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Thinking of "downweighting" my camera!

cheddar-caveman 16 1.2k England
23 Dec 2016 1:48AM
I currently have a Canon 7D Mkll with the Canon 100-400mm IS Mkll which I use almost exclusively for wildlife photography. At 78 I'm just beginning to find the combination a bit heavy to carry around for long periods even though a use a camera "vest", so am thinking of downweighting the kit.
Is there a smaller camera combination out there which will do this for me while retaining most of the great features of the Canon, shutter speed, low light capability etc.? I especially want to keep a viewfinder, I don't like back screens other than to review a picture, find them hard to see in bright light!
All suggestions will be greatly appreciated and followed up.
Happy Christmas!

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CBumpkin 12 31 United Kingdom
23 Dec 2016 2:13AM
Depends on the size of the chip. I had a Canon D5 I and it was heavy, but had a 12 Meg sensor and could produce great pictures. Switched to a GX7 Panasonic and Olympus E-M1, got the same daylight quality, but no good for astrophotography as half-frame chips are too noisy. You will not get low light equivalent quality from a smaller chip. Though the total expense is less, the portability is good and on the wall at 12x16 it will match a D5 11 for daylight shooting. If you *must have* low light capability, then it's a Sony mirrorless full frame, but that's mega costly. Please, have been shooting pictures 50+ years, from 5x4 down, but all cameras are a compromise!
DaveRyder Plus
6 4.3k 2 United Kingdom
23 Dec 2016 6:37AM
This was taken with an E-M10 and Zuiko 75-300 (*2 digital multipier), about a 50% crop on jpeg. The camera, tamron 14-150, zuiko zoom and panny 25 all went in my hand luggage.

StrayCat 16 19.1k 3 Canada
23 Dec 2016 6:55AM
I doubt you'll be satisfied with M4/3 after using the Canon combi you have; that's one of the best, compromises considered, available for what you do. I've had 2 E-M5s and enjoyed them, over 50,000 images of wildlife, but you have a much better combination with that lens. You'd be better off hiring someone to carry it for you.Smile
cats_123 Plus
16 5.0k 30 Northern Ireland
23 Dec 2016 7:49AM
I've just done the very same thing....Opted for an older OMD EM5...haven't been able to test any longer lenses, but the pancake lens is a much lighter and more manageable...Good Luck

Have just uploaded some low light shots to the gallery today Smile
franken Plus
17 5.1k 4 United Kingdom
23 Dec 2016 9:48AM
This is one was taken with an Olympus E-PL5 which came out in 2013. The band are on the move and it was taken at ISO 1600.

User_Removed 15 4.3k 2 United Kingdom
23 Dec 2016 9:52AM
I've just got the Panasonic Lumix G80 with the Leica 100-400mm lens and it's shaping up really well.
I wanted a wildlife setup that would be light enough to carry 'on the off chance' walks when my Nikon kit is just too heavy.
Bit of a learning curve on the dials and menu but i think it's going to be well worth it.
seahawk 13 1.3k United Kingdom
23 Dec 2016 10:01AM
I'm thinking of 'down weighting' my Nikon kit as well and I am considering the G80, I would be interested to hear how you are getting on with it.
cfreeman 16 794 United Kingdom
23 Dec 2016 10:09AM
Personally I moved to micro four thirds for the same reason because it is light weight and a compact size and I have not looked back. Is a full frame camera better at low light - yes. Is a full frame camera better at Sports, focus tracking - yes. However, when travelling I do not miss the heavy weight of an SLR. Another plus is I am more likely to take my compact and lightweight camera with me and therefore use it more often.

I could mention that when you print an image you don't really see the noise and that great iconic images are generally images viewed because of the emotional story of the image rather than the amount or lack of noise. What was the phrase Practical Photography used to use "technically good but lacks impact" If you have a compelling subject a mirrorless can do the job.

I have embraced the technology that these mirrorless cameras offer and I must say that they are leading the way with new innovation, they have given the industry - touch screen, fully articulated screen, Wi-Fi remote control, 4K video (astounding quality), extracting an 8 mega pixel still from a 4K video, post focus technology, etc etc. These innovations have been driven by the mirrorless cameras. To me it seems that Nikon and Canon have been complacent but have now just about woken up to what's going on out there.

