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Archive 2013 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?
  
 
sebboh
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p.3 #1 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?





Jan 30, 2013 at 05:37 PM
philip_pj
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p.3 #2 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


It is going to always come down to the two big things: what is the main purpose; and (ii) how finally, undisputably significant is weight.

For climbing, I don't do it, so I can only imagine for mainly vertical activities very light is very important even if the purpose is to shoot good (e.g. salable) images.

For the other things - o/n or m/day hiking, trekking, 'walk up' climbs (which go to 6000m some places), even for fine photography pursuits, weight does matter to a point, but not much more than as one input of many.

Most such people carry around 25-30% of body weight in good comfort, unless they are weight weenies who take things like half size down bags and tarps for shelter, and eat just noodles for days, bludge off others and walk out miserable and emaciated, with a starry look of achievement in their eyes, lol.

So the average fit guy might scale in at say 80kgs, so he is looking at 20-24kgs total payload.

If conditions are harsh, if you want creature comforts a little, and the trek/walk/climb is say 5 days or more, the gear weight adds up fast, even if you are the parsimonious type.

Me personally, I carry 1600 grams of lenses, 1000 grams of camera/batts, and a 1600 gram tripod and head. It is 3.6 kg, or for the metric-challenged, around 8 pounds. I think the gear delivers better image quality than any small camera/lenses by quite some margin (bar one, see below), this is FF DSLR plus Zeiss, good pod/head for low light/time exp...and it all amounts to, in percentage terms:

16% of carry weight, and 3.5% of total body/carry weight. Does that sound too much? I mean I shoot for approx the best quality short of medium/large format, and I don't think it is an excessive load to carry.

It's actually a real pleasure to have enough food to stay 6-8 days in a location, a general area, as the serious work takes serious amounts of time - waiting for the light, learning the environment, seeking out compositions...I would not want to short change myself and be looking over my output in years to come, and be disappointed at the IQ, lack of crop ability, large print ability, lack of resolution.

So that is another view into it, and why landscape guys haul their stuff rather than take a tiny compromise pocket cam. It's also why the RX1 is such a desirable camera, and I hope for an ILC version - because *no one* likes to haul more than feel they have to.



Jan 30, 2013 at 09:07 PM
riotshield
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p.3 #3 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


I've owned a NEX-5N and briefly owned an E-PL5 (same guts as E-PM2) that I had to return due to defective IBIS. Comparing the two systems, here are my observations:

-Dynamic range and high ISO are a wash - both are excellent
-The Olympus had better auto WB - it could get difficult indoor lighting right while the Sony files required tweaking in post
-In terms of speed (AF, processing, writing to card) the E-PL5 wins hands down. I think for AF-S focus and card write times it beats many DSLRs actually. The Sony focuses and processes about as fast as a good compact, which isn't great but isn't terrible. For some reason, the Olympus raw files are noticeably slower to process in Lightroom though
-The Sony had much better ergonomics. Just easier to hold confidently in one hand. The Olympus came with a paltry grip (interchangeable, but why not include a decent a grip to begin with?)
-Standard hotshoe on the Olympus but not on the NEX-5N
-Both missing pop-up flash which is more missed than I thought
-Better lens choices on E-PL5 for sure (I especially liked the 45/1.8), but I found the Sigma 19 and 30 for Sony to be adequate for most situations.
-Menus/interface on both aren't great, but Olympus' is worse. However, they can both be customized mostly to taste.
-For some reason I occasionally experienced shutter shock/blurred images with the E-PL5 but not with the NEX.
-NEX has better MF due to focus peaking

Most seem to choose M4/3 because of the faster AF and better lens choices, but I'm actually going the other way back to Sony (buying a 5R since I sold the 5N). The ergonomics of easy one-hand shooting outweigh the benefits of fastest single shot AF for me.



Jan 30, 2013 at 09:14 PM
Daniel Heineck
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p.3 #4 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


I haven't shot any of the M43 cameras, but my Nex 3 (not C3 or F3) and 18-55 have been on quite a few big backpacking trips/ultramarathons, climbing, etc. Works great, and, although I have a g90 (stupidly good) and a g28 (which, honestly, suffers a lot of corner effects on the 3 vs later sensors that makes it kind of meh), I use my 18-55 outside the most.

I also have a 5D which I enjoy for pure photographic pursuits (ergonomics are a sight better when shooting is the primary objective), its weight and bulk make it a non-starter in the field.

As far as getting the quality you're looking for, a 5n kit and a g90 + Sigma 30? Stitch to get you there. The G90 is pretty much the perfect app for stitching since it's pretty much perfect all the way to the corners, but, alas no AF.



