Trade heavy Canon kit for what?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Enrico, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. Enrico, Jun 23, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014

    Enrico macrumors 6502

    Enrico

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Milano / Roma
    #1
    Hi guys!
    I was doing some serious considerations on how much I use nowadays all my gear and ways to minimize weight and size by avoiding to carry around on vacation a heavy backpack with all the stuff.
    I currently have this:

    Canon 5D Mark II
    EF 17-40mm (70%)
    EF 70-200mm (25%)
    EF 85/1.2L II (5%)
    fisheye
    580EXII flash

    I indicated the percentage of the lense getting used, while I shoot mainly landscapes, people and travel photography in general, always in RAW later imported in Aperture.

    Is there any way I could slim everything down, without suffering major IQ loss?
    Maybe the Sony A7r, Canon G1X M2, or a Leica?:confused:

    I know that the ecosystem with other brands wouldn't be so large like the Canon one, but it is an acceptable compromise for me, since I need just a wide and a medium-telephoto lenses (or a zoom) to shoot most of my pics.
     
  2. phrehdd, Jun 23, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014

    phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #2
    You have quite an excellent bit of gear there. I can appreciate the desire to have less weight when traveling and such but you need to give a bit more info.

    Do you want files for printing and if so, what size prints as example.

    There are some mirror-less options that you might want to consider coming from makers like Sony, Fuji and Olympus. The real catch is finding a camera that will work well for you with respect to handling and of course, they all have different ways of doing menus and buttons etc.

    Perhaps if you can, visit a camera store and handle various models and makes that catch your eye then narrow down.

    Though I am not a Canon user, I am not sure I would be doing what you are and might consider more perhaps alternative ways to carry the load so it doesn't seem as heavy.

    --------
    Fuji X-E1, Fuji X-E2, 35 1.4, 18-55, 55-200
    2x Mac Minis 16 gig RAM, SSD internal, 2x NAS, NEC PA series monitor, couple of printers, Epson 750 scanner, Minolta 5400 film scanner, Panasonic VT50 65" plasma, Nikon FM2+105 Macro, Minolta Flash meter, multiple flash units. iPhone 5s 64 gig
     
  3. Enrico thread starter macrumors 6502

    Enrico

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Milano / Roma
    #3
    I usually don't print, maybe a photo book here or there, and my R3800 does not go beyond A3+ size so I would consider that size as a maximum.
     
  4. Enrico thread starter macrumors 6502

    Enrico

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    Milano / Roma
    #4
    I'm eyeing in particular the new Sony full frame line-up (A7r and RX10), in addition to the RX100M3...how are your experiences so far, IQ wise?
     
  5. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #5
    The wife and I each just sold off our Canon 7D and 5D3 plus stack of L lenses to go Micro Four Thirds. We shoot Olympus EM1 bodies and with Oly and Panasonic lenses. We just got back from our first out of town photo shoot. Here are few examples at 1600 ISO with the Panny 100-300 lens. The images are not edited; only exported as medium jpg. Naturally we shoot only raw files.

    By the end of the shoot when others saw our kit, they were VERY interested in converting to M43. The M43 equipment is smaller, lighter, and less expensive.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Enrico thread starter macrumors 6502

    Enrico

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Milano / Roma
    #6
    Thanks for your opinion!
    Did you also consider some other cameras like the Fuji T1?
    I have a friend who is an event ph. and when he's off work he uses an X-T1 with 2-3 primes and finds it very exciting in terms of IQ.
     
  7. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #7
    I LOVE my Sony NEX-7.

    I'm not suggesting that as a replacement for you, but just saying that it suggests a strong look at the A7.

    SLRs still have their place, but like you I've decided I'd rather carry around 5 lenses with a mirrorless camera than 2 lenses with an SLR. If you're a pro showing up to a job with a rolling case, that's one thing, but 90% of my photography is done by walking around for hours with a shoulder bag.

    I've never personally used an A7, so absolutely don't take this as me advising you to outright buy it. But I can definitely say that my NEX-7 caused me to stop carrying my Canon 7D around. And I still love that camera, it just keeps losing out whenever I look at both and have to pick one to take out for the day.

    (FYI - The most annoying downside to Sonys are the need for an adapter to use your flashes. I'm still happy overall, the pros outweigh the cons. But just had to throw that out there.)
     
  8. nburwell macrumors 601

    nburwell

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    DE
    #8
    Just a thought, but if you go with the Sony A7r, you can keep your Canon lenses. You would just need to purchase a Metabones adaptor to mount your EF lenses on the A7r.

