Can I have my cake and eat it too?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by dave_dondero|2, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. I'm struggling with a camera decision and need some insight. For about ten years my kit has been a Canon 5D MkII, a small corral of lenses, all L-glass, and a Gitzo tripod w/ RRS head. 17 pounds in a custom pack. My MO has been almost exclusively HDR: multi-frame, shot on the Gitzo. Slow, contemplative, a throwback to my days with a view camera . Many trips to many places. Three weeks in Italy, for instance, maybe 300 images total, of which 5-6 might be ones I'm truly smitten by. (I've kept a canon S100 in my shirt pocket for snapshots of myself and/or the spousal unit in various places of interest.) I'm also a cyclist and this July I am going to France, not with my wife, but with four other cyclists. Two weeks of riding and a couple of starts/finishes of the Tour de France. When we get on the plane, our bikes will be in boxes in the cargo hold and we will each carry on panniers with everything for the trip. (Panniers, in case you don't know, are like saddle bags that are slung over a rack above a wheel, rather than a horse). Max weight: 25 pounds. So my camera kit, will not be coming. Time for mirrorless? Not as a replacement for the 5D, but a low-weight option, when needed? In looking around, reading reviews, perusing this forum, I am taken aback by the significant number of decisions to make. Sensor size. Use my Canon glass with converters or buy new? Much more. My ideal may not exist, but here it is: something light and compact enough to slip into one of the pockets on my riding jersey (you may be familiar with the three large pockets on the lower back of a jersey in which riders keep snacks, phones, etc?). Something I can pull out and capture a street scene as I ride upon it, but can also pop onto a gorillapod (carried in the panniers) to do the occasional "full monty" HDR sequence. I don't need fancy. I need light, compact and good glass. Image quality has been super important to me in the HDR work and I don't want to give that up. Ideally, I would make do with one lens, something like a 24 to 300mm (joking, but you get the point -- I can't fill up the pannier with lenses.) Video is not important, nor are lots of complex, esoteric features. Fast auto-focus for the street-scene stuff and a good auto-bracketing feature for the HDR are the main things. And user-defined presets to make moving between those two options a single selection. What else should I be considering here? What are the big trade offs? Can I have my cake and eat it too? Thanks in advance...
  2. For bike-bound adventuring, I would bring something like the Ricoh WG-5 and forget about fast autofocus and many of the other requirements you list. You can't condense your 5D system capabilities into a pocket travel package.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
  3. I think the decision becomes easier when one gets comfortable with how the images look from a camera they don't know. The not knowing is the problem. In the case of mirrorless and in my case with Fuji, I'm blown away at the image quality from this camera. I just received the XT-2 and will sell the XT-1. I have a high level of confidence in this system. Although there are some obvious variances in my case. The experience of carrying Medium format equipment in the field, to mirrorless is so stark its unbelievable. At the end of the day with the XT-1, I still had enough left to continue shooting. Surely this seems redundant, but I'm a believer in the beauty of redundancy. There's always something to learn from it.
  4. Fuji X100F would be perfect, but it only has one 35mm equiv lens. On a bike trip if cycling was the main thing, I would try that. Another cheaper option would be to take your 5D mkII and slap an EF 40mm STM pancake on it. A compact package for sure, but not pocket sized. The 40mm is a great lens.
  5. Forget the body/lens tonnage and go mirrorless. The 16mp Fuji X100T has just been discounted and is killer value now. The newer 24mp X100F isn't a jaw-dropping improvement over the older model. They're small, quiet, fast-handling and capable of superb images. The 35mm-equivalent lens is not a drawback. Maybe give the HDR a rest and go for a different approach. Fuji's film simulations are very nice.
  6. I second the Fuji route, after using a X100s for 18 months I got rid of my Canon 60D and all the lens. There seemed no point keeping a rapidly deprecating unused DSLR kit. I did use some of the trade in money on a Lumix LX-100 which I am enjoying, but I still have and use the Fuji X100s.
  7. Thanks, everyone for the suggestions. I will have some closer looks at the Fuji X100T (and the S, although it looks like only used ones are available?). The XT-1 and 2 sound incredible, but the 2, with a 35mm lens and a spare battery, cowabunga, two grand. Not sure if can get that past the family accountant.