Jan 30, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Vern Dewit
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p.3 #5 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


time2clmb wrote:
I don't see the big deal of carrying a 5d and lenses? I carry a 7d 17-40 and 70-200 with me all the time in my pack weather it be skiing, hiking or even multi day trips and I do ALOT of all. Technical rock is a pain in the ass but standard mountaineering routes again it's not that big of a deal. Learn to pack lighter everywhere else and the weight balances out. But yeah, for just hiking is the weight really a big deal? Perhaps you are carrying too many other things if it is?


That's impressive! Do you have the gear hanging around your neck the whole time? I found that the weight of all that gear was taking the fun out of adventure for me. Especially when bush whacking!



Feb 04, 2013 at 04:50 AM
Paul Gardner
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p.3 #6 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


Some of us are also ageing. I'm approaching 80 now and 1000 meter gains are getting tough, with COPD also advanceing. The RX100 on a monopod is now replaceing my 1DS3 and D800E. I find it an execellent choice.

Big Sur California - RX100
http://img.gg/mUNw75W




Feb 05, 2013 at 08:51 PM
Karel Geertsem
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p.3 #7 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


When hiking, I prefer to go relatively light, although I'm not in the ultralight camp. Light is simply more enjoyable imho. Also, when given the choice, I have learned that an additional kiligram of water, food or protective clothing is much more important than lenses, especially in areas with unpredictable weather.

Based on your advice I have tested the Sony NEX-5R with 16-50 and the Olympus E-PM2 with 14-42. I must say I am very impressed with both cameras (DR, high ISO, colour), but not so much with the kit lenses. Basically, one looses much of the high ISO advantages because of the need to stop down the kit lenses compared to the S95. Also, the crop factor of 2 of the Olympus together with a slow and stopped down kit lens results in a massive DOF. Buying one of these cameras would therefore mean building a new system with better lenses, which kind of defeats the purpose right now. So I bought the Canon pancake 40 mm, first tests show quite impressive results.

Again, thank you all for your very valuable insight and advice. There just might be a compact system camera in the future.



Feb 06, 2013 at 09:22 AM
carstenw
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p.3 #8 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


Man, every time I see this thread on the front page, I read "NEX-6+kittens"!


Feb 06, 2013 at 09:55 AM
Adam211
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p.3 #9 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


I've been trying to figure out this problem for years, now. I had been taking the 300D + Tokina Tank 12-24mm, plus often the 50/1.8. That was heavy! I have a hard time believing that anyone who does more than dayhikes wouldn't think that's a big deal. That system weighted 48 oz for me. That's 3 pounds on top of your pack weight! We spend hundreds of dollars on down bag, cut off our toothbrush handles, maybe even suffer the inconvenience of single wall tents or use tarps, but still carry 3 pounds of camera equipment?

I think an M43 or NEX camera is a superb solution. I don't mind MF so I chose the NEX 6 and love it. For me, this is really the perfect solution. I laid out a half dozen scenarios of M43 and NEX solutions that could replace my 300D + 12-24 + 50mm. All were about half the weight (for one body + 2 standard or wide lenses, the M43 system doesn't offer much weight advantage over NEX).

Sure I'd rather have a 5D if it was the same weight, but I'm so happy with my decision not to carry one, and so is my back. Also, the NEX 6 + a rangefinder lens dangles around your neck so wonderfully. Even just walking around, it's a joy, whereas I found I was always sticking my DSLR in and out of the back because it was just too much to carry around my neck for too long. The NEX + rangefinder feels made to go around my neck. Digital photography is finally reaching a sweet spot, in my opinion.

P.S. I definitely read NEX6 +kittens, too. Got me in this thread. The NEX-6 will save you so much weight you can bring along a kitten or two.



Feb 06, 2013 at 04:35 PM
Phillip Reeve
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p.3 #10 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


carstenw wrote:
Man, every time I see this thread on the front page, I read "NEX-6+kittens"!

we totally need a kittens-thread



Feb 06, 2013 at 04:48 PM
 

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michaelwatkins
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p.3 #11 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


carstenw wrote:
Man, every time I see this thread on the front page, I read "NEX-6+kittens"!


You mean this isn't about young cats? No wonder...



Feb 06, 2013 at 05:43 PM
Iron_Dreamer
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p.3 #12 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


time2clmb wrote:
I don't see the big deal of carrying a 5d and lenses? I carry a 7d 17-40 and 70-200 with me all the time in my pack weather it be skiing, hiking or even multi day trips and I do ALOT of all. Technical rock is a pain in the ass but standard mountaineering routes again it's not that big of a deal. Learn to pack lighter everywhere else and the weight balances out. But yeah, for just hiking is the weight really a big deal? Perhaps you are carrying too many other things if it is?


