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Author Topic: Lighter Camera/Lens to replace my DSLR at least on longer hikes?  (Read 3831 times)

chbla

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Hi there,

I'm normally using a Canon 5D IV with various lenses and I really like it.

However, I'm hiking a lot, long distance, and it turned out that the weight (5DIV, RRS Tripod, 2 Lenses)
is really quite a lot sometimes.

I don't want to replace the 5D as I also use it for a 600mm lens, but since mirrorless cameras are catching up
I thought I can replace it at least on longer/sporty multi-day trips with a much lighter body.

Right now I'm thinking about APS-C and a 12-40mm lens or similar.
I like to be able to shoot in manual (raw) and fine tune settings, so it should be a semi/pro camera.

However since I have the 5D, I don't want to buy a second camera at that price point, so the high end or
full frame mirrorless options are out of the game.

I thought about 500-800 EUR for the body and right now I've narrowed it down to the Canon M50.
While many reviews are partially negative with this camera, the more professional reviewers and users
are quite satisfied with it's performance. It would allow to get the weight down to 1/3 of the DSLR combination I have.
A possibly better alternative would maybe be the Sony a6300 I guess, however, I had a Sony NEX once and the interface
was a mess - not sure how the a series are..

I'd like to ask for your opinion on this option, eventual alternatives and an appropriate lens for mostly landscape.
Appreciate your input, thanks in advance!


I want to maximize image quality with the lightweight option of a mirrorless camera. If there is a better option
I will of course accept increased weight, but it should be a noteable difference to my 5D otherwise it's not worth
the cost.

Christoph
« Last Edit: August 18, 2019, 03:14:25 pm by chbla »
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BradSmith

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Re: Lighter Camera/Lens to replace my DSLR at least on longer hikes?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2019, 12:33:02 pm »

I switched from Canon APS-C to Olympus micro 4/3.  Image quality is fine for my printing up to 17x22.  The real size/weight savings is in the lenses.  I mostly shoot with the 12-40 f2.8 Pro lens.  Excellent   Very happy I made the switch.
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Jeremy Roussak

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Re: Lighter Camera/Lens to replace my DSLR at least on longer hikes?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2019, 01:44:19 pm »

When I don't want to lug my 5Ds around, I use a Sony RX10-iv and am very happy with it.

Jeremy
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TonyVentourisPhotography

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Re: Lighter Camera/Lens to replace my DSLR at least on longer hikes?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2019, 04:26:38 pm »

I second the m43 suggestion especially for hiking.  The general compactness is noticeable immediately.  E-m1 mk2 and the 12-100 f/4 is the ultimate landscape/nature set up in my opinion for going compact. 

That will give you a single camera and lens combo that will do a 24-200mm equivalent with excellent results. 

Otherwise I recommend the 12-40 pro lens.  Depends how wide you need.  It’s amazing how much kit can be fit into a small holster, or a single compartment of a bag with nothing else needed. 
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armand

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Re: Lighter Camera/Lens to replace my DSLR at least on longer hikes?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2019, 04:46:24 pm »

It all depends on how much you are willing to pay and what impact in quality you are comfortable with.

Your choice of M50 is probably good enough, and you are already familiar with Canon.

m43 is another good option although I'm using it less these days, the 12-100 F4 is quite good for this purpose. E-M1 ii is probably the best but too expensive, you can find much better prices on the E-M5ii (or E-M10 ii or iii if you give up WR). A little lighter is the 12-40 F 2.8 but I don't think it's worth the loss in range for landscape/hiking purpose. Pana 12-60 would be more versatile.

On APS-C I use Fuji with pretty good results. Most will give you the same image quality, what you change between different price points is WR and ease of use. Their zooms are all good, even the 15-45. The X-T100 with 15-45 will give you good quality and is around 550$ with lens, you can add the 50-230 for not much weight. The X-T30 is almost as good as anything Fuji has and is likely still within your price point.


