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Does a "professional" light weight camera syste...
  
 
dcape
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p.1 #1 · Does a "professional" light weight camera system exist?


I apologize if this is not the right forum for this question, but I wanted "professional" responses. I am a serious non professional (working on my chops so to speak). I use a Canon 7D, with a Tokina 11-16 f2.8 Wide Angle, a Canon 24-70 f2.8, Canon 70-200 f2.8 and a Canon 100-400 f4.5-5.6 lenses,1.4X and a 2.0X extenders, a Jobu BWG Pro gimbal and Heavy duty tripod. I am currently in the market for a 500mm prime lens.
Here is my concern... I just returned from a photo trip to Venezuela, and while traipsing through the jungle climbing boulders etc. it became painfully obvious to me that the weight of all this equipment, and the complications of switching lenses back and forth as I attempted to photograph jungle, mountains, waterfalls, flora and fauna, made the whole experience a whole lot less fun (although I did get some wonderful shots).
I am wondering if I just have to suck it up and quit complaining (although the idea of carrying a 500 along with everything else is daunting to say the least) or is there a camera system out there that is light weight, but has the professional features and results that I can get with my current equipment? Any thoughts and suggestions for research would be welcomed and appreciated.
Dennis



Jun 24, 2013 at 09:02 PM
dlabrecque
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p.1 #2 · Does a "professional" light weight camera system exist?


Rangefinders might be your best solution, but not an inexpensive one. A Leica M9 comes to mind. Lenses for this line are also expensive, but no more so than what Nikon charges for theirs.


Jun 24, 2013 at 09:38 PM
M Lucca
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p.1 #3 · Does a "professional" light weight camera system exist?


That's the beauty/ugly of interchangeable lens cameras. I suppose you can get one of those super zooms like 18-200 lenses.

Have you tried m4/3 systems? Lighter. But you still have to contend with switching lenses in the jungle.



Jun 24, 2013 at 11:23 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #4 · Does a "professional" light weight camera system exist?


Most of the weight is going to come from your glass, not your camera body, so I don't see the switch to a range finder being that much of a weight gain.

Imo, you don't have to cover every inch of the focal length spectrum with fast glass (read heavy).

There will be plenty of folks who suggest that the smaller formats are up to the task at hand, but your glass lineup (except for the UWA Tokina) are all FF format lenses. Making a change to APS-C glass can lighten you load if you are shooting APS-C only. However, something like a 500 prime isn't going to be available in an APS-C format, i.e. it'll still be heavy @ FF format. Same for a lot of other great glass.

If you really want light and quality, I see two primary ways to go. Oly 4/3 with their best lineup of glass, or stay with FF glass, but be more selective @ which glass you pack ... maybe switching out a couple of zooms for primes. Example, once you've got your 500, you could take a 200/2.8 or 135/2 and a 50 or 35 instead of BOTH a 100-400 AND 70-200. Losing two heavy zooms for a lighter prime is a strategic tradeoff that would let your bring a second body instead (backup and less lens switching).

11-16
28 or 35 prime
70-200/2.8 or 70-200/4 for even lighter
400/5.6
1.4x
Second body (consider FF)


11-16
24-70
135L or 200L or Sigma 150/2.8 Macro etc. prime
400/5.6
1.4x
Second body (consider FF)

Edited on Jun 25, 2013 at 01:05 PM · View previous versions



Jun 24, 2013 at 11:41 PM
JohnBrose
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p.1 #5 · Does a "professional" light weight camera system exist?


Rangefinders wouldn't help with long lenses, I believe they are limited to about 135mm? The smaller the sensor, the smaller/lighter your camera can be, but then you have trade offs with image quality. It is always getting better, but then so is the quality in a full size sensor. You could get an EOS M to take when you need something small and still be able to use your lenses with the adaptor. That's probably the route I would go. Most likely I would just suck it up and take the gear that I need to get the picture. I wouldn't go hiking with a 500mm though. Your 100-400 or 70-200 with converter would be much lighter or get a straight 400 f5.6 for sharpness and decent weight. Get multiple bodies so you don't have to change lenses if that's an issue.