    I'm not saying DSLR's are a dying breed, but mirrorless cameras seem to be quite popular as of late. And who can blame consumers?
     
  9. ocabj macrumors 6502a

    ocabj

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    #9
    A guy I know did the same with his Nikon gear. He dumped dSLR gear and went micro-4/3 and Medium Format. The micro-4/3 for the travel/street stuff and medium format for the studio and location work.
     
  10. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #10
    I know of no other camera system that comes close to M43 in available lenses. M43 is an open published set of standards. There is one common lens mount. So any M43 body from Oly or Panny can fully use any M43 lens from Oly, Panny, Tamron, Sigma or other vendor. Also the M43 body owner can use an adapter ring to use older Four Thirds lens. You can get those older lenses on ebay for cheap money. Plus some vendors have made adaptor rings so you can mount Nikon, Canon, and other 35mm lens on a M43 body. Be advised that you may have to do manual focus or manual aperture selection with some of those combos.

    BTW, did you know that both Aperture and Lightroom do lens correction for M43?. It is part of the M43 standards that the bodies pass on the lens correction data int their raw files. That means Aperture and Lightroom do not have to build and update lookup tables of corrections for lens as they come onto the market.

    So ask yourself do you want an proprietary camera system with a limited choice of lenses or , one based on open published standards with lots of lens choices plus len correction data passed in the raw file?

    http://www.four-thirds.org/en/microft/
     
  11. ocabj macrumors 6502a

    ocabj

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    #11
    I was looking at the Sony A7S, and I was surprised to see that they make an EF mount adapter which retains all the electronic functions.

    I'm still sticking with my 5DIII, but I agree that mirrorless will eventually kill (d)SLR. Full frame sensor is what is holding me back, but the Sony A7S is paving the way.
     
  12. kallisti, Jun 23, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014

    kallisti macrumors 65816

    kallisti

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #12
    Only responding because you mentioned Leica as a possibility.

    I switched to a Leica rangefinder for many of the reasons you outlined. Small, light, portable, but with good IQ.

    Shooting with a rangefinder is a different experience than a DSLR. Obviously manual focus (though the focus peaking on the M (240) can help). Manual focus on a rangefinder is considerably easier than with a DSLR however. Not ideal for moving subjects though.

    The focal lengths you like to shoot are the sweet spot for rangefinders. Longer focal lengths tend to get iffy with focus (90mm is still doable, 135mm is the longest available and can work but you may need to have your lens paired to your body by Leica to get accurate focus--it's free to have this done though). You may want to send in your body/lens samples to Leica even with wider focal lengths if you want focus to be "perfect"--my 50mm lux was slightly off with my M (240). Now it's spot on.

    Modern Leica lenses are all primes (with the quasi-exception of the 16-18-21 "zoom" which isn't really a zoom but can only be shot at those focal lengths).

    28-135mm can be shot with the standard finder for composition and focus (though the image is pretty small at 135). I've used the standard finder at 24mm and it is doable unless your composition is critical. For 24mm and wider you should ideally have a wide-angle finder in the hot shoe for composition while using the standard finder for focus. You can always use Live View with any lens and focus/compose with the image on the camera back.

    One advantage of rangefinders over DSLRs is that you can zone-focus. Lenses (especially 50mm or wider) have usable depth-of-field scales on the barrel. So you can both choose aperture and focus based on what you want to be in-focus without raising the camera to your eye. There is still only one perfect plane of focus, but it can work surprisingly well, especially with smaller apertures and/or wider lenses where a larger DOF is required/desired.

    The most glaring con of going this route is the price. The second most glaring con is the price :)

    Here is a sample image. It's horrible in so many ways that I don't know where to begin. But...it highlights some things about using a Leica:

    [​IMG]
    Leica M (240) with 50mm Summilux @ f/1.4, 1/45th sec, ISO 2000.

    This was handheld at night looking into my kitchen from my porch. Changed the WB, but otherwise didn't touch it in post. Despite manual focus in near-darkness and hand-holding it at a shutter speed of 1/45th sec, the cat is fairly sharp.

    The other options you are considering may end up working better for you. But always good to see actual images taken with gear you are considering before you pull the trigger and buy.
     
  13. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #13
    Really glad to see others here sharing their experiences and opinions on cameras with smaller sensors.

    While I have moved to the Fuji family, the other makers also make some excellent offerings. I would suggest the OP read up on a few and also, check some out at a local camera store.

    I'll admit that if I did not get Fuji, I would have gone with the Oly upper offerings because both fit my needs each with an advantage over the other in some respects but close enough to both be winners. Sony and others too make some really interesting and well liked cameras with the smaller sensors.
     
