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Thread: The ideal camera - how much did technology advance in the last couple of years?

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    The ideal camera - how much did technology advance in the last couple of years?

    This may sound strange coming from someone with a bit of experience under his belt, but stick with me if you will - I have not been paying attention to the photographic gear market for the last couple of years.

    After decades of hauling around (the now digital) SLR and lenses, I've been more or less out of the scene for a couple of years. Life somehow got in the way, other timetakers, health issues, ya know, the works. Last month however, I decided to bring the 5DII and two heavy lenses (the 24-70 and 100-400) when going on a vacation in Sweden. The first day out I took the camera with me, but boy is that thing clumsy and heavy. Never realized how much that thing weighs.

    To make a long story short, I left the camera in the car more than I took it with me. The wife has one of those compact- or bridge camera's she bought a couple of years ago. I used it too, but boy was that a disappointment! Lots of noise, ugly user interface, tiny sensor, cheap build quality. Yuck - I missed out on a lot of good photo-opportunities!

    So, here's my question: how far did technology advance the last couple of years? Are the Fuji X-Pro 1 or the EX-2 for example as good as my 5DII? Am I going to be disappointed with Fuji's lenses availability for these? I see there's a couple of zooms that go from 10 all the way up to 200 mm, a nice set of primes and even some weather resistant lenses are in the works... but... is it too early?

    I just mention the Fuji's since National Geographic mentioned them and there seems to be a reasonable set of lenses for it, but there could as well be other brands that offer similar solutions. I want a good size sensor, at least APS-C, preferably larger. A real viewfinder. Good glass. In short: I want my 5DII to weigh less than half it does and I want matching lenses.
    Ciao, Joost

    All feedback is highly appreciated!

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jev View Post
    I just mention the Fuji's ------------- A real viewfinder. Good glass. In short: I want my 5DII to weigh less than half it does and I want matching lenses.
    I wouldn't hesitate to replace a dslr with current mirrorless offerings for their practicality in many areas. However, there are some things that just don't measure up to what we would all like in those bodies.
    As an example using your Fuji thoughts, I have seen some excellent images from both the X-Pro and the X-T1 and comparing those images with similar MP apsc sensored dslr cameras the Fuji is as good as the best. However your line about the viewfinder is one area that you have to consider strongly. The X-Pro1 gives you an optical finder but careful framing is needed due to parallax correction being constantly required. The X-T1 has a purely electronic finder that people seem to rave about ( I haven't used one ) but it still doesn't seem to be match for an optical finder in a dslr --- yet.
    The lenses to match your current usage are there at the short end of the focal ranges and apparently the telephoto >200mm will be released next year.

    My view in short is that if you use careful, measured and precise framing and shooting practices you will lose nothing on most dslr bodies. If you want blazing fast autofocus and wide bright optical view finders to hunt rapidly moving targets you may be disappointed.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Thanks, sounds interesting. I'm gonna' have a look at the Fuji's later today. One of the large shops around here has both, the X-Pro1 and X-T1 in demo. Hopefully, the fuji expert is working today...

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    Ausphotography Regular Dug's Avatar
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    Not the best travel kit you have there.
    A 100-400L is nearly 1.4kg to start with and the 24-70 f2.8 (I assume you have) is also known as "the brick".

    A kit based around Canon L lenses is never going to be light due to their construction philosophy, but the models that have been updated are being made with weight saving considerations.
    For instance the 24-70 f2.8L has gone from 950g to 805g with the mkII model of it. Not a lot but over a kit it could make the difference between uncomfortable and manageable.
    Better still the 24-105 f4L is 670g
    The 100-400 has not been replaced (much humor, nothing definite ), but a 70-300L if it suits your needs is a more travel friendly 1.05 kg.

    As good as it gets with a Canon FF kit with L lenses that are similar, is a 6D with 24-105L and a 70-300L .
    Your kit would go from 3.23kg to 2.47kg which is significant and will take great pictures, but not the half the weight you are looking for.

    A crop frame with L lenses comes unstuck that you need an ultra wide as well to fill in the wide end.

    I know of several cases of people going from ff to a Fuji and they have all become converts to lighter cameras.
    There is also the Sony A7 full frame camera bodies as an option, which is close to half the weight of your 5Dmk2.
    I don't know anything about the Sony lens range, but the camera will adapt well to other lens brands due to its slim body design.

