Small, Sturdy, Great IQ... can one come back from FF?

Started Apr 15, 2011 | Discussions thread
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travelinbri_74 Senior Member • Posts: 2,754
Small, Sturdy, Great IQ... can one come back from FF?

First allow me to say that I understand that this post is more an exercise in sorting out my thoughts on screen, deciding which compromises I can and cannot live with, and ultimately, making the best possible choice... but in the meantime, any thoughts would be appreciated.

First, allow me to clarify, most cameras out there are better than I am, I have not capped out my skill level anywhere close to where these great mirrorless, crop, and FF cameras are, and I understand that.

Nevertheless, photography is a big part of my life. I work at an NGO in Afghanistan, and travel regularly, and my camera is a big part of how I interact with the world. I love not only looking through my photos and attempting to catch and share what I see, but even the process of making those photos.

I currently have 2 systems, a 5DII, and a GF1, with a couple of lenses for each (GF1: 20/1.7, 14-45, 45-200... 5DII: 17-40, 24-105, 135/2, 50/1.4).

I find that there is no question that I enjoy the control of the depth of field in a 5DII, and even controls, more than the GF1, but where I can take the 5DII is limited. I also don't love traveling with the big camera and all the lenses, and at times, I cannot.

In theory, this would mean the partnership is perfect. I can take the GF1 for when a big camera is not appropriate, and the 5DII for when it is... but more and more I realize that if I want to stick with the 5DII, I need to change my lens set up... a longer lens, a better UWA, a micro at least. Assuming I switch the 135 for the 100, add a 70-2004/IS or 70-300 (I would love the 70-200 2.8IS, but I cannot see traveling with it), and sell the 17-40 for... I would be able to still keep it down to about 4-5 lenses.

Still, 4-5 lenses is a dedicate bag, and since the majority of my photography is travel photography, it makes less and less sense. I have not yet been wowed with the quality of the M4/3, although i think I could get better with it... and I have begun to look at Pentax as a middle ground. The durability and small size appeal to me, plus the bigger sensor, and I could see getting rid of both systems (for the time being, I expect an excellent small FF to come out any time now), for a K-5, 15, 31, 77, 100 and a 8-16 and 18-135 (which would still leave me without a dedicated long lens). However, I would then be spending money out of pocket to invest in a system capable of worse IQ... it would certainly cut down on the size somewhat though...

I have also looked at more durable FFers (D700), and know that this summer we are likely to see a lot of new offerings in general... this makes me think maybe I should sell the FF system now (before returns on it dive) and either go only with M4/3 while I wait to see what's around the corner, or go with the above, buying back into FF when something I want comes out...

Have many of you stepped back from FF to crop (or M4/3) and how happy have you been with the quality?

Any thoughts on this are appreciated...


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