I shed virtually 5 kilos from my digital camera bag by switching to mirrorless – DIY Photography

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As knowledgeable panorama photographer, switching to a mirrorless digital camera system is one thing I’ve been considering for a while, though I’ve been hesitant given the weaknesses of early digital camera fashions. Bad climate sealing, poor cold-weather efficiency and common unreliability had been among the elements that made me determine to attend.

But right this moment, it appears as if the trade has lastly labored out lots of the bugs, to the purpose the place the mirrorless full-frame digital camera fashions are simply nearly as good, if not higher, than your favorite DSLR.

If you ever spent an extended, scorching day of panorama pictures trekking together with your DSLR, trifecta of lenses, equipment, and a sturdy tripod strapped onto the aspect of your digital camera bag, we might in all probability agree that the again pressure is just not notably pleasing.

No matter how younger and match you might be, there’s one plain reality about hauling round cumbersome digital camera gear all day lengthy. That stuff is heavy.

And though this was the catalyst compelling the change to mirrorless, there was additionally a domino impact of constructive aspect advantages that I gained alongside the way in which.

Disclaimer: Nikon doesn’t pay me

I ought to level out that I’ve no affiliation with Nikon in any respect, and this isn’t a evaluation of their gear. I merely like their merchandise as they’ve all the time carried out nicely for me. But regardless of your selection of digital camera producer, you should still profit in the identical methods I’ve if you happen to determine that mirrorless is for you.

I’ve been capturing Nikon full-frame our bodies since 2014, so once I made the change to the mirrorless Nikon Z7II, it was a pure selection. The Z7II is Nikon’s mirrorless flagship mannequin for picture high quality, which is crucial contemplating that I make my dwelling promoting fine art prints. Additionally, the ergonomics and menus within the outdated and new cameras are very related and intuitive.

The mirrorless Nikon Z7II weighs in at 615 grams, or about 1/3 lighter and smaller than its older brother, the 915 gram D850 DSLR.

The weight and the majority of the Nikon D850, together with my trifecta of F-mount lenses was undoubtedly a driving issue behind my determination to change to a lighter mirrorless digital camera system. But the opposite advantages, like improved optics and sharper photos of the Nikon Z7II and it’s Z-mount lenses made the choice a straightforward one for me.
The Z7II weighs in at simply 615 grams, versus the 915 grams of the D850, making it about 1/3 smaller and lighter. As a panorama photographer, among the different enhancements within the Z7II that profit me and my capturing type embody:

  • Improved autofocus system with higher accuracy, in some cases, permitting autofocus by a 10-stop ND filter.
  • Dual image processors and a sooner steady capturing velocity at 10FPS, in comparison with 7FPS with the D850. This is essential, for instance, when capturing out of an airplane or chopper at excessive ISOs, so I can stack photos later in post-processing to lower sensor noise.
  • A most 900-second shutter velocity versus solely 30 seconds on the D850. This permits lengthy exposures with out the effort of switching to bulb mode.

Of course, there are some things missing on the Z7II that I’ll miss. There are not any backlit buttons for capturing at night time, which was useful on the D850. The important lower in battery life in comparison with a DSLR (widespread in most mirrorless cameras) can also be one thing I should get used to.

But if these are the one downsides that have an effect on me and my capturing type, I’m OK with that. I all the time carry a number of batteries and a headlamp with a purple mild anyway.

You can discover a good evaluation of the Nikon Z7II right here if you’re .

And, yet one more level in regards to the timing of fixing programs. As of this writing, the D850 continues to be the present mannequin. When it will definitely will get changed by the subsequent era physique (a D860?), its worth will lower sharply. So, promoting now simply is smart for me.

Sizing up the outdated and new Nikons

For these of you capturing Nikon, the pictures under shall be useful in supplying you with an concept of the variations between the DSLR and F-mount lenses, in comparison with their equivalents within the mirrorless Z7II and Z-mount lenses.

The Nikon Z7II with Z 24-70mm f2.8, in comparison with the Nikon D850 with AF-S 24-70mm f2.8.

Above, we see the Z7II and Z 24-70mm f2.8 S lens, in comparison with the D850 and AF-S 24-70mm f2.8G ED lens. The important variations are the additional bulk of the D850 physique and the dimensions of the outdated lens hood. Although the bodily dimension of every lens is analogous, the brand new Z 24-70 is sort of 100 grams lighter than its predecessor.

The complete weight discount of those physique/lens combos is available in at 395 grams, or 0.87 lbs lighter for the Z system.

Finally, it’s value noting that the brand new Z 24-70 wants 82mm filters, against the AF-S lens which makes use of 77mm filters.

