D800 or D4 : Family Vacation

Started Feb 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
sroute Senior Member • Posts: 2,497
Yes, the D800+lens(es) is bigger but not orders of magnitude bigger

I have a smallish messenger style bag that I consider the maximum size I am willing to carry around for hours on end. For the longest time I carried rangefinder gear in it - usually one or two bodies and two to five lenses. Now it mostly houses a D800 and two lens kit (Sigma 35/1.4 and Nikkor 85/1.8G). I would take this bag, with either system, anywhere.

The D800 two lens kit is definitely heavier, but not so much that it matters. I often carried four or five M lenses in my small kit and at that point there is very little difference in weight between the two systems.

The biggest difference is that I can strip down the small kit to just one body one lens and it'll weigh less and occupy less space, or I can stuff the smaller kit into a truly small bag that doesn't look at all like a camera bag, or if it must go into a pack, there is still lots of room for food and other items in the pack. I don't find walking with either a huge burden but clearly the smaller lighter kit is more comfortable to carry longer.

I've used both types of cameras long enough to admit that I prefer carrying the small setup, but prefer the handling and responsiveness of the larger gear. I'll be bringing the D800/35/85 combo with us on our trips this year. Why? The high sensitivity performance of the D800 is way better than the other gear I own, and when it comes down to using either setup, I do much prefer the responsiveness of the D800 in every area from autofocus performance to shot to shot responsiveness and control layout and ergonomics. It's just heavier and occupies more volume.

What I probably will do is obtain a decent fixed lens compact (not Sony RX1 class, although I did very nearly buy one) for the family to use and for me to take over when I truly do not want to carry the D800.

As for theft magnets, personally I figure thieves are easily able to detect high value. They might not clue into a Sony RX1 as being an expensive piece of gear, but a Fujifilm X-Pro 1 emerging from a bag full of lenses is going to attract just as much attention as a D800 - from a criminal. The one place where the X  cams have a distinct advantage is they look less threatening to subjects and this might be a worthwhile benefit for some photographers. At the same time when it comes to putting subjects at ease I've that how one carries ones self matters a great deal more than the size and shape of the camera they raise to their eye.

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