“what camera should I buy?”

I recently forwarded an article about the new Canon M2 to a friend of mine who I know has been shopping around for a camera for quite a while.  He wants a good camera and a limited budget is a strong factor for him.  I previously (and still do) recommended he get a Fujifilm X100s.  Here’s what he wrote back to me about the M2 and my response:My friend:

Yes, I am still looking and this does look like a good option. I had set my eyes on the Fuji X100, but it looks like it doesn’t compare. So probably about $500 total?

My response:

the Fujifilm X100S 16 MP Digital Camera with 2.8-Inch LCD (Silver)
is still an awesome choice.  I don’t know if you can even compare that with the M1 or M2.  X100s comes with a really great lens – the only lens you will ever need.

…and dude, $500?  You can easily spend several thousand on a single prime lens if you want to.  If you do get a body that can take interchangeable lens, you are going to want a 50mm prime for sure, for portraits.  How much you spend depends on how wide the aperture goes.  You can get a 50mm 1.8 II for $85 on Amazon.  If you want L quality you need to go up to the 1.4 which is about $400 on Amazon.  That should be plenty.  The 1.2L runs over $1600 on Amazon.

Frankly I would still get the Fujifilm X100S which runs $1300 on Amazon, and has everything you will ever need in one package.  If nothing else, I would get this on The Strobist’s recommendation.  Here’s an article he wrote end of last year on which camera to choose.

What he says regarding lenses – choose primes over zoom lenses – this is the advice Omar Mullick gave me way back and it’s golden.  That zoom kit lens you get packaged with most expensive DSLR cameras is complete garbage – don’t waste your money getting a body + kit lens, you’re far better off getting a body only and then buying one or two primes separately.  Like I said, I never used a camera without a zoom lens before I got my DSLR, and when I got it I got two primes.  I never miss not having a zoom lens.  The only time I wish for one is on the very rare occasion I’m taking a shot from a great distance:

1) some pretty bird in the back yard

2) the Grand Prix in baltimore

3) possibly some other future sporting event, like equestrian or a bike race

Those occasions are SO rare it can never justify spending money on a zoom lens.  Maybe if I were a pro sports photographer, it might be justified, but even then maybe only if someone else was paying the bill – photographers do not make much money.  I sold my first stock photo ever, recently.  I’ve made a whopping 42 cents.  I figure if I can manage to sell another 300,000 images a year I can go pro and do photography full time.

Finally, here’s a post comparing the Fujifilm X100s vs the Canon EOS M. Keep in mind its talking about the M1, as far as I know the M2 isn’t available in the US quite yet.