Agreed completely. It's a D800/14-24/24-120f4 for me these days, but I've been using some variation on that theme for years, since hiking got me into photography (rather than the other way around). I have specifically cut down the weight on my clothing and other supplies, in the name of being able to carry the gear that makes the magic. The right pack makes a huge difference as well, it's amazing how well the Arcteryx Altra pack balances the weight, and helps make it an afterthought. Besides, the more weight I can bear on a given trip, the stronger I'll be for the next one.



Feb 06, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Vern Dewit
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p.3 #13 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


Agreed completely. It's a D800/14-24/24-120f4 for me these days, but I've been using some variation on that theme for years, since hiking got me into photography (rather than the other way around). I have specifically cut down the weight on my clothing and other supplies, in the name of being able to carry the gear that makes the magic. The right pack makes a huge difference as well, it's amazing how well the Arcteryx Altra pack balances the weight, and helps make it an afterthought. Besides, the more weight I can bear on a given trip, the stronger I'll be for...Show more

Good on ya man! When I do trips that entail 25-30km and 1500-2000m height gain in one day I can never get too light on the gear end. I simply can not imagine scrambling up 4th class terrain with the D800 / 14-24 dangling around my neck and banging off the rock face in front of me!

I take my Sony RX100 in a small padded case on my shoulder strap for trips like that. I've noticed that friends who take big / heavy gear don't get nearly the 'action' shots that I do because they have it carried in a large chest pack or in their main pack. The only time I miss the big gear is at night for star photography when a nice big FF sensor and 14mm f/2.8 or faster lens would be very nice...



Feb 06, 2013 at 08:25 PM
philip_pj
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p.3 #14 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


Vern, he is a *hiker*, not a climber, few of these folks are chasing 'action' shots. It is a little bit different, you might agree, though at times and in some circumstances there is a degree of crossover - rock scrambles etc. Even the protection gear needs might be different, from relentless rain/snow etc.

No serious back country landscaper I know carries a pocket cam, they generally want to publish, and/or print large, and/or have highly detailed lush, sharp images as memories to look over in hears to come, of the places they worked hard to get to, saw and loved. No one carries more than they feel they need...I can see cameras like the RX1 changing the equation for many, me included maybe, but they will have to equal what I get from the Zeiss 21mm on FF, for example.

Nor do serious people carry anything 'dangling around their neck', a waist bag is best, or the main pack compartment, the pod fits in a side slot on scrambles. Most experienced trekkers think little of carrying their gear on 25-30km days, as I pointed out above it is a marginal addition to what is needed already to undertake the activity.

The only ones I see with light packs/light cams are novices yet to learn how to look after themselves in the real world out for snapshots or experienced people wanting 'record' shots, or moochers on well-frequented main tracks. I've seen it all - people carrying babies in the mountains, people with no sleeping bags/tents...pretty alarming at times, as you have to help them survive and get back to safety. Many cannot even light a fire.



Feb 06, 2013 at 09:05 PM
philip_pj
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p.3 #15 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


Interesting story for climbing and photography, and what you might call adventure photography - Galen Rowell used a Nikon FM2 much of the time, NG gave him 100s of rolls each time out, he carried it around his neck a lot too, with small MF lenses and on occasion a small zoom...

For the same weight he could have taken a medium format Fuji AF 645 rangefinder which would deliver ultra quality for his action and scape stuff...maybe Nikon had him on contract...but later at the dawn of drum scanners and Lightjets he got his stuff printed large, and being 35mm film, it was not quite there detail wise, according to those in the know.



Feb 06, 2013 at 09:38 PM
sebboh
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p.3 #16 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


philip_pj wrote:
Interesting story for climbing and photography, and what you might call adventure photography - Galen Rowell used a Nikon FM2 much of the time, NG gave him 100s of rolls each time out, he carried it around his neck a lot too, with small MF lenses and on occasion a small zoom...

For the same weight he could have taken a medium format Fuji AF 645 rangefinder which would deliver ultra quality for his action and scape stuff...maybe Nikon had him on contract...but later at the dawn of drum scanners and Lightjets he got his stuff printed large, and being 35mm
...Show more

lens selection could also have been an issue, or maybe he just didn't like rangefinders. if he had to wait for drum scanners to see the difference though, it's likely he just didn't see any reason to shoot MF while he was doing it.

for me, since i'm not a serious mountaineer or ultralight hiker, i'll stick with a NEX cause i just don't see much difference in landscape shots with it versus a FF camera. why carry something more awkward if you don't see much difference? in low light and narrow dof applications i find FF much alluring than for landscape shots where i have to really look hard to see the difference and in the case of canon still prefer the NEX (due to dynamic range).



