Amateur Photographer - - 7 Days -

How do you get a smaller kit­bag with a full-frame mirrorless sys­tem? We were told that mirrorless cam­eras would be the saviour of our aching backs; we were sold on the small size of the bod­ies and lenses, con­vinced by the qual­ity of the out­put from the APS- C and Mi­cro Four Thirds sen­sors and hooked on the tech­nol­ogy, which was good enough for many, many peo­ple (in­clud­ing well-known and re­spected pho­tog­ra­phers) to jump ship from their DSLRs.

I bought into mirrorless via the Fu­ji­film X- Pro1, which I still have, and ev­ery­thing that was stated was true. But I con­tin­ued to re­main com­mit­ted to DSLRs, with my Nikon D750 plus an as­sort­ment of lenses, and this is my co­nun­drum. At some point I’d like to move fully to mirrorless and get the ben­e­fit of car­ry­ing that smaller kit­bag. For the past few months I’ve been re­view­ing my op­tions: move fully to APS- C with the Fu­ji­film X- H1 (it has in­built im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion) or switch to Nikon’s full-frame mirrorless sys­tem. But I am un­sure if that smaller kit­bag will ac­tu­ally ma­te­ri­alise.

While full-frame mirrorless cam­eras are cer­tainly smaller than DSLRs, the lenses are huge. For ex­am­ple, where is Nikon’s or Canon’s ‘nifty fifty’?

The Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G AF-S weighs 185g while the new S-line Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 is 415g – an in­crease of 230g. Canon’s EF 50mm f/1.2L USM weighs 580g while the new RF 50mm f/1.2L USM is 950g – an in­crease of 370g. Only Sony has a com­pa­ra­ble ‘nifty fifty’.

Some other lenses for full-frame mirrorless cam­eras are as heavy as their DSLR coun­ter­parts, and if you plan to go in for the stun­ning Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM (1,430g) then you will be car­ry­ing the equiv­a­lent of an EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM (805g) and EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM (615g).

If the weight we’re car­ry­ing on our backs and shoul­ders is go­ing to be re­duced surely the whole sys­tem should be smaller, not big­ger? There­fore the only true way of get­ting a re­duc­tion in size and weight in our pho­to­graphic kit is to move to APS- C or Mi­cro Four Thirds sys­tems, as full-frame mirrorless gear is go­ing to end up be­ing as heavy as our ex­ist­ing DSLR kit. What do other pho­tog­ra­phers think? Martin Nor­den

Martin moved into mirrorless with the Fu­ji­film X-Pro1

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