I think I’m ready to make a serious effort to reduce the size of my dSLR and accompanying lenses and gear.
Here’s the picture, pun intended. I sport a Nikon D7000, with a handful of lenses. I can cover from 12mm to 300mm, with a few small gaps between prime lenses. I also have a nice SB-600 speedlight.
My set up is great is many ways. I can shoot almost anything I want, other than decent zoom. That 70-300mm zoom is a macro lens, so it’s crap for things far away. I have several wants, but only one real complaint. My gear is bulky.
Toting around the body and a few lenses commits me to a large bag, that really can’t be blended with another bag, especially a backpack. So, if we go on a hike, I’m stuck with picking one lens, and maybe one in a pocket; because I need the backpack for water, snacks, etc.
I see the solution as either…
- Getting another lens, that is a much better all-around-lens.
- Rethinking my whole setup.
The first solution is easy. Get a 24-70mm f/2.8. That bad boy is over $1800 though. Yikes!
The second solution is taking a step back, and looking at my whole system. I see no point in converting to a traditional dSLR setup, with another manufacturer. Doing that is just swapping one set of gear for another, without changing my strategy. The whole idea is to address my largest complaint, the size and weight of all the gear together.
Ultimately I don’t care about having a cropped frame camera. If I ended up with a full frame sensor, that would be great, but I do not really believe that it’s necessary…for me.
When Nikon launched the 1 Series, their first mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera (MILC), we got one, and really like it. However, it’s not the path I want to go. I’m more excited about Sony’s a7 or Fuji’s X series. Those seem to keep the pro features of dSLRs, with serious lens options. I had hoped for Nikon’s DF to fix the 1 series’ error, but that missed my mark.
Side note: I’d consider Nikon’s DF, if it didn’t shed video! The only way I’ll be able to convert my setup would be to sell my existing gear. No way I could justify spending all the money, without generating some capital with the gear I don’t want to use anymore. So, selling my D7000, would dump my great video camera.
I’m glad to follow all the pro photographers with the extra income to not toss their gear, as they all acquire their favorite MILCs. Reading their reviews, following their short posts on social media, and seeing the fruits of their labor, I’m able to get a decent look at what’s available, and what’s worth my money.
So, as I’m considering all my options, I figured I’d do it out loud. It can be quite helpful to get input from others, whom I hadn’t considered already.
Those platforms I’m considering, in no particular order…
- interchangeable lenses + a diverse selection of available lenses
- minimum 16 megapixel sensor
- HD video recording
- hot shoe
- 5-6 fps shutter
- optical viewfinder (not common with mirrorless cameras)
- flash sync port
- audio in/mic port (for video)
As you step back and understand what I’m talking about, maybe you have some thoughts you’d like to share? Please do! I tend to think out loud, especially with expensive items like this. Over the years I’d like to think I’ve been helpful to friends just getting started with a serious camera. I’m hoping now that others will see their ability to lend me some of their own experience and wisdom.
At the end of the day, I really cannot justify spending more of our limited income on yet more camera gear. This conversion will really only work if I can sell my existing gear, then use that capital to start building the new system. And that DOES mean that I’m inadvertently suggesting that I no longer be a Nikon guy.