    I sling a 6D with a 24-105L and I love it.
    A 24-70L II would be nice but it's over my budget and I don't shoot at even f4 much.
    As it happens my next lens choice is the 70-300L as it strikes the right balance for me of reach vs weight over a 70-200L's and the 100-400L

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    Ausphotography Regular Dug's Avatar
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    I forgot to look up the 24-70 f4 (also a resent lens) which is lighter still than the 24-105L, coming in at 600g.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dug View Post
    Not the best travel kit you have there.
    Very true

    A 100-400L is nearly 1.4kg to start with and the 24-70 f2.8 (I assume you have) is also known as "the brick".
    I didn't believe Canon so I put the gear on the weighing scale today. The 100-400, including collar, caps and lens hood weighs 1612 grams. The 24-70/2.8 including caps and lens hood: 1014 g. The body weighs 850g according to Canon, but I measured it including grip, two batteries, caps and strap at 1410 g (!). The total weight of the kit I brought, including the bag, exceeds 6 kg. And that's just the photographic gear, no extra clothing, bottle of water, etc.

    I thought about adding lighter Canon equipment, but I doubt that is gonna'be enough. These mirrorless boxes really are much lighter.

    I had the X-T1and the X-E2 in hands today. The EVF in the X-E2 is quite good, the one in the X-T1 even better. Unfortunately, when closing the aperture the view in the EVF is getting darker too. There is a lot in favor of these small camera's, things look interesting. I'm gonna'have a good look at lenses and prices...

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jev View Post
    Unfortunately, when closing the aperture the view in the EVF is getting darker too.
    I am pretty confident that there is a menu setting to switch between the stopped down view and "normal" view Joost.
    I think by default it is set to stopped down view --- sort of like the older days.
    There are a lot of things about those cameras that need to be researched thoroughly.


    Update, page 90 of the Fuji manual ------ http://www.fujifilm.com/support/digi..._manual_en.pdf ----- details how to get a normal preview,

    PREVIEW EXP. IN MANUAL MODE



    Select ON to enable exposure preview in manual exposure mode.
    Select
    OFF when using a flash or on other occasions on which exposure may change when the picture is taken.
    Last edited by I @ M; 20-07-2014 at 11:14am.

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    Member Nick Cliff's Avatar
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    Jev,I have been happy with the Olympus micro four thirds system with a 2 times lens crop factor, [Panasonic uses same system and lenses are compatible],the mirrorless systems are great for landscape ,nature,type photos,especially if weight is a factor.The system weakness as previously mentioned is for fast moving sports or complex studio flash systems,apart from that it is all good.I find the electronic viewfinders great in low light focusing situations especially with slower[f3.5] legacy lenses ,and the real time adjustments with EV settings and colour balance with EVF viewfinders very good.In short these cameras have matured to the point that many professional photographers are using these systems now,regards Nick.

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    Jev, try a few different camera systems re menu operating systems,and the other thing is you may find you can use lighter tripods with these mirrorless system cameras.The Americans have a saying ,the best gun in a shootout is the gun in your hand, enjoy the search ,regards Nick.

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    well I just went for the Fuji X-E1 as a light travel alternative to my D7000. Now, when I pick up the 7k which isn`t often, it is sooo heavy. The AF speed does suffer and I probably lost maybe 5% or less opportunities to get the shot but the ISO performance is better than the nikon I reckon and it is a joy to use. A little leaning of the menu system but overall it is a great little `light` camera. I reckon the X-T1 would be a ripper but I am not updating for quite a while. The viewfinder is pretty acceptable but nothing near the 7k. Lens wise, I have the 18-55 kit zoom and it is a fantastic lens for the price. If I ever update, I`ll keep the lens. I really can`t imagine what it will be like in say 10 years.....lighter, more compact, better iso performance, who knows. Will be lots of fun though.
    Graeme
    "May the good Lord look down and smile upon your face"......Norman Gunston___________________________________________________
    Nikon: D7000, D80, 12-24 f4, 17-55 f2.8, 18-135, 70-300VR, 35f2, SB 400, SB 600, TC-201 2x converter. Tamron: 90 macro 2.8 Kenko ext. tubes. Photoshop CS2.


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    Ausphotography Regular Dug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jev View Post
    Very true


    I didn't believe Canon so I put the gear on the weighing scale today. The 100-400, including collar, caps and lens hood weighs 1612 grams. The 24-70/2.8 including caps and lens hood: 1014 g. The body weighs 850g according to Canon, but I measured it including grip, two batteries, caps and strap at 1410 g (!). The total weight of the kit I brought, including the bag, exceeds 6 kg. And that's just the photographic gear, no extra clothing, bottle of water, etc.

