Which format do you shoot? CX, Micro 4/3, DX or FX? Why? Please read first post before posting.

WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
edited October 2014 in Nikon DSLR cameras
In a variety of posts, people have been debating the pros and cons of DX vs FX.

The purpose of this thread is to have a discussion on why we have picked the formats that we have picked.

When posting, please be mindful that there is a valid reason for everyone picking what they have picked and participate in this discussion in a non-judgemental, informative and respectful way. One of the objectives of posing the question is to give people making a decision on what to invest in a resource to assist them in their decision.

And of course, what is often lost in the DX and FX discussion is the CX format, which is a very significant part of Nikon sales and a format that Nikon has signalled commitment to (as they have with DX and FX).

Revision:
And per BokehHunter's suggestion, we are adding Micro 4/3rds to the discussion. Even though it is not a Nikon format, it is a common format nevertheless.
Post edited by WestEndBoy on

Comments

  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,605Member
    @WestEndBoy - yea I was gong to start this and you beat me too it.

    I moved from film to DX because of price of the bodies and lens. Went from a F5 to D200. Could not justify the higher price of FX body. I sold off all the primes except the 60mm macro and 35mm F2 which made a great normal lens (35x1.5). Later added FX lens for quality 70-200 2.8 and Tamron 200-500mm.

    Image quality was okay with the D200 and after 15 months and ordered the D300 one week after it was announced and had it middle of November. As an enthusiast photographer that worked for me.

    Enough history, the compromise decision was based upon cost and quality. For me at that time it was DX. The D7100 is an excellent DSLR and was an interim step to FX.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • Bokeh_HunterBokeh_Hunter Posts: 234Member
    Micro 4/3rds needs to be added to the formats as well. Many shoot multiple systems or have experienced multiple ones in the past. All experiences are valid and informative.
    •Formerly TTJ•
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    Micro 4/3rds needs to be added to the formats as well. Many shoot multiple systems or have experienced multiple ones in the past. All experiences are valid and informative. </blockquote

    Done.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 845Member
    I like FX because:
    1. The large sensor gives me more freedom and possibilites to crop.
    2. The large sensor can be the difference between an image of a bird and an image of a half bird.
    3. It is the only current possibility for a Nikon camera with pro build quality.

    If I had a 24 mp DX I would like it because:
    1. The high pixel density gives me better reach (a.k.a. more pixels on the bird).
    2. The high pixel density makes it possible to get away with a more lightweight system. I can use a shorter tele lense when going on a hike.

    Summary: I think one of each, FX and DX, are a great combination. FX is great for hide photography and landscape. DX is great for macro, long hikes and when you need maximum reach (no hide photography).
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,172Member
    edited October 2014
    I use FX, DX and CX and hope to be using the 4/3 format soon, (ie when I get the new D7200 which I assume like the D7100 will have 1.3 DX crop ie 2X crop.) Having all these format makes it really flexible with fewer and cheaper lenses !!

    Go away for a few days and things change around here :-)
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • ThomasHortonThomasHorton Posts: 323Member
    I had a "once in a lifetime" chance to upgrade my entire camera system. I chose FX because:

    1. All the cool kids shoot FX
    2. Chicks dig guys with FX cameras and will willing drop clothing at the mere sight of one
    3. I figured it was a good sensor type for me to grow into as my photography continues to increase

    Did I need FX? Absolutly not! My camera is not the primary the limiting factor in my photography. It's that nut on the other side of the OVF that's to blame (gotta do something about that).

    But since I was spending the money to "upgrade", why not go to FX?

    My thought process was not really that much deeper than that -- I wanted to get a camera system that I would be sure not to out grow.....if I ever grow up.
    Gear: Camera obscura with an optical device which transmits and refracts light.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,199Member
    I shoot both FX and DX. I use 36 and 24mp FX for landscape, studio, low light, sports. I use 16 mp DX for lightweight travel and photos requested for internet use.
  • brownie314brownie314 Posts: 72Member
    I shoot primarily DX. I have owned and shot 2 CX systems (sold them due to not meeting my needs). And I have occasionally shot FX.

    I shoot DX because to me it is currently the best size/cost/performance combination. CX did not get me good low light shots, and the AF was pretty bad in low light conditions.

