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Sturdiest, Most Reliable Camera?

  
 
snegron7
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Sturdiest, Most Reliable Camera?


Googling this topic is a complete waste of time because every result you get is biased info provided by folks who who are either paid by camera manufacturer's marketing teams, or retailer "reviews".

I just got back from an overseas trip. I took two cameras. One camera was my primary camera (Sony A7c with a couple of Tamron lens and a Viltrox lens). My backup camera was a Ricoh GRIII Street Edition. Both cameras failed!!!

The Sony A7c froze several times while using the Viltrox AF 16mm f1.8. At one point the A7c froze and kept making a buzzing sound until I removed and reinserted the battery.

The Ricoh GRIII also froze, but on a few occasions didn't want to start up until I removed and reinserted the battery.

Both my cameras have original OEM batteries (not 3rd party batteries). Each camera had its own SanDisk Extreme Pro SD card. The weather was dry, no humidity, average temperatures. This was not user error, these were genuine malfunctions.

This was pretty upsetting for me because these cameras are relatively new (less than a year old). I also own a Canon R6, but it has heated up on me in the past, so I didn't want to take it with me because I don't trust its reliability.

This promted me to think about options for future travel. I need a camera that is as robust and reliable as the old Nikon F film SLR's. I don't mind investing in another system so long as it is a "built like a tank" camera with lenses to match.

From your personal experiences, which camera have you used that is a truly reliable, well built, glitch-free camera?



Mar 23, 2024 at 12:32 PM
RoamingScott
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Sturdiest, Most Reliable Camera?


The best built MILC right now is the Z9. I've used it in the desert mid-summer and in freezing temps, and it didn't blink. I have zero concerns about the build quality. That said, if you want an A7C/Ricoh sized bullet proof camera, keep looking, it doesn't exist.

You're gonna have to go back to the DSLR tanks if you want more than that. However, it sounds obvious the Sony froze on you because of the 3rd party lens.

The Ricoh is a low end consumer product that I wouldn't necessarily trust for mission critical shots.



Mar 23, 2024 at 12:48 PM
johnvanr
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Sturdiest, Most Reliable Camera?


Jay Maisel always had the best Nikon pro bodies in the film days, but even then he owned more than ten of them because they failed on himÖ

Your best bet should be the Z9, R3 and A9/A1, all aimed at pros, but even pros carry multiple of those camera if on critical assignments.



Mar 23, 2024 at 01:11 PM
snegron7
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Sturdiest, Most Reliable Camera?




RoamingScott wrote:
The best built MILC right now is the Z9. I've used it in the desert mid-summer and in freezing temps, and it didn't blink. I have zero concerns about the build quality. That said, if you want an A7C/Ricoh sized bullet proof camera, keep looking, it doesn't exist.

You're gonna have to go back to the DSLR tanks if you want more than that. However, it sounds obvious the Sony froze on you because of the 3rd party lens.

The Ricoh is a low end consumer product that I wouldn't necessarily trust for mission critical shots.



I have actually been debating the idea of getting a Canon 5DMK4. I still have a few nice L lenses in great condition that I use on my R6 with an adapter. My only hesitation is that I love the AF tracking on my mirrorless bodies.



Mar 23, 2024 at 01:38 PM
sjms
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Sturdiest, Most Reliable Camera?


Sony A7c with a couple of Tamron lens and a Viltrox lens

so you said it froze with the viltrox. did it freeze with the tamrons?

i know nothing about the GRIII

historically i shot Nikon film since 1984. went to Canon digital to 2003 by invite. (had some issues with their top end stuff that ended up costing me for doing bleeding edge and FF). in 2008 Nikon offered me a D3 to try along with some optics for a time. the kit proved to be what worked for me. so i have owned/used a few of their bodies too. i still have a few of them and use them. i have had the Z9 since it arrived on the stage. for me its both work and pleasure. back to historic issues the only Nikon item i had issues with was the SB700 flash. fixed it and still in use. overall, they have proven to be reliable for me. so i stay with them.

i do use a a Sony RX100v. still going strong. not too kind on battery usage though so i have a few. use it often. very good optics for its size.

as i said the GRIII i was not familiar with other than its fixed FOV. for me limiting.

Edited on Mar 24, 2024 at 08:58 AM · View previous versions



Mar 23, 2024 at 01:47 PM
johnvanr
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Sturdiest, Most Reliable Camera?


snegron7 wrote:
I have actually been debating the idea of getting a Canon 5DMK4. I still have a few nice L lenses in great condition that I use on my R6 with an adapter. My only hesitation is that I love the AF tracking on my mirrorless bodies.


