New Camera Time - Recommendations

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I've been out of the equipment game for a while so don't really know what's new out there in the way of camera options.

Myself and my spouse currently have D7000's with a bunch of Nikon and Sigma lenses (everything from 35mm primes to 120-300 f/2.8), but are now looking to upgrade the cameras as they've taken bit of a beating over the years. The main use is travel, landscape and wildlife, but my spouse is also looking to do more studio work (portraits/family/baby).

Something weatherproof, durable and with decent battery life would be ideal. Obviously she could just go with another Nikon DSLR, but are there any smaller options available now? Last time I looked they weren't great for battery life or for faster wildlife.
 
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Toni
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For portraits etc I'd look for something with eye-AF, but that will mean a change of system and format to mirrorless full frame, whichever maker supplies. If your lenses are still good (i.e. ARTs) and you don't want a system and format change then a DSLR is the only option.

Mirrorless cameras are generally smaller than DSLRs in the body, but the lenses tend to be even larger than the previous generation for faster apertures and better image quality. Some mirrorless have better battery life than others and likewise weatherproofing. Mirrorless lenses also tend to be more expensive than the previous equivalents. Nikon, Canon and Sony all offer adapters to take previous lens ranges with varying degrees of compatibility and performance.

I swapped from Nikon FX to Sony DSLR to Mirrorless nearly 2 years ago, and have been very happy with the improvement in image quality.
 

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Ranger Smith
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There is only one DSLR that fits the bill - the Nikon D850 as you have a range of FX lenses. A used D500 is an option, as is a used Nikon D810

Otherwise to use your F mount full frame lenses you'll need an FTZ adapter along with a z7ii body.

Mirrorless might be the new kid on the block - but I remain unconvinced myself.
 
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I just used the selection tool and according to Nikon my "ideal" camera is the Df. Somewhat surprised by that. Maybe they're just looking to clear some old Df stock from the shelves :)

They also suggest the D780, Z6 & Z6ii. As I already use the D750 and have been thinking about a Z6/Z6ii they make sense.
I got the same selection as you, with D850, Z5 and Z7II as additional choices. TBH the selector only uses trivial choices to identify who wants a compact and who wants something more serious, and only the last question has much value.

When I switched from D610 to A7III I considered both the D750 and recently launched D850 as well as the D810, the Z series not having been released. I'd already handled a D750, and knew it was like a D610 with better AF and slightly lighter body, but offered me no improvement in dynamic range etc. The D850 was tempting, but was ridiculously heavy at almost 1.1kg. I knew I'd have to upgrade lenses too, and in the end I preferred the much better AF and sensor performance of the A7III.
 
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Amp34
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Thanks for the replies. I think I’ve decided on a pair of Z6’s as there’s a bunch of good deals on them right now. We’ll swap our everyday lenses to Z mount and then use adaptors on the longer lenses. It’s a shame the Z6 doesn’t have dual SD slots like the 5, but otherwise it should pretty much suit both our needs.

The biggest issue now is deciding whether to get the 24-70 f2.8 or 4. I think, based on size the f/4 is the better call at the moment. Also means I can use step down filters for NDs, rather than having to spend more money on new filters too.
 
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I agree with all Steve's points.

I see nothing attractive about mirrorless at all . . .
The deciding factor for me is size. I want something the same size or smaller than the current camera, which means either a D7500 of a FF mirrorless. The lenses on the Z are quite often smaller and lighter than their G mount equivalents.

It all depends on what you want. We do a lot of hiking and travelling so size and weight are important. The Z series looks like a good compromise for that.
 
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I agree with all Steve's points.

I see nothing attractive about mirrorless at all . . .
Mirrorless...
Higher keeper rate due to more accurate and more consistent focus.
No MA faff on. Your lenses will work just as well if you buy a new camera.
You can see the depth of field and exposure in real time.
You can see detail in low light and more detail generally than you can ever see with an unaided optical system.
You can have in view aids such as peaking and zebras.
Better lenses, newer designs.
You can focus anywhere in the frame not just at points clustered around the centre.
You can compose/shoot with eye/face detect in ways no unaided optical system could ever reproduce, this is a game changer.
You can use just about any lens from the film era and manually focus with incredible accuracy, if you have the time to do so :D

If you work in the way Steve does then, like him, you'd be better off going MF.
Mirrorless MF? :D
 

SFTPhotography

Ranger Smith
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Pentax 645. :love:

But money being no object a mirrorless 'Blad would be nice. :D
Why a mirrorless and not the full phat one 150mp one with the best lens's. Man I'd be so happy to call that as my camera.

