backpacking camera?

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graytrekker
graytrekker Regular Member • Posts: 178
backpacking camera?

Opinions please (this should be fun):

As I mentioned on another post in another forum, I have been an avid backpacker for 40 years, and an amateur photographer most of that timer.  I have always been "focused" (sorry, couldn't resist) on mountain photography in the West, where I live. Image quality is important to me, but there is always a limit.  I am my own worst critic.

Since the 70s I lugged a fully manual Nikon system around with primes and finally 1 zoom  until the death of film. It was heavy but I did it for image quality. But I am in my 60s now, I can't do things the way I did in my 20s. I have made the move to ultralight backpacking where "every ounce counts!", so I can keep doing the things I love to do. I eased into digital with a Sony RX100 MII. I love the little thing - so convenient - fits right in my backpack belt pocket so its always there - and for its size - a stellar performer for the $450 I paid. But obviously not a Hasselblad (even though it says it has a Carl Ziess lens ).

I have some awesome trips planned this summer for Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier Parks. So, I entered this arena thinking to upgrade from the 100 to a Sony a6300 with the "Ziess 16-70" seemed to be the way to go. Great range and its a Zeiss - must be exactly what I want.

I have read so much (here and other fora) about decentering, edge softness, etc., not of just the Ziess, but the Sonys as well.  I have just come over from the last thread on the soon to be released Sony 18-135.  As I said there, I am expecting more of the same as a symptom of going small (at least with zooms) with current technology.

But now, turning around and looking at things from the other direction - maybe I should let the glass direct my decision and not be fixated on the small body. These are going to be spectacular trips and I want to come home with images that can convey it all.  I can't afford the FF route, so I have settled on APS-C.

If I went Nikon, say (like 7200), yes it would be heavier and I'd have to suck that up, but I would have access to what seems to be a better market for lenses than Sony APS-C, as all well as my old (heavy, manual, non-AI) lens (not sure how much I would use them).

I am in rural Montana, so I don't have access to big city camera stores where I can see everything first hand and play with them - maybe even rent.  Also, I don't really do video - but who knows - maybe I could get captivated by it if I had that ability.

So I see 4 possible routes:

1) Save the $, stick with the Rx100 as the image quality won't be that much better (The RX is good - but I don't really believe this, throwing it in as an option)

2)  Go with the a6300 + a zoom -  those zooms (whichever) will be good enough

3)  Go with the a6300 with primes.  I used to use my 35 mm the most.  Of course, only one option there the Zony 24 - $$$ and QC problems there, too? (become leery of these Sony "Ziess" lenses.

4)  A system I haven't considered yet.

This forum is a great way to reach out and draw on a considerable resource of centuries of pooled experience and wisdom. I would aprpreciate your considered thoughts.

Thanks

Doug

 graytrekker's gear list:graytrekker's gear list
Sony RX100 II Nikon Df Sony Alpha a7R II Sony FE 24-105mm F4 +5 more
Sony a6300 Sony RX100
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