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Thursday, 02 May 2019


The complication for me is 'what would be the point of having MF for the work I do?' or for that matter FF? My APSC cameras are capable of producing prints in the largest size I have made or are likely to make. It is like asking whether I should get a 16MP or a 24MP camera to shoot 800x600 photos to post on FB. For the sake of gear lust, sure. If I had more money than I knew what to do with it would be fun to know that I could print that much larger but would I? I already have stacks of 13x19 inch prints that I made myself and a handful of larger ones I sent out but... ???

Let's see, would I prefer a Wrangler Rubicon, Ford F150 crew cab or Mercedes S-class?

None of the above.

Same for these cameras. They don't do the things I want a camera to do.

Neither! I don't have gear lust—I have gear disdain. My Canon EOS 50D 1.6 crop frame camera still works well, so does my Canon EOS 7n Full Frame Film camera.

If I ever had need for Medium Format I'd just rent. Possibly a Leica S, certainly not a GFX.

As a minimalist I base my self-worth not on what I acquire, but by what I pitch into the dumpster.

What a lovely game. There's nothing like a good old-fashioned false dichotomy with no correct answer. Since I'm playing the game, for today's pick, I'm going Fuji because I do like the smoothness of the larger MF pixels, and also because Nikon made its native Z mount 35mm and 50mm lenses too big for my tastes. But ask the same question again tomorrow and my answer may not be the same.

It's the cost, size and availability of the lenses that could rule out the Fuji. If you shoot wildlife or sport the Fuji is not going to be the tool for the job. But that is really the point. There is no such thing as a camera that can do everything well and the main consideration in buying a camera are the lenses. 'Horses for courses'. The person that can afford the Fuji can probably buy the Nikon too. Oh I wish!

As always, a question without an answer, or with as many answers as you have readers. Actually, there are only two answers (three if you include "none of the above"), but the REASONING behind identical answers will be different for each of us, because each of us have different shooting goals and "start" from a different place in terms of "installed base", just as the companies did when they made their development choices.
Fuji has created the correct "solution" for its APSC customers that feel they should have something "fuller" for those shots where APSC shows its (few) limits. It would have made little sense for Fuji to stop at FF and essentially undermine its "APSC is plenty good enough most of the time" message. The two Fuji lines are fantastically complementary to each other.
Nikon, well, Nikon simply had to make sure Sony would not finish eating Nikon's lunch in FF... I'm pretty sure however it has upset its existing faithful base by making sure they must start from scratch on the optics front (or use that ungainly adapter), making the combined camera/lens package hardly slimmer than the DSLR they already have.
From this perspective, Fuji seems to be a more thoughtful company than NIkon...

This comparison is interesting, but too isolated. I was pondering Fuji because I like to use formats as big as possible. But Nikon Zx reshaped my „landscape“: It is small enough and replaced Nikon1 as „always with me“. The difference between the two formats (FF vs Half-MF) is too small, which led to acquision of „Full-MF“ for „lustfull“ photography...

Given the recent rebates on such cameras - suggesting poor sales - I think I belong to the group of seemingly increasing number of photographers who are not buying new because the cameras they already have are 'good enough'.

If I were to buy a mirrorless camera it would be the Canon R. Not because I think it's the best but simply because I have a large investment in Canon lenses, so this would be the most cost-effective option for me. I certainly wouldn't then be spending more money on their new R lenses, I simply can't afford it.

The only things that a new mirrorless camera would give me over my 5D Mk 1 would be high ISO performance and a quieter shutter. But that's not worth over £1000, even with the rebate. I might pick a clean copy in five years, when they're £300.

There is a very narrow set of circumstances where the Fuji is the better camera. I would choose it over the Nikon for portraits and for shooting on a tripod. The aspect ratio and bigger sensor makes it better for portraits. The raw file output at low ISO and manual interface makes it a better tripod camera.

In all other use cases I can think of the Nikon is a better camera, and for that reason it is what most people would choose. And that's before even considering the cost.

If it was for a one system camera, it would have to be the Nikon. However, as a compliment to my X-E3, it would have to be the Fuji.

I'd get a Nikon D500 or D750. Which I realize is not an allowed answer. But there you go. I don't quite get the point of relatively giant mirrorless cameras with giant lenses.

It's also never been clear to me that marginally larger sensor sizes are that much of a win, esp. given how much else you tend to give up by buying them. Overall system engineering trumps the sensor size.

To me: Fuji GFX. Hands down winner.

