Questions, Decisions

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by nvanzanten, May 10, 2019.

  1. I have been lugging around a D700 and hefty lenses for a long time and I am looking to replace it with something quick and lightweight. I can't afford the Nikon Zs. Would probably pull the trigger on a Fuji or Pentax but can overcome the "no lens syndrome,"

    BTW, I'm not afraid of point&shoots but I require a great one, not a beginner's. I hope not to resort to the bulge in my pocket (finger gets in the way of my eyes.)

    Any thoughts, suggestions, ideas, recommendations are happily appreciated.

    Let me just say that D700 has met all of my needs and more. I do not envy more pixels or video. (I walk around and shoot pics that intrigue me or enhance my themes.)

    If this post comes to naught I will die with D700 in my cold, clenched hands.

    But thanks for your considerate responses.
  2. Your Nikon lenses can be adapted to most mirrorless APS-C and FF cameras. Of course lenses constitute the "hefty" part of your kit, and are also the most expensive to replace. The Sony A7ii is currently on sale for fire-sale prices (~$900), is full frame, 24 MP with in-body image stabilization. A Fotodiox "smart" adapter will give you AF-P and AF-S, dial control over the aperture and transmit XIF data from the lens. The A7Rii is much better in many functional ways, including resolution (42 MP) for, under $1800.

    They won't last long. Sony has two new FF models since the A7Rii, and is probably clearing the shelves.

    Sony FF cameras are about the size of a Leica M, and about the same weight (1.2 lbs). I owned and used both of these cameras for nearly 5 years. I traded in the A7ii, but kept the A7Rii for a backup, now in my son's hands.
  3. I agree that the Sony bodies are the way to go, however, your lenses are SLR lenses, and they're big, too. So maybe the Nikon Z would not help you, either.

    Personally - and this is not necessarily a recommendation - I'm torn between Sony E, Fuji X and Micro 4/3. I'll probably go to Micro 4/3, but I'm always open to persuasion.
  4. Nikon prime SLR lenses are only slightly larger than Zeiss Loxia lenses for the Sony. There is not much difference between comparable zoom lenses either. That said, Sony has several f/4 zoom lenses of very high quality, which are inherently smaller and lighter than their f/2.8 counterparts.

    If you use adapted Nikon lenses, you must enter the focal length in order to get the best results from image stabilization. You must also engage focus magnification manually, rather than a simple twist of the focus ring with native lenses.
  5. There are now a number of relatively small mirrorless cameras that work well. But, as they say above, they become heavy, awkward machinery if you adapt big dSLR lenses to them.

    I don't see any way out of this contradiction without getting new, small lenses, expressly made for the new cameras.:confused:
  6. Let assume that you buy one of the Z the weight saving isn't all that much. So to really reduce weight I think you would have to go for the M4/3.
    You mentioned Fuji or Pentax. For Pentax if you meant their DSLR then the weight saving isn't great either. The Fuji would be a weight saving but you would have to buy their lenses of course.
  7. When I got tired of lugging around a DSLR and heavy lenses, I purchased a Panasonic Lumix FZ1000. It's not a pocket camera, but the weight and versatility make it ideal for carrying around for a day of shooting. I don't shoot often anymore, but when I do, there isn't a shot I can't get with it (though I don't try to do anything fancy), and it's a great vacation camera.
  8. Let’s say, no affordable point and shoot or compact zoom would be equivalent to your D700 in terms of functionality or picture quality. Compromises have to be made regarding which aspects to prioritize and which not, and that would depend on what kind of theme or shooting scenario you prefer more than others. If it’s wild life, priority should be long zoom, if it’s night or low light photography, a larger sensor can be prioritized over long focal length, if it’s flowers or insects, macro capabilities should be checked first, etc.

    So, before deciding on the perfect point and shoot for you, it is important to ask, what are your priorities. For me, I think most good picture opportunities present themselves under less than optimal light, and having a decent zoom improves your chance of getting the shot, specially when I am not dedicatedly on a photo trip (which is almost always), and hence not at liberty to spend time on a subject. So after many considerations, I settled upon the FZ1000 which for me is the best compromise.
  9. I like my Sony RX100M6.
  10. I think the Fuji XT30 would be worth a look. I am not familiar with the various P&S models available. I shoot MFT which can be very small and light to bulky depending on choices made within the system.
    tholte likes this.
  11. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Be sure to take a look at the Ricoh GR III. I have the GXR series and it is excellent - GR III is supposed to be even better.
  12. It depends on how much weight you want to take off and how much quality you're willing to give up. Simply switching from your D700 to a D750 will lose half a pound with improvements in image quality, autofocus and low light performance. If would also let you switch from some f/2.8 lenses to f/4 (e.g. at 70-200mm) little loss in quality. Nikon has some sales right now that would ease the financial burden. A bigger step down in weight would be one of the smaller Nikon DX bodies + DX lenses.

