S5 or S1

Started 3 months ago | Questions thread
jalywol
jalywol Forum Pro • Posts: 11,117
Re: What Makes Ergonomics - Z5 and S5?
1

Travis Butler wrote:

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.

<snip>

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.)

I knew right away in the store the Nikon Z5 grip wasn't going to work for me. However, I took a chance on the S5, even though I thought the grip might be just a little too deep, because everything else on the camera fell into place when I held it in the store.

The first day I had it, I thought I was going to have to return it. I use a wrist strap, too, so I was carrying the thing around just with my right hand, and the grip depth was giving me wrist and shoulder pain. This was not making me happy, as I REALLY liked the camera and its output.

So, over the next couple of days, I did a little experimentation, and changed over to an Op-Tech sling strap, (which I also use for my M43 bodies when I have the PL 100-400mm lens on them, to cut the wrist strain from that weight combination). I also went to holding the S5 lens in my left hand when shooting, so the weight of the system is evenly divided between my left and right hands, and not gripping the right side grip tightly as a result. That worked. But, it took reprogramming my brain, as I am so used to, with my M43, wrist strap and right hand only holding, that I was using a death grip on the S5 to hold it the same way .

Now, with the sling on it, I curl my fingers under the front of the grip, but instead of reaching my thumb all the way around back, I rest it on the strap where it mounts to the camera, while also holding the lens in my left hand. It's very comfortable that way, and nice and stable to shoot, too. Plus, no worries about losing a grip on it, since the sling strap is there backing it up.

In any case, here's the sling strap I use https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006W1J3OK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

You may want to rent the S5 and give it a shot. It's really a super nice camera, with lovely output.

-J

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