Now, all these being said I would think harder about how much you think you'll save. The above options work if you take only a zoom, at most 2. Add more lenses and the weight difference starts to be much less (proportional at least). If you go the mirrorless route you can use a lighter tripod. Take more stuff because they are smaller/lighter (ask me how I know) and in the end you are not that far. Keep in mind you need more batteries too.


PS. I also used the Sony RX-10 iv and it's cheaper and lighter competition, the Panasonic FZ-1000. The range is addictive and in good light you can get very good images. The lens in the Sony is sharper, has some WR and has more range but it's significantly heavier/bigger and more expensive, definitely more than the above options. Now in landscape you want DR and detail. It's all good on non challenging scenes but get to tricky/poor lightning and I wish I had a bigger sensor.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2019, 04:52:20 pm by armand »
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chbla

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Re: Lighter Camera/Lens to replace my DSLR at least on longer hikes?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2019, 04:56:18 pm »

Thanks a lot for your input so far, apologies for the lack of information.

I only want to carry a single lens on these trips, usually on the 5D a max of 50mm is fine as I really
mostly take landscape shots. So I would give an equivalent, single lens a try.
Of course there are opportunities where I like the 70-200 but that's my tradeoff.

That said, a body around 400-500g would be nice. I'm not sure about the lenses yet but the recommendations
here look nice.
I learned that there is too much of a difference between APS-C and MFT (don't have any experience with it yet).
I generally shoot in manual and raw so I don't care about JPGs a lot.
I'm also not interested in Video.

In order to justify the camera compared to my 5D it should cost less than 1000 EUR (I'm in Europe), preferrably between 500 and 800.
The E-M1 ii is probably too expensive, but I just read up on the E-M10 ii which seems to be a very good option.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2019, 04:59:26 pm by chbla »
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armand

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Re: Lighter Camera/Lens to replace my DSLR at least on longer hikes?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2019, 08:52:46 pm »

For that price, including the lens, I would look at the E-M10 with the 14-42 (28-84) vs the X-T100 with the 15-45 (23-68 equiv).
The Fuji has a better sensor with more megapixels and the lens starts wider. The Oly has more telephoto (although with more MP Fuji is not that far) but starts at 28; might have better build and focus, not sure.
I think handling and the price would probably determine which one to choose.

Peter McLennan

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Re: Lighter Camera/Lens to replace my DSLR at least on longer hikes?
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2019, 09:17:13 pm »

I agree with Jeremy.  The Sony RX10 iv is a darn good lightweight, do-everything camera.  I spent ten days in Asia recently and was able to produce both a coffee table book and a 15 minute video for my appreciative client.
 
Having a 24-600 (equivalent) zoom lens is very handy.

The only accessory I took was three spare batteries.  Seldom used them.
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armand

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Re: Lighter Camera/Lens to replace my DSLR at least on longer hikes?
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2019, 09:36:09 pm »

I agree with Jeremy.  The Sony RX10 iv is a darn good lightweight, do-everything camera.  I spent ten days in Asia recently and was able to produce both a coffee table book and a 15 minute video for my appreciative client.
 
Having a 24-600 (equivalent) zoom lens is very handy.

The only accessory I took was three spare batteries.  Seldom used them.

Too expensive for what the OP asked, and for hiking I think you can get lighter if you don't need the telephoto (the OP said up to 50mm would be ok). It's true though the an m43 with the 12-100 is about the same weight without a major increase in quality.

chbla

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Re: Lighter Camera/Lens to replace my DSLR at least on longer hikes?
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2019, 02:15:14 am »

Quote
it should cost less than 1000 EUR (I'm in Europe), preferrably between 500 and 800.

with this I was referring to the body only, without lens

@Peter, I don't really have had a good experience with Sony so far, I don't like their interface and controls. That's probably subjective though.
From what I read otherwise people weren't satisfied with their lenses or lens lineup recently... so I'm not sure I want to buy into it again.
Olympus seems to have a great lineup of lenses and also very nice features, the E-M10 ii seems to be an underrated camera.

