Mirrorless & DSLR Weight Comparison

Started Jul 9, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Re: Not just weight - size matters also
In reply to antoineb, Jul 10, 2014

antoineb wrote:

Hi wombat661,

thanks for doing the work.

I own a decent DSLR with some good glass (Nikon D7000, 85mm f1.4, etc.). I like the IQ and the PDAF, but dislike that the PDAF is not always precise enough for landscapes, and that the CDAF is very slow. And I dislike the inability to film with stereo sound and AF. And more importantly, I dislike the weight, and SIZE. Carrying some extra weight is often OK - but fitting a large camera and lens in a bag is quite another issue; and even if it fits then it is always a hassle to have to take it out of the bag (and no, a hip or breat pocket doesn't work on various activities).

On the side I own a couple reasonable compacts.

I have often thought about going mirrorless. Not so much to save weight, but to save on size.

However I haven't done it yet. Why?
- IQ still wasn't quite there yet. Of course latest m43 or APS-C mirrorless are now close to my D7000 IQ and even better in some cases (Sony A6000).
- still not sure about the actual size advantage. Sure one of these cameras with a pancake prime is small - but there are compromises (slow glass) and no one cannot always zoom with one's feet (wildlife, difficult terrain). Sure the kit zoom pancakes are OK-ish but they're not great either (slow glass, various optical issues) and again 3x zoom isn't ideal for some situations. And of course if you add some good glass to one of these cameras then the package is large again.
- how to preserve my investment? The 85mm f1.4 is a great lens but it wasn't cheap and I'm not sure why I'd just leave it on the side. The 18-200mm is nothing special but it does the job so again why give up on it? Yes Nikon allow me to use one of these on the "1" system but frankly with the crop factor they all become long teles and sadly the Aptina 1" sensor of the "1" system is obviously quite poor.

So what am I going to do?
- possibly continue to not buy a mirrorless camera.
- instead if I am OK with a modest zoom factor then a Sony RX100 seems like a better solution: small, light, fairly "fast" lens.
- or if I want more compositional flexibility and am OK with a bigger package (but a good deal smaller than my current DSLR w 18-200mm) then a toy like the Olympus Stylus 1, or if I am ok with bigger still then either the Sony RX10 or the Panasonic FZ1000, seem like more useful options.

The problem really is that if your looking for like for like performance(low light, DOF control) lens size isn't going to change much between formats so its really more a case of being willing to accept less and buying a body that matches the smaller lens.

Fixed lens cameras are definitely something interesting to consider as they do seem to offer real size saving for similar performance. Were still in the early stages here after things stalled at 1/1.7' sensors for years but I suspect this market will grow considerably in the coming years as performance improves and prices drop with reused tech.

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