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Thread: Anybody switched to mirrorless for travel?

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    Member CapnBloodbeard's Avatar
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    Anybody switched to mirrorless for travel?

    So, later this year I'm off to South America for a few months.

    Due to my fiance's back injury, I'll be lugging the majority of our gear, so I'm thinking weight is particularly critical.

    As a result, I'm thinking of ditching the DSLR for the trip and investing in mirrorless instead. I've been doing a bit of research, and so far as I can tell some of the mirrorless cameras have IQ which is comparable to DSLR (may fall short a little in some more testing situations, dynamic range, high ISO etc, but it'll still be an upgrade from my 30D!). AF speed is a little poorer, and shutter lag is a bit higher - but aside from being a lot smaller, I'd be saving several kilos in weight, which I think is going to be the critical thing (also, lighter camera = lighter tripod). Aside from that, I figure I'll be more likely to pull it out on day trips, and it's probably a bit more discrete security-wise

    So has anybody on here switched to mirrorless for travel, and did you regret it at any point? Travelling with both is just not going to happen at all, so it's 'either/or'.

    The other consideration, of course, is that my lenses aren't particularly special but some mirrorless ones, even some of the cheaper ones, are pretty good.

    Any experiences?

    My fiance is a point-and-shooter, but she's also considering investing in a mirrorless for better quality images (she has an old IXUS so she'd need to upgrade). Tossing up whether I should suggest a mirrorless or a larger-sensor compact for her, but I guess that's another thread.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Won't most of the bulk be in the DSLR camera body, though? Some of the mirrorless+lens combos still look like bazookas - just with a smaller back end.
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    While the bulk is a factor, the weight is the biggest concern. I actually made a table with a bunch of lens/camera weights and sizes. mirrorless body is typically 250-350gm with battery as opposed to 495, body only for 1100D, add 50-100g for a XXXD body, and another 2-300g for a XXD body.

    Suitable lenses are about 400-700gm, and same again for a wide angle for DSLR - mirrorless lenses are typically under 200 (sometimes under 100, unless I want something with long reach). Spare batteries will weigh less as well, and I could get away with a lighter tripod.

    A few kg is a lot of weight when travelling.

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    I've looked into it as well CapnBloodbeard and have also done some weight comparisons. The one I've considered the most is the Fuji X-E1 with 18-55. The lens and body weigh the same as my Canon 24-105L... IQ and handling seems really good but the body is still a little slow with AF (a bit less than my 5D II) and the RAW support isn't there yet.

    I looked at the Sony, Olympus and Canon mirror less and I didn't like the ergonomics or functionality so best to try them out in person. If you can handle it, the Olympus seem to be the most mature option in the market at the moment.

    I do a fair bit of travel where I lump around camera, camping and climbing or skiing gear. It is always a struggle to balance weight/flexibility when taking the DSLR. They just weigh a lot and are bulky. With airlines now getting tighter with baggage weights, it’s starting to get harder to take what I actually want without going over my baggage limits (I generally fly cheap, so I don't always get the 32kg max limit) and I pack light.

    I'm really thinking about getting the Fuji for a trip later in the year where I would take my 5DII + 16-35 and the Fuji X-E1 + 18-55 (leaving behind the 24-105) to try out how the smaller system performs without adding any weight or too much of a loss in versatility.

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    Me.

    Here is a sample with travel photography in Central America with a Sony NEX5N, albeit some shots with a Canon 5D2 in that thread, but for 6 weeks over there, 95% of photos were with the Sony.

    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...OUND-Guatemala
    Commercial/Editorial/Wedding work - www.jackietranphoto.com
    Travel Photography - www.wanderingasianguy.com

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    Thanks Jackie - were there any times that you took a shot with the NEX and thought ' I wish I had the 5D instead'?

    mikec - unfortunately budget won't allow for the X-E1 or OMD, so I'll be coming in well below that one sadly, but good point on the ergonomics (especially access to manual controls)

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    The only thing I missed was the faster operations of a DSLR, in terms of shutter response and ability to constantly shoot on semi auto every time u press the shutter and constantly composing the scene. Every mirrorless camera will have this problem and by not composing the subject through an optical viewfinder, it is not as easy or fluid.

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    Depends how important the photography is, and by the sound of it, other things take priority. Sth America is one place where you have to keep an eye on your stuff. In the Andes, if you don't keep a hold on things, they will get stolen. So don't take more than you can carry. Great place, but the locals feel that the Spanish (ie us) stole lots from them, so they are trying to redress the balance. Can't blame them really, but I prefer not to lose my gear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    The only thing I missed was the faster operations of a DSLR, in terms of shutter response and ability to constantly shoot on semi auto every time u press the shutter and constantly composing the scene. Every mirrorless camera will have this problem and by not composing the subject through an optical viewfinder, it is not as easy or fluid.
    What lens/lenses do you use on the Sony Jackie?

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    Just a Sony 16mm 2.8 prime and my favourite the Sigma 30mm 2.8 prime tack sharp that one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Axford View Post
    Depends how important the photography is, and by the sound of it, .
    Well the photography is important - aside from the fluidity of operation, and the potential for some lower IQ in some situations (also depends on which DSLR body I would buy if I went that route; I'd need to upgrade my body, but not to something brand new).

    But it is a holiday, not a photography trip - I just don't want to come back thinking 'aww man...'. On the flip side, as I said a mirrorless may come out of the bag more than a DSLR...

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    I've just started running two systems now, but haven't had the chance to travel yet since buying into m43. My main rig's still Nikon FX.
    I won't have any issues leaving all my full frame gear at home if I'm travelling from now on (unless it was a photography-centric holiday) but I'm realistic in that they aren't the same and one will not substitute the other. My biggest issue is also the speed of operation in that I just can't do things as quickly or fluidly compared to my DSLR but I'm willing to concede that may just be me not being used to my mirrorless camera yet.

    Have you looked at an EPL-5? Same sensor as an EM-5 and you do get significant weight and bulk savings in m43 lenses compared to APS-C based mirrorless systems.
    You start to loose some of the weight saving if you consider the GH3 but if video is important to you, its considered one of the best (if not best) hybrid cameras out there.
    Nikon FX

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    Even that one might be out of my budget, but that's not set in stone yet; no need to buy yet so I'm not looking at specific models. The Pana GX1 is still one of the better ones (despite being a bit outdated now, it still performs really well, though I don't think its video is as strong) and can be had for around $300ish. I'd love a flip-out screen though, but that's not the most important thing in the world.

    Good to have the feedback about making changes quickly. Probably not enough to steer me away from mirrorless, but it's something to play with when I'm looking at models.
    Last edited by CapnBloodbeard; 15-02-2013 at 4:27pm.

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