    I thought about adding lighter Canon equipment, but I doubt that is gonna'be enough. These mirrorless boxes really are much lighter.
    Interesting to hear the real world weights.
    I got the weights from The-Digital-Picture review site, knowing there can be inconsistencies from going to different sources.

    6kg owch
    I guess it sneaks up on you while you are adding an item here and there.

    A good reminder to me to minimize what I add to my system.

    I think like others you will find going to a Fiji system or like, will be a liberating experience.
    Last edited by Dug; 20-07-2014 at 12:32pm.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jev View Post
    ...... A real viewfinder. Good glass. In short: I want my 5DII to weigh less than half it does and I want matching lenses.
    You're not really going to get "matching lenses" if you downsize to a smaller format.

    From that last line, the best option if you just want to downsize your camera in some way would definitely be the Sony A7 series .. whether A7, A7r or A7s.
    135 format sensor in a small package.
    Matching the lenses to what you have will of course add considerable girth and heft to the camera .. so the point of saving 400grams on a camera but then mating it to a 2kg lens seems like a strange course to embark on.

    Of course if you want to simulate the lens performance in some way(using crop factor rules as the guide) take for example the tale of the Fuji 56mm f/1.2
    This is supposed to simulate an 85mm focal length(on 135 format) and while the fast f/1.2 aperture looks good in terms of marketing advantage, in terms of overall similarity to a proper 85mm lens on a 135 format camera, it's shallowest DOF possibility limit it to an f/1.8 lens.

    So compare the Fuji 56/1.2 to Nikon's or Canon's 85mm f/1.8's and you'll find that the Nikon and Canon there are for and against arguments for all three lenses.
    Respectively, the Nikon is 10mm longer, but 50g lighter and 1/2 the price, and the Canon is about the same size and weight and a whole lot cheaper .. than the Fuji lenses.

    The problem then lies in the zoom lenses you can get for them all
    You get nothing that comes close to a 24-70 f/2.8 for the smaller format cameras(which is a strange marketing gaff by those manufacturers) .. so you can't simulate those types of lenses(unless by matching lenses, you really only mean focal length only).

    If you don't really care for more DOF possibilities, then just get the smallest camera and lens setup(micro four thirds).

    DPR has an easy to understand article on equivalence on their site .. HERE

    The currently accepted convention is that the difference factor(format multiplier) of the format step will give an equivalent aperture for a given DOF rendering.
    But in comparing my two last cameras(D300 to D800) I think the real difference is over 2stops to create the same DOF illusion.
    So where an f/2.8 lens on the D300, even tho the focal length factor works, to get the same looking DOF rendered, on the D800 I had to use over f/5.6.


    As for EVFs ...
    Once again I had the 'pleasure' of using an EVF only camera the other day, and again .. I just can't get my head around it.
    Comparing it to the dark D800 finder in fairly low light .. I still preferred the darker but optical rendering of the OVF, compared to the noisy but brighter and too contrasty EVF only camera.

    Later in the day, in a particular shot I was setting up on my camera(D800E) where I couldn't confirm the framing in a very darkened corner of the frame through the vf, I switched briefly to live view .. confirmed it was lined up, switched Lv off and went ahead shooting.
    That is, the 'disadvantage' of not having an EVF in my own personal situation was not a problem, as I still had access to Liveview mode.
    But when an EVF becomes a disadvantage .. you don't have an option with any mirrorless cameras. It's EVF or EVF.

    One day EVFs will have achieved a quality level at least close to OVF without any of their current disadvantanges at all ... but I think it's still too early for that.

    If you were to step into the world of EVF/mirrorless cameras, I'd recommend looking at camera models with removable EVF modules, so that hopefully one day into the future the manufacturer will produce an updated EVF with decent quality.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    I am pretty confident that there is a menu setting to switch between the stopped down view and "normal" view Joost.
    I think by default it is set to stopped down view --- sort of like the older days.
    Of course there is, Andrew. And you know I like going back to the old days . All kidding aside, there's a lot of things that can be configured on these things, an hour toying around with multiple camera's and lenses whilst discussing issues with the (very knowledgeable) salesman and fellow-photographer-from-way-back is not enough to get down to all the nitty gritty details.