The 645z is amazing, hilariously good for the money, and I would have suggested it but the OP wants to use their current glass and shoot wildlife. MF camera's just wouldn't cut it for that. No lens's long enough on the Fuji or Pentax range and very slow frame rates. The 645z is a landscapers or studio/still life camera only.

I've tested the 645z in my front room, it is sensational I can tell you that much and it will work amazingly well in the field. I am a tripod shooter, slow, methodical etc not a grab and go. I love it. It's everything a modern mirrorless camera isn't and that's fine by me.
 

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Ranger Smith
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The deciding factor for me is size. I want something the same size or smaller than the current camera, which means either a D7500 of a FF mirrorless. The lenses on the Z are quite often smaller and lighter than their G mount equivalents.

It all depends on what you want. We do a lot of hiking and travelling so size and weight are important. The Z series looks like a good compromise for that.
Yes it is lighter than a 850 but a 850 is IMHO still a light camera, it is not prohibitively heavy at all. It weighs under a kilo, it's nothing. If you want the Z - great but you'll need to change your lens's to really get the best out of it. I trecked all over the Pyrenees with 2x D810's and primes in the bag and big zooms and it was no sweat really.
 

SFTPhotography

Ranger Smith
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I would if I could afford it, but as photography is only my hobby I can't justify the investment.
It's surprisingly inexpensive compared to what MF used to cost. 645z under £3699, Z7ii £3199....45-85 mint £750 used. 28-45 new £3100 or so. Doubt a Z7 and a 24-70 plus 20mm 1.8 would cost that much less and in the SLR form I love.

Same with the Fuji GFX 50 MPs....some of the lenses are cheaper than the G master, Z 2.8 gold ring stuff.
 
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Amp34
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Yes it is lighter than a 850 but a 850 is IMHO still a light camera, it is not prohibitively heavy at all. It weighs under a kilo, it's nothing. If you want the Z - great but you'll need to change your lens's to really get the best out of it. I trecked all over the Pyrenees with 2x D810's and primes in the bag and big zooms and it was no sweat really.
Obviously everyone has their own interpretation of light enough, but for me the fact the Z6 is half the weight of a D850 an the 24-70 f2.8Z is 200g less than the G makes it a big draw.

For multi day hiking I try and keep my pack below 13kg wet. So dropping 700g on just one camera and lens is quite significant (and we ended up ordering a 24-70 f/4 for times where weight is most important). My camera gear is already around a third of my hiking weight already so keeping it as low as possible is important to me, especially if there’s no compromise in quality vs the heavier option.

Less weight and size also means I may be more likely to take my MF film kit on other trips where weight isn’t as important.
 
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Amp34
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Well, seeing as a pint of water is almost 500g, I just make sure I take a pee regularly. :rolleyes:
500g off the tent, 500g off the sleeping bag, 500g off the bag, 500g off the tripod, 500g off the camera, 200g off one lens...

If you want to lug heavy stuff around for no real reason then go for it. Personally I enjoy going light.

Theres also the issue with carry on luggage. A lot of smaller planes have low carry on limits, so reduced weight helps there too if you’re carrying a couple of long lenses and maybe small laptop as well.

Lots of reasons for lighter gear. In fact the only reason I can see for bigger, heavier, stuff is to look more professional. A lot of customers seem to associate large cameras/lenses with more professionalism.
 

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Ranger Smith
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In fact the only reason I can see for bigger, heavier, stuff is to look more professional. A lot of customers seem to associate large cameras/lenses with more professionalism.
I can think of one thing...image quality and usability. I find small camera's a bind. I find lower performing and lower res bodies don't meet my imaging requirements. In fact I've moved to an even bigger system - and it's not for what it looks like but how it performs - and the body weights 1.5kg and the lenses well over 1kg. But it's medium format and it will deliver the quality that is of paramount importance to me

Theres also the issue with carry on luggage. A lot of smaller planes have low carry on limits, so reduced weight helps there too if you’re carrying a couple of long lenses and maybe small laptop as well.
I don't fly and drive over to Spain from Scotland. It doesn't take that long.
 