Iíd rather carry four GRIIIs than a DSLR kit, but thatís me. Come to think of it, the top Olympus cameras have superb weather sealing. Not sure how they fare when used by pros in harsh conditions, but I know that of all the gear I have, I would bring Olympus PRO when I need the most reliability (but still, two or three cameras). I would not bring my Canon R5 or R6II, let alone my Leica stuff. In earlier days, if I had to, Iíd bring my 1DX(II), but in reality that camera was only good for travel by car, not plane.



Mar 23, 2024 at 01:49 PM
snegron7
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Sturdiest, Most Reliable Camera?




sjms wrote:
so you said it froze with the viltrox. did it freeze with the tamrons?


It only froze with the Viltrox. I'm guessing there must have been some firmware issue with the Viltrox. I don't believe there's a firmware update for this lens yet because it's a relatively newly released lens.



Mar 23, 2024 at 02:11 PM
snegron7
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Sturdiest, Most Reliable Camera?




johnvanr wrote:
Iíd rather carry four GRIIIs than a DSLR kit, but thatís me. Come to think of it, the top Olympus cameras have superb weather sealing. Not sure how they fare when used by pros in harsh conditions, but I know that of all the gear I have, I would bring Olympus PRO when I need the most reliability (but still, two or three cameras). I would not bring my Canon R5 or R6II, let alone my Leica stuff. In earlier days, if I had to, Iíd bring my 1DX(II), but in reality that camera was only good for travel by
...Show more


My only issue is that I'm not a fan of m43 for low light shooting. I have a couple of Panasonic m43 cameras and they are great for daylight shooting. The smallest sensor I'd feel comfortable with is an APS-C, which is found in the GRIII. I prefer to stick with full frame if possible.



Mar 23, 2024 at 02:15 PM
sjms
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Sturdiest, Most Reliable Camera?


well that makes it difficult in the smaller body/PS type camera.

it would be interesting to here your logic.

this is a shot i did at a historic dig site in northern Japan open to the public (Sannai Maruyama Ruins). all i had with me on this jaunt was the Sony




  DSC-RX100M5    8.8-25.7 mm f/1.8-2.8 lens    9mm    1/30s    6400 ISO  



Edited on Mar 23, 2024 at 02:51 PM · View previous versions



Mar 23, 2024 at 02:21 PM
johnvanr
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Sturdiest, Most Reliable Camera?


snegron7 wrote:
My only issue is that I'm not a fan of m43 for low light shooting. I have a couple of Panasonic m43 cameras and they are great for daylight shooting. The smallest sensor I'd feel comfortable with is an APS-C, which is found in the GRIII. I prefer to stick with full frame if possible.


It is indeed the weak point. On the other hand, if the subject is still, you can use much longer shutter speeds with Olympus than with other brands. And, finally, the noise reduction software has become very good.

Still, personally, I found little difference between APS-C and MFT, but enough between MFT and FF to prefer FF in low light (but now weíre back at much larger kits again). FWIW, I use all three formats.



Mar 23, 2024 at 02:21 PM
 


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sjms
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Sturdiest, Most Reliable Camera?


snegron7 wrote:
It only froze with the Viltrox. I'm guessing there must have been some firmware issue with the Viltrox. I don't believe there's a firmware update for this lens yet because it's a relatively newly released lens.


but that tells you something about the gear you have and where you need to think about to put your trust till then.

you say it is a relatively recent lens release but the camera body has been out for some time too as in late 2020.




Mar 23, 2024 at 04:18 PM
chez
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Sturdiest, Most Reliable Camera?


snegron7 wrote:
It only froze with the Viltrox. I'm guessing there must have been some firmware issue with the Viltrox. I don't believe there's a firmware update for this lens yet because it's a relatively newly released lens.


If itís a problem with the interface between a lens and camera, then itís not really a reliability issue. Did you spend some time with your kit before going on a trip?

Iíve dragged along my Sony cameras ( A7r3, A72 and A7R1 ) along with Batis lenses through many countries in all sorts of conditions from tropic rain, to desert dust to seaside spray without any issues. But maybe Iím just lucky.



Mar 23, 2024 at 05:16 PM
snegron7
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Sturdiest, Most Reliable Camera?




sjms wrote:
but that tells you something about the gear you have and where you need to think about to put your trust till then.

you say it is a relatively recent lens release but the camera body has been out for some time too as in late 2020.




My A7c is relatively new though. I purchased it new a little over a year ago. It has the latest firmware. Prior to this A7c, I owned another A7c but sold it (long story).

I honestly don't know if its a firmware issue with the Viltrox, or if the lens itself is defective. I purchased it in September of last year, but I've only used it a handful of times since then. During my recent trip I tried using it as my main lens. After day one was when it began failing. I had to use my Tamron 20-40mm f2.8 as my main lens for the duration of the trip.