  14. Enrico thread starter macrumors 6502

    Enrico

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Milano / Roma
    #14
    Thanks to all of your precious contributions, just a quick update: final contenders were Fuji X-T1 vs Sony A7/A7r.
    Looking at lense selection and price/quality ratio, the Fuji gets the most favorable opinions around, while Sony still looks like a "work in progress" with no precise roadmap ahead.
    Also, full frame implies having bigger and bulkier (and pricier, at least for Sony) lenses, that jeopardize my primary reason for going mirrorless and potentially replacing the rock solid FF 5D2 and its ecosystem with a decent alternative. Adapters for Canon lenses on Sony would result in having pretty much the same weight as before, with just a smaller size for the body+adapter combo.
    Leica would be amazing, but not having AF would be too much to work on at the moment, also its prices are not really attractive.

    Right now I have on order a Fujifilm X-T1 with the 18-55mm, if that looks good, I might add a 14mm fixed to have the perfect focal lenghts for travel purposes in just 2 lenses.
     
  15. The Bad Guy macrumors 65816

    The Bad Guy

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #15
    Just curious, but is there a post you've made that doesn't start with that sentence? :p

    Great shots BTW.
     
  16. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #16
    In general, fast lenses are what implies bigger and bulkier lenses, regardless the platform.

    The one reason you might want to remain with your present gear is its speed of focus and focus accuracy. It will deliver when you must get the shot and you've got one chance. Not so with all other mirror-less alternatives. I know this because of having compared my Canon gear with my Olympus and Fuji mirror-less gear. Canon will nail it with phase detect, while the others are going in circles trying to focus with contrast detect.
     
  17. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #18
    I can perfectly understand your sentiment: ever since getting a Fuji X100s, I knew that my D7000 will be my last dslr. I'll go for a Fuji X-mount camera next, but I don't have the money right now to sell my old gear (5 lenses, 2 flashes) and invest into a new body. I usually pack camera + mounted + additional lens and maybe a flash into my backpack, but that still weighs an arm and a leg. This vacation (my gf and I spent 4 weeks in Germany), I had to use my dslr again, because my significant other would not let go of my Fuji ;) Among other things, we went hiking and I could really feel the difference in weight simply due to my camera equipment.

    IQ-wise, I don't think you'll see a difference if you compare like lenses -- even if you study test chart. Most mirrorless cameras do use smaller sensors (either APS-C-sized or m4/3), but only if you push beyond ISO 1600~3200 will you notice that full frame cameras have more headroom.

    Which camera you'd like to get depends, according to me, mostly on what type of camera you want. Many manufacturers have dslr-like mirrorless cameras with electronic viewfinders (e. g. the Fuji X-T1 or the Olympus OM-D E-M1). Fuji has two rangefinder-style bodies. Sony and Leica have modern camera interfaces while Fuji has traditional-style controls. Sony has full-frame mirrorless cameras in its line-up, too. The only camera system I would exclude is Nikon's 1-mount, the sensor is simply too small. The lens selections for all of the major systems Sony's E-mount, Fuji's X-mount and m4/3 covers almost all of your photographic needs. Primes, UW-zooms, normal zooms, tele zooms, consumer-grade, pro-grade, etc., it's all there. Fuji has a 58 mm f/1.2 prime which would replace your 85 mm f/1.2, for instance. Note that the Fuji lens is much, much lighter.

    I bought the X100s because of its hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder and its simple, old-school camera interface, but some people prefer the newer interfaces. It has an APS-C-sized sensor just like my dslr and a prime lens specifically designed for that camera. The results are just great (Fuji does magic on skin tones) and are better than what I get with my dslr (I have to use my 12-24 mm zoom to get the 35 mm equivalent focal length, and the zoom gets clobbered by the purpose-built prime).

    Even though I will not buy another dslr, here are some points where dslrs like my D7000 has its strong points:
    - The AF system is much faster and works more reliably in low light. (AFAIK the AF module in the 5D Mark II isn't all that great, so you may even improve here). I noticed this during my department's Christmas party where I was asked to take pictures.
    - Nikon's flash system is much more flexible (don't know about Canon) in all respects but high-shutter speed situations (the X100s has a leaf shutter, meaning you can use the flash natively at any shutter speed. It sucks that manufacturers each have their own standard, meaning I have to use my Nikon flashes in full manual mode.
    - Tele lenses work better on dslrs, partly because the body is heavier (gives better balance).
    - For mirrorless cameras, most (zoom) lenses are specced and built so that they are not too heavy. And there is emphasis on in-camera correction instead of optical correction (fine with me, but the devil's work for others).
     