    For the end use of my images, DX is good enough. I could drop a lot of cash on an FX system, but why when the end result would not make that much difference.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited October 2014
    My first DSLR was a D70 which I upgrade to a D90, ( both dx) They were used for images on my company website
    They certainly were good enough for that

    6 years ago, I sold the company ( providing hot air balloon flights) and found myself with time on my hands . I decided to return to professional photography, which I had given up 35 years earlier. (35 years ago ballooning was more fun and a lot more profitable than photography )

    The biggest downside of the D90 and its kit lens, was the low light performance
    So on the advice of many friends I bought a D700 and the 50mm f1.4
    To which I soon added a 16-35 f4; a 24 -120 f4 and a 70 -200 f 2.8. later on a 105 macro, a 16mm fisheye, and a year ago the new 80 -400
    The above setup, has handed just about everything I could throw at it
    The only thing lacking in the D700 was focussing and exposure accuracy and dynamic range
    I ordered a D800 the day after it was announced
    Most of my paid work, could be taken on dx but my clients do like the 36 mp files, they can crop or enlarge to poster size. Some of my work, takes months to set up, I want give my clients the best image possible as a reshoot is going to be very expensive. My hobby is landscape photography; the D800 is brilliant for this

    The down side of my FX setup, is its weight, not a problem when working professionally, as I can get someone to carry my gear. but I also use the same kit on holiday. Yes it is big and heavy but I have been spoilt by the IQ of the D800 I would only buy something smaller and lighter if it was better, than the D800 ( "good enough" is not a concept I subscribe to )

    Why do I not use Medium format? I am now somewhat retired and do not do enough commissions for a Hasselblad earn its keep






    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,847Member
    always been happy with DX untill I went to wide angle ..10mm with DX and the quality was not there so changed to FX with a D800 (horrible mechanically noisy thing) with 17-35mm and at the 17 end the quaity is a vast improvement over the 10mm on DX . Have tried 4/3 and it did not seem to have the quaity even for holiday use but now have a DX mirrorless. Played with Nikon1 but not sharp enough/low light limitations a bit like the 4/3
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,268Member
    Didn't know DX from FX when I got my first DSLR. Just knew that my Pentax point-n-shoot wasn't cutting it. Especially indoors. Went DX 'cause that's where my budget was at. Wouldn't mind having some FX gear, but DX is keeping me plenty busy at the current time.
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • retreadretread Posts: 523Member
    I shot film since before I was in high school. Switched to Nikon in 1967. Shot with those two bodies until raising a family and a business did not leave much money for film. Switched to a point and shoot until it died. Purchased a D5100 to see if I would like it. Wish I had got the D7000 as I used the old manual lenses a lot. I have two of the holy trinity and saving for the third and then a ultra wide zoom. Hope to get a pro body DX after that and then the D810 if it has not been upgraded by then. I am retirement age and this will be my retirement. I will shoot both DX and FX where they best work for me.
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,605Member
    @retreda - 1967 or 68 is when I bought my first Nikon SLR. Isn't it fun in retirement shooting pictures?
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • ExpensiveHobbyExpensiveHobby Posts: 27Member
    I started with a Canon point n shoot, got a D70s store model kit on clearance from Circuit City because I wanted more control (used Nikon and Canon film slrs in high school). Since photography was just a hobby for me, I could not justify the premium prices of any FX equipment. As time passed, I got a D7000 and started to see IQ limitations of my cheaper DX lenses. This lead to a few nicer DX lenses finding their way into my bags :).

    So to start, I went with DX for high flexibility/exposure control, digital and the inherent ability to instantly review a shot vs film, and low enough prices equipment to get started. Now that I can afford more, I am weighing the diminishing returns in IQ vs equipment cost.
    D7000 | D70s |Nikkor 18-70mm | 16-85 VR | 80-200 2.8 D | 50 1.8G | 50 1.4 (manual) | Tamron 200-500 | Sigma 10-20 f3.5 | SB-800 | Manfrotto 190XPROB + 486RC2 Ball |
  • Bokeh_HunterBokeh_Hunter Posts: 234Member
    edited October 2014
    I started before there was such a thing as FX (Kodak had it 14n but those were rare to see), So, D50, D80, and I kept wanting better controls and ergonomics so I got a D300. I passed on the D700 and started building my FX glass collection first. D800 came out, waited my usual 12 months (to let the bugs get worked out) and haven't looked back. (no D600/10 at the time - not that I would have went that way.)

