Help me buy a DSLR camera

I’m sort of a “I have to carry it all” guy ;-)

When we went to New Zealand, I took the D600, 70-300 f/4-5.6, 24-70 f/2.8 and 16-35 f/4. It weighed aboub 12 pounds, with chargers, batteries, etc.

The 16mpixel sensor in the OM-D EM-1 is actually better in terms of noise than the 16mpixel D7000 I used to shoot. And given that the largest print size I use is 13 x 19 (I’ve got a Canon Pro 100), 16mpixel is definitely enough. I just have to decide if the lenses are good enough.

I’d actually replace the Nikon gear, if I stick with the OM-D. One of the neat thing about u4/3rds are the other bodies. I could also pick up at a later date a Pansonic Lumix DMC-GM1, and use the same set of lenses on it. That’s roughly the same size as the Sony RX-100, though lenses would add some bulk.

Ditching the Nikon gear is not an easy choice, so I haven’t decided which to keep yet. But I’m certainly impressed with the EM-1.

Following up on some older talk here, I upgraded to Lightroom 5 and PS CC and went to subscription pricing at $10/mo for both. On the one hand, I still hate the idea of subscription pricing, on the other hand, $10/mo isn’t much money. LR5 is certainly less buggy and more stable than earlier versions for me.

I added Canon’s DPP software back to my workflow though which makes everything a bit more convoluted.

Basically I import all my photos into my LR catalog, review and decide which I will keep and which I will delete because they aren’t working. Then I go through the keepers and do an initial CR2->TIF conversion in DPP because I find the overall conversion and demosaicing in DPP does a better job than the one in Lightroom at pulling details out if using the Canon digital lens optimizer shit. Then I sync the folder into LR and do any final touchups (color-based saturation changes, etc) in LR or the Nik Plugins in Lightroom.

There was a pretty substantial period of time where I was converting CR2 to DNG in Lightroom and now I regret it because I can’t reprocess old images this way, but alas the difference isn’t really that great, definitely a pixel peeping thing. But it convinced me to just stick with CR2 because essentially everything reads that anyway and not everything reads DNG. DNG is great in theory, in practice the plain old CR2s are much more universally accepted by software. If this ever changes in the future, I can worry about conversion then.

I also played around with RawTherapee a lot which is amazingly powerful but IME maybe too powerful because I get bogged down messing with almost every aspect of the image to the point where I’m seemingly never done messing with it, so I axed that and just went with DPP which produces good results out of the box without much fiddling.

I’m leery of Adobe’s subscription competence with their 40 million accounts being hacked.

Yeah, that whole hacking thing sucks. But I do like Lightroom and Photoshop…

This is me as well. I just got back from a trip to Armenia, and I was carrying the body, 17-55 f/2.8 IS, 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, 70-200 f/2.8 IS, and a x2 teleconverter. In practice I used both the 17-55 and 10-22 almost exclusively. A 50mm or 35mm prime wouldn’t have cut it, because I took a lot of shots that absolutely required 10mm. I very rarely used the 70-200, and almost never used the teleconverter. Yet if I didn’t have the 70-200 with me, I wouldn’t have taken these.


I’d like to carry less weight… if I thought the image results would be the same. The EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS and EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS II are both remarkable lenses.

An open invitation to everyone posting great images here to post em in this thread as well:

Sam / Kad

If you go that way let us know, eh? I could use some new lenses. :)

EM-1 is a lot of fun. I’m in the same boat on trying to decide to go full frame or go mirrorless. The 7D isn’t so bad weight wise with the 40mm pancake and the smaller flash. I do a lot of portraits versus events so might just stick with SLR.

New Lumia looks fun too.

A professional portrait photographer talks about full frame versus mirrorless.

Interesting stuff, and her examples show that a smaller sensor can do portraits quite well.

That’s a great blog, thanks. The author says she had to disable comments because she was regularly insulted for her choice of equipment!

Yeah, welcome to the Internet, the idiot amplifier. I feel her pain.

She’s also an awesome photographer, if you’ve seen any of her other posts.

Not surprising, the few photo forums I occasionally drop in on are rife with fanboi-ism greater than you see on gaming console forums.

Of course 99 times out of 100 when you look at photos taken by the most vocal of the critical, the photos are just complete garbage (often festooned with ridiculously huge watermarks, lest somebody steal their great work).

Yeah, just witness the meltdown that happened on the Nikon forums at Digital Photography Review because of the Nikon Df announcement. For the record, I think the Df is kinda dumb, but that just means I won’t buy one. Some users seem to take any new product announcement that doesn’t align with their world view to be a personal affront.

