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Old Feb 25, 2015, 11:18 AM   #1
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Default Deciding between a Sony and a Fuji

Hello everyone. I'm shopping for a new digital camera and I've narrowed my options down to two models. Both are very different technologies but both are fairly well reviewed here.

I'll start by describing myself and then my desired goals. I'm a middle aged father of 4. I live in Central Florida so the weather is nearly always beautiful. I have always been a photography aficionado. I've had many film cameras over the years including two film SLR's that were hand me downs from my father. I've been stuck in the point and shoot arena for about 6 years or so. I've always wanted to get into DSLR's but price has always kept me at bay. I think I rate more along the amateur lines rather than novice or pro.

In regards to photography, my subjects are vast. Subjects will always include, my kids, nature and motorsports. I photograph at all distances from extreme Macro to 4 or 5 hundred yards away and more on occasion. Fast moving subjects will always be a potential for me. Lighting of course will also run the gamut from night time to bright, sunny days, and gloomy, thunderstorm afternoons.

Through this process I've managed to learn a bit about focal lengths, apertures, ISO speeds, Depth of field, autofocus methods and image chip technologies and sizes. And yes, I'm very tech savvy and I'm a fast learner.

Here is a list of desired features and abilities I'm looking for in my next camera:
  1. Ability to shoot in wide range of environments and distances.
  2. Good color capturing
  3. No or little image distortion or noise at large zoom distances
  4. Intuitive settings for an amateur but a quick learner
  5. Easy to navigate menuís
  6. Fast shutter speed, very fast if possible
  7. Decent burst mode, as many frames per second as possible.
  8. Affordable lenses if equipped
  9. ability to capture and manipulate depth of field effects
  10. HD movies are also a plus too, obviously
None of the above are deal breakers as I am aware that not all cameras are capable of everything on my wish list and if I end up with a camera that is closest to my needs, I'll manage.

Here is the short list of cameras I have my eye on.

1. Sony a3000 mirror-less camera, with 18-55mm kit lens $229
2. Fuji X-S1 Bridge camera, $289

As I mentioned before, both are very well reviewed here and I see they both take excellent photographs. I am also aware that both cameras represent 2 different technology niche's. I'm hoping some one here has used or own either and what has been your experiences with the camera. Thank you.
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Old Feb 25, 2015, 2:03 PM   #2
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I can't speak to the Sony, but I do own an X-S1. It is a very capable camera, and hits most of the points you mention. It does have a couple drawbacks, though, mostly regarding intuitive settings and simple menus. Not simple, and for me, at least, not intuitive. I have not experienced the misfocusing that others have, but it is a fairly common complaint with the camera. Focus on fast moving objects may not be its forte. Image quality is excellent, as is the auto white balance. (I have never had to use the manual settings) It has a very interesting Pro-focus mode, which simulates the shallow depth of field of large aperture lenses. Unfortunately, there are constraints on its use which are not explained in the manual, and take considerable experimentation to learn. A bit frustrating when the display tells you the camera cannot accomplish it, but doesn't tell you why. (this happens with other settings, too)
Much as I like the camera, I recently purchased a Pentax K-3, as it is better suited to my uses, and I already have a number of lenses for the K-mount. I find it much easier to use.

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Old Feb 25, 2015, 9:34 PM   #3
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i've played with the A3000 quite a bit, and i own an A6000. what i can tell you is that the A3000 has an EVF that isn't too great, but to make up for it it has a very capable APSC sensor that - when paired with the right lenses - can do good pics in lower light. while the lens selection isn't as great as the canon or micro four thirds lens selection, i've been happy with my sony E-mount lenses so far.

the fuji has a much smaller sensor, so its lower light photos will be lower quality. it won't do as well for indoor pics, but to make up for it you won't have to buy a collection of lenses to use it. for that matter, the zoom on the fuji is longer than you can get lenses for the sony for at all.

i find the newer sony menus intuitive and easy to use, although some complain about it, which surprises me.

pretty much all newer cameras can deliver a shutter speed of at least 1/4000th. the A3000 burst rate isn't very impressive compared to the fuji, and also compared the the sony A5100 and A6000. if you need a fast burst rate, you won't find it here. the A3000 kit lens isn't going to deliver when it comes to far away stuff, and it won't do macros, so in this area the fuji takes it. i've gotten decent bokeh with my 55-210 lens on my A6000, but if you want to really get into low light or depth of field, you may want to pick up the sony 50mm OSS or 35mm OSS (but the second is fairly pricy). with the right lens, the A3000 will take higher quality pics, let you play more with depth of field and allow for lower light shoting, but the kit lens - while it may be better than many bridge camera lenses, is decent but not stellar, and not as versatile as the lens on the fuji.

the A3000's 20 mp is going to be better for cropping than the fuji's 12 mp, and if you plan to print, the sony will probably be better unless you're doing snapshot sized prints.

after checking your list of requirements, it seems to me you might be better off with a micro four thirds camera than either of these. failing that, a pentax DSLR or canon is going to have a better lens selection and often cheaper.

Last edited by pcake; Feb 25, 2015 at 9:39 PM.
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Old Feb 26, 2015, 4:39 AM   #4
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The Sony has a much bigger image sensor, which will produce higher resolution images with less image noise and greater dynamic range.

Unfortunately, the selection of available lenses for the Sony is pretty small, and the 18-55 kit lens that comes with it isn't very good.
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
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