A friend has one and it's gorgeous. The images are really quite fine. I wish I could afford one (retired, fixed income, etc).

The size of Fuji APS-C cameras still surprise me. I went with Sony NEX/A6000 due to size and performance. Super small. Super light. Super images. I'm spoiled and now think larger than NEX/A6000 camera bodies _have_ to have a big sensor.

I own the Fuji GFX 50s and the other week I bought the Panasonic S1r and their nifty fifty. Personally how it works in the hand won hands down. It may not be a speed demon, but it is more like my Olympus. Which I have judged every other camera against. Finally a contender, weightier yes. Lovely to use. Yes. Quality in a similar league. The duet is still out on that one. But very close I am sure.

I suspect that, like Rodolfo, the cost of lenses would steer me toward the Nikon - especially if it was going to be my only "real" camera. But if it happened to be one of my more flush periods of life, I'd probably go with the Fuji - especially if I had a smaller camera that was also a Fuji.

I like the "user interface" of the Fuji over the Nikon. But I'm not fond of monster megapixels clogging up the works of my computer. Fact is, I'm also not fond of the full frame craziness either. It feels left over from the film days and I thought we were working with digital formats here. And the Nikon lenses are kinda too big even though the camera is nice and small.

Sorry. Truth is I really wouldn't want to use either of these cameras. I'll stick with APS-C where the format seems more user friendly and realistic for my needs.

As much as I’d like to move back to medium format, the years have made the choice for me. While I’m “only” 62 now, my choice in gear now is always dictated by shake or vibration reduction for handheld shooting. Nikon wins.

I'm completely deaf, dumb, and blind when it comes to anything Fuji (or Pentax). I know how limiting and dumb that sounds, but I'm 100% guilty.

It could be ALL that, $300, and hand signed by Eric Clapton (fill in star of choice) and I wouldn't buy it if it was a Fuji.

I feel a little bad about it, but not that much.

Depends on what you shoot, but it would be a real dilemma because the Nikon with excellent lenses would be only a little bit inferior to the Fuji in tonal smoothness and resolution, and the difference would only be evident at very large print sizes. On the other hand, with Fuji's upcoming 100 mp sensor you'd be 'future-proofing' your kit if you can use that kind of resolution.
I'd probably vote for the Nikon, mostly because the Fuji's lenses are much more expensive, and you'll never have the medium format equivalent of (say) a 600 mm f4 supertelephoto.

I also recently stared down this "battle,' and the winner was the Z7. I am thrilled with the quality of the Z lenses so far and very intrigued where future development of this lens mount will take us. My iPhone is more than sufficient for casual snaps, so for my "big" camera I was targeting only landscape use, including hiking with it. Other uses of the camera (family photos, kid sports, etc) were of secondary consideration, but the Z7 works great for those as well, and I probably will also add a Z6 for my wife that will fill those uses and can share lenses. My main reasons for choosing the Z7 were portability (Fuji is not huge, but definitely larger than Z7, especially with lenses included - 1650g with 32-64mm vs 1085g for Z7 with 24-70/4) and lens availability. With the adapter and Nikon's roadmap, I felt I'd be in good hands with the Z system going forward. Not that Fuji won't fill out the GFX range, too, but choices must be made. Comparing light gathering of the sensor, my understanding is that it's not completely apples, as the 64 base ISO on the Z7 somewhat helps "combat" the larger sensor of the 50R at base ISO of 100. Anyway, we're certainly spoiled for choice these days, and while I'm thrilled with my Z7, I'm sure I would be similarly thrilled had I gone with Fuji. Happy days.

Agree with the comments above re a false dichotomy. The biggest issue is not the cost of the bodies, it's the cost and availability of lenses. MF lenses are extremely costly and non-existent at some very common FF focal lengths.

Could anyone really tell the difference between a reasonable size print from those two cameras, or for that matter my Sony A7R3? I agree there are major differences in handling and I'd never try to talk anyone out of the Fuji, but as someone else said, the flexibility of the full frame mirrorless cameras makes the Fuji a bit of a niche player. I rented the GFX, loved it, loved the files and the camera's handling, for a "MF" camera but ended up with the A7R3 because for way less money, I got a camera and lens set up that, for me, would essentially do it all.

I would go with the Nikon. I have just passed the gear lust part of my life. I like to think I am older and wiser now. I would go with the Nikon because it meets the minimum requirement for number of pixels and quality of pixels. And it has the great advantage of lens choice (albeit with an adapter), not to mention cost and size of said lenses.

