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FORUMS General Gear Talk Changing Camera Brands 
Thread started 09 Dec 2016 (Friday) 19:16
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Need a quality camera for hiking

 
wayne_eddy
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Post edited over 3 years ago by wayne_eddy.
     
Dec 09, 2016 19:16 |  #1

I'm not so much changing camera brands, but adding to my collection.

Currently I have a Canon 5DMkiii and a set of good lenses. In a few months I will be off hiking in some very mountainous areas for 10 day and want to keep my pack weight down. I'll want to be carrying under 20kg total. I have a long hiking history and a lot of nice light weight gear, so don't worry about that bit!

If I take my Canon, one lens, strap and light weight tripod my camera gear weight will be about 2.3Kg. I've carried a lot more than that before. Looking at a Sony Alpha 6000 and their twin lens kit the weight would be down to about 1500g plus a few batteries. That includes my tripod. I can pick a Sony kit up for about $AU1000

Can anyone advise of some suitable quality alternatives to Sony? Ideally I'm on a budget of about, hopefully under $AU1000 and don't mind purchasing a second hand camera. The criteria are that it ideally have interchangeable lenses, sensor ~20megapixels and a pretty highly rated camera as I'm a bit of a perfectionist in that way and will likely print some of the shots.


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Nightdiver13
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Dec 10, 2016 00:09 |  #2

What are your lens requirements? I'd say with your budget, your best bests are between the a6000 and the Canon M3. The Canon has a very limited native lens selection, so depending on what lenses you want, that could be the deciding factor. If the 20mp is flexible down to 16mp, that opens up the whole m43 ecosystem and Fuji.


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FarmerTed1971
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Dec 10, 2016 00:22 |  #3

M3 or Fuji something. The Sony would work too.
Just thinking you might get thes most use out of the M3 and an adapter.


Getting better at this - Fuji Xt-2 - Fuji X-Pro2 - Laowa 9mm - 16 1.4 - 18-55 - 23/35/50/90 f2 - 50-140 - flickr (external link) - www.scottaticephoto.co​m (external link)

  
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MalVeauX
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Dec 10, 2016 06:55 |  #4

Hrm,

Thought about exploring the world of Micro 4/3? Smaller cameras. Smaller lenses. They're quite good too. Take a look at Olympus & Lumix.

Very best,


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wayne_eddy
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Dec 10, 2016 10:09 |  #5

Thanks for bringing the M3 to my attention... its been a while since that was released and the price is looking good.

Out of the camera I would ideally want to take, is be looking for an optical viewfinder if at all possible. Though when shooting localling I can afford to use up a battery in a morning while shooting in live view however where I am going I'll be only able to tske 2-3 batts if I csn afford that.

Been looking at the Fuji Xpro1 just tonight and it fits the idea of what I want pretty well.

Open to other ideas.


wayne eddy
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wayne_eddy
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Dec 10, 2016 10:10 as a reply to  @ Nightdiver13's post |  #6

I'll mostly be considering taking along the Canon 17-40 f/4 L


wayne eddy
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kf095
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Dec 10, 2016 10:23 |  #7

If image quality is measured by MPs, then it is hard to beat Sony. To me it is sensor size and sensor itself. Plus, quality lenses under reasonable price tag. I'm not sure Sony is on this one.
I would go to OM-D to have it weather sealed and light or to Fuji X series with x trans sensor.
Mirrorless cameras batteries capacity is limited. Recently I read article about long hike in the Arctic. Photographer used small solar panel, inverter and charger.


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gremlin75
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Dec 10, 2016 10:25 |  #8

For backpacking I use a Fuji X-e2 with the 18-55mm f2.8-4 and a rokinon 12mm f2.

It's light, small, and it won't break the bank. You could also add either the XC 50-230mm or XF 55-200mm lens of you need more reach. There is also the XC 16-50mm which is obviously a little wider but also a little lighter then the 18-55.

I also use a small "table top" tripod instead of a full size tripod




  
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Luckless
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Dec 10, 2016 12:22 |  #9

What exactly are your photographic goals while out hiking? What do you want to capture, and what is your style of shooting?