Here we see the Z 70-200mm f2.8, in contrast with the AF-S 70-200mm f2.8. In phrases of bulk, there’s not a giant distinction.

Next, we see the Z7II and Z 70-200mm f2.8 S lens, in comparison with the D850 and AF-S 70-200mm f2.8G ED VR II lens. With this specific mixture, it’s shortly apparent that there’s hardly any distinction within the bulk of the 2 programs.

The important distinction is a slight weight discount, because the Z lens is 70 grams lighter, together with the Z physique being 300 grams lighter. Total weight financial savings of this mixture is 370 grams or 0.82 lbs for the Z system.

Both of those lenses use 77mm filters.

Left; the Z 14-24mm S f2.8 in comparison with the well-known AF-S 14-24mm f2.8. Right; the massive lens hood connected to the Z lens, and the Fotodiox Wonderpana filter holder connected to the AF-S lens.

Above, we full the panorama photographer’s trifecta with the brand new Z 14-24mm f2.8 S lens, in comparison with the long-lasting AF-S 14-24mm f2.8G ED lens. Although the outdated 14-24mm is likely one of the finest wide-angle lenses ever produced, it is usually very heavy, tipping the scales at 1000 grams, or 2.2 kilos.

Another disadvantage of the outdated design is the fastened hood and bubble-shaped lens, which doesn’t settle for screw-on filters.

Instead, quite a lot of aftermarket filter choices can be found for the AF-S mannequin. I used the Fotodiox Wonderpana filter holder, which could be very nicely designed. The all-metal development and gigantic 145mm circular filters work very nicely, though they’re very cumbersome and take up additional room in your digital camera bag.

The excellent news is that Nikon has fully reimagined the brand new Z 14-24mm f2.8 S lens, and there are main enhancements. Nikon solved the filter subject with a novel and intelligent design with the lens hoods.

There are two hoods and two lens caps included; a smaller one when no filters are getting used and a bigger hood that’s threaded and accepts 112mm round filters.

Left; the massive lens hood and cap with the brand new Z 14-24mm, and 112mm CPL filter under. Right; the NiSi CPL screwed onto the threaded lens hood.

Above, we see the Z 14-24mm f2.8 S with the massive lens hood connected. I exploit polarizing filters often, so I selected the 112mm NiSi Natural CPL. It screws simply onto the lens hood and can possible keep there completely. Hudson Henry Photography has a great filter shootout for this lens to assist select the correct one for you.

Lastly, Nikon scored a giant residence run right here in relation to weight discount. The new Z lens is a featherlight 650 grams or 1.4 kilos. The complete weight financial savings of this physique/lens mixture is 650 grams or 1.43 kilos for the Z system. That is big.

Less weight, much less tripod

One of the extra aspect advantages of switching to a mirrorless digital camera system is that with the load discount, you gained’t want an enormous tripod to maintain issues secure.

My most well-liked stabilization gear is usually from Really Right Stuff, just because they make nice merchandise with high quality. If you maintain your tripod, you could by no means want to exchange it. Again, I’ve no affiliation with RRS in any respect. I point out them right here as a result of I like their gear.

My important tripod is a Really Right Stuff Versa TVC-34L with a levelling base. Once I add the RRS BH-55 ball head on prime, this beast is available in at a hefty 6.5 kilos. It is rock strong although, and excellent for heavier setups.

I typically use a multi-row panoramic rig which is kind of heavy, so I want all the steadiness I can get. I’ve no plans on parting with this spectacular tripod and can preserve it with me particularly when I’m trekking shorter distances or utilizing my panoramic rig.

The massive Really Right Stuff Versa TVC-34L with levelling base and BH-55 ball head, in comparison with the brand new Ascend 14-PF mated to a BH-30 ball head.

But for lengthy backcountry treks or photograph journeys to different nations, saving weight is a giant deal. That is why I’ve added the brand new Really Right Stuff Ascend 14-PF journey tripod to my package.

The new Ascend is offered in just a few completely different configurations, however with ‘light and compact’ as my important precedence, I selected the mannequin with the shorter legs. This tripod additionally comes with an non-obligatory built-in ball head, nevertheless it has some finicky knobs that could possibly be powerful to regulate in chilly climate with gloves on. Because I dwell in Canada and do numerous winter pictures, that might doubtlessly be a difficulty.

Really Right Stuff BH-30 in comparison with its massive brother, the BH-55. The little man is lower than half the load at 0.81 lbs versus 1.96 lbs for the large one.

Therefore, I selected the ‘PF’ platform mannequin and acquired an RRS BH-30 ball head to mate with it as a substitute.

