• Ian Crowson Photography

Good Day from Southsea - Camera Size = Does It Matter? If so which is better for you.

Updated: Oct 1, 2019

In this blog Ian Crowson photography AKA crow's-eye, looks at three cameras and what they could do for you.

What have photos of a new born babies feet, a honky tonk band in Nashville and a trombone busker in Southsea have in common?

Fuji Film X110F, Nikon D850 and Fuji Film X-T2

Mirrorless or DSLR, which suits you?

All three have viewfinders .

Viewfinders tend to be favoured by serious photographers as they give a more accurate guide to the picture being composed. They also offer the additional advantage of working just as well in bright sunlight when often a screen just can’t be seen. Viewfinders also display the camera settings, this is particularly important to those who have less than perfect vision. Most viewfinders can be adjusted for vision correction. These cameras can be used without the need for reading glasses.

The Nikon D850

( The Canon 5D Mark IV DSLR is similar)

The Nikon D850 DSLR is big and heavy. It can seem to weigh a ton with a large zoom lens fitted. It’s a full frame camera. This refers to the sensor which is the same size as the full frame of a 35mm film. General rule, the bigger the sensor the better the potential image. Low light performance is better too.

DSLR Means

digital single lens reflex. You look through the viewfinder at a mirror which shows the image as seen by the lens. As the photo is taken the mirror swings up allowing the sensor to record the image.

DSLR’s take a range of interchangeable lenses. An advantage with Nikon is that just about any Nikon (Nikkor) lens will fit, although earlier ones from the 1960/70’s may not have full auto function.

A superb camera but due to its weight I mostly limit the use of mine to studio work. It is just too heavy to lug around all day. There are other pros and cons which I’ll look at later.

Newborn feet. taken with window light only. f4.5 1/60th second, ISO 1600, Nikon 105mm macro lens with image stablisation. I used a piece of black velvet to cover his legs and body. Note the fairly high ISO, A breeze for this full frame camera.

The Fuji Film X-T2

( The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is similar)

This is a mirrorless camera with an electronic viewfinder, it’s much lighter and also has interchangeable lenses. An advantage is that what you see in the viewfinder also gives a good idea if the exposure is nearly correct. It has the settings displayed in the viewfinder .This can be adjusted for user’s eye sight. The sensor is smaller but the images produced are excellent.

Good Range of Interchangable Lenses

Both Fuji and Olympus have developed a wide range of quality lenses for their mirrorless cameras. Zoom lenses are versatile and save carrying a bag full of lenses. They can not produce the quality of a fixed focus lens which are faster, meaning having larger apertures.

Settings Adjusted with Dials

A big plus point for many, including me, is that the settings on the Fuji X-T2 and X-T3 are adjusted with dials. There is a dial for ISO, exposure compensation and shutter speed whilst the aperture is set by a ring on the lens. The settings can be seen in the view finder and/or rear screen.

Light Weight

I can carry the Fuji X-T2 around all day. I hold it in my hand with a strap around my wrist.

Battery life is very poor. Buy a pocket full. There is an add on battery pack but that slightly defeats having a light weight camera.

I guess I like it because i remainds me of my 35mm Olympus OM1. The iconic small and light weight SLR camera from the late 1970's (David Bailey fame.)

There is a newer model, Fuji X-T3. I've read that it’s a better camera for shooting video. It has a larger sensors in respect of pixel count.

Nashville honky tonk bar with available light. with my Fuji X-T2. Aperture f3.6 shutter speed 1/40th second, ISO 1600. shot at 36mm with 18-55 zoom lens with image stablisation.

Photographers are not always too welcome. I had my X-T2 in my hand down by my side on its wrist strap. The camera was set to the maximum aperture for the focal length and the ISO to 1600 so all i needed was a quick move to my eye and click. It's a good enough image at ISO 1600 which is about the camera limits before noise and loss of quality. The newer X-T3 should better.

The Fuji Fil X100F

This fixed lens camera will not be to every one’s taste. You are limited to a fixed 23mm focal length (around 35mm in full frame terms) The high-performance lens is fast at f2. It has an APS-C 24.3MP sensor giving superb reproduction of colours & tone.

The view finder can be changed between optical and electronic. The settings are adjusted with dials similar to the X-T2.

It’s a great street camera, discreet and easy to slip in a pocket.

Anyone who ever enjoyed using a range finder camera would love the X100F. The results can be brilliant.

Here is my Leica M6 rangefinder 35mm film camera. The viewfinder is optical with changing frame lines as different lenses are used. The lens is focused via the range finder. Exposure metering is through the lens. (TTL)

Back to the Fuji X100F

This shot of a busker was captured in Southsea Shopping precinct. He was making great music and happy to be photographed. The Fuji X100F is a great street camera, hardly to be seen when held in the palm of your hand. Lens is a fixed 23mm (35mm full frame) The lack of zoom may take a little rethinking but it's a camera you can always have with you, slipped in a jacket pocket. Setting for the busker were F5.6, shutter 1/160 and ISO 400.

Three Cameras, Which is Best?

That depends...............If I had to choose between the three i would go for the Fuji Film X-T2.

It's smaller, lighterhas a good choice of lenses and take great photos.

Full Frame Mirrorless

This the way the camera scene is going.

Nikon Z6 and Z7

Sony Alpha A7

Canon EOS R and RP

and others

Don’t think mirrorless always means lighter.

Take the Nikon Z7 with the new 50mm lens, a heavy beast. The new 50mm lens in the Z series is much larger, heavier and more expensive than the 50mm for the DSLR series.

Yes the Olympus OM’s and Fuji Film X series are light but not the full frame .

I shot the images of cameras in this blog using a £8 light tent for ebay and a LED table light and a reflector.

bye from crows-eye,
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