« Last Edit: August 19, 2019, 02:37:58 am by chbla »
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Jeremy Roussak

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Re: Lighter Camera/Lens to replace my DSLR at least on longer hikes?
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2019, 03:38:01 am »

@Peter, I don't really have had a good experience with Sony so far, I don't like their interface and controls. That's probably subjective though.

I heard a lot of bad things about Sony's menu system. It's different from Canon's, but once I'd played with it a bit I found I could do pretty much everything I wanted with ease. I'm almost certainly going to move from Canon to the A7Riv fairly soon, and the menu system certainly isn't a deterrent.

Jeremy
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Lighter Camera/Lens to replace my DSLR at least on longer hikes?
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2019, 04:38:25 am »

No need to go away from Canon really. An EOS M (various models exist) and the excellent 22mm f2 pancake lens will suit the requirements.

chbla

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Re: Lighter Camera/Lens to replace my DSLR at least on longer hikes?
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2019, 04:41:15 am »

As mentioned I'm not going away, I'm keeping all my gear and I'm fine to handle 2 manufacturers.
It's just two different purposes/situations.

The Olympus has some nice features like focus stacking, stabilization, etc that might be useful.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2019, 04:46:25 am by chbla »
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kamma1

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Re: Lighter Camera/Lens to replace my DSLR at least on longer hikes?
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2019, 07:05:33 am »

On longer hikes (the Dolomites last week) I mostly take an EOS R and the 40mm pancake.  I use a Peak Design strap cross-body and hardly notice the camera is there until I want it.  Before that I used a 5D3 with the 40 and a regular strap, and it was quite a bit more noticeable.  On short hikes I usually attach the 24-105 instead, but I feel it.

When I want something lighter, or more flexible in reach, I take a Pen F with a long zoom attached.  The m43 works fine for me, though I prefer the Canon.

TonyVentourisPhotography

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Re: Lighter Camera/Lens to replace my DSLR at least on longer hikes?
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2019, 08:14:18 am »

The e-m10 as you mentioned is a great choice.  I like the 2 better than the 3...but either is great.  If you optimize how you shoot, you will never see a discernible difference between that and aps-c, and hardly a difference to most low megapixel full frame.  Especially at low iso with the better Olympus lenses.  A great option would be that with the Panasonic 12-35.  It is even lighter than the Olympus pro lenses but equally good.  I bet if you carried that combo around for a day you would be amazed.  If just doesn’t feel like you have a camera on you. 

I used to hike with a tech camera because it was lighter than a medium format slr.  I then conceded to my canon 5d mk2.  I then switched to Leica.  I ended up with m43 because it did everything all the other systems did, easier, with more features, and excellent macro and took less volume overall.  Not just less weight, but less packing space was huge.  The Fuji x100 was a travel buddy too...with a set of filters and such.  I really liked that...but it’s macro wasn’t my thing and I started itching to have at least a short telephoto option often times. 
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Dan Wells

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Re: Lighter Camera/Lens to replace my DSLR at least on longer hikes?
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2019, 11:15:05 am »

Depending on how big you want to print, Nikon or Sony full frame mirrorless with carefully selected lenses may also be an option (you can get really excellent sensors in either system). Even with good lens choices, it'll be bigger than what's been mentioned (but can be quite comparable to Fuji APS-C or the sturdier Micro 4/3 bodies). If big prints aren't the goal, you don't need anything that big. Fuji's excellent lenses (pretty much all of them) hand them the  "less than full frame" image quality crown.

Nikon's Z system lenses have generally put a premium on compactness, while Sony's broader line requires care in selection. One issue with the Sony lineup is that both the 24-70 f4 "Zeiss" and the 28-70 f3.5-5.6 are from the very beginning of the FE mount, and are two of the weakest lenses in the system. The 24-70 f2.8 G-Master and the 24-105 f4 are much better lenses, but neither is small or light. If you like zooms, that's an unfortunate place to find weak lenses (the Nikon 24-70 f4 is excellent, and it is compact enough that it looks like an APS-C lens). Sony has some nice small primes in that range, and some nice wide zooms. Either one will be heavy as you get beyond ~100 mm.