Feb 06, 2013 at 09:47 PM
naturephoto1
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p.3 #17 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


philip_pj wrote:
Interesting story for climbing and photography, and what you might call adventure photography - Galen Rowell used a Nikon FM2 much of the time, NG gave him 100s of rolls each time out, he carried it around his neck a lot too, with small MF lenses and on occasion a small zoom...

For the same weight he could have taken a medium format Fuji AF 645 rangefinder which would deliver ultra quality for his action and scape stuff...maybe Nikon had him on contract...but later at the dawn of drum scanners and Lightjets he got his stuff printed large, and being 35mm
...Show more

Galen also usually did not carry a tripod and most of his work was hand held. Though he did do things make shift for support. Many of Galen's images did lack detail as you mentioned. As I recall he had his work done through Bill Nordstrom founder of EverColor Fine Art who was my printer at the time and to this day. Bill now goes by the name of LaseLlight Printmakers. At the time we were printing prior to the Lightjet 500 with 3 perfectly registered negatives that were flashed with 3 colored light sources. Later we used the Lightjet 500.

Rich



Feb 06, 2013 at 09:52 PM
Adam211
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p.3 #18 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


philip_pj wrote:
No serious back country landscaper I know carries a pocket cam, they generally want to publish, and/or print large, and/or have highly detailed lush, sharp images as memories to look over in hears to come, of the places they worked hard to get to, saw and loved. No one carries more than they feel they need...I can see cameras like the RX1 changing the equation for many, me included maybe, but they will have to equal what I get from the Zeiss 21mm on FF, for example.

Nor do serious people carry anything 'dangling around their neck', a waist bag is
...Show more

I guess not sure what you mean by serious. Most backpackers I consider "serious" think the weight of a DSLR is a lot. The most 'serious' backpackers I know of are also quite often the ones with the lightest weight--for example, hop over to backpackinglight.com.

If a photographer can't shoot on a cropped sensor and be "serious", then I guess he can't take one backpacking either and be "serious". I consider myself "serious" on both accounts, and maybe I'm lazy, but I found the weight of a DSLR overly burdensome and inconvenient, particularly if stored in the main compartment. Some obviously do not--kudos to them. Unless you're planning on rather large prints, it's hard not to recommend a M43/NEX. Especially since if the OP were to take full frame they'd just take a 40mm/f2.8 to save on weight.


OP: It's really just up to you whether the weight/quality compromise is worth it. Clearly some on both sides here. If you're pleasantly surprised at the S95 results though, I suspect a NEX + Contax G28 and G45 or similar would do for you. Certainly more flexible than being limited to just a 40mm on the Canon.



Feb 07, 2013 at 02:07 AM
gotak
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p.3 #19 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


I vote for OM-D because that's what I got for my light weight travel/outdoors camera.

I don't know why the ergonomics has been an issue for people on the OM-D. Maybe it's because I am asian and the thing was designed in Japan so it fits me better? I really don't find any issue with holding it one handed. Yes, it's not easy to operate it 1 handed but it's not really possible to operate my Canon bodies 1 handed either so to me it's a wash.

I considered a NEX too but after my trip to London where it rained on and off and I had to worry about water getting into the less than perfectly sealed canon body, I decided the weather sealing for 1000 bucks with weather sealed kit lens was just too hard to resist.

Now I find myself almost exclusively using the OM-D on a daily basis. It's just so conveniently while being more or less the same handling as a DSLR.

Anyhow that's my 2 cents.



Feb 07, 2013 at 02:42 AM
gotak
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p.3 #20 · Hiking: IQ, weight, size = NEX6+kitlens?


Adam211 wrote:
I guess not sure what you mean by serious. Most backpackers I consider "serious" think the weight of a DSLR is a lot. The most 'serious' backpackers I know of are also quite often the ones with the lightest weight--for example, hop over to backpackinglight.com.

If a photographer can't shoot on a cropped sensor and be "serious", then I guess he can't take one backpacking either and be "serious". I consider myself "serious" on both accounts, and maybe I'm lazy, but I found the weight of a DSLR overly burdensome and inconvenient, particularly if stored in the main compartment. Some obviously
...Show more

You know, just wanted to point out to people who insists on a full frame.. It is almost always possible to stitch multiple photos. You can get as big a print at as high a resolution as you would ever wanted...



Feb 07, 2013 at 02:43 AM
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