    For a huge weight and size reduction in a camera that still gives you great control over the photographic process, check out the Panasonic LX100 II. (Disclosure: I worked for Panasonic for many years, not in photographic products.) I've photographed alongside someone with the earlier model, and it's lovely to work with.

    While I was writing, Sandy suggested the Ricoh GR III. If you're OK with a single focal length, it's a great choice. (Certainly better than the similar design but much older, and discontinued, Nikon Coolpix A suggested earlier.) It doesn't come with a viewfinder, but there's an optional one available.

    For the smallest high quality camera with a large wide to telephoto focal length range, the Sony RX100 VI, suggested by Nick above.

    There are also some very small micro 4/3 interchangeable lens cameras that take small but highly capable lenses.
  13. Olympus micro 4/3 cameras have a huge selection of lenses in several price ranges, right up to incredibly sharp, expensive pro grade glass. Panasonic Lumix m 4/3 lenses are also compatible -so all in, there are a huge number of lens choices! The cameras are very solid too, in terms of user interface. Their advanced models are definitely definitely complex with many functions and varying ways to get to certain results, probably not really for the novice. The cameras and lenses aren't tiny, but there is still a size & weight advantage over full sized DSLRs and their lenses- without losing a whole lot in terms of quality results.
  14. May I ask which Pentax attracted you? - I'm shooting their elderly crop DSLRs and see a bulk / weight disadvantage at the wide end, comparing them to film SLR or even RF lenses. - OK, I didn't settle for Pentax optically not really spectacular series of pancake primes.
    Anyhow: there is the Nikon DX D3#00 series that should be lighter than your D700 and hopefully able to utilize the lenses you have, which you also might be able to replace with the 18-140 tourist zoom on lazy days.
    Tamron also just released their 35-150/2.8-4 in F mount. I can't wait to read reviews how the EF version will compare to my 70-200/2.8. The focal length range seems attractive to me and it is comparably light enough to finally enable me to carry the "big" DSLR casually.

    If you want smaller: I'd look at stuff with 1" (<- Sony's RX series!) to MFT sensors. Trading in what you have, to settle on a moderate MFT system, might be an option. I think I heard (Joe Edelman on Youtube) that the transition from Nikon to Olympus isn't too hard. - He liked Panasonic less for stills.

    I wasn't happy with the AF performance of Pentax and my early Fujis. - A Nikon D5#00 or D90 felt way faster to me. - I wouldn't call those brands "quick" for that reason. - Recalling my "point & wait" cameras too, I'd stay away from anything that comes with contrast AF only. Phase detection or Canon's dual pixel AF is ahead of that and I'd love to get my hands on a good eye detection AF, later when others reached Sony's current performance level.

    I can't argue much in the sensor size discussion. - I have toys like consumer P&Ss and smart devices, usually older and not top of the line and above those APS C & H + FF. If you want to stick to Nikon but go DX, check DxOmark's lens database what you can expect, resolution wise from your glass. - Maybe it is enough, maybe not. I don't own many lenses reviewed over there. I'd also compare their results to those of a hypothetical MFT system (or if they tested it a 1" Sony) and try to figure out if that'll be enough for you.

    I have neither used nor really looked at MFT yet. According to DxO the cheaper kit zooms wouldn't deliver enough resolution for my taste. Some primes are excellent though. I can't get rid of the feeling that an old plastic kit zoom from film days should be enough for some casual shots with a FF body. Camera bulk isn't my main concern and weight wise I reach my comfort zone with taking Fujis with 2 consumer zooms or Leica Ms (up to 6 primes) out. - A DSLR kit, like 2 bodies and f2.8 zooms would be too much for my liking.

    I feel challenged to perceive the relevant difference between a mid sized consumer (or maybe already "enthusiast"?) zoom on an APS body and something slightly smaller on MFT. In both cases you'll look and feel like carrying some camera. Heck, even Instamatics came with neverready cases and straps...

    Every downsizing discussion should include a longer list of your needs. - What focal lengths range do you want to cover? Is a fixed 28 or 35mm equivalent all you need?

    Nothing will substitute handling a camera in store after trying to understand it's menu system via online resources. Do your homework, read reviews, download sample images, calculate the weight of your dream kit vs. the current one and make up your mind about candidates.

Share This Page