DSLR too Heavy

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David
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After a 50 min walk with my camera today, my painful back reminded me that I need to identify my next camera system. Ideally, I want the same performance that I have with my EOS 5D4 but less than half the weight. I may have to make some compromises and it will have to be ML.


Essentially, I would like, 20 MP +, DR 13-14 stops, fast focusing, focus tracking, High ISO, IS, Wi-Fi, GPS and weather resistance. Given my walkabout lens is 25-105mm, I will need similar and the combined weight of the camera and 24-105mm (or similar) should be around 650g as opposed to my current almost 2 Kg. I will eventually need to add longer and wider lenses, but I imagine that they will also be lighter.


I will have to do some more research myself, but I would welcome any suggestions on possible systems which might meet or almost meet my needs. I will probably keep my 5D4 to use occasionally particularly when I do not have to take it far. No budget limitation but I may delay adding the additional lenses to spread the cost a little. Nor do I have any brand in mind.



Dave
 
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Suffice to say that lugging my 5D3 and, 24-105 and 100-400 on hot day back in 2018 was the straw that broke this camels back so got me looking hard at 'what to do'.

I went the Olympus O-MD EM1 Mk2 route and have never regretted it. Thinking back, when I added up the weight etc I can it to about 55% of the Canon gear ;)

FF ML will be oh so close IMO weight wise to what you have now.
 
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Not neccessarily.

Sony FF body & Tamron lenses I'd suggest.

I had an Olympus setup but really missed the low light capabilities of full frame.
I learn something new every day.......and FWIW and my 5D3 is superb in low light terms.

PS I have been impressed seeing the Sony FF images.
 
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Rob
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Changing from full frame DSLR to full frame mirrorless can be difficult to get a weight saving. The cameras are lighter but lenses are generally nearly the same size and weight. It’s due to physics of full frame sensors needing a certain size rather than its being mirrorless. There are some lenses that are smaller and lighter but you have to look for them.

This website is pretty good to compare sizes.


I compared the Nikon I previously had with the Sony I currently use. Both have a 24-105/120 f4 lens.

2CBF0132-2A6B-43FC-BBD4-FBE57929B28A.jpeg

The only think I can think of that’s near you want spec is an olympus with 12-40 lens. Covering all of your wants and being under 650g is probably nearly impossible. You could go for a fixed lens camera. That would be around the weight you want but you wouldn’t be able to add a longer lens later.
 
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Clint
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Your list of requirements is quite large and I am not sure such a camera exists that meets your criteria. when you say fast focussing and tracking, what are you photographing? In terms of high ISO what level of quality are you looking for, say for example are you making A3 prints from ISO 6400. Are you quite flexible on the remaining points like in built stabilisation, GPS?
 
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James
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Hard pressed to hit that wieght i would think. A D3400 and kit lens was over that. although body, kit and 70-300 was in at 1.5kg
Fuji XT3 is 500g or so for the body
 
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Rich
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Olympus E-M5 iii and 12-45, weighs in at 668g.
 
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Jeff
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Another vote for Olympus here ..weight wise they leave everything else behind ,lenses are often lighter and cheaper ,and you really won’t notice much difference if p.p is applied properly .. and that is the cruncher if you shoot raw and know how to process go for Olympus you won’t regret it it you shoot j.peg stick with FF
 
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Lee
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I don't think you are going to get down to 650g body & zoom without going 4/3rds really. I think the A7's are around that weight body only.
 
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Dave Canon
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David
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Thanks, I will investigate the suggestions but I do need high image quality for printing A3. I also need fast focusing for birds in flight and sport etc. I also do low light and some night photography. Some year ago I bought a Panasonic Lumix FZ200 thinking it might do sometimes as a walkabout but despite the excellent 25-600mm f2.8 Leica lens the image quality is too poor. At the very least I need a significant upgrade on the walkabout camera but may have to continue with my 5D4 for the foreseeable future.