Mar 23, 2024 at 06:58 PM
snegron7
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Sturdiest, Most Reliable Camera?


chez wrote:
If itís a problem with the interface between a lens and camera, then itís not really a reliability issue. Did you spend some time with your kit before going on a trip?

Iíve dragged along my Sony cameras ( A7r3, A72 and A7R1 ) along with Batis lenses through many countries in all sorts of conditions from tropic rain, to desert dust to seaside spray without any issues. But maybe Iím just lucky.



I've had mixed luck with cameras over the years. Back in the early digital days I had a Nikon D70s fail me, also a Nikon D1X fail me as well. My R6 and my first A7c both failed me while trying to capture video at a family member's birthday party. That actually prompted me to buy a small camcorder for shooting the occasional video. I also had an Olympus EPL8 fail me 3 days after buying it new. It overheated to the point that I thought it was going to burn my hand.

My last truly reliable digital camera was the Nikon D200. I owned 5 of them. They were extremely well-built and captured great images (daytime lighting). They did suffer from the rubber grips peeling off, but that was mostly cosmetic. Another "tank of a camera" was my Canon 7dmk2. I still own it.



Mar 23, 2024 at 07:10 PM
jeffbuzz
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Sturdiest, Most Reliable Camera?


snegron7 wrote:
Googling this topic is a complete waste of time because every result you get is biased info provided by folks who who are either paid by camera manufacturer's marketing teams, or retailer "reviews".

I just got back from an overseas trip. I took two cameras. One camera was my primary camera (Sony A7c with a couple of Tamron lens and a Viltrox lens). My backup camera was a Ricoh GRIII Street Edition. Both cameras failed!!!

The Sony A7c froze several times while using the Viltrox AF 16mm f1.8. At one point the A7c froze and kept making a buzzing sound until
...Show more

All modern cameras are sophisticated computers. You can't call them "single purpose" image capture devices anymore. Today, most have radio communication and audio recording capabilities. It amazes me that we don't suffer from more frequent "glitches".

Have you checked your SD cards? Storage corruption can wreak havoc with any computer. h2testw and crystaldiskmark are both good tools to verify your cards are working well.

Having used many camera brands, I have not experienced any show stopping failures in a long time (knock on wood). Most cameras glitch at some time or another. Power cycling usually fixes any problem. Beyond that, problems are usually related to some setting combo that might be so unique to you it would be difficult for anyone else to replicate it. Hence the reason the first thing you're told to do when you contact Brand X support is to reset your camera.

There may also be as much variation of build quality and reliability among models from the same brand as among different brands. I never had any trouble with the Sony a7R III, IV and a9 II. I used the Viltrox 16mm as well without issue.



Mar 23, 2024 at 07:29 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Sturdiest, Most Reliable Camera?


Canon 1DX.


Mar 24, 2024 at 05:38 AM
sjms
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Sturdiest, Most Reliable Camera?


yep that is a boat anchor build


Mar 24, 2024 at 06:05 AM
Choderboy
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Sturdiest, Most Reliable Camera?


It seems, with available facts, if you had other than the Viltrox on your Sony, the only issue was a few freezes with the Ricoh, which were resolved with battery removal.
I would not be looking for alternative camera yet.

My Canon 1D4 still works, never hicupped. I bought a used 1DS2 in 2010 and in 2014 it had a problem, kept working with reduced functionality until I removed both main battery and clock battery for 10 minutes. Both were subjected to extreme water ingress tests.

A 1DX I had stopped working after a light rain shower.

My A9, bought new, had it's mode dial fall off in a number of weeks and I had babied it.

I think a spare A7C or similar is most practical way to increase reliability. Same same lens mount, same battery, card and other accessories. Put the Viltrox on immediately and find out if it's reliable on another body. 2 x A7C weigh similar or less to 1 big DSLR or Z9.



Mar 24, 2024 at 06:39 AM
schlotz
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Sturdiest, Most Reliable Camera?


Too quick to jump ship IMO. Bottom line you are using a 3rd party Viltrox lens on the A7c vs a native lens. I would rent a native version and run it through its paces. And by that I mean USE IT A BUNCH. After that do the exact same thing with the Viltrox. If it fails then buy the native lens.


Mar 24, 2024 at 08:05 AM
snegron7
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Sturdiest, Most Reliable Camera?




schlotz wrote:
Too quick to jump ship IMO. Bottom line you are using a 3rd party Viltrox lens on the A7c vs a native lens. I would rent a native version and run it through its paces. And by that I mean USE IT A BUNCH. After that do the exact same thing with the Viltrox. If it fails then buy the native lens.



I've been looking for a fast 16mm prime in FE mount, but Viltrox is the only available alternative on the market now. I'm debating whether I should look into the Sony 14mm f1.8 GM.




Mar 24, 2024 at 08:12 AM
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