So far, all bodies and lenses in the Nikon Z line have very good weather sealing,  Sony less so (but improving). Both Nikon bodies, and any recent Sony body have in-body image stabilization

One especially nice thing about the Fuji system is the little 18-55 f2.8-4. It's a very small lens, and a very good one. If you're going to be out in inclement weather, remember that that particular lens isn't weather sealed, and only some bodies are (X-T1,X-T2,X-T3, X-H1,X-Pro2).. When Fuji does call something weather sealed, they mean it - I've had their sealed stuff out in pretty nasty conditions. Apart from the X-H1, they rely on in-lens image stabilization, which is often excellent, but it's spotty which lenses are stabilized. Most, but not all of the zooms are, and there are one or two stabilized primes.
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chbla

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Re: Lighter Camera/Lens to replace my DSLR at least on longer hikes?
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2019, 03:05:02 am »

I'm having a hard time deciding between the Olympus E-M10 ii (12-40/2.8) and the Fuji XT 20 (XF 18-55mm)

How would you decide? There are so many pro/cons for each of those cameras and both seem to
be very capable with the right lenses.
16 MP are enough for me. Image Quality is important. There is better low light handling on the APS-C but stabilization on the Oly..

The Fuji Sensor is better with higher ISO, however, as I only have static subjects (landscape, etc) the Oly combination with the full range
2.8 aperture and the stabilizer is very tempting... In my experience I don't really go above ISO 800 for landscapes and if I expect longer exposures
I take a tripod anyway...
« Last Edit: August 20, 2019, 06:27:46 am by chbla »
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armand

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Re: Lighter Camera/Lens to replace my DSLR at least on longer hikes?
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2019, 12:17:21 pm »

I'm having a hard time deciding between the Olympus E-M10 ii (12-40/2.8) and the Fuji XT 20 (XF 18-55mm)

How would you decide? There are so many pro/cons for each of those cameras and both seem to
be very capable with the right lenses.
16 MP are enough for me. Image Quality is important. There is better low light handling on the APS-C but stabilization on the Oly..

The Fuji Sensor is better with higher ISO, however, as I only have static subjects (landscape, etc) the Oly combination with the full range
2.8 aperture and the stabilizer is very tempting... In my experience I don't really go above ISO 800 for landscapes and if I expect longer exposures
I take a tripod anyway...

You are contradicting yourself at some extent.
You either want stabilization or you carry a tripod anyway. As opposed to others I was never in awe with Oly stabilization. Their best is in the flagship not in the E-M10, I would think that for these particular options the stabilization, IBIS vs OIS, is similar.
The lenses are good, the Oly is constant aperture but DOF wise it's no better; it might be a touch sharper, it is WR but the body isn't so there is that. The Oly starts at 24.  I read good things about the Fuji 15-45, build quality is inferior though.
Fuji sensor is definitely better.

I would try to put my hands on both and see which I like better.

TonyVentourisPhotography

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Re: Lighter Camera/Lens to replace my DSLR at least on longer hikes?
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2019, 03:47:27 pm »

I would rent both to be honest and see which suits you.  Button layout and feel in hand are huge. 

I was never enamoroured with the Fuji zooms, though I like a good bit of their primes that I’ve used.  I also did not like the focusing and just general use of their not xt2, xt3 cameras.  Except for the x100.  I like that a lot. 

The Olympus packs a lot of features and options into a tiny package.  Sometimes that is overwhelming for some, but it doesn’t need to be used.  The customization lets you really set up a camera to be what you want it to be.  I like that and prefer it now. 

The xtrans also never won me over, especially for landscape.  Some people don’t mind it...I did.  The difference between the apsc and m43 is negligible in real world use in my opinion.  The sensor wouldnt even be a consideration next to all the other aspects of each.
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chbla

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Re: Lighter Camera/Lens to replace my DSLR at least on longer hikes?
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2019, 06:38:23 pm »

I've got the E-M10ii here now and I've also ordered the XT-20 to compare.

I have to admit from what I tested the Olympus is very nice.
However, I think that aspect ratio and resolution (ability to crop more) will be in favor of the Fuji...
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