Dave
 

Stephen L

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Sony A6xxx. APS-C but realistically a worthy challenger to FF. A6500 is reputedly a very fast focus/tracker. I don't know - hills don't move a lot. Check my later Flickr posts and compare with my former Nikon Z6.
My Flickr
 
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I don't think you are going to get down to 650g body & zoom without going 4/3rds really. I think the A7's are around that weight body only.
A7C and the 28-60.
509g + 167g

What I like about the FF Sony cameras is when you want it to be small and light it can be. Love my A7R with 35 f2.8.
 
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Alan
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Thanks, I will investigate the suggestions but I do need high image quality for printing A3. I also need fast focusing for birds in flight and sport etc. I also do low light and some night photography. Some year ago I bought a Panasonic Lumix FZ200 thinking it might do sometimes as a walkabout but despite the excellent 25-600mm f2.8 Leica lens the image quality is too poor. At the very least I need a significant upgrade on the walkabout camera but may have to continue with my 5D4 for the foreseeable future.

Dave
It all depends on the quality you want. I have A3 prints from my 8mp APS-C Canon 20D and I think from my 6mp 300D too. Printing is arguably more forgiving than pixel peeping on screen, assuming you don't get a magnifying glass out of your pocket and inspect the print that closely.

MFT is worth a look as I suppose is the Sony APS-C A6xxx system as the bodies are a touch smaller than the MFT RF style cameras I have. I don't use focus tracking apart from face/eye detect but my Panasonic MFT seems to lock on pretty well for these as does my Sony A7. The lens choice can make the difference between a big saving in bulk and weight or not much at all so that needs thinking about but image quality wise as Canon have arguably been behind the best for years you may find that a mirrorless APS-C or even MFT could work for you. Maybe you could look at or even download some example pictures similar to the ones you intend to take and take it from there.

Just as a little example years ago the first time I took my Panasonic G1 out instead of my 5D I honestly had to keep checking the bag to make sure it was still in there such was the reduction in weight. Good luck with it.
 
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Dave Canon
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David
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What are you using to carry it? I have a Black Rapid Sport sling and can walk all day with my 5d4 and lens attached, it is very comfortable.
I do have a Opteka Camera Harness which I use when I have to take my 70-200mm f2.8 (1.5Kg on its own). The harness does help in that the weight is distributed and not just on my neck. However, the weight is still taken by my back so is not a solution. I have had the back issue for 50 years but it has just gradually got worse. So yes it was a good suggestion but reducing the weight is the only real alternative. I have much sympathy with a fellow club member (suffering from Arthritis) who stated that the only things worth photographing were within 300m of his car boot.

Dave
 
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Brian
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I have a Lumix G90 which weighs 970g when fitted with the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens.

However, I'm not convinced by the Image Quality compared to my Canon 5D Mk4.
 
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Alan
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I have a Lumix G90 which weighs 970g when fitted with the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens.

However, I'm not convinced by the Image Quality compared to my Canon 5D Mk4.
I don't know the stats but looking at reviews the G90 seems to have less DR. It's a long time since I've had Canon DSLR's but one thing that may help MFT compete could be to shoot raw whilst protecting the highlights and boosting the shadows post capture. This is something that is arguably easier to do with mirrorless as you see the exposure before you take the picture or you at least get a useful guide to what it'll end up being. Back when I did have Canon I couldn't really boost the shadows without noise very quickly becoming a problem but at the time I did find MFT files stood up better to having the shadows boosted. If that is still true to any extent for 5D IV v G90 I simply don't know but it could be worth a try.

Larger formats will still very probably give you sharper results assuming you're using comparable lenses but the differences may not be too significant when looking at pictures normally. As above, it really depends on the quality you'll accept as a trade off for any savings in bulk and weight.

PS.
One last word on image quality and formats.
The second worst camera I've had is a Medion compact, the worst being a digital keychain camera which was just awful. Anyway, whilst on holiday in Scotland I took some pictures with the 2nd worst Medion and printed one to fill an A4 sheet when I got home. I then forgot about the print but when I came across it years later I was shocked at how good the A4 print looked, it coming from such a poor camera was neither here nor there, it's a nice print, IMO. My point being that sometimes the image quality issues "we" may obsess over may not be all that visible when we look at pictures more or less normally.
 
