Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Nature photography encompasses a wide range of subject matter, from landscape vistas to birds in flight. Naturally, some cameras are better for some types of photography than others. For example, most would prefer a pro DSLR over a "flat"-style mirrorless camera for birds in flight. But today's DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are quite good across the board, and you don't have to spend a fortune to get a highly capable nature photography camera.
In this article, we've selected the top sub-$1,000 interchangeable-lens models from the major manufacturers. For each camera, we've highlighted the basic facts about it, what kind of photographer we think it's best for, and its unique features and strengths. In some cases, there was a model hanging out close to $1,000 that we wanted to identify, as many are only a price cut or manufacturer's rebate away from the magic $999 price. Whether you shoot landscapes, wildlife, sports or travel, we have a good option that won't break the bank right here.
What It Is:
The X-E1 is a lower-cost version of Fujifilm's popular X-Pro1 "flat"-style mirrorless camera with a built-in EVF and unique 16.3-megapixel APS-C Fujifilm X-Trans CMOS image sensor.
Who Is It For?
The X-E1 is aimed at photographers who want DSLR image quality without system bulk. It's great for all nature work except quick wildlife action (i.e., birds in flight).
The X-Trans sensor features a unique RGB filter array that differs from conventional Bayer arrays by using a more random arrangement that positions red, green and blue pixels in every horizontal and vertical row. This minimizes moiré and false colors, allowing Fujifilm to do away with the sharpness-robbing, optical low-pass filter required by most Bayer-sensor cameras. The 2.36-million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder is a very good one, complemented by a 2.8-inch, 460K-dot LCD monitor. Dials atop the camera provide direct setting of shutter speeds and exposure compensation, and resist inadvertent turning.
Like the X-Pro1, the X-E1 uses the Fujifilm X electronic mount, which provides a wider opening for deeper mounting of the X-Pro1 lenses, minimizing the flange-back distance (distance between the lens mount and image plane) and sending light more directly to the pixels. Data is transferred between the lens and camera body electronically. Currently, Fujifilm offers 10 XF lenses for its X cameras, ranging from a 14mm wide-angle to a 50-230mm telephoto zoom.
Behind The Design
Gadget Bag: The Long View