough question to answer. All of those are great cameras, and each is the best choice for some people. My personal bias would be to go with an interchangeable lens camera, so not the X100. Between the 5N and the 600D, it comes down to how size sensitive you are (5N is smaller), how comprehensive a lens selection you want (600D has more available lens choices), how the cameras feel in your hand (subjective), and how you like to visualize photos (5N uses rear LCD screen or addon electronic viewfinder, whereas 600D uses an optical through-the-lens viewfinder).

    If I had to pick for you without knowing more and assuming that more compact is a bonus for you, I'd say go for the 5N.
     
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  4. Julien

    Julien SC Top Veteran

    749
    Jan 6, 2012
    Paris, France
    Real Name:
    Julien
    I think the X100 is more suitable to one who has been into photography long enough to know exactly what their shooting style and preferences are. If you buy it without understanding the full extent of its limitations you're likely going to be disapointed.

    Nex 5n or 600d? For me it's really a matter of whether you need a viewfinder or not. Also if you think you may use tele lenses a lot, or shoot fast moving subjects, the 600d seems the better choice. If you're going to travel a lot with your camera, the Nex probably has the edge.

    If I was in your shoes I'd buy a cheap Olympus or Panasonic body, something like the E-PL1 or GF1 and a very good standard lens like the Panasonic 20mm 1.7. This setup is very compact and lightweight, you can do pretty much anything with it, it won't cost much, and if you want to upgrade in the future you'll be able to keep this top quality lens and just change the body for something that suits you.
     
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  5. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    Welcome Jun!

    I agree with what Amin and Julien wrote when it comes down to the 5n vs 600d.

    As an enthusiast, I love my X100 and would pick it over the 5n (which I had for about a week) and the 600d. But it's a quirky camera and being limited to one focal length can be a bummer for some people, particularly when traveling.

    Keep us updated on your final decision!
     
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  6. soundfanz

    soundfanz SC Regular

    I have both the X-100 & NEX-5N, and think that you would be less frustrated with the Sony.

    In my experience, I needed to work a lot harder with the Fuji to get consistently good pics, on the other hand, the Sony's peaking feature makes using it a breeze.
    Although the Sony feels a little gimmicky compared to the Fuji, it's no toy.

    I'd take the Fuji if I had to choose again,knowing what I know now about both.. I just love the colours this camera renders.

    But... I do love both, and think maybe you would too.
     
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  7. Vincenzo Landino

    Vincenzo Landino New to SC

    5
    Jan 26, 2012
    New Haven, CT
    Welcome Jun! Im a new user myself and the fine folks here have guided me.

    I am not new to photography however and based on what you said you are looking for, the NEX 5n looks to be your best bet. The X100 is a great camera, but with one focal length, won't be the best for your travel endeavors.

    The NEX is great for travel due to its size.

    best of luck! keep us updated
     
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  8. Country Parson

    Country Parson SC Top Veteran

    682
    Apr 5, 2011
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    Dan
    Hi Jun Everyone so far has offered some good advice, but I bet it sounds confusing. To really help you more information would be needed about what sort of photography you want to do. There is a big difference between say nature photography of birds and wildlife, and photographing people and places in the city. I love the 5N for the latter, and the x100 is good for that too if you can live with only one fixed lens. But if you want to photograph birds and animals you will want longer lenses and then the Canon would be better. Would you tell us more about your plans for the types of photography you want to do?
     
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  9. Naveed Akhtar

    Naveed Akhtar SC Regular

    186
    Dec 8, 2011
    London, UK
    Among these three .. I would suggest Canon for its more external controls and extensive lens collection. Go with a standard prime lens for your learning and a complete control on your creativity and then add further lenses, wide angle or tele end later as your interest develop.

    I personally however prefer Nikon D7000 or D5100 depending on your budget over Canon
    and Pansonic GX1 or Olympus E-PL3 over any NEX. Among NEX line 5n is deffinately the best pick!

    and if you are interested in Sony product line and really can't chose between Live View and Optical Viewfinder and size is not that big of an issue then A580 gives you best of the both worlds with OVF/tilt-LCD (with fastest Auto focus in DSLRs) with comprehensive Sony A mount lenses with the sensor as good as Nikon D7000/ Pentax K5.
     
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  10. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Real Name:
    Mark
    I'm with Naveed :thumbup:. I think the mu43 (EP3 or GX-1) gives you the compact form factor with a great choice of lenses and decent IQ...as I assume you want to go no smaller with your sensor size.