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Dave Canon
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David
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I have looked at a review and spec of the Sony A6500 and it looks to be a near match. Certainly with mid range zoom the weight is less than half of my canon equivalent. I will also check out various other suggestions,

Dave
 
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Paul
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I think you need to invest more in building up strength. I often walk around all day with 2 x 1dx's along with various lenses and piles of other equipment. My stripped down kit is about 20kgs.
Even the smallest camera bag weighs more than 650g.
 
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Richard
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Yes, you're going to have to compromise. A lot.

But maybe what you need is a better 'carrying solution'? Spreading the weight properly across your shoulders with further support from your waist can make a world of difference. Back-packs obviously do this but they're hardly convenient. Sling-bags can be good though. Or consider a modular belt system with shoulder support.

I have a ThinkTank Speed Freak shoulder/waist bag which is excellent but I think recently discontinued - maybe some still knocking around, also check eBay etc. Have a look at some YouTube videos.
 
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A pro friend of mine swears by Cotton Carrier harnesses. Said he can carry his D5 with a number of different lenses for long periods without fatigue at all


A lot cheaper than changing systems if the current one works for you already ?
 

Stephen L

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I think you need to invest more in building up strength. I often walk around all day with 2 x 1dx's along with various lenses and piles of other equipment. My stripped down kit is about 20kgs.
Even the smallest camera bag weighs more than 650g.
With respect, I don't think you can comment on the OP's level of fitness or reasons for that. Myself, I had to downsize from the Nikon Z6 kit, itself relatively light, to a Sony A6500 setup, because treatment for cancer combined with osteo-arthritis, at my age, left me with little stamina. This is a known medical effect which will only improve with time. A lot of time. Meanwhile, I still want to enjoy photography. I don't think boasting about your own strength is much of a help. :)
 
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Alan
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Yes, you're going to have to compromise. A lot.

But maybe what you need is a better 'carrying solution'? Spreading the weight properly across your shoulders with further support from your waist can make a world of difference. Back-packs obviously do this but they're hardly convenient. Sling-bags can be good though. Or consider a modular belt system with shoulder support.

I have a ThinkTank Speed Freak shoulder/waist bag which is excellent but I think recently discontinued - maybe some still knocking around, also check eBay etc. Have a look at some YouTube videos.
Perhaps not so much on image quality and perhaps even not at all. Better carrying solutions could be the icing on the cake after first saving weight with a lighter system.
 

4wd

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North York Moors
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Why not keep what you have but invest in a high end compact or bridge for days when you are walking far.
 
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Dave Canon
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David
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I know the comments are intended to be helpful but please do not advise on medical or fitness issues. I have seen a consultant and basically I have to put up with it. I do have a Physiotherapy set of exercises but they only help a little. It is not a matter of just time when I walk far, in fact walking helps. The problems is caused by pressure on the middle/lower back and any weight adds to it. I have a LowPro Roller which accommodates most of my kit which is useful while travelling. I have dragged it round places like Slimbrige where there are good tarmac paths but is not practical in open country. This problem is not uncommon as several members of my Camera Club have moved from DSLR to lighter systems for similar reasons. So I was just looking for Camera system recommendations based on my requirements. As I indicated the Sony A6500 looks close . The Fuji FF ML looks very attractive and out performs my 5D4 but are actually heavier.

Dave
 
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Graham
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I think the Olympus E-M5 iii with an appropriate lens is the king of lightweight set ups. I used to use it combined with a 14-150mmii lens (28-300 equivalent) when I was doing multi day trips in the mountains when grams really matter. That still comes in at about 700g but it was a great set up for me. That lens is obviously compromised by it's range so maybe the 12-45 would be a better option, slightly lighter too.