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Th..th..that's all folks!
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Well that’s boring. If I’m somewhere with car access I’d rather stay in a hotel tbh ;).
I found myself very unwilling to drive 1-2 hours to locations from hotel well before the sunrise. You rarely find them in the right spot, and rarely they are affordable... Just a little practical observation over several euro trips. Even broadfoard to elgol is a right pain.
 

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Ranger Smith
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I found myself very unwilling to drive 1-2 hours to locations from hotel well before the sunrise. You rarely find them in the right spot, and rarely they are affordable... Just a little practical observation over several euro trips. Even broadfoard to elgol is a right pain.
It comes a point where a hotel becomes false economy. If sunrise is 6am and the location is say 1hrs drive and 1hrs walk, then realistically you're getting up at 330am. If you go to bed at 11pm that's a chunk of money for very little sleep.

Anywhere in the UK is a there and back in a day job, or an overnight in my very comfortable car for this reason
 
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It comes a point where a hotel becomes false economy. If sunrise is 6am and the location is say 1hrs drive and 1hrs walk, then realistically you're getting up at 330am. If you go to bed at 11pm that's a chunk of money for very little sleep.

Anywhere in the UK is a there and back in a day job, or an overnight in my very comfortable car for this reason
Good point, my best dawn shots have been camping out. Last summer one time in a cowshed :ROFLMAO:.
 
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500g off the tent, 500g off the sleeping bag, 500g off the bag, 500g off the tripod, 500g off the camera, 200g off one lens...

If you want to lug heavy stuff around for no real reason then go for it. Personally I enjoy going light.

Theres also the issue with carry on luggage. A lot of smaller planes have low carry on limits, so reduced weight helps there too if you’re carrying a couple of long lenses and maybe small laptop as well.

Lots of reasons for lighter gear. In fact the only reason I can see for bigger, heavier, stuff is to look more professional. A lot of customers seem to associate large cameras/lenses with more professionalism.
I do lug some quite heavy kit for two reasons - to have more creative options to create a unique image and to be able to print big. It's also motivation for the gym :)
 
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Amp34
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I can think of one thing...image quality and usability. I find small camera's a bind. I find lower performing and lower res bodies don't meet my imaging requirements. In fact I've moved to an even bigger system - and it's not for what it looks like but how it performs - and the body weights 1.5kg and the lenses well over 1kg. But it's medium format and it will deliver the quality that is of paramount importance to me
You’re talking about a completely different type of system there. My argument is about an equivalent setup with equivalent sensor size.

If weight were absolutely essential I’d just take a phone, but obviously there’s a major compromise in image quality there. On the other hand a full frame camera and lens that weighs almost half that of another full frame camera and lens, with equivalent capability is a no brainier for me.



I don't fly and drive over to Spain from Scotland. It doesn't take that long.
We all use our cameras differently. I use it for travel (multi day hike and kayak trips, trips to Africa, Asia, Central America etc) so weight is more important to me than it obviously is to you.

For reference, I’m not adverse to heavy gear. My 120-300 weighs 3kg and I have a film MF camera that I use as well. Whether I can justify the weight of them depends on the trip I’m taking and the photography I’m planning on doing.

Tim Hughes, the car/hotel comment was obviously tongue in cheek. I actually have a 4x4 camper that we use a lot (I don’t currently live in the UK), but that doesn’t help when you’re travelling abroad or camping at the top of a mountain.:p
 
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You’re talking about a completely different type of system there. My argument is about an equivalent setup with equivalent sensor size.

If weight were absolutely essential I’d just take a phone, but obviously there’s a major compromise in image quality there. On the other hand a full frame camera and lens that weighs almost half that of another full frame camera and lens, with equivalent capability is a no brainier for me.





We all use our cameras differently. I use it for travel (multi day hike and kayak trips, trips to Africa, Asia, Central America etc) so weight is more important to me than it obviously is to you.

For reference, I’m not adverse to heavy gear. My 120-300 weighs 3kg and I have a film MF camera that I use as well. Whether I can justify the weight of them depends on the trip I’m taking and the photography I’m planning on doing.

Tim Hughes, the car/hotel comment was obviously tongue in cheek. I actually have a 4x4 camper that we use a lot (I don’t currently live in the UK), but that doesn’t help when you’re travelling abroad or camping at the top of a mountain.:p
Where are you based? I’m in Switzerland, an amazing place for landscape.
 
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