Jun 24, 2013 at 11:44 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #6 · Does a "professional" light weight camera system exist?


+1 @ 400/5.6 for weight considerations vs. 500.


Jun 24, 2013 at 11:46 PM
dcape
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p.1 #7 · Does a "professional" light weight camera system exist?


Thank you very much for your suggestion. I have done a little reading about them since you brought them to my attention. They certainly sound like they would fit the bill except for the fact that I mostly shoot long distance moving subjects ( birds). I will have to read further, but it doesn't sound promising for that kind of photography. Thanks again for helping me to consider other options.


Jun 25, 2013 at 01:08 AM
pr4photos
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p.1 #8 · Does a "professional" light weight camera system exist?


M43 kit. I don't take my heavy Nikon kit with me when trekking etc. My Panny GX1 and three lenses go with me


Jun 25, 2013 at 12:22 PM
 

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swoop
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p.1 #9 · Does a "professional" light weight camera system exist?


Leica M. If you need long lenses, add a m4/3 camera as well. The two kits together with lenses will weight less than a DSLR and 3 lenses.


Jun 26, 2013 at 12:32 AM
markd61
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p.1 #10 · Does a "professional" light weight camera system exist?


The m43 cameras are an excellent choice for lightweight excellence. As a FF 500mm lens only needs to be 250mm on m43 you can save a ton of weight as Rusty points out.
Leica is light but super expensive and slow and far less flexible than any ILC.
That heavy duty tripod is still going to be with you though.

I suggest you rent an Oly OM-D EM5 for a weekend and see how you like it.
Moreover there will be some new Pannys out and hopefully a new pro m43 from Oly.




Jun 26, 2013 at 02:01 AM
glort
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p.1 #11 · Does a "professional" light weight camera system exist?



Digi SLR's ARE Lightweight compared to the old Medium formats I used to lug around and their hefty glass.

If you took all ( or most) of that glass with you every hike you went on, i'd say your problem is not knowing the subject well enough to anticipate what you'll need. I take a lot of my gear with me when I go away but I have a fair idea what stays in the hotel room and what to slog with me.
There arent going to be many occasions where you need an ultra wide and a 200 on the same day.

Instead of trying to cover everything perfectly, why not get something like the 28-300 canon which will cover a LOT of potential subjects. At worst you'd only need the ultra wide and you have all the ranges covered.

I have a 35-350 and that makes a great holiday lens. throw in the 10-22 and I'm good for everything. Last trip I took my G1X and that got used more than anything else because it was so light and convenient. The images it produced were excellent and we took it hiking up mountains and through valleys and didn't even know it was there.

I bought the baby canon flash 270 and it's great for doing family and social events. Even better when people laugh and ask you where your real camera is and then see how good the pics are.



Jun 26, 2013 at 02:23 PM
Kell
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p.1 #12 · Does a "professional" light weight camera system exist?


is this the type of trips you take frequently or was it a once in a lifetime thing? If that was the most strenuos trip you ever took or plan to then maybe just suck it up, if that's your thing going forward then yeah, need to change...maybe a D600 and 28-300 would be a great compromise...good luck


Jun 26, 2013 at 02:35 PM
dcape
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p.1 #13 · Does a "professional" light weight camera system exist?


I cAn't begin to tell you how much I appreciate all of you taking the time to share your ideas. I will seriously check out all of your suggestions. One option that appeals to me at the moment is to buy lightweight second camera for all of the shorter range shots to avoid the weight of several lenses and the inconvenience of having to switch lenses so often. THank you so much for your help.
Dennis



Jun 26, 2013 at 02:46 PM
swoop
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p.1 #14 · Does a "professional" light weight camera system exist?


markd61 wrote:
Leica is light but super expensive and slow and far less flexible than any ILC.



Expensive, yes. Less flexible, sure, but just as fast as a DSLR with practice.



Jun 28, 2013 at 01:23 AM
RRRoger
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p.1 #15 · Does a "professional" light weight camera system exist?


I would either take my D800 with 28-300 or my V1 with 10-100 PD (27-270 equivalent)


Jul 02, 2013 at 12:49 PM





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