I put all six of my usable cameras on my desk today to spend a few minutes using each one. I wanted to decide which one would be the best (and only?) one for me to use. I made notes about how each one felt in my hand, which one was the easiest to use, which one wouldn’t give me back pain after a day with out it, image quality (film or digital), and which camera gives me the best photos without having to spend any time at the computer adjusting sliders.
Although my four film cameras are all wonderful in their own way, I decided that I would be better off using a digital camera for reasons of economy and convenience. That left me with the Nikon D810 and the Fujifilm X-T3. The X-T3 has retro appeal and the simulations are similar to film. But it seems like I spend a lot of time making adjustments to get an excellent exposure. Always second guessing the camera. I don’t have to do that with the D810. The exposure is always dead on, except in those situations that will fool any camera meter. Sand or snow, for example. And the D810 isn’t any more complex to use than my F6 or F80. It’s a professional piece of kit that gets out of your way. And when I look at the images on computer later I don’t have to think much about changing contrast etc etc. Nikon’s picture controls do an excellent job of that. The only problem is . . . it’s quite a bit heavier than the X-T3. As I learned last year when I brought it to Canada with a large and heavy zoom lens (I think the zoom lens might have been the biggest part of the problem). What to choose for my main camera? The compact X-T3 with the disadvantage of its fussiness? Or the D810 with the inconvenience of its weight? I’d like to use only one for the sake of simplicity.
I was leaning towards the D810 by the time I finished looking over my notes, so I attached a light 50mm F1.8D lens and went downtown to make some photos.

Car Roof, Gangneung.

This was the only keeper from my downtown outing, but that was my fault, not the camera’s. I love the 5:4 frame and getting the proper exposure was a piece of cake by just adding 2/3 of a stop with the command dial. The camera took care of everything else.


What’s a photo outing without a picture of the cat at the end of it? I didn’t do anything to this one.

With a prime lens on the camera, I hardly felt the weight on my shoulder even after a couple of hours. I think I would have felt the weight if it was around my neck, though. Not so with the X-T3. Still, maybe I’ll start bringing the D810 and a prime or two with me from now on. We’ll see. I’m so wishy-washy about cameras that next week I might be using my iPhone for everything.

No, that’s not going to happen . . . .

8 thoughts on “Choices

  1. Hope you don’t find it too heavy – as you know I gave up all my large digital things (except for the Sony A6300) – just too big and unwieldly.
    Good luck, and if you can bottle what Amice has in that photograph, please send some over . . .


    1. I think the secret to carrying around that camera all day is to use small, light primes. I was out with friends all day today and didn’t find it tiresome at all. I had a 50mm 1.8D on the camera and a 28mm 2.8D in my pocket. As for Amice, I’m still trying to figure out his secret.


  2. What do you find fussy about the XT-3 Marcus? I’ve often thought if I did want to get an interchangeable lens digital camera (very unlikely) I’d go for that, based on my experience with the X100 series.


    1. It’s a little bit difficult to describe. I love the weight of the X-T3 but sometimes it feels a little bit too small for my hands. And perhaps I prefer the optical viewfinder of a DSLR to an electronic viewfinder. When I’m looking through the electronic viewfinder the exposure and colours always seem to be changing as I move, which can be distracting. And I find that the D810 gets the exposure and tone right more often than the X-T3, but that could be my fault for not being completely proficient with the camera. And (maybe) most of all, I find the button+dial method of changing settings on a Nikon to be the most convenient.
      I’m not sure if that’s any help to you at all.


      1. Thanks for that. TBH it sounds pretty much like the X100F, although I don’t find those negatives. But then I don’t have any experience with any other digital camera to compare it with.


      2. Maybe I find the Fuji slightly fussy because I was a Nikon user for so many years. My first SLR back in 2001 was a Nikon and it’s been more or less Nikon ever since then with a couple of short breaks.


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