S5 or S1

Started 3 months ago | Questions thread
Travis Butler
Travis Butler Senior Member • Posts: 1,618
What Makes Ergonomics - Z5 and S5?

jalywol wrote:

I find this discussion interesting. Not so much for the side hinge debate, but for the things that end up being "make or break" for people deciding to buy a camera or not.


So, for me, first, if a camera is in the weight range I am comfortable with, and has a grip I can get my hand around, I can go further with considering it. If not, no matter what else is going for it, it's not going to work for me, so it goes off the list.

So much this.

I've been vaguely interested in adding a FF option to my M4/3 kit, but the limiting factor has always been a combination of price (at the moment, FF is more of a casual interest that doesn't justify spending more than $1000-1500 USD) and ergonomics (past a certain IQ threshold, how comfortably a camera shoots is far more important to me than getting the highest IQ; I know from sad experience that if I don't enjoy taking pics with the camera, I'm not going to use it).

The Nikon Z5 looked like a promising choice on paper, and when it dropped to around $1K USD I was looking very seriously at it. But I wanted to try before I bought, and thank goodness for LensRentals; a week's rental convinced me that the ergonomic hurdle was too high for me. (I'd played with one briefly in the local photo store and had trouble with some of the control positions, but I was hoping practice would render them more comfortable; unfortunately, it didn't work. The body was large and heavy enough that I could not both control the body and reach several major controls without painful finger stretches; the grip was large enough that I was feeling muscle strain after carrying it for more than a half-hour or so.)

I also had a chance to play with a S5 at a different store when I was out of town, and the control layout felt much more natural; unfortunately, the Z5 experience has me a bit wary, because the S5 is pretty close to the Z5 in bulk/weight. (Admittedly the point is moot at the moment, because the S5 is at least $400-500 more than I can really afford and $800-900 more than I want to spend.)

What puzzles me the most is the people who laud the shooting experience of the Z5, and the ones who say the S5 is bordering on 'too small'. The Z5 was absolutely too big for my hands; the S5 looks like it'll be better because the controls are closer to my fingers' reach zone, but it still seems to be a large and heavy camera. (For reference, the E-M1 Mk II fits my hand pretty comfortably, but is still a little heavy to carry for more than a couple of hours; I use a wrist strap instead of a neck strap.)

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Fujifilm X20 Nikon Coolpix A Pentax Q Pentax K-50 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 +19 more
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