    Donbright: I appreciated your comments on image quality and the reviews for the XT-2 are formidable. The XT-1 is a great deal right now -- given what I said are my priorities: light, fast, excellent image quality, good for street photography, would you recommend going with the XT-1? Or are there key upgrades in the 2 that make it worth the additional 7-800 bucks over the 1?
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
  8. I see your point regarding the XT-1 and the deal. Other than more MP or the ability to print larger, you would be hard pressed to see the difference in IQ between the two camera's. The XT-1as you know has taken the Photo world by storm as a camera that definitely punches above its weight in many ways. but to be clear no camera does it all. The XT-1 is the go to camera that I've used to go anywhere. I think it even won a 1st place best travel camera somewhere, no doubt. If your not familiar with Fuji yet, and contemplating a move and it sounds like your serious as I was, the XT-1 would be a great way to get into the Fuji method and to explore the flexibility of this camera and its systems. The X Camera's shoot Raw+ jpeg and the X camera's redefines the jpeg, in my view, if you want to generate a perfect jpeg, you have the option to do that with Fuji, then of course Raw files are there for you. Those of us that got used to and automatically went with Raw files and I'm one of them, sneered at jpegs until I saw one from the XT-1. In a word, its a shock, an awesome shock, well maybe some drama there but you get my point. The jpegs from the Xt-1 I found more than just guides to a Raw file. Many of them became finalists, they're that good! Also to remember in all of this, its the Fujinon lenses that are making the difference, these lenses are impeccable, so as for differences in IQ between Fuji camera's using the same Fuji glass, the punch is in the glass. Excellent glass projecting excellent light onto the sensor plane.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  9. Time for mirrorless? Not as a replacement for the 5D, but a low-weight option​

    Beware, I've had the same camera you do and after getting a Fuji XE2S I'm not touching the dslr anymore. You get the same image quality in a compact body with better control.

    I can only suggest to get the same thing. On a bike trip, you might only fit an X100.

    The dynamic range of 5Dmkii is quite limited. Fuji's range is broader, so if on your dslr you run short of only 1 or 2 stops, you might not need to merge files at all.

    More reading:

    I jumped ship : Fuji XE2S
  10. The Canon 40mm is $179 new. It's small. You may be able to get one from Canon refurbished for less. I think I paid $125 for mine. Cheaper than a new Fuji. But of course, you don't get a whole new kit. Also don't forget the Canon M5, but that is pricey too.
  11. yes, you can have your cake and eat it too
    best "IQ" image quality, fast auto focus, small and lightweight, great for traveling (and other things) ....
    inexpensive 'pancake' style lens .....
    and you can still use the big DSLR lenses .....
    jump the 'ship"

  12. I'd go with the newer Sony 1" sensor superzoom. Nice all in one package with very nice image quality.
  13. As a former bike tourist, I would suggest the Sony A6500 With Zeiss 16-70mm f/4. Compact, light, versatile, APS-C quality.
  14. Update:
    I've spent the last week or so researching, primarily the XT-1 vs 2 and the x100.

    Fuji XT-1 $799 16.3MP APS-C 5.1 x 3.5 x 1.8" 15.5 oz body
    Fuji XT-2 $1599 23.4MP APS-C 5.2 x 3.6 x 1.9" 17.9 oz body
    Meaningful differences between XT-1 and Xt-2: are price, bigger sensor; more adroit rear viewfinder; improved AF-C tracking algorithm; maybe faster autofocus.

    Fujifilm X100F $1299 24.3MP APS-C 5.0 x 2.9 x 2.1" 16.5 body and 35mm equiv lens (not currently available in silver, which is tre cool-looking)
    Meaningful differences between X100F and XT-2: form factor and weight; cost; and I assume there is some IQ difference, although more in flexibility than apples-to-apples comps (say at 35mm, f8, same subject).

    For the bike ride, street photography, and all-around "I would never have cause to leave this camera at home," I was leaning towards the x100F, with my primary concern that the flat body seems like it might be a bit slippery without really careful attention when, say, whipping it out of the back jersey pocket (in back) whilst riding. I also admit to being smitten by the articulating rear screen on the XT-2 that seems to allow for better candid shots.

    Then there are the lens options for the AT-2 (one and only one for bike trip):
    Fujinon XF23mm (35mm) F2 R WR $450
    Fujinon XF35mm (53mm) F2 R WR $400
    Fujifilm Fujinon XF 27mm (41mm) F2.8 ("pancake") $450

    Then Lou shows up with a random slap to the side of the head (thanks really, I appreciate it) and I'm off checking out the Sony A6500/Zeiss option. Upside is nice solid grip and tilting rear LCD, plus zoom flexibility, but downsides include sizable lens/weight, diminished "back of jersey" form factor and breathtaking (by comparison) price. Seems like if I was going to go for the Sony, I may as well jump into the XT-2 and Fujinon lens pond with both feet and get it over with.

    So it stacks up, kinda, like this:
    Fuji XT-2 w/ 35mm $2000
    Fujifilm X100F $1300, but limited availability for silver
    Sony A6500 w/ Zeiss 16-70mm F4 $2300

    Still pondering. Many thanks for all past and future comments, ideas, admonitions and cautions...
  15. Well, it's not on your list, but I'd take a look at the Panasonic Lumix dmc-lx100. No need to fool around with detachable lenses, and it looks like it will serve your needs nicely and will save you a ton of money. You might also want to check out the DMC-ZS100 for even greater versatility (10x zoom lens).
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  16. OK. hope you can have and eat the "cake"

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