Well, yeah. She addresses the differences fairly well. Larger sensors mostly give you improved low light performance, and portrait photographers usually have enough light. This is particularly true if they’re set up in a studio or allowed to bring along their own lighting.

Me, I’m often shooting stuff where lighting a serious problem. On my most recent trip I brought a very lightweight tripod (1.5 lb carbon fiber), and used it. Because I was occasionally shooting stuff where ISO 3200 wasn’t fast enough for a handheld shot.

That’s a 6 second exposure at f/3.5 and 100 ISO. At 3200 ISO it would have been 1/5th of a second, which is within the realm of the handheld at 10mm if you’re steady, but of course 3200 ISO is pretty noisy even with an APS-C sensor. Since I had the tripod with me, I used it and used a slower shutter.

Obviously, if you’ve got a tripod and your subject isn’t moving, four-thirds still isn’t a problem. It’s the cases where light is at a premium and the subject is moving or you cannot use a tripod where full-frame would be a big help. Most people don’t shoot things like that, but some do.

As for lenses, I’m not sure there’s anything comparable to the EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS II for four thirds right now. I don’t mean numerically, I mean in terms of image quality. It’s a really remarkable lens, a huge improvement over version 1. It’s also remarkably heavy, it felt like it was half my kit weight.

Yeah, the Canon and Nikon 70-200 f/2.8’s are legendary. But u4/3rds versions are coming closer. And I’m looking forward to next year’s Olympus 40-150 f/2.8.

I bought an EOS M a few months ago because they are ridiculously, amazingly inexpensive for what you get and I have no problem using it in place of my 70D (which I got after the EOS M) when working from 11mm to 55mm. Once I go beyond 55mm the 70D is the clear choice even though I have an adapter for the EOS M to allow it to use all the same lenses, because once the lens gets to be a certain length and weight, having it hang off the EOS M just becomes an ergonomic/balance problem. It’ll be a while yet until I can totally give up my larger body dslrs because I really like having range for wildlife shots and the lenses required for such just don’t work that well on small bodies, for me.

Speaking of big/long lenses, after being delighted by the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 VC A009 lens, I’m really looking forward to the 150-600mm they just announced. If it is in the same class as the 70-200mm and the 600mm end is suitably sharp it is likely to replace my Canon 100-400mm.

So more than 1 year after buying the D7000 and being pretty happy with it, somehow my gear lust sticked to the Nikon 1 V1 because:

  • it is small
  • it can (with the required adapter) fit my current 18-105mm, 35mm and very sluggish used bought 70-300mm
  • with the 2.7 crop factor it would extend my 18-105 to about 300 (and hopefully faster than the 70-300),
  • while the 70-300 would end up being a sluggish 800 (which I coud point at the moon/sky)
  • it uses the same batteries as the D7000.
  • Looking at the current kit with the 10-30 price (less than 300 Euros)

Is it “worth” it?

I already know what at one point I will be getting a 70-200, 2.8, VR, likley after renting and trying it and then buying.
I decided for the 2.8 because with the grey-ish/ clouded weather we often have in germany, the more light you get in the better.

But could this 1 V1 with the 2.7 crop could be a decent intermediate till I saved up the cash?

And looking from a different perspective, as ‘smaller point and shoot only replacement for the D7000’, could it be that I am tired of waiting for the Nexus 5 bright red, which is on ‘coming soon’ already for a while, though it wont give the same image quality* or zoom?

  • p.s.
    I already use the D7000 as ‘almost point and shoot’ by sending the JPGs via the eye-fi card directly to my nexus 7 to post process with instagram, flickr, snapseed, picasa or Pixlr Express … . And dependig on whatever ‘post messing’ app/ platform I play with the image quality is “lost” anyway … .

I understand wanting to get a camera on which you can use the lenses you already have. But adapters can cause issues, as you’re introducing yet another element in the optical chain, and you’re negating the purpose of buying the smaller camera by using large DX/APS lenses on it. I also think the Nikon 1 is really pushing it on sensor size, but that’s a judgment call.

However, the V1 is really cheap now so maybe it’s worth taking a flyer on. Here’s a review that is pretty fair-minded about its strengths and drawbacks.

Good deal for you D600 owners It appears that you will get a free D610. Offer ends in November.

Holy shit! What is that all about? I shoot Canon, so I sorta ignore Nikon, but that’s gotta be crazy if they’re basically giving free $1,800 cameras.