I settled on Micro Four Thirds; the high-iso performance is less good but it's good enough nearly all the time, and the size, price, and lens apertures are all very good. In general a journalistic or event photographer would not choose the GFX as primary camera -- if only because of the lens choice limits, not suitable for those uses.

Re: The question in Featured Comments, Django Reinhardt or Doc Watson, I'd submit testimony from Guy Clark in his "Dublin Blues":

And I have seen the David, mmhmm
I've seen the Mona Lisa, too
And I have heard Doc Watson
Play Columbus Stockade Blues

So that's one authority who'd put Doc with Michelangelo and Leonardo. 'Nuff said.

Nikon D7500.


(Okay....to honor the question, I'd go Z7, but just cuz I'm a Nikon guy)

I was all "meh" about this because I have M4/3 as my daily shooter until I looked at this https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1368298-REG/fotodiox_rb_rz67_gfx_pro_mamiya_rb67_rz67_lens_to.html ... Wait! I have four RB lenses! I've adapted them to an old 5D with (mostly) good results but the 5D is getting old, so, yeah, I'd take the Fuji in a heartbeat.

I like the camera posts. Now as far as the Z7 vs Fuji? I am not in the market for 3K+ cameras any longer and I not sure how many folks need that kind of monster file.

I have an 11x14 photo of a farm scene that I shot and like hanging on the wall. It was shot with a 12mp D90. Detail is amazing at that size.

I had a D800 and found it was not a great camera to handhold. On a tripod it was amazing but that pixel density is lens demanding. I often landed sharper shots with the old D300 using the same lens when off tripod.

I am at a point where I am thinking, "where does this all end? If camera sales are down maybe it's because someone's old D700 or D7000 is still plenty good enough?

All current FF and MF mirrorless choices are so far beyond the "needs" of most photographers, it really comes down to personal preference. For me, the first consideration is: what lenses do I want to work with? As someone once said (maybe it was you, Mike) "You buy cameras, you invest in lenses."

Since I've been shooting FF since 2007, I think I would be more tempted by the greater sensor area, along with the more MF type lenses of the Fujifilm. Though I d probably wait for the 100MP version.

Mike, I happen to own both the Z6 and the XT 3 and like them both. It is hard to say which has the better image quality or better ergonomics, but I will say the Z 6 is a lot of fun to carry and shoot. So far the only two native lenses I own are the 14-30 f4 and the 24-70 f4, both are really good lenses. When I attempt to compare IQ between the Fuji and the Nikon I find it difficult because they are so similar. At least when I am looking at files in Lightroom, they look similar.
My main complaint about the Z is the XQD format. I consider myself a travel photographer more than anything else, and do not travel with a computer, just an I pad. It is much easier to transfer files to an I pad from the Fuji than the Z 6.
When I travel, I usually take two zooms, the telephoto, a 70-200 and the 24-70. With both cameras and zooms the carry weight is about the same. I also like to have a prime or two for low light performance.
I have all the f 2 primes for fuji, and only one for Nikon so currently my travel kit is Fuji. That could change in the future as the lens development of Nikon continues. The Z is a very good system and would encourage any of your readers to give it a try. I do like and respect both companies they both seem to be creating quality products that the market demands.

Forced to choose between these two, I'd go with the Nikon. The things that matter to me are, ordered from most to least important: (1) Overall system size/weight, (2) lens selection, (3) sensor, (4) everything else. Nikon wins (1), for sure, and while (2) might be a close-ish race for the moment, Nikon's road map looks great. Fuji wins (3), but not by nearly enough to overcome (1) and (2).

Truthfully, if I had that kind of coin to spend on cameras, I'd forget the big boys and just get two PEN-F bodies (with money left over for the Oly 12 mm that would fill the only remaining hole in my prime lens set).

The big Fuji is really tempting, but then I come to my senses and ask myself why? What would I do with it? If I want digital,my APS-size Fuji suffices. What does tempt me is the digital back for my Hasselblad V-system camera (a 501CM). I wonder if any of those backs still work?

I wanted to like the 50R. I really did. It has the sensor from my X1D, plus more operating speed and the zoom lenses I crave. However, I just didn't like how it handled. I'm OK with the shape in a Leica M sized body but this steroided version was uncomfortable and unbalanced in my hands. It made me appreciate how brilliant the design of the X1D is.

