Should I upgrade my camera body for Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

Started Sep 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
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ogremage
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Should I upgrade my camera body for Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
Sep 10, 2012

tl;dr: I'm considering getting a replacement for GF1 for hiking purposes. Advice will be appreciated.

I have a Panasonic GF1 with Olympus 9-18mm, Panasonic 20mm, Olympus 40-150mm, Panasonic 45-200mm native m43 lenses, as well as a Vivitar 90mm f/2.8 lens 1:1 MF macro lens. I only ever shoot RAW and process in LR.

Last year I did the GR55 in Vanoise and took just the GF1 + 9-18mm + 40-150mm (+ home-made CF tripod for dusk/dawn landscapes) with me, and I felt that worked quite well (some pics here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurisk/sets/72157627051834013/detail/ ).

I carried the camera and spare lens in pouch bags, as both were small and light enough to permit it, that way they don't stress my shoulders and felt secure enough there.

Perhaps I was occasionally missing higher ISO capability and an EVF (e.g. shooting mountain ibexes in the evening).

I had decided that when something closer to my ideal camera comes out I'd buy it, with the desired properties as:

  1. As small or smaller than GF1

  2. As light in weight or lighter than GF1

  3. Built in EVF, preferably in top left corner

  4. Multi-aspect sensor as in GH1/GH2 would be nice

  5. IBIS would be nice

  6. Better dynamic range and high ISO than GF1

I'm now considering to do the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in mid-October and while I'd like to upgrade my GF1 (I have it since 2010 and it's taken some beatings, the battery lid closes poorly, etc.), I cannot decide what camera to buy.

I find the OM-D E-M5 the most interesting. It looks lovely but only satisfies points #3, #5 and #6, and is probably quite a bit larger and heavier than GF1.

a. Have I missed anything, are any of the newer small m43 cameras going to provide significantly better IQ than GF1?

b. Is anything rumoured in the pipeline (LX1 style camera?) that would make me regret an OM-D E-M5 purchase?

c. How do you carry your camera when hiking? Do you use anything else but a shoulder strap?

d. Is the 12-50mm lens going to be useful for hiking due to weather-resistant properties, considering I'm going to carry 9-18mm and 40-150mm lenses anyway?

e. Any other advice for me?

P.S. I'm not interested in moving to other systems, I'm very happy with my m43 lenses and I don't want to be limited to just one manufacturer.

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 ogremage's gear list:ogremage's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8 +1 more
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1
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