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