On the other hand I was also surprised by how much I liked the Z7 in the hand. I had a S1R on pre-order but made the mistake of playing with the Z7. The outcome is that now I have both... So the Z7 wins, for me. Although,,,

The S1R actually handles better again, so I am finding that when it's in my hand I prefer the S1R and when it's in a backpack I prefer the Z7 system weight. The Z7 lenses are excellent. Really good, considering how small they are. The S1R with SL lenses are spectacular. Neither quite gets to what the Fuji or 'Blad miniMF systems can do for pure IQ though.


Limitations of back issues aside, it would be a Fuji. The only company that has deep history in manufacturing film that all the others used in the machines they made. Since digital, I’ve often wondered what Nikon/Canon used to model their film simulation modes. I know where Fuji got theirs... from the same guys who created the original film stocks. It’s the first time since the advent of digital where I feel I can actually use the JPEG’s like I would film.

There is no winning, unless I change the parameters of the game (a la Kobayashi Maru). I am in the less-is-more camp when it comes to megapixels, so...

I choose the non-existent Pentax FFM built around the 24 mp sensor from the Sony A7III (with all of the latter camera's autofocus goodness tossed in for good measure), which will naturally come with a fully wired adaptor (and autofocus motor) for Pentax' existent dslr lenses, as well as a new collection of native mirrorless lenses. I trust RIcoh/Pentax to keep the price of this bad-boy down around $2000 (which I still can't justify spending, but it's closer to what I could).

(If I win the lottery, I'll get the Fuji.)

Mike replies: "Venerable?" Released September 2017!

Yes, the D850 is a relatively new model, but its overall design is the culmination of years of Nikon know-how in building dSLRs where every aspect of the D850 seems incredibly familiar to long time Nikon dSLR users. Not so with the Z6 and Z9.

Place a D850 beside a Nikon D800/D800E model released February 2012. Ask someone to hand you the D850. If one doesn't pay attention he or she could easily pick up one thinking it is the other. Venerable in the sense I chose to use it doesn't have to mean "old". It can also mean highly respected, having maturity and character that is a hallmark of classic time-tested design.

Of course, personally speaking, I truly am just plain old. I was reminded of this today as I pulled some venerable (there it is again) Kodachrome slides I shot with my Nikon Ftn back in 1972 from freezer storage! Time to remaster some of my early work as pigmented inkjet prints.

Strange you should ask this, I recently came into some unexpected money, enough to buy either of these and some lenses.
I have used Nikons since 1975, don't fancy the Z7 at all, have bought and sold three new Fuji's, thought they looked great but hated them, faux retro to my hands.
I've been looking at and handling loads of cameras, have yet to find a mirrorless I like, still using my D810 and Df for commercial work and my M240 for personal digital, which is not much, still largely prefer film.
So, neither I guess.....

Still very happy with my Olympus kit. EM1 mkII and Pen F. Small is beautiful.

Most people will never really understand the advantage of a larger format. A larger format allows for (!!!) better rendering. It is as simple as that. I own a 50Apo lens for my Leica M cameras. The rendering of this lens wide open is exceptional, but the price of the lens is astronomical. That kind of rendering is easier to achieve with a larger format and lenses that don't have the same maximum aperture. A large sensor (or negative) allows for good sharpness at the plane of focus and subtle and gradual transition to the out of focus areas. While this is something many people can't explain, it is easier to see. I have many friends, who are not photographers, comment on the quality of my medium format photographs without being able to say what it is that stands out.

If I had the scratch, I'd go for the Fuji. I'd love to try medium format.

Ditto of what @Dogman wrote.

I looked seriously at both and chose the Nikon. The sensor is enough newer to essentially make up for the Fuji being one size bigger. The Nikon sensor is pretty special at ISO 64 (as far as I can tell, it's noiseless). I can't tell them apart in really large prints, and barely even in pixel-peeping comparison tools. I can pick out the Fuji with about 65% accuracy on DPreview's highly magnified test scene - although there are some parts of the scene where the Nikon looks better.

If image quality is essentially equivalent (and both are much superior to any color film below 4x5", and darned close to 4x5" film), why one over the other? For me, it was the Nikon being half the size and weight (with lenses included).

apropos of any digital camera, why are rectangular sensors still the default?

The latest Sony A7R. I would rather have a generation 3 (who knows, maybe 4 soon) camera than any generation 1 model.

APSC results are on par with FF. So, for me, the obvious choice would be the Fuji.

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