My current cameras are a Panasonic GX7 and a Panasonic G7 camera with a mix of Panasonic, Sigma and Olympus lenses. I chose Panasonic bodies because the menu just seemed to make sense but I would not rule out a switch to an Olympus camera body. It would be very easy and I could even run with one of each because all my lenses are compatible. I agree that the deal breaker is a viewfinder and for me a bonus is my GX7 has a tilting viewfinder, which I tilt to about 30 degrees - I wear glasses and find this more comfortable.

Good luck with whatever system you choose - don't get hung up with minor technical issues like low light noise, if your subject is compelling a little noise makes no odds to the image impact. There are no perfect alternatives to full frame cameras but I am sure you can find a good fit that works for you.
adrian_w Plus
12 3.8k 4 England
23 Dec 2016 10:29AM
I moved from Canon 5D II to Olympus EM1 earlier this year mainly for weight reasons. I don't regret the change, although I don't do much in the way of bird photography. I know a couple of people have gone for the MkII & say that the autofocus is much better for BIF, especially when coupled with the 400mm lens. Worth having a look at, but not cheap.
Dave_Canon Plus
14 1.7k United Kingdom
23 Dec 2016 11:36AM
I am also concerned about weight so have to plan carefully what I carry now (used to carry two cameras and several lenses when I was younger). I did buy a Lumix FZ200 a while ago intending to use it on occasions when out and about but not on a specific photoshoot. The lens is excellent 25-600 mm f2.8 and the digital eye level viewfinder at 1.3 M pixel is also much better than I thought it would be. The problem is the sensor is too small and thus the image quality is very poor compared to my 5D Mk ii. My advice would be to ensure that you buy a lightweight camera with as large sensor as possible but do not be put of by not having an optical viewfinder. I found the articulated rear screen much more useful than I thought especially for street photography. However, I now rarely use this camera as almost all my photographs are for competitions and I need the high image quality of the 5D. Next spring I plan to buy the 5D Mk iv but will consider another lightweight camera sometime because the weight problem will get worse not better. I will be interested in your final choice.

saltireblue Plus
10 10.7k 62 Norway
23 Dec 2016 11:40AM
Recently moved from Canon 5diii to a Fuji X-T2 because of weight issues. I now have a camera and 3 lenses which together weight hardly more than the 5d house!
No complaints about the Fuji's IQ either.
ChrisV Plus
13 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
23 Dec 2016 12:01PM
You aren't going to see all that much of a disadvantage in light gathering going down to MFT from the APSc 7DII [if indeed that's what you're thinking of doing], but subject tracking may be an issue [it remains to be seen how well the EM1 MkII compares - it will be interesting to see it up against your Canon and more particularly the Nikon D500, which by all accounts is unrivalled at present in that regard. It is expensive though [IMO too expensive], but it could hit a sweet spot for you.

As others have very sagely said, a slight bit of disadvantage in noise at high ISOs and an even smaller loss of resolution doesn't matter that much in the overall scheme of things.

You've also got to consider that today's best MFT cameras would outclass even the best DSLR of 10 years ago on just about any measure. [Although the DoF characteristics of any format size remain the same of course].

People seemed to manage back then didn't they?
23 Dec 2016 12:04PM
same as Saltireblue.

I ran an EOS 5D11 and a Fuji system together before I was brave enough to make a jump. Currently have the Xpro 11 and and XT1 and recently carried that with ease around Vietnam and Cambodia in a way that would have been impossible with my Canon kit. I used a small Tamrac bag and managed to get both cameras, an18-55, 55-200, 35mm f2, 56.1.3 and a 12mm lens with me as well as tablet and storage.

People I shoot for cannot tell the difference in IQ . That does not mean there are no differences but the question is what differences matter to you. I shoot landscapes and use RAW, for travel and portraits I use JPG and the straight out of the camera JPGs in Fuji are astonishing for those purposes and significantly ease the workflow.
blue9iron 5 54
23 Dec 2016 12:26PM
Hi I have just jumped ship from a Canon 7d i used with a few L glass lenses because of the issue of weight, I recently had a weekend at Whitby and after the first day walking around from 8.00am till 10.00 at night my back ached so much that the next day I didn't take it out and missed some shots.When I got home I did some research and opted for the Oly omd em1 and a few lenses and a smaller bag.I now find myself taking it everywhere and love it, go to your local shop and have a play.

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