    FX = better bokeh and lenses rendering the image better. Simple as that. For the style I like to shoot, that is what I want. My paid work is photos of people - FX is just better for that. Keeping lenses at their true focal length, is more of a "big deal" than I think most understand. On M4/3rds, 25mm = 50mm FX but that is only because of the crop factor. The lens still draws an image like a 25mm. I like a true 50mm on 35mm format. Lenses for DSLRs are (or whose origins) are designed for the 35mm format and I do beleive they look better when shot on FX. That is not something that is easily measured or the engineering explained and no one will probably ever will. Having pro lenses (2.8s) that match needed focal lengths, is huge. They just don't line up well with DX at all. Weight - I like the size of the FX bodies - they balance the lenses much better and better balance = less fatigue. Some days I'll shoot a 70-200 for 6 hours straight. Balance makes a huge difference. 36mp on the D800 is unmatched in DX. The resolution although overkill, is really nice to have at times when major cropping is needed.

    Why not DX? - (Nikon) No pro body at all. No high end AF, Metering (many miss the real differences) and lacking the full feature set of the pro bodies. High ISO are not near FX. FX (D800) gets about 2 stops of more usable range than DX and the D4/s/DF is 3-4 stops of cleaner High ISOs in practical use. If you have to perform in situation, FX is the sensor to have. Fujifilm really does make me reconsider the DX just because of the lenses it has. If I went DX, that is where I would go. I do shoot a Fuji X100 due to the combined trade-offs offset the sensor size.

    CX - Only reason I want one is for the "system" size and the 32mm 1.2. It is too expensive for what it is especially when better low light performance can be had by almost every single 1" sensor or M4/3rds sensor system at a cheaper price. M4/3rds last generation (pick up cheaply) is better noise performance. Horrible lens choices, and even worse prices.

    M4/3rds - I like the system and all the lens options. There is something about the image rendering that really bugs me though. It comes down to the 50mm equiv drawing the image like a 25mm. It is not horrible though, and for personal use I am tempted to get one of the really small bodies with a couple of primes. The flash system is not advanced at all and sync speeds are slow, so that would be a no-go for work more me. If I shot wildlife for personal stuff and never sold it, I would go this route. You just can't get the reach in any other system for this low of a price.

    Why not medium format. Simple - metering is worse, AF is worse, there is not an advanced flash system (controlled by lenses and flashes), and it does not work fast enough. Oh and the simple fact - Fill a system up with the equivalents and make up for features that I have with DSLRs, it would cost north of $120,000. I laugh when I see people saying they would get a MedFmt system and then on the next thread gripe about the DF being expensive at $2,300. A single lens is $4,000 for MedFmt systems. There are uses for these systems but they are far and few inbetween.
    _________________________________________________
    People need to differentiate between features DX lacks (36mp, AF, Metering, weather sealing, etc.) because of the lack of a pro DX body, vs the advantage of FX. If a DX pro body was released, many of the major crutches the DX system has would disappear. Many disadvantages of DX also exist in the D610 and even the D750 FX cameras.