Fully define the task at hand before you set out trying to find gear to fill things.

Also keep in mind issues like duration of trips and battery life: Mirrorless bodies can seem nice on the surface from a weight standpoint, but a friend ended up selling his Sony mirrorless to stick with his Canon SLR because the weight savings of the Sony body ended up being negative after including all the extra batteries he found himself using on longer trips to keep the Sony up and running. (Plus the weight of the lens adaptor) It was as much a financial issue in that case as a weight one that pushed him over the edge to selling it, as he wasn't pleased with the Sony for his other work.

One backpacker I ran into awhile ago switched to using a super compact folding range finder camera, shooting medium format film for his landscapes.


For things like support gear: Do you need a tripod at all? Jacket, sweater, rainfly, or other items you're already carrying can make do. I've seen one backpacker who took apart a small tripod ballhead and modified the external frame of his backpack. Weight of his gear + his walking staff (which can be used as a monopod for his camera) = a very stable tripod. What else do you need and what do you actually use?


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wayne_eddy
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Dec 10, 2016 19:24 as a reply to  @ Luckless's post |  #10

I've ready worked out why I want a tripod and the alternatives. My regular tripod I take weighs 2kg, my gitzo travel is 750g. Much lighter and it's coming for sure.

Im now looking at the Fuji xpro1 as it has an optical view finder.

Mirrorless can be a bit battery hungry but throwing an extra few batteries in isn't going to tip the scales for me.


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Bcaps
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Dec 13, 2016 14:04 |  #11

I'll share my own experiences as I have also been in the same situation as you. I too have struggled with this dilemma of compromising on camera gear to save weight on backcountry trips. Every trip involves some degree of compromise on weight vs. gear. However, what I have come to realize is that when I've tried to save weight by leaving behind my "normal" camera, lenses, or tripods for lighter versions, I always regret it. Every time.

There is nothing worse than composing a shot and wishing I had those two extra mm's I would have had from my 14-24 that I don't have with my 16-35, even though it did save me precious ounces. Or, processing a shot and seeing too much noise in the recovered shadows because I was using my a6300 and not my D810. Or, having to accept more noise in a milky way/aurora shot because I saved weight and bought my f/4 instead of my f/2.8 and had to bump up the ISO. Or setting up a shot in a moving stream and getting constant tripod vibrations because I saved 16 ounces by using my dinky travel tripod. The list goes on. And it isn't just the practical reasons that I've just listed, it's also mental. When I'm composing a scene and am regretting not having my "real" camera, lens, or tripod, I start obsessing over it and it just takes me out of the moment and kills both my enjoyment of the experience and my creativity.

So, going forward I have decided that I won't compromise to save weight unless I am going to a location that I know I can easily return to (ie, the Sierra) or if it's a multi-week thru-hike, or if photography isn't a primary focus of the trip. The "once in a lifetime" trips I will bring my "normal" gear and save as much weight as I can elsewhere. If that means I do less miles in a day, or travel slower, or am just that much more tired at the end of the day, so be it.

Just as a point of reference, my last trip was a 7 day "once in a lifetime" type of backcountry trip with all off-trail travel over very difficult terrain that included lots of elevation gain/loss, unstable talus fields, areas of exposure, fording waist deep streams, and hellacious bushwhacking through very dense slide alder on steep and unpredictable terrain. So, weight was definitely a concern. I did a partial compromise and took my D810, 16-35 instead of my 14-24 and 24-120 instead of my combo of 24-70/70-200, and my travel tripod. In hindsight what I would have changed was to swap out the 16-35 for my 14-24 and take my RRS TVC-24 instead of my Gitzo travel tripod. It would have been a weight penalty of around 2 lb's or so, but I didn't find my pack weight to be an issue. My gear list for the trip is here (external link).

Even with this minimally compromised camera setup, my base weight without food was 35 lbs /18.5 Kg, and with food it was 50 lbs/22.6 Kg, which decreased by about 1.5 lb/day with food consumption. I think that is a pretty reasonable base weight and struck a good balance between quality camera gear and weight savings. I was with 5 other guys on the trip and 4 of them had full frame Nikons and the other had a Sony a7RII with a 11-24 and a couple of other lenses.

If one of your main goals on this upcoming trip is photography and if you don't think you will be able to do the trip again anytime soon, I would recommend you rent some lighter weight camera gear and do a "shakedown" trip where you can see just how comfortable you would be with some of the compromises you will be making for the lighter gear. It may be that you can live with those compromises, but it would be better to find out now rather than coming to regret it after doing a trip that you may not have the opportunity of every doing again.


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rxjohn
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Dec 25, 2016 22:22 |  #12

The last backpacking trip, I hiked to 11,000 feet near Mt. Whitney in Eastern Sierras in CA. I took with me Olympus E-M5 and 12-35mm f2.8 and 3 batteries. Some of the Pictures I took, I have it printed and framed in my office.

I also wanted to photgraph the Milkyway so I needed 12mm and f2.8. If I had to do it again, I would take Oly E-pm2, with the same lens.

My backpack was a bit over 20kg due to a bear cannister. Anything I can to lighten the bag, I will do next time.




  
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AlanU
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Dec 26, 2016 11:09 |  #13

I'd suggest looking at a fuji X-T10 with 18-55 kit lens. Do some digging and read the reviews of the excellent kit lens.

I would say the high iso performance is somewhat similar to my Canon 5dmk2.

I'm not sure what "highly rated camera" means but I'd suggest at least playing with an X-T10 with kit lens. I produced much better image quality and ISO performance with my fuji X-T10 with kit lens vs my Micro 4/3 GH3 or E-M5 with $$ panasonic 12-35 f/2.8. Please note the Old E-M5 image quality produces similar quality files of the fresh new micro 4/3 bodies. Fuji has much more dynamic range than Micro 4/3...been there...done that.

Pickup an affordable 55-200 f/3.5-4.8 zoom and be impressed with this light weight lens (zombie chick).

The pano shot can be easily performed with virtually identical IQ with a kit lens. I think I used my 16mm on this shot though.


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My Micro 4/3 with pro lenses never produced this kind of 3d depth effortlessly like my Fuji kit. I do need the X-T2 to improve my AF performance though....

Sony world for the price you cannot unfortunately purchase an A6000, 6300, 6500 with kit lens that will match the performance of the fuji 18-55 kit lens. Only reason I appreciate fuji is the lens lineup.


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5Dmkiv |5Dmkiii | 24LmkII | 85 mkII L | | 16-35L mkII | 24-70 f/2.8L mkii| 70-200 f/2.8 ISL mkII| 600EX-RT x2 | 580 EX II x2 | Einstein's
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Sony 2 x A7iii w/ Sigma MC-11 adapter | GM16-35 f/2.8 | Sigma 24-70 ART | GM70-200 f/2.8 |Sigma Art 24 f/1.4 | Sigma ART 35 f/1.2 | FE85 f/1.8 | Sigma ART 105 f/1.4 | Godox V860iiS & V1S

  
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PNPhotography
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Dec 26, 2016 19:12 |  #14

Don't rule out the Nikon D5500.Awesome IQ and really small and light.That's my travel kit, the 35 f1.8 prime with the collapsible 55-200 lens makes for a light kit,and great battery life too.


6D|7D|7DMKII|Nikon D750|Nikon 85 F1.8|Nikon D5500|G15| Gripped|300F4|35F2IS|8​5 F1.8|135L F2|200L F2.8|17-55 F2.8|70-200L F2.8 MKII|430EX|
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quickben
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Post edited over 3 years ago by quickben.
     
Dec 29, 2016 06:36 |  #15

Canon 760D (T6s) plus your 17-40L

The extra weight compared to a mirrorless body is partly offset by the fact you won't need as many spare batteries. You'd get by with just one spare, I'd say.

It's small for a dslr, rugged and has a good aps-c sensor. And is much closer in functionality/ergonomi​cs to your 5D3 than any mirrorless body.


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Need a quality camera for hiking
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