    Amongst other things we have been discussing lens setup and Fuji's roadmap for the near future. There are some interesting lenses planned for later this year as well as 2015, but availability is pretty limited at the moment. So, no hurries...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Cliff View Post
    the other thing is you may find you can use lighter tripods with these mirrorless system cameras.The Americans have a saying ,the best gun in a shootout is the gun in your hand
    Ya bet ya, Nick! That's the reason I'm looking at lighter equipment to begin with. As for tripods, I haven't been using mine in ages - not really a necessity in my style of work. Instead of a tripod, I often use a rope-pod .

    Quote Originally Posted by old dog View Post
    Lens wise, I have the 18-55 kit zoom and it is a fantastic lens for the price.
    Yeah, that package is prime target, but I would be happy to use the primes available for this system too. I've been shooting with all kinds of equipment and whilst zoom is a nice to have, I could live with primes too.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    You're not really going to get "matching lenses" if you downsize to a smaller format.
    "Matching lenses" as in: matching to the camera and weight-wise.

    From that last line, the best option if you just want to downsize your camera in some way would definitely be the Sony A7 series .. whether A7, A7r or A7s.
    135 format sensor in a small package.
    Yeah, I have been looking at the Sony's, they are on the radar too. I just didn't research them yet. Same with the 4/3'rd system (even though I don't really believe in that system for some undefined, completely irrational reasons).

    you don't have an option with any mirrorless cameras. It's EVF or EVF.
    The X-Pro1 has an optical viewfinder in addition to the EVF... not through the lens but similar to a range-finder.

    I was pleasantly surprised with the X-T1's EVF though. No, they are not up to PAR with SLR's yet, but they sure have come a long way.

    Thanks for your insights so far, guys!

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jev View Post
    ......


    Yeah, I have been looking at the Sony's, they are on the radar too. I just didn't research them yet. Same with the 4/3'rd system (even though I don't really believe in that system for some undefined, completely irrational reasons).

    Of all the small sized mirrorless cameras I've handled(although not many, but enough to know) .. the Sony's felt the most comfortable by a long margin for me.
    But this is a subjective thing, and basically depends on your level or requirements for ergonomics.

    My only requirement is that the camera doesn't force me to hold the body with my fingertips, and a void in the palm of my hand.
    I had to forgo the D600 as the palm rest was too shallow for my hand size(and requirement).

    The Olympuses, and the Fuji X-Pro1 that I remember holding all had flat palm rest grips.
    The A7 has a well formed grip that your hand molds too nicely(my glove size is L-XL for reference).
    The only thing that felt awkward on the A7 was where to place my pinky, as it just 'floated' in no mans land, because the height of the body is so much less than a DSLR .. but I don't think that was a real problem.


    good luck with it too.

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    Hi jev,
    I believe only the X-Pro 1 had a hybrid OVF/EVF. The X-T1 is exclusively EVF unless I missed that feature somehow.
    Nikon FX

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    Yeah, I know swifty, that's what I wrote earlier too.

    I've looked at the Sony's but they are too expensive to my taste. The more I look at it, the more attractive the X-T1 is. Except for the lenses... the lenses of my choice at not there yet - they are in the roadmap though (16-55/2.8 and the 50-140/2.8 seem like an attractive combo). Maybe I'll get the camera with one of those fast primes to get used to it now...

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    Oops.. My eyes must be playing tricks on me. Thought u wrote X-T1 which I've tested in store and couldn't remember having the EVF/OVF switch. Mea culpa.

    Good luck with your choice. I went through the same decision many moons ago but ended up in the m43 camp with the Fuji X system a close second. If I was choosing today the decision might be reversed, who knows. It's a nice dilemma to have, having so many robust and capable choices available.
    Cheers
    Dave

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    Member Glen1's Avatar
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    .....or you could just buy a Pentax K3 and DA300.

    Regards
    Glen1
    Regards

    Glen1

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen1 View Post
    .....or you could just buy a Pentax K3 and DA300.

    Regards
    Glen1
    But seeing as a little less weight and bulk is required ------- http://camerasize.com/compact/#520.359,485.68,ha,t

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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    But seeing as a little less weight and bulk is required
    Exactly that. Interesting site BTW, that's a new one to me.

    The best thing I can do is not hurry I guess. I'll let it rest for a (couple of) week(s) and see what I think of it than. In the meantime I will have some research to do on going prices for my current gear...

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