    Note also I make my living shooting photos - small differences make for big advantages. It also makes me justify carrying 40lbs of gear all the time.
    Post edited by Bokeh_Hunter on
    •Formerly TTJ•
  • richierorichiero Posts: 18Member
    Since my film days, I've always believed, that a bigger film plane was better than a smaller one. I remember seeing two identical pictures of the same subject. One was taken with a Nikon 35mm; the other with a Hasselblad. I was blown away by the detail and isolation of the subject with the Hassy.
    I still believe that bigger (now the sensor), is better. So while I went through a numer of Nikon Dx cameras, starting with the D1x, when the D3 came out I jumped on Nikons first 35mm sized digital (FX) camera. I was fortunate in that my lenses were mostly full frame type , so the transition was pretty easy for me. I did have a 10.5 2.8 fisheye, and a 12-24 f4 zoom Dx, which I sold just this year, 2 years after I sold my last DX camera, a D90. Both my cameras (D610, and D810) are of course Fx. The detail that both these cameras can produce is what I look for when I print. Both cameras, but especially the D810 provide me with very versatile tools. While I almost always shoot the 610 in Fx mode, I sometimes shoot the 810 in 1.2, or 5:4 modes. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have shot either of these cameras in DX mode. But having that capability is reassuring.
  • warprintswarprints Posts: 61Member
    I had been shooting Minolta equipment for thirty years when digital started catching up with film. When I decided to try digital (SLR), I didn't want to jump into the expense of FX, and I liked the extra "reach" of DX, so I started out with a D300. I'm now looking at adding a D750, primarily to broaden my low light options.
  • retreadretread Posts: 523Member
    @retreda - 1967 or 68 is when I bought my first Nikon SLR. Isn't it fun in retirement shooting pictures?
    Never thought I would shoot much sports or wildlife but having a great time with the grandkids. The D5100 will become the loaner when I get my second body.
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,605Member
    @retreda - 1967 or 68 is when I bought my first Nikon SLR. Isn't it fun in retirement shooting pictures?
    Never thought I would shoot much sports or wildlife but having a great time with the grandkids. The D5100 will become the loaner when I get my second body.
    Same here shooting so much wildlife and grand kids. My son and his wife have a D3200 and it is rarely used when I am around because "grand pa" is taking pictures. I bought a new DSLR last September and in 11 months shot 9,600 images. It's great when you can participate in camera club outings or the wife and I plan a photo vacation or weekend. Never expected to spend so much quality time behind the lens...it's absolutely great.

    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,006Member
    edited October 2014
    FX format primarily here. Why FX for me? Low light shooting. While a good number of my shots are at base ISO, the other half are in the 3200-6400 range where DX just doesn't cut it for me. I also enjoy the larger, brighter viewfinder offered by the FX format. My DX kit didn't weight any less, so there was no noticeable weight change in going FX for me.

    I have a D300 sitting on a shelf, nice camera for it's era, but it is collecting dust. I would have sold it, but due to the age, high shutter count (over 100k) and battle scars it's not worth the hassle.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    I shoot FX, micro 4/3rds, iPhone. If I could afford it, I would go with some medium format just to appear my OCD tendencies….

    Why, FX is primary? ….my lenses all work, i can crop, I can always shoot 4x5 or DX crop in camera, There is a lot of subjectivity in my looking at an image, but, the larger the format the better the rendition of colors and tones…or at least, this seems to be the case.

    I have images shot with my D90 and think they were with the D4… so what do I know?

    If Nikon had a DX body which had the same control layout as the pro bodies, I would love one. But alas, no D300s replacement….. I have found the menu driven controls of the D90 cause me confusion when shooting either the D800E or D4 at the same time as the D90, i.e., both around my neck.

    Hope this is useful….
    Msmoto, mod
  • BabaGanoushBabaGanoush Posts: 252Member
    Yesterday I had 10 cameras in every format from Point-and-Shoot to FX, for video and stills, for both land and sea. I sold one camera today and now I have 9. I shoot all of them, depending on the circumstances. My favorite is my D800, my second fave is my A6000, but otherwise I like to carry my RX-100 along with me just in case. I'm giving serious thought to getting the Pentax 645Z, but will wait until the New Year to see what surprises Sony might have in store. Fortunately at this point in my life my budget for cameras is unlimited. It's doing the due diligence on the equipment I'm interested in that keeps my spending in check.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,172Member
    edited October 2014
    I was about to sell my 18-200 zoom but its found a new life on the CX. Its really sharp in the centre from 18-70mm so it makes a GREAT 50-200 FOV and at 200mm its just an awesome 540 FOV lense on the CX. It really is an awesome 48-540 FOV lense. I would be shooting with it more if I was not so infatuated with the 70-200F4 D610 combo. I am still waiting for the DXO tests of the 18-300 F6.3 to compare it to the F5.6 version so I can get a 48-810mm FOV lense !! talking about long lenses ! what a FOV !
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

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