    X100 - only if you're content with a single focal length...and that one being 35mm (not always the top pick for landscapes) also the macro for food work is not grand.
    NEX - lacks a decent lens choice...though I love the look of the Zeiss 24mm.
    Canon 600D - not a serious compact and I fear you'd end up wanting to downsize pretty quick....most of us have :wink:.
    I'd suggest the new Canon G1X if you're thinking in this vein.

    So if you grab a camera with a "1", an "X" and a "G" in the name then you should be set :laugh1:
     
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  11. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 8, 2010
    To be honest, I would not worry too much about the camera. Just buy anything (compact enough for travel) and learn the camera and use it to practice photography. Some suggest just using a single focal length as a beginner camera.

    My first "serious" camera was a Canon 30D, but I've come a long way since then. The Canon T31 (or Nikon equivalent) will give you the most bang for the buck and a system to grow into. Frankly, in my experience with the X100 and NEX 5n I'd not suggest either one. I can recommend the Nikon V1, but the system is new and does not allow for a lot of manual control, in case that is a priority. Even though I have "better" cameras I'm using the V1 a lot these days.

    Another tack is to buy a camera with a solid zoom lens and a fast prime. Start with those and they'll cover a wide range of needs. Don't know much about food photography but that may require a macro lens?
     
  12. Jun Yoo

    Jun Yoo SC Rookie

    10
    Jan 26, 2012
    Just want to start with thanking everyone for your advices. I took a recent trip down to the camera shop and checked out the contenders and might I say I am not any better off afterwards. But your advices have helped me a lot. I agree with you guys on a versatile package would be better for me as I still don't know what is best for what I want to shoot. I can't say exactly what I want to shoot since im only beginning and im sure I will change my mind as sooner or later down the line. Currently still landscapes while travelling and street photography would be my thing. I am trying to keep an open mind while narrowing down the contenders which doesn't help. I think I may wait for the new Olympus OM-D and if that is too pricey I could get the E-P3 with a nice fast lens ;). I am still contemplating getting an APS-C sensor though as I may regret not getting it while doing night time shoots. BTW I am still very tempted by the X100 as I may have fallen in love with it... I know its way out of my depth and its probably not the ideal camera for me but I can't deny what the heart wants. I still haven't ruled out the Nex-5n as well as I heard new lenses from Sony and Sigma has just been released. For now im going to wait just a little bit longer and see what is coming up, with so many new releases just around the corner.

    p.s Is a second hand X100 only 2 months old with less than 1000 shots taken, but without warranty as it was bought overseas for $750 USD worth it or not?
     
  13. Jun Yoo

    Jun Yoo SC Rookie

    10
    Jan 26, 2012
    I would say still landscapes, street photography and night time shoots. I'm usually working till late so I love the mood of a still night compared to the noisy bustle of the day. I'm not into wildlife photography and I would only shoot it if I happen to see an animal while on holiday. But I know I could change my mind later down the line which doesn't help me XD. The most the AF would need to work is while I have the camera with me while out with friends or doing street photography. I have a feeling im going to use it low light situation more than in day time so a fast lens may be required. What do you think of the x100? am I getting myself into way out of depth? I plan on getting a prime lens anyway if I got any interchangeable camera. Would I be wrong to go against what my head thinks is right and go with what my heart wants?
     
  14. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Real Name:
    Mark
    As you've not decided to specialise, I'd advise not necessarily buying a specialised camera. I know images from the X100 are jaw-droppingly gorgeous and seem versatile, but you can't escape the fact it is a fixed 35mm (eq.) lens. I'd err on the side of caution and go interchangeable lens and then once you've found your passion then you can specialise. Then either trade or have a list of cameras as long as your arm like most folks on here :laugh1:
     
  15. Boid

    Boid SC All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    Real Name:
    Rajiv
    I just got the X100... here's how I see it.

    Let's talk about the bad stuff first - Be warned! The X100 is a different photographic beast since you can't zoom to compose images. You can't afford to be lazy with this camera. Composing images that with other cameras was just a flick of a button or a twist of the lens, is now an activity that reminds you to enroll for gym class. This camera has terrible battery life and barely gets you through a day of shooting (Fuji says 300 pictures on full charge, but it's more like 250. Buy several batteries, if you're an active shooter). The camera menu is a bit messy, but not as bad as the internets are making it out to be. Troll the nets to find out settings that suit your style of shooting, and stick with it so you don't have to fiddle with the menu systems often. The start-up time is a bit laggy, you can't just turn on the camera and shoot immediately, it takes a few seconds (3-4 seconds) but the start-up time improves exponentially if you format the card in-camera and use a Class 10 SD card. Using the Optical Viewfinder can produce parallax when close to the subject. There have also been lots of complaints about the slow AutoFocus in low light for this camera. It's no better or worse than my Panasonic LX5, just shoot in AF Continous mode in low light, and more often than not, it's fine. Not such a big deal for me. Most people who complain about the AF have previously used DSLRs and expect the same performance. Hmm... those are about all the negatives there are to this camera.

