A new year & new challenges.

I’ve been in a real photography slump of late. I’ve now been retired for 6 months and the adjustment has been a lot more complex than I had anticipated. However lately I’ve been slowly getting the desire to get a few photos in the camera. Autumn is coming and I’d like to get some decent Autumn color photos.

Unfortunately or fortunately depending upon the moment I dont have a camera, only a smartphone and an ageing and somewhat less than reliable Fuji HS20, which I prefer not to use.

I’m about to pull the trigger on a Panasonic GF6 ( lightly used ) with two lenses. I no longer want the heft and bulk of a DSLR and most of the newer mirrorless cameras are bigger than I want to carry. More importantly however is my dismay at what camera manufacturers are doing and the trend they are enforcing on their consumer base.

I’m talking about the sheer cost and size of full frame cameras which are now being produced and touted as the next best thing in the mirrorless world. Should this trend continue then camera companies are going to price & design themselves into oblivion, Olympus is the most recent example of this.

The sheer cost of getting into a fullframe camera and a decent lens kit is far beyond the budgetary reach of most hobbyists.

APS-C  Mirrorless cameras.

Currently the best new APSC kit that I would consider is the new EOS M5 with the included 18-150 mm lens. Total weight for this kit is approx. 750 grams which is really good. That makes it about the same size as a top line Bridgecamera. Cost is $2000NZD.

For around the same money ($2200NZD)  the Fujifilm X-t200 with the 18-135 mm lens would be another alternative. I would still pick the Canon however as I feel it has more bang for the buck, as much as I love Fuji the Canon just makes better sense. IMHO. Weight for this kit is 600 grams +/- 10 grams. The pick of the bunch when it comes to weight.

Full Frame Mirrorless.

Canon EOS RP is the cheapest full frame body at $2000NZD, add to that the EF 24-105 mm lens  ( at $868NZD) and you have an entry level fullframe kit. Weight is approx. one kilo (2.2 lbs.) and its also quite bulky. Not huge but it would get heavy in the hand nonetheless.

Panasonic’s S5 is currently on sale at the moment for $2980NZD thats down five hundred dollars on its normal price and that includes the 20-60mm kit lens as part of the kit. Not too heavy at 1.1 Kilos. Bulky again though, but less so in comparison to the Canon.

Its the same basic story with Nikon.

The Canon 90D with the 18-135 mm lens attached for a comparison weighs in at 1.2 kilos and is bulkier than any of the other cameras although only be a small margin. Its expensive too, at the time of writing this it was priced at $3050NZD from a major retailer.

Panasonic GF6 in excellent condition for sale on TradeMe.

Now back to the GF6.

With the 14-42 lens attached weight is 468 grams. With the 45-150 lens attached it weighs in at 503 grams. Its also 50% smaller in terms of bulk. This makes for a camera that can be carried easily in hand all day should you wish without feeling like you are dragging an anchor around.

Now what about image performance, well we will have to wait and see. Having had the Fuji XA2 previously, which is a similar sized camera it will be interesting to see.

The best part of this whole setup will be the cost. At $350NZD it is a relative bargain. Of course that remains to be seen.




3 thoughts on “A new year & new challenges.”

  1. It took me about two years to get out of thinking of my life revolving around work rosters. I still use my D7500, I have just two lenses I use. The cost of going to a newish mirrorless system will prohibit that avenue. I recently sold an Olympus OMD-E-M5. The contrast was too slow for sports, and the menu way too complicated than it needed to be. I have tried to learn the camera on the Samsung mobile, but seeing my reflection on the screen instead of the composition drives my crazy.


    1. Yes it still feels like I have to get everything done on a weekend – I really have to stop myself from doing that and remember that I no longer answer to anyone but myself and the wife of course 🙂

      I sold all my Canon DSLR gear late last year. Just got tired of lugging around the weight. The nerve damage in my right hand makes holding heavier cameras difficult. I dont mind using the rear screen of the camera. I got used to doing that with my XA2 and HS20. In fact I generally prefer it to using the EVF.

      I wear graduated bifocal glasses which makes using a viewfinder pretty much a pointless exercise as the glasses always contact the rim of the viewfinder and trying to get the same point of vision aligned with the EVF is a royal pain as you can only set the diopter for one area of your glasses. Add to that if I take them off then I cant see accurately worth a damn for anything past the camera at arms length.
      I use my smartphone a good deal and over the coming months I will be concentrating photography around using smaller camera setups and smart phones. Something I will be exploring in a good deal more depth going forward.


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