  18. MrGIS macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #19
    I am also a former Canon shooter. I can tell you the Panasonic GX7 is excellent. There are some trade offs, chiefly the focusing performance. This only comes into play with moving subjects, but even then its not terrible, just not lighting fast. Otherwise its much the same beast in a much smaller package. Excellent grip for such a small camera, fantastic image and video quality. The following lenses serve me extremely well.

    Panasonic 20mm 1.7
    Panasonic 14-42mm 3.5-5.6 power zoom
    Panasonic 45-175mm 4-5.6 power zoom
    Sigma 60mm 2.8 Art
     
  19. Enrico thread starter macrumors 6502

    Enrico

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Milano / Roma
    #20
    Interesting size comparison:
    http://j.mp/1jd9aR1

    There is about 90 grams total difference, of which (interesting) 60 for the body only (being the Fuji the lighter one) and 40 for the lense in favour of the Oly.
    We are talking not too much here, but the difference is more pronounced when you consider prices (in favour of Oly).

    Does the minimal addition in weight and the additional investiment for the Fuji, warrant a better IQ? For high ISO shots that may be the case, as I'm reading around, but for everything else?
     
  20. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #21
    I stated before that if I did not go with Fuji I might have gone with Oly. The biggest difference for me in comparison of the upper end models -
    Fuji has a better performing sensor
    Oly' focusing speed is one of the best in class

    As I joked with some friends, I would love to get the Fuji sensor in the Oly body. In general, the Fuji does well enough with speed of focus. I believe the X-T1 is more than capable based on my use of the XE-2 which is one model below.
     
  21. steveash macrumors 6502

    steveash

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #22
    I wondered for a while about trading in my trusty 5DII for something a bit more portable. I do quite a lot of travelling and like to do some fine art photography when I can. In the end I decided I didn't want to compromise and quality, (shallow) depth of field and handling. I looked at the Sony A7R and found a lot of complaints that images can have blur from the shutter mechanism as the camera is too light to keep stable for such a high resolution. I also found it hard to use in my big clumsy hands. It felt more like consumer electronics than a well crated tool.

    My solution was pretty cost effective if a little boring. I bought the 40mm pancake lens which I use for walk-around stuff and then pack an f/2.8 zoom for more serious stuff. Those two I find cope with most travel situations. The 5D with a pancake lens is pretty compact and lightweight - not a pocketable compact but no bigger than many of the cameras we are talking about here.
     
  22. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #23
    The m4/3 sensor is just significantly smaller than the APS-C-sized sensor in the Fuji. That matters mostly for high-ISO stuff, though (I use my X100s which uses the same sensor as the X-T1 up to ISO 4000). Under normal lighting conditions, though, the difference in IQ is mostly determined by the type of image processing that goes on. And here, each manufacturer has its own secret sauce. I prefer my Fuji's skin tones to Nikon's skin tones, for instance, but I'd be hard pressed to quantify that feeling in a scientifically meaningful way. Apart from that, both, the Fuji and the Olympus are similar: same compact dslr-like body with modern electronic viewfinders.

    My advice: if you already ordered, just stick with it. Don't worry.
     
  23. Enrico thread starter macrumors 6502

    Enrico

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Milano / Roma
    #24
    I have your same feelings regarding the Sony, even though I like innovation with the latest and greatest gimmick, I find it difficult at the moment to invest thousands in the shady Sony ecosystem. Who knows, maybe in a couple of years they will have the best selling full frame camera with tons of great lenses to choose from!
    But again, for me now it is important to maintain as close IQ as possible to my current system, while shaving off weight and save space.

    Just a question: it looks like the main A7R issue for you was its small size (that is also what I'm looking for), did you find other issues comparing its files with the ones from the 5D2?
    Also, did you try any other system, like Fuji or M4/3?
     
  24. steveash macrumors 6502

    steveash

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #25
    I thought the files from the A7R were very good, at least a match for my Canon. I wouldn't expect to get the best out of the sensor without a tripod and some very good glass though. The focusing wasn't great, it seemed slower and struggled a bit in poor light.

    I don't mind the smaller size, it is the small controls that I had a problem with. I think I might find the GH3 or 4 more intuitive to use but haven't held one yet. There is a lot to be said for a camera that you can easily operate it without looking!

    The only other alternative I tried was a friend's X100. A nice camera but again I wasn't all that comfortable with the controls. He loves it though so each to his own!
     

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