    Now onto the good stuff and man are they good - Image quality! To me this is all that matters and no camera in this size currently produces the kind or results that this camera can produce. If you want similar or better image quality you have to graduate to the Leicas (M9, M9P etc) and to me at 10,000$ and above, for a body and 35mm Summicron lens, this is not even a consideration. The Leica X1 comes close, but this camera beats it by a narrow margin IMO (the X1 is more expensive by 800$). The X100 lets you shoot very usable JPEGs without having to use RAW all the time, and the JPEGs have enough headroom to work with in post. The Straight-out-of-camera JPEGs are... how do I describe it... very film like. Sharp and soft at the same time.

    The build quality of this camera is amazing, and Fuji have really put in a lot of time and effort into getting this right. The camera feels like a serious photographic tool that lends confidence while shooting. The top and bottom parts are die-cast magnesium alloy which house the controls for shutter speed, exposure compensation and the trigger. The lens has the aperture control, like any proper camera should, and once you know your way around the camera you will rarely look away from the viewfinder while composing a shot.

    The hybrid viewfinder is a work of art and magic. Being able to switch between a large bright optical viewfinder like a DSLR camera and then at the flick of a switch have an 1.4 million dot Electronic view of your scene is fantastic. To me that's worth the price of the camera itself. Parallax does show up when shooting close with the optical view finder, but Fuji projects a reworked frame line which shows how the image will be finally composed so you get used to recomposing pretty quickly. While shooting focus critical shots in low light, just switch to the EVF and you're good.

    The metering and Auto White Balance in the camera is the best I've seen in any camera till date. The average metering works best IMO. Or while shooting portraits, turn to spot metering, point at the cheek of the subject (which is usually blown out) and click. The ISO performance of this camera is outstanding! DXOMark the website that is known for technical tests on all consumer cameras rates the ISO performance on this camera higher than the Nikon D3s till ISO 3200. The low light jpgs straight out of camera at 3200 are actually usable especially for FaceBook size images, though I would frequently restrict the ISO to 1600.

    I'd like to end by saying that the most important factor to me, since buying this camera, is that it makes me want to get out there and take more pictures. And that to me is the best 'feature' of this camera. Good luck!
     
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  16. alessandro

    alessandro SC Regular

    97
    Sep 5, 2011
    Vicenza, Italy
    No, it's not. Better investing more money to have full warranty. Should it later suffer of "sticky blades", you are going to spend a lot.
     
  17. Jun Yoo

    Jun Yoo SC Rookie

    10
    Jan 26, 2012
    Hi guys, I finally chose a camera. I decided to go with the fuji x100. I understand that it is very limited to its 1 lens and it can be more confusing than a similar system from the other companies (sony/olympus/panasonic) thing is no other camera really interests me as much as this camera. I tried out all the prospective cameras and I really didn't like the fact all the small compact cameras that are meant to be high IQ in a small system would end up needing its own bag if i got all the equipment I want to get for it. The hole VF sticking out on top like a submarines scope just ruined the sleakness of a compact system.

    At the end of the day I realised no camera is THE PERFECT camera, and I doubt there will ever be one. But like a puppy chasing its own tail I will gather GAS hoping the next big thing will be my perfect camera.

    todaloo~
     
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  18. Will

    Will SC All-Pro

    Aug 30, 2010
    England
    Just goes to show that the perfect camera is the one you fall in love with. If you love it you will probably make good images with it :)
     
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  19. Julien

    Julien SC Top Veteran

    749
    Jan 6, 2012
    Paris, France
    Real Name:
    Julien
    Hi Jun Yoo, I hope you'll enjoy your X100 as much as I do mine! :th_salute:
     
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  20. Naveed Akhtar

    Naveed Akhtar SC Regular

    186
    Dec 8, 2011
    London, UK
    Very good decision, though I suggested differently :)) :thiagree: with Will!
     
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