Budget & Camera

Lenses

Buying camera is never an easy task to being with. Of course, if budget is not an issue, you can purchase what you want off the shelf from the store immediately. But there are still a group of people who are more cautious about money spending, especially for the young one, be it a student or a young workforce.

Continue from my previous post, my friend had replied to me he want to use it for mainly for travel and causal family and friend shoot during weekends when there is a gathering or two. So he also further asked me to help him to recommend him what camera, lenses and accessories he should prioritize within the given budget with his usage. He So after understanding what he wants, I had work out some camera models & lenses from various brands and accessories. Over here, it’s all about Fujifilm. So I shared with you what I had shared with him.

With a budget of SGD2000, I have a few models for him to try out. These are based on suggested retail prices, street price should be slightly cheaper. (Due to Circuit Breaker, I am not able to get the street price.)

  1. X-T30 with XC 15-45mm (SGD 1549) + XC 35mm F2 (SGD 299) = SGD 1848.
  2. X-E3 with XF 18-55mm (SGD 1399) + XC 35mm F2 (SGD 299) = SGD 1698.
  3. X-T200 with XC 15-45mm (SGD 1148) + XC 35mm F2 (SGD 299) = SGD 1447.

Talk about camera body, X-T200 is the newest among this 3 choices but I will advise to get X-T30, given that it is using the latest sensor and processor. The longevity of the camera should last longer. X-T200, on the other hand, has bigger flip LCD screen for selfie and vlogger to use. Auto focus is not as fast as X-T30, probably similar to X-E3. Unless you love to selfie, X-T30 is my recommendation.

Usually I do not recommend XC 15-45mm lens but it seems that XC 16-50mm MK II is no longer available in Fujifilm Singapore. If I have to choose between these two XC lenses, I prefers XF 16-50mm over XC 15-45mm. Wait a minute, isn’t 15mm (22.5mm in full frame equivalent) is wider than 16 (24mm in full frame equivalent). Yes, it is wider and definitely helpful when you need that wide to cover some shots especially on landscape sceneries and group photos. The reason of not recommending is not because it has poor optic quality but because it is using power zoom lens which in my opinion is much slower than manually zooming.

XF 18-55mm is my most preferred choice among all 3 choices. This is my first and only zoom lens from Fujifilm. To me, it is the standard of what premium kit lens should be. As most of the time, even for for travel, I use prime lens, unless situation does not allow me to do so, I will use this XF 18-55mm.

If you notice, I also included XC 35mm F2 inside all the 3 packages. This XC lens features plastic barrel but the optic quality is the same as XF 35mm F2. Of course it is lack of aperture control but I think it is okay. It is Fujifilm’s fifty nifty lens. It is the cheapest prime that I will definitely recommend to newcomers if they are entering to Fujifilm’s playground.

“XC class lenses can be viewed as Fuji’s budget oriented X-Mount lenses. There are currently only two XC lenses, both feature plastic barrels and lack the aperture rings often found on their XF R siblings. XC lenses also feature slower apertures but still feature ED and ASP elements to ensure consistent and high image quality. Often found bundled with Fujifilm’s lower priced mirrorless cameras, both the current XC lenses are under $400 and can be identified by the inclusion of ‘XC’ in the lens model designation.”

From Shutter Muse
Lenses

How about accessories?


First and foremost: Filters
I used to mount filters a lot and I always believe that they help to protect the front piece of glass. Just like “screen protector” logic to mobile phone. But I was wrong. I dropped one of the lens (not fuji) without the lens hood before and it actually scratched the front glass. Conclusion: no matter how, hood over filter. Always mount hood. Unless you want do special effect with certain filters, then it’s okay. By the way, getting cheap filters might also degrade the image quality.

Second item: Battery
This is important. For me, I have tons of spare batteries. Currently about 9 batteries in used with 3 brand new in box. I always bring 2-3 spare batteries with me for shoot and about 6 spare batteries for travel. That shows how afraid I am of losing batteries to shoot. It is not an excuse that not able to shoot certain things when I want to and the reason is because I forgot to bring extra battery. Depending on the retail shops, they might give you a spare battery as a free gift. So I think getting an extra one more battery should be sufficient for starter, which mean 3 batteries in total.

Third item: Cleaning kit
Basic cleaning kit is important. Typically getting a package that includes a decent blower, wipes, pen brush and microfibre cloth is good to start with.

Fourth item: Dry cabinet
If you do not intend to expand your lens collection so fast and so soon, you may consider to get a reasonable size digital dry cabinet. A 30 litre size is selling approximately SGD89 in Singapore. If on a budget, a dry box is doing fine with silica gel.

Fifth item: Tripod
Cheap tripod does the function of being a tripod but usually it is not stable and weak when exposed to outdoor environment. I do not recommend getting it. Tripod is not really essential unless you want to explore long exposure landscape photography. If you do, purchase a good one. But you are on budget, save up on some money to get it. This is something you shouldn’t save money on or you might be regret.

Last but not least: Memory Card
Never ever invest in cheap memory card. Why? Why do you want to take the risk of having problem with your memory card? What if your photos are corrupted because of the cheap memory card? In my opinion, it does not worth the risk at all. The price of getting decent brand memory card is reasonable nowadays and I don’t see why we need to take risk in getting a cheap one.

The above are the general idea of what I have shared with my friend. I hope the tips are helpful in your adventure of getting your first camera.

Lenses

On the other hand, I have also compiled as list between USA, Singapore and Hong Kong for your info. The price list is based on May 2020.

Camera and lens descriptionAdorama (US)
(USD)
B&H (US)
(USD)
Singapore
(SGD)
Hong Kong
(HKD)
X-T30 w/ XF 18-55$1,299.00$1,299.00$1,999.00$6,290.00
X-T30 w/ XC 15-45$999.00$999.00$1,549.00NA
X-T30 w/ XF 23f2NA$1,348.00NANA
X-T30 Body$899.00$899.00$1,399.00$4,350.00
X-T20 w/ XF 18-55$899.00NANA$5,050.00
X-T20 w/ XC 15-45NANANA$3,890.00
X-T20 BodyNANANA$3,220.00
X-E3 w/ XF 18-55$799.00$799.00$1,399.00$4,540.00
X-E3 w/ XF 23f2$749.00$1,052.50$1,299.00$4,680.00
X-E3 Body$499.00$499.00$999.00$2,520.00
X-T200 w/ XC 15-45$699.00$699.95$1,148.00$4,580.00
X-T200$599.00$599.95NA$3,890.00
X-A7 w/ XC 15-45$499.00$499.00$849.00$3,680.00
XC 35mm F2$199.00$199.00$299.00$1,380.00
XF 35mm F2$399.00$399.00$699.00$2,290.00
Table comparison

Disclaimer:

1. All the shots taken here were shot by me.

2. I reserve ownerships to these images, if you wish to use my images for whatever reasons, please notify me and we can see how to works thing out.

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