I use Fuji now for various other reasons but it's very hard to compete with m4/3 when it comes to a lightweight setup. At least without going down the compact route. My X-T4 with an 18-135mm lens weighs over 300g more than my old Olympus set up. Doesn't necessarily sound much but it's about 50% heavier. 700ish g vs 1050ish g
 
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Peter
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I feel your pain (literally). I too have back (and neck) problems plus some osteoarthritis.
My daily walkabout is the Nikon Z50 with 16-50 lens. 20mb APSC sensor. Weighs under 600 gms.
Weather resistant.
The lens is 24-75 FF equivalent. Is this long enough for you?
At the moment only 2 DX Z lenses exist (telephoto is 50-250).
Both are sharp and quick to focus.
You can also use any of the full frame Nikon Z lenses as well as a large range of Nikon AF-S lenses using the FTZ adapter.
For birding you could add the 300mm F4 PF via FTZ. You could also add the 1.4 tc to this giving you 630mm FF equivalent.
An 18-140 DX lens is on the Nikon roadmap, probably out next year.

Read a few reviews. You might be surprised.
 
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3,460
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Tom
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I think you need to invest more in building up strength. I often walk around all day with 2 x 1dx's along with various lenses and piles of other equipment. My stripped down kit is about 20kgs.
Even the smallest camera bag weighs more than 650g.
So? It's not a weight lifting competition. The guy wants a lighter camera, not to bulk up.
 

Stephen L

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I'd go for a Sony A6500 or A6600 + the 16-55mm zoom or 16-70mm.
FWIW the Sony 18-135 is a reasonable weight, good quality, if a little dark of aperture. Just weighed those 2 combined, with battery and strap, at about 1.2Kg. Add a Sony 10-18 and a Peak Design 5 litre shoulder bag, and the total with 2 extra batteries is about 2Kg. Lighter, non-zoom, lenses are available. Hope this helps.
 
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Tom
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FWIW the Sony 18-135 is a reasonable weight, good quality, if a little dark of aperture. Just weighed those 2 combined, with battery and strap, at about 1.2Kg. Add a Sony 10-18 and a Peak Design 5 litre shoulder bag, and the total with 2 extra batteries is about 2Kg. Lighter, non-zoom, lenses are available. Hope this helps.
That would be a great kit as well. Forgot about the 18-135, nice little lens that.

Sony APSC has got a lot going for it IMO.
 
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Dave Canon
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David
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Many thanks for advice and suggestions. I had the opportunity to discuss with a photographer who changed from Nikon to Sony last year and looked at a few reviews today. I have not made a final decision but favourites are the Sony A6600 and Sony A7C. The odd thing about the A7C is that it is slightly lighter than the 6600 yet FF. I am also pondering on lenses and the 18-135 looks attractive and also the 16-50 and 10-18 but it would be dependent on which camera I chose. In a sense it is a no brainer between the A6600 and A7C (for performance) but the A7C does cost quite a lot more. It certainly seems feasible to get excellent performance at half my current weight. I note that Black Friday is coming up so there may be a bargain to be had. If anyone has any comments on either of these cameras feel free and also if you think I am missing a much better alternative. I have ruled out Olympus (sorry) as I do not see a future for the company.

Dave
 

Stephen L

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Stephen
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Many thanks for advice and suggestions. I had the opportunity to discuss with a photographer who changed from Nikon to Sony last year and looked at a few reviews today. I have not made a final decision but favourites are the Sony A6600 and Sony A7C. The odd thing about the A7C is that it is slightly lighter than the 6600 yet FF. I am also pondering on lenses and the 18-135 looks attractive and also the 16-50 and 10-18 but it would be dependent on which camera I chose. In a sense it is a no brainer between the A6600 and A7C (for performance) but the A7C does cost quite a lot more. It certainly seems feasible to get excellent performance at half my current weight. I note that Black Friday is coming up so there may be a bargain to be had. If anyone has any comments on either of these cameras feel free and also if you think I am missing a much better alternative. I have ruled out Olympus (sorry) as I do not see a future for the company.

Dave
I am just wondering why you are ruling out the A6500 in favour of the A6600? The 6500 is much cheaper, especially used. On the other hand, the A7C is a valid choice as long as you remember that FF lenses are generally much heavier than APSC lenses. Of course, you can use APSC lenses on the A7C in crop mode.
 
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