*PRO TIP* Dollar-wise, it really works out virtually an identical to getting the built-in ball head model anyway, and the BH-30 has greater knobs with greater than sufficient weight capability. Win-win.

The new Ascend additionally has loads of peak with the sturdy middle column, so even at six foot one, it’s no drawback for me. I favor to maintain my digital camera at chest degree anyway, utilizing Live View to compose my photos with the tilting LCD display screen.

Total weight financial savings utilizing the brand new Ascend/BH-30 combo versus the TVC-34L/BH-55 combo is a whopping 2.7 kilos. My again will thank me later.

A aspect word for equipment

The equipment listed under won’t save a lot weight, however they’re important for making your life simpler within the discipline. I believed it might be helpful to incorporate them right here, as they are often bought similtaneously a digital camera improve.

First is an L-plate for the digital camera physique, which in fact permits you to shortly change your digital camera from panorama to portrait orientation on the tripod. I’ve the BZ7-L Ultralight L-Plate from Really Right Stuff, which is one piece and light-weight as a feather.

Left; the L-plate for the brand new Z7II digital camera physique, and the alternative foot for the Z 70-200mm lens. Right; The FTZ mount adapter.

Next, a alternative foot for the 70-200mm lens is a no brainer. It has the dovetail form inbuilt, which attaches on to the tripod head. So as a substitute of an extra lens plate connected to the inventory lens foot, which provides weight, it is a a lot less complicated answer.

Left; the FTZ adapter connected to the Z7II physique. Right; any F-mount lens simply attaches by way of the adapter.

Finally, my Z7II got here with an FTZ mount adapter without cost, which lets you use any F-mount lens in your new Z-mount digital camera physique. If you’ve any F-mount lenses that you simply want to preserve, you possibly can nonetheless use them.

And in case your F-mount lens already has VR vibration discount, even higher. It will mix with the Z7II in-camera picture stabilization for the additional benefit of roll axis, for a complete of 3-axis VR.

Additional advantages of Z-Mount

Besides the load financial savings which had been an essential think about switching to a mirrorless digital camera system, there have been aspect advantages that made the selection a lot simpler. In a nutshell, Nikon has made a greater digital camera within the Z7II that makes it superior in some ways to the D850; no less than, in the way in which that I exploit it for my capturing type.

In addition to the aforementioned enhancements, the Z7II additionally has in-camera 5 axis picture stabilization, which can assist for sharper photos when capturing handheld in tight areas the place a tripod gained’t match.

And lastly, there’s the optical high quality. The internal diameter of the Z-mount flange on the entrance of the physique is the biggest of any full-frame digital camera available on the market, at 55mm. The mounting flange can also be a lot nearer to the sensor as a result of the digital camera is mirrorless.

Without getting too scientific right here, these two elements permit extra mild to hit the sensor, enhancing low mild efficiency, picture high quality, and edge-to-edge sharpness whereas lowering aberration. The Z-mount design merely permits Nikon to provide higher lenses that outperform their F-mount equivalents.

What’s to not love?

Drum roll, please

The change to a mirrorless digital camera system has benefitted my pictures in plenty of methods, an important being weight financial savings and higher picture high quality. Although the change to a lighter tripod accounted for a lot of the majority, it’s nonetheless essential as a result of something we have to carry round simply provides weight.

The complete weight of the D850 and three F-mount lenses is available in at 9.36 kilos, whereas the brand new Z7II and three Z-mount lenses weigh 7.56 kilos, for a financial savings of 1.8 kilos. So, the load of the mirrorless system will really feel just like taking one lens out of your bag.

Back view of joyful younger hiker man with raised arms within the mountains. Fishing boat on the water, campfire subsequent to the vacationer tent on the shore. Vector illustration.

The massive RRS Versa TVC-34L tripod and BH-55 ball head weigh in at 6.51 kilos, in comparison with the a lot lighter RRS Ascend and BH-30 combo, which is barely 3.81 kilos. The complete saving on the tripod change is 2.7 kilos.

Adding them up, I’m now hitting the paths with a pack that’s 4.5 kilos lighter whereas getting higher efficiency from a digital camera than ever earlier than. And that, my associates, is a giant win for me.

About the Author

Dean McLeod is a Canadian panorama and nature photographer, raised within the prairies of Saskatchewan the place he realized to like the pure world at a younger age. Dean’s work as a positive artwork panorama and nature photographer has allowed him to maintain that pleasure all through his life. You can discover out extra about Dean and see his work on his website. This article was additionally revealed here and shared with permission.

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One Comment on “I shed virtually 5 kilos from my digital